(Advanced Ecommerce Strategy) Leveraging Category Pages To Increase Conversions and Sales with Will Waggenspack

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Today we are in for a treat here at the Global From Asia podcast. We get feedback from listeners that they like our show because we don’t cover the basics and we go into unique content for international e-commerce and business.

Today is one of those times. Been preparing for this show with a lot of preparations and want to bring on the founders from Entaice, Will Waggenspack

Where we talk about using CATEGORY pages on your Shopping cart / shopify store to optimize the products shown, increase click through, conversion, and grow your sales.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduce our guests today

    Can you share your background for listeners today?

  • Why category pages matter?

    Many sellers neglect category pages simply as “auto generated” pages that list out the products the “check off” in a specific category. Why do you say they matter?

  • What are metrics and data to share to prove this?

    So you have been doing this a while now – how can we measure, and what are the metrics?

  • What can we optimize and change on these pages?

    It is moving the top converting products to the top? Does the layout of the actual category page change or is optimized?

  • Other conversion metrics - site speed

    On top of the actual tech you have, there are some others – common one being site speed – can we discuss these.

  • Being on Shopify, but also a headless option

    On our call, I admitted I am more a woo commerce user, but actually more a “headless” addict that builds our sites on static (exported html/css). Then you revealed you built it with that in mind – and we can use the Shopify API to pull the products, can we discuss this (as I’m super interested in this angle).

  • What if I only sell on Amazon - can I use this?

    Would using this strategy for a site that uses Shopify, but sends the traffic direct to Amazon, work?

  • Using this as a way to stay ahead of competition

    So as the “heat turns up” in ecommerce as more and more brands and businesses are forced to move online in a post covid world- we need to always stay one step ahead. I’d say this solution is one of those – how does it currently work and do you have an offer for us today?

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Will’s VIP Page
Entaice software
Shopify headless solution – Oxygen framework
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss

Episode Length 00:00

Thank you so much for sharing these advanced strategies and insights with us

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Episode 381 of Global From Asia podcast. Today, we are talking about shopping cart optimization with category pages. It’s a fun one. And we are gonna go in right now. Welcome to the Global from Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down, into straight up actionable advice. [00:00:26] And now your host, Michael Michelini. How’s my hair? I always wanna just do this audio only. But, the wife is saying Chinese people like video. And I don’t think any foreigners, you know, Westerners are watching this on YouTube. We got like no views on YouTube. It’s all on iTunes, but you know, I got the face here. [00:00:49] I fixed my hair. The background’s all crazy. I’m moving, man. I’m moving. All right. I know some of you listeners have been finding me,  asking me, when is the going away party in Shenzhen and I [00:01:00] don’t even know man, like it is, it is crazy. And I’m going to the exit bureau for the government and get my family outta here. [00:01:09] So I, I don’t really wanna say too much about it, but if you’re on our email newsletter  That’s probably the best globalfromasia.com/subscribe. I try to keep it real people like our newsletter and I’ll get into it in our blah blah, blah session after this amazing interview we have with us, we’re talking about shopping cart optimization, eCommerce category pages. [00:01:31] I’m kind of geeking out and, you know, we try to be advanced here. We try to not talk about the basics. So we assume, you know how to do a shopping cart. We assume, you know, all these things. This is for more like optimization and it’s a fascinating conversation I have. So we’ll get into this interview. And then after the interview, if you want to hear my exiting, exiting China and immigrating into immigrating into Thailand as an American with Chatty’s wife and kids, you can listen to it after. [00:01:57] All right. Or watch. Anyways, let’s go into the show. [00:02:00] And thank you to our sponsor, our returning sponsor mercury.com online bank. While it’s a real bank, but you can do it totally online for US. Our blimp program participants are going through this as well. Thank you, mercury. Travis’s great. Travis’ been on our show. [00:02:14] He’s been in our events. We’re gonna have another event where we will have them attending as well. And if you wanna get a little bonus for you and us, if you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to globalfromasia.com/mercury. I also have a video tutorial that we use even for the Blimp People, weuse the same exact video to learn how to use it. [00:02:33] I hope you can check it up, totally free. Why not? See you there. All right. Thank everybody for choosing to listen or watch a Global From Asia podcast. Mike Michelini here as always. And we have an interesting show today. We’ve been preparing this for a while. We have, we have with us Will Waggenspack. And he’s a co-founder at Entaice, which is an advanced conversion optimization tool for Shopify eCommerce. [00:03:00] Is that correct? Yeah, that’s that’s, absolutely right. Thanks Mike. Thanks for having me. Awesome. Yeah, it’s great. Well, I know we’ve been preparing for this and, and going through show notes and we really wanna make this as valuable as possible. I really am excited about this topic and, and, you know, everything we’re gonna share today. [00:03:17] You know, we talk a lot about eCommerce, of course, cross border trade international. A lot of times people skip over some of the, the easy, low hanging fruit, right, in, in life and in business. So I feel like [00:03:30] this is gonna open up some ears and some eyes for some people today. But before we dive in, you know, where, where, where are you? [00:03:36] Where are you at today? And a little bit about yourself, Will, if you don’t mind introduce yourself. Yeah. I can give you a little bit about my background and how we got to like the journey and the product that is Entaice. So I really started my career on the e-commerce team at Urban Outfitters. And for your listeners, it’s one of the largest retailers in New York. [00:03:53] Yeah, for sure, very like focused on serving like a passionate, creative and entrepreneurial [00:04:00] customer with really like creative experiences. But at the time that I joined their team, we were putting in our first customer data warehouse and it was my job to help our team understand, you know, how can we use this data to optimize our eCommerce store and drive more conversions and sales. [00:04:14] And so really like that’s when I started thinking about e-commerce opportunities, more programmatically in terms of, you know, how can we roll out things and serve a really wide audience all at one time. And after like working at urban for a couple years, [00:04:30] jumped over to a, a software company called purely, which was one of the first software startups to power, Instagram shopping experiences. [00:04:38] And I think like that gave me the experience and knowledge and background to show how. In the software world, you can roll out solutions to an entire market all at one time. And that’s when we like, started thinking really strategically about entice, which was based on one of the opportunities we saw at urban outfit fitters. [00:04:57] And like you said, people skip over this like unique, low hanging fruit on the eCommerce side, which is your category in your collection page. You know, the thing that I always like to say is that, and the statistic that stood out the most is that like 80% of your shoppers on an e-commerce store hit a category page at some time. [00:05:13] But nobody was spending any time optimizing them for conversion. And so you have this like surface area of your store where all your customers, that all your customers are, are experiencing, but are not putting any time into actually like driving conversions from that page. And so for the last three [00:05:30] years, along with like our amazing product and engineering team who really. [00:05:33] I think deserve the majority of the credit for Entaice. Like sometimes I just get to be the face or the voice of the product, you know, we’ve been building out entice and building out this programmatic merchandising tool to serve clients and solve what is, I think at its heart, like a really simple problem of how do we get the right products in front of our users. [00:05:52] At the right time so that they buy, but it’s actually ends up being like a very challenging problem technically to solve on the back end. And [00:06:00] so today, now we’re at the point where we’re working with some of the largest brands on Shopify and constantly working with them to just make our product better and to make their merchandising experience better. [00:06:09] Really cool. Yeah. I mean, we were looking at some case studies we’ll, we’ll, we’ll share some, today too, but I I’ve seen, I’ve seen some of, some of these brands and it truly is amazing. And, you know, even, even not, you know, products or eCommerce, but even blog posts, you know, It’s true like these CMSs, you know, they just kind of, you just check a box in this category, right. [00:06:32] You know, this post, like this, this is a podcast category of this show. Like maybe it’s in the business category, but it’s just, you know, I guess it’s in date order for, for the podcast, but you know, a lot, it is just, you know? These content management systems are, or these structured data really just doesn’t make it easy. [00:06:50] You know, I think that’s almost one reason maybe shop owners or website owners just kind of like, didn’t even know you could do something like this, even, you know, [00:07:00] Yeah, absolutely. I think if you’re a shop owner, oftentimes you’re presented with a couple different sorting options for the products on your collection page, and it’s like, you can sort by date added, you can sort, right. [00:07:11] My favorite one actually is you can sort alphabetically and like I’ve yet to come across like an owner. Who’s like, you know what? I really wanna sort my products alphabetically. And at the end of the day, what’s like really interesting and why just like product order matters so much. Is that like, once you get outside of the top 10 [00:07:30] products on your collection page, the view through rate, which is like the number of people who view a product, once they hit your collection page drops off dramatically. [00:07:37] And so it actually really matters what you’re showing users first. Right? It’s like the first impression that they have of that category and that collection, it really dictates which products they view, but it’s like, like you said, it’s not an option that’s really presented in a CMS and then you’re like Okay, well, I guess I’ll just do it by best selling or something like that. [00:07:57] And it doesn’t take into account all the other goals you have. And so you just end up with this like suboptimal experience on a really, really important page on your website. Agreed. You know, and I think the other hack I’ve done over the years is I’ll just make a bestseller category. Right. And then you just, you make, make categories to try to try to, that’s actually one, one hack that I would do. [00:08:17] Right. I, I would know it wouldn’t go into maybe. or I couldn’t find a pro at my best product, so I’d make a best product category just so people could find those. But then that’s, that’s not so helpful either, cuz obviously they might be [00:08:30] looking by a specific type of product. So yeah, it makes sense about, you know, what your, your, your software’s working on to, to basically increase and, and, and optimize it because. [00:08:41] You know, I don’t know if you have some points or, you know, I think it’s kind of obvious, right? Like if I look at my analytics, usually most of my stores or websites is categories like even podcasts, right. People click, they wanna see the list of products or the list of content, right? Like, that’s your, that’s your store. [00:09:01] Right? So is that, is there some data or some insights you wanna share about why these matter. Yeah. Yeah. You’re a hundred percent, right. I think every time that, you know, even when we’ve been going through the sales process with like prospects and customers and they come back with the same line that you have, which is like, that’s obvious, like it makes sense to do this. [00:09:19] And then you’re like, why, why don’t people do it? And you know, there’s two reasons. One is it’s really hard to do because you’re like sorting options through CMS are limited. And the second is really the [00:09:30] data. Isn’t there in an obvious way for people to understand that this is such a big opportunity. And so, you know, we like to think about the data in two sort of like vectors and the first is doing AB tests of like one sort versus another sort, just to understand, you know, is this like, Revised sorting approach actually working. [00:09:50] And is it having an impact, right? Like an AB test is the truest thing that you can do on an e-commerce site to help you measure your success. And every time we’ve run an AB test with clients, [00:10:00] like we generally see, I’d say 90% of the cases, we see an increase in revenue for the same set of users of between five and 15%. [00:10:08] I’d say there’s like 5% of cases where. It actually ends up being much higher. And that’s usually on stores where they’ve got like a massive product catalog and they aren’t doing any sort of optimization on their sort order. And then there’s always a couple where it doesn’t actually pan out. And those stores tend to be the ones where, you know, if you only have eight products in a collection, it’s not as relevant, you know, as you sort [00:10:30] them, but anytime you have more than one or two pages of products, it really ends up having a dramatic impact on what customers see and buy. [00:10:36] And in terms of thinking through, like, how do I actually measure the success of a collection? You know, we think through like a funnel and, you know, I think you and I were talking as we were like prepping for this podcast that like, just trying to come at things in a practical, easy to understand way, rather than like an overly like intellectual way. [00:10:55] And so we think we try to like break it down in simple questions and say like, First of all, how many visitors are actually going to a given collection page in general for like success based on, uh, in various, depending on your site traffic, but you want at least 200 people a week hitting a collection page. [00:11:10] Otherwise there’s something going on where it’s like, you’re just not getting enough traffic to that page for it to really like drive a lot of sales on your site. From there, we always ask. All right, so we got a person to a collection page. Our next goal is to get that person to view a product. And we say, all right. [00:11:26] So how many people who hit that collection page actually viewed a product on that page? And we call that the view through rate of a collection page. Most of the time, like a really good collection page will be somewhere between like 40 and 60% and a really like low performing one that doesn’t have the right product assortment or doesn’t have the right product order will be somewhere in like the 10 to 20% range. [00:11:48] And then, you know, we just take that funnel one step further. And we say like, now that a person has clicked on that product, did they actually buy it? And did they buy it in the same session? And, you know, that’s, I think the piece of data and like the information that most people lose sight of, it’s like, you can kind of see who visited a collection page. [00:12:04] Did they view products, but being able to tie back that they actually. Bought the product that they viewed in the same session. Like that’s how you figure out. Okay. Yes. I know this collection page is like driving these sales. And so once we have all that information, now we can start saying how many dollars does the average visitor to my collection page generate. [00:12:24] and in general, there, you wanna see somewhere in between like a dollar 50 and $2 per visitor, like that tells you, [00:12:30] I’ve got the people going to the collection page, they’re clicking on products, they’re buying it. I’ve got a good assortment in this collection, and now you can kind of feel out, all right, well, I know which collections need traffic. [00:12:40] I know which collections need like a different product assortment. And I know which collections are sorting well, and it lets you like build this map of how your site is performing. Interesting. So if, if you don’t mind digging a little bit on a view through rate, does. Yeah. Is that just for one, just to see one product, is it good that they’re like going, maybe coming back going to another product going back? [00:13:01] Is that like a different data point or like, do you wanna go direct one product like sale, like in the funnel or it I’m wondering if yeah. Yeah. Data is how that data is analyzed. Like, or if it is enable. No, that’s a, that’s a great question. Like a great nuance to tease out. And so it is. Every unique visit to a collection page is your denominator in that metric. [00:13:30] Right? So if a, if a customer, like you’re saying through their like journey on your website hits the homepage, hits a collection page backs outta the collection page goes into another one and then comes back to the original collection page. You have like two visits to one collection page and one visit to the other one. [00:13:47] And then in terms of that overall view through rate like the 40 to 60% that’s for like, did they click on any product within the collection? Got it. And then you actually have like the nuance of what is kind of like, [00:14:00] it’s very similar to like Google search results where, you know, the first result that you see might get 30% of the traffic share on like a given search query. [00:14:10] And so like you, the same thing happens with your products where maybe the products in the first row get, you know, 20% of the traffic that goes to that page. And then it just like decays very, very quickly where you might only get like 1% to 2% of people viewing like the 50th product. And by the time you’re at product 200, like no one goes that far in your overall collection page. [00:14:32] Usually at that point you’re on like page 10 or something. And so it’s like a very, very driven customer. That’s like, you know, I have scrolled to the bottom of the page. I will see every product, but the majority of people don’t tend to do that. It’s just like one or two customers who are like, who will go through all the hoops to get to product 200. [00:14:51] Got it. So if you have more than two products in a collection, like nobody sees them and that’s really like a really challenging thing to solve for. Yeah. I mean, it’s even caused [00:15:00] even friends. And I, sometimes we make different websites to break up product categories, you know, like cuz you know, a lot of times people niche down, like we even talk to somebody on, we had episode about drop shipping and he says he just makes a one, one product website now. [00:15:16] Like just like a long form, one product website, you know, and he’s just driving ads to this one page, this one product, and he’s drop shipping it from ali express to his, you know, and he has, you know, it’s like one of those infomercial kind of pages, you know, it’s just testimonials and, you know, use cases. [00:15:34] But yeah, I mean, that’s a little bit more extreme, but then, you know, even I feel like when you get too many products, you just overwhelm people. They can’t find what they’re looking for. So you feel like maybe you gotta make a niche, different niche website You know, so, and no, that. That’s exactly like the tension people are trying to solve for where I think sometimes on the, in like your, your friend going the very extreme route of saying, you know what, like the product I wanna sell is getting buried in the collection. [00:16:00] So I’m just gonna break it out as a single product website. Yeah. And then on the other extreme, we have clients who are jumping 3000 SKUs into an like an individual collection. I’d say like the real balance seems to be somewhere between 50 and 200 products where there, there seems to be this magic point. [00:16:18] I have a large enough assortment within a collection that it gives people like the breadth of product to be able to like refine what they’re searching for within the collection. And. You know, when I was [00:16:30] working at free people and urban Outfitters, the collection example, we always used was the difference between like black dresses and party dresses, something like that, where it’s like being able to, I think, like refine first at the category level, like what are people actually trying to do with your product versus just the pure, descriptive adjectives, like that helps people get further down the conversion funnel use. [00:16:49] And then the second layer. Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry. No, no, I’m just clarifying just the usage. I’m just, just highlighting like by usage. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. [00:17:00] What are they trying to execute? And like, what’s the value that they’re getting outta your product and then you get this like next layer of, and like that helps you refine the assortment down to like maybe 50 or 70 products from your like 200 or a hundred. [00:17:12] And then once everything’s on one or two pages, you kind of, you start solving that problem of customers getting lost and not being. Understand where they are in your site, or they might have seen something interesting and they can’t get back to it. Yeah. Fine. And so, yeah, it’s like, it’s always trying to achieve that balance of like, you’ve [00:17:30] gotta show people enough things to make sure that like everybody’s got something they wanna buy, but not overwhelm them with just like an assortment. [00:17:37] They can never understand. Yeah, no, this is, this is interesting. I don’t know if you wanna jump into the, the way you’re optimizing the pages yet, but I, I guess I’m curious how you. The algorithm or the, the, the thoughts of what, how your software would decide what to put at a top of the category. I mean, based on those data points, I don’t know if we wanna get to that yet or just something before we, we go into the, yeah, yeah. [00:18:03] Let’s, let’s jump into it. And I think, like, we really think about the content like optimizing collection pages in two buckets, and there’s like one bucket that we don’t directly deal with. And then there’s another bucket where it’s like, like we are. I’d say we’ve put a lot of thought into it. And a lot of thought directly with like merchandisers who are handling the problem. [00:18:23] So the first bucket is around like the layout of your collection page and like how it presents to your customer. And there [00:18:30] you see things like faceted navigation, how many products are in a row? And then like whether and how you like organize your collections. And there’s like a bunch of different vendors that do those. [00:18:39] And I think those are all like geared around solving that overwhelm problem that you were talking about. And I’d say that’s maybe in terms of optimizing your collection pages, that gets you like 20% of the value. Like the real, like meat of the value and the 80% comes from optimizing the sort order of your products, because like the page is designed to list products, right? [00:18:59] Like people call them product listing pages for a reason or collection pages or category pages, whatever. Uh, Nomenclature you use. And so that’s where we focus at entice and you know, the optimization problem you’re trying to solve there is really this, like, it’s a mix of five things. There’s product availability, right? [00:19:17] So it’s like, I’ve gotta have a product that’s available in order for you to buy it. There’s selling efficiency, which is like, if a customer clicks on a product, do they actually purchase it at the end of the day? Like you don’t, there’s [00:19:30] like there’s tension between like products that get a lot of views and products that get a lot of. [00:19:34] Where in an ideal world, you get both, right? You don’t just want this product. That’s like kind of shiny that never gets sold. There’s the aesthetic appeal of your site. And so does like my page actually look good. Am I actually addressing and like showing myself in a good way to my customers that gets ’em to come back. [00:19:51] There’s handling promotions and there’s handling new products. Right. And so all of a sudden what started is like this very simple sounding problem of, [00:20:00] oh, I just need to like sort my products in the right way. You realize as you like dig into it, you’re like, oh, I have to handle five different goals. True. [00:20:06] And that’s why like teams who are doing this manually are like, Hate it because they’re like, first of all, I’ve got 30 collections on my site or 40 collections on my site. They all have 300 products in them. I can’t do this manually. And so I need an optimization solution that like, does this automatically, but like, then I need one that addresses this in like a logical way. [00:20:27] And in a way that like, [00:20:30] Comes from merchandising best practices rather than pure data. Like we started when we started this, we started doing everything just purely based on data, trying to say like, this is, yeah, like this is the best assortment. And the, like, the feedback you get from people is like, That’s that’s wonderful. [00:20:47] Very cool. Like interesting tech demo, but I have these like real life needs based on my merchandising experience where, you know, I’m working with one of our marketers. We have to promote these five products this week. Cause they actually have really high [00:21:00] inventory. And so like how do we handle that? And basically as we work with merchandisers, we develop this like multi-step process. [00:21:07] Really mimics like a natural merchandising process and then allows like for this beautiful combination of the data, with the flexibility to address like your business needs. And so you start out by just saying, Hey, is this stock, is this product in stock or out of stock? Right. It’s like a very simple, like. [00:21:26] Initial cut because people can’t buy, what’s not in stock. It’s not the, [00:21:30] like, not the most genius approach, but it’s hard to get all your outta stock products to the bottom of a page. It can be hard to read the right inventory data. So starting out like, and for your listeners, even outside of our product, if you’re just thinking through like, how do you merchandise the collection page? [00:21:43] I think pushing those outta stock products to the bottom of the collection where, you know, they’re still active in your site. So people, you still get the SEO traffic from it. Yeah. But people can’t actually buy them. And then like the next pass that we do is looking at the selling efficiency of products. [00:21:58] And so we try to bucket [00:22:00] them so that all of your hero products that drive the majority of sales end up towards the top of the page. And then you get like, so we bucket groups of like 24 products that are the top 24 products that sell. And then we re rank them in terms of selling efficiency. So you’re trying to get at both. [00:22:17] What sells really well, whenever it gets viewed and what drives the majority of my sales and the collection, you know, you don’t wanna get the products that drive all the sales on your site, like out of people’s site. That’s something that would happen at urban outfits a lot. When we switched, when we [00:22:30] switched merchandise, every season, we would see this like, Dip in sales because we’d push a whole bunch of new product to the top of the collection. [00:22:37] We’d push all the best selling products, like down to page three or four, and we’d have to have this meeting afterwards. And everybody would be like, what happened on our site? Like the conversion rate went down and it was really just like, like the site was the exact same, right. The layout hadn’t changed. [00:22:51] We hadn’t updated. We hadn’t put any new like imagery on the homepage or anything. It was just, we resorted the products and felt like that was a big. [00:23:00] Change that like, you could see it immediately in your analytics and like, we’d have to have an internal conversation about what was happening. So resorting based on selling efficiency. [00:23:09] And then we go into these like promotions and newness where like people need the ability to manually pin products, because sometimes they’re just products where it’s like, you can’t identify them programmatically. Like you just have to put them at the top of your collection for a certain period. And the same thing on newness, which is. [00:23:28] You know, when you get a new product, you wanna make sure you get [00:23:30] it the exposure and not bury it right away, because it’s got zero sales, but you probably only want it up there for like a week or two. And then you wanna like move it out and like keep the assortment looking fresh. And so being able to like, get these new and promoted products up to the top of the collection and the final thing that we like optimize for is the aesthetic appeal, the site. [00:23:48] And there it’s all about like product grouping. So like how do you put products next to one another that look really good together. Either based on like brand vendor color or product type. And so that’s a little bit of a [00:24:00] long-winded, you know, explanation, but really, you know, it comes down to are things in stock, you know, what sells well, can I get my promotions above the like optimized, like database rankings? [00:24:12] And then can I group things visually so that it appears great on my page. And when you combine all of that together, you end up with a really. Highest converting assortment that is in stock and also looks really great on your site, but it’s a, it’s like that’s a hard effect to achieve without some sort of automation looking at [00:24:30] this and updating everything for you, like based on your most recent like sales data. [00:24:34] Yeah. I mean, this is a lot and it’s really, really insightful. I mean, and I just try sometimes just when I just make jokes, but I remember there was one seller. A new drop shipper back in the day did some older stories, but he, he picked lingerie and he was a new seller, just made one of those like shops that sold lingerie. [00:24:54] And he was complaining in, in a group because he said, it’s just fuse. It’s like men, [00:25:00] like kind of like looking at all my, all these pictures, but they’re not buying. They’re just browsing. I think even he or somebody’s complaining about Google images, cuz it’s just sending. Traffic for people to look at the pictures of the, of the women in the lingerie, not to not customers. [00:25:19] So I wonder if, you know, obviously that’s a bit of an extreme, but I wonder you’re taking into account. Like you mentioned, like the view through rate, but also like the conversion data [00:25:30] in, in, in ways. Think so. Yeah, go ahead. Oh, no, it’s funny. It, it’s funny you bring up that exact example because one of our fir like really early clients in the anti’s experience is a lingerie store based in Australia. [00:25:44] And I think has like a similar problem to what you’re describing, where you see an extreme number of views on certain products. And I hadn’t necessarily put together the narrative of why that is without any sales. And so I, you know, as you look at this optimization problem, that [00:26:00] is. How do we present the right set of products that get people to convert when you have this segment of your, um, customer base or maybe browser base, that’s really just browsing. [00:26:10] It can really throw off your data. And that’s why like having this filter of making sure you’re getting the best selling products, like somewhere close to like the first page is so important regardless of the number of views, because we do see like other. Platforms and other approaches to this type of problem optimizing for like, what’s getting viewed, [00:26:30] but like what’s getting viewed. [00:26:31] Isn’t always the truest signal. And so we worked exactly with him on this sort of problem of like, oh my gosh, some of these products get so many views, but don’t drive any sales on the site. And then the other, like nuance of his experience in terms of the imagery was. For some of the products and like, depending on who the vendor was, people like sometimes just take the picture below the head. [00:26:51] And sometimes they take the picture, like including like the model’s head. And so you’d have this like really jarring experience. If you didn’t group the products of like [00:27:00] one model with a head followed by one without followed by one with a head. And so we worked with him to like group everything by vendor so that you were getting like a consistent experience rather than like constantly decapitating. [00:27:11] Yeah. The, uh, the next image in your assortment. And it’s like, things like that, that you don’t ever realize until you work on this problem. And you’re like, you know what? That is visually very, very jarring and a really weird experience to go through. So it’s like, you. I think so much of solving these problems is like dealing with the real life, [00:27:30] like on the ground, what are people trying to accomplish? [00:27:32] And then saying, all right, can we handle this in a programmatic way through software? And sometimes the answer is yes. And like, whenever it is, we try to roll out a new feature, but when it’s not, you know, you try to give merchants level of control. They need to adjust and like get where they want to go. [00:27:46] Yeah. This was, I was kind of getting to that today, so you can manually override or, or optimize as the merchant in the back end. Exactly. There’s just a lot of these like, use cases where I’d say, you know, [00:28:00] if you can effectively merchandise 90% of your collection programmatically, there’s always 10%, but there’s just some narrative that’s going on, like internally at your business and something that you can’t solve for through like a purely automated solution. [00:28:13] And that’s when like automation like full automation. Being like more of an inconvenience than a helper, because you’ve always gotta try to work around it. And so you just have to build that flexibility into the automation, I think is like the approach that we’ve taken. Okay. So. [00:28:30] You know, maybe this is again, I hope I’m not jumping to a head, but it’s a shop it’s built on Shopify, but I know when we, we were preparing for the show, we talked about headless. [00:28:40] I, I I’m, I love the, the headless movements where I, I know it’s a little bit more advanced and I have a feeling, a lot of people might not know what I’m talking about. Sounds like we’re talking about decapitated lingerie models, and now we’re talking about headless websites, but the idea of, yeah, so you like, this is a nice flow there. [00:28:55] Yeah. We did it on purpose. That was all planned and, but, you [00:29:00] know, so we, we could, you could just pull from the, the API, the database of like your Shopify catalog and then display that onto. Maybe a flat website, meaning like a no non database. I, I remember we were chatting about that in the, in the preparing for this. [00:29:17] Maybe that’s some more advanced feature. I, I, I don’t know if you wanna touch on that too much, but I, I like that discussion. No, I think it’s. I think it’s a really important one to touch on. And I think when we were, when we were talking for this [00:29:30] conversation, you were saying that you’re a WooCommerce user and I’ve used WooCommerce in the past. [00:29:33] And anytime you’re using like a full CMS, you know how painful it can be when you are like, you know what? I either wanna replatform, or I want to be able to do something that this platform and it’s embedded like apps and tools. Don’t let me do mm-hmm so all of a sudden you’ve gotta like rip and replace your entire. [00:29:50] So you see all these customers moving to a headless approach. And then Shopify specifically is investing a lot in like headless architecture where over the last [00:30:00] year, they really like double down on headless release their own framework for headless called oxygen. And really for like you, like you said, for the listeners who aren’t familiar, the idea behind like headless commerce is to separate your back end infrastructure from your front end. [00:30:13] And so you can build like the part that interacts with your customers. Like, however you. And then just use something like Shopify on the back end. And as we built entice, you know, we said that’s the, like the API driven approach that will be, that will [00:30:30] support headless architecture in the future is the really the way we want to go. [00:30:33] Like, we don’t want to touch anything on the front end of your site. We want to do everything programmatically through APIs so that ultimately like this solution can be rolled into whatever storefront people are using. And then that way, like, you know, we take data from the CMS and we take data from the website, but we don’t actually like interact with the front end of your site. [00:30:55] Cause I think as you know, being in the e-commerce space, like any, the more code you have on the front end of your [00:31:00] site, the more likely it is that things start getting bogged down and being slow. And then. So, and like any optimization that you do for product sorting or any other feature is just gonna get like immediately wiped out by the slowness and site speed. [00:31:16] And so, you know, I think the more you can decouple that backend experience from your front end experience, it like sets you up to be future proof and then also sets you up for like more advanced things in the future where I. You know, if [00:31:30] you see things like advertised today, like personalization, a lot of the time, it’s like the pseudo personalization where people are doing like really duct tape oriented solutions. [00:31:40] They’re like saying I’m gonna generate all these different pages that like. You know, dynamically switch out to show different customer segments because I can’t actually do what I want to cuz my customer’s not on a headless solution, but ultimately like once you’ve separated the front end and the back end architecture, you know, then you can get in and start thinking about like [00:32:00] true personalization solutions where it is like one to one based on the shopper. [00:32:04] And you can start thinking about, okay, like how do I roll this out? And like actually serve my clients, you know, in this way. And so. Yeah. I think like getting set a long way of saying, get getting set up for the headless journey, I think was really important to us. And like the way you do that is by doing everything through the back end. [00:32:22] So as clients like separate their front end and the back ends, you don’t have like them woven together in a way that like breaks [00:32:30] everything when they make that switch. Yeah. No, I’m really happy to hear that. And, and it’s, it’s important. I think it’s more and more important people wanna, like you said, customize, and then. [00:32:41] Just to try also re you know, explain to people that might not understand, like you said, there’s the backend database and there’s the front end, like what the user sees. And so, so we could just plug in and just pull this category of products, right. It’s always, almost just like a line of code. Right. And then it just pulls this data and it just displays it nice and [00:33:00] fast on the website. [00:33:00] It’s really, really kind of amazing what we can do now. So, so the idea is. I have it on my list. And I, I think we discussed, you know, we do talk a lot about Amazon here and of course there’s definitely people that are on Shopify, on web, but you know, I’m also on more on Amazon than my website, which is kind of crazy, cuz I used to always say I have websites, but for those that are only on Amazon right now, is there anything they can do [00:33:30] with, with this? [00:33:30] I mean maybe, maybe we could still, you know, Pull into a website and sending it to Amazon directly. And then I don’t know if you captured that data or not. I mean, those are my short, my short question is, is there something we can do with Amazon sellers for this solution or, or, or work. Yeah, I think like there’s two different places where it’s applicable to anybody who’s selling on Amazon today. [00:33:52] You know, the first is the ideas around collection merchandising and category merchandising are always applicable. And [00:34:00] especially in the Amazon environment where like anybody who sells on Amazon, they’re gonna. Wanna know, like what’s my product rank in like the collection that Amazon is putting together and on Amazon, you don’t have an optimization problem. [00:34:13] That’s like, you’re trying to sort the best 40 products. Amazon’s trying to sort the best 200,000 products. Right. And if your product 200,000. Not getting any views, doesn’t matter how great your product is. Maybe one person finds it through a search. And so, you know, I think thinking through the merchandising question, in [00:34:30] terms of that same funnel of, you know, are users hitting the cap, like the collections that my products are in, how, like what’s my rank. [00:34:38] What’s my view through of like the products and my, and the collections that Amazon optimizes, like that thought process is really applicable to the Amazon experience. And I would argue is more important. Like one of the things that we talked about is we’re building out entice and our team talked about was like, we’re bringing the type of technology. [00:34:54] Amazon uses to sort its products and like optimize its pages to Shopify [00:35:00] store owners so that they can. In like this environment, because Amazon’s got the resources to do all of this sort of like machine learning and like algorithmic approach to merchandising. And I’d say the second thing that’s relevant for Amazon store owner or for people who sell through Amazon is to start thinking more and more about having your first party, like branded experience where like you do have your own storefront, whether or not like the backend is fulfilled by Amazon. [00:35:26] Something like. I’m not a Shopify shield, but [00:35:30] like Shopify just happens to be the platform that we use for our product. So it’s the one that I’m like most familiar with. Obviously there’s BigCommerce is magenta, his other e-commerce platforms. I think. Like you see more and more merchants, like moving in that direction because they don’t, it’s like the same thing with apple apps for where, like, you don’t have control over that, like end user touchpoint. [00:35:50] As a result, you don’t get the email addresses. You don’t get the data, you don’t get the repeat visits and the repeat customers. And so starting to think about how can I branch out and like launch [00:36:00] my. Like touchpoint for customers. Ultimately it lets you like build out that storefront. And then eventually like, as that storefront grows, like all, there’s a sweep of different like conversion optimization products of which like entice is one of, okay, that’s great. [00:36:17] You know, like if Diane’s one introduced us, Diane’s great. She’s come to some of our events in, in the community. And there was one event about top Amazon sellers, 2017 in, in Shen China. And. [00:36:30] There’s always this debate Westerners, like, you know, us, we always say, make a website, have your own channel. A lot of Chinese sellers. [00:36:39] I think some are changing now, but they would say don’t waste of time. Just drive all your energy. Directly to Amazon use maybe attribution or use short links, you know, tracking links don’t even bother with landing page. Really wanna like, you know, say I told you, so because I always say make your own websites, but a lot of those same [00:37:00] exact seller, top sellers on stage had their accounts shut down last a couple of years. [00:37:05] So they don’t have anything really. Yeah. They don’t have much, you know, you know, I don’t wanna, like, obviously, you know, I’m not trying to say told you so or whatever, but there was actually some of ’em that did do multichannel that had websites. I, I even do some training for them and they’re, they, they survived, you know, I think they even had. [00:37:24] I don’t really wanna say names cause it’s kind of embarrassing, but you know, one had his account shut down on Amazon, but [00:37:30] he’s still, still, still surviving and thriving. Cuz he has his own website. He has multiple channels. He’s also a drop ship supplier. So he has other sellers, you know, selling his product on their channel. [00:37:42] So he’s got this like moat I say. So just kind of like. Reinforce what you’re saying, you know, invest in your own channels, maybe at the beginning, start with one channel if it’s Amazon or whatever, but like multi-channel is, is the way to build a brand now more than ever. [00:38:00] Yeah. And I think we’ve really built entice like through merchant and through seller experience. [00:38:05] And so, you know, to your audience, who’s saying things like. I generate the majority of my sales directly through Amazon. And like, I think that’s like a real and valid thing to say, like optimize there first, but there’s also that element of, like you said, control. And if you’re looking for something that ultimately supports you supports your lifestyle, supports like your company to like have that extra lever and like that layer of control over your own [00:38:30] storefront is something that like over time, once you’ve. [00:38:33] Done the optimizations on Amazon. Like you can get started and start building out your own storefront and it doesn’t, it’s not gonna be an overnight success, right. It doesn’t, and it doesn’t have to be the immediate thrust of like what you’re doing right away in the future. But ultimately like that might be to your point, what survives five years down the line. [00:38:51] And you’ll be very excited five years from now. You know, you’re in control of that touchpoint. I think you also get all those ancillary benefits, right? Of like you have more information about your [00:39:00] customers, what they’re doing on your site. You know, it, it does let you accumulate like more data and insight that way. [00:39:05] Like, we built so much of our product through the data that our customers generate. And I think if we didn’t have that lens into, you know, our SAS product, we wanna be where we are today. So like just having that ability to like, see what people are. It’s great. Yeah. I mean, it’s been a fascinating conversation and I’m happy we did this. [00:39:24] I think maybe let’s move towards more about how, how does it work or how can people find out more or [00:39:30] of your solution? Yeah, no, same here, Michael, this was like a lot of fun to talk about. You know, it’s like some of the topics in e-commerce that you can tell I’m just very interested in and like outside of the. [00:39:39] Like the software world. We came to this tool because of like insights we saw in data. But entice is a Shopify app for anybody who is interested it’s available at app, uh, apps, shopify.com/ntic. You can also find more information on our website, which is ntic.com E NT a I C E. We thought we were being clever, like adding in like the [00:40:00] AI to the name and that’s thing you can tell. [00:40:02] We’re not marketers. We’re just like product people who wanted to build a great customer experience. We’ve gotten a lot of made fun of that name, a fair amount. And so at the end of the day, really like for anybody who’s listening to this, like we’re interested in making your merchandising successful and helping you sell more. [00:40:17] And so like, Happy to work with everybody to do an extended trial of two months. We can help you guys set up an AB test if you’re on Shopify. So you can see like, does this sorting automation actually help my store sell more? And then [00:40:30] we can discount the price 20%. If you decide to move forward with us where it’s like, even if you don’t, you know, we’ll help you try to like, figure out what merchandising solution is right for you. [00:40:39] And like, how can you think through the problem, like for us, we’re here to like help you solve that problem more than we are to sell software. And so. Yeah, we would be really excited to meet anybody from this community and hear and learn from your experience. I think the best features that we’ve built have been the ones based on like real life things that customers are going through. [00:40:58] Great. That’s really [00:41:00] awesome. So yeah. E EMT, AI C yeah. Dot com. Yeah. So they would just, just let you know, or, or when they sign up, they would cuz yeah, I see it goes to the Shopify app store. That’s yeah, it’s a one click install and you can get started with it in like under 10 minutes. It’s really, really fast, simple to set up. [00:41:19] Like we’ve tried to approach this as much as possible that like you should be able to selfer and get started and going on your own. And then we’re always here to support people as they have any questions. Great. [00:41:30] It’s really nice. Yeah. It’s very fair pricing too. So definitely it’s really. Really cool idea. [00:41:36] And I’m really excited to, to see it continue to grow. So thanks for coming on. Will it’s been a pleasure. Yeah, Mike, thanks for asking such great questions. Yeah. Great to see you. Cheers, Mike. Thank you. Thank you. That was a fun one. I appreciate these amazing experience. People coming up into our show, you know, hitting 400 episodes Aubrey’s on holiday or [00:42:00] something and it’s just me. [00:42:02] And I just want to kind of give you some updates. I think every time there’s a transition in any of our lives, but man, it has been the craziest two and a half years solid in mainland China. And I know a lot of people are begging to get back in here. I had an argument, honestly, with my good friend from college Chinese born American try. [00:42:21] He started to get back here. I’m trying to get outta here. You know, everybody wants to be somewhere else. There’s a saying, right? Everybody, the grass is always greener on the other side. [00:42:30] So he’s struggling to get back into China. I’m struggling to get out of China. I don’t wanna say it’s hard for me to get out. [00:42:37] I’m a, you know, I’m, I’m a privileged white male American passport holder. So of course I am privileged. And I do understand that, but you know, I have an amazing wife that still has a Chinese passport and I have two children that are us passport holders, but in China, they’re Chinese. And I don’t even wanna talk about it right now, cuz this show’s [00:43:00] going alive while I’m still here. [00:43:01] And I don’t want them to detain me and detain everyone and block people from leaving. And you know, I’m probably gonna get some stupid comments on YouTube saying I’m a liar and I’m making this up. Like on some of the other things I talk. I have no reason to make up difficulties leaving China. All right. [00:43:19] I have no agenda. I have no reason to, it is truly hard to leave as a Chinese person now. All right. [00:43:30] and I will not get into my conspiracy. I guess I’m a conspiracy theory believer a lot of times of many of them, but I will think about, I told my wife, Wendy. I told her one of my favorite books is Atlas shrugged and ran. [00:43:48] I, I recommend you reading it. It’s a huge book. I’ve read it at least twice. I have it on Kindle so I can just, you know, don’t have to carry the thing around a physical book. So I have it on my Kindle. I recommend it. And it’s [00:44:00] actually a, some of you might remember my logo I’m wearing on my shirt, the, the GFA logo here. [00:44:05] This, this is actually based on Atlas shrugged. And the point is. . If you look at the GFA logo, it’s the circle. It’s like a man with the city on his back, going up to the right. It’s basically shrugging off the urban society from his back. And that’s like what Atlas shrugged means. Atlas had the world on his shoulders and Atlas shrugged [00:44:30] off the burden of the world off of his shoulders and left. [00:44:35] And at least in this book, the idea is smart people left and the people that stayed. In this book of Atlas shrug. I’m not saying that’s where I am now, but the people that state were not smart. And what happens when smart people leave a place, the stupid people become the, the, or maybe they already were the leaders. [00:44:57] And if you read the book, that’s why the smart people left [00:45:00] because the powerful and the rich were. In my opinion, the stupid people. And that’s the way Anne Rand says it in the book. And there had different policies that the smart people, the creators, the artists, the engineers, the builders, the workers, you know, they just felt like they were not being supported. [00:45:16] They had no incentives. So they set up their own society, their own area hidden in the mountains. I think the Colorado mountains there was, if you read the book, the, the plane crashed and it went through like a. [00:45:30] Hologram or something so that people couldn’t see this village or this mountain area. And this is how I feel right now. [00:45:37] I’ll just say that. And you know, you can hate me. You can say I’m like a liar. You know, I get these hate comments from trolls on, on social media, but I don’t care. I’m talking about specific country. I’m talking about society. I felt like that is why I left America. You know, it’s why I don’t want to go back to America. [00:45:55] you know, it’s why I’m leaving China. You know, I, I don’t like [00:46:00] this where they, they, they tr somebody, I don’t like authority. Okay. You know, that’s pretty clear. I, I don’t want be authority over you. I don’t want you to be authority over me. I don’t want some random leaders somewhere to tell me what I can. I cannot do. [00:46:12] I’m an individual. I have my own brain. I have my own means to create what I need to create. And I wanna go to places that get outta my way and let me do what I need to do. you understand? So I’m trying to build some kind of. World like this in Thailand, [00:46:30] at least two years, I will be there. And I’m gonna be building spent a couple years already before I got stuck in China. [00:46:37] And you know, I don’t wanna say too much again, we have our closed community of a V I P but honestly, not many of you even sign up, you guys bug me on WeChat and stuff, but you don’t sign up for our membership. It’s all good. Just gonna be a different style here. We also got the blimp method, man. We got a case study. [00:46:54] We’re building. It’s a whole ecosystem. It’s a platform. It’s a new world. Okay. [00:47:00] And you know, networks day I talked about before this amazing book, can’t re pronounce the guy’s name, but he’s super, super smart, super rich, super successful guy. And. He, you know, he talks about like what I’ve thought about. And I didn’t, I’m not as smart as him to write it like that, but if you read it, it’s more of theory. [00:47:20] It’s the idea that you can create your own society. And I hope I could somehow get something like that with our community. And, uh, cuz I’m sick of the current [00:47:30] system. I’m sick of paperwork and permissions to enter and leave places. I’m literally leaving in about an hour and 15 minutes with the, with the family to go to. [00:47:40] Government office to get permission to leave . So I am tired of this. Okay. And I believe this is not the way the world should be, and I’m not gonna like, try to fight and change where I am. Cuz I know there’s books about China and changing China or changing anywhere I’m in [00:48:00] create in a new place, in a new world. [00:48:03] You know, that’s why I love crypto and NFTs decentralization because. , you know, I’m probably gonna get in trouble. If anybody actually, we got nobody views probably gets to lead off WeChat if they don’t like it. But the point is, I believe in the individual, I believe in creativity and, and earning what you work for, regardless of your, your skin color, your eye shape, [00:48:30] you know, your age, your gender, I don’t care. [00:48:33] You know what I’m saying? And I know, I guess I’m a privileged American. Edge born university educated. And I was talking to my co coach and she’s asking me if my kids will go to college and I’m like, I hope not miles is in the other room. I hope not. I think it’s a waste of money. Honestly, I went through it. [00:48:56] Okay. My parents begged me to finish cuz they didn’t get to go through college. And you know, we [00:49:00] have this student loan debt, I think finally finished after like 25 years. But I don’t, I don’t see the point, you know, especially nowadays you can learn anything on YouTube. You can connect with people over the world. [00:49:11] I don’t see the point in college. Okay. I don’t see the point in education. I think the whole world is gonna be changing even more rapidly. I mean, look at. , you know, I’m kind of ranting here, but you know, you can stop. There’s no more content, you know, you could have stopped at the interview, but anyways, expect more of this amazing stuff to be. [00:49:29] If you think it’s amazing. [00:49:30] Maybe you think I’m some, some, some nut, you know, one of, I was crazy white guys at the bar and in Asia, I guess I’m, maybe I might be coming like that. I don’t, I don’t know. I kind of lost my perception of reality. I haven’t been back to America since February, 2018, so that. [00:49:47] Interesting. My, my driver’s license expired. Can’t remote. Can’t do it remotely, but I’m gonna keep it up. I think this is the last show I’ll do, lemme check the calendar. [00:50:00] Yeah, I think this is the last one I’ll be doing from Maheen. I know I got a crappy background and my wife yells me about my video, not being good enough and it loses face for me and her and whatever, but I, uh, I’m gonna be investing some. [00:50:13] Styles. I mean, I just don’t wanna invest in here. I don’t wanna spend anything in China right now. I just feel like it’s nothing is mine. Nothing is stable. Anything can be taken away from me anytime. and it’s not the world I wanna live in at all. Anyway. All right. That’s it for me today. I hope [00:50:30] I make it outta here before this video is seen by certain people. [00:50:33] I don’t think I say anything so horrible, but I think they know this, you know, how can you control what people do and think, you know, it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not the world I wanna live in. So thanks. See you later. Peace. To get more info about running an international business. Please visit our website@triplewdotglobalfromasia.com. [00:50:53] That’s triple w.global from asia.com. Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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