Ready to learn how to win selling on Shopify?
If you are a blogger, you know I recommend finding something to sell to your audience, and Shopify might be the perfect platform for you to do it on.
This is why I’m excited to share my interview with Shopify expert, Elle McCann.
In this episode, we delve into lots of important Shopify strategies and tactics including:
- Selling on Shopify vs. Etsy
- What to consider when opening a Shopify store
- The importance of doing B- work to get your store open fast
- Common mistakes people make when selling on Shopify
- How to drive traffic to your shop
- How to use social media to sell
- The importance of using email marketing in ecommerce
- And so much more!
I think every blogger should listen to this episode because even if you are not ready to open a Shopify store yet—notice I said “yet”—this episode might get the wheels turning for you on what you can sell to your audience.
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Catch My Party
- Blogger Genius 4 Biggest Takeaways Email
- Elle McCann
- MiloTree Six-Week Entrepreneur Group
- Emily Ley
- Guided Meditation on Perfection from Jillian Leslie
Subscribe to The Blogger Genius Podcast:
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello friends. It is me, Jillian, serial entrepreneur, founder of Catch My Party and MiloTree. I take what’s working now in online entrepreneurship and I break it down. So, you can take these techniques into your business.
If you’d like to get an email from me once a week where I send you my four biggest takeaways from every podcast episode, please head to bloggergenius.com and sign up.
It’s like a cheat sheet every week. So, you can stay on top of what is happening now in online business.
Again, head to bloggergenius.com and sign up, I would love you to be part of my community.
For today’s episode, I have Elle McCann on the show and she is a Shopify expert.
Remember, for online entrepreneurs and bloggers, I recommend you sell something, and Shopify is a great way to do it. In this episode, we debate where is the best place to sell? Is it Shopify? Is it Etsy? What about Amazon?
We dig into it all we talked about getting traffic to your Shopify store, how to use social media to sell. What about email marketing? We really cover it all.
If you are thinking about selling and opening a Shopify store today or in the future, definitely listen to this episode. So, without further delay, here is my interview with Elle McCann.
Elle, welcome to the show.
Elle McCann 2:01
Thank you so much for having me.
Jillian Leslie 2:02
I know virtually nothing about you, except that you are a Shopify expert. And so, I didn’t want to learn before I press record because I want to learn along with my audience.
So, can you share your entrepreneurial journey and how you got into Shopify and selling stuff?
How to Start a Shopify Store
Elle McCann 2:22
So, it actually started a while ago, I went to college for web development. And in college, I also was really interested in illustrations. So, I started doing illustrations for wedding invitations.
And at that time, I was really needing somewhere to sell my wedding invitations online and reach a broader audience. And I came across Shopify, and this was 10 years ago. So, this was whenever it was, it looked totally different than it does now.
It did not have all the bells and whistles that it has now. So, I came across it. And I instantly fell in love with the platform. And I built my wedding invitation business on the Shopify platform.
And after doing so, I did the web design background myself. I really just enjoyed the process, and I wanted to build more E-commerce sites. So, then I just opened my web design business as well alongside the wedding invitations.
And I started creating more E-commerce stores. And after a little bit of doing that, I then got certified as a Shopify expert and I’ve been building a Shopify site for the last 10 years now.
Jillian Leslie 3:26
What is a Shopify expert mean?
Elle McCann 3:31
It’s been discontinued a little bit now. They’re not certifying anyone else new. But it was a process that you went through that had to show that your code was really clean.
That you knew the best E-commerce practices, marketing tips, things like that, to really set your client up for success. And that you were going to be building the proper site that was going to be functioning correctly.
And once you went through that certification process, you then got this kind of moniker of Shopify expert, and you were able to be listed on their directory site as well.
Where Should You Sell? Shopify vs. Etsy
Jillian Leslie 4:03
Got it. Okay, so let’s talk about Shopify versus Etsy. My instinct is always for people to test stuff on Etsy, because there already is an audience of people wanting to buy from you.
That’s just my bias, then if you actually are having a lot of success, I think open a Shopify store in addition to Etsy, but what is your take on this?
Elle McCann 4:30
Yeah, I think that’s a really great way to go about it. I think one of the biggest pitfalls that I see with people who start an E-commerce business is they think, okay, I built the website.
Now, everyone’s going to find me online and just start purchasing and sadly, that’s not the case.
Jillian Leslie 4:44
Like I turned the key and then people should show up… magic.
Elle McCann 4:48
And then ping, ping, ping orders. And that’s not the case. You need to definitely have a marketing strategy in place of how you’re going to get people to the site.
So, I think starting with Etsy is always is a great place because you have this built in search engine. You have built-in traffic to the platform. And like you said, you can really test your product test different product images and titles.
See what people are gravitating to the most. And then once you’ve built that following, and you know that a product is really good, and it’s something that people are looking for, then it’s great to have your own site.
Because then you can really specifically guide them throughout the entire shopping experience. Where the downside with Etsy is definitely, they could come in to your product.
Then get sidetracked with somebody else’s product and purchase that never actually finished purchasing yours.
Jillian Leslie 5:35
So, when you started your wedding invitation business, did you also have an Etsy shop?
Elle McCann 5:41
I did, yes. I did trade shows and stuff first, just like local craft fairs and things like that. And I had had my Etsy store set up. Whenever I was doing that selling like thank you cards and things like that.
And then actually did the wedding invitations on my own store.
Jillian Leslie 5:57
Do you believe then let’s say, I’m selling something on Etsy, like I’m selling jewelry, and I’m having success. At what point would you say go open a Shopify store?
Should You Sell on Multiple Online Platforms?
And would you recommend I keep my Etsy store? And I have my Shopify store, and maybe even think about selling on Amazon. What is your thought about that?
Elle McCann 6:25
I think whenever you’re first getting started, it’s helpful to just get your things in different marketplaces. So, you do have to be mindful that different places take different cuts. So, you have different transaction fees on Etsy.
You have even more transaction fees on Amazon. So, you may have to just realize that that’s a part of getting started testing the different platforms. But I do think it’s really helpful.
I guess the correct point I would say is once you have a little bit more of reoccurring revenue, where you can expect a certain amount of revenue a month, and you’re building a bit of a brand online as well.
So, once you’re building a little bit of a following on social media, then having a dedicated site to send them to where you can also be building that email newsletter list. I think that’s a really key part of Shopify that again, you don’t have with Etsy.
So, once you’re really trying to actually grow the brand, you’ve tested out these products, you know that they’re going to be selling. I think that’s a great time to have your own sites that you can really start growing the brand.
Having them go to your site, sign up to your email newsletter, and then kind of indoctrinating them along throughout the process.
Jillian Leslie 7:31
Got it. Okay, so good. Would you have like an amount, like I’m making $1,000 a month on Etsy, or I’m making $500 or $10,000? At what point would you say, you know what, it’s worth it to start building your own. Or is there not a specific number?
How Much Should You Be Selling Before Opening a Shopify Store?
Elle McCann 7:50
It would be hard to give a number. I would say, even as $1,000 a month, I think you could start thinking then about what the next step is to grow. Because, yeah, you can definitely build a thriving business on Etsy.
But there are certain things that you’re not able to do with Etsy, you’re not able to do email marketing, you’re not able to do upsells. So, that would be okay, if you’d like this product, then add this additional product to your cart for a little bit more.
Those kinds of features are able to do on a dedicated E-commerce site. So, I think, once you’re looking at, okay, I’ve got $1,000 a month, I know I can keep making this, how do I grow the business more?
I think the next step is really building that audience and trying to also increase the average order value, and both of those could definitely be happening more with the Shopify platform.
Jillian Leslie 8:35
Okay. Let’s talk about a Shopify. So, let’s say I’ve reached my thousand dollars selling jewelry, I sell earrings. And I decide I’m ready to start a Shopify store, walk me through the things I need to get in place to do that successfully.
Steps for Opening a Shopify Store
Elle McCann 8:55
So, Shopify has a free 14-day free trial. It’s really helpful because you can actually be building out your site in those 14 days without having to pay any recurring costs.
However, a lot of times, I see that people go over that 14 day free trial, and they haven’t launched their site yet. Because they didn’t come in with all the information ready or thought through.
So, I would definitely say the first steps before even signing up for the free trial would be to start gathering your product information. So, knowing exactly what your product is. Know, the pictures that you’re going to include, the descriptions, the pricing.
If you’re going to be doing shipping based on weight. Weighing all of your products, because that’s going to make your product setup process of setting up on your Shopify store even faster as well.
But I think that’s the part that takes the most amount of time when someone’s setting up their Shopify store, especially if you have a lot of products. It definitely can take a lot of time just setting that up.
But also, if you’re sitting there having to sit down and write every single product description. It can take some time. So hopefully you’re able to pull over some of that from Etsy as well.
But I would say definitely think about how you’re going to be showing your products on your site as well as how you’re going to be grouping them.
So, the different categories or collections that you’re going to be grouping them all together. So, in terms of jewelry, like earrings, bracelets, necklaces, things like that.
Jillian Leslie 10:22
Okay, let’s talk about how many products do you recommend I launched my Shopify store with? You want enough product so that there’s a collection of things to buy, but also, you don’t want to be totally overwhelmed.
Now you’ve got all this inventory and all of these skews, stock keeping units and things like that. So, what is your recommendation? I start my Shopify store.
Let’s say I’ve got an Etsy shop with maybe 100 products, what would you bring over to my Shopify store? And 100 products are a lot of products.
Elle McCann 10:55
Yeah, that’s a lot to get started. And if you had 100 products on Etsy, I would say maybe bring over about 20 to get started with. And do the first 20 that are your best sellers that you know, are going to be ones that your audience is looking for.
Get those set up first on the site, and build out the rest of your site. So, the actual design and any additional apps you want to use, then launch the site from there. And then after that’s launched, then you can start bringing over the other products.
I think a lot of times also people feel like it has to be absolutely perfect. And I have to get everything right before I launch. But then it can take a couple months, and then you’re in limbo for a few months not making sales.
Jillian Leslie 11:32
I think definitely “Done is better than perfect” in a lot of those cases.
And I am assuming keywords because SEO is important for your Shopify store. Tell me about how to optimize a listing.
Elle McCann 12:04
So, on Shopify, each of your product pages as well as your collections, your pages. So, like your About Us page FAQ, all of that has additional SEO information at the bottom of it, that you can actually set up in the backend of Shopify.
Set Up Your Shopify Store with Keywords in Mind
And you definitely want to be setting that up with keywords in mind. So, the biggest thing I recommend is what Google calls long tail keywords. And so, that would be instead of saying, okay, let’s say it’s a pair of shoes.
And instead of listing these online, and my keyword is black boots, yes, people are going to be searching for black boots. But that’s going to have, so many results. And it’s going to be really hard to list really high on the page for that.
So, instead, think of other descriptive terms that you could use. So, like knee high black women’s boots, or something like that. That’s a lot more likely of what someone’s going to actually be searching for.
And not just so broad of a keyword that you’re trying to reach everyone.
Jillian Leslie 13:03
Let’s say I’ve got this new Shopify store; how do I get Google to pay attention to my products and show that?
Elle McCann 13:11
So, you’ll definitely want to add the keywords to the different Shopify pages and products. And once you’ve launched your site, you can definitely then go into, you’ll want to set up a Google Analytics profile.
And this is going to be putting tracking code on your site. So, that way, you can actually see where your traffic is coming from, how long they’re staying on your site, things like that.
And through that process, you can also submit your sitemap through the Google Webmaster Tools. So, that’s kind of just saying to Google, hey, I’m over here, and they have their bots look throughout the Internet.
And it would probably get searched anyways, within the first two weeks to a month that you go live. But by submitting your sitemap to Google, that’s a way of going hey, like this is live now.
I would like for you to check it out now. So, it is a way to fast track the process a little more.
Jillian Leslie 14:02
Okay, now, I knew that Google does not duplicate content. If I’ve already put my listings up on Etsy, and I just copy them directly into my Shopify stores. Is that okay?
Elle McCann 14:16
I think it will be okay, in terms of your listings on Etsy are probably not going to be the exact same that you use for Shopify. So, e.g. on Etsy, a lot of times there are really long titles of product names, where you have multiple keywords in the title.
And that really doesn’t work as well. Whenever you’re on your own site. You don’t need to be having all these descriptive keywords in the title. So, you’ll probably be naming things a little bit shorter and a little bit cleaner on your own site.
As well as probably clean up some of the description as well. So, I think the pictures you could definitely use the same.
But what kind of title or description changes you need to make that are not necessarily as needed as they were on Etsy. That you may want to just clean up a little bit on your own Shopify page.
Jillian Leslie 15:04
Let’s talk photos. Okay, let’s say I’m back to my earrings or my jewelry, I do sell earrings, I sell bracelets, I sell necklaces, how many photos per product? And how do I style those photos to get attention? And to get people to buy.
To get people to go, “I could picture myself in these earrings.”
ADVICE: Create a Cohesive Look on Your Shopify Store
Elle McCann 15:29
I think the beauty of having your own site is that you can really create a cohesive look overall. So, I would definitely think of how you want to make it look across all of your products on your site, and make sure that they’re all size the same.
And it’s all kind of a cohesive look throughout. So, I would say for those kinds of jewelry products that you maybe want to have, at least three photos, per item. So, that could be just a photo of the necklace laid out on a white background.
So, that it really pops in the color, the next one could be a close up, so you can see more of the quality. And then the third one may actually be you wearing the necklace or someone wearing it so you can really see okay, this is how it lays on the body.
And maybe even styling it with an outfit as well. So, they can like you said better envision of, “Oh, I could see myself wearing this. This could go with this outfit.” And it’s more visual.
Plus, those are better images for people sharing on Pinterest, or on Instagram, things like that.
Jillian Leslie 16:32
Let’s talk about again driving people to my site. Do I need a blog? If so, is the Shopify blog enough? Where do I need to be on social media? Because again, I think that, people think I start my shop, I turn the key boom, the sales just show up.
And it’s not that easy. You’ve got to hustle to get people to your store to pay attention to your store to take that action to click. So, what are your thoughts on a blog? And what are your thoughts on social media?
Elle McCann 17:08
So, I would say you don’t have to have a blog. And it’s a great way to create content. However, with social media, you’re also creating content as well.
So, I don’t think you have to have a blog, if you do want to have a blog, Shopify does have a blogging functionality set up. It’s not as intense as a WordPress blog, which is definitely more, Okay, this is a blogging site.
But they do have blogging available on the Shopify platform. And in terms of social media, I would say the biggest thing would just be make sure that you can be consistent.
Because I see so many times that people being like, okay, I just started a business, now I have to create a profile on all these different social media accounts.
Focus on Two Social Media Platforms You Know Your Audience in On
And either they’re posting the same content on each platform, or they’re not posting very frequently on other ones. So, I would focus on two to maybe three platforms. That is where your audience is living online.
And where you enjoy creating content for as well and focus on just being consistent on those platforms. So, I personally love the Pinterest platform for E-commerce. But it is a very female based platform.
So, if your audience is men. it’s not going to be the best platform for you. So, I would definitely make sure that you’re thinking through of who your audience is, where they’re hanging out online.
And really go for the platforms that are going to be best suited for them.
Jillian Leslie 18:28
Doesn’t Instagram integrate with Shopify?
Elle McCann 18:33
Yeah, so both Instagram and Facebook, integrate with Shopify. And now recently, Pinterest is integrating as well. So, you can actually have the product information like your price and things like that on a Pinterest Pin now.
So, all of its really helpful Instagram and Facebook does take an additional transaction fee, which can be a little bit hard. Sometimes it feels like all the transaction fees can add up.
However, if you’re looking at it in more terms of okay, I’m using Instagram as a main tool for getting traffic to my site.
Being able to tag your product in an Instagram post, maybe the difference of you getting, 10 extra sales versus, maybe people are not clicking through the link or whatever. So, I think it definitely can still be worth it for sure.
Jillian Leslie 19:19
And what would you say are strategies or techniques on driving sales from say, Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook?
Share a lot About Your Brand Beyond Asking for the Sale
Elle McCann 19:32
I would say really sharing a lot more about the brand. I think we’ve all probably seen those profiles where it’s just every post is check out this product buy now, buy now, buy now.
But sharing more of the story behind the scenes consumers now they really can tell what’s an ad and what’s not and they kind of can tune things out. So, just sharing more about you as the creator and your story.
More of the behind the scenes. The process of putting together the jewelry. People get a lot more connected with you as the creator and founder and then they want to support you.
They like your jewelry, so then it becomes a no brainer of why they’re going to buy from you versus buy from a bigger chain.
So, I think sharing a lot more of that transparency is really a great way that you can peel back the curtain with social media and share a lot more work. It may not make sense on other things like a blog.
But that way you’re able to connect with your audience and really build that relationship in that community with them.
Add the MiloTree Pop-Up App to Your Shopify Store in 2 Minutes!
I wanted to take this short break to tell you that MiloTree works on Shopify, I don’t know if you know that. But you can install the MiloTree pop-up app on your Shopify store.
And therefore, you can grow your followers on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and your email subscribers. Wait, and you have a custom link pop-up as well where you can send people wherever you want.
So, if you have not tried MiloTree, please pause the episode, head to milotree.com sign up, you get your first 30 days free. And again, we only want you to pay for it if you love it if you see your followers and your subscribers growing automatically.
So again, head to MiloTree and sign up. If you have any questions reach out to me at email@example.com. I love hearing from you. And now back to the show.
How to Use Email Marketing to Grow Sales on Shopify
Jillian Leslie 21:44
Let’s talk about email marketing. We are coach. And today was our coaching group. And today was all about the importance of email marketing.
And I know for E-commerce stores, especially Shopify stores, email marketing is so fundamental for E-commerce. And I was saying to my coaching group today I said, think about it.
Think about the brand. The big brands. Container Store that only because these are the ones that like I’m on their email list. Container Store and CB2 and Lululemon and I get their emails and the truth is I buy off of their emails.
I need to know that camo is a big deal in leggings right now at Lululemon, I didn’t know that. And then all of a sudden, I see this and I go and I totally fall for it And I’m like, “Camo, Oh, my God, I don’t have any Camo.” Maybe I need to buy these leggings.
I didn’t buy them. But I needed. I think I opened that email yesterday. Therefore, I know it is incredibly important for big brands to get me on their email list. You mentioned that the thing about Etsy is it’s really difficult.
You don’t have access to people’s emails. But on Shopify, you do. So, talk to me about that power and why you mentioned that up front.
And you’re getting direct access to someone’s inbox where you can be quickly skipped over on a social feed. So, having that permission to contact someone is incredibly important.
But I see so many times either businesses not prioritizing it, or doing it incorrectly. And I sign up for email newsletters all the time. And I see so many brands that are just every day sending a sale email.
And another email and another email that’s just constantly trying to get people to buy. And again, you’re losing that connection.
So, I think the biggest thing with email marketing is that you can really build that brand and that connection with your audience.
So, having just a sign-up on your site, or a pop-up of some kind of incentive to get them on your list. For jewelry, it could be a style guide of how to style stack necklaces for the fall or something like that.
Where you have your jewelry that you’re pairing with instructions. But it could also be a discount code or something like that to incentivize them to sign up.
But once you actually have them on your list by providing value, and really again, sharing more of your story, I think is a great way to build that connection in that community with them.
So, I love to always talk about the kind of indoctrination phase of the first part of email marketing because I think that’s where a lot of people fall short. It’s more thanks for signing up for our email newsletter list. Here’s our best sellers.
Share Your Story and Brand Story in Your Emails to Build Relationships
And while that can be helpful of getting sales more quickly. I think there’s a huge opportunity, especially from individual creators to share more about who they are, why they’re creating this jewelry, when are you creating it?
Are you creating it while your kids are asleep? And you’re doing this to save money for their college education fund. I want to know that, and I want to see you over there, having all your jewelry and your table set up. I think that is a really powerful experience.
And that’s where you can really succeed in the E-commerce space, is by building that brand in that community.
Jillian Leslie 25:39
I was saying to my group today that when you get somebody on your list, it is like a relationship. And that moment when somebody says submit, is the butterflies like, that’s the, oh my God!
So, you need to take that opportunity to really get this person to get to know you, you providing value to them. But it’s not like you just get them on your list. And then you put them in your RSS feed of blog posts.
And you’re like nobody to them, like you want to go, “You are special to me. And here’s why. “And I want to provide you lots of value, and I want to build this relationship with you. So, it is like dating.
And it is like the moment where somebody gives you their phone number. And it’s like, “Oh my God!” And so, to treat that as really special in the beginning to drip them emails that you can sell.
This is my opinion; I’d love to know yours. I think you can sell with those emails. However, it can’t just be about the sale. What is your thought?
Elle McCann 26:52
I agree, I definitely recommend, still asking for the sale at different times. But I wouldn’t let that be your message every single email.
And if you think about it like dating, no one ever wants to go on a date where one person just talks about themselves the entire time. And you never get to say anything, they never ask you any questions.
You would quickly be like, okay, bye no second date, and unsubscribe. And so instead, you really want to also think about, asking your audience questions like they can sign up to your list.
You can ask them questions like, “Okay, what kind of events are you looking for jewelry for?” And actually, have them click a link of work, special events, everyday jewelry.
Ask Questions in Your Emails So You Can Segment Your Email Subscribers
And then based on what links they click, then they can be segmented into a different audience. So, you can make sure that you’re sending them the information and the pieces of products that you have that are the most relevant to them.
So, that way, again, you’re fostering that relationship, and you’re less likely to be skipped over in the inbox, because they’re not interested in what you’re talking about.
Jillian Leslie 27:52
And how do you recommend people ask for the sale in the email?
Elle McCann 27:57
I think a lot of times, it can be where you’re not necessarily having to ask. There are definitely some emails where you’re going to say, “Hey, we have these are our holiday items, or these are our products that we’re highlighting this month.”
Even just having a featured product of the month, I think is a great way to highlight a product without directly being like, go buy this right now.
But even let’s say if you were to record a one-minute video, or a photo of you putting together a piece of jewelry, and you have a little bit of a story about it. Then having in that email, a link to that product page where you can learn more about that jewelry.
I think is a great way to get them interested, if they’ve already seen you making this for the story behind it. Now they can go and purchase it if they like. But it’s not as constant of just buy, buy, buy, you’re giving more of a background to it as well.
Create Excitement Around the Launch of New Products
Jillian Leslie 28:47
And one thing that I thought of based on what you just said is if you could create excitement around a launch. Like, I’m sending an email, or I’m doing social media, because I’m in the process of launching a product for Christmas.
And then you could send a teaser email saying wait till you see what I’ve got coming up, and then you can launch it. I think rather than having all your emails just feel the same.
Creating these exciting events that can be tied to things like seasons or tied to things like collections, or that can create a level of excitement. So, that your email isn’t just like, oh, it’s another email from her or this store.
Elle McCann 29:33
Exactly. Absolutely. And you’re building that excitement now you’re getting people to more likely share that because they know Okay, this is coming soon.
I actually just saw a couple different emails from a planner that I really love announcing their latest planners for 2021 and I have bought them the last few years. I know I’m going to buy the same planner again because I really like it.
But they were announcing it a few weeks ahead of time. Sneak peeks of the new design, join us for the Live Facebook reveal, things like that, that were really exciting. And they had links to add it to the calendar so that I can make sure I didn’t miss the call.
I think anything like that where you can build that sense of community and that you’re a part of something. Instead of just showing up the day of and purchasing it. Feeling like you’ve been a part of the process the whole time.
Seeing the sneak peeks ahead of time. This is the color way that it’s going to be offered in. Is a lot more exciting than just going, “Hey, new planner purchase here.” And you’re not building that excitement as well.
Jillian Leslie 30:35
You have to tell me what is the planner?
Elle McCann 30:38
It’s Emily Ley. So, I love all of her paper products.
Jillian Leslie 30:42
Is it L-A-Y?
Elle McCann 30:46
Jillian Leslie 30:46
L-E-Y. Okay, I’m going to look it up after this. In terms of email service providers, who do you recommend people use? Because if they have an E-commerce store, because I know that there are certain email service providers that are great.
They’re more expensive, but they’re great for E-commerce. So, tell me your favorites.
Elle McCann 31:07
So, I never know if I’m saying it right. My favorite one is Klaviyo.
Jillian Leslie 31:11
Elle McCann 31:12
But I’m like, am I saying it right? I don’t know.
Jillian Leslie 31:14
I don’t think you’re saying it right. Only because I say Klaviyo too. But then somebody just recently came on my podcast or talked to me somewhere and said that she was being featured on their blog, and she called it I don’t know, not Klaviyo.
So, I think we’re wrong, but I don’t know the right pronunciation. If anybody knows the right pronunciation, email me, but I call it Klaviyo too. Okay.
Elle McCann 31:41
That’s my southern draw, I think.
Jillian Leslie 31:42
Okay, I love it. Tell me so why do you like klav? Whatever it’s called, but we’re going to call it Klaviyo. Why do you like Klaviyo?
Klaviyo Is a Great Email Service Provider for Segmenting Your List
Elle McCann 31:51
So, it’s a great tool for really segmenting your audience, you can do a lot based on how people have interacted with products on your site.
How recently they purchased, and doing things like win back campaigns saying, okay, we noticed you haven’t purchased in the last 30 days. Have you seen our latest products, and really just keeping that audience really warm?
But like you said, it is a more expensive email marketing platform. So, I also always like to mention, MailChimp is a great alternative when you’re just getting started, because they actually have the first 2000 email subscribers are free.
Which is really helpful when you’re just getting started building your list. And you may just have a few friends and family on the list to begin with. But just starting there, you can do some basic segmenting of your list and MailChimp.
But I would definitely think as you’re growing your brand, looking at other options, like Klaviyo, and using more segmentation, then at that point.
Jillian Leslie 32:46
And the great thing about a platform like Klaviyo is they have things like abandoned cart series. So, they will be able to tell that you put something in your cart, but you never purchased.
And all of a sudden, when you get that email going wait, psst, hello, wait, I think you forgot something. And I think that’s where the power of a platform like Klaviyo comes in.
Where it can kind of spy on you a little bit as a customer, and then hopefully deliver the right message to you at the right time and get you to convert and make that purchase.
You Want to Use an Abandon Cart Sequence to Capture Abandoned Sales
Elle McCann 33:27
Abandoned carts are really big, because over 70% of people have abandoned orders daily. We’ve all been there where we’re intending to purchase something, and then the kid says something or the dogs barking.
Someone came to the door and you just forget and you move on. So, having that reminder to people is really helpful.
Jillian Leslie 33:51
I’m like that person. I don’t know why. I think I get happiness just by putting it in my cart. I am one of those big abandon cart people, maybe I don’t know, it must give me some little thrill to go, oh, add to cart, I’ll add it to cart.
But I’m not going to buy it, or at least not now. If I do buy it, I had to put it in my cart like five times before I ultimately pull the trigger. So, it might not just be that I get distracted. It’s like, weirdly, a thing I do.
But I do appreciate those little nudge emails, because it does make it top of mind again. Like oh, I like that thing. So, anyway, you were saying?
Elle McCann 34:34
Well, I think I’m driving up the number really high personally because I am a marketer. So, I’m always just like purposefully I’m intending to purchase this in like three days. But I want to see first what their email sequence looks like.
And I want to see, am I going to get a discount code for this? What their emails look like? So, I’m just testing it out, and probably the enemy of people like the bigger company. But it’s helpful to see what everyone else is doing. I think.
Jillian Leslie 35:03
Totally, you’re like, are they really fighting for me? Like, how much do they love me? How much did they want this sale? Let’s talk about coupons and discount codes. And I’ve heard they’re a mixed bag. What is your thought about that?
Use Discounts and Coupon Codes Sparingly
Elle McCann 35:20
I think it’s important to make sure that you use them really smartly and not always have people expecting to get a discount code. So, I personally will use them for special occasions, or just kind of discount the product overall and not use a discount code.
So, for like Black Friday sales, I would just mark down my prices, instead of doing a specific discount code for that. But I do find it helpful to use at certain points. So, talking about abandoned cart emails.
Shopify does have an abandoned cart email that’s built in that you can set up. But it’s just a one-time email that sent out. Where if you use other platforms like MailChimp, or Klaviyo, you can actually do a kind of pull thread.
So, you can send multiple emails in the series. With abandoned cart email set is, and what I really recommend is that your first email, you say, “Oh, no, you forgot something in your cart, no worries, we saved it for you, go and finish your cart now.”
And then the second email, maybe a day or so later, if they still haven’t purchase, just tell them more like remind them again, they have the product in their cart, remind them why you’re different from your competitors.
And what is special about your brand, what’s special about your products, and still not offering that discount code.
And then by the third email, a few days after that, if they still haven’t purchased, then I would just send another email that says, “Hey, last warning, you still have this product in your cart, we would love to see you in this piece of jewelry. Here’s 15% off for you.”
But I wouldn’t necessarily start with the discount codes, because I’ve seen so many people that literally as soon as you abandoned something on their cart, an hour later, you’re getting a 15, 20% off discount code.
And I think you’re inadvertently training your customers to just expect a discount. So, why would they ever pay full price if they can always get something for a discounted amount?
Jillian Leslie 37:14
Absolutely. But are you a believer in I come to your Shopify store and there is a pop-up that says, “Hey, give me your email list and get 15% off your first sale.” What’s your thought about that?
How to Use Pop-Up Correctly to Drive Sales
Elle McCann 37:30
So, I love pop-ups. But I think that they need to be used correctly. I’ve been to so many sites where you go to the site, and you don’t even know what they’re selling yet. And then instantly you have a pop-up.
And it’s like, why would I give you my email address when I have no idea what you’re actually selling. And so, I think they need to be a little bit more delayed. And I think a discount is a great way to get people to first give you their email address.
However, I also love doing more like free content as well. Like style guides or recipe book, something that still relates to your product and your brand.
But giving additional value as another way that they can get to know you more instead of just giving a discount code. I think is a great way again to keep building that brand.
Jillian Leslie 38:12
Got it. Now Shopify is a platform that has plugins and has tools that has an ecosystem. And what would you say are the Shopify? I feel is like the eminent E-commerce platform, if you want to have a site, like a store you own?
Recommended Plugins for Shopify
And what would you say the best tools are for Shopify? I’m setting up my store. Okay, I want my email service provider definitely. What are these other things that I can plug in to my Shopify store to make it run on all cylinders?
Elle McCann 38:56
So, I think definitely, like you said, email marketing provider is a must. I think from there, it’s going to really depend on what type of products you have. So, there are so many different third-party apps.
There are literally thousands. You could do any kind of functionality that you like. So, if you have a customizable product, instead of like with Etsy having to, email back and forth or have them send you a message.
You can actually have an app that lets them put all of their customized information on the product page. And you get that on the order page in the backend of Shopify.
So, that way, as soon as you get the order, you can instantly start fulfilling it and producing that product. Which really cuts down on the communication and the time back and forth.
But I would say a default one besides email marketing that I recommend for everyone is going to be some kind of a reward or referral program. So, this is a great way again to build that brand and community so that people can easily share.
And get rewards of sharing your product with their friends, as well as they’re then incentivized to continue to purchase from you. One that I talk about a lot is called smile.io. And it has different ways of giving points.
So, like every dollar that you spend, they get a point or whatever it is that you assign it to. And it’s a great way to add a little bit of branding. And I have one client that is a jewelry client, and they call hers gems instead of points.
I have another client that is a bath company, and they call theirs tub-tokens. So, it’s a great way to add a little bit more branding in, but you can create these different points that they get from sharing your product on Facebook.
They get 50 points, and so on, as well as by purchasing so that way they can see, okay, I’m $10 or, however many points away from getting a $10 discount for my next order.
And so that way, it’s again, kind of incentivizing them to keep coming back and purchasing from you and seeing what new products that you have as well.
Jillian Leslie 40:54
Got it. Okay. What about mistakes? So, I’ve started my Shopify store, and I’m excited about it, what should I look out for? What mistakes are you seeing shop owners do or make?
Common Mistakes Shopify Store Owners Make
Elle McCann 41:12
I think a lot of the mistakes is either where people, they’re either focused too much on getting it exactly right. And so, they’re taking six months to launch.
Because I’ll get emails sometimes that are like, “I’m using a 12-point font on my site, should I make it 13-point font?” And it’s like, no one’s going to care, just launch your site.
No one’s going to be like, “Oh, I was going to buy the product, but their font was 12- points instead of 13.” Like, I find that to happen.
Jillian Leslie 41:40
I think this all the time. Again, this is the idea of B-Minus work and that we get obsessed with these details that nobody cares about.
Elle McCann 41:49
Yeah. I have a post-it note on my computer monitor that I look at all the time that says I strive for progress, not perfection.
Jillian Leslie 41:55
I love that.
Elle McCann 41:57
I think it’s a really helpful reminder. I always say done is better than perfect, just because it is. It’s better to put something out there and then change it and come back to it later.
But if you’re not putting something out there, then you can’t gain additional knowledge and you can’t grow. So, it’s better to just put it out there, launch the site, stop dragging your feet a little bit.
Get it out there. And then you can always come back and make the edits.
Jillian Leslie 42:25
If you listen to my podcast, I just launched a guided meditation on perfection and how to move beyond perfection. So, if you’re stuck feeling the things need to be perfect. Worried about being embarrassed, please go listen, I think it’s Episode 136.
So, definitely go do that. Okay, so other mistakes, you say?
Elle McCann 42:51
So, that’s great, I definitely need to look at that as well. So, another mistake I see is on the opposite end of the spectrum of people cutting corners to try and get something launched really fast.
And then they’ll end up duplicating all of their product descriptions for all of their products. We’re just not putting in a product description or having really crappy photos that you can’t tell any detail about.
I would if anything, take the most time and attention on making sure your product information is really correct. And it’s accurate and is going to sell itself with the photos or the description and text and focus a little bit less on the overall site design.
Because if you’re thinking about it from how you’re getting people to the site, most likely you’re going to be getting them from social media, or maybe you’re paying for online advertising.
So, you’re not going to be sending them to your homepage, because then they could get lost and move on, you’re going to be sending them to your product page. So, you really want to make sure first and foremost that product page is really dialed in.
And there’s going to be all the information that they need. And then once that’s set up, and you’ve got all of your product information, and it’s unique for each individual product.
Then I would start thinking about how to incorporate your brand more throughout the site and the overall style and your messaging throughout the site as well.
How to Think About Paid Advertising with a Shopify Store
Jillian Leslie 44:06
Let’s talk about paid advertising. What are your thoughts on it? Where is the eat? Where’s the low hanging fruit? If there is any.
In terms of I’m going to get the biggest bang for my buck, both in terms of spend and in terms of time. And I don’t have time to become a Facebook ads expert.
Elle McCann 44:25
So, I think a big misconception of Facebook ads and something I get a lot of either through comments on my YouTube channel or in emails as well. Facebook ads don’t work.
And then whenever I ask them it would be like, “Oh, I spent $50 and I didn’t get any sales”. And it’s like, Okay, well, that’s not a lot of money spent. So, you didn’t probably get to test your audience.
You didn’t test pictures or content yet. So, you can’t really tell that they don’t work after just spending $50. So, I would definitely say to make sure that you have put aside some money for paid advertising.
And you’re expecting to not make a sale right away. You’re going to have to do some testing, of testing your audience testing your photos and your descriptions first, before you’re going to actually probably get some sales.
But also, in terms of low hanging fruit, I think the biggest thing that people do not do is re-marketing. So, on Facebook ads, remarketing ads are easy to set up. And you can have that actually connect to your Shopify catalog.
But that way, if someone’s come to your site, and they leave and didn’t purchase from you, then you’re instantly just showing them what they had viewed on the site.
And giving them the option of hey, you liked this before, maybe you’d still like to purchase this. And a lot of times people aren’t using that.
So, I think it’s a huge key of okay, if they came to your site, and they didn’t sign up for your email newsletter list and they didn’t purchase, well, then they’re kind of gone. You’re hoping that they may follow you on social media, but that may not happen.
So, using paid advertising to do re-marketing, to try and get your products in front of them again, I think is definitely the low hanging fruit across paid advertising on any platform.
Jillian Leslie 46:08
Got it. Okay, so my last question is, it’s a lot being an E-commerce owner, shop owner. And you have to wear so many hats, you’ve got to create the product or find the product, you’ve got to create the listings.
You’ve got to potentially take the photos, you’ve got to then push your content out on social media, you’ve got email marketing, you’ve got paid ads. There are a lot of balls in the air.
How to Manage Your Time with a Shopify Store?
And again, you’ve got to be selling cool products. How do you split this in terms of time?
Elle McCann 46:57
I would definitely say entrepreneurship is one of the best things ever. But it’s also one of the hardest because a lot of times you are having to wear so many hats. Especially when you’re first getting started with E-commerce as well.
It feels overwhelming because you feel like all the things need to be done at once. And that’s where it can be just too overwhelming sometimes. Where I think people just put their hands up and say, “You know what, never mind.”
Jillian Leslie 47:23
Right, but all I want to do is to make pretty jewelry, and get my girlfriends to buy it. Then all of a sudden, I’m like, I’m going to start a Shopify store. And then all of a sudden, now I’ve got all these things I’ve got to think about.
Elle McCann 47:38
So, I would work on phase one of your Shopify store first. So, just getting those 20 bestsellers out there getting everything set up and connected. And then moving to actually promoting it more with social media.
I would do that first and get used to driving some traffic to the site. After that, I would then set up a re-marketing ad campaign with paid advertising. And not even doing a cold audience yet just re-targeting the people that have already been to your site.
And also, of course, incorporating email marketing. So, that’s where I would be starting.
Jillian Leslie 48:14
Wait, let’s go through this again. And by the way, the difference between cold audience warm audience. Warm audience has been to your site knows your products. Cold audience is people who’ve said I like jewelry, but they’ve never heard of you.
It’s much easier to convert a warm audience than a cold audience. Okay, so let’s go through this again. So, what would you start with?
Elle McCann 48:31
I would say first would be your website.
Jillian Leslie 48:34
Elle McCann 48:35
The phase one version, you don’t have to have it all absolutely perfect, like we were talking about. But getting your Shopify store set up and launch.
Jillian Leslie 48:45
Wait. With 20 products.
Elle McCann 48:47
Yes, with 20 products, you don’t have to have it all set up, just get your 20 bestsellers. Or if you haven’t been selling yet on Etsy, think of what your 20 bestsellers would probably be, and get those set up first.
Jillian Leslie 48:59
Elle McCann 48:59
It’s fine to put all your products up there at once.
Jillian Leslie 49:02
Elle McCann 49:02
Second, I would do email marketing and make sure that once they do come to your site, and sign up for your email list that you do have some emails set up and going for them.
Jillian Leslie 49:12
Elle McCann 49:13
Third, I would then focus on organic traffic through social media and start building up your brand and your audience through there, and actually be directing them to your site and your products. And hopefully, they’ll be signing up for your email newsletter list.
And then after that I would be doing the re-marketing ads is number four. So, having that would be your first foray into paid advertising of just re-targeting the people that have already been to your site.
And then I think after those four steps, you’re going to start seeing, okay, what’s working, what’s not working? What do I need to spend more time into?
Then maybe you’ll realize how I’m getting a lot more conversions from my email marketing campaign. So, I need to be spending more time in email marketing.
Or maybe you’re looking at your Google Analytics and you’re saying, Wow, okay, I’m getting a ton of traffic from Instagram. But no one’s really coming from Pinterest. So, now I need to spend more time on Instagram versus Pinterest.
So, I think once you get started, you’re going to realize very quickly how people are finding you, and what you need to do on your site to really take it to the next level and continue building your business.
Jillian Leslie 50:18
Got it. And then what about product development? I need jewelry, when do I get my jewelry?
Elle McCann 50:30
That’s always something that needs to be worked on. Of course, in terms of order development, and fulfillment. As well as just listening to your audience and seeing what they’re requesting.
Definitely, if you have a seasonal product like jewelry, there’s definitely certain colors that work with certain seasons and different styles. And so that’s definitely something that I guess, yes. Also needs to be added into the mix as well.
Jillian Leslie 50:53
Okay. So, if people want to learn more about you and your services. In fact, let’s talk about that. How can people reach out to you? How can they get more resources from you, all of that stuff?
Elle McCann 51:11
So, they can go to my website, which is curiousthemes.com. And I have different resources there of downloadable guides that are more geared to launching your Shopify store different things to be thinking about.
How to pick a style or a theme for your store. So, they can go and check out those free guides there. And I also have a link on my website to my YouTube channel.
Once you’re ready to switch over to Shopify, I have a YouTube channel. That’s all about Shopify and the E-commerce platforms of how to launch and grow your E- commerce store.
I do have some courses on my site as well. If they’re looking for a more guided approach of step by step.
How to launch their Shopify store from beginning signing up and setting up your shipping settings to the final, connecting your domain and making it live as well.
Jillian Leslie 51:59
Awesome. Well, Elle, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Elle McCann 52:05
Thank you so much for having me.
Jillian Leslie 52:06
I hope you guys like this episode. I’m a big believer in selling products to your audience as a way to grow your business. Shopify is a great platform to explore to do that. But remember, you’ve got to drive traffic to your shop.
Now there’s some really cool integrations with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, so that your Shopify store can almost live on those platforms as well. Definitely something to look into.
But I really want to challenge you to think about what you could sell to your audience that they would be excited to buy from you. Please sign up for my newsletter at blogger genius.com.
So, you can get my biggest takeaways from each episode and you can stay up to date on what is happening in online business today.
So, again, head to bloggergenius.com. I would love to welcome you into my community and give you all the tips and tricks you need to rock this thing.
And I will see you here again next week.
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