Help the Podcast
Hey, Scott Austin here.
This episode is a new format. I'll be doing a consult with some Shopify store owners and you'll get to listen in. We did this in an online meeting where we're sharing the screen and discussing the store. We recorded both audio and video. You are currently listening to the audio-only. If you want to watch the video instead, I've included a link to it in the show notes. You won't miss anything by listening to just the audio. But some listeners may enjoying seeing the screen we are looking at we go through the consult. This audio version was edited for smoothness, while the video is raw and a bit longer.
With that said, let's dive right into the consult.
I have a guest and a two guests, actually co-founders of a store. And Shopify has been around since 2016. And you've probably heard of this store before, cause they're crazy successful. And they do a fabulous job, which most people should be doing in Shopify store. It's just having a mission and telling their story and making human connection. These two gentlemen do a fantastic job and the store is called John's crazy stocks and the founders are John and mark Cronin, Marcus, the father, Jonathan son. And if you haven't heard their story before, I'm going to hand it over to mark right now. And he's going to tell you a little bit about the history and the mission behind John's crazy socks.
You want to say, Hey to Scott Ascot. Next to me you my name is John did my partner, my dad, mark. We are shocked because doc what's our mission spray having it
Spreading happiness. All right. So Scott origin stories matter. We'll tell you real quickly how we got started and why. It was back in the fall of 2016. And where were you at and stool? So what people may know, or you may, may not, if you have a disability, you can stay in the public school system anywhere in the us until you turn 21. But then you've got to go. I mean, sometimes known as the 21 year old clip. And that's what John was and you went down syndrome, right? Right. So like everybody else, Tom, to trying to figure out what do I do next? I didn't see a lot of good options, which is an unfortunate reality. There aren't a lot of good options for people with disabilities. But John, he is a natural entrepreneur. He, he looks at that and instead of seeing a problem, sees it as an opportunity. If I can't find a job, I'll make one. And what'd you tell them?
I said, I was offended with my dad, a nice fellas up in there. Right?
So we'll jump to the last one. There were a couple of false start ideas, but right before Thanksgiving, you had your, your Rica moment. What'd
You? I said, I want to shop for food. You stop it colorful. [inaudible]
We used to drive around and looking for socks for John. So we figured it. John loved them that much. Surely there would be other people. And we could find that tribe. And we went the lean startup route and Shopify was great for making that possible. We didn't do a lot of analysis. We didn't do a lot of planning. What we said was we'll build a site, we'll get a little inventory and we'll see if people respond and they will tell us whether or not it's a good idea. Well, it turned out. We opened on what day
[Inaudible] together, knife turn 16,
Right? Not without the bumps. What time are we going to open
At 10:00 AM or 10 in the morning? And what happened? We'll have tech that I just, my dad, because
The webmaster at the time that'd be me messed up the code and crashed the site. These things are going to happen. We opened at three in the afternoon and it tested well, right? We shipped 452 orders we had in that month, we had 13,000 in revenue and we learned this was something we could do. And what we've built is a different type of business model. It's a social enterprise. We have both the social mission and the business mission overall it's spreading and showing what people with different abilities can do. So it's four pillars, inspiration and hope. I probably, you can love make it post. All right. So real quickly to make an, a personal, we're always driving on that, but it's a pit of [inaudible] by the fact that every package gets, I get thinking of and Cagney a handwritten, thank you. Note from John and a package of candy.
That's a lot of writing you're doing there. That's really impressive.
We do so copy it now. So there was a Reddit thread once on people trying to figure out how many hours it would take John to write all those notes. And again, you get little blips. When we started with candy, what are we using? Which everybody loved. You'd open a package and smelled the chocolate until we got the email from the woman in Florida. You may not want to be sending trumpet through the mail. So when we write fun products and socks, you can love, you know, at its heart. What drove us to do this with John [inaudible]? And that means offering great selection, great products, great service. today we now have over 3000 skews. We are the world's largest sock store in terms of choice. Nobody else offers as much. It's gotta be about the socks and the service. We do our own shipping, same day shipping and order comes in.
It's going out that day. The giving back is baked into what we do. You see that in two big ways, one, we played 5% of our earnings to the special Olympics. Why this photo Olympics and two, we have a whole series of products that raise awareness of causes and raise money for charity partners like the national down syndrome society, autism speaks cerebral palsy, American nurses foundation. And so this is pretty cool. So far we have donated over $450,000, and this is a real cool thing. This month, John, a special Olympic athlete with the last check is now donated more than a hundred thousand dollars at a special event.
But then, you know, it's ultimately, you know, inspiration and hope. It's hiring people with different abilities. So more than half our workforce has a different ability and showing the world what they can do through. We do tours that we have work groups and speaking engagements and meatier appearances advocacy, right? We testified twice before Congress spoken at the United nations. So all this wraps up to John's crazy socks. And I'll say way into what we're going to talk about with the website. It presents a challenge because there's so much to get across that you have to figure out the best way to do that. And the website has to reflect the social mission, but it's gotta be a great e-commerce website and balancing that out can be a challenge. Absolutely.
And as we're pivotal and let's actually, you know, pivot a little bit and you start talking about the website there, because you know, overall, you guys actually have a fabulous website, right? You've got a few thousand products up there. You know, you can find them all, you know, whether it's through search or browse, you've got lots of promotions going on, things in, and you have a brand, right. You know, your whole mission of, of happiness and fun. It's totally comes through in everything you're doing with the colors you pick and the story you tell, I love at the bottom, you have these, I just call them branding elements, the the four kind of not perfect circles, which I like the fact they're not perfect circle circles. I think it matches with your brand, but you know, that resonating across really well and like a little confetti thing, right?
You, your brand is just really cool. And in all there, the challenge you have like anybody with 3000 skews, especially you have 3000 socks, right? It's not like you've got, you know, socks and shirts and hats and hoodies and see them. You've got some of those other products, but just 3000 socks. That's a really hard process for the customer to make a decision. And I work a lot with stores that have big catalogs, the way I described it. It's all about building out a shopping experience that allows the person to find the one that's right for them. Many stores do a great job in showing all their products. Very few stores do a good job in merchandising their products and making it. So the customer is confident in the decision that they're making. You know, the way I look at a store to start off with is I go to the most important page, which is the product page.
So I don't start with the homepage. When I design a website, I don't start a collection pages. When I design a website, I start at the product page. And you know, the, the, the first thing to think about is on your product page. What is a product, for example, you already do a good job of this. If this pair of socks, given two different colors, that would be one product with two variants, right? Which is to me the right way to do it for that product. Other apparel stores we'll have those as two separate products, which I think is more confusing.
So I think you do that. You keep getting smarter. Yeah. Everything's in evolution, right?
Nobody knows how to do this stuff. Day one. And you know, the, the, the people that get better at it are the ones that stay in it longer and become more successful.
And we have to, I think to be successful, you have to keep driving ourselves because we do customer satisfaction surveys. We're always looking for feedback. We do a rolling customer satisfaction survey, and we ask them about the website and he's abused. Did you define what you wanted? And overwhelmingly the answer is yes, we love it. But if we took that and went home, we'd be in trouble. Yes.
Yes. Well, and some of your customers, you know, everybody's going to, you guys are, you're super fantastic, right? You come across so well, you have a great mission. A great story. No, one's going to speak bad about you. Even if the shopping experience was bad, be perfectly honest because you know, why do people buy from Amazon? It's not because they have a great shopping experience. I actually believe that Amazon is the worst shopping experience on the internet, but people buy there because they have everything. And two day shipping and free shipping because of those things, people are happy with Amazon. They're not happy with the shopping experience.
Right. Nobody feels warm and fuzzy about anything.
Yeah. And you know, you spend way more time trying to figure out which of the 4,700 different tripods is the right one for you. But you know, here, you know, on your product page, who writes your product descriptions, by the way,
We have multiple people writing those. So we we've done it a number of different ways when we started, I was writing them, right? This is how you evolve. It's like the big bang theory when we started, it was just us. As then, as you grow, you add people. What we've done is we put together a network of people that write them, that love writing these things. We have different staff members, right? So it's not always the same person, but we're trying to get one explanation I give to folks is most people, they don't need to read anything. They're just going to look at the SOC, but we do get customers who will spend an hour at the site just going from product to product. And we want to entertain them. You don't need to write a paragraph to say, this is a blue sock, which stars on it. So go have some fun,
Loved your copy, right? Mo most stores, the worst thing about their, their entire is their product copy. And your product copy is actually really good. And it shows that you actually write them and you spend the time right at the bottom of your product and scripts, and you got the normal, you know, sizes and, you know, fabric and all that kind of stuff, which nobody cares about in general. And you don't buy it for that, but it's good information to have. But above that, you put a reason why people should buy these socks. What kind of, you know, feeling are they going to get? Or what kind of satisfaction are they going to get when they make this choice? And they are really, well-written, you know, I thoroughly loved your product descriptions. They're there, there's close to perfect. As I've seen in, in any store.
That's cool. Thanks. That's a lot of fun.
Yeah. Yeah. And it shows right. And you know, one, you know, feedback or improvement you could make there is, you know, you could actually make those full with, if you wanted to and just a little code or you're doing the third book theme, I think in a little simple code at it, you could make it. So those are full width on desktop, even though most Bronx mobile anyways. And that would get rid of a little white space right there. And I also liked the fact that you do the recently viewed because there are so many choices they can go back and basically see what they were looking at. And that's a nice little feature. I think you could use the one that's built in the turbo theme. And then you've got your, what I call the branding elements before, which I really like, and which reinforces the mission and the value prop of the business and the mission beyond the business, not just the socks.
And then you've got product reviews, which are awesome. And what I love, you know, when I look at product reviews and read them, you can see if people, you know, what people value about you. And so many of your product reviews talk about the mission now. And none of the ones that are on this page here, do they actually do that? But I I've looked at so many of them and they talk about how they love their Skittles, right? They love the note, right? So the human connection, the personal story really resonates with them. And they talked about the mission and people of differing abilities. And because I see those comments in the reviews, that to me is, is the data behind the fact that your mission and story are coming through really well. If you know, I've had some stories where they're mission-based and it shows up the reviews and like, yeah, we're doing all the right stuff.
And you've got to tell your story for people to know your story. You guys are doing a good job in selling it, but I'm also people that tell their story and it doesn't show up from the reviews. And that's just a sign that either we're telling it wrong, or people don't care, right. It doesn't move the needle, but in your, your space, it is totally a differentiator for you and your customers. Absolutely love it on this page here. Right. Some of the things that I would add, right? So because your apparel two really important things are shipping and return information. Now you've got a shipping policy, you've got a return policy. What I normally do for a store is I, you know, go a little accordion functionality. You know what I mean? My say accordion, I'm not sure I do. Your FAQ probably has an according
Where you were Dan's
Out, right? Yeah. So I usually put it a little accordion functionality in insert the shipping policy and the review policy in there. So there's review and shipping information on that page. Another thing that could be really useful, and I would put this into an accordion also is you talk about where your socks are manufactured most of the time, and there's different manufacturers. You could have an accordion that is about the manufacturer, and you could write that on a page, you know, a page being an entity in Shopify, right? Like a collection of product and a page. You could have a page between your manufacturers and then put in some gift, then logic and liquid code that says, if the product vendor is equal to, you know, LA sock company.com, then show this page of information. And on that page, you would have their logo and a little bit of description about them.
Some people you don't care about where their socks or manufacturing chemicals are used, and you can do that at the company level. So you write that page about a company once and then use it for all the socks that you know, the company has. And I love the fact, you got the review stars up here, you're showing the sale information. That's all nice and good. I generally don't put a variant of one option on a product and that's just a design choice on my side, right? If there's only one color, it comes in, I wouldn't show color as a variant for this product in the description. I might say, you know, comes in blue or something like that, just because it looks empty. And that might be one of those I'm too close to this. And I spend too much time on websites, but I try to make it as simple as possible and as non confusing, as possible as I can for my customers.
So putting up a very, a one to like, well, is there a purple option? That's just not showing today or in that kind of thing. Okay. But on your product page, right. I would have that accordion or whatever functionality for more information. And I fully believe that a product should be a standalone one page website. And what I mean by that is you also have, you know, you're mission-based and that good stuff. And you've got the little circle value of the brand value props, but you might also have in this accordion or tab functionality where you're stacking up all this content, you might have something like about the mission or about, you know, the charities or what, or what your purchase is
Supporting that we've thought of adding is a counter that would show as a, how many hours of work had been created, or maybe how much money had been raised for charity partners so that you would, you would see that and you would know that your purchase drives.
Yes, yes, no. That's great stuff. So, you know, cause a lot of people are going to, you know, they might search for stars and moon socks, right. And they're going to land on this page of your right. They're gonna land right on your product page. You're also gonna land right in your collection page and all your other pages. So because they may be searching for unicorn socks or dolphin socks. And that's a guess on my part that your SEO is a lot of product results. They're going to, I would make sure that that product tells your story. It's not the first thing you say, right? On a shopping page, on a product page. It should all be about shopping to start with, but down lower, you know, for those who want to learn more, you just keep adding more and more information in there.
Like I said, I'm a big fan of, you know, there's no such thing as too much content on a product page. Okay. Now, now that said, another thing I noticed is you guys have a YouTube channel which has hundreds and hundreds of YouTube videos and they are awesome. John, you dance. I love watching you dance in your videos, John, but you know, there's, there's also ones of, you know, John doing a review of, of a pair of socks and those kinds of things. So if you had a video for the stars and moon socks or any anyone, I would make sure you include that video on this page and in your about, you know, our mission or about our story. That could also be a video too. Right? Videos are amazing. There's one. I saw the two of you, you do have one video on your site.
It's like your corporate page or something. And just watch the two of you banter about you know, John, you're saying my mom, you know, mark your wife. It was just adorable to watch that interaction going back and forth. You all the two of you together have a really good rapport, right? So, and that makes you guys like a father son pair that people want to buy from, like, these are nice people. And do you want to buy from nice people or do you want to buy from billionaires who were in their own little space race,
Right. Use simple value prop do point out that Jeff Bezos is not putting, thank you note in candy and those Amazon packages. Yeah, but he is
Banking his Amazon employees for sending him to space, giving them a livable wage. So, but that's exactly my point, right? If people wanted to buy from billionaires or if all they cared about was unicorn socks, they'd be on Amazon buying unicorn socks. They're not there on your store. And your differentiator from any of the big companies is you are human beings and you're human beings that are likable and people can get along with. Right. You know, when w when I buy my crazy socks, am I going to tell the story of, yeah, I got this from this big corporate conglomerate and I saved 15% and got them in two day shipping, or am I going to say, no, I got these. And you know, from John's crazy socks, and they're going to tell a story about John and how these socks are helping people of different abilities. People won't be so proud. And so that, and you know, that already, all I'm saying is add that content into the product page and use video on your site. Way more than you're using it today,
Right? Product pages
With eight or nine videos, and you can embed videos and you're in your photo carousel now, you know, which has been around for, I think a year now, I also put them inside of the product description. I'll have them by doing accordion functionality. I'll have videos inside the accordion functionality, but definitely leverage video because you're creating right. I was amazed when I was at YouTube channel. And so how many videos you guys are creating. So, because you're great in that content, make sure to get it into your store.
Okay. You got to get that done tomorrow. Tell it, tell your dad problem to solve.
You just got to keep dancing, but on your product page. Right. You know, there's a lot of good information there. Does your review engine allow photos?
I think, yes. We use the IO the stamp pay old review it.
I don't remember if they allow photos or not. Does anybody submit photos?
We get photos from customers all the time in your reviews, not in reviews. We get them in emails and you know, and then on various social media sites.
Yep. So I, I would do a quick check to see if you can get them. Oh, I think they do it right. I think I see a video or a photo right there and let's let your product photo. So it's stamp that. I allows customers to submit photos. I would recommend you do that also, just because it's more fun for them. Oh, there's one. You do have it on. It's not too many people are solicited. So what you might want to do a check with stamped IO. I judged me for most of my clients for reviews. And I'm not saying you should move to the platform. All I'm saying is on judge me, there's a feature. If someone leaves a review, you can send a follow-up email saying, Hey, thanks for that great review. Would you like to add a photo? Right. So see if stamped IO has that ability, because they may not think about it when they're submitting the review. And just that extra nudge might get a few more of them because it just helps liven up your site a little bit more.
So, you know, we just talked about the product page. I want to take it up to the next step above that, which is your collection pages. I'm just going to go to the all men's socks collection page. Now on your collection page, you're, you know, you're showing your review stars. What I've started doing on a lot of my stores is not showing review stars on the collection page because all your review stars are saying, right? They're all, five-star maybe a 4.5 or something like that. So it doesn't help, you know, on Amazon it's really useful because some products are actually two and a half stars. But if they're all four or five stars, it's not really helping me make a decision. And I see some have stars and some don't, then it becomes a new thing. So I started taking reviews, stars off of collection pages, because they're not helping you make a decision. Now on your collection pages, you're using a filtering app over here, correct? Find a file. Okay. I use a different one most of the time, but does this one allow you to do things by tags? Yes, because right now, because you're doing it by price size. Is that, is that by Marriott?
Yeah. So the site we do side, we do color and we're always trying to clean this up in size. It's color, it's price it's brand, and it's silhouette silhouette,
Like ankle height. Knee-High okay. The size one makes sense to me, right? I like that filters. First of all, when you have 3000 bottles in catalog, a filter app is absolutely essential. The turbo theme comes with the right call, you know, a rudimentary level filtering. It's actually good for including a theme, but it's nowhere near what you need. You definitely need an app. Like you've already made that decision. The size of one makes total sense to me, color absolutely makes sense. And what I like is you haven't made too many colors, you've got one blue. You're not saying turquoise and see blue and Navy blue
Involving that. And even on sizes, you know, had a conversation about that again today, what I would rather do is her size is have extra large, large, medium, and small, because men's is large. Women's is medium, but that's how people search for women's. They don't search for medium socks. No.
Well, I actually have size 13 feet and most standard men's socks stop at 12. So like me, like, does this go to size fourteens? Or was it only for 12? That's an important thing when I'm looking at socks, actually. But color makes sense. Like I said, I love the fact. You don't have too many colors. You might even want to reduce that by one or two, like the beige and brown or something, but it's nice. You don't have 14 different balloons. I liked that. I like the price. Do your customers care about brand?
No, we don't think, you know, some of the brands are hard to distinguish any way. We can see some patterns that would some brand people prefer them, but I don't think it really matters to them. Well,
If you see, when I clicked on a brand here, right, it changed your URL up here. So it's the correction name, followed by a question mark, find a five filter by brand. So if you're using Google analytics, you could actually go in and see if people are using that filter or not. Okay. Because my gut tells me it's not important at this level. Do you have an idea of what other things would be important here? You know, for, for example, I think that a filter by, you know, sports astronomy,
You know, we've tried doing this with our dropdown menus seems can matter. But then you wind up having so many different themes, you know, and that gets to be overwhelming. That could be
So one of the things that I've done before with a store, because you're absolutely right. You can have way too many, like I'm right now working on a store that sells board games. And a lot of board games have what I call a franchise. They do, you know, one board game this year, another one under the same title next year and that kind of thing. But they have too many of these franchises [inaudible] franchises. So what we did is we built this concept of a franchise in the store. And then when you're on a game that is in a franchise and we do that little if then statement, right? If, if this product has a tag and it's using a collection, also, there's a little lots of it to put in place. Then we say on that product page, Hey, this game is part of this franchise. Do you want to see the other games in that franchise for you? It could be themes instead of franchises. Hey, this box, these socks are animal socks. Do you want to look
At other animals? Right?
When it comes to large catalog stores in Shopify, Shopify, doesn't give you a lot of good tools for this. There are some ad-ons like, you know, under the app you're using, but you'll have that spending a lot of time augmenting your data. You'll either do that through tags or through Mehta fields, which just got a whole bunch easier. In the past two weeks with the new Mehta fields being exposed on the, on the Shopify admin that just rolled out. I use it today for the first time and loved it. So it's easier to do those things entering your data is, you know, for large stores augmenting your data is absolutely required. And it becomes a differentiator because it makes it easier for people to find things, you know, you're right. A pull down menu of all your themes is way too many, right? I want your all collections page and you, you have hundreds of them kind of thing. But if someone lands on stars and moons and whatever steam being, whether it's space or astronomy, and then they could see that this is in the space theme or the astronomy theme. And do you want to see all others in that collection? That can be a nice little, you know, element right here somewhere. Yeah.
We people value with because of the selection. And one of the things that people view us mainly as a gift store, because you can personalize that. So the old 80 20 rule doesn't apply more like 60, 40, you know, 40% of the socks account for 60% of the revenue, because you got a long trail in searches that many true bestseller. Yup. That makes total sense. And so the challenge is giving people access to Detroit without overwhelming them. And without having them spend too much time finding what they want. I have spoken to some folks about trying to develop a game of education, where you could pick pictures of things you like, and that would result in showing you socks, that you would like,
That would take a lot more product enrichment like we're talking about. Right. And there's nothing wrong with that, right? When I'm thinking about was on our stars and moon example, where if they search for stars and moon stocks or star socks, right. And landed on your stars and moon sock page as their landing page, you're saying, Hey, if you're looking for other space things, we've got those two and here's an easy way to get to them. And I usually don't recommend navigating away from a product page. But I think in your case, it actually might make sense because you have so many choices here. Now, some other things for filters here, here's kind of a crazy one for you. What about, you know, cause you are, John's crazy socks and they're supposed to be crazy. What if you ranked each of your pairs of socks on their crazy
Level? Oh, that'd be interesting. Right? Because not everybody is ready. Yeah.
Yeah. And on a scale of one to five or whatever kind of thing. Right. You know, so people, how crazy, because you do have, you know, things that are very subdued, you have some ones in here, but you've also got some that are just over the top and maybe people just want the craziest, I don't want to be silly that possibly can give me the fives.
Oh, that's a great idea.
Yeah. You would mean you'd have to like go in and tag each and every one,
Everything and read it. Okay. So you're going to go in and do the tagging. You got to evaluate all 3000 and scale it and went to buy yeah.
Incredulous for those who are [inaudible].
No, no, no. You have to rate each pair on how crazy is that? Their ESOP up very crazy. Or is it a little crazy or is it not crazy at all? Oh, and you've got to do that for 3000 pairs of socks. Okay. I can make it last. You get busy, you can make your work. I love that.
So, I mean, on your collection pages, right? It would be great if you had, you know, a couple more like, I'd just say more useful of the themes is a hard one because there's so many things, but just like you did with colors, if you could simplify that to a smaller set of colors or small set of themes or the most popular themes that there are, that might be useful. But you know what? I saw them to be honest, the only useful one here was for me, it was, you know, size and color, right? So the collection pages, you just need better filters, right? And more filters, which is just hard to do because it means you have to manually tag or create medic fields for everything. But once you do that and enrich your data, then your catalog becomes more useful and more engaging as a shopping experience.
Well, we're going through, you know, one of the processes we're starting on is we're going through to create our own photographs of every item in the store so we can standardize that presentation. And so part of that process, we can go through and tag it.
That's a, that's a lot of work for photography. You're gonna take your photography in house. Huh?
We are negotiating with somebody to do it and get up to speed and, and kind of having an assembly line of we're just feeding them stuff and they're taking photographs. Are
They close by? Yes. Yeah. Okay. Cool. With my clients, you know, they all ask me, do you know if it's soccer for my answer's always no, I wish I did find a good photographer for product photography is hard, but if you can find one and it works out, it is it's incredible, right. Foot photography makes such a difference. You know, I didn't mention on the product page just cause I, and I realized you were taking the photos that were given to you by the suppliers,
But some you're getting from the supplier. So it's all different. And we want to standardize it, you know, with my concept is and you can see this with well-branded ones. You, you want somebody to be able to look at the photo and know that came from our store and the way we'd take it and the way we frame it.
Yeah. So let's take it up the next level, which is navigation, right? So we talked about the products stuck with collections, and then, you know, the, the first step is navigating the top of your site. So I'm clicking right now on the first link and your main nav called men and nothing's happening. So one of my best practices, and it's a hover effect for those of you who are looking at the video, it's a hover effect. One of my best practices. This is really important also in mobile, where you got the hamburger menu and you got to hover over it and then go over to the right and click the down hour to get her to, to expand. I like top level nav elements that clickable and take you somewhere. Now. I don't want you, when you click on this men here to go to the all men's socks, that's too many choices.
But what I would like to see is a page that you build out that just mimics the sub. Then you have ankle athletic basics, crew dress knee-high and all the rest of them. So that page would just be what it is. It's a list of collections page for people who click on that, that men link. And then they get a visual identifier along with the text that's there in the the dropdown and, you know, so they can see the difference between ankle and, and you can, bucketize those also the first half of that might be shocked by size. So you want ankle, do you want, you know, knee-high, do you want compression? You know, that kind of stuff or shot by, you know, and you've got multiple groupings on that page you know, shot by color or shot by price, that kind of stuff. Okay.
Would you recommend on that page putting some best sellers at the top or just having an organization of collection?
I would have bestsellers as a collection, not as products, right. And the reason for that, the normal lens for most of my clients is yes, put bestseller products, but four of them at the top, just four, but you have so many socks when I land on your homepage and I click on men. You do not know enough about me to tell me these sports socks are the right ones for you. So having bestsellers as a collection totally makes sense. But I wouldn't put products on that page. Pretty true for all of your links here now, why do you have socks? So your top level nav is men, women, kids, collections, and then socks. Why do you have socks on there?
I don't know. Yeah, I did. I, I'm not trying to, can I responsibility, but I don't know. We keep, we have been changing this a lot, so I don't know what the rationale yup.
No problem. Right. So to me, you know, it's one of those, the whole purpose of your experience, right? At the navigation level, the list of collections, the collections and the product is to help people make a decision until you what they want. Right. Right. And, and Sox is counter to that, you know, because
We're telling you, this is all socks. And on the other side, we have some variations, but that's confusing. Yep.
Now on the things up here, right? So you, you told me that most people or many people buy your socks as gifts. Right? One of the things you could create is landing pages for different gift events. Right? Right. For example, you a wedding party. I, I see you have a lot of wedding party stuff. Groomsmen, brides, may father, the bride, you know, so you could have a gifts top level section, and you could have a category underneath that. For all these major gift-giving events like birthday anniversary, mother's day father's day, wedding, new baby, all those different categories. That's a great idea.
And we were pushing more. I mean, we, we're trying to do two things. One we're growing the store where we're going to be adding our own lines of socks, because we want to think of us as the one stop shop for any sock they need. But at the same time, we want to lean into that gift giving. So here's something we're going to experiment with this year. We're going to put out a holiday catalog, it'll be a dip right now. We're just planning on making it a digital catalog, but we're going to play off of somebody's old Neiman Marcus thing. So we're going to have some over the top gift options, right? One of them is going to be socks for a year. We'll send you a new pair of socks for every day of the year. And they'll have some outrageous, cause I'm not really expecting anybody to buy it, but yes, that would Fred in perfectly to gifts. Then you should come down, we have your wedding party and gifts. We have birthday gifts. We have mother's day. You know, we pick up some of that in the collection for events, but that would be a good thing to do.
You know, you have in, in your story, down with the turbo theme, you have the page dot details template, right. Which is my favorite template of all the themes, because I would make these pages not collections. And you would have, you know, normally what they look like when I make them, you know, let's just say it's the wedding one. The banner would be a wedding lifestyle, stock photo, or a whole bunch of groomsmen showing off their, their colorful socks. Right. Kind of thing. You know, there's, there's a lot of ones where all the grooves that are different superheroes and that kind of stuff something fun like that. And then underneath that top products and then a collection of everything and maybe some descriptions, and then also tell your story because this age becomes a landing page for you. It's not just part of your, your browsing experience, but as you start marketing to weddings and may timeframe, Hey, get socks for your wedding party. You send them to that page as your landing page for that experience.
Yeah. And Scott, just to correct. One thing, this is the flex team. We went from the turbo flex thing,
But I like, let's say more than terrible. I've all my projects in the past few years have been influx and all my projects from previous two years before that were all in turbo with
Shopify 2.0, who knows where we're going. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, I assume the out of the sandbox folks will have the best themes still, but I'm, I'm definitely anxious to see what this section's anywhere it's going to be like. So, you know, at your top level, I would have gifts in there also you've got subscriptions, which is awesome. Do you have a lot of people subscribing to your
Offering? We do. We've been kind of stuck for a bit and we're about to change apps that we use to manage that, you know, cause right now we have two separate carts and we have not been able to really update the products or the page or get good data. So we are moving from our current vendor who we'd been with since 2017 to yup. And we're going, and we haven't pulled the plug, but, but it looks like we'll be going to
Yep. I find those two to be equal. I don't have a preference of one over the other. Well actually I do a little bit. I actually didn't recharge a little easier to use, but bull the nice thing about them is if you're going to do other things like wholesale or you know, some other things that affect price and anything that affects price, you want one vendor providing you all those apps because all that will happen when something doesn't work, is they all point at each other and no, no one gets anything fixed. So the reason I use bold is while I'm going to be subscriptions and we're going to be wholesale and we're going to do, you know, quantity breaks or something like that. So one app provider will solve your problems regardless of which app, just because,
Well, we will be entering wholesale, whichever strategic partner and that's what they do. They do wholesale. Not sure if we're going to do that through Shopify
Though, I've built a ton of wholesale stores in Shopify. And matter of fact, I have a podcast episode from the early days of two years ago now of how to do wholesale, like four or five different ways to do wholesale on your Shopify store. And I had a lot of clients who were hesitant, like they add a, a pencil and paper wholesale business that they've been doing for 20 years. And the second we put it online, they were amazed at how quickly they're cut their, their B2B customers adopted to it. And how much revenue got driven through it. I've not done a wholesale store that wasn't very successful in and increase the business that the company was doing.
Yeah. obviously that's something we would like.
Yeah. And so you've also got a sale merchandising, right. Which I like the idea of sale there. That's a good one. The one that's missing on this, this top level. Now that's a normal one to apt to have it, but it's new and you, you know, you could have new underneath your top of and women and kids, but just to let people see what is the latest and the greatest and the newest yeah.
We've had that in drop down, but you know, part of the challenge and you know this right, almost 70% of our traffic is coming on a phone. So you're, you know, we've got to play with what we have up there, but yeah. That could be helpful. One to have the not socks because we're increasingly offering other things. You know, one of the things
I love that they actually call that not socks.
We have customers, we have very loyal customers and they come back and want to buy from us. But there's only so many socks you can buy. So we're building out, we've been experimenting with some of the home things. We're going to be building out, down syndrome related and autism related products that are really tied to our core audio or neutral audience. And then the B2B is what the services menu is about.
Yeah. And you got, you have a lot of stuff you're doing now. How's the press going through that whole list of things. We
Had a whole set of services. It's custom socks, it's fundraising programs. It's I, I was calling a concierge orders where you know, we'll customize packages and we've done that for Google and Ernst and young men in a large corporation. We, when we redo the website, we need to redo what we're doing with custom socks. Yeah.
Yeah. Why in all, all those pages are hard, right? These, these really content heavy pages are hard to do, but you actually done a pretty good job with them, right? With they're graphical, you're mixing up content and graphics. You're, you're moving and shaking things around a bit. So it's not just a big, long list of texts. These are a little more skimmable than just, just a bunch of texts. That's really well done. I'm super impressed with what you've pulled together there. Now one other total random tangent we would take here is right now you're using mom is my guess is the font you're using. Cause that's inside of the list of Shopify fonts. And I actually think that Shopify needs a couple of friendly on Crayola, permanent marker type of fonts. And they don't have one on them, Columbus closest. And I think it's awful compared to something like permanent marker. So when you go into your redesign, if I was you, I would just pull in permanent marker or a font like that as a, as an external font. Normally I don't recommend external fonts because you know, Chuck has got 200 of them or whatever listed on their website, but a good handwritten fun and friendly one is, is a gap in what their, their portfolio.
So you have pulling in permanent mark or something as a third party to replace collage. You'll be much happier with it. It looks more realistic. Okay. Yeah. There's the video that I liked. Right? Putting these on your site a lot more, I think would really help you out. Every time you do one about a product, I'd include it on the product page, you know, for the gift-giving pages, those landing pages for wedding and stuff like that. You could add some, some nice talk to resolve that kind of stuff. Okay. Now up at the top level on our homepage, I think the homepage is not that important for your customers. I think the homepage is usually important for press industry and B2B customers, right? Because your customers, your consumers are going to enter your site through many other places than your homepage. A successful story ends, you know, less than 10% of its visitors starting their experience on the homepage.
It starts on collection pages, product pages, landing pages for ad campaigns and all that kind of stuff. So, you know, I actually, you, what you've done is a really good job here of, you know, you have to have shopping on there. Absolutely. And, and you're doing that, but you're also telling the story and guiding those, those B2B type of customers or industry people on you have a nice balance here. It's all shopping above the fold and at the top, which I like. And then, you know, below you tell the story and allow them to dive in more on that kind of thing here you might, you know, eat beef that up a little bit with those counters that you were talking about. Right. That would be nice stuff there. Now. Now that said, what I like to do is on the homepage banner, I don't like to promote and merchandise and shop on that.
What I like to do is, is basically it's a, you are here sign. We are, John's crazy socks. We promote happiness throughout the world by selling the funnest craziest sock you've ever seen, or you even go the next step and say, you know, and we give, you know, a percentage of our, you know, profits back to, you know, these missions we support and that kind of stuff. But they're, I would tell people who and what you are, because if anybody lands on your homepage, they don't have anything about you yet. They didn't see an ad because you should never be linking in an ad or anything you promote on the web. You should never ever link to your homepage. You know, more about the cuff. You're going to look deeper into the site. So the homepage is for those people who, you know, just search for John's previous, Oxford found you somehow and want to know more so that you've got to tell them here's who we are. Here's what we do. And then if they're in the right place, then start calling to them and explaining your services. But a little you are here. Sign is, is a nice thing for the banner to have, right? Not a mustache, right? You can, you can merchandise like you're doing here, but I would, you know, to me, that would take it to the next level a little bit. Now, one of the questions I have for you is what's in a brand that you kind of aspire to a well known national brand, that everybody would know
What, you know, I guess, you know, Zappos. Yup. Maybe, you know, they're big enough Tom's of Maine, you know, somebody with some story and purpose. You know, I would say apple, except we're not cool in design. It's more fun. So maybe it's Nickelodeon,
Everything you just said there makes sense to me. And cool design is completely unnecessary. And e-commerce for example, I just bought some Google bugs for my Google pixel phone yesterday. And they've got a website that as you scroll down the page and opens the product up and it flies out of the case and all this really cool and compelling things, right. It doesn't help the shopping experience at all. It only accompanied with as much money as Google has to waste. It's going to spend money shopping site, do that kind of crap.
Yeah. And part of it, and this Mays reflect some arrogance. I don't mean it to be that way. I don't know if people doing what we're doing. There are other companies doing and you know, the social enterprise, social entrepreneurship. And I think that's what a future is. Save your Melvin is when I say big corporations, I know of lots of other small
People. Yeah, yeah, no, I think, you know, Toms is the one you mentioned or like a Ben and Jerry's
Save your melon to a degree bond. But you know, Bombus doesn't and it's part of the conversation we've had with people as well. You know, people are starting to copy us and they had somebody who's taken, you know, they copied our website. Somebody grabbed part of our URL. Now lots of people make down-syndrome socks, but it doesn't work for that because they're not all in it. Yeah. Walk the walk, they don't have job.
So one of these to think about what that right is. Yeah. I talked about the, you are here sign for your homepage banner ad, right. Only five to 7% of your people are going to see that. Cause that's how much traffic should become through your homepage. I've worked on a couple of other mission-based companies before. And what we did is we put in our logo, we put a very large logo with a, the, you know, I forget it was like, oh, it was a full sentence of like a good 12 words. Like we provide the best men's gifts. You know, bad-ass, you know, gifts for groomsmen. And we give 50% of our profits and military veterans or something, something to that effect. Right. But we put it in the header because everybody sees that
Well supportive where we're driving on this now is, and I'll try to make the analogy. I keep talking through this. We're going to go on the channel in terms of distribution, but it's also on the channel in terms of mission. So we are slightly modifying our logo. And what we're building into it is to put right out there world's largest sock store. Yup. We want the rest of the story. We're going to keep sharing the rest of the story and everything we're about, but we have to speak to, we have to connect in different ways. So we're going to start having content with dancing socks next week, assuming the costume comes in, we're getting drunk. We're turning John into sock, man. And we're doing a whole bunch of video with John. It's not man. People we've just recorded some with John as a sock tycoon, we're going to keep doing Dan sitios and talking what we're doing with special Olympics. And what we wanted to be is I come here because they have great socks and I got everything I want. And then look what, look at all the things they do. It's like that podcast. We heard this weekend, someone talking about it, and then there'll be others that will say you got to love all the things these people do. And then when you get to the site, wow, this blows me away. Look at the great socks there.
Well, so what I hear you debating, you know, is what's your biggest value props, selection, or story and where I'm trying to have it both. Yup. And the more you add things, the harder it
Is to be successful. Yep. So it's a balance. We may have been tipping too much on the story side. And then we have to tip more back to the songs. We'd go back to the origin. John trips loved socks. And we want to share that love. We want it to resonate with the fullness of the story because we've counted. There are exactly one gazillion sock companies. And if we're out there just saying, our socks are better than their socks were lost.
What I hear you saying is, and I totally agree. Right. Cause you said it before, you said, you know, they don't have a job to me. It's you restoring is your biggest value prop by far you support that story with the best selection available. But it's the story that drives people. Yeah.
And in the end, in the end, I don't think we're really a sock store in many ways. We're a content company and the socks become the physical manifestation of this.
Yep. And you know, what I was leading up to here, right? Is you're using the flex theme. You're using the, I believe this is the center and better because you have like four different interruptions and you're doing the one where the logo splits the navigation line, Scott Bon. Right. I've done that before. But now that I've gotten to, I sent her a lot. But what I do is I take the logo out of the main header section and I manually Recode move it to the top bar because the top bar has got the search up there, the cart and all that other stuff. And then I moved the, you know, the free shipping stuff. And I moved that over to the left that you have it on the center. I moved to the left and I put the logo up there because you a lot more space to do things.
I actually think bars is not as efficient until you do something like that. It has got the cool functionality you need have a log-in and the cart and that kind of thing up there. So taking the logo out of the main nav and moving to the top bar gives you more space. And then, you know, I think you're doing a sticky header. I can't stand the way flux does the sticky header. Now you've got the new, a newer version of flex. I don't like the hamburger. I custom code that also to show the menu because for me, the branding's not as important on sticky header for me, because people already have been on the site and they know about it. They're engaging for me. This should be more about shopping and, and re-engaging me, the shopping, not liking your finding here, click on one of our main NAB elements and do that. So I I've started changing the flex themes header. I used the center one most of the time, but I moved the logo up to the top. I'm not a fan of sticky period, but if I, my client wants sticky, I will put the main NAB in there and get rid of the hamburger. Less clicks for me is more important. Okay, cool. Do people search on your site?
Yes. They search a lot. And the ones who search have a higher conversion rate,
What percentage of your customers search?
Oh, I forget the last number. It's still a low percentage, but the ones who do well, I'd have to go back and look at the number that search,
Because one of the things I think about with a large catalog, right, we're back to the large catalog problem is we've everything we talked about is what's a browse experience, you know, navigating collections filters. What impressions on the product page is all about the browse experience. Another way to handle alerts catalog is through a good search experience also. And moving the search, you know, the flex themes allows a search centric range where the search bar is half the width of the screen. And what I even did from one of my clients who we did a search centric is if you do that on the flex theme on mobile, it doesn't, there's no search box. There's a little icon. They click and it pops up a thing. We actually got rid of the icon and made a little search bar underneath the logo on the hamburger, but you know, a header on the mobile phone and for this, this company with a large catalog of very unique things, it's the most used thing in their discovery experience.
A lot more people are searching than browsing in their store and we saw the data beforehand, but we use that data to say, let's try a search centric design. And we wouldn't really search centric, you know, permanent box showing up on the, on the mobile side of things. And it's been really, really useful. My guess is it's not natural for your customers to think about searching for their socks. They would want to browse to begin with. But I wonder if you put that option front and center, if it would help them or not. Another way I do that is on the collection page. You could have at the bottom of the collection page. So not finding what you're looking for, why don't you try searching? So let them browse. But if the browser is not successful, which, you know, if they get to the bottom of the collection page that might be assigned, it's not successful, give them an alternative way to find their products.
Yeah, that's a good idea. Well, you certainly know what you're doing.
I've been doing this for awhile. And the beautiful thing is I get to talk to, you know, hundreds of stores. So I get to leverage all their best practices, right on that, on that, you know, experience there with the searching and the browsing, they should be able to find their product and on the search, do you look at the no results listing and use that to drive content for your store? Yes, that's awesome. Yep.
We look at a lot of factors to help us figure out what products to add.
Yeah. Yeah. I found that one to be super useful. Like, oh, there's a hole in our catalog. We didn't know about what people were searching for them and stuff. Now, how are people getting to your site today? Is it, is it balanced between advertising, social and SEO and it is
Spread across? One thing that's been very frustrating is our organic has been declining and we're not able to does doesn't seem to be a single bullet to explain that
There never is. There's never a single answer to any problem. You know, I always, I always call it the mighty ducks syndrome. Everybody's young store is looking for the one play. If you remember the mighty ducks and the flying V that's going to be the knockout silver bullet winners. Like it's never that easy, unfortunate.
Yeah, we do. So organic is, is the most common or ed spoke to, you know, the digital and social EDS hour. And you know, that's in tumbled with the changes going on in that area. We do very well with our email. We're very kind of protective of our email list. We don't overwhelm people with not sending emails out every day. Cornerstone email for us is the Friday email from John, which just an update. Here's what I'm doing. You know, we're not beating people over the head and selling to them. We do get, so
You're using Klaviyo for email. We're using Klayvio yet great tool, great tool.
We, we get a fair percentage from referral and from direct and from social, we do have, you know, it is one of our challenges. We do have a lot of people that follow us, they get the email, they follow us on social. They're engaged on social and they don't buy. Yup. Well, everything you're doing well, buy some socks.
There are some people that just born to, you know, sell and chill and embarrass themselves or embarrass you kind of thing. And with high pressure stuff. And there are people that just are not that way. And you know, if you pushed harder, maybe you could move the needle on those people. But then again, if you push them harder, you're going to make other people happy. Right? It's one of those. You can't have everything I
View we're in this for the long haul. I think a bit that we're building a community. Yep. I'll give you an easy one for us. Our subscription model, lots of very smart people is saying you want to make out there. You ought to make by default that it automatically renews. Yup. Well, we don't do that. I hate that. And that's not how you want to treat people. So when the short term that would make us more money in the longterm, that's not who we're going to be. And you know, you have to kind of know who you are. Well,
So I, I totally stunned here. Looking at your subscription page, you have 1400 reviews on your subscription products. Yeah, that's unbelievable.
It's been a bit stagnant, but that's because we haven't, we got to improve the page and the flow and also the offer. We want to have a seasonal offering. We want to have some different offerings out there. We're very fortunate with our customers. I mean, it's pretty simple. You really care, like, no. So we talk about spreading happiness is our, is the mission that in the end drives those. And we talk about that every day. So here's an example, customer service, right? You know, it's an easy one. You've heard the line. The customer is always right or nonsense, but we're not in the business of being right. What we want to do is make the customers happy. I'm told, we call them customer happiness creators. I've told them you can spend $200 on any customer. Anytime you want to make them happy. Nobody picks me up on that, but we refund money at the drop of a hat. If your practice doesn't get there, we'll resend it. We'll send extra things. Here's the payoff. Not only did we get loyal customers, our refund rate is 0.5% of our revenue. Yep. Treat people well.
Yeah, totally, totally. It's because you're nice to them. They're going to be nice.
And when you do something special, they go tell somebody. Yeah, it's a little thing. We're on long island, outside of New York city, we're in a town of Huntington. We live in Huntington village, our office warehouse. It's about a 20 minute drive. If we get an order between the office at home, what are you doing? I mean, we did a home delivery where we're at our home. Now we did a home delivery on our way home tonight. Because even if you live in San Diego and we're not doing a home delivery to you, you liked the idea. These people do home deliveries and people take their photo with John and then they go and share,
Oh totally. And that's the thing that's going to, you know, people were so proud of and share it out. It's totally awesome. Now the last thing I want to talk about, I want to go through all of your evergreen pages. Did you have a lot of them, but I do want to go through your story page, right? Your about us page. I love your about us page. Right? You tell your story, you got lots of great photos and you've got this, you know, sematic branding going on that you guys did with the photography. You have an image of father and son there, but you put it on top of the brand elements. And that, that works out where they, well, the one thing I wanted to say here is what I didn't find on your site that I find amazing is the rest of your team. Right? I do remember some of your videos where you were walking around the warehouse and shooting video of the rest of the team. And they're all awesome and fun. And I would just include something
About her, your percent. We should put everybody up there. Yeah. You know, we have some things in the in the works that will make that even more important. We're going to create a program that creates micro franchises to put other individuals with different abilities and their families into business. Basically here's a business in a box. We're going to give you everything you need. We're going to give you inventory. We're going to give you a stand. So you can have your own business selling our socks. And if I could get 500 people like that across the United States, how incredible would that thing? And then we want all of them.
Well, and then on your videos was not only, you know, is John participating in this enterprise, but you have a whole bunch of other people in the staff that work in every day, they're employed, they're contributing and that's just gotta be awesome for them and their families. Yeah. So I guess my point on that one is that I was make sure you add the rest of the team in their, you know, fun photos of all and or videos kind of thing would really take this to the next level. Although it's, it's already awesome. That's enough feedback. I can continue going on for awhile. But you know, in generally your, your storage is fabulous, right? Your products are fabulous. It's just a little bit on, on the shopping side, helping people make decisions. How can you break things down step by step, instead of just, you know, dropping them. Here's a hundred things, give them some tools to take that a hundred down to 10, right? And I can look at consider a hundred, too many things you need to make a choice. Right.
It makes me think of my middle son would go on road trips. We'd hit a seven 11 or a quick Mart and say, okay, let's not be too long. And he'd get in there and look at the cooler with all the drinks and freeze too many glad adapt stock. We had one choice.
Yep. Yep. Exactly. Exactly. Excellent. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much. Helpful. I really appreciate that. All right, Scott,
Absolute pleasure talking to you. John and Mark, thank you very much. Thanks for talking.