Welcome back everyone to the e-commerce marketing podcast my name is Alen Robinson your host and today we have a very special guest with us his name is Ravi Porreca, and he is the co-founder and CEO at heat heaps. Analytics platform helps companies to understand every internationally there customers the company works with six thousand businesses such as Casper the skim and Marketo eliminating the manual work that traditional analytics tools require, and thanks a lot Ravi for joining us, and I hope I pronounce your last name correct is that right?
Yeah, yeah, that's right, and thanks for having me Arlen. Yeah great to be here. Oh, yeah, not not a problem, and it's great to have you here and before we get started and kind of get into what is we're going to be talkin about as far as be Commerce marketing and analytics. Why don't you tell me a little bit about your background, and how you got into analytics you and your business partner, and you know where you are today?
Yeah, of course, so you know I'm one of the founders of pits by South and Mateen and the two of us went to Stanford together. We know each other will get both of us were undergrads they're studying computer science and once we graduated with Tina actually went to Facebook. He was a product manager there and was responsible for growing the engagement retention the user base of Facebook Messenger and basically the problem.
He was running into there as a product manager. There was a problem that he solved today. If there's a lot of manual work going into instrumentation a lot of manual work going into analytics that required a lot of time and Engineering effort. They often did not. Able T into what was going on and Soma teens inside was why don't we handle?
Why don't we automate some of the hard parts available when we automate some of the tracking code things. You normally have to do to get analytics to work, so that was sort of the idea behind keep basically web analytics that you don't have to really you know spend a lot of engineering effort and time and money and resources into to get to work for the something that works out of the box.
I think successful to anyone and that's kind of how we got into it. Okay. Okay great yet, that sounds awesome, and I. In Italy Echo your sentiment because from what I can recall we've been in business for quite a while and if experimented with the whole gamut of analytics tools and from the very beginning.
You know there was a lot of limitations in analytics at that time early 2000s, and it's definitely grown quite a ways the whole industry these days. I think it's it. I mean data is is almost a whole new industry at this point and analyzing data. It's really a very strong Niche that people are actually specializing in and actually putting that down as a line item on the resume that you know they are experts in and analytics and analyzing analytics for marketing purposes so absolutely you know so without further Ado where's thing I wanted to get into it and ask you since the majority of our business are open.
Of our listeners are Bismol business owners with e-commerce businesses wanted to see why do you think analytics is so important for e-commerce businesses? Yeah of course? I think the primary reason is at the end of the day this stuff is really competitive if you are are selling indicates of Castro mattresses one of our customers if you're selling mattresses online.
You know there are literally one hundreds of other companies doing the same thing and analytics is a way to differentiate yourself. To really understand when you've paid so much to get someone to visit your website understanding what it is. They're doing that leads to the things you care about like purchase and repeat purchase and engagement things like that if you don't have a crystal clear view of what it is your users.
You're doing you're essentially paying a lot of money to acquire your users, and then not doing anything to really drive the outcomes that you want to see and at the end of the day you're paying the same amount as all your competitors are to acquire those customers and if there. Using analytics if they're using measurement to really get an edge there you're going to be left behind and ultimately not be able to run a profitable business, so I think that's why it's so so key to any business small or large to get a clear picture of what people are doing for sure yet it that definitely Rings true on my end.
I give a webinar a couple weeks ago. Actually a couple months ago as I mentioned when we first spoke that we as a company here at OSI affiliate software we. Kind of in the same boat as a lot of businesses where we've tried a variety of different marketing strategies and techniques, and you know we we kind of tooled around with Google analytics, but didn't really set anything up with that and a lot of money was wasted now that we look back at it because you know throwing stuff on the Holocene if it would stick and without really analyzing it and without having really a said direction as to what were the end result on doing certain tactics over.
Others you know we burn through a lot of cash and I know a lot of a lot of businesses out there listening have done the same thing so I can't stress enough how from the very beginning of launching a business. It's key that you have some type of analytics platform in place, so you know every marketing dollar is a strategic dollar spent and based on a sound sound data on so you can make a sound decision on that now that kind of brings me, too.
You know the next question which is little related to the first one. You know with start-up business as you said it's never too early to start analytics, but with a start-up business is there certain types of data that a startup business should focus on as opposed to another type. That's you know I guess further down further into it.
Yeah. I think you hit on something. That's pretty key, which is it sounds nice in theory to say Hey you gotta have analytics from day one, but it's also an investment of time and. For when your startup business you don't have a lot of time you don't have a lot of people you're in a full-time analyst who can go in there and Implement like a complex analytics solution, so you do really have to as you said kind of be focused about what it is.
You're you're you're tracking and what it is. You're measuring. I think things that are key our understanding. You know attribution at the end of the day like understanding where people are coming from what campaigns running that are driving people to your website, and then also understanding what those how those same people are converting and then.
How those same people are making repeat purchases if that's a key part of your business so if you if you have those touch points recorded, and if you have those all tied to a single user so you can say this person came from this campaign they purchased. They came back and pursed again two days later if he have that entire Loop recorded then you can you can really understand.
What campaigns are driving like. The customers at the highest lifetime values, and you can you know change your marketing mix is needed you can make tweaks to your website is needed things like that so I think as long as you have if you start there, and then get more candle arity about user behavior and stuff like that over time.
I think that's the place to start as a startup right and I think what everything that you just mentioned really ties into looking at the data seeing what tactics are successful and then making changes, and so they're really comes down to for e-commerce businesses it comes down to Ridley that. The use of that analytics and data, it comes down to conversion rate optimization and in optimizing the path that people take to the site into and I to actually ultimately make a purchase or a conversion so yeah, I think that's very very important because you know you'll do.
I think you'll be able to clearly see when looking at at your data and looking at analytics that if somebody is going taking a certain route, and they're not. There will be ending up in making a purchase then obviously something has to change in that route. Maybe you know they're going to the wrong content Pages.
Maybe there's something on that site or that page that needs to be optimized so you all of that really I think right with e-commerce business relates to just the conversion rate optimization now. I mentioned earlier as far as experience here at OSI affiliate software. I mentioned earlier that we experimented it early on with some Analytics.
Forms like Google analytics you know most people when they hear about analytics for websites. They think of Google analytics. How do you use? How would you say he compares to Google analytics? Yeah? That's a good question. I think so so first and foremost. I think Google logis is a great platform.
It's been around for. I think almost 20 years now forces and Standalone product called urgent that Google acquired. It made it free and really. I think Google is the first company really democratized analytics before that I think good to pay a lot of money. Just to have access to that kind of software, but I think one of the things that's happened.
Is that the internet has changed a lot last 20 years in Google analytics while I can get you a lot of great stuff out of the box is not necessarily kept up with a lot of that change websites are getting more complicated. If you go to any moderate e-commerce website. There's a lot more. Expedient just you know the catalog of items select one by it you're done people are getting a lot more sophisticated about the structure their website around the things the types of content.
They have there around the length of the buying journey into consideration process and as a result what you really need to understand is like. It's not just about high-level metrics like how many pages are people looking at or what's their bounce rate. It's about seeing. What's the entire user pass people are taking what paths lead to conversion what Pat's don't be too conversion what Pat's?
To repeat purchase overtime, you know what is like my multi-touch models, so you know maybe I maybe I pay a dollar and add words to acquire someone and they convert. That's great, but more realistically. They're probably going to interact with my website my brand Central times while they're considering a purchase just to make a purchase and how do I measure each one of those interactions?
How do I tie all those to a single user and understand? What's going on Google analytics is actually capable of answering those questions, but it requires an incredible amount of work to do that right incredible, I'm. Custom code and tagging and implementation to get it to the state work and do that right right we're trying to do instead is automate a lot of that manual work and automate a lot of that tagging so he out of the box is tracking the interactions and touch points and clicks and things like that they're happening that website tying them to a user letting you identify that user see what that person did and understand that person deeply with 0-2 minimal.
You know engineering or instrumentation work up front? No need to really retain and analytics agency or or or a full-time analyst just to get you know those simple insights, so that's that's kind of how we see ourselves differentiating with a Google analytics. Yeah, that makes sense and everything that you mentioned as far as.
Is requiring you know a lot of development and implementation just to kind of get it setup to be able to analyze key touchpoints. AZ is really where Google analytics kind of falls short for you know for the average business owner that doesn't have a. A developer and analytics expert that can set it up for and unfortunately as a business internally a week.
We kind of learned the hard way here at armies, Omni star where we know we got a fair amount of it implemented and set up, but really weren't able to because of the amount of effort required really weren't able to get and pull the right data points from our conversions are web traffic and all of that and so that's why yeah we quickly look for other Solutions and experiment with a lot of other systems.
And of course I as I mentioned prior to the interview that we came across Heap, and then we've been using you guys for for a little while and as you said it's your goal was to to make it easy for a business to to Really study, and analyze those key metrics without having a you know a develop full time developer on staff.
You know dedicated to setting up and managing analytics, and you know it's very important exactly. What are some lessons that you. Small businesses can learn from the analytics practices of larger e-commerce Brands you know because we all know you know even though it's tough for small businesses to even compete with some of the larger Brands, you know the Amazon's of Wal-Mart's that Macy's all those big brands that are you know on the retail side, you know they're doing a lot of stuff on their back in as far as analytics so from what you from what you know with being an industry.
What are some things that they're doing that you know can also be. Be the replicated or learned from a small business. I think being a small business competing with big Brands is a bit of a double-edged sword so on one hand as you mentioned your of the resources that they have, but there's a lot of things they do that takes them a lot longer than it takes you to do is to small business.
You can kind of you know place or prevent uneven battle there and sometimes when I think if you look at what the big businesses are doing they're doing a lot of conversion rate optimization if you if you look at someone you mentioned Amazon at any given time they probably have 20 or. Tests running on just their homepage alone let alone on the product flows the various other parts of the site.
That's obviously extreme example, but even if you take some of our smaller, but still big customers like a Casper or a Payless ShoeSource. They're doing a lot of conversion rate optimization. They have all teams of people doing that stuff. Not the flip side of that is when you take a company like that where they're doing literally millions of dollars of Revenue on a daily basis.
The cost of doing a task is really high, and if you do a test that fails or a test that leads to a bad customer experience you can you can permanently damage your brand with a certain set of users and so they have to be a lot more conservative about the things they try so while they can run 20 tests simultaneously, and they have a whole Army of ammo Anna.
You know analyzing that data and running those tests and developing those things. They also do fundamentally very conservative and thoughtful about the test they run whereas when you are a smaller business you can be more experimental you can try things out because you have the entire universe of people to go after so I think the thing you can learn from from bigger businesses and also kind of fight asymmetrically on is is a you know do a lot of conversion rate optimization, but don't be afraid to try some interesting unique cool ideas and those are things that big businesses.
Don't always have the luxury of doing because they have a lot more downside. So yeah, I think that's what I'd share and I think you know a lot of those like you said small businesses don't have the money to burn on doing those things, but to a small extent small businesses can still do little tests took really kind of analyzed you know doing different strategies.
You know there's always tests that you can do as far as like adword campaigns where your spin can be a minimal amount. And copy can can change slightly, so I think you know like you said there's even though. They're the money burn that they have access to is minimal compared to the big guys that you can still you can still play around with some things, and I think learn a lot one of the thing I was thinking we were speaking about Google as compared to two you guys and kind of wide Google at this point.
I guess you could say has it really necessarily kept up with some of these changes and making things easier for the for the. User, I'm a part of you had a look ahead is this Google is even though they you know billions of dollars in there. You know they and their counts they are spread across a lot of channels as far as what they're focusing on and so it could be at the point where you know that's not their main core Focus right now.
You know. They're you know they're into a lot of different Industries outside of the search, and you know cell phones, and you know that the the AdWords and. You know they're looking in the smart card technology. You know the list goes on and on with them, so it could just be an area that I mean I could see maybe at some point.
They phase out of it. What do you think yeah? I think I think that's an interesting point like at the end of the day Google is not an analytics company who was a lot of things surge course being the one that ever knows them for and I think you have to remember like you know why did they invest into analytics?
Why do they make that product free? At the end of the day their goal is to drive more Revenue to Google AdWords and advertising and so a lot of what the advancements that haven't made an advert sort to measure sort of the analytic measure the effectiveness if you had words again pains whereas things like you know conversion rate optimization things like conversion finals things like that are not necessarily.
We're Google cares all that much about how great of a product experience to deliver on the analytic side, that's not their money May could have stopped there where they where they really Drive revenue from so. I think that's just something to keep in mind when considering them as then which provider you alright.
Definitely. You know speaking of these Trends. How do you see the future of analytics and what do you what do you see the industry headed actually? Yeah? I think I mean I'm obviously a little bit biased given visit. This is kind of our Prada philosophy, but I think automation is a big part of it Analytics.
And be very cumbersome very difficult making require a lot of ailment work the way he Brooks out of the box you get a lot of insights in a lot of data, but it fits there still is some work if to put into it. You still have to sort of invest into our tool to get value out of it. Just like any other tool.
We want to get more and more automated over time so that one day you can install a heap and using a combination of automated data collection side, but also automating you know. Machine learning algorithms and stuff like that on top of the data. We're collecting Too Short a proactively show you insights about your users that you may not necessarily have thought of so those are the sorts of things that we want to build towards here at keep and I think we're the analytics industry in general is going to build towards, which is more more automation around.
You know machine learning algorithms to sort of pull things out of the data. Proactively right right yeah, that's a yeah automation is really key and basically performing certain functions based on. The need the data, that's being analyzed and that's yeah, I definitely see that as where everything is going and so long we also the final question one of the things that we always ask all of our guests.
They join us here is what is the one thing that an e-commerce business can do right now to help their business grow get traffic and get sales yeah, I'll give a bit of an unorthodox or maybe unexpected answer given what it is. We do. I take talk to your customers. You know analytics is is a very powerful, too.
One can tell you a lot about what's going on, but but there's very little substitute for having real human conversations with people so you always have to supplement the the sort of data side of things that data-driven side of things with with the human element, and I'd say talk to your customers understand.
Why it is they buy the things that you sell and and what motivated them to do that in the first place what their Journey was and he might learn a lot from those conversations right definitely is eat like you said there's really nothing can beat that beat that either the face-to-face so the phone.
Conversation on what your customers think about your product or service how you can improve it. You know nothing really can can really suede. Item you can look at the data. All you want, but the bottom line. It's what does the in customer think even though you can learn a lot about what they think and what they feel about certain products and services that you're offering, but nothing really beats that that direct feedback from it mean that can be gathered a number of different ways not even just directly can also be done through survey.
An annual adding different touch points that you have with your customer to obtain that feedback whether it's absolutely you know whether you've got them on some type of trip email campaign, and you know you just want to ask their brief opinion about something. You know not only just you a survey, but just their General feedback and and that can definitely shape how a business moves forward yeah, that's that's definitely something.
That's very important Robbie. Like to definitely. Thank you for joining us here on the e-commerce marketing podcast was a pleasure talking to you if anyone wants to get in touch with you or learn more about you or your company keep I would they can touch with you. Yeah, I mean if you want to talk to me directly you can just shoot me an email at Rafi at Heap analytics Com or you can just visit our website if you'd like to explore our product sign up.
There's a free trial and also a free program that. That allows small businesses to use our product for free so you can just sign up correctly on the website Heap analytics, So. Yeah, thank you so much for having me Arlen. It's been a pleasure or you have no problem. It's a pleasure having you here as well.
Thanks again for joining us right. Thanks. 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. Cameras marketing podcast and please leave a rating and a review.
Thanks for listening. See you next time.
Podcast Guest Info
Co-Founder / CEO, Heap Analytics