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eCommerce Momentum Podcast - eCommerce Momentum Podcast 19th August 2019
402 : Jon MacDonald – How do you convert more of your traffic into sales
00:00:00 00:52:45

402 : Jon MacDonald – How do you convert more of your traffic into sales

So you worked really hard on getting people to see your stuff? But they are not buying (Less then 2% is the standard). Why? Jon walks us through how to parse your data to identify your buyers habits, then eliminate the noise where they are not buying. Think optimization. How has PPC optimization worked for you on Amazon? It is the game right now. So do the same on your own website and get the same results.



Jon’s contact


4 points you should be tracking on your site

1- Analytics

2- Heat Mapping

3- User Testing

4- A/B Testing


Viral Launch – Save $50 with this link (Use coupon code: Momentum)



Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List


Scope from Sellerlabs

Tactical Arbitrage – Get an 10 day free trial with code: “Tactical”

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Here is transcript- It is automated so it is not perfect but it does seem to get better over time.

Jon:                                        [00:00]                     Most people are using Google analytics. It’s free as we mentioned, but really dive in, get a good understanding from that. Once you feel like you have a good understanding of what people are doing on your site, move on to collecting those heat maps and other engagement types of tools and then just spend an hour a week looking at those.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:17]                     Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of eating commerce selling today. Here’s your host

Stephen:                             [00:29]                     Stephen Peterson. Hey, wanted to take a second and talk about Gaye Lisby and Gary Ray’s Amazon seller tribe and their daily lists that are put out and incredible stories that you can read if you go out and check out, uh, amazing. freedom.com forward slash momentum hyphen arbitrage. I know that’s a lot to put in there. Amazing freedom.com forward slash momentum dash Arbitron and you’re going to get 14 day free trial, no money risk, no, no challenges. You don’t want it when you’re done, you get out. But imagine any list, I’m as grateful as like they call it mailbox money. I love that term, mailbox money. It’s where you can work from your house, buy things online, have them deliver it to you and then sell them on various marketplaces. But imagine you can have somebody else do that for you. So you want to buy time, you want to control, uh, what they’re buying while you take these lists.

Stephen:                             [01:28]                     And you can join multiple lists if you’re interested. And then you can segregate them for the merchandise you want and send them to them. They can make purchases for you on your behalf. Have it delivered to you or delivered to them for prep. Boom, sent into these marketplaces and you could sell. How about that? Wouldn’t it be awesome? I spoke at their conference and there were so many million dollar sellers just using online arbitrage. It’s still available. And again, 14 days. The only way you’re going to get 14 day free trial. So if you come through my link, um, it is an affiliate link. Uh, they do pay me, so I don’t want to mislead you in any way. Um, I would appreciate it, but I’d like to see you try the 14 days. I’ve had so many people that have joined have so much success. It’s very exciting to me and you know, quite humbling to me, um, that they trust me to recommend this group and I 100% recommend this group.

Stephen:                             [02:18]                     I’ve seen the results. These are great people that will also teach you to fish. This isn’t just a, hey, here’s the list. You’re on your own. No, this is, hey, here’s why that wasn’t a good deal. Or here, hey, there’s another opportunity and you get to join their groups. And it’s just a phenomenal group of people. Um, just great, great, uh, leaders in that group and these lists are phenomenal. So again, it’s amazing. freedom.com, forward slash momentum, how you Finn arbitrage amazing freedom.com, forward slash momentum hyphen arbitrage. Use that get two weeks free. Try it. You don’t like it, drop out, but give it a shot if you want to add that to your business. Welcome back to the e-commerce woman podcast. This is episode four Oh two John MacDonald. John owns a company, started a website called the the good.com, and owns a company, loved the name.

Stephen:                             [03:09]                     Um, and when you hear his mission, um, it’s really interesting and it’s going to be very relevant to you may who are trying to build a business. You’re trying to create something. And I would sell you the takeaways that I got from this is, you know, it’s like I used to sit on my kids do as I say, not as I do. Um, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I’m still doing wrong because [inaudible] and I recognize it because I don’t like it when it’s done to me. And so I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways is to sit back and say, okay, what do you like about when you go to a website a lot, Amazon and let’s emulate that. And what don’t you like when you go to a website and they pop up that, you know, annoying ad right in your face or they, they shame you into closing the box.

Stephen:                             [03:54]                     Don’t do that. That’s about as deep as it gets from John explaining it to me. Um, and yet it, it’s just so powerful. I mean, it really is so powerful and he talks about amazing tools that you could use that are really low cost that can help you figure that out. That’s, that’s the depth of it right there. Do what works the best Allah, Amazon and get rid of the stuff that doesn’t work. Really good guy. Really good story. Um, very, very interesting. Let’s get into the podcast. Hey, welcome back to the e-commerce moment and podcast excited about today’s guest because he’s going to hopefully, hopefully help us, me, Steve, understand more about your own website. Lots of people in our pre-conversation we’re talking about this. Lots of people have their own sites now, right? Or they’re stuck trying to figure it out. And this is a company, uh, he owns a company that, that just does this and really helps convert customers who got to your site who are probably leaving and he’s going to help you make that sale.

Stephen:                             [04:55]                     And, and they have proven results, which I’m very interested here. John McDonald. Welcome John. Hi, how are you? Thanks for having me. Hey, thank you for coming on. That’s an accurate statement. What I described, right. Your, your focus is I got people to my site, but they’re not buying John and they’re leaving and they’re not saying, Steve, you’re great and uploading with their dollars. They’re walking away. Correct. That’s, that’s what your fortnight, right? Yeah, the good, which is the company I founded about 10 years ago now, which is a great name by the way. I mean like, thank you. Do you must get a lot of applause for that name? Well, it stems from our mission, which is the, uh, you know, we want to reduce all of the bad online shopping experiences until only the good ones remain. And how we do that is through conversion rate optimization, which means we help brains to convert more of their existing website traffic into buyers by essentially helping them understand how consumers using their site,

Jon:                                        [05:58]                     having empathy for those consumers and creating a better consumer experience on their site. That’s a lot to unpack because when you think about it, you know, how do you know why somebody’s coming to my site or I got him at my site and how do, how do you help me know what people are doing at that site? What, what are you able to help me figure out? Yeah, great question. Well, look, there are four main key data points that every e-commerce site should be tracking, right? And the first of those is analytics. So of course, something like Google analytics, right? You want to understand the trends, the seasonality, the entry points to your site and the exit points, even the paths that people take through the site. There’s a ton of information there, uh, and Google analytics. But let’s be honest, Google analytics is set up to help Google sell more ads.

Jon:                                        [06:49]                     Really know it’s free, right? If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. And so it’s interesting that, uh, you know, most people take Google analytics, um, at first glance and just pay attention to what it’s in the default dashboard. Don’t dig any deeper, but there’s some great information in there. First thing people should be looking at that’s a lot of value is there’s a tool that in within Google analytics it’s available to everybody that helps you to understand the paths that people are taking through your site. This is great because you get to see the funnel of your site and how it’s working and what path people are taking through that funnel. Okay, so wait, dig me deeper in there. So a math, so is that the entry point and then the next click that they made and then the next click that they made or is that, is that kind of it?

Jon:                                        [07:39]                     Okay. Yeah, exactly. And it actually allows you to click on a page title and then it will highlight all the different paths that people take over to the right. So you can kind of visualize, you have these columns that are the, you know, step one, step two, step three, and then there’s a horizontal lines that kind of cut across and show you all the different paths that people take from each step. And so it’s really helpful because it will tell you maybe you are injecting an extra page into the funnel that doesn’t need to be there. So, so when I’m looking at, I’m looking at the ones where the majority of them come in and then I’m looking at the outliers where hardly anybody’s coming in and those are the ones, does it slow down the algorithm? Is that what it does? Well it doesn’t necessarily slow it down.

Jon:                                        [08:24]                     I think that it really just, it creates an extra step for folks to get right is the best way to be thinking about it. How can you eliminate the extra steps that people would have to take? Um, it’s just like a physical retail store. You’d want to put your bestsellers up front, right? Cause otherwise people would leave. Right. Give them a reasonably okay. All right. That makes sense to me. Oh cool. Yeah. So analytics is one piece of data. A second is heat mapping. So heat mapping is where you can track how are engaging with content on your site. Now there’s several different types of heat mapping. So I’ll break this down quickly. There’s a mouse movement, heat mapping, so you can see where people move their cursor on your site, right? And get an idea for what they’re engaging with. There’s touch heat mapping.

Jon:                                        [09:12]                     So on mobile where people generally touching, I personally find that less helpful because you’ll have a big heat map along the right hand side of your page on mobile where people are scrolling more than anything. Uh, but there’s also things like click mapping. So this creates a, a nice image of hot spots where people are clicking on your site. It also is great for what I call rage clicking. This is where you understand where people are clicking on something that is not a link or not clickable, but obviously they think it should be. Oh, interesting. And so what, what, let’s give away the secret sauce here. John. What would you recommend to Steve? You say, Hey Steve, all these people are clicking on this picture. We need to make that picture go to x to help convert. Is that, I mean is that the kind of concept of what you guys would do?

Jon:                                        [10:02]                     Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what we do. Now. How we would figure that out. Um, that takes us to, to another data point that I would really recommend people do. And that’s called user testing. Now, user testing is where you have people come to your site. You can do this live, but you can just take your laptop out into the street and have people navigate on your website and ask them to tell you what they’re thinking. So how we do it is we do what’s called remote on moderated. Now all this means is that they’re at their home computer and we’re not standing over their shoulder. Okay? And what we do is we record their laptop screen or their computer screen and their audio, and these folks are all trained really quickly before they start to talk out loud about the experience they’re having as they’re completing these tasks that we’ve given them to do.

Jon:                                        [10:51]                     What this does is it really helps us to understand it. We’re watching and hearing what people are thinking as they’re going through the site. So they start trying to click on an image and they’re like, man, I want to, why isn’t this clickable? I think it’s going to take me to x, Y, or z. So then we start to have some empathy for what the consumer is going through on the site, which really helps us to understand from their perspective what the site should be doing, what the functionality should do. And I say this quite often, but business owners, ecommerce site owners especially who are at that smaller stage where maybe they built the site themselves or they had a huge hand in building it and structuring all the content that navigation, etc. I often say it is very hard to read the label from inside the jar, right?

Jon:                                        [11:44]                     So you’re so close to your site that you just don’t have a good understanding of what a new to file customer is, is experiencing. When they come to your site and they’re trying to get through your funnel, all they want to do is research and understand if your product can help solve their pain or their need that brought them to your site in the first place, right? They were maybe searching for something on Google and your site came up in their results and they were like, okay, well I’ll give this this site to try. Maybe they can help solve that problem I’m having. Once they get to your site and they say, Oh yeah, actually I’ve done a little bit of research, it looks like they can help me. All they want to do from there is convert. They want to buy that product very quickly and easily and get out.

Jon:                                        [12:27]                     Now I have a two and a half year old at home. I imagine a lot of the listeners are in the same situation in their daily lives where they have distractions all over the place. Just the other day I was trying to buy a flight right for my parents to come visit and see their son or grandson and their son myself. And so, you know, but really my grandson’s the, the uh, the prize at the moment for them. And it’s interesting because I was in the middle of buying the flight and my son comes up to me and he’s pulling at my arm and he wants to hang out and play, of course, and, and I’ve been ignoring him trying to search for flights and so I got up and I left to to hang out with them for a few minutes and I came back and Delta had completely cleared out my entire search, all the flights I had chosen, everything unlocked me out and I had to start all over again.

Jon:                                        [13:14]                     And it was just so disheartening. And I bet if you’re somebody at Delta and you watched me go through that process, they would change that. Because I think about the premium sites, the Amazons of the world, no chances that stuff gets, stuff’s going to haunt you forever if you don’t fill that thing in. Right. They, they keep that cart, they’re going to keep that information. They have put the effort into that. Correct. Right. Hence the reason they’re doing so well. Exactly. One of the unknown things about Amazon that people just don’t think about is they have hundreds of people on their team doing nothing but conversion optimization of the entire site experience. They have teams that focused on nothing but the checkout. Nothing about the homepage, nothing about the product detail page. Hundreds of people, right, and this is exactly all you know it. It takes some specialists in a lot of different areas to do this, right?

Jon:                                        [14:06]                     But every single individual site owner can still deploy a lot of these things themselves. I mean, you know Amazon’s billion dollar company, right? They have a lot of resources. They have a ton of traffic, but you don’t need all of that to do this. It’s nice to have, but you don’t need all of that. There’s a great tool out there. It’s called Hotjar, h. O. T. J. A. R, I think it’s like $9 a month. Super accessible. What this is going to do is help you to track every click and movement on your site. It’s going to give you a heat map of mouse movement. It’s going to give you click maps. It’s going to give you scroll maps. That’s where, how far down the page are people squirreling before they stop. And you’ll be able to tell, we should move content up this page or new or replace some content that’s above the fold if you will.

Jon:                                        [14:57]                     So you know, this tool is really wonderful and we’ll also do something called session recordings. This is where you can see anonymous people on your site and exactly where they’re moving their cursor and what actions they’re taking. Now is GDPR compliant because a, which is a data privacy regulation out of Europe that really does even affect us in the United States. But what it allows you to do is, is uh, the tool set automatically scrubs any personal information from those recordings. Um, so you don’t know who it is, you don’t have their private information. Um, but what it does is it allows you to understand how people are engaging, where they’re having problems, et cetera. So you can imagine taking all of that quantitative data, that analytics, heat mapping, all of that session recordings and mix it with some qualitative data, like user testing. And you really see a really well rounded picture and all of this stuff is really accessible.

Jon:                                        [15:56]                     Like I said, you could for free, take your laptop to a mall, set up a cardboard table and just say, hey, five bucks. If somebody wants to give me five minutes of their time right. And you know anything, offer them a free soda. They’re just sitting there anyways. Right. And get some great user feedback. This didn’t exist a very long, right. I mean it hasn’t exist. Like you said, it would have taken to huge teams, right? Massive teams, massive analytics, big computers to crunch all this data for this little silly site. I’m looking at hot chow right now and it’s, it’s fascinating. I mean I know this stuff exists and so when you can, when you see that drop off, that’s where you can take action, right? That’s the whole concept, right? You should find out where the point, the point is and then fix that pain point, whatever caused them to leave and then in theory they stay and they convert.

Jon:                                        [16:46]                     Boom. Exactly. That’s exactly right. It is all a game of trying to think like the visitors coming to your site as if you’ve never been to the site before. Having a clear approach like that will really help you see it from their perspective and understand why they’re dropping off. Hmm. And again, the goal is to make more conversions. So how hard is it to get a customer to your site? I mean, you must have this conversation with customers all the time, right? They’ve worked so hard to get customers. When you hear, I mean, is it easier to get customers to sites today or is it harder? I think it costs more, but it’s easier. Oh. So it’s easier because of technology, but it cost more to get there. Um, well all the first mover advantage has been lost, right? Those folks who were advertising on Instagram first, we’re seeing the biggest returns for the cheapest amount now and now that it’s picked up steam and there’s more competition for ads, they charge more.

Jon:                                        [17:48]                     Same thing with Google ads, right? It’s a reverse auction marketplace. So the more people that are on it, the more expensive it’s going to get. So, you know, you start thinking about those types of things in and it becomes even more important to get a high row as or return on ad spend. And I think that’s really important because people are paying thousands and thousands to drive this traffic that is generally pretty qualified. But it’s like going fishing with holes in your net, right? You, you, you get there, you find the school of fish and then you go to scoop them up and they all fall through what’s the point? So it’s the same thing with your website. You really need to plug all of those holes and, and frankly, that’s exactly why we exist. You know, it’s funny, um, I think about, you know, we’ve been shown an Amazon and Ebay for forever and I’m convinced that they make most of their money now, not in fees from me.

Jon:                                        [18:42]                     I’m sure that just covers their costs. They make most of their money in advertising. I mean, I can’t, I can’t run a product and I can’t sell a product any more without promoting it. And it’s in two different ways. Usually on both platforms. It’s not just running ads, it’s running ads and a pay per click and doing different that and promoting it. Right. Um, that has to be the way it’s done. I mean, are you seeing customers willing to do that on their own website now? More so because I’m sure there’s a lot of pushback. Well, that’s what I pay Amazon for. That’s what I pay evil Ebay for. But now on my own website, you’ve really got to start spending money to, to draw those customers. And then if you do bring them there and you don’t get the return, that must be a real pain point for companies.

Jon:                                        [19:26]                     Exactly. You know, understanding your cost per customer acquisition and then understanding of how affecting your conversion rate just a little bit can help get that number way down. Look, I mean, Amazon is, I’ve heard is the third largest search engine now behind Google and Youtube, right? So if people are looking for products online to shop, which is what the majority of traffic online is, is commerce. If they go online and are looking for a product, they go to Amazon and they type it into the search box and they see what’s there. Now the next step people take is they’ve now wised up that, yes, I know I can get it on Amazon and get it in two days with prime probably, and you know they’re going to have a decent price, but they’re not going to be the best place to deep dive on the information about that product.

Jon:                                        [20:13]                     Yeah, it’s just a couple bullet points. That’s all you’re going to say. Right. And so they now know, okay, I’m maybe I’ll buy from there, but I’m going to have to go to the brand site to get all that information. So the game I like to play is, okay, they came from Amazon. How do you keep them on your site and finish the order on your site while they’re there? Have you, have you had experienced something, because that blows my mind what you’re saying. Have you had experience with customers who are blown away to realize that a lot of their business or a lot of their customers are doing exactly what you’re saying. They’re coming from Amazon to do the research and then they’re going back on Amazon to buy? I think they are, but again, I think it’s just having some understanding of how people are shopping.

Stephen:                             [20:52]                     Look at, you know, the best use case is always just to look at yourself. You probably, I know I do that quite often, but the generational thing too, you know what? I bet you your bet. How old are you? I’m 38 okay, so I’m 54 and my son who’s now probably 33 east 30 33 or 34 um, it’s definitely a generation. They do not make any decision without first looking at. I mean, I tell the stories, the truth, we can’t go to eat anywhere without looking at a review. I mean, it’s like right now they have me in that habit. I never, we never reviewed anyway. Somebody would say, hey, go eat him Luigi. If he’s local, okay, we’d go there. Right. That was enough. That was the review. Right. His generation, you’re exactly right. He will not, he won’t do anything without researching it.

Stephen:                             [21:36]                     And then looking on youtube, exactly what you’re saying, just to make sure he knows how to do it. And then checking Amazon, checking other sites for us old people, we don’t necessarily get there. However, he’s having influence on me and I’m finding myself doing more of that. I mean literally going to youtube kind of and looking to see how I would utilize that. The best op optional way I’ve not thought about, I’m not sure that I, I go to Amazon, I’m a big Amazon seller, so I would be a big Amazon buyer. Um, I’m not sure that I go from Amazon out to that company’s website. Um, first I actually probably go to, to youtube before their company’s website. I, and I wonder if that’s generational. I,

Jon:                                        [22:22]                     you know, I think that youtube is an important part of the research mix for sure. Uh, so I, I, you’re definitely not alone on that. As you’ve pointed out. I do think the, the pattern we see as the consumers go to Amazon almost as that virtual mall, right, where they know they’re going to have several options to compare, but then they want to dive deeper after they have the one or two finalists, right, that are in the right price point. They know come in the color or size they want or has the features they’re looking for based on the bullet points. Maybe they’ll even read some reviews on Amazon and they say, okay, these two seem well, somewhat comparable. Now I want to learn more. Well then they’re going to go to end up most likely at the brand site. Uh, whether that goes through youtube or whether you’re hosting those types of videos on your brand site. Um, but the idea is that where this started is that so many brands who are selling online or e-com sites online don’t understand that people are coming from Amazon. They almost ignore that and they just say, Amazon’s over in left field all by themselves, right?

Stephen:                             [23:31]                     Yeah. I sell over there. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, I’m okay, but right. But you’re saying the relationship. Yeah, yeah. I was really about that. You know, I think back today, my example of going to youtube, you’re correct. And most of the time the video that I’m going to see is actually from the brand. And so it is really their, their research. And so if they market to me, they are, I’m probably going to click and buy there too. Hmm. So, so when you see that, so you’re, you’re the expert telling me that this is a trend you sit you, so I’m not, I’m, I’m, I’m using my example, but I’m not a perfect example. You’re saying this is what your brains are seeing and you’ve represented, um, I guess we should qualify that. Uh, I saw some pretty big names like xerox and bell and Easton Sports. So you’ve, you’ve had some big clients, so this is real. What are they doing? What were they doing that now you can help them understand, uh, that they need to do something different. And then what was that that they did different?

Jon:                                        [24:26]                     Well, you know, as you mentioned, this is still rather new of an industry. And in terms of conversion optimization, most brands that I end up talking to have never even done ab testing or multivariate or split testing on their website, and we haven’t really even talked about this, but this is an integral part of conversion optimization, which is for brands to be able to say you have a hundred visitors coming to your website, you can split that into 52 groups of 50 and show small changes to your website to one group of 50 and show no changes to the other 50 and see which performs better over time. And you can even segment it down. I mean that’s very high level simplistic example, but you could really segment it down to discreet groups and then runs a various number of tests with them and really have math and data make your decisions for you about what should be updated, changed and refined on your website. And that’s what most brands aren’t

Stephen:                             [25:27]                     doing it, but it’s not like the simple, oh, people buy more from the blue site than a red site, John. Right. It’s not bad, right. At least I think it’s not. I would think it’s a, you know, maybe I’m wrong. Go ahead and tell me what, tell me what I’m thinking. Maybe I’m, maybe I’m going off in left field.

Jon:                                        [25:43]                     Well I, this is why we always do those other pieces of data I mentioned first very much like their doctor needs to diagnose before they prescribe. We have to do some research and have the right data to help inform what challenges consumers are having and form some hypotheses around that. Right? So you know, it really is important for everybody who has an ECOM site to be tracking those, those, all those data points I mentioned because that’s where you’re going to have a really good understanding of what’s not working on your site so that you can come up with hypotheses around how you should fix it and then let the data or test those to let the data decide what should change permanent.

Stephen:                             [26:22]                     So back to that example where people are trying to use a heat map and you see them trying to click on the picture and it’s not going anywhere. So the same group goes and nothing changes. And the other one actually, that link goes somewhere and then you can evaluate those two groups to see who bought more. Is that kind of an example? Yeah.

Jon:                                        [26:40]                     You know, obviously we’re in an industry called conversion optimization. So conversion rate is huge, right? And I would call it a conversion, the ultimate conversion, which is the purchase. But there’s a lot of what we call micro conversions that lead up to that. There are trends that say, hey, you know, we know that if somebody goes into your site and reads reviews that they are 20% more likely to purchase, right? So we start looking for those types of trends and then we look to influence those micro conversion behaviors. So for instance, if we know there’s a correlation to people signing up for emails and making a purchase, and that’s generally because email owned email list is going to be the highest converting channel for almost every e-commerce brand. So you start looking at these types of trends. And again, we’ve been doing this for over 10 years now.

Jon:                                        [27:34]                     So we have, we’ve seen these trends and we know some of these things that work. So we have an idea of where to look. Now every site is a little different. Their data is unique to them, their consumer actions are unique to them. But what this expertise and experience gives us is the ability to kind of Wade through it and say, okay, based on what we know, there’s probably some insights in this area. Let’s go pull some stuff out of there. It’s sitting here listening to you and talking about experience and experiences relative because like you’re saying, it’s really a short period of time, but if you got first mover advantage in that short period of time, you’re the expert. How different, how often are you seeing changes? Um, now, I mean, are you seeing changes every month, every couple months in this world that you have to start adjusting what you thought was the, the answer and now boom, Google makes a change or, or one of these others make a change?

Jon:                                        [28:31]                     Yeah. So, you know, technology is always changing. Consumer behaviors are always changing. Um, you know, devices are always changing right? 10 years ago, mobile shopping wasn’t what it is today. So you do need to keep up with some of these trends, but remarkably, it doesn’t move as fast as as most people would think. It really always has come back to the basics and you know, having empathy for that consumer. I’ve mentioned that a few times. Just understanding what they’re doing on your site. Those are the low hanging fruit pieces that anyone can do. And if you pay attention to those and you collect some data, you are in the top 1% of all e-com sites, automatically you, I can’t tell you how I look at hundreds of ECOM sites every week, how many of them aren’t even tracking these pieces of data? How many of them are not doing testing?

Jon:                                        [29:22]                     How many of them just I have disregard for the consumer and instead think that they built the site they know best. It really is quite, um, appalling for me, quite honestly. Um, but I think that it’s, it’s interesting piece that, you know, this has been available for 10 years. Um, the vast majority of conversion optimization tactics and toolsets have their origin way back in, uh, Barack Obama’s first election campaign. Um, so he was the first to really do heavy ab testing on all of his campaign landing pages and emails that he sent out. And he would test it with, you know, send it out to a thousand people, see which couple of emails, uh, out of that thousand set did best, and then send that out to everybody else. And it was as simple as that, but no one else was doing that. And so it was using data to inform decisions pretty quickly.

Jon:                                        [30:20]                     And then the tool sets that we have today were kind of spurred out of, of the team that worked on that, um, internally for that campaign. And so you’re right, this has not been around that long. I mean, that, that wasn’t, you know, that long ago. Um, and it’s interesting that, you know, even today, 10 years later, people still aren’t paying attention to these things that are of relatively inexpensive, easy to do with a little bit of effort and time. And, uh, and it’s right there for the taking, but most brands aren’t doing it. Is it, is it a step? And I’m sitting there thinking about small, you know, again, listeners, it might my show we’re going to be small sellers and they’re sitting here saying, you know, I’m already overwhelmed with everything I got Steve. I mean, I’ve got so much going on now you want me to add on another tool that I probably won’t use?

Jon:                                        [31:06]                     I’m like this hot jar, for example. Um, I mean, does a company like yours help small sellers, um, or I mean, is there, do you have advice for small seller that’s trying to do it on their own? Maybe that’s a better answer than I’ve yet. Yeah. So advice is to find a good community that you can bounce ideas off of and learn those trends. Right? And so give an example. Well, for instance, um, you know, one of the things we have is a, a slack community. The, that we provide access to for small sellers and the community is really great because it allows people to come in and say, hey, I’m seeing this on my website, is anyone else having this same type of trend? And if you are, let’s correlate our data a little bit and see if we make some changes what happens and then report back to everybody that you basically doubled up the size of the team.

Jon:                                        [32:02]                     That’s the point right then together. Okay, okay. Utilize the resources that are out there. Now the other thing is, um, you know, nothing beats having your own data and even if you just spend an hour or a week looking and reviewing that data, a lot of these tool sets, you can even set Google analytics up to, to email you data every day if you want. Um, but it will, you know, look for sources that will push this data to you so that you get the email and you look at it once a week or so. Even if you just spend an hour a week looking at data, again, you’re in the top 1% of all e-comm sites. And you will notice the Improv performance improvement from that. And there’s a Delta and it, why is there a delta? And then boom, peeling it back over here, we always describe peeling an onion.

Jon:                                        [32:47]                     So push the data. Um, and you mentioned four points. So we got Google analytics, we’ve got heat mapping, we’ve got user testing. Did I miss the fourth one or did I cut you off before you got to, uh, ab testing. Okay. Ab testing. Okay. Yeah, you did right. And I just didn’t write it down. Okay. So Ab testing, which I think a lot of people are familiar with, um, and I’m just not so sure they know where to begin. Um, so again, there they’re software. I mean a lot of users, a lot of, uh, sellers that I would talk with would be Shopify sellers for example. They use, are there plugins and things that will help with ab testing for that kind of thing? Yeah. And I would say don’t even start with a B testing if you’re a small seller. Um, it’s something that you should get to, but there’s a reason I listed it.

Jon:                                        [33:34]                     Fourth and last, and that’s because you should be doing the other three first, right? So first thing is get your analytics correct. So most people are using Google analytics, it’s free as we mentioned, but really dive in, get a good understanding from that. Once you feel like you have a good understanding of what people are doing on your site, move on to collecting those heat maps and other engagement types of tools and then just spend an hour a week looking at those. Um, and then from there you could then say, okay, I have a good foundation of the data. I understand where I think based on the data, the problems are, and there’s going to be some breadcrumbs there, right? You’re going to look at that data and say, man, I’m noticing that people keep ignoring this big piece of content that, that we really need them to engage with and people who do engage with that convert higher.

Jon:                                        [34:21]                     So, you know, the data’s telling me this now I know I should go do some user testing on that area of my site and start asking people to give me their feedback from a perspective that’s not my own because I’m biased. Right. So, you know, I’m trying to lead people down a chain here that hurts everybody who’s coming late to that. Right. Because it’s, you know, they created John, I created, this is my baby. What do you mean they don’t love this? I’m look at that. My Kid, my 12 year old kid made that logo. What are you talking about? And Yeah. Hey, I struggle with it too. We a redesigned our website@thegood.com about a, it’s probably been six months ago now. And I struggled with it too. Uh, we had a whole bunch of data and the team kept coming back and saying, this is, we need to do x, y, and Z. And I found myself in the position in the shoes of what our customers, our clients have, which is, you know, they’re like, man, I have this data.

Jon:                                        [35:18]                     Yes. And in a professional coming to me and telling me I need to make this change, but I hold this so closely. It’s a lot to digest here. The painter whose house needs painting, right. You know, it’s, so you have that right? You have your own data. Um, one of the things that I like about the good when I went through it was the, uh, just the insightful articles. Talk to me about what, you know, I mean, obviously you sell servers isn’t, is that what the goal is, is to, you know, to get people to buy in. But there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of utility in, in a lot of these articles that are there. I mean, how often are they done? Uh, who are they done by and what are they done for? Well, we, uh, we produce about 2000 words of content per week.

Jon:                                        [36:00]                     So we do an article each week, we release it on Tuesday mornings, um, first to our email list, and then we announce it elsewhere. Um, and it’s just a, if you go to the good.com and click on insights, anybody can go in and search our entire library of 10 years worth of content all around optimizing the site. Now of course there’s a content marketing play here, search engine optimization, et Cetera, et cetera. But our mission again is to remove all of the bad online experiences until only the good ones remain. And I can’t think of a better way to do that than to tell people how to remove those experiences and just give them all the secret sauce. Um, and you know, if anybody takes these articles and just deploys these things on their site, I’m happy. I feel like we’ve won. Um, now obviously we sell services around that.

Jon:                                        [36:49]                     Eventually brands get to a size where they grow or you know, they’re already at that size where they need professional help and they want to outsource some of this. Um, and that then, you know, we’ve been so helpful for them along the way that they recall who we are. They give us a call and, and work with us. It would be expensive to have a team on, on staff, on, on physical staff to have to be able to do this. You know, one of the cool things that I like about it too is the length of time to read the article. Whoever thought of that is insightful because you’re saying Steve gave nine minutes because you know, I’m a guy who’s all over the place. I could give nine minutes but I have no clue what it was. So you’re telling me your, that’s a pretty whoever that was, applaud them.

Jon:                                        [37:32]                     Cause that’s, that’s somebody who’s thoughtful. Uh, all that myself on the back. And then I added early on because we were writing very in depth articles and people would look at it and scroll down to see how long it was and then bounce. And then you found that through your testing, didn’t you? Yep, exactly. And I, and I was like, man, if I was bouncing, what would I want to, like why would I be bouncing? And we started asking some folks just to come and look at the site and tell us what they thought. And everybody’s like, man, this looks like I need to set aside my whole lunch hour to read this. I don’t have that kind of time. And it’s like, well no, it actually I timed it, took me six minutes to read it and so we started doing a little bit of math and put that based on the word count up there, the a that one of the other telling things that I saw on the site earlier was the percentage of people that do abandoned carts.

Jon:                                        [38:21]                     So again, that’s why this is so important, right? You’ve worked so hard to get those customers there and then you haven’t given them a reason to buy. Right. I mean is that really what it is? I mean you haven’t made it easy. You haven’t given him a reason. You haven’t convinced them. You haven’t made a successful pitch for seven or seven and a half of those people that came out of 10 that visited site, right? Yeah. It’s about 75% of people will been in a cart globally, which is, it’s crazy. Well, Hey, misery loves company. So, hopefully most of you come sites that are experiencing that understand they’re not alone. Right. And I think that’s, that’s important as well. Um, is a lot of these articles can act as a source of therapy for that individual. You come site owner who has expectations, we suck less, you know, like 75%.

Jon:                                        [39:12]                     Most people would be like, man, I’m failing. But you’re really not. That’s just the global average and it’s not great. But you know, if you get to 50%, you should really applaud to yourself. Well, what is it, what’s the reason that people leave? What, what do you find are the number one, two, three reasons that people come to the site and don’t buy? Well in general or from a cart in general? I mean, I think in general, um, you know, I, I met, I assume the answer is going to be some, like you said, they’re just doing research or what have you. Um, but, but give us some advice there. Well, I think the first thing is, um, we see this quite often. Uh, most sites are not treating their ecommerce site as if it was a retail store. And what I mean by this, bear with me for a second, is that if you wouldn’t do it in your retail store, don’t do it on your website.

Jon:                                        [40:03]                     So email popups. Now maybe I just start scrolling and all of a sudden you put this pop up up. And even worse, a lot of people have buttons that say, no, I don’t like discounts or you know, they make you feel bad about closing it, you know? And uh, none of those are grand or great brand feelings. Think about now again, taking that to a physical retail store. If I walked into a store and a sales associate popped out in front of me with a clipboard and said, give me your email address, sign up. I’m out. Exactly right. So most brands, a lot of brains I should say, do not treat their store as if it was a physical retail store. And that’s a problem because you just assume you can’t see a face. You don’t know who’s coming to your sites. You can do whatever you want to do to them and that’s just not right. We’ll give an example of what, who would give me an example of somebody who’s doing it really well because I’d like to go look at their site and just see the different, have a different experience. Yeah. Well look, have you ever seen an email pop up on Amazon’s website? Never. Never once. Right. Exactly. I mean, you say he like looked up, Mike just hit the floor.

Jon:                                        [41:16]                     I mean, you know, Amazon, again, they have hundreds of people testing their site. They know what works, what doesn’t. Um, you know, we, we even, we partner up with a checkout provider to help out with cart abandonment. Um, and they’re called bolt. Um, and, but it’s basically a plugin for sites like big commerce and uh, and Shopify they’re working to get on and Magento things of that sort. But it replaces the checkout with an highly optimized checkout. Now they don’t advertise that they say this, but they’re really, the best way to describe it is it’s bringing the Amazon checkout to every E-com site, highly optimized checkout. And it is a, you know, a one page checkout that is a really clean experience. Just, you know, thinking about how Amazon does it. Hmm. So Amazon’s the example. And so you’re telling me that small businesses, small, you know, uh, pencil sellers, um, there’s some big Sam Pencil sellers, believe it or not, but that pencil seller has the ability to, uh, to have an Amazon experience for their customers.

Jon:                                        [42:22]                     Today’s Day and age with a plugin. Yes. Jesus company’s called Bolt Bol bolt a bolt.com actually, um, great, great. [inaudible] you mentioned that name. Yeah, well they just raised a lot of money, um, in a series B I believe. Um, so, uh, you know, they’ve, they’ve obviously seen a lot of success and uh, can afford to buy a domain name like that, but regardless, uh, they have a really great tool set that, that has done very well for some of our clients, so. Hmm. Okay. So that is huge, getting that experience right. Um, when, when you think about the next place to go, so I got my shopping cart right. I’ve made it, I’ve taken away all the nonsense. I’ve given him a reason to leave. I get a chance to make the pitch right. I mean, that’s really what I’ve earned. They came to the site, I presented them with an Amazon type of experience.

Jon:                                        [43:16]                     I presented with my pitch. Why are people leaving still? And then what else can you do about that one thing? Shipping really now. Yes. Now that, that means shipping costs and shipping times. Now why do you think Amazon loses money doing two day shipping and they’re willing to lose that money because they overcharge me. So that’s another, well that’s a little sore spot with me, but yeah, he needs to pay it. Yeah. But I do know that if they offered two day shipping that you’re gonna be more likely to buy and they’re even trying to get that to one day. Right. Um, and they’re, you know, you and I have talked about this offline in the past. There’s several providers out there that can help try to replicate that experience as well. And so, you know, it’s something where, um, you know, is Amazon always going to be the beacon that you should hold yourself up to? No, but technology is in service. Providers have come so far that if you just spend a little bit of time researching that one aspect that you like about their experience, you can employ that on your own site and see some of the gains. Now, Amazon, if you’re a prime customer, you’re converting 78% of the time, you visit the site,

Stephen:                             [44:32]                     almost eight out of 10 visits in your prime subscriber, you will buy something. Is that not insane? I said cray. So think about if you even had a 40% conversion rate on your site, what that would do, the online average is 2%. Hmm. And it’s really just a matter of sitting back and saying, okay, who’s the top dog today? And your point is that today they’re, they’re the a the A, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to stay that way, but, but what can I do to emulate them? And you’re saying that software and technology will allow me to emulate a good part of their business today on a small scale, it Steve’s little warehouse in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, right, exactly. That there are tons of tools out there that can help you do that. And once you realize that, you start looking around, they’re everywhere.

Stephen:                             [45:22]                     The other thing that really struck me in this conversation is to push that data back to yourself. Because I, I know at least how I am. I’m good for about two weeks on anything new. You know, I, I last about two weeks. I have good intentions. I mean really John, I really do. And then I’ll start and then life happens and you know, grandkids, whatever’s run in my life, that gets in my way. But by pushing it, by pushing it and getting that report out to me and seeing it, I will take action. Cause over time I’ll say, huh, why is that different? What’s happening? What’s happening? So can I push data for all these points? So I know we can do it. You said for Google analytics where I can set that up. Would would the, uh, the hotjar, if I was going to use that for heat mapping and user testing, would, does that have the ability to push out to me also?

Stephen:                             [46:08]                     Yes. Uh, there are definitely some ways to do that. Hotjar, you can basically go in and say, run a heat map for the next 1000 visitors and then it will email you that heat map when it’s done and, and best practices. Those are really the people that are, are outliers that are taking action. That’s what they’re doing. Correct. Right, exactly. Hmm. OK. So, um, let’s, uh, the good.com is a website. I want to make sure people understand that if they have followup questions, now you have that little robot in a bottom right hand corner that’s going to talk to them, which is great. The chatbots. But chatbots are important. It doesn’t feel obtrusive. I don’t mind. And it’s funny, I don’t like when that thing flashes up on the screen in the middle of the thing and it takes away what I’m trying to look at.

Stephen:                             [46:50]                     Nobody likes that anymore. Right. I can handle a little beep from a chat bot in the bottom right because he’s not annoying me. He’s just saying, hey, if you need, if you have a question, hit me. But if not, he, it’s ignoring. Is that, is that the experience you’ve seen with your customers with chatbots? Yeah, exactly. Now they should always be in the bottom right hand corner. That’s where people are looking for them. So, you know, um, don’t try to just move it around your site for the heck of it because, um, they can be blind to it and the bottom right hand corner if they choose to do so, they’re used to that. Like you’re saying, it’s down there. It can be unobtrusive. You know, we’re running a a four month test right now, um, with the Bot

Jon:                                        [47:29]                     on our site to get a good understanding of the data behind it. Right. I can tell you for E-com sites, you know, we’re, we sell it to other businesses, right, where B2B site. So it’s a little different for econ sites. I can tell you the chat bots work extremely well. Sure they do. And, and if they look more like a person, they actually work even better from what I’ve understand. Um, right. There’s a whole bunch of tips and tricks you can do there, um, with making sure your avatars is correct. Um, but there’s also some bad practices. I think we have an article up there about things you should avoid around chatbox. But really, you know, the first is the, um, don’t act like it’s a live person if you don’t have somebody actually answering those. Right? Or they get on and they pop up and they’re like, oh, we’re not here right now.

Jon:                                        [48:15]                     You know, let us get back to you later. And it’s like, well, why did you have the Chat Bot on your screen at all? So, you know, if it’s not a chat Bot, right? Which means you can actually set up a whole flow chart and lead people down different paths based on their desires and answers. Um, then you know, don’t have it on unless you have somebody managing them for office hours real. Uh, we do customer service for our company and we’re a US based customer service and people are always like, wait, you’re like real. Like I’m talking to a real person. And I’m like, yes, I’m in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. And they’re like, wait, really? I’m like, yes. Hello. What can I do for you? You know, but it makes a big difference. And so, um, I think, and we use a chat bot over the weekend and it’s helpful, but it does tell you, hey, we’re not in this weekend.

Jon:                                        [49:01]                     We’re in on Monday, but we’ll be first to you, let us know how to help you. And so I think, right, right. Um, again, you know, the good has all these stories. I mean like, I don’t know how many, how many articles would you say there are of hundreds at this point? I’ve lost count. Okay. So hundreds and pretty much what school is, you can filter them by the concept that you’re looking for. You’re looking for conversions, you’re looking for marketing, you’ve looking for optimization. You can just pop a bed knowing papa bads. I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of them. Just click on pop up ad. Okay. And, and if somebody had a followup question for you, where’s the best place to get in touch with you? You know, feel free to email me directly. I do read every email that comes in. Do my best to respond in a timely manner.

Jon:                                        [49:42]                     And it’s a j o n@thegood.com, so j o n@thegod.com. And there’s also a lot of information up on our website. If you have additional questions, there’s some contact forms up there. You can fill out somebody from our team or use the bot if you’d like the chat button just to tell it you want to, uh, leave a message. The case studies are also worth going through. Um, to me, I learned a lot from case studies because it, you know, usually there’s a question that I know I want to ask, but I can’t think of it and then I see it in there. I was like, Oh, it answers it and then I’m gonna realize that was the question I was looking to get answered. So, very helpful. Okay. All right. So the way I end up podcast always is I, at least in my world, and it’d be

Stephen:                             [50:27]                     interesting to hear in your world, you see this with businesses, they get stuck. John, they had this website, like you said, they built this website, they got traffic coming to it, they figured that piece out. They get them to the site and they’re losing 90% of their customers aren’t buying. Right. So how do you get them past that point? What’s your advice even even in general, just to get past that point for staff or whatever past that point of stuck? Well, the first thing is, is to really have empathy for the consumer. And I, it’s a trend throughout our entire conversation today. But I can’t, I do that because I can’t overemphasize how much that’s important. You know, it’s easy to sell online, not recognize who you are selling to and think that there’s an actual person sitting on the other side of that screen.

Stephen:                             [51:14]                     And once you kind of have empathy for that and you, you really do what’s best for the human on your website, then you will see success. You know, I’m thinking back to what you said about, you know, with Amazon, what’s your experience with Amazon? How do you work through that, right? If you think about that and then take that same approach to your own, I think, I think you’re spot on. I think that, I think that’s a miss. Um, and I know when I get aggravated, so why would I continue to aggravate people with my own stuff? Geez. Exactly. All right John, it’s a little, uh, making me feel bad now. Jason. Hey Man, I, I thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Was a great chat today. Cool guy.

Stephen:                             [51:54]                     I mean, it really, I think he did a very good job explaining it so I could understand it. If I can understand it in 99% of the world’s can understand it. And I just think, again, I think of a lot of the stuff that I do, um, is wrong and I need to stop it. And so, uh, this is you. Hey, this is your intervention. Just gives you permission to pull back and do it the right way. If it’s working for Amazon, how do I get that to work for me? And according to John, using tools like hotjar and bolt, you can get some of this stuff at your level, at my level. Powerful stuff. Um, his, his website again is the good.com. Check it out. E-Commerce, momentum.com e-commerce woman, [inaudible] dot com take care.

Cool voice guy:                  [52:31]                     Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at [inaudible] in commerce, momentum.com under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.