February 18, 2020
Are you really listening to your eCommerce Analytics?

Are you really listening to your eCommerce Analytics?

hi and welcome to an episode of the JetRails podcast I’m Robert Rand your host for the day I’m joined by AJ and Meaghan from Praxis Metrics our gracious guests of the day they’re
going to be talking with us about your e-commerce analytics and if you’re
really listening to them if you understand what’s going on under the
hood of your site and how folks are interacting with your site or not
and so AJ, Meaghan would you care to introduce yourselves
sure I’m AJ I’m Meaghan of Praxis Metrics Robert thanks for having us so much
we’re excited to be on with you guys and share some of our experiences wisdom and
you know pains we’ve overcome for e-commerce owners and marketing teams
yeah so we’re we’re both co-founders of praxis metrics which is basically an
outsourced data team so we work with a lot of scaling companies especially in
e-commerce or digital marketing space that are looking to get to that next
level and obviously in order to scale you have to know where you’ve been in
order to you know take action you really have to know what action it take and so
you know as data becomes more and more relevant in the business space it’s
opened a lot of challenges for business owners that aren’t necessarily data
minded and so that’s where we come in and we built out kind of an entire team
data scientist Ashbourne engineers ETL builders and just so that we can have
those resources available so the smaller companies don’t have to hire somebody
full-time in order to do that right off the bat yeah we’re here doesn’t make
sure you know make sure the business owners understand that they don’t have
to be a mathematician they don’t have to be a data scientist it’s okay if you
fail math class there is hope right we are here to help support them yeah
absolutely and you know I this week’s news talked a lot about target and you
know they’ve had some wins stock prices looking good you know new collaborations
with companies like Disney but they’re known to really work there their data
well and I think for a lot of business owners it’s hard to sometimes think
about competing with how a big business uses big data but you know just like
everything else in the e-commerce world and in the technology world things
continue to funnel down so certainly uh you know looking forward
to this conversation but before we get too far into data tell me a little bit
about how this partnership started homeboy started personally first we were
introduced through mutual mutual friends mutual colleagues mutual server several
they were trying to get us to date for a little while there and then the universe
stepped in and said yes this is gonna happen so there we were we were put in
each other’s paths multiple points in life and ended up in Austin texas-based
about that and then started dating first and foremost and we were in very
different businesses age I ran a digital marketing agency and I ran I was I was
running a sales consultancy so we both worked with data in different ways
obviously in the marketing space it’s all about numbers right it’s you’re
constantly complete competing with historical numbers you’re constantly
split texting and changing efforts based on the results and so AJ had this unique
mindset he’s always you his dad was an engineer so he was always dated driven
but not necessarily in the data not that kind of nerd huh yeah and there
didn’t know how to take action from the data yeah I I dabbled in it growing up I
had to do the Excel stuff but yeah just quickly found that that was not my
strong suit but that was his his founder mentality always understood the value of
data so in the in the marketing agency they had a lot of they were responsible
for building on all these reports for their clients right so we met and
shortly thereafter I started to understand what he did and I wanted to
learn his industry so I came on board with his agency just to learn the
marketing space it wasn’t something that I was familiar with it all and and then
we joined forces there and what we quickly found was as a marketing agency
it was extremely important to know how our numbers both internally and for our
clients and one of our clients was or one of our team members was reduced down
to basically report generation where he was you know from 9:00 to 5:00 logging
into 27 different systems for 27 different clients and then pulling out
the import pieces putting it into a spreadsheet and
then there was this you know 27th at a spreadsheet where it was just built on
guilt on guilt on itself and the Mack rode the heck out of itself and and
basically his his skillset in marketing was being dwindled because he was
spending so much time and data entry as his genius zone
where he should have been has been spending so how many companies out there
are wasting that kind of that great talent or resource on the team just
because they understand how to do it that doesn’t mean they should be with it
there’s there’s lots of ways to go about that or they’re throwing in the towel
they just you know don’t have the resource at all to put in that level of
of effort to get it their data even though all these systems by and large
have api’s the data can be intertwined and really tell the story better so
that’s really interesting it I mean it’s fascinating because you say you know and
a lot of us know what api’s are and the integrations between systems but but
very few people understand how you can really leverage those to extract all of
the data not just push certain things from one platform to another but to
extract all of your data so then you have a backup so that you own the data
and then you can manipulate that data and tell a story by combining it with
all the other systems I mean you’re saying all just to be clear it’s not
just sales and marketing its customer service its inventory it’s all the other
problems all the other business questions you’re trying to answer as a
whole we pull that into a command center so you can make your decisions all from
one place solves a lot of problems that ecommerce companies you’re facing right
now mm-hmm and you know so it seems that you made a
pretty good leap from the agency space into data and analytics being at the
forefront of what you do and the agency that you know that you’re now running
around that praxis metrics how did you two come to that name so actually it was
it was Megan’s real brainchild when we were developing this concept we knew the
business we wanted to get into we knew we wanted to be world-class in business
and like the marketing stuff said like like other
agencies can do that we’re gonna be great at this and double down on this
and so we’re coming up with names and yeah so there’s so we love Aristotle we
love you know the foundational truths and so he has this theory that says
there’s three main constructs of man there’s theory which is you know
thinking about things then there’s Peoria which is then you know using
those things you know kind of combining them together and then there’s praxis
which is the practical application of the knowledge that you’ve built on the
information that you’re on the theories that idealized right so praxis the
reason that we were really drawn to that is because it’s the practical
application of knowledge and and a lot of people have heard there’s kind of
like a stair-step data leads to information which leads to knowledge and
then to wisdom and data in and of itself will never solve a company’s problems
because data is isolated data is independent data is individual little
pieces but in business there’s no such thing as one piece of data
everything is impacted and influenced by other aspects and the business by things
in the economy by the weather by you know causation by marketing right we run
this very complex we business in this world today and and a lot of people just
don’t realize that data is just a piece of that but data and them self is not
the answer we have to take that and look at all of the day to combine in order to
find relationships and patterns between the data that’s where we really start to
be able to know more right and then once you know more then you can understand
you know the principles that guide these patterns right why things are happening
instead of just what is happening it’s how it’s why it’s when right it becomes
much deeper knowledge but just knowledge in and of itself will not change your
organization you have to take action and so with every single metric with every
single dashboard that we built out for that we build up for clients our goal is
not to just build them for the sake of knowledge oh well that’s a nice
we call those with Anthony metrics you know just because you know it why does
it matter if it just stored in your head and it doesn’t change the way that you
behave the actions that you take to move your company forward what’s the point
it’s like saying that you have a conversion rate of 3 percent or 10
percent that number all by itself doesn’t really tell you anything if you
don’t understand where it came from where it’s going what’s impacting it
last month what was it what was it this time last year what have you done in the
interim where was the highs where was the lows
what was you know and and people are today’s organic traffic paid traffic you
know social tribe what is it from different channels from referrals I’m
with you a hundred percent people don’t really break down the data yeah and so
they’re they’re their habitual eyes right they’re looking at these numbers
because Oh everybody everybody looks at these numbers it’s important to know
that but why you’re not taking action on off of it then a it’s just cluttering
you know and then you’re doing paralysis by analysis or maybe not even analyzing
at all and so what we do is we like to challenge the status quo in the norm by
asking those secondary and tertiary questions you know so what what now what
are you going to do up with that why is it this way and then it really starts to
dig into okay well maybe that is just a leading indicator but the details around
it should be these three other metrics that then you can take actions off of
right and so everything that we do with our clients it’s really you know it’s
funny because a lot of people come to us and ask for one thing and and by us
sitting down and doing what we call metrics mapping asking these next level
questions and and really seeing well what action are you taking from that so
what if it’s 3% today and 10% tomorrow what would you do and who and what what
are what’s your net profit on you know a certain category that’s performing
better or worse what’s you know it doesn’t really matter as much if you’ve
got a higher conversion rate on really cheap items with really tight margins
versus a slightly lower conversion rate on big tech
items where you make most of your revenue you know most of your profits
there’s there’s so much in there that that just the base numbers don’t tell
and you know I was reading a quote off of some of your materials one that I
have not seen before by a gentleman I actually wrote this one down dan Ariely
that got a big smile on my face but you know so you have quoted data is like
teenage sex everyone talks about it no one knows how to really do it everyone
thinks that everyone else is doing it so everyone claims that they’re doing it
I thought that was fantastic I hadn’t seen that before but there’s obviously
an amount of truth in that that people aren’t they have some idea of what’s
going on they know some numbers they’re not just you know turning on a website
and completely walking away from their e-commerce business and not knowing what
their revenue looks like or how certain things compare but they don’t
necessarily understand the why and they’re not necessarily able to discern
action items out of it at least not the right ones so I know that your team
talks a little bit about a date of maturity spectrum and you know how do
you identify where a merchant fits on that spectrum and where they should be
investing into the business where your team can be helpful in order to advance
them to those next stages so I’m gonna take a little side tangent cuz you said
a perfect word that I want to like dive into you said invest into this right
it’s fascinating right now actually just in the last couple of months data just
became the most valuable resource on the planet it just surpassed oil as the most
valuable resource on the planet data is not going anywhere
data is King right now because I mean if you think about it the person who has
more information is always gonna win you know why something is happening and your
competitor doesn’t that’s the it is the new competitive
it is taking action on data mm-hmm taking action on accurate data so you
know I’m sitting in South Florida where we’re currently expecting a hurricane
for Labor Day weekend and I know that you know stores like Target are already
shipping in pop-tarts not just bottled water or batteries and flashlights and
the things that you expect on that hurricane checklist but they know
exactly which items are gonna be sold in higher quantities what they’re gonna be
running low on in advance of any run on on their shelves data is powerful and we
all understand that companies are I hope so at least the companies like Google
and Facebook that they’re you know they’re not search companies they’re not
social media companies they’re data companies that’s where they make their
money it’s it’s in our data you know but bringing that power down to the SMB a
mid-market and even small and medium enterprise the folks that can really you
know across the spectrum leverage the data I think is phenomenally impactful
and you know in Amazon I love to see businesses take advantage of the
information that’s at their fingertips yeah that’s a big part of our mission I
mean where’s with everybody hears about big data they hear about all the
political things going on with data to hear about all the privacy things only
loves data so there’s a lot of talk about data but we’re here to let
everybody know look big data is here and now it’s not just reserved for the big
enterprise companies right it’s way more affordable now tools have gotten cheaper
and teams and people have gotten smarter we are here to say you can get a
fraction of that big data than those huge companies have and absolutely
hockey stick your hockey stick growth your company that much faster so that it
is here now but it’s finding out what are those inbred metrics that your
business needs right now not but it so everybody is also getting marketing to a
lot by data there’s billboards up all the time now
that are really weird really dumb messages that are out there that have
nothing to do with like I thought the thing people don’t know how to market
data right now but it’s changed the game and it’s a conversation everyone’s
having we just want to make sure that people know which conversation to have
and where to start and that comes back to your question on data maturity saiful
please get back to it so when it comes to data maturity it’s very easy to
identify where a company is and the spectrum of data maturity because it’s
it’s very black and white you know in in the very first level it is all about
tracking we cannot analyze data if you don’t have data right and so sorry so if
you don’t have data that is important if if you don’t have the tracking in place
in your systems that is important so usually if phase one people or companies
are all about tracking that is their main focus right now now they may not
have the data team or the dashboards or the technologies in order to combine the
data and turn it in your dashboard or whatever but they just need to track so
that’s where a lot of people skip so if we’re thinking companies from 1 million
to 20 million those companies should really really be focused on tracking as
much as they can because like AJ said data isn’t everything and all of our
little mining systems are all tracking sins on the backend right Facebook data
Google Analytics data so it let’s just talk on Google Analytics it’s a powerful
free tool and yet 90% of companies 99% of companies that come to us do not have
it set up properly to track all of the relevant relevant parameters that they
want and need in their business and so they come to us and they say here’s the
questions that we have the real business questions that will needle move our
company into the next level and then we break that down and we say in order for
us to answer this question we need variables X Y & Z and you’re not
tracking those they don’t exist you’ve never pushed that button to turn
on that field or had a naming convention to have that organized and so we now
have to go back and turn this on and get you to start tracking this in order for
us to get this but it’s going to now need to start tracking and then we’ll
get 2 months of data in two months right so we don’t have all this historical
valuable story from years and years of being in the business because they just
didn’t have that turned off there are so many features that take moments to turn
on in Google Analytics specifically that are so impactful
I always love having sight search data properly set up so that you know what
people are actually searching in the e-commerce site and you know what the
conversion rates are and you can start to tell it’s almost like knowingly if
someone walks into a retail store what are they actually asking for when they
walk into that store maybe you should be merchandising a little bit differently
maybe you need to tweak your search feature to actually bring people to the
right products for a certain search me there’s so much you can discern from
from what’s going on things like demographic data that are really easy to
enable or of course setting up all the righty ecommerce tracking and funnels
but you know there’s just ones feature after the next I can’t tell you how many
folks I see that don’t connect data from Google search console Google Webmaster
Tools where Google is going to give you all sorts of data about what people are
actually searching in in google organically and people that run out
words that don’t have all the right data coming over you know in as well that you
know the connections between these are meant to be fairly easy um and you know
whoever is building and maintaining your site even if you need to get some proper
tracking codes out there we’re not talking a lot of time or labor so it’s
usually it’s not a cost factor especially you know you were just
mentioning businesses in the 1 to 20 million range certainly not for those
folks but it’s always surprising it is and I think it’s so easy these days to
start up an e-commerce business right you get an idea you want to get the
product out in front of people first we want to determine this is gonna work so
people don’t necessarily take the time or even know the value of like oh well
let’s make sure what we’re doing we’re tracking so you can just kick up a store
these days and just get going and start taking money there’s no requirement for
tracking so it’s just kind of like oh we’ll do that later that’s what well but
you can’t you can’t retroactively lis go and collect rate that that’s just an
that is like lesson number one if you don’t have a tracking you need to go get
it tracking and we’ve got companies that come to us that are doing 250 million
and revenue and they come to us and ask
these questions in the unethical back to stage one which is tracking so it
doesn’t matter revenue what it matters is maturity with your data the date of
maturity spectrum right we can have companies doing $60 million that are on
a higher mature level of revenue but when it comes to data there they’re
there or not same thing even with if you know and this is really fascinating to
is a lot of us think about data and these in these you know hard-coded
fields within of technology but there’s also some other very like esoteric type
things that you can track as well you know so there’s a lot of companies now
that are doing you know I one of the big pushes right now is organic content and
video well what if from day one of your
content production schedule you’re tracking things like hey when are we
dropping humor in this video at what time point in the video are we dropping
the humor is there is there a feature of this like do we have puppies in this
video or not copies yeah it alerts female there are these weird things that
all it has to be is in a spreadsheet somewhere where people are like hey
video on at 6 minutes and 15 seconds is where we dropped the you know product
launch or whatever right and all of that becomes a database to then pull in in
the future and say hey we’ve done a hundred different videos and here’s
what’s worked and here’s why it’s work here’s how it’s worked and here’s what
shifted over to time with the demographics so here’s how we’re going
to change it right so when it comes to data and tracking we want people to be
creative you know what are the questions that you think you might have in the
future that you might not even have today but that you could start tracking
and knowing that in a year or even six months or two months that you want to
look back at this right so that’s go ahead and I think that one of the
interesting points to that is that it’s a fraction of the cost of the marketing
that these businesses are typically engaging in so in order to get the data
to know what is actually working and what isn’t and to hone that marketing to
you know stop putting bad money after bad money and focus on on the winners
out of the data it’s huge you know that’s where you find
success so you know I’m pivoting from not for a moment
how would you maybe what have you seen as as some of those pivotal data metrics
or you know or analytics that a business can use in terms of scaling rapidly have
you run into as professionals maybe you know certain data that you were able to
discern over time for a business that really helped them to grow significantly
yeah definitely and that leads perfectly into the next stage of data maturity
which is you know automating these KPIs right defining those KPIs they’re their
key performance indicators for the company and then turning that into an
automation and that automatically extracts from all of the sources so that
you can view these KPIs in real time that you can make better
decisions so tailoring this to the you know from
the e-commerce division because there’s different KPIs and different industries
that that yield that hockey stick growth the ages talking about I think in
e-commerce the the one that’s made the there’s the biggest impact on
organizations is having a more robust knowledge and view on customer lifetime
values and retention insights and so not just customer lifetime value like if we
look into Shopify or if we look at a lot of our e-commerce platforms it’ll it’ll
have like an Ltd number or a CLD number average or exactly like an address on
the right right um one thing that we always say is averages are inherently
evil as a business owner we don’t want to know the average because an average
by definition takes all of your highs all of the great things and all of the
terrible things all of the negatives and smashes them all together into an
average so if we know that our average customer is worth $100 well that means
that at some point there are customers that are buying 250 dollars worth of
goods from us and other customers that are just buying in power
I want as a business to know where those $250 like prime value customers are and
why we got them and how we got them and what they’re purchasing and when they’re
purchasing and I want to eliminate all $1 customers and so what we do is you
know LTV is a very common metric that most business owners look at or know off
the top of their heads and yet they don’t have the depth or the details in
the data to show the variances between those highs and the lows so what we do
is we like to cohort it out a cohort is simply those are only getting 30 days or
less mm-hmm right so it’s not just depth of data it’s also the timeline they’re
thinking and only in terms of what they’re buying in the first 30 days
because a lot of people doing facebook and everything are only getting that in
most reporting they don’t know how to get the rest of it yeah and so also I
you know for my historical experience they’re looking at last click
attribution for everything so they really don’t know where where that shop
originated or what got them interested in in the the brand the store the
product they just know where the last click came from before someone made a
purchase and they attribute the sale to that they miss out on the rest of the
journey so often so I you know being able to look at the bigger picture and
what’s influencing these customers what’s bringing them in I mean that’s
where historically I know mobile conversion rates are absolutely on the
rise but historically so much traffic has come from a mobile device so so to
speak for browsing and then shoppers were purchasing off of desktop and so
everyone just assumed that their mobile conversion rate was extremely low and
they didn’t need to invest too much into their mobile sites but you know today we
know better and you know people are designing sites to be mobile first not
just the mobile responsiveness being a secondary or and now we’re moving into
progressive web apps and entirely you know new ways of improving that
experience so you know it is really really interesting how some of that can
certainly come together around the customer and the same with I wouldn’t
say that segmentation is new but when you talk about lifetime value when you
identify who your top 5 10 20 % of customers are depending on your business
and the particulars and you know who’s actually bringing you your revenue you
can cater to them you can do special things there you can have different
touch points that you’re not locked in to treat everyone in the exact same way
because at the end of the day that one-time purchaser that you know bought
from you a year ago yeah you could keep them on your email list but you don’t
necessarily need to cater to them the way that you would your regulars you
know in a restaurant they have the special table they get whichever waiter
or waitress they’d like you know just keep coming back every week you it’s
funny that I know a lot of businesses don’t take the time to identify you know
and to address those shoppers the same way that they would if it was a brick
and mortar store and Hey Joe how’s it going you know actually build a rapport
and make people feel special but it can be impactful and you know last thing you
want to do is is give up your cash cows well you touched on the other point that
we were gonna make is an attribution a lining attribution with lifetime value
is something that pretty like people just aren’t doing to the depth and to
the accuracy that they need to like those two things combined together is
leverage and that is it’s the competitive advantage because most
companies are not doing this right at all and so if you can do this if you can
online and you could know without a shadow of a doubt that your customers
the ones that are coming back frequently buying the most they came from this last
click attribution but they also came from this first click attribution and
then here’s what they did everything in between and I know because like you said
like what if we had this huge campaign that we spent a hundred grand on but it
yielded zero in Rev that day because it didn’t have a call
to action but it was a great indoctrination campaign it had a lot of
engagement and people really really loved that and they learned about your
company through this campaign but they didn’t purchase first six months and
then they ended up clicking on this Facebook ad that was retargeting to them
six months later right it’s very important to be able to attribute that
or that first touch point all the way back to everything that that person
purchases for the next ten years because if you knew that the top 10% of your
customers all first heard about you from this one
you know podcast that you were on order from this one sponsored content that you
did on you know this show or whatever wouldn’t you do more of that wouldn’t
you invest more right and at that point it becomes a simple will you become you
you can print money at this point it’s a simple formula you know when I do this
this is the outcome every single time and this is and then you just reallocate
money it’s a you know AJ and I talked about how we’re in the waste business
from our goal is to eliminate waste wasted time wasted money wasted
campaigns wasted efforts wasted human resources oh there’s so much waste in
organizations because nobody knows what isn’t isn’t working but overall we’re
making money so we’re just gonna continue so we don’t break the wheel we
hear that all the time and that’s like why people come to us because they’re
like I mean we’re doing good but we don’t know how to get to that next level
where we can cut out 80% of what we’re doing and double down on that 20% the
creators principle of what is working mm-hmm and you did touch on something
that that’s near and dear to my brain yeah the folks that think that every
marketing campaign and piece has to really be focused on revenue generation
directly that you know that every email has to be a sale or product
recommendation our new product or closeout you know that every post on
social media the same and I do believe in more of a relationship
and more of a journey and you know just because something could be seen as a
cost center doesn’t mean that it’s not really impacting in a positive way so
you know in retail you go into stores that give you some free coffee or free
samples whatever it is you know Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market or Costco or you
could see them giving away product as a cost center but they know exactly why
they’re doing that and you know I feel like if you know businesses can properly
tell their brand story there talk about their company culture what they’re doing
in their communities and with nonprofits and there’s so much more that you can do
to build a relationship with a customer and not just millenials or you know not
not just one particular segment but that you can have a brand that you can be a
destination and you know not just a means to an ends so you know be able to
help folks identify the impact that those choices are having on them that
those campaigns are having on them I think is huge because so many businesses
get caught up in the numbers in terms of revenue and stop thinking about the long
game it’s all about the short game so very very common issue out there you
know and how about we segue a little bit I was hoping we would talk about what
ecommerce merchants should be able to ideally answer about their sites and
their data what you know if you were coming in just trying to assess what or
maybe where someone is on the spectrum what they’re up to where they really
need some heavy lifting what are some of the things that you look for or that you
would be asking about mm great question yeah good question I mean I think the
first thing is you know looking at the text deck that you’re using right how
most companies have least I’d say between 16 to 20 different
technologies that they’re using for different aspects of running their
e-commerce business right I mean you think about just the social alone and
that’s six right there then you’ve got all the ads on top of it right there’s
there’s all these different tools that all none of them truly integrate
seamlessly with each other right so we first and foremost when we’re evaluating
a company we first look at their tech stack because you know the landscape is
constantly changing and evolving and some technologies are not staying up
with it right and so I think you know the platforms that you choose you have
to be evaluating them when it comes to how they allow you to access your data
the landscape in the last six weeks when it comes to data has changed drastically
I mean like we’re evolutionary up to this point it’s been the Wild West when
it comes to data you know like gdpr was the very first laws the past about data
regulation but since then we’ve seen Domino and Domino and Domino of
regulation change as well as platon like these different platforms changing
platform restrictions oh my god data restrictions it’s not going to stop yeah
its individual platforms are now restricting your use or your access to
the data that they collect on your customers so for example that I mean the
easiest the easiest example is really Amazon ago like you you put your you put
your product up on Amazon all of the things that the customer does it’s all
collected within the Amazon database and then they choose what data they sent to
you right it’s very very strict and you know
historically they passed through email and they pass through all of these
things in the last couple weeks they’ve shut down and they don’t longer pass
through the email which is in a while yeah and then they now they no longer
pass through the shipping address now they no longer like they’re starting to
shut down parts of the API so that you as the business owner don’t have access
to that right and we saw that happen with Facebook after the Cambridge
analytical scandal so one of the first things that we’re evaluating is looking
at what tech what technologies you to work with because that will allow us
to see how much data you’re actually going to have access to you know we were
talking about Magento one versus Magento two they’ve deprecated the Magento one
API so we’ve got clients that come to us and they haven’t made the change they
have not gotten their roadmap to switch to Magento 2 or to another platform and
so we say we cannot work with you because we do not have access to the
historical data right and unless you don’t get that are no longer supporting
magenta one already is is what you’re so for sure yeah and then on Tuesday
there’s a building out an interrupt infrastructure around data for something
that’s going to go away it’s just waste yeah
and there’s truth there that you know for something that’s been slated for a
couple years to go into life who really wants to now start if they’ve got new
tools new versions coming out who wants to backwards engineer that way I
understand prioritization that you’re gonna go after the the future before you
necessarily go after the past you know not enough engineering hours to go
around in terms of Amazon it’s very interesting because you know on this
particular podcast we’ve talked a lot about them as frenemies with merchants
that are your pressure to be there because a high percentage of searches
for product are happening directly on Amazon as opposed to Google or anywhere
else and so you don’t want to be left out but they’re not your customers you
can be kicked out cut out usurped any day of the week and you have very very
little recourse so it’s not a very safe place for a merchant it can bring strong
revenue it can bring good profit but it also brings danger with it that your
customers aren’t yours and you know you can lose them whether it’s to someone
that that’s creating knock-offs that’s you know creating a you know fraudulent
product or you know said I’ve heard all sorts of stories read all sorts of
stories directly and indirectly you know folks that let’s say you know
they’ve got a competitor that goes and puts a bunch of fake reviews on their
products they get kicked out and the recourse for something like that there
is no phone number to just call up and straighten it out and and be right back
up and running in some cases Amazon historically doesn’t even tell you why
you’ve been kicked out why you’ve been suspended they expect you to figure it
out and – as it’s been described publicly uh almost you know come to them
hat in hand it’s just gone like that Remini friend Brendan frenemy frenemy
phrase goes with you know any platform anyone our platform is basically a
friend of me because if you don’t own your data so I’m a ownership of your
data you don’t really have the business like I just said earlier data is the
number one asset if you don’t own it you don’t have more data in a database
yeah House you don’t have a backup of it all this once that mic is turned off
it’s like water from the government like water from the water place plant it’s
done electricity turned off that house hotel is dark if you don’t have that
backup a regenerate or something that’s been pulling then extract you you’re in
trouble so this is a really big big topic we talk about yeah it’s
interesting you know big commerce who said rails we recently partnered with
put out about a week ago a press release talking about how they work with certain
industries like CVD you know one of the fastest growing for sure categories of
product in the United States and how you know they have competitors that don’t
work with it but they’re ready and willing to help those merchants and
provide resource to them we’ve seen something similar in the Magento
community where Magento’s cloud won’t support those those shoppers someone
like a jet rails is very happy to and so we’re happy to support those merchants
and and the agencies working with them and you know work with with the Magento
team to make those things happen and so you know it’s also interesting that you
are still to an extent at the at the mercy of some
of these companies you know it’s one of the reason why I’ve always loved open
source software and having more manifest destiny that you can’t always predict
exactly what’s going to happen when it comes time for renewal on a certain
contract what terms are going to be presented when something’s going to be
deprecated or you know or removed so lots and lots of implications you know
to working with some of these big companies and you know really not owning
but rather renting or leasing or or being permitted to set up shop in
someone else’s market so to speak well in that I mean it comes back to that
wild wild west thing I mean up to this point everybody’s been so open with the
data because it hasn’t been a problem and then there’s you know there’s these
big scandals that happen and then everybody reacts and everybody freaks
out and now everything’s starting to shut down everybody’s starting to really
think about the state of thing in a different spectrum and so if you’re not
taking action right now to collect store and backup all of the data that you have
had access to up to this point you know you’re gonna be a leg up over everybody
else because these things are not going to be available in the future and like
there’s just too many scare tactics out there right now where people are just
shutting down and they’re like oh like we actually just read an article about
Apple changing Safari to completely block cookies after seven days so every
Oliverio they’re working on yeah yeah I do working on me and now we have energy
to be able to like get that to pass and so what’s going to happen is you know
historically we had 30 60 day cookie is where we could see all of the stuff now
it’s going to be seven days so if you don’t have all that stuff stored and all
that historical knowledge like the information going back to data
information knowledge wisdom right you will have knowledge you will have this
like almost like grandfather wisdom against these other companies that just
lost all of that and that’s gone forever and they forgotten what worked what
didn’t work and all this data that we do have access to now when it’s no longer
accessible and we’re just flying blind it’s going to be even more valuable to
have all of that so you know going back to data maturity you know the first
thing is making sure that you’re tracking and then the second thing is
making sure that you’re backing it up and then you have and then you can take
it and you can automate it and you can turn it into deeper insights by asking
these questions and then after that you can really optimize and you can maximize
and really take it to the next level right a lot of clients come to us with
the goal of hey I want machine learning or AI in my business oh really
you know there yeah you know let’s not put that securities but yeah and
sometimes for better or worse they’re buzzwords you know in web hosting a lot
of folks ask about AWS where you know jet rails provide service that we’ve put
folks on AWS infrastructure and provide all the management and support on top of
it all the security and uptime you know related tasks and and monitoring and
what have you I but AWS is just another hosting provider
it’s just Amazon as a matter of fact you know filling their coffers we love
working with the environment it’s strong but not everyone needs it we’ve got use
cases where for certain auto scaling it’s fantastic but for your average
merchant that has more predictable traffic that it doesn’t really need some
of those bells and whistles it’s overkill it’s extra expense not
necessarily bringing any real ROI not bringing any more stability or
reliability than than other environments so you know people are always looking
for that that shiny new thing you know it’s funny that there’s outside of it so
they’re asking about you know AI and machine learning but do they really
understand their KPIs do are they really even looking all the major key
performance indicators that they should be and I actually like I wonder on that
one what we’ve talked a little bit about lifetime value of a customer conversion
rates where do you see some of the best measurement what do you often see
overlooked anything we have them touchdown yeah I mean
nowadays there’s a big shift in especially e-commerce to go into the
continuity subscription or any any any sort of product that comes monthly right
so that they’ve got that lock down so a lot of clients come to us asking for a
metric that we don’t build they want to know there are inscriptions no our
subscription link subscription link that’s right and they want to know how
long are people staying on yeah so our next question is wine what are you going
to do with that information it’s nice to have definitely trying to get bought out
or acquired it’s a wonderful number to know because you know that that can help
get you multipliers and do things for you you know having come from a digital
agency that was acquired that I can say that that’s certainly important but for
your average e-commerce merchant you know I’m with you that you know at the
end of the day that yes that that’s interesting data but how are you gonna
use it yeah and so what we do is we just challenge and say you know if you want
to know so here’s here’s what they’re really saying they’re asking they’re
asking hey what is my average subscription length how long are people
on average staying with me but they’re what they’re really trying to know is
how can I increase that right and where how it you know what’s impacting people
canceling and what’s impacting people staying longer that’s the real question
because they don’t want to know what it is right now they want to know how to
get better no matter who you are no matter how good you’re doing the
question will always be how do we increase that so what we do is we
reverse engineer and say okay so one of the biggest impacts of the average is
going to be when and why and how people cancel right so then what we can do is
we can create a cohort which is simply a group of data that is based on the
number of days since the client started their subscription until they ended up
canceled so if you think about this instead of a
static number saying hey my average customer stays on 250 days well that
means there’s been customers who stayed on 500 and people who canceled that day
zero so if I can instead show you here’s 500 days and here is now a stacked chart
of when people actually cancelled that shows you something very very different
because now I can see hey look if there’s a huge bell curve between days 3
& 7 right where and most of our clients that’s where the spy gets between stay
between days 3 & sepp they get 18 percent of their cancellations between
that range they get an additional 20% of their cancellations on day zero right so
now if I know that versus I know that my average subscription length is 250 well
wouldn’t I be able to take action to look at the clients that are canceling
between days 3 & 7 say okay what can I do to implement in indoctrination series
what can I do to reach out to these people what can i what videos can I send
what what email threads what phone sending the back offers or is there is
there an offer or is there an email or something that’s making people angry or
confusing them or scare you know what is that reason and then I can begin
specifically whereas if it was just average they would maybe just put an
autoresponder or send an offer to that post a 200 maybe 250 just Nokomis even
get them to sound a little bit longer that’s an action but it’s not an impact
one it’s not gonna have the impact because on day 250 it’s only accounting
for you know maybe half a percent of sales or a tenth of a percent of
cancellations happening on that day so you’re not gonna have big impact like
knowing that day instead we want to know this other big metric right and so it’s
the same so we’re answering the questions so that they can increase
their average right and then they do want to know the average so that’s the
benchmark and they can see hey by by reducing cancellations I’ll be able to
see that average go up over time which is helpful but we want to see average
trended out over time not just a static number here’s our average now right so
it’s just a little bit of a challenge of the of the normalcy that people have
than they’re in what they’re asking up their metrics I was like hey de esta
cancellation is a huge one another when AJ brought up is that is that is a
cohort breaking down turn you know when it comes to subscriptions or you know
membership products it is looking at each month because in in the world today
everything changes so quickly and so our marketing efforts are constantly in flux
and adjusting and so a person who bought from us today did not have the same
experiences when who bought from us two months ago so time is a huge variable
and a huge factor within subscriptions because the people who sign up in May
had a very different subscription journey than the ones who signed up in
August so let’s compare them so we break it down and show these cohorts and when
people sign up for their their subscriptions and then show their turn
at 15 30 60 90 days in comparison to each other so that we’re not taking an
average of all of your customers who’s ever signed up for a subscription and
seeing what the average churn rate is at day 60 we’re saying specifically over
time at you know each month or we eat getting better with these new clients
that are coming on board are we keeping them 60 days are we keeping them are we
keeping more of them at 60 days than we did last month and that allow us people
to really take action to make these micro adjustments over time that have a
huge impact to the organization and to the overall success of the company and I
don’t their if the tracking is dialed in you can track that back to sources you
can ration track it back to people coming from Facebook actually aren’t as
good as it wants to move from Instagram or affiliates or whatever that may be
that having that granularity is that that next level of power to be able to
continue to predict as opposed to just a story yeah and then on that note I mean
every metric that we talked about up to this point on this podcast every single
one of them can have that attribution model built-in so think about your
lifetime value of your customers if you knew and you can toggle on and off and
see hey when they came through this first and they click this last
this is what their Ltd was but when they came through this person this last woo
their Ltd was TARDIS first you know whether it’s average order value or you
know just put out an interesting you know article on that for the Magento
community there’s so much that you can be doing to impact but I’m with you that
if you’re not tracking it in an in a meaningful way look at your talk
subscriptions I’ve seen sites where these subscription products fizzle out
because it’s too hard to update your credit card and and they don’t feel
confident in the store that they’re that they’re purchasing from and they move on
you know they they can’t update so they cancel and that’s the end of that it’s
funny but if you don’t take time to identify what’s happening and sometimes
you have to do your own user testing sometimes you have to reach out and
follow up done yeah to figure out what’s going on and when and and work with it
so really really interesting it’s been really a pleasure chatting with both of
you Meghan AJ there’s been a lot of fun I think we could keep this rolling for a
while will you talk all day I know that you’re not behind your normal podcasting
desk so I think that if I remember correctly you’re on on a bit of a travel
excursion at the moment so I wouldn’t keep you to it too much more but any
final thoughts that you’d like to share I think I think the big thing is you
know this this whole company demographic right now is about to shit like the
whole data landscape is really really shifting right now and so if if you
could do just one thing to help your company be more mature with your data
right now do it we don’t want this to seem like it’s so complex that you can’t
take any sort of action right now and so that’s why that’s why the data maturity
spectrum exists is because at each stage there is one
thing that you can do you know you can start by just going and making sure that
Google Analytics is set up to track as much as possible you’ve got custom goals
you’ve got a vent tracking you’ve got an enhanced e-commerce setup and you’ve got
these things predefined or that you’ve got UTM s that are in an organized you
don’t Manor that have a high or we really define that you teams we can go
and dig it up we’ve got stuff on our website to train people but that’s a
that’s a big thing that you could do right now that has like zero cost almost
no barrier to entry it’s just a little bit of time and it will help you
exponentially or if you’re already past that the one thing that you could do is
go and and automate your current reporting so that you’re not wasting
human time and throwing in human error until your reporting right if you
already have that then the next thing is right at each stage of this maturity
there are minor changes that you have that you can do in order to advance the
company but every time you do it you’re giving yourself a leg up because if
you’re doing it your competitors probably aren’t like this is still the
big data is still scary to most business owners and they still say oh it’s for
enterprise its onus for enterprise so if you can do this now it’s it will
separate you so much that you won’t even be in the same Kleinfeld it is time to
invest in your data and we like to say this now as well every company is in the
data business whether you like whether you like it or not whether you know it
or not you’re already in the data business so you might as well start
investing in that whatever time energy and money you can doesn’t have to be big
data it just has to be those small steps and some of the things are very very
simple tweaks like you mentioned you Robert earlier was just like there’s
some free tools out there that take minutes if you know what you’re doing to
get it set up the right way that can just lead to those exponential results
later on yeah and then even just meeting with like and then something that we
haven’t talked about but we could do like a metrics mapping or just you know
kind of a road map like here’s the road map here’s the checklist I think you
should probably do over the next you know I don’t know two five ten years or
six months one year two years and just map
and say okay so do it at your own pace but here’s the things that probably need
to happen that way you’re making consistent progress yeah
and we’re here to help we love to answer questions or teams here to help but
getting it cleared in a roadmap that’s like basically the first time figuring
out hey where am I on this date of maturity and what do i do first that’s
what we can help was and you know I’m realizing we haven’t even talked about
some of the advanced analytics tools and paid tools that are out there that your
team might appreciate might have to ask for a follow-up on that in the future
maybe we’ll get a blog post out of you card – yeah yeah good yeah no so really
really thank you so much for joining today and for our listeners that thanks
for tuning in for an episode of the jed rails podcast subscribe to us wherever
you get your podcasts and feel free to comment and share your thoughts through
social media and directly with us here at jet rails thanks and thanks Mike
Robert appreciate it

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