Welcome back everyone to the e-commerce marketing podcast. I am your host Arlen Robinson and today we have a special guest, Chris Mason. Chris is the co-founder of curve a company that makes Commerce stores more profitable after years in the nine-to-five grind. Chris finally grew his side business to the point where he could quit his day job and with a wife, and two kids that wasn't easy, but it was worth it since then he has helped some of the biggest names in business launched their online stores and a variety of Industries today.
He serves woocommerce store owners exclusively creating products that help them make more money welcome to the podcast Chris hey Arlen, thank you, I appreciate it yeah, not a problem and yet before we get started honest. Tell me a little bit about you know got your background little bit more about woo.
What you were doing prior to woo, curve. It's from the intro. It sounds like you kind of started things on the side, and then really ramped up and got going full time with it. Yeah, exactly. I mean I've always I guess the last 10 years or so I mean I've worked and some kind of marketing capacity even in when I was in the corporate world for years and so when I built up side business actually started just doing some Consulting on the side, and that was one of the ways that I was able to put some money away to build a Runway of sorts.
That could launch my own business, and then I got connected into the Commerce world and started seeing some opportunities to solve problems, and so you know with with woo, curve. What we do is we're helping woocommerce store owners increase sales and conversions, and we do that through a variety of different training topics and things that we put out on our site and our blog for free, but we also have to.
Products one is a one-click upsells product that happens after a customer makes a purchase its post-purchase 1-click up cells, and then we also have to check we have a checkout page solution called Hansen check out. Okay, okay? Yeah that all sounds great, so yeah, it sounds like you know with what you did prior to it to Commerce.
Are in working with curved, it sounds like yeah me really understand the power of up-selling, and I guess that's kind of where your focus is. Yeah, it's very interesting that you mention up selling as a company are our company hero, site affiliate software. We just recently kind of got into it.
We've only prior to I guess you could say this year. We did a little bit of it, but we would never that aggressive with the up-selling and you know these days. I think we probably waited a little late, too. To get into it, but I as you already know and can testify everything, but every company does it up selling it so we look back and I remember in the early days of GoDaddy.
They were your very big in the up selling. They still are today if you have you registered you know domain from GoDaddy recently since I you know they they're pretty aggressive with it. They think they used to be a little bit more aggressive with it offering a lot of different add-on upsell tools when you ordered a domain name this.
I think they made it a little bit more. Cleaner now, but I do recall back kind of back in the day. They were kind of one of the first and then kind of true leaders with doing that and they weren't really ashamed of being so aggressive with it. Yes, so basically Chris you you talked about it boo Commerce, and I know your product is exclusively for woocommerce and one of the things that you know I know a lot of our e-commerce businesses that are listening wonder is you know how when selling online?
How important is the type of shopping cart? You know because these days. There's a lot of options out there. Yeah. I mean, I think among like the big ones. You know obviously Shopify woocommerce. The Commerce is another one actual the tool is not so much to me as my mind. It is not so much about the the tools.
It is you know making sure that you get your offer right for the market and that you're serving and really you want. You kind of want your shopping cart to to just not get in the way basically you right right want it. You want it to like service extra team. Burr before you then I mean hopefully it's it's encouraging your prospect your customer to buy more.
You know using things like order bombs for like we talked about one click upsells across cells that kind of thing so I it will depend kind of on I guess how technical you are and what your skill sets are and how much in the code and things you want to get but in general, I think the most important thing is just getting your offer matched up with with the right market and then.
Making sure you have a shopping cart that just you know doesn't get in the way, which I think most of the the big ones that are mentioned earlier are going to fit the bill. Yeah. Yep definitely in that. I've never heard anyone put it that way when you're right that you really got to find a solution like you said doesn't get in people's way because you know the bottom line is it it really has to be just making sure that the customer has just a seamless experience browsing through products viewing details of products product pictures, and then all the way through checkout so I'd like you say.
You don't want to be you don't want to have something. That's too clunky. That's hard to get through navigate and you know and then of course check out so that that's that makes total sense now. I know with what you do with curved. You know your key thing is up sell options, and so I know for our audience members that are out there.
You know I'm sure everyone has been to online store, and they've been a when they're checking out their ad on items that they can they're prompted with and that type of thing so I'm sure everyone is familiar with that and so when thinking about adding up so options to your own online store. How do you really draw the line so that you know you don't annoy the customer, and then you don't you know you don't turn people away and get them to abandon the car.
You know what's really what's the guy guess? You can say kind of secret? Offices to drawing that fine line. Yeah, well, I mean it's yeah, you're right like balancing. What's profitable versus you know what cost you in the long run in terms of customer Affinity or how much they like you that's that's really important, and I guess my starting place for.
You know when it comes to two cells is just a belief that I have is like if you if you have a product or service that can actually help somebody and you have results you know first of all if if you have something like that then I think you have a moral obligation to do everything you can to get that person to buy so that's where it starts where I start and that's kind of from the school of Jay Abraham.
If anybody is familiar with M kind of. Dairy marketing mind, but so that's my starting point and you know so that said I think it kind of find that balance it does depend on the relationship that you have with your your tribe with your list so you know if you if you're someone that you've developed just two ton of trust and people on your list their trust level is super high then I think that allows you to make more offers in Anna post purchase funnel with upsells.
The thing that gets annoying and you know it's in that words in your question. I totally get it because I've experienced it too is right look. It's annoying is when like someone new comes in to your universe and they're totally cold, and maybe they just want to come and buy like a $10 product, and then you're trying to upsell them.
You know five different things, and they they just met you you know they don't know you and so it is like business owners. We have to think about the kind of relationship that we're building from very beginning and. You know at the end of the day. We're selling to human beans, and it's just like any other relationship.
You know if I'll if I know you really well, and and you know I can trust me. I'm in a better position to say you know hey, I saw you just bought this and a lot of people who buy you know product X. They also want to buy product. Why and we sell it for you know forty dollars, but if you pick it up now.
You can get it for 30 or 20, and so that is a much stronger position to to come from if you have that kind of. Should ship but sure like so in general I could flourish can generalize it my general advice to people and we get this from customers to you know somebody's brand new coming into your and your world.
You know 1/2 upsells Max up cells are important. Especially in your traffic campaigns because it can pay for your ads if you get the right kind of funnel if you've got somebody who has a high level trust, and I think you're in a good space to do you know three or four upsells, but you. Going to be listening to feedback, and if it doesn't go well with your with your audience you get negative feedback, then you want to change that obviously yes.
Yeah for sure for sure and you know one of the key things that you you mentioned is that you know if your got a new customer coming through your site trying to fry by a $10 product. You know it may not be good to up. Sell them. You know you know a $50 additional products or something like that so yeah, you have to make sure your whatever you.
Elliott's, it's intelligent if you can you know provide some type of intelligence into it and maybe when people do a guest check out. You know, maybe just show them certain of sell items as opposed to those that are are logging in and have created an account in apart from you in the past because yeah, and you know top of that it really makes sense as to the type of things that you're up selling is it are.
They related does it make sense with the person that's purchasing. Any of your products really be interested, so you really have to understand your customer and make sure you've got a pretty solid and up-to-date typical customer profile. You know in mind anything anytime you make up. You know updates and changes to your two years site and your shopping cart so Chris kind of Shifting Gears.
Just a little bit. You know because I always like to kind of dig into the kind of the lessons that business owners have learned and challenging challenges that people have overcome and so. With what you've been doing what has been the biggest challenge use challenge you had in growing your business your side business that is into your main business because I know a lot of people listening are in that same boat.
You know they've got a nine-to-five like you mentioned in when you read your intro that you started with a nine-to-five you had a side business, and then you know eventually transitioned into full-time, so what was you know some of the challenges, and how did you overcome? Those? Yeah, I mean with with that.
You know I mean anybody who has like a regular. With day job. They can relate to just the time challenge. I'm right. You know you're you got your responsibilities at your day job, and you're trying to build this this other business that you know may or may not work, and and I had you know I tried to start launch other products and things like that before that the only side that were just total flops and that's.
That's a really hard thing to do especially when your time is limited, and I think for for me as a parent. You know. I've got two kids and a wife, and I'm just kind of different responsibilities from you know the somebody in there. Just fresh out of college, and you know they can they can bootstrap it and live off ramen noodles, and and you know that that wasn't an option for me, so I so I think that mean the biggest challenge was just like realizing that I.
Have time to do it all and so what that forced me to do something while to realize that but what it forced me to do was to kind of Bear Down on. What are the things that I'm I'm best at like if I get one hour focus on. You know being able to write sales copy or figure out the offer which I through that process I found out that was what I was really good at was was copywriting and so anything else that needed to get done.
I started that did you shift in my mind to look for? Outsourcing opportunities so that it just didn't take up space in my head you know in terms of like implementation so then that was another challenge of like well, how do you then go about finding Outsourcing and we learned a lot through through doing that as well you know giving different different tests to people that you want to look at hiring to make sure that they can actually do what they.
Say, they're going to do or you know get excited a builder or design a webpage for you a little things like that, but yeah, I would say the biggest challenge was was time and then figuring out how to duplicate my myself internet with Outsourcing yeah, that makes sense, and I tell small business owners that all the time do not wait too late to to get help and these days.
I mean, I really kind of no excuse these days with the amount of Outsourcing opportunities and platforms that are out there. You know from the sites like up work you know there. Guru that's freelancing me this I could go on and on naming These Arm freelancing types of sites where you have a whole Marketplace of of people from all over the world that can do very you know literally anything from from writing copy to writing product descriptions for you two doing graphic design, and you know web design, hope you know the list goes on and on and for you know at the beginning.
It's very key because you can really get work done the V Outsourcing at affordable prices, so. Yeah, definitely don't discount that early on and getting that help because it's it's out there. You just have to you know find the right right people and try things and you know give me trial earlier because I've you know I've talked to two business owners that have gotten burned.
You know going to freelancing around, but you know. It's a big world. You know there's a lot of others out there, so you know if you burn one citizen necessarily mean you're going to get burned again. Just have to definitely keep that in mind now. I know you've got a force alive experience with using woocommerce, and what would you say are some of the advantages to the Commerce shopping cart as opposed to some of the others?
Yeah, definitely, I mean, I one of the things I see with woocommerce is it's you know 200% customizable, so you know it's open source. There's there's a huge. Community of developers of course, but I mean also just a huge community of marketers, and you know like every role in a business that anybody who's using woocommerce.
There's a just a fantastic Community around the platform, which is really cool, so I think one of the big benefits as I mentioned before is that you can I mean, you can make your store exactly how you want it, so I mean your options are pretty much Limitless with the amount of you know developer.
In different tools that are out there, so yeah, you can really just create the kind of experience that you want nobody is going to take the blue converse doesn't take a cut of your your revenue is another thing which some platforms do that yeah true true. That's really angry big. You know I think those are things.
I've heard from our Customer because me we we talked our customers a lot and just why do you like woocommerce and one of the things that comes up to is just on a they they report back that you know one things with woocommerce is it makes your site make sure story easier to find from SEO standpoint because they host it.
It's not a it's not hosted on another platform, so they can optimize it from a SEO standpoint as well, and so that's that's one of the things. Your back when we talk to our customers OK great get it that makes sense yeah, I know with some of the other larger competitors your options can be a little limited especially if you're trying to do something.
That's not a typical. You know maybe you're you're trying to do you know something where you requires? Some different type of coating or feature that is not standard in some of the bigger shopping carts where you definitely have that flexibility and commerce so yeah that that totally makes sense yeah, that's right.
I mean we have a lot of people. I mean one of the big ones that we have as people who decide they're going to leave Shopify and comb over to woocommerce, and they they find us and we hear some of those common issues as well, but I just it just depends on what you need or want to do in your your busines.
Like I think shop the Shopify is an awesome platform. Yeah, I mean like anything. It's it's it's going to be good for others and not work for some folks. I'm sure there are people who leave with Commerce and go to Shopify associes kind of yeah, sometimes. You just don't know to you get in there.
Yeah, it is true. You know if I have experiences with businesses that have tried both people that have started with Shopify switched over and yet vice versa so I know. Exactly what you're saying now as far as you know with your experiences that you've had dealing with e-commerce businesses. What would tips have you used to help some of the larger Brands grow that you think could be applied to start up Ecommerce stores people that are just launching things.
You know kind of the general philosophy. I guess is you're always looking into to break even on the front. End and your profit is May and on the back end so like that's where the. Your money is made when you are able to sell to your existing customers, and I think a lot of focus gets put on how to you acquire customers.
How do you build a traffic Campaign? Which that's important, but in terms of like really growing your business. You know you're having to under traffic campaign. You're spending money, and hopefully you can dial an end to where you're breaking even, but you don't actually make profit until you figure out how to.
So to the people you've already have already come on board and some capacity so right and then when you kind of dialed in inside that segment of customers. They're going to be those who are worth more than others. So you know there's going to be a group when you look at your numbers like a group who's going to spend $100 with you, and that's it, and there's gets smaller group, and they'll do 500 over the last time, and then there's even a smaller group.
They'll buy anything from you you release whatever. They're going to buy it and so the. Acquisition super important, but in general you like the profit and growth happens when you focus on the people who have already bought something from you, and I mean that's actually why the 1-click upsell is so awesome because writing somebody makes a purchase their orders going through that that's like that's the highest level of trust.
They're going to have somebody to just enter their credit card information, and they trusted you enough to click Buy. If you're feeling awesome, and so then you have this awesome opportunity to come in and make a really relevant one time offer right that's one of the reasons is just works you say well.
Yeah for sure and those are the type of customers that you know if they've gone that extra step, then yeah, you really want to pay close attention to them, maybe if you've got a minute email list you know put them in a special list where you segment those customers, so you know if down the road you have some other future product.
Add-on you could Target those customers for sure because they know you date. You knew that they took advantage of that initial observers that that makes total sense and so we always like to end up the podcast asking one final question Chris it. What is one thing and e-commerce business can do right now to help their business grow get sales and get traffic the the one thing would be to to talk to your customers, so it would be identifying like who's who in the last 12 months has spent the most money.
With you and then picking up the phone and calling them or sending them an email and you know even I have a mentor of mine one of the things you used to do is see what he would find these people he would send them just a free gift in the mail with a thank you note, and you know the reason for this is because like the people who spent the most with you like those are the people.
That you want to know intimately in terms of what makes them tick and you want to find more people just like them, and once you know what books. Are you read where they go on vacation like everything about them. That's going to change the way that you that's going to direct your focus in terms of how you target for traffic campaigns.
How you write your sales copy because you just keep refining. You know exactly who it is that you're going after if that makes sense. Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally totally. Yeah, it's and it's something you're going to have to as a business owner for final four time because you know your your customer segment, and you know the average your customer profile that can change over time, so it's it's not something.
That's that's static so you want to definitely be mindful of that. And make changes you know as things go along right so great. It was it was definitely a pleasure speaking with you Chris. I appreciate all of the the tips that you gave that's definitely going to help the Commerce businesses that are listening and before let you go people want to get in touch with you.
What is the best way for them to reach? You can email me Chris at Luker and then our website is Luke curve, and you can see what we're up to their. We've got a lot of training things on training videos and whatnot on our blog, but those are the two best places to connect OK great. That sounds awesome Chris well.
Thanks again, and we appreciate you joining us here on the e-commerce marketing podcast. Thanks again. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast to access e-commerce videos and other resources to help your business grow please visit get OSI com forward slash videos subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast and please leave a rating and a review.
Thanks for listening. See you next time.