#11 Better Customer Connections For Your Online Store: For Planet & Profit

In this episode, we are re-uploading an event we did in the community. This is an event we hosted in January: 2021-with Okendo, which is a customer review app for Shopify stores, and Brave the Skies & Reverie The Boutique. This event is all about how online stores can create better connections with their customers. We talk about user generated content, influencer marketing, customer reviews and email marketing as well and how you can combine all of those together to create the perfect strategy to connect with your customers on another level. In particular, we talk about this from a perspective of a small brand with not such a big budget.
Find us: 
Where to find Scott Goodman:

Scott Goodman - Email: scott.goodman@okendo.io

Where to find Rachel Tyers:

Rachel Tyers - Email: rachel.tyers@okendo.io

Krissie Leyland  0:00  

Hello, and welcome to The MindfulCommerce Podcast, a place where we talk to ecommerce brands and service providers and developers who care about protecting our planet. I'm Krissie.

Rich Bunker  0:11  

And I'm Rich, and we're your hosts. This podcast is an extension of the MindfulCommerce Community.

Krissie Leyland  0:18  

The MindfulCommerce Community is a safe place for ecommerce brands and experts to connect, collaborate and explore opportunities to work together to unleash the power of ecommerce as a force for good.

Rich Bunker  0:30  

You can join by going to mindfulcommerce.io and by clicking 'Community'. See you there!

Krissie Leyland  0:36  

Hello, and welcome to a brand new series of The MindfulCommerce Podcast! So this is going to be slightly different. We are re-uploading or uploading events that we have done in the community. And today, this is an event we did in January-so the beginning of this year: 2021-with Okendo, which is a customer review app for Shopify stores, and Brave the Skies & Reverie The Boutique.

So we spoke to Scott, just to get a little intro into what how Okendo came about. And if you would like to hear more information about Reverie The Boutique, Lucy's brand and Brave the Skies, which is a Shopify Plus agency that she is MD for, then you can head to episode number four. There, we talk about the intersection between ecommerce and sustainability.

Anyway, let's get to the event then. So this is all about how online stores can create better connections with their customers. We talk about user generated content, influencer marketing, reviews, obviously with Okendo and email marketing as well and how you can combine all of those together to create the perfect strategy to connect with your customers on another level. In particular, we talk about this from a perspective of a small brand with not such a big budget. So hopefully, this will really help you to create your new strategy for the year going forward. Yeah, so we hope you enjoy. If you like it, please subscribe. Join the community so that you can be aware of these events and join them as they are actually happening live and you can ask your own questions! So let's now go and speak to Scott:

Scott Goodman  2:43  

Hey, guys, so I'm Scott, I'm Okendo's, APAC and EU/UK market lead. I've been tasked to kind of give you some background into Okendo's fruition. What's our story? How did we come about? So Okendo is a Sydney-founded tech startup. The idea or concept that started the journey was actually to do video reviews. Now obviously, we have evolved a lot since that concept. But at that time, text reviews was the standard, there was nothing else. So we saw an avenue to do video reviews. And now you know, we're in 2021 and we do text, we do video, we do photos, we do q&a and we integrate with a wealth of different Shopify partner partners out there, cross loyalty, email, subscription, those types of things.

So we now services over 3000 customers for Shopify plus partner. And we have some of the world's biggest brands on our on our platform, so it's a super exciting time. We, strength to strength, growth to growth, milestone to milestone: everything changes every day. But with all these positive changes, we do need to be wary of the effect that we're having on the earth. So we need to support sustainable culture, support sustainable brands and we are definitely seeing a very, very positive trend of this with merchants using Okendo. We have some amazing brands who very much pioneered this and we're very happy to support them.

So I've been tasked to kind of speak to two different tips on how sustainable brands can use Okendo and facilitate that review capture. So the first one is actually a fantastic initiative, which a brand called Urth (formerly Gobe) is Australian camera gear manufacturer. What they do is: they run loyalty line. Basically, with every review that they capture, you get loyalty points. And then what they were doing is they would assign X amount of loyalty points equals planting three trees. So for every review that we were getting, my goal was was giving back to the community, giving back to the earth and planting trees. I I think that is absolutely fantastic. You know, it doesn't pigeonhole you to just doing trees. It can be given back to charities, it can be whatever you'd like, but that's a super easy way to give back and a super easy way for all your customers to be involved. I think that's fantastic.

The second idea, which I see brands doing, and the one that I want to speak about is quite Activated Eco, another Australian brand. Kudos to them down in Victoria. But basically, their pioneering product is stainless steel pegs. Super simple, but game changing. No longer are they breaking plastic pegs... The sun damage, having to repurchase them every six months. You buy once, you have them for the rest of your life. So what they're doing is they're collecting that content of photos of just clothes hanging up, but it's people's everyday experiences. And they're using that for retargeting ads across social media organic posts. And it's showcasing their five star experience with some personal UGC content. And that's going a long, long way, in showcasing the use case scenario for that product. It's a no brainer, right? But also showcasing real experiences with that product. So it's doing incredibly well for them. We're big supporters of both those brands and we do have many more brands doing different things out there like that. Thanks!

Krissie Leyland  6:24  

Thank you so much, Scott. That was great, really interesting to hear how sustainable brands are using Okendo to their advantage and also for the planet. So thank you so much. Okay, now we are going to go straight into the event.

Welcome, everybody and thank you very much for coming. I'm Krissie and I am one of the two cofounders from MindfulCommerce. Rich couldn't attend but he said hi. MindfulCommerce is a community of ecommerce brands, service providers and developers who share a common goal. And that goal is to make ecommerce more sustainable and positively impactful. So we have a Facebook group, a Slack channel and an expert directory. And some of you are already in the community and it's great to see you! Kat is our marketing whiz and she's going to be co hosting with me today. This event is casual, relaxed and collaborative. It's a nice conversation between nice people. If you want to unmute then unmute, and say whatever within reason and there will be some time for q&a at the end. Over to you Kat.

Cat Hunter  7:35  

Okay, thank you so much Krissie. So, as she said, I'm Cat! I help out with marketing some stuff for MindfulCommerce something I'm super happy to be involved with. I'm absolutely loving everything that I'm seeing in the community at the moment and how it's growing, especially kind of in the in the wake of the crazy year that was 2020. There's been like a huge growth in interest in this. So it's been really lovely to see the community kind of really growing legs and taking off. Just to give you a little bit about my background, I'm actually ex Shopify, so I worked on the partner programme at Shopify for three years, and ran lots of their events for them. I got super into the world of ecommerce and then eventually decided to go freelance as a copywriter and content creator, but I'm still very much working within the realms of ecommerce and SaaS. So that's my bag, but obviously really interested in sustainability and making the industry as green as possible too.

So without further ado, we will introduce our amazing panellists. Today, we're super duper happy to have them join us for this event. So first of all, we'll say hello to Lucy. So Lucy is not only the MD of a Shopify Plus agency called Brave the Skies, who are on a mission to create, launch and grow online stores with their expert crew of very skilled designers, marketers and developers, but she's also the founder of an online boutique called Reverie, which is a really luxurious, sustainable vegan brand. We really recommend checking them out if you haven't already. Krissie is repping some of the jewellery today, very subtly. So she really knows her stuff when it comes to creating these customer connections and ecommerce and most importantly within the sustainable ecommerce space.

Also joining us today we have Rachel from Okendo. Hi Rachel! Rachel is VP of partnerships at Okendo. And we're incredibly grateful that she's joined us because it's very early in the morning, where she is. Okendo, as you all know, is a customer view app for Shopify stores but it's more than just a customer review app to us that MindfulCommerce. We think they have like a sort of secret superpower for sustainability and fighting climate change. Because Okendo not only creates great customer connections through reviews and some fantastic integrations which Rachel will talk about, they also help tackle one of the biggest issues in ecommerce when it comes to carbon emissions, which is returns.

Gerry McGovern gave us a crazy stat the other day that it will take 1.5 billion trees to be planted to deal with the annual ecommerce returns in the US alone, in terms of carbon emissions. So reducing the number of returns is making ecommerce more sustainable. By having that user generated content, those reviews embedded in your site, people are able to make better choices, more informed choices about the the items that they're buying and hopefully this leads to fewer returns! Okendo is used by some really great sustainable brands like Finisterre, and WAG. They enable customers to show how the products really are. You know, how they fit into their life, helping people buy the right thing the first time.

This event today, it's the first event of the of the year for MindfulCommerce. The first of many, we're hoping. We're going to be running these throughout the year. And they are very much a community focused event, we want to make sure that we are providing you guys with the content that you're looking for. With regard to that, when we set about trying to set up this first January event, we polled the community in the Facebook group, which you should all be, hopefully lovely active members of. Loud and clear, you told us that what you wanted to hear about was customer connections. We kind of had a sneaking suspicion that the topic might be something kind of along those lines, because we've been talking about this quite a lot behind the scenes, and customer connection really matters more in 2021 than it ever has before. I think the pandemic has really accelerated ecommerce.

You may have seen some stats laying around that ecommerce has grown more in the it's basically had like five years growth in one year, in terms of how it has been accelerated by the demands placed upon it by the pandemic. And customer expectations have also kind of been accelerated in line with that. So, it's a really great area to invest your time and resources in, in terms of creating those lasting more authentic, deeper connections with your customers. We all know that retention is more cost effective than acquisition. And loyal, engaged customers are generating higher rate of ease and have better purchase purchase latency status, etc. So all in all, brands are looking to really create those deeper, more reliable connections with their customers going forward into this year.

So yeah, great topic. Thanks for choosing it, guys! And once again, we are super, super honoured to have Rachel joining us to talk about customer connection from their own experiences. So without further ado, I will pass over to Krissie, who I think is going to kick us off with a few questions. And we will have questions for a while and then we will take Q&A from the floor. Over to Krissie.

Krissie Leyland  12:47  

Thank you so much, Cat. That was awesome. And so Rachel, can you tell us about like some more about Okendo and how customers can leverage the tool to create better customer connections?

Rachel Tyers  13:01  

Yeah, sure. So Okendo is a Shopify specific customer marketing platform. We work with about 2000, fast growing DTC brands. And we're really focused on helping them in their marketing across the board. So not just reviews, but how can we leverage your social proof to improve each area of your business or all the channels that you're marketing from? So I think a really important thing is that we know reviews increased conversion on site. Partly all of us on this group chat look at reviews before purchasing and product. The stat is 93% of people will read reviews before they purchase something and it's just showing you that there's credibility there because you've got that social proof. "Okay, these people like this product, so I probably will too!" It really puts our minds at ease when we're used to going into a retail store and maybe looking at some clothing, trying it on... having that self experience, which we can't have anymore, unless we're purchasing a product with the intention of maybe returning it later, which of course we don't want to do: Not sustainable, we don't want those carbon emissions. So by reading other people's feedback, we're able to sort of simulate that experience. But beyond that, it allows you to sort of create these connections with your audience. With a lot of brands that we work with, we see them using reviews as a tool to leverage to actually speak directly to your customer and allow your customer to speak back to you.

We work with a company called Wanderer Bracelets. They are a sustainable brands that employs Balinese artists to make these custom bracelets. They pay the Balinese artists a fair wage that allows them to support their family. So reading through these reviews, it's so interesting to me because I'm able to connect with the person and their reviews. So this lady Tiffany, she ordered them for her girls, and her friend bought this anklet for the boys, for the preschool that they went to. They're all best friends. So all of a sudden, I'm having this deeper connection with the brand and with the product when I'm able to submit and let them know why I bought the product and how I feel about it. And then me as a reader or us reading together, we're able to see how personal and how beautiful the stories are there. So it's really helping to build out those connections that we're feeling with the brains.

Krissie Leyland  15:45  

Okay, great. So it's all about showing what your current customers think of your products. And then how does that help you to connect with new customers, for example?

Rachel Tyers  15:58  

So you can use those UGC, so these are generated content or the review content in your marketing as well. So you can push the star ratings through to Google product listing ads, and there, we know that if your Google Shopping ad has stars on the bottom, people are going to be more likely to click through than if it doesn't. So that can help draw more customers in. Or you can also leverage the user generated photo or video content for your other marketing campaigns. So in my decade of experience in Facebook media buying before I moved into partnership, the highest converting ad creative was always the scrappy UGC. So I put together UGC video, taking little sound bites are people saying how they love the product, how they use the product, what they think of it... And then you chop that together to make this really kind of like scrappy, bit short, sharp and entertaining. user generated content mashed-up clip. When you're using that across Facebook, or Instagram marketing, it often feels more real, more believable and more compelling. It's more natural in the setting that you're showing it because we're used to having our friends like talking to the camera, or the celebrities that we follow whatever it is, kind of scrappy. So if we're presenting something back that feels natural on that platform, sometimes it gets more attention. Because it feels real, you're also more likely to be building that the credibility and the trust side of things.

Krissie Leyland  17:36  

Yeah, definitely. I think I'm the kind of person who say, for example, I'm on an online store and I've seen a product that I quite like, I'll always go to something like Instagram, and look for real life people that are wearing that product orusing that product. Kind of putting myself in that person's shoes, or the item that I'm looking at and just thinking, "how do I relate to this person? And are they you know, a similar type of person? What are they doing? Are they outdoors?" Which is the kind of person I am, I like to be outdoors. So I'll relate to it more and and probably want to buy it if I can see someone in real life using it. So that makes a lot of sense. And so with Okendo, and I'm pretty sure you work with another app, which helps with that. Can you talk a bit about that one?

Rachel Tyers  18:35  

Sure. We work really well alongside Foursixty. They are a UGC platform that allows you to curate images that you're tagged in on Instagram and show those on your site. There are all of these images that people have tagged on Instagram, and then you're able to go in, and you can actually shop that product from within the image. And then you've got the Okendo five star ratings being pulled through here to add that little bit of social proof. So it's pretty nice to be able to use those together really compelling, you can put it anywhere on your site. Then of course, you as a brand own any of the imagery or any of the contents committed via Foursixty or via Okendo. So you can use it to leverage your products across all the marketing campaigns too.

Krissie Leyland  19:39  

That's really cool. I'm just thinking about like, people in the audience and the businesses that they've got and that sounds really great. But with the user generated content, sorry I'm still talking about that... Can you kind of say if someone's tagged you in something you're not very happy with, and you're like my my target audience won't relate to that, can you not accept it?

Rachel Tyers  20:04  

Yeah, absolutely. So on the Okendo site, you might get a review that has an image alongside it and really love their review, you love the story in it or it's just great content but this image maybe isn't on brand. It's super easy for you to hide that image and then publish the review. You can also set up automations in the back end so that all of your four or five star reviews that have positive sentiment get automatically published, so it's one less thing for you to do. But maybe if it's a four or five star review with a photo, it doesn't get automatically published so you have control to really maintain that brand image. The same thing for Foursixty on that UGC side: you curate everything in the back end, before it goes live on your site. So there are no mishaps of someone showing their new underwear that maybe isn't strictly on brand for you.

Krissie Leyland  20:59

Yeah you don't want that... [ laughs ] Lucy, I have a question for you related to UGC. I think you are a big fan of micro-influencers. So do you want to talk about that and introduce and what you're up to?

Lucy Roberts  21:20  

Yeah, for sure. I think I absolutely love the whole concept of user generated content. I think it's so smart. I think there are some brands who just use it so so well. A personal favourite of mine, and I think Rachel's probably heard of them as well as they're an Australian brand, is Spell and the Gypsy. I'm not quite sure how many people on the call have heard of them. But if you haven't, like please go and look at their Instagram page on our website, immediately. They do UGC so well. A feature that I really love on their product pages is you know how at the bottom of your standard econ product page, you'll have, "you may also like" and they also have a little bit where you can toggle to like "as seen on Insta". And it's really that thing that Krissie was talking about just there, which is you can see the product that you're looking at, in a real life situation. So it's not just on a 5'11", size 8 model. I'm 5'3.5" and like a solid size 8 or 10 so that's really not relevant to me. But having those micro-influencers, who really become more like brand ambassadors for you, as opposed to kind of having that influencer tag associated to them. They're uploading their content, they're sharing it, they love the brand. And it really becomes like more of a cult following, which I think a lot of Australian brands do really well.

So I used to work for a brand called Cinnamon. And there was this insane cult following around the brand like people couldn't get enough of it. There's a few brands that we're working with, at the moment at Brave the Skies, which is the agency which I run. So for example, Rixo, Kitri and Les Girls Les Boys have this really interactive conversation with their customers, except that Les Girls Les Boys are actually using their customer base to cast for the upcoming campaign that the basically the tagline is "Show us your underwear." This is a really weird concept, but it works for them. Their tagline is "bed to street". The idea is that you wear oversized pyjamas and you wear their pyjamas shirt tucked into your leggings. And then you go to the shops like that. Stuff is amazing quality, the brand is really cool. But all of their customers, especially once you have really active social profiles, so specifically your Gen Z & Millennials have this really interesting opportunity to become micro-influencers or almost brand ambassadors. I could talk about this all day, so I'm probably gonna let someone else talk.

Krissie Leyland  24:00  

I was gonna ask how can a brand do this? They're like "Right, that sounds great. I want to find some micro-influencers, and I want to generate some user generated content." How can they find the right people to create these great customer connections that they can relate to?

Lucy Roberts  24:18

I think if I could answer that one from more of a Reverie standpoint, which is the brand which I started a couple of months ago, I've actually got these little cards I'm just gonna reach behind my computer. Don't mind me guys, sorry. All of the orders that I send out have little "Thank you" cards. I don't know if you guys can see... Krissie, you've seen a few of these but essentially on it, it says "Thank you so much. We sincerely hope you enjoy your purchase from Reverie. Please tag us on Instagram with our hashtag and our handles so we can follow your daydream too!" The whole messaging of the brand, Reverie is a fanciful state of musing or a daydream. So we've only built on this.

I say we because it's myself, my fiance, he's definitely a really big part of like building the brand. It's all about involving people in this concept of the daydream. So a lot of the brand messaging on Instagram and email is very much about letters, follow your Daydream come and join our Daydream. It's really conversational.

And I find that when you're really authentic about your brand, and you really kind of back yourself, and we do this with Brave the Skies as well. We have a really heavy space-themed brand with the agency, people really respond well to that. If you really back your own brand, people naturally want to buy into it and get involved. I think I've been really lucky with the kind of brand messaging across social channels like Facebook and Instagram, mainly. It seems to attract some really wonderful people who have really similar values, who really like the brand aesthetic, who naturally want to be part of the conversation and support a small business. And especially when you send a really nice order out with a really cute little card. I always write a handwritten message on the back to say, "This is one of my favourite products, too. I really hope you love it." It's genuine and it's nice for people to want to help and to want to share it and to spread the message. I suppose in a way your customers become your micro-influencers.

Krissie Leyland  26:20  

Yeah, it's amazing. Every time we... well, I've made a few orders on Reverie and also, my partner got me a really nice Christmas present from there, which is this one. Yeah, we both went, "Oh, look! It's handwritten." It's really nice. Like, it just connects to the brand. and the person behind the brands. You know, the necklace and jewellery is really nice but it's nice to know that there's a person there. And it's real and authentic. Yeah, I love it. I was going to ask about-Sorry, I am going to ask you another question-the conversation and how do you keep the conversation going from that lovely card over to social media? And which kind of, again, going back to the connections: How does it help with engagement and how do we continue the conversation?

Lucy Roberts  27:15  

Yeah, that's a really good question. I think for a lot of customers, the journey tends to start on social, especially when I think with Instagram's algorithm, for example, it changes all the time. I'm sure there's loads of you guys who are listening at the moment who have your own small page or small business that you're starting Instagrams algorithm can really trip us up, and it's super annoying. At the moment, I think it's based quite heavily on whether or not somebody saves your images. So, I tried to make a lot of the images quite save-friendly. So a really nice image that you might want to come back to later, like a nice shot of interiors. Everyone might notice how fantastic Rachel's background is... I've been lusting after this call. But I love sharing content that people find some kind of escapism in. And I think that that starts to build a bit of an aesthetic for your brand.

So I find that there's a lot of customers, who are always the ones who like everything on Instagram who comment on everything on Instagram and same with Facebook. And I always reply to everybody. The thing that I've said since day one: even if it's just an emoji, I want to reply to and acknowledge that it's there. Because I think a relationship where you're not just a faceless brand. There's actually someone behind it. A lot of people messaged me now and say, "Hey Lucy, when is this coming back into stock? I really like it." And when that kind of continues on to the website, for example, if somebody places an order, I've got a really good memory. It's one of my very few very strong skills, I'm really good at names. So I'll always remember if I see a name on an order, I'm like, I'm sure she's liked a couple of things on Instagram before I'll go back and check before I write the card.

And I've had this absolutely amazing woman who was the first person to follow me on Instagram who wasn't a family member or a friend. She's called Elizabeth, and I absolutely love her. She likes everything, she shares everything, she comments and everything, she always buys a candle. And I actually did a post on Instagram might have been last week or the week before. But it was really it was really authentic. I just wanted to kind of appreciate her and give her something back. She always sends messages from her Pinterest board that she thinks that I'd really liked for the Reverie feed. So I've kind of done a bit of a story and a Facebook post about how she was the first person who I didn't know who followed my page and how it's so nice that she's been there since day one. And just like celebrating that connection that I have with her... though I've never met her. Obviously, we've only ever messaged on Instagram, but somehow we've kind of built this amazing connection and almost a friendship, just through her engagement with the tone of voice that I'm using on Instagram.

There's been a couple of people like her. I think Instagram can get quite a bad rap for being quite toxic but I've had nothing but positive experiences through doing it for Reverie. Had an amazing call with a lovely girl in South Africa last Friday, we had a coffee. She's starting a brand &  we had a nice chat about it. I think the connections really come down to, as well as everything that Rachel has said, which is obviously so valuable about the reviews like collecting feedback, like simulating that in store experience. It's just for me, it's complete authenticity, and just having a really, really honest tone of voice and speaking to someone as though they're in the same room as you, I guess. Yeah, it's really long-winded answer again. I'm really sorry.

Krissie Leyland  30:49  

I love that though. It's almost like everyone here. Well, I've met Alice and Cat in real life, but everybody else I've probably never met you. But I feel like we know each other and it's really nice. Yeah, just wanted to say that.

Lucy Roberts  31:10  

You know, we love a good tag on Instagram. That was something that said "normalise girls messaging each other on Facebook and Instagram to be mates."

Krissie Leyland  31:22

Yeah, it's amazing. I love it. Especially at the moment, you know, crazy times. It's nice to be able to connect to people still online. Thank you internet. Me and Alice, we met in Portugal on a surf trip and now we're reconnecting over business, brands, ecommerce and how she built websites. It's just great. I love this. So Cat, do you want to ask some questions?

Cat Hunter  31:59  

Absolutely. I do. I was thinking from what you were saying, that idea about starting up conversations, about that two way flow that connection necessitates by its very, very nature. Obviously, it's so important that it's a two way street. I was just wondering, Rachel, perhaps you could tell us a bit more about how brands can ensure that they're getting that right. That idea of, of listening to customers, as well as kind of initiating that conversation... making sure that that connection is a two way flow?

Rachel Tyers  32:30  

Yeah, definitely. I think there are a few really great platforms and ideas you can have in your back pocket for that. And a way that Okendo allows you to connect with customers beyond the reviews is the Q&A section of the widget. So customers can actually directly ask you questions there, and you can respond to them. Another really good tool that we love working with is Gorgias. Gorgias allows you to collect any customer questions or concerns from multiple platforms, and then you have them all in one place where you can respond to them. So I think being able to offer really great customer service in that way, definitely helps you to grow your brand and create that bond with your audience, like Lucy mentioned.

Another good way to use customer feedback is by collecting information on your product, and actually implementing that in your product strategy. So we have a client: LSKD, an Australian streetwear brand that did just this. They were wanting to create the best leggings out there. I want to show what their widget looks like, actually. They used a few different slider bars on their widget to collect information around the product quality, the design and the sizing. So they actually went through many iterations of their product until they got to a level where almost all of these product slider bars were hitting excellent. And it was super important to them that they were listening to what the customer wanted, what they thought of the current product, and then continuing to build upon that. So through doing that, they'd be able to really gain that cult following. They have an incredible product now that people are coming back to buy again and every colour, which I think is always what you want as a brand. They were able to also create those bonds with the customers and they incentivize. So when somebody gave them product feedback and spent their valuable time to do so, they would offer a percentage of coupon for them on the site. So I think that has really allowed them to grow into the brand they are today.

Lucy Roberts  34:50  

I love that. I think that's so cool. I want those sliders. Can you talk about the sliders later, Rachel?

Cat Hunter  34:55  

I know, that's something I write about as, as a sort of technical content writer at the moment is audience segmentation and how that can be used. That's something that a lot of smaller brands want to get started with. They know that they could be using their audience data in a more informed & strategic way and really honing in on specific messaging for specific segments of their audience. Maybe they just haven't got it off the ground yet or they haven't started. But I'd love to hear maybe from either of you, if you have anything to say about audience segmentation, and what that can do to strengthen that one-to-one kind of connection that people feel with a brand.

Rachel Tyers  35:42  

Yeah, I'd love to jump in here, Lucy, and then hand over to you. So I think being able to segment allows us to create these stronger one-to-one connections, because I want to feel like a brand is talking to me about something that I'm interested in as something that affects me personally, rather than just "Hey, I'm one of your many 1000 customers, and I'm just another number." So a way that we allow our brands to do that through Okendo is through using our customer attributes to collect a bit of information on our audience and then we can sync that over into Klaviyo and use it in special ways.

I'll share my screen again to show an example. This is WAG, they are a dog treats company that's made with natural and sustainable ingredients. And they have been using our Klaviyo integration. So what that does is it allows you to sync all of this customer data into your Klaviyo or Omnisend customer data profile. Then we can segment out based on the dog breed, the dog age, and the eating habits. Then using those segments, WAG is able to recommend specific products that are going to be right for that dog for your pet. So using that segmentation strategy, they were actually able to increase the revenue per recipient by about 430% just by speaking to that customer.

Then another example here, we've got Herbivore who is a cruelty free and vegan brand that we work with. They actually collect information around skin type, and skin concerns. So you can imagine if I've got perhaps acne or dryness, and I get an email that in the copy says, "Hey! Help with dry skin" in the subject line, whatever it may be and it's something that actually relates to me or pertains to what I'm actually interested in solving, then I've got more likelihood of clicking through and converting for that product. It cuts through the noise and we know that our email tends to get clogged up with a lot of other noise. So if you're able to speak directly to that shopper, then you're more likely to build that connection there.

Cat Hunter  38:11  

Just speaking with my like content marketing hat on as well, that could be really interesting in terms of the way that you structure your content marketing too. Just knowing kind of which topics are going to land well, which ones to be promoting more to which segments, writing "buying guides" and things like that must be very helpful to know how your audience demographic is skewed across those different kind of attributes.

Rachel Tyers  38:35  

Right, absolutely. Lucy, do you have anything to add from the marketing strategy side on segmentation?

Lucy Roberts  38:43 

To be honest, I think I think you've pretty much covered it. From a kind of more of an established merchant perspective, something like Okendo, which is what Rachel's obviously talking about is amazing. Having that integration with Klaviyo as well is so powerful, because you can start to target those segments with automated workflows. But the agency side of me is like "100%, that's the way to go", but the Reverie side of me doesn't have the budget to really have a powerful option like that in-house because obviously, it's all self funded, and you're a little bit more scrappy when you're a startup. So a lot of the tools that I would use for my own brand as well would just be things like Facebook Insights or Instagram Business Insights.

Reverie's built on the Shopify platform just on one of our pre-budget plans, but you can still get a decent amount of data and understanding as to, even if it's just gender split. You know, like 70% female, largely between 25 and 35 (years). Even the most kind of basic bits of data, I find can be really helpful, especially when you are a small brand and every pound that you're spending on stock or anything really is very important. For me, I've tried to very much build a picture of who the reverie customer is. I think there's roughly three personas and I do try to validate that with any bit of data that I can glean from any of the platforms that I use. But 100% the segmentation of those one on one conversations and connections is amazing. And Krissie, we're getting some questions in this chat.

Krissie Leyland  40:28  

Yes, so I was gonna go to the question that Chris Butterworth just put in there, which is a brilliant question and I love it. So we are talking about gathering data about your customers, but one thing that we talk about at MindfulCommerce is storing data and being really mindful about the data that you collect, to kind of ensure that you need the data and it's actually going to be useful. So Chris's question was, "what are people's thoughts on the ethics of collecting all of this customer data to allow this almost one-on-one targeting?" It's a great question and it's a rabbit hole that I go down often. So, Chris, do you want to unmute and talk about your thoughts?

Chris Butterworth  41:30  

Yeah, I've just seen Vickie's response to it as well, "if they the customer voluntarily gives it" I mean, as part of GDPR within the EU, obviously, you have to get consent, or at least let people know that you are tracking. My concern is how much data that is collected is actually useful. Not just from an ethical standpoint, but from a sustainable standpoint, obviously, the more data you collect, the more data is transmitted, the more data is stored. So it's kind of just to try and cover both of those areas, really, just to try and get people's thoughts on it... whether it is completely ethical or not.

Krissie Leyland  42:21  

So just to explain it a little bit more, like you said, it's not just about the ethics of GDPR, and stuff like that. It's about the more data that you store, the more impact it has on the planet, and the more energy that you basically zapped from the earth. What Chris and I are saying is just be mindful of the data that you collect. Lucy, what your thoughts are on that because you're a small brand. At Reverie, like you said, you don't collect much customer data, but say a client at Brave the Skies... Is it something that you might bring in conversation or do you just collect needless data?

Lucy Roberts  43:13  

I would potentially suggest that no data is useless or needless, I have very strong views on not sharing data with other businesses that you haven't directly opted into. I hate it when that kind of thing, those damn T's and C's that you have to click to check out that drives me mad. I hate hearing from businesses that I haven't directly signed up with. So if something like that does happen, I do make it a personal mission to find out who sold my data and wage war with them. That in the spirit of creating more meaningful connections with customers, offering a better service offering more value, I think as long as you're using the data proactively that you have, and like you say, You're not just collecting data for the sake of collecting data, then I think ethically, I'm on board with it. As long as it's being used responsibly, and in a way that genuinely benefits the customer and not the business. Yeah, then I think it's a nice thing to be able to do because tying back to everything that Cat and Rachel were talking about, like at the started at the start of the chat, like having those better connections, being able to not necessarily sell a product better, but advise the customer better on things like the fit or things like whether or not based on your previous purchase in the previous data that we've collected, we're pretty sure we're actually 85% sure that the size eight is going to fit you then I think that that solves the problem as well. So it's interesting, it's almost a bit of a double edged sword. It's like we didn't have the data, we might create more returns which might create more questions. Rachel, help me out.

Rachel Tyers  45:04  

For midsize enterprises, the data were collecting is only scratching the very surface. It's so insignificant compared to the billions of points of data that Facebook or Google stores on every single one of us. And as SMPs, we use that too. So all of the Facebook marketing targeting that we're using, which is very comprehensive, incredible, and allows us to get in front of customers that are going to be interested in our products, that is stored somewhere. And that's significantly more than, like a couple of skin type questions that you might have on your reviews widget. So I think that's like more of a consideration and there's certainly a line. You know, it's always really creepy, when I'm talking about back pain, and my phone is sitting here, and then I get ads on Instagram. And I'm like, "Okay, back pain ads? Come on. My phone wasn't even unlocked!" So it's tricky. But that said, we're opting in for this every time we use Facebook or Instagram, like we have opted in to share all of our data with Facebook. So, you know, it's definitely a grey area. It's really creepy as a consumer, but it's really fantastic as a marketer.

Krissie Leyland  46:23  

Yeah, it's like Lucy said, it's definitely double edged. I think, what Chris will say and what I will always say is, just please be mindful of the data that you collect. Don't store it for too long if you find out that you don't need it or use it. Going back to customer connections, it can be really great if you can personalise things, and for example, you're using data to create an ad that's more relevant. Perhaps, that's okay. But yeah, just be mindful. Thank you so much, Chris. I love that question. And I think we should do it entirely different event with me, you and Cat and anyone wants to join about that. And so yeah, thank you!

Lucy Roberts  47:14  

There is a really good question that's just popped up in the chat about sensitive versus non sensitive data, which I think is a really, really interesting question. I don't think there's any need for anyone to collect sensitive data. I don't think marketers need it. I think everything that Rachel was just saying is completely accurate. Like it is a marketer's dream to have access to loads of information and data about your age, your buying patterns, which device you shop on, that kind of thing. But I really can't find a use case for a marketer to need the full name of somebody, the full address of somebody. I don't think anything needs to be that specific. So if I was being targeted based on very sensitive data, like, you know, my exact age or my birthday, or whatever, unless i'd specifically opted in because I wanted a 10% discount on my birthday,, I would be pretty annoyed about that. So I would always say sensitive data is no no.

Krissie Leyland  48:21  

I totally agree. So, again, thank you those really good questions and I like that topic a lot. Shall we go back to marketing and customer connections? So Lucy, you mentioned something called opti-channel marketing.

Lucy Roberts  48:50  

It's a good little buzzword, isn't it?

Krissie Leyland  48:54  

It is, it's a new one! It's anew one even to me & Cat! We were like, "what is it?"

Lucy Roberts  49:01  

I've had quite a few people talking about it recently. I was just mentioning to you ladies, before we jumped on the call: I've just started as an associate lecturer on a fashion course up in Newcastle at the university there. One of the senior lecturers that I was speaking to was talking about how they're talking to the students about the concept opti-channel marketing. I was like, "but surely you mean omni-channel?" and she was like, "No, I mean, opti-channel." Okay, so I was doing a bit of research into it and the more I looked into it, the more I thought "this is actually so smart." Because for being an omni channel retailer, you're everywhere where your customer is and your brand is everywhere. But this concept of opti-channel marketing is more about optimising your brand, your tone of voice and your message for the channel that you're operating on. So you might speak to a slightly different set of customers who engage with you more on email marketing. So your tone of voice might be a little bit more salesy. It might be a little bit more, "hey, you bought this, you might like this as well!" Whereas your conversations on a social platform like Facebook, or Instagram might be more about those one-on-one connections, where you've got the same people commenting and messaging every time. So you can be a lot more, "hey, I'm the face behind the brand. Let's have a chat. I'm really glad you like this image. What do you think about this?"

So, I really liked this idea of this opti-channel suggestion. It's something that I've spoken to a couple of our clients about at the agency and it seems to have struck a chord with a couple of them. Because they think you very much do present yourself and your brand in very different ways, depending on the circumstance. It goes back to what Rachel was talking about before, which is more about customer segmentation and there are certain segments of customers who respond really well, for example to "we've got a flash sale", because the only time they're going to buy it is if it's on discount. But then you've got another section of customers who are incredibly brand loyal, and anything you put out they want to buy, because you have promised them that it's got your stamp for approval, and they're just going to buy it anyway. So I think this concept of opti-channel is actually I think it's common sense for a lot of people and I think we do it anyway. But I quite like that there's that there's a name for it, so I'm going with it.

Krissie Leyland  51:27

Love it. That's really cool. Yeah, I was just like, "what? what is this" and Cat said, "That's good! Give us the dirt!"

Lucy Roberts  51:36  

Coin the term, take it and run! Go for it.

Krissie Leyland  51:42  

I'll be an opti-channel marketing agency!

Lucy Roberts  51:47  

I would like a revenue share please. [ laughs ]

Krissie Leyland  51:52  

Yeah! Rachel, what do you have any thoughts on that? Have you ever heard of that concept before?

Rachel Tyers  51:59  

I haven't heard of that concept before, but it makes so much sense. I think, when we were kind of getting used to SMS being a part of our structure, people or brands werre worried about, "okay, we're sending an email to this person and we're also sending them an SMS... Isn't that a bit much? You know, we're double handing this message." But being able to use the correct sort of address in SMS is going to be really different to what you're using an email and you know, it's so short-handed and sort of off the cuff. Maybe you're throwing in a few emojis if you've got extra budget for SMS that month. So it's really different way of messaging someone, and both are equally valuable.

Lucy Roberts  52:51  

Chris is throwing me a curveball here. It doesn't seem like he's on board with opti-channel marketing.

Chris Butterworth  52:57  

Sorry, it's because I come from a brand background. So a lot of the work that I've done is basically been all about kind of consistent brand experience and brand strategy, and that sort of side of things. So changing your voice depending on the medium is a little bit odd to me, purely because I would think about it is something where it's completely consistent in terms of tone of voice and everything like that.

Lucy Roberts  53:27  

I totally get what you're saying. I think you're totally right in that all of your core values and your core messaging should always be the same. But the way that I thought about it was, I'm the same person as an individual. I am very much the same person in every situation, but I definitely have a phone voice. I'm definitely extra polite. When I'm around my parents friends, I'm definitely a little bit more of a wine girl with my girlfriends. And I'm to be honest, a bit of a loose cannon with my fiance, but I'm still the same person all around. I think you naturally have slightly different versions of yourself, even though you're still the same base person, it's still the same brands. You just act ever so slightly differently depending on your environment. So I'm going to go with that metaphor. I think it works.

Chris Butterworth  54:22  

Absolutely amazing. Yeah, I didn't even really think about it that way.

Krissie Leyland  54:27  

That is so good.

Lucy Roberts  54:28  

Yes, Thank you so much!

Cat Hunter  54:29  

We have a question from Bridget as well in the in the Q&A. I'll read out. So Bridget says that she has a question on marketing strategy. They recently launched a sustainability Shopify tool for fashion retailers. We know that consumers are interested in sustainability ratings, but our tool is a b2b product. Any tips on how we can get in touch with the right type of retailers?

Lucy Roberts  55:01  

First of all, I would love to hear about it because I'm sure the merchants that we work with that Krissie works with at her agency and that I work with... 100% would love to hear more about that. Bridget, I'm actually going to drop my email address in the chat. So, yeah I'd love to hear more about.

Bridget  55:24  

Sure! We only launched about a month ago, and we've got some traction, but we put so much work into it. Really, I guess, you know, the more work we put in, the more we thought we were just gonna blow up as soon as we launched. Guess things are harder once you're in the real world. So I'm just trying to reach out to brands, because I know a lot of consumers will be interested in seeing this, but it's just sort of highlighting the need to retailers and trying to get in touch with the right people because Shopify is so vast. Yeah, I think it's a good tool and we really thought of all the hypotheticals. What if this, what if that? It has a lot of flexibility, but in doing that, I worry that we've made our marketing more complicated. And so yeah, please let me know if anyone's interested.

Lucy Roberts  56:13  

I mean, I'd love a demo of it. Maybe we could connect and kind of chat about it more. From my experience in the agency, for example, I went down & met Rixo, which is a brand that we launched on Shopify Plus middle of last year. As part of their discovery, I kept saying to them, like, what about sustainability? What are you guys doing there? I mean, you sell 350 pound viscose dresses, like made in China? What's the message? Like? Where's that price coming from? And I don't think the founders were really expecting somebody to ask a question like that. I think they have enough of a cult following that the dresses sell themselves but we ended up doing a really big section on the site about meet the makers. And like, who's actually designed the clothes where they're being made. Like, where the factories are, what factories specialise in. I think that the more you almost propose the tool to brands, even brands, who aren't actively doing anything on sustainability on their websites, they naturally want to be associated with it, because most of them are thinking about it, they're just not doing anything about it. I always think those Rixos & Les Girls Les Boys, the independently owned small-medium sized business, I think they're going to be your bread and butter for it all like that on Shopify, for sure. I'd be more than happy to help in any way I can and get you connected with merchants like that.

Bridget  57:42  

That would be great. Yes, please.

Krissie Leyland  57:45  

I was just gonna say... Well, I know what the apps called, but can you tell everyone what the app is called?

Bridget  57:53  

That's just another example of how marketing is not my... But yes it's called Fashion Impact - Clothing. I have a data science background. It's not actually my main job. It's a hobby that we started in March when the first lockdown hit. Then my husband is a programmer for Shopify tools. So yeah, it's obviously a passion of ours. We launched it in December. In the end, I really hoping to get some traction on it. You know, because it's a business to business product, I guess it makes the marketing, a little bit more complicated for us. We're used to being at the bottom end of business to consumer marketing. So we know, how we received that and those kind of strategies at a basic level. But we are out of our depth, I guess a little bit when it comes to business to business marketing. But platforms like this are so helpful, and I'm really enjoying this.

Rachel Tyers  58:46  

Bridget, I would just say, if you can get some data and metrics around how the app helps is stored, and that becomes really compelling. For me, like I really love LinkedIn for reaching out to brands. I think, like the SMB area is a really good place to start and get those early adopters on the board, get more data and metrics, and then even working with agencies. I mean, being in partnerships, I know that if I make friends with a great agency and show them with my show them my product, it's way better use of my time than going out to each company individually. So I think that would be a strong sell for you, especially if you're looking at agencies that are focused on ethical marketing or ethical development. So there are those agencies that are specialising in that space. And then for me, if anyone's interested in learning more about Okendo, I will drop my email in the chat. I'm happy to do a demo with you or chat more about your marketing strategy. And thank you so much Krissie for inviting me to share some time with you all today.

Krissie Leyland  59:52  

You're very welcome. Thank you. And yes! Lucy?

Lucy Roberts  1:00:02  

I've had I've had a great time like, this has been so much fun. It's been a lovely like relaxed conversation. It's been great to see some new faces and put some faces to names. I dropped my email in the chat as well. But if anybody ever needs any advice or anything on like startup brands or anything Shopify or econ related, just drop me an email, I'm always happy to help, or LinkedIn is cool, too. And everyone, make sure you're following Reverie the Boutique on Instagram, and save everything for the algorithm! [ laughs ]

Krissie Leyland  1:00:38  

Yeah, if it helps, I'll save everything! Yeah, thank you so much, everyone. There'll be lots more events like this, I hope. People like Bridget, and everybody in the ecommerce space, this is a place to connect! And, yeah, I loved it... thank you so much! Thank you very much as well to our panellists, Rachel, Lucy... and Chris and Bridget for coming on in. If you're not a member of the MindfulCommerce Community yet, please, please join us if you're interested in ecommerce sustainability, and helping to make the ecommerce world more positively impactful. Also, don't forget to have a look at our brand new MindfulCommerce Directory listings for all the experts, including Okendo, and you can learn a bit more about them on there. Yeah, thank you so much. This has been great. This is the first event I've ever done like this. So yeah, thank you again.

Cat Hunter  1:01:43  

And we will create a space to kind of continue this discussion on the MindfulCommerce Community on the Facebook group. So if people do want to have a space to connect or raise any issues that are questions that they had, that kind of grew out of the conversation that they've heard today, if you want to carry on the conversation, then that's very much what the MindfulCommerce Community is all about. So we will make sure that there's a clearly identified thread in the Facebook group for you to get.

Krissie Leyland  1:02:10  

Yeah, and so a little task to take away: Just think about what you're going to do to create better connections with your customers this year and then let us know you know, on Instagram, whatever, and tag us! Yeah, let's start a conversation!

Cat Hunter  1:02:27  

Fantastic. Thanks ever so much, everyone!

Rich Bunker  1:02:32

We hope you enjoyed the episode today. If you did, you're probably like being in our community. There's a whole host of exciting things going on.

Krissie Leyland  1:02:39  

So don't forget to join by going to mindfulcommerce.io, click on 'Community' and register from there.

Rich Bunker  1:02:46 

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