Social Exchange Session #2 part 1 - the Ecommerce Whisperer
Well. Thanks, to everyone who's braved, it this, morning, thankfully, it's a lot warmer in here than it is outside. My. Name is Jen Merton I have. A business called digital, dandy, and I. Am also a, coach, for. Their digital ready program, and. That's why we're here, today. Is our second. Social, exchange. Session, and what. This is all about is. Bringing. People together, and. The. Fabulous people that I have met through my coaching sessions. I. Want. To bring to bring. Back together again, to meet each other and, to. Spark conversation and. These. Sessions are about. Really. You, know I've come. Across some pretty cool people I, want to be able to share them with you, and, one of them without giving him too much of a big head is. Sit into my yeah. So. Scott. Kilmartin. I try, not to be your here no. Scott. Has been. Really. Like a mentor, to me in a lot of ways even though he probably doesn't agree but, he is one of the most generous people with knowledge and. Insight. And. Shared. Experience, and I. Really value - with our friendship. But. He's here this morning to really focus on what he, is brilliant at and that is ecommerce. So. The way this morning is going to run is that we're going to have a bit of a chat. And by. The way it wasn't planned that the two of us are dressed. Well. We're going to chat a little more constructively, business and. Really. Hear about Scott's story and what. He has learned because, he, started, in this game back in. 1999. We're. Not far from here, in son of mine kept market you may have come across him with. A small table and. Goods. That looks, like. This. Where. This. Hole. Was. It's. Called urban boomerang, which, was a theory. A really good name kind, of urban through marine coming back but I, rebranded. It and, Hall was I thought a really cool name it was short meant to carry and we made lots of things that carried things and had economy industrial.
Part Of it, yeah. It sound like we've known, as they've been booming for a long time okay, so. Tell. Me a bat, hall and, you. Started, off in, a. Physical space but then quickly, you went online, was ecommerce like back in 99 so. Once. It before that I. Instead. Of gonna university, I ran away and joined the circus which, for me equalled going, to the US he, chucked around the US Canada, and Mexico when, I was 20 and then ended up kind, of coming, back home and then went back to state something there for that seven, years mainly, in doing hospitality, stuff I ran a group, of bars in San Diego and live in Chicago, and kind of just had, a lot of fun I had. Some friends at the San Diego that left San, Diego that moved up to San, Francisco to, start building websites in the mid 90s, didn't, we know what they were doing but it kind of that, was the first irony, for me this was back in the days of in. The u.s. you get AOL, which into a CD, in, the mail, put the city in the computer, and you. Know the old Pentium day one days and he could you could look at kind of a bunch of different tabs the, sport and stuff so my, interest. Was piqued fairly but didn't really do anything with it until I came home so, came. Home I work from really interesting, and entrepreneurial, guy in the states I then left there and when you lived in Europe for a while and, came. Home and thought time to hang my own shingle up look. Found a bunch of ideas, the. Idea for the recycled, stuff that's really going to be a kind of side play was gonna be can I convince, these transport, departments to give me all these old number plates and then. Chopped and that make it legal for me to chop them up and turn them into photo albums kind, of tourists, and dad get sand and then, we moved into making things out of rubber, truck inner tubes, now. My boys I guess. What you now call the hipster market I could, text that weird black kind of back on a crowd and. That went really well for us and then we moved into billboards, and billboards.
Were Great because it kind of changed, the face of the business we every, we still put nominally were that, BBC business of selling to. A consumer, market so, stuck with the whole brand and the billboards really opened things up because then I could go to people, like Qantas. Or BMW, or Heineken, and this is by this point probably the mid-2000s. Went. To those guys and gone you've got all these billboards once, that campaigns, finished it look if it's a car company they. Only launched a bmw x5 once. For. One year and then the next year there's a new one so those billboards are never gonna be used again and, the advertising industry is doing little secret is all of those billboards end up in landfill, so, there was the equivalent of about an. Mcg, style football, oval, of this. Fine or going, into landfill, every year still. A huge, issue but, it's less so because of digital signage but so I would go to those companies if. You go back to the kind of, 2006-2007. And. I'll go back to the e-commerce stuff once again but I can't tell the fullness of the story if. You go back to that time, corporate, social responsibility. Was becoming part of the vernacular, websites, were, whose. Companies were putting you know their green credentials on their website and so from, a corporate, selling, perspective, I would go to them and go you've, got all these billboards I've got this thing that you can make we, can turn those billboards into document. Sexual Phoenix conference or laptops, leads for your staff and. And. Also. Play the hole and you've mentioned kind of corporate social responsibility or your green credentials, as well so that, police blew. The business up for us the, whole corporate, business really. Was anchored, in us being known as this small boutique, brand. Which was halt and predominantly. That, came from us being online really early and so I. Had, a website in. 97. 98. And, then 99, we, were trying to sell things off it but selling things online 99. Was, you. Had back to Cart buttons, but no one used them because if you go back there no one was gonna put their credit cards over the Internet and there were, payment, gateways so PayPal. Was around at that point but normos using it and so. An. Online, transaction in, 99, up until even, 2003. 2004, was people. Would go to your website do do, research so your website even though was ecommerce. Functional. Was still really a catalog they would go and have a look and they would call you and go I want that product can.
We Pay, you, know people, that when mailers checks back then, pay. Directly to a bank account and the, more brave ones would give you their credit card details and, the end of those phone conversations, would be those. Credit card details to save up day you know it's just a really different era and then that was that. Was probably 2004, 2005. That was still the case we were you were doing transactions, online then it was a much smoother. Friction-free, it. Was less like an obstacle course to to. Follow, your transaction, online but people who stood near the truss so, the functionality, was there but the trust wasn't and that was that was a big issue don't think it for a while. 2005. You. Know we're 2017. Now I mean it's, the speed of what has happened with e-commerce I think is. Becomes. Really exploded, in Australia, when the. Second. Generation Apple iPhone, came along because, people, weren't buying, on their phones back then websites. Were. Mobile-optimized. So you, would still have to Pinson them around and squeeze them and we still see some other sites today but, what that meant was people, were on, the, bus to work on the train home while. They were sitting around waiting, for their, coffee to shop they were doing research online and, that. What would happen then is they would go to work on the desktop where they would go home and. Again this is still prepaid. But you know though that kind of in between TV shows they would do those transactions, but I find really blow up in Australia ecommerce, because it meant that you, could be looking at something in your downtime, and that, that do people, was, the first generation, of head down. So. You hurt, when. You start off with, all you had. The. Products in stores plus. Selling online, yeah. So, we. Grew this the way that lots of businesses grew in that late nineties early 2000s, I went to trade shows we. Had kind. Of a mixed offering we had these number plate photo albums which were kind. Of the. Level above tacky, tourist souvenirs, stuff so they were the kind of souvenirs you would buy in museum, gift shop to you by the mgv, you'd. Buy them in little gallery stores and. Then. We had this stuff that was a bit more designer and so the, rubber. Bags and the billboard products we were in. Overall. Women 400, stores in Australia in, New Zealand and then the. Billboard. And Rubber stuff for about another 400. Nash internationally. So. From. Again. Museum stores were a big market for us in the u.s. design, stores in Singapore, and Hong. Kong Japan. Was, really big and. They all found, in a pre Instagram, world and then kind of an early Facebook, world they. The founders by Canada trade fairs or, end. Up on a mailing list or talked, to my dad at selling maker and he forced, them to give over an email address and, I sent. Them an email it, was it. Was all of that all of those special expecting so, when did you when, did social, media come, into.
Play. So. I was really lucky I I. Moved. To Melbourne in. 2000. The week after the Olympics and we had a still had a stall at summer makeup for. Up until. 2011. Maybe. But. I was back fairly regularly and I was at the store the. Tree outside handma gallery was where our winter site was and now summer site was a massive, side opposite retro gallery that retro cafe in the middle middle aisle and, was. A winter this. American guy stopped. Similar. Vintage to me starts, chatting about these may. Have been live in the states that are there which come from States this conversation, even I quickly got to the point where he's like I work for Apple I'm like nobody do all that police like I'm head of education in the southern hemisphere so. Him, and I actually became quite good friends, and funnily enough and, he. Bought one of my laptop sleeves he went back and he sat, next to a. Guy, at Apple they was like they had offices, but he was around he was away look the guy in office next door to him left, that board to go and work for this little company called Facebook, and, his name is Dave Marin and Dave Marin was the guy that designed and if, you like invented, Facebook Connect, so. Marin went from being a, you. Know a guy that was a mid-level, employer, at Apple to you know being, Facebook. Employee number. 100, or so to, becoming a rock star and and. So if. You if you remember Facebook. Was only Ivy League schools, for a long time that opened up for the university system in the state and they've opened up internationally, in, the UK I, got. Was given a fake. Harvard. Address so, I had a fake email, address, and so I was able to use Facebook back. In 2006. Which. Sounds really cool except, that none of my friends are like and there was just nothing there so, the only people I knew on Facebook, were this. Guy. That. I met at Salome got a few other friends and then gradually, I had, some friends at working for Airlines at the time they were quanis crew and they were living in the UK and they they. Discovered Facebook's all of my traveling, working international, things and then Facebook came alive and I. Remember. This guy's name is Gordon Gordon was the Apple guy he was gone, Facebook's gonna completely change your business and so what I really, am social media really early we were we, one of the first brands on Twitter in Australia, and.
Definitely. Definitely one of the first brands that back then you create, a personal account for your business and then later on they converted. The pages, but, in those early days it, was the Wild West and so you, got lots of traction. There. Was a novelty aspect of being there and we. Got what some media around it so I was sending out press. Releases to Fairfax. And any. Of the marketing and papal mags going, you, know here's, what we do and. He, is out here's our Facebook address and he is out to put a handle and that was enough half the story was about the, business the other half of the story was about being an early, adopter to social media and that really took off for us. Sold. A part of it so if you go back to 2011, we, were predominantly, at that point and export business so. 60%. Of our, revenue. Was us UK Japan and, about, 60% 80%, of. That was online so, we were this business that was kind. Of like a little Crumpler, competitor, in Australia with it with a bit of a green tinge to it that now has a store, in Melbourne, we. Had property we had some make every did a lot of tradeshows we, do a lot of festivals, but. We were really still small here but we were bigger business, overseas and we were in Australia we absolutely tapped, the Apple market with the Billboard stuff, when. The if you connect a 2011 the dollar went it passed parity, with the greenback and then it went kept climbing and. So late. 2011, the dollar was a dollar and seven against, the Australian dollar which mean they, was we. Were selling my, stuff about, the same price points, in AUD. As we, were US dollars when. They kept on going up it was destroying. Me because we were our traffic to the site was still phenomenal where conversions, just plummeted, because it just perfectly, went up about from, $99, legislated, laptop, sleeve in Australia, we've somewhere about, $90. In the US but it went over over, 100. And we. Were still shipping out of Australia and so. Freight, to killer international. Folks particularly, brutal it's you know the cost of putting that. In a inner sleeve and selling it to Los Angeles is about 40% higher than put that in a sleeve in Los Angeles and sending it to Melbourne so, and, I was going in the wrong direction with a tie the dollar was the, dollar was great if you're buying from Hayes us in. Australia is consumed it was really hard to export out of that so what. That meant was that business, was just flatlining, that consumer, facing business, the corporate, business was still growing yeah so. The. The, whole brand was my baby and the one that I was most passionate about but, the other one was making all the money so I eventually come after. You know a few sleepless nights over the course of six months shut that down and then, keep going with the corporate business and then I sold a part of that to. Promotional. Products company that what I do one of the green arm at. That point after for. Eight years I kind. Of ran out of steam I had, a few variations I really, was tempted, to the. Next stage of the business if the dollar hadn't gone high was for us to send a cup of containers to the states and warehouse their ship. Into the u.s. we would have been able to do free Freight it was again, Amazon, it just flipped from. Books to clothing and I was studying to do consumer products so we were being stopped by Amazon but, the freight was killing us and. You. Know the FBA fulfilled. By Amazon was in its fledgling days he couldn't just ship it to them bar-coded, we, have real issues one. Of the one of the challenges, of this product is that every. One of them is different because of what was printed on the billboard so if you're cutting out part, of this letter the next one's gonna have part of different letters great. From a marketing, perspective a nightmare, from selling online because we tried.
Things Like selling online where we take a photo of the billboard and say you'll get something. That's made from this billboard but people want to know exactly which one they will get so. That, caused a real challenge around online one is we, had really. Embraced product. Photography, so product photography had to become part of their production line so build. A photo studio at the back of our warehouse and we we became pack photographers, so, we would shoot front and back of everyone that came off the line, and, the other thing was web sites this is a pre, Magento, pre, Shopify, pre, WooCommerce, era platforms, just couldn't handle massive. Databases, of products so, back then, if. We. We struggled to find a platform where you. Would you. Could upload another 200, SKUs to it each time most, of them to, upload a few extra products you have to reload your entire database when. Every, single product is its own SKU, then, we were uploading yeah one point we had 25,000. Products online and. They're all individual, students because we would have. 150, 200, in the low season maybe a thousand, 13-inch, MacBook. Sleeves, same. Again in 15-inch, and they're all different so, we had all kinds of challenges with e-commerce I used to joke that we were the most complicated e-commerce, business in the world because of the nature of people. Didn't really understand, they would ring up and go hey I want two of that one then, you go one, or they bring em so we got a glitch with your website I've tried to add two but it will only allow me to add one so everything was really customer, service heavy the, other thing was if if. Australia Post, lost. This or, curious plays lost it and you bought it because it had a G on it and your issue was G well, you bought it for your husband your son your wife whatever, it might be I couldn't replace it so, this jacket gets lost and it's four days before Christmas I'll just put another on an air bag and send it to you and we'll figure out willing, to give you a refund you can send it back afterwards when you've bought something really specific an individual, so, what the, analogy I used to always use we were trying to commercialize, art, pieces because each was an art piece but. The brutal side of it was you just you were it was tricky to do on lines and then it was particularly, tricky of things got lost and that was you. Go back to 2008. 2009, tracking. Was still an add-on with post it wasn't. Something that you could do with red, sexuals so tracking. Made it really expensive so the people that, didn't choose tracking, were feasible of course they would always be the ones that would have products that get lost and if. It was coming up too particularly, particularly, Christmas, if, you, know two. Weeks for a post or someone to file. Inquiry, and get back to you Christmas, would be missed so it, was a really challenging business, and to me that's partly how fast. Forward to after the whole business you know I had, I had a sideline conservancy. Consulting, around ecommerce, and website building and stuff that's how is a really easy transitive, meeting for, me both halt go to jump the other side of the table from being a merchant to to. Being a web developer and then doing strategy, because we've gone through all these nightmares that most people don't have to deal with well that's what exactly was gonna ask you was well you, know, massive. Challenge is there but you still stayed, in this whole space what, is it about any curse that you love oh look. It's a lie I mean I don't really like retail I love e-commerce but I I like the touch I mean and, we'll talk about a little bit later about this, to thing she can't do online you can't smell things and you can't touch things that's, the huge advantage you have if you've got a physical store attached a point stored salamanca pop-up at a festival where that might be. So. I liked about them and the thing, with the business like this is I can, only display 10 of them no. Matter how big my store is at Salamanca with. With, e-commerce for me and for, lots of other e-commerce key but unlimited shop space so. Especially. When search search was a bit clunky with the old platforms, but now search is great so you could sit we, had products, indexed, where you, can search for products that have lettering you can search for products by color by size, and so we. Weren't, unusual business in that people often our our, time, on site was preposterous, Lehigh.
Because. It was a bit like Facebook you'd go they would get lost, some people would spend people. Spend a lot of time just flicking through the next page in the next page which. Was both good, from, people really buying in your brand but often they get confused by, by. The choice, there. Are too, many choices I'll come back later and. Choice is a real conversion, killing, we'll, talk about that little bit later as well but, I I liked, I liked the way that you could take a small business, and you could play big online we, we. People, assumed that we were a much bigger business than we were online especially in the early days when. There. Were there wasn't themes, around and, if you paid for photography, you, could look like a, five, hundred million dollar company and still be quite small because. There. Was a lot of cost. Involved in looking bigger. And better that most businesses were willing, or didn't get the value of in setting up online you. Know that would pay two hundred thousand dollars for a shop fit out at Chadstone, but. They wouldn't pay 20 grand for a website and, I was the reverse, but. Yeah one, one. Of our early site iterations, was a $35,000. Site and then, we I think the next big we, did lots of upgrades of that and then we threw that platform, at because we outgrew it we had to start again I think the next one was about 60 grand and, the beautiful thing about now and in a shop Shopify world particularly, in Magento, and a few other platforms, is everything's. Become commoditized, and cheaper so think of it as like a big-screen TV when they first came out there were 4 grand and now you can buy one for 500 bucks that's exactly, what he promised, platforms, have done that made it much easier so. The e-commerce is is hard but it's hard for different reason now in the old days 10 years ago it. It. Was tricky to get online and, it was much more expensive but, you were there with, not, a lot of competition now. It's, super easy to get online because your pace Shopify. Theme. Put, a couple products get some half-decent photography, near there the challenges associate, one else so the hardness. Is gone from this to, that but. Still you know it's still difficult I am I've. Got a friend Kate Morris who's, got from Launceston who runs a door Beauty which were 45. Million dollar online makeup. Brand as. A I've, got an interview series called online offline and one of my favorite interviews is it is, interviewing. Kate they, two, years ago they, wanted to relaunch a new site. October. Got, pushed back it was they launched it finally, Melbourne Cup town so you know eight, weeks to Christmas seven, weeks to Christmas she's. Been super experienced. They. Tested the hello that's I they. Put it up and had all those kind of glitches and they pulled it back down again they. Brought it but but they've gone through a bunch of the glitches and put it back up and, it still didn't work and so she pulled that down and this Christmas with that side this. Is someone that's a super experienced been an e-commerce for twenty years you come us is really hard it's just easier, to get into now the challenges come when you scale up when you have lots. Of SKUs and distribution hands, and frame issues and, then the competitors, come to play, so. For. A lot of people that I work with. They. Would be are starting. Their e-commerce. Journey. Or. Have. On. A Windows. Not, quite understanding. Why there. Isn't attraction and. That they expect it I've, built it why haven't they come yeah. So. For. Those of us or, for the anybody here who's starting. Out or you, know looking at kind of that entry-level. What. Would be your advice. With. Regards to. Where. To go and. Then to, and, then maybe we could talk a little bit about how we could, actually market, that. So. The challenges it's chicken the egg it's um you want to put up a side but you also want to try and build a community that is. Is. Wanting. That site to come and what that's that product won't just get all office so it's somebody about this side it's really about building a brand and building expectation, so, think, a bit like the.
Dodgy Old days when we were standing outside nightclubs, half the time if you got there relatively. Early there was no one inside but there's still a queue outside because, they're building expectations, it's one of the oldest tricks in hospitality. Is that if, you've got to go, to these two restaurants, next door to each other and one's got a queue and seemingly. Really busy and the other one you don't really know about next door you still want to go the one that's cute got a queue because there's something you don't know about that's going on there so, the challenge, is to build an audience, before. You build a product so I'm. Really big on I'm using e-commerce to, test things without spending a whole lot of money so often. Coined. The term that's often used is MVP. Or Minimum Viable Product, is the startup term that it's, kind of come out of Silicon Valley that's. A really good way to look at things it doesn't always apply if you're if you're in the design business and you want to build a beautiful design, product you've, probably got to have that, fairly. Well down the conceptual, part before people are going to go kind, of see what you're getting by. That so in they please great. For a lot of things that's not it's not an overall, umbrella term the. Challenge, is to build an audience and the way you build an audience these days is is. With social now social, is, seeing. As the panacea to all things and it's great if usually, well it's an enormous time, suck, and an, illusion if it's used badly, Instagram. Has been a platform of choice the last few years. I'm huge, fan of Instagram, it gets misused majority. Of time and it's probably it's probably I think not. Going downhill fast, but it's being invaded, by spam and box and stuff now and lots of people are putting, up regular post and I think with without much strategy or direction, so. To. Use an analogy a little bit or to use a kind of a personal story I've just I've got a cyber ice-cream business got a bunch of ice cream carts and I've just restored. This old vintage ice cream truck and, I was talking with rusting away in Queensland, and thought it was gonna be a quick restoration. And end, up being a 15-month, restoration, so my big joke is that we you know two years into a four-month restoration. Well. It did was with that truck was I knew, that we were going to use. I, wanted to bring a bunch of people on the journey with me to see one. The. Trials and tribulations of restoring, a truck so it was Grand Designs with four wheels and. What. I did were and whenever, I bring it up people like mr.. Whippy truck so I wanted to use so I started using Instagram, to show people the whole why, I bought this am I going through a midlife crisis. And. Showing. People the rust and insanity that comes with a really old deep but, I also want to show them images of great food trucks and interesting ice cream trucks around the world so I would I had my strategy when Instagram was to go the other thing was when, you put this old rusty truck you have got a lot of imagery used it'll get bored of saying different angles at the same truck so so many years if I needed funded imagery and I wanted to bring people along on that journey with me so what I would do would be. Predominantly. It would be one photo out of three would be me working on this truck and the people I've met and the trainees I'd come over there that. Looks on their face of giving appraisals, of what you're doing this is gonna be you know you're gonna be riding had a bit yeah loading had all the bills lighting, your cigarettes 100 all the bills of this concept but, um so. That the. Other thing was to show beautiful au citron citron, bands in Europe and and, that was a really effective strategy in terms of building this community where. People were really interested in they could see you're doing it so there's a bit of blood sweat and tears I was, talking to chill earlier we we were using, the old marketing term if you know people they will buy into a product story, before, they bind or product so I was building this story the.
Goal As part of the launch strategy for the track, was to, use. A crowdfunding, campaign so. I use IndieGoGo, possible. Or Kickstarter, to. As a, launch strategy so what we did was we grabbed, funding, I said we me. Crowd. Funded the last part of, last. Last, stage of it which was getting the truck painted, and the. Electrics, and the food and stuff so. What I did was we offered. Effectively. A pre-order, if you don't, have the truck come to your wedding instead of being twelve. Hundred and fifty dollars when we launched it's nine hundred and fifty dollars or nine five eight hundred dollars or whatever it was if you ought to join the crowdfunding campaign, so, crowdfunding, is a, great, way of building an audience before you put a product getting, feedback on, that right before you've spent, a whole lot of money building the thing that you think people want when, really, maybe they want something else, so. And then. The. Beautiful thing about crowdfunding. Is and and. That. Community, first. Mindsets. A community, before product. Is. That if, they really like what you're doing and, you've whet their appetite, they become the crowd that's standing outside the nightclub waiting, to go in so, I got we. Went a relatively, small campaign. The goal was ten grand or more of grand we raised 13, a half grand and, what they were were particularly. People pre-ordering, at a discount, lots, of fashion brands, are doing that right now we'll. Bring up a couple of those a little bit later on but. If you've got if, you can build an audience that, is legitimately. Into, what you're doing then, when you open your. Store or, you've got a product, in an early an early version of it they can give you feedback on it some of the feedbacks valuable, some that's people, being picky in some bits people saying. Something that they wouldn't actually do, they, want, this feature team get something, you've still got to put it through a filter but. I'm really big on building an audience before hands, and audience, the sexy part of audiences is instant, Facebook and Pinterest depending on what space you're in the. Non the not so sexy but probably the diesel engine of that space is building an email database one. Of the questions I always ask people is how big your list if, you haven't got a list then you need to build one, emails. Are harder. To get to open them lots. Of people have Gmail addresses are they running businesses. On G, on Gmail's, platform, it's, got the social and promotions, tab which which a lot of people now mean that there's less emails opened it's, still, a far, more effective.
Strategy. In used, in conjunction with, just, then just social but. So people choose, to open a bunch of their promotional. Their sales emails, or whatever they might be as. A group so, building. An audience getting people engaged in it people want to see that you are hands-on, especially if you are lots. Of brands that I've known. And watch down here especially. My friends are some I make over long period of time the, person behind the card table is the person that's pulling those. Reg, out of the ground that's carving, that wood that's hitting, that leather that's sawing that bag and so make, sure people know that and make, sure people know every aspect of that and a. Lot. Of social is really pretty pictures and pretty. Does work the cleaner the photo the better the photo it's great if, you can intersperse, some, beautiful imagery, that definitely, is there to capture along with you doing some. Grinding, work, then. You've. Got that nice mix of, all. The words that get overuse authenticity. Being. Genuine, so, that would be my advice about. My. First can I reverse back to just. Interested, with. I do give the crowdfunding campaign and how you can link that into e-commerce, great. For. An. Emerging business but, how how, would an existing, business be, able to use crowdfunding, so. Kickstarter. Is the most famous of the. Platforms. And what, you see now is companies, that are running two and three key set of campaigns, so. They are it's a kind of a quasi zone Kickstarter. Have. Indicated, that in some sort of don't like it they like we're not a lot, of place you'd buy from with a pace place, that dreams, get funded on but. What you're seeing is especially. Brands in the u.s. clothing, brands are they're. Running their intricate plan a Kickstarter. Campaign and they've got a crowd of people they might have. 15,000. People that, or, at various levels pledge, levels and then, a year later they've got a different range that, they want to bring out and they going back to their people going hey we're, gonna offer it to you first I'm gonna use starter.
As Almost just our e-commerce engine. The, beautiful thing about Kickstarter, is it can generate buzz so you get to media coming into play there as well so, you're seeing if you, can in. If you're an established business if, you go hey we're, bringing a new product to market you, might know us especially, if you've got a new product which is a bit off-broadway compared. To what you might have done in the past if you're a jackets business or something you want to bring in a range of shoes then. Summer. Or IndieGoGo, or one of the platforms, is a really good way to go hey we. Know and love you guys we, want to get some feedback on this and because of that we're. Gonna give you a discount or something else doesn't, actually have to be gonna get something, else from us if you're an early order, or other so, it's a little bit of finding. A way to manipulates, the wrong word but finding a way to, cultivate. Your existing, audience and maybe even potentially. Reposition, yourself or, let them see you in a different way so. Think. Of a childhood, actor, think of Nicky. Webster the little the kid with the red hair that some song deal hit this in the Olympics, every. Child would sing an actor at some point grows up and they'd get a big voice or they, you, know they don't look like little kids anymore I've, got to reinvent themselves and it's really hard to do because you're known for one thing so. Using. Some of these platforms to. Go hey, we're, this brand but we also do these things i'll it's a way of one attracting some new people and having your. Existing crowd singing on a different way because it's not on your website, you give me a different reason to go there that's, one example, but. I'm really big huge. Fan of crowdfunding, and you're seeing the next stage, of crowdfunding which is about to become legal in australia was called equity programs, so. Instead of sort of going to the. Three explains Paul's and family for some kind of funding you potentially. Would go to high net worth individuals, do you want to give me a hundred grand to invest in expansion. Of this business the. Other one was to go and get you know a venture capital can. You give us five million dollars to do this and this and this what, you're saying now I've got a friend in on the Gold Coast he's got a brewery it's called black hops three, guys they crowdfunded, the initial stage of the brewery and now, they're going through a Craddock equity.
Campaign. That this is the term where, you, can in you can. Contribute. Or invest 50, grand into. This business and there's different layers, of it and you are a shareholder and the, reason it's taken a while to become legal in Australia is because the, stock exchanges, you had to figure out how they're gonna do it where it can't be scanned and it fits into chair, market reports but that's one example of, crowdfunding. Is taking on many forms so crowd equity is already around me in the UK. It's. Had some issues in the US with the new president doesn't really want to know about and is kind of mixed some, of the pre some, of Obama's, administration's. Laws of it but it will come back into play so. If you can make your if, you, can make your customer, base a. Funder. Of the expansion, of your business or a new line of your business then everyone wins they feel more part of it I help. Them I bought. That on the early route I saw that it's a bit like saying I saw that band before they play the big stadium, where it's and it's, dinner party conversation people, lots. Of people have big. Serious jobs where they wear grey suits and they don't know people like it but it pays really well they. Are really interested in having a dinner party story, i io nur share this little brewery Ayana share this little company that does this and. That's that's, gonna grow and grow and grow. Let's. Change the tack a little bit I. Want. To talk about. SEO. Backwards. Right. So. But. More. And more I see, how important, is that people actually don't. Put the blinkers on and realize, the. Importance particularly, of, SEO. When it comes to. Developing. Your online presence. So. Is. He always in tackle. Them or tackle them separately we'll go through SEO and, then we'll get to. To Edwards. Ranking. For, things is important. It. Is placed, its. People. Place too much important in it so, I, think the. Best way to the, best way for people is, to, get. Their house in order so, that when you get lots of people coming to your house they, like what they see often. People do it asks about face where they get lots of traffic coming, to a site that either isn't, the site they expected, or it's difficult to use so. It's, a little bit of the same thing it's chicken-and-egg unique both of them to be to, be done well SEO. Is is. Tricky. To, get advice on because it's a bit it's still a bit of a cowboy industry, and there's lots of smoke and mirrors out there, google. Resets. The playing field every, six months on average at the moment and things, that worked in the past don't seem to work as well there's. Lots of sketchy things you could do to cheat and link, farms, and creating, lots of fake sites that would link back to you the, best thing to do with SEO is is. Have your site, structured quite well. In. Terms of product catalogs. Shopify. Does a pretty good job with that WooCommerce. As an add-on to WordPress. Does a really good job of that Magento. Is a little bit trickier but it does, Genta. You copy, another site a lot of platform you're gonna build on yourself but. You. Getting. Your architecture, right is key, think of it as a house you don't reveal the house on quicksand, and if you're gonna build a three-story house then. Make, sure your foundations, can handle it even if you're only going to do the first story then the second so if you have a really big product catalogues but you initially you know open with 100, products but your intention is to have 20,000, of them in a year, make, sure your architecture, is good so that when the Google spiders come, in they can get all the way through that I don't get stopped. Let. Me talk about platforms later, but, so there are some good platforms to use for e-commerce. Shopify. The easy to get started. Magento. If you are getting online and you've got a big catalog. Shopify. Classes for big cat loves as well but it's a bit more expensive. Let's. Say 10,000, SKUs. Boys. Shopify. Is quite for product, catalogs under about 500, and then it depends, on how, they're broken up it gets a little bit technical now, but. Shopify. Is a great, starting, point and it's. Easy to get bowling there it's all a big spanner but it used to have some SEO issues each to duplicate, its product catalog and Google. Didn't like that but that saw the whole bunch of that stuff out and they're updating.
It Really really regularly would. Commerce is, a different, structure you don't pay per month with WooCommerce that's, now owned by the guys that started WordPress you, buy your plugins, out right and. I'll plugins, in confusing term or kind of going though they're the little bits that make stuff work and then a little bits that make things discipline, well on your sites we'll go into that a little bit further right start, doing some site reviews so. Big. Commerce is another, good platform the, bad platforms, for e-commerce as. Opposed to blogging or having it having, a personal. Site don't ever go near Wix just. Don't go near weeks it's. A it's a black box you, can't you won't be able to grow with it none. Of the search, engines, Google. In Australia if you're doing stuff in the u.s. being still got some being in Yahoo still have some credibility, and and, volume there that you can't get in so Wix. Is meant for a university. Student coming out of uni that wants to put this, online, that's all it's meant for their, ads would tell you something different Squarespace. It's. Great if you're an architect great, for something fashion it's got some clunky, ecommerce, plugins, if you're serious about e-commerce do you want them to be beep are your business then. Squarespace, isn't the space for you if. You've got a book, you want to sell and a, t-shirt, or something as an add-on to a service, business that's fine but, if you're looking to scale then. If you're on it get off it but yeah in due course, Shopify. WooCommerce. Magento, would be the big three there are there are others but they're the ones they're, the Toyota. All. Right SEO. Get. Your architecture right so make sure you you get your developer, or. You really if you're doing it yourself in the early days of Shopify, read enough from the Shopify blog which is just a phenomenal resource and you'll link off there to find other resources about. You need to put, in play, general, read it's got some really good SEO I've heard that into. So. Content. Marketing is really. What SEO is all about more writing, regular. Posts, about, the. Business, the brand the, how-to if. You've got something that's new to market you've got to show people how to use it a regular post can be a bunch of words and a video it can be it, can be some imagery I'm. Really big on kind of a triple use of content so if, you think of it like cricket, there, is the for a test match there, is a one-day, game and there is the 2020, that's. A bit, of content you can use for 2020, once an Instagram post or. A Facebook post the. One day can be a long blog post and be part of your email newsletter, which. Again is linking back to your site and, then the lung the, the. Four day stuff might be you. Know a really big post, that's in multi. Sections, that. You're you, know potentially, taking people through a kind of a journey on that it's. Too big to, carry right into one area you see you see lots of that so. Google. Loves regular content there it likes a bunch of things it likes fast loading sites if you're if your page load speed is, slow. Google. Is not going to like you and, the reason is something like it was it frustrates your customers. Next. Year that Google that really announced what they're gonna do for obvious, reasons but they already. Indicated, that they're going to penalize people for, slow. Page load speeds on mobile, and. They're also going to be particularly, on for me to email. Pop-up, boxes. That, appear, on a bunch of sites you go to the. Ones that overtake, a mobile, screen particularly, so, that they're, okay I think I think, they're gonna clamp. Down sometime, in the future around, pop-ups. For various reasons but for the moment they're okay just make sure on mobile they can still exit, if they don't want to take, TV screen in frustrates people, and. That's that's a sitting order picking another another. Plug-in to use for that for that email there might, pop up email lightbox at the same thing different name, so. Yeah right. Lots of posts, don't, get fixated on don't. Get fixated on I've got a I've, gotta get links in from small, small. Sites Authority, sites like, got.
My Traveler or the, New York Times or, Fairfax, or whatever it might be those links are quite valuable to get, them if you can lots, of those media, companies, are in real trouble they might give you the links they used to back in my day it, was really easy to get smart, company and bunch. Of them to link. Back to you now but, I want you going away because they need those eyeballs there they. Way the back-and-forth links are valuable writing good content is the best thing you can do SEO. Is becoming, content, marketing, and. A lot of the SEO guys I've got a friend it's got a big SEO company in Melbourne he's, bored pay our company basically, he's bought the PR company and he's, bought a whole bunch of unemployed, Fairfax, age, journals, and half. Of the SEO they do is writing articles there's. Lots, of the strong would have time to do it so, what will happen is they'll, become super the CEO of the company I've interviewed them they'll write the guts of the article then. They'll go back and go have we got this stuff actually correct, for our brand our business our industry and that's how you seem content, marketing is exactly what. It. Is so Edwards. Edwards. And SEO people, get really caught up in ranking for things know what your ranking for ranking. For your business's name is kind, of an ego play ranking. For things in certain categories is what you need to be able to. Just. A quick hack that quick tip is. Search. For the stuff you want to search for around, your business or brand your products. On. A laptop that you're not using all the time on your phone because Google knows it's you even. When you reset. Your cache. Clear. Your history it's. Still going to put you brush, you higher up the tree then you really would - when you go to your friend's house, search. On those things such out-of-country when you're on all those in Bali to. Get a true representation. Of what those things are. How, you competitors, are doing don't. Copy. I mean don't copy you can pair this just for the sake of copying, them even if every earlier half of them don't know what they're doing either so you're just wasting money throwing Edwards money things that they're wasting money throwing Edwards money yet that, happens a lot like I swear that's a quarter of Google's business.
So One. Of the things that's a really emerging trend with SEO in the u.s. is especially. In the makeup kind of lotions and potions businesses, is people. Not searching for brands as much anymore. But. They are searching for key ingredients. So an example of that is if, you are selling into the Fitz Bo health and wellness space things like Chimerica. Has exploded generics, now in coffee it's in bodybuilders. Big shakes so people are searching for generic, and then. Coffee. And they're. Not searching for the. Way like they're not searching for health shake or something, on those lines so. One. Of the tips if you look if you've got a key ingredient of a food based product, or if you've got an. Unusual, thread. Where, you're staying to see that get mentioned in, green. Or eco blogs, or whatever it might be do. Your best to me mentioning, those things in your, posts, so that you can you actually rank. For, the, key ingredient, or the key composition, of that product. The. Other thing around around, writing trynna. We. All do it but don't, write, as a robot don't. List every keyword you can so, it looks, like you. Know you're you're engaging. Blog. Post has been written by a bot. Mentioned. A few times you don't. Don't, do any the google, smart enough to know these, things so run Locker came and make it engaging, the. Ultimate thing is people have gotta want what, you've got it so. They're gonna search food they know your brain if it's a discovery process they're. Probably gonna discover you somewhere through social, with. A big something, that's coming through a Facebook feed so Google. And EC are important, but but being, having. People the discovery process is different to what it used to be so. It's not SEO, is not the panacea and. I still think it's a place too, much weight, sure SEO. Thanks. Shortly. We're going to. Share. Some live, sites which. I think is going to be really valuable to everyone but. Before, we launch into that. What. I'd, be like the three most. Common mistakes. Okay. So the the biggest e-commerce. Mistake. Far and away is lack, of social, proof on your, website so social proof is. Testimonials. Or reviews. People. Buy, things that people like them buy so. They want to see. Reviews. From people like them it's really simple so, having.
A, Testimonials. And or, an reviews page whatever you call it and I suggest calling at different places different things in different places of your website having that down in your footer, so. That began. Google searchable from an SEO perspective having, it in your never, navigation, bar the tab across the top having. One. Great, review, a short one that's one since, sprinkled. On your contact page sprinkled. On your homepage across, the top bar and then, having reviews, on your product pages is key so, you want to you want to when when. People get to the site the other you have a big mistake is wasted, real said on your homepage. When. People come to your site they, make a decision where they're going to stay there in the first three seconds. So. It. Doesn't matter how good the rest of your site is if people at first glance go, on, plays you've. Lost the game already so, think of think, of your your, website is is your, the window of your store if I'm walking up the street I don't know in, a town that no and I see we know that it grabs me then, that pulls me inside. Often. You're here it in job interviews people right people, right and they see these in application, form to get a job no. No you write your CV an application, form to get an interview to get into the office so the. Goal of your, site it needs to look aesthetically. Pleasing when. I first arrived there to make me hang around long enough to start wandering. Through your site and seeing what's there so. One. That means beautiful photography. If. You are a new, brand and, you. You put up you've put a Shopify, side up yourself and you, you've used one of the Shopify themes. By. A theme don't get a free one the, free ones are bug-ridden, and not, as good from an SEO perspective pay, their forty five seventy-five dollars and buy a theme it'll be better, for you in the long run, photography. Is your best friend because. If they if they come and they see something. That's beautiful fantastic. Hero image picture, of you and your product a picture. Of people humans with using, your product that's gonna keep them there long enough to find out so it's it's, stages. Of discovery, if you like that's. Why saying SEO is great but if you if you've dragged, a whole bunch of traffic to a site and your site doesn't look great or it's hard to use you've wasted that money or that time and getting them there so it is a bit it's a bit cart before the horse, so. Social. Proof testimonials. And reviews on. Your product pages but sprinkled, throughout the site's almost. Like. Those. Irritating, quotes you see all over Instagram, those. Kind of in spoke words. I. Think. Opening still might be longer than you imagine anyway, think of them but they still grab you in and so they're still effectively, solid, if I see one more Friday, it's. On for young and old, but. If you think of putting with a mean spoke close as a, review, I, love. Digital dandy, she's the best it's terrible, but you would go Jin's, helped my business go from X to X having. That quote yes, it's gonna be on a testimonials, page with a whole bunch of them but put that on your homepage somewhere, but design. That in that. Looks fantastic seconds, and that's know so. Yeah so. So. So, that's another form of social providers they're having if you ping if you've got awards if you've got media if you've been featured, in X or seen on all of that stuff put, it down the bottom of put it down the bottom of your page and we'll show we, shall site there's a there's a business called hunting for George which I'm like one of my favorite online retailers, they, they're, the best I know of doing that they, just intersperse. It where it doesn't look like, it's. Almost like MasterChef, instead of having the ad for, the saucepan in the commercial break the ad for the saucepan is in the show. We, all know that's there if you can intersperse, the, testimonials, throughout. Your site as opposed to just having our testimonials, page that's.
The Wing so any, kind of media is great especially if it's, make. Sure it's live it's great media as opposed to we. Were the. We won the fifth prize at the X amount of yeah not. So much probably doing yourself more damage so. Photography. Social. Proof and then. Getting. Getting someone else know gets to review your site the, how and. When I say review I mean get a friend to go through and purchase, something from your site and. It's really hard to stand behind them and do that because they're gonna act and it's the Hawthorne effect if someone knows the thing what I like differently than if they were doing it themselves but. Seeing someone other than you that's using us all the time see the way they actually navigate. To the site where, they go can they find things can they not if. You do those three things you're, way ahead of the game. Sure like there's a whole lot of things for you but what we're seeing now is lots of Shopify, sites where they've. Built the start a Lego pack and then they've build all these other Lego packs they're just putting, more things on this everything's, there and none of its designed particularly well throwing. Extra plugins and, throwing this, thing was bought five minutes ago by Joe in you anvil having, Alessi pop up in your face if. They're Oh if they're ruining the shopping, experience, then. They're probably having, the reverse effect of what you put them on therefore. So.