This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.
brands, customer, fulfillment, purchase, acquisition, excitement, e commerce, leveraging, shopify, louis, absolutely, cookies, bakery, platform, shipped, retention, tracking, growth, relationship, page
Noah Rahimzadeh, Luis Lluis, Mariah Parsons
Noah Rahimzadeh 00:05
Hey retention pros. I'm Notre Dame's today and I lead partnerships here at Malomo. I'm super pumped to continue to chat with ecosystem experts alongside Mariah you all already know and love, say hi, Mariah,
Mariah Parsons 00:16
Hey everyone, as you probably no retention Chronicles likes to bring in some of the best retention focus brands in the Shopify ecosystem.
Noah Rahimzadeh 00:24
But we don't just feature grants, we also feature some great thought leaders in the Shopify ecosystem that served us brands.
Mariah Parsons 00:31
And because we always want these conversations to be fun, you'll hear us talk to our guests about what they're excited about. And let's help them get to where they are today.
Noah Rahimzadeh 00:39
We hope you'll stick around to learn and laugh.
Mariah Parsons 00:42
Retention Chronicles is sponsored by Malomo a shipment in order tracking platform improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our episodes at Bo malomo.com.
Noah Rahimzadeh 00:59
Super excited to have Lewis Lewis here not from Curb Your Enthusiasm under growth stable Shopify agency. Louis, thank you so much for joining us, man.
Luis Lluis 01:13
Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me.
Noah Rahimzadeh 01:15
Awesome. Louis. Where where are you dialing in from today?
Luis Lluis 01:18
Yeah, I'm just outside of Pasadena, California.
Noah Rahimzadeh 01:22
Awesome. And have you been there for for a long time?
Luis Lluis 01:25
Yeah. Born and raised. Haven't gone very far. I went to college out here high school and worked out here and then just really never left LA area.
Noah Rahimzadeh 01:33
Awesome. Good to know. Yeah, we did a lot of less Coast trips the last or, or since I started here about a month ago. But the last couple of weeks. I've been East Coast in Canada. A TEDx conference in New York. And then the next week Shopify is conference in Toronto. So that's one of the reasons I haven't recorded much lately. Happy to be back in the saddle now.
Mariah Parsons 01:58
busy schedule for you. You know, just a couple of things going on, like international travel. Yeah, just
Noah Rahimzadeh 02:04
a little globe trotting here. And there. Well, Lewis again, thank you for joining. We, we love to start these episodes before we get into the shop talk on on a personal note. So we'd love to hear one or two things that you're really excited about in your personal life before we dive in. Yeah, definitely.
Luis Lluis 02:21
Number one. I'm getting married next year. So that's super excited. thrilled
Mariah Parsons 02:26
about that. Exciting. Clap.
Luis Lluis 02:29
Thank you. Thank you. And then just up for the holidays.
Noah Rahimzadeh 02:33
Awesome. What uh, yeah, I see you got cookies here. Favorite type of cookie?
Luis Lluis 02:40
Oh, man. I only can go wrong with a classic chocolate chip. But all I don't say no to cookies. So anything works for me.
Mariah Parsons 02:48
Are you are you like, Are you a baker? Do you like making cookies? Are you still like, like enjoying them and taking away of the mess of baking?
Luis Lluis 02:56
Yeah, I wouldn't call myself a baker, but I definitely enjoy it. And a house that smells like cookies is pretty impressive. So anything that has anything to do with cookies? I'm on board.
Mariah Parsons 03:08
Oh, delicious. Yeah, I should have had cookies sent to you. You know. I've enjoyed them. Yeah, the time of the podcast.
Noah Rahimzadeh 03:17
We get the pornos will reciprocate. Exactly. Exactly. Well, that's good. Sounds like your house. Santa comes and eats all of the cookies. So is there anything else about the holidays? Like do you do you enjoy shopping? I imagine your business picks up around the holidays. And we'll get into that in a second. But yeah, yeah, maybe you could.
Luis Lluis 03:40
Yeah. I think just just enjoying family and friends. And then on the business side, solving that one problem that always comes up that you never expect. That's the exciting part.
Noah Rahimzadeh 03:49
Yeah, absolutely. That's a that's a great segue into gross stable. We'd love to hear a little bit about your background leading up to grow stable and then more about the business today. I know you know, we got connected because we we work together on a new client of ours, Porto's Bakery, which we were talking about before the show always makes me salivate. I see their tracking page. And so that's how we got connected. We had a great conversation, Louis, I remember the first time we talked, I was like, we have to get you on the podcast because you had a really unique perspective and I think unique offering in terms of what your agency does compared to some of the others in the ecosystem. So let's start with like the background leading up to the agency and then get into gross stable, if that's okay with you.
Luis Lluis 04:40
Yeah, of course happy to. So yeah, so we'll start on the context. I had the privilege of being hired to build out an e commerce division for Porto's Bakery. And so I did that for five years, and then recently left, so I was the director of ecommerce there and had a great time building out great team aim over there, and obviously great food, which also makes the job a lot easier. And once I left, I decided that I really wanted to build out an agency that I wish I had access to when I was a director of E commerce, which is essentially delivering a director of E commerce or VP of E commerce as a service. So essentially, the equivalent of having like a board of advisors, so they're not necessarily pulling all the levers, but they're speeding up your growth so that you don't have to kind of AB test everything under the sun, they can apply best practices, and show you which services and platforms to use to get the best value to kind of get you to that goal, my milestone for your growth as soon as possible. So that's what we've been offering. And it's been really cool, because brands are like, wow, I didn't know I needed that, you know, usually, so they're finding like a expert, and, you know, one platform or one skill set. And we can kind of come on and say we've done it all for ourselves and from the operators standpoint. So we're not just pushing, you know, the exciting vanity metrics. But we're like, hey, we know you have to make money at the end of the day. And we know the pressure that comes with that. So we're happy to push results with that operator kind of hat on.
Noah Rahimzadeh 06:10
Gotcha, gotcha. Yeah, I definitely think that's unique sort of wearing, you know, all the hats and it sounds like would you say that most of your clients are leveraging you for like the full suite of what you can offer expertise and advice and consulting in? Or do the is it more ala carte, they sort of say, we really need help with email marketing and transactional messaging for for an easy example for us. Yeah. Or is it more like the all encompassing, we're gonna be basically the VP of E commerce and run this, you know,
Luis Lluis 06:43
they reach out for an ala carte service. And then when I asked them how they're doing X, Y, and Z have the other departments, they don't think those departments are something that can be optimized, and so becomes our full package where, you know, they maybe Kim for email or paid ads. And I tell him, you know, how's your fulfillment service? Who does your contract negotiation? And like, What do you mean, contract negotiation, we just do a retail pricing. So it starts off with like all the cart, and then they'll ask when they share with them that there are so much room for opportunity to improve the brand, then we kind of go for that full service package on it.
Noah Rahimzadeh 07:19
Yeah, that's super interesting. What on that? On that note, I'm curious is, is it often that brands come to you for what you said, email and ads? And then so like, question is, what do they normally come in for? And then what are like the two or three things that are always glaringly obvious that, you know, when you ask him? How are you doing this today? That they're not have an answer, or they're gonna have a shitty answer?
Mariah Parsons 07:46
To your question.
Luis Lluis 07:48
It's funny, in most cases, they don't have an answer. But to answer your question, the first thing they usually come with is email marketing, or paid ads. Either they haven't done paid ads before, or maybe like, through a little cousin has been running the paid ads, and it's looking to kind of upgrade to that next level. And then with email, they don't really know the full fledged capability of their email program, they just know that they communicate with their customers from time to time. So that's usually what they start off with asking for support, because they internally have decided we need to kind of upgrade our services. And then you kind of talk about, you know, how are they handling fulfillment, and CX, specifically with, you know, their relationship with their customers, which is where Malomo comes in, where they don't really expect that they need to do much more with that relationship, other than getting them to place that order. And, you know, there's not much of a conversation about, you know, lifetime value, the extended relationship with the customer, they kind of focus on we got so into the site, they checked out, you know, and that's rinse and repeat that cycle. And when I come in save to get to that growth that you're looking to achieve. You need to create a systematic approach to have customers come in and execute that checkout, which is obvious, but we need them to come back, we need to increase that lifetime value. If not, you're just you know, welcoming people into your home and then kicking them right out. And, and no one really wants to do that, when you kind of phrase it that way. They realize, oh, well, I think there's a little big opportunity to continue that conversation with the relationship with our customers.
Noah Rahimzadeh 09:15
Yes, absolutely. That is super top of mind for me right now. I just did like, a day long whiteboarding session with our CEO Yeah, on Friday to put some messaging together, and we were doing some research and I found this crazy stat that was like, I think and I think it was in 2013. The average first purchaser lost a company in E commerce brand $9 on average. Today, the average loss on first purchase is $29. So it's over three acts in 10 years, less than 10 years. On the flip side, the average profit per second purchase has gone up 33% In the same timeframe. So the idea of like, we're just focused on acquisition is like, an absolutely failing.
Mariah Parsons 10:14
antiquated for sure. Yeah.
Luis Lluis 10:16
Yeah, I think there's, there's the cycle today, right? The companies that figure out that they can make a increase in the value of the lifetime value of a customer, then know that they can spend more on acquisition. And for unfortunately, for the brands that haven't figured that out, the marketplace is going to favor people who are spending more on that first acquisition. And if they try to match it, and don't have that lifetime value improvement, they're kind of a sinking ship. And that's the kind of scary part of ecommerce where if you don't have it together, and you're competing in a marketplace for the acquisition, or the majority of your traffic, you have to adapt quicker than the rest of the brands. And that's where I'm excited to jump in where, you know, if you don't have those best practices, it truly is a sinking ship. It's only a matter of time, so you can't afford to acquire customers anymore.
Noah Rahimzadeh 11:03
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that's that blew my mind. And then, you know, on the flip side, what I thought was really interesting was the sort of like universal three to one CAC to LTV metric that everybody's aspiring to, and how, you know, at the same while I say, you know, strictly focusing on acquisition is a losing strategy. It's not to say that it's not completely crucial, right to the growth and stability of your business, because you always need to be bringing in new customers. But while that first purchase is obviously like, absolutely necessary, it's actually the second purchase that is probably more important. Any any thoughts on that? Would you agree?
Luis Lluis 11:47
I completely agree, I completely agree. There's no way to, I don't think there's a way to truly grow a brand, without getting to a point where, you know, dabbling with acquisition that marketplace. But there are so many tools that aren't being focused on to get that second purchase. Right? You know, one thing that I always talk about with the brands that I speak with is the referral programs they use where there's such homeruns, you know, they put, like you just mentioned $20 sink sunk into that first acquisition, most customers are getting a first time customer offering with a lot of brands, right and ecommerce. And what I've seen is when you can offer a referral program, and you offer a reward to a an existing customer that matches that first time referral, because the first time customer discount, you're in a place where you're offering a lower cost to you for an acquisition, and you have a higher chance of that customer sticking around, right, it's almost like a warm lead, instead of a cold lead, you don't have to communicate as much to that referred customer because your friend, the existing customer is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Right. And it's one of the tools that I use with with Malomo with the brands is you have so much excitement built in when a customer places an order. And leading up to that all the conversation all the marketers talk about is intent, intent, intent, intent to purchase, right? How about the excitement about a purchase? Right, that's, that's what thrills me when you get a customer to purchase. The conversation almost just started, we now have an official relationship. And if you can converse with them throughout their excitement, right? So check out is the thrill I've made that thrill purchasing, when's it coming? And then all those emails leading up to the delivery, which as you guys know, the open rates are through the roof, because of that excitement. Also, they're not marketing, but through the roof, because of the excitement of like, when's it coming? They know, essentially, when it's coming, you've kind of communicated that when they purchase, but they still check every status update right out for delivery, that shipped one and then delivered. If you can leverage that with the tool like you guys offer in Malomo you can capture that excitement and leverage it to something like the referral program with which kind of enhances your acquisition model at a much lower cost and most likely what you're usually offering for a cold market like on Facebook or such Oh, it also getting that second purchase from the customer name, they ordered product A and they were excited and it caught their eye and they never even experienced the opportunity to purchase product be one that suggests product B in that moment and all that's at that heightened sense of excitement. It's just such a great opportunity that you know, compared to a brand who's not leveraging something like Malomo they may just be purchase sent to a FedEx page and we'll see you next time and maybe next time if there is a next time at all.
Noah Rahimzadeh 14:32
Yeah, that's 100% the experience for for brands not leveraging us like the Shopify out of the box is very transactional. There's no personalization no customization sending you to tracking page Louis whenever you want a job man we got
Mariah Parsons 14:52
I was gonna say like so happy to hear that you also see the value in that because, like, I think the excitement is the piece of it's like, oh, you sometimes you have to think through like it, it isn't glaring your face a lot of the times, like you said, like marketers are always very concentrated on the intent to purchase. But then the excitement kind of gets sometimes wrapped up or lost in that. And so being able to, you know, just hearing you talk through that, I think there's some, there's something that came to mind. And that's like the effect of like, delayed gratification of like you're waiting for this package, like, it is a different experience when you're shopping online versus in retail, obviously, because retail, nine times out of 10, you're leaving the store with it, right like already in your hands. So you already, like the timeline between when you're actually buying something and when you're, when it's in your hands is a lot quicker and shorter than obviously online because it has to get shipped to you. And so being able to extend that excitement, because the timeline between when you order and maybe have some of that like buyer's remorse, and getting rid of those negative emotions, and instead implementing like more excitement, more educational videos, cross sells upsells, whatever it is on your post purchase page, it is very exciting as a customer to receive that, because you're like constantly reminded like, Oh, this is coming, this is coming like it's like, oh, I ordered this, like I'm so excited about it's just it's like extending that period of excitement.
Luis Lluis 16:21
Yeah, totally. And I think it'd be a great point about the negative, you know, emotions that can sometimes be tied to that process. You know, these carriers can't deliver 100% on time. So there are going to be issues that you know, whether it's a single percentage of failure of delivery, there will be a issue you'll run into as a brand. And what better place to counter that challenge, then a custom tracking page where you can have whether it's a pop up chat, or an easy to access button to contact your CX team, you can solve that problem in that moment. Rather than having the customer have to encounter the issue with the carrier, go on the carrier's page, try to communicate with the carrier. And now you're kind of handing off that relationship to a carrier who that's not necessarily their job, your job is to build that relationship and take care of your customer. And if you know that small percentage chance there is an issue, you can have a personalized, hey, if there's an issue, reach out to us click this button. That opportunity, not only can allow you to solve the problem, but it actually can also increase your LTV, because you are now establishing a relationship no matter what the case happens with this order. We're going to take care of you no matter what. That's something that, you know, you obviously don't want to happen. But when it does happen, and it's inevitable, you can leverage that to add value to your relationship with your customer.
Noah Rahimzadeh 17:38
Yes, 100%. One of the things you said a minute ago resonated really well with me, which is basically like, you know, how do you turn your loyal fans into more new new fans, new customers, and like, I draw a lot of parallels to that on the b2c side to what I do here in Malomo, which is partnerships. And like leveraging folks like yourself, Louis and the team at grow stable, right? Like, we want to make sure that you have a fantastic experience with Porto's Bakery and any other clients that you bring on, not just right to make sure that those clients are well serviced, and that they're seeing value from the platform. But that's, uh, you know, we're the leaders in the order tracking space and send us you know, every client that you get, right like we, we understand that you're a lot of times the go to resource for tech evaluations. And anything that you recommend is likely likely going to at least be heavily considered right. So for me, the the goal, frankly, is to make sure that all of the leaders in the space like gross, they both think about Malomo First when it comes to order tracking and see the value in it. And I don't think that there's it's not very much different in the super competitive ecommerce space right now, where there's a ton of food and beverage brands selling online, right, like, how does it stick out? And hopefully Malomo is one way in which they're able to do that.
Luis Lluis 19:10
Absolutely. And I think that's definitely been a part of the process at the bakery, they've had great success, and continue to have success with that, that partnership. And it's now something that we don't see we can ever go away from right. It's like kind of a I don't want to say no brainer, but it's a no brainer. It's something that we've now established as our standard. And the alternative of sending someone to is directly to a carrier page with no connection and we're just kind of hoping they're taken care of and everything goes fine. It's just something we're not okay with with the bakery and the other brands that I'm talking to and working with. Once they hear that it clicks. They're like, Oh, wow, yeah, no, that does make tremendous sense. But set that up and not look back.
Mariah Parsons 19:50
Right. Yeah, like Jack's out of the box, kind of like once you see, like, I know, when I started working here, I was like, I saw a page and I was like, oh my god I'm never gonna be able to, like, look at a carrier page and be like, Oh, that's okay. You know, but I love that you make that point.
Luis Lluis 20:07
Yeah, it is. And it's, you'll see it with brands that are on the smaller side really getting ready to explode and grow, that they're understanding that that's something that most brands aren't using, that they're competing with. And so like you just said, right when a customer gets used to it, and then they get to another brand that gets sent directly to, you know, a carrier page with like an out of the box email, they're like, oh, that's, that's not what I'm used to anymore. I've been taken care of that XYZ brand. And now ABC showing me something a little bit different. I don't know, you know, my relationship is already deteriorating with that new brand. And so I think it's a must have for all brands, no matter the size.
Noah Rahimzadeh 20:46
Love it. Typically don't pitch Malama very hard on these not averse. I also think that on a more sort of macro level, like the idea, well, let me take a step back, we always think about Malomo as a retention platform, right? Like the sole purpose of Malomo is to drive that second purchase to keep customers in the funnel for as long as possible, increase their LTV. Sorry, keep customers buying and coming back for more as long as possible, increase LTV. What we haven't really thought about, at least from a marketing standpoint, Brian, as far as I know, is like how we turn this retention channel into an acquisition channel, which like, super pumped to just al out,
Mariah Parsons 21:40
I can see you're beaming like,
Noah Rahimzadeh 21:43
but that's like, that's fascinating, right? Because everything that we've ever talked about is retention. And growing out TV, we've not talked about how we bring new customers into the funnel, and likely have similar to my role, right? When a partner recommends Malomo, the clothes rate goes way up. A lot of times the contract values go up, the sales cycles are way shorter. And I know that all of the same things apply to B to C as well. So, Louis, would you any any thoughts feedback on on that concept in turning the retention funnel into an acquisition channel?
Luis Lluis 22:21
Absolutely. I have a lot of thoughts on this. So I think there's, I think there's a couple options there that need to be considered from brands. And let me give some background, the idea. So essentially, the whole business and philosophy of like conversion rate optimization, is if a customer wants to purchase, we need to get out of their way. So they can achieve that purchase, right? Don't make it an extra step, don't make an extra click, get them to where they want to be, you're not necessarily forcing their hand, you're kind of guiding them to where they already have the intent to be. And then the same thing comes with, you know, a personalized tracking page and the acquisition idea, right. So if a customer is extremely thrilled, which we know through the stacks, that just the excitement and open rates through that process of the Shipped email, you know, out for delivery and then delivered, we know the customer is thrilled for the item, the order to arrive. In that excitement, when they open the package, and they enjoy their product in whatever form they will, if they still are carrying that excitement. And when they were tracking the page that you suggested two options, you showed them the offering of your referral program. So they can benefit from a word of mouth referral, and also other items that are either in that same category or different. So when they finally received the product, and that excitement is at its absolute peak, yeah. And they think, you know, they have a conversation with a friend or family. And they talk about this experience that they had, they now in their back of their head understand that one, there's a referral program that they themselves can take advantage of. And to let's say they, you know, talk to someone who may not enjoy that exact product, but would love something separate or different. And you show them that that different item exists with your brand from the personalized page, they now have it to suggest right, they might say Oh, you don't like this product. Man, if they didn't know about the other product, they would the conversation would end there. But if they do know about the other offerings you may have, they can suggest those to their friend or family. And it's that natural word of mouth referral, but leveraging the information you provided at one of their peak excitement statuses to leverage that word of mouth so they can do exactly what they wanted to do in the first place. You're not forcing their hand again, you're just guiding them with the resources to do what they want to do, which is tell a friend and family how excited they are about the brand dangerous experience. I don't think Well, for one we've discussed I don't think a lot of people are using a personalized tracking page to enhance the relationship with our customers. I don't think that exists as much as it should be. But acquisition wise, those two opportunities are beyond extraordinary and they could stack right if you can share a new category and you either And the referral program, someone might do exactly that were first someone to your brand, with the new category or product in mind. And now you have a very warm lead or excited customer, new customer to join your brand. And then now you have a flywheel. And that's the whole excitement of E commerce is like you can get a systemized approach to feed these flywheels so that as you're doing the hard work to acquire in the competitive marketplace is to continue to find new product and develop them in the background. You've created these flyers to keep feeding your brand to achieve that growth milestone that you've always had. It's a lot easier to manage than having to recreate the wheel every single time. Yes,
Mariah Parsons 25:42
I love that. Yeah, that's so true. I love that. It's like you're giving more knowledge to a customer without like about your brand without them having to do like any work. It's like, like you get this just like a win win. I love that.
Noah Rahimzadeh 25:55
Yeah. And one of the things I've noticed on on portas tracking page is to your point, Louis, you talked about how like, a lot of brands might think about this as increasing LTV by pushing product recommendations or sign up for our subscription program. But don't maybe don't think about like, how do we just make sure that this customer is super well taken care of, especially if it's the first time right, like what can we do to ensure they have a great experience. So they come back for that super integral second purchase. And what I love about the portal is page is like the first thing like you offer all that same stuff you offer other products you offer. Refer a Friend program and everything else. But you also the first thing that you see when you go to track the order is baking instructions. So when that product arrives, you have the information you need right there to pop it in the oven or do whatever you need to do to have the best experience possible with that, with that product that you just purchased. And that's really where it all starts. Right. You can't get to refer a friend before you have the the initial super positive experience that keeps them coming back for a second purchase. So yeah, I love that you took a clearly a very holistic view to building out the transactional experience.
Luis Lluis 27:17
Yeah, exactly, exactly holistic, like you said, because you do need, they've already purchased. And now you have to make sure they have everything they need to enjoy the food that they're being delivered. And it is a very seamless process. But you know, there's times where you may lose instructions that are included in the order, or you lost that email, we want there to be no question about what you need to do to enjoy the food because again, that peak excitement is something that's already built in. And when that food arrives, you want to eat it within the 30 minutes it takes to bake or less, if you don't, if you're kind of fishing for instructions, and you don't have at that time, you know, we want to make sure there's no there's no opportunity for you to not have the resources you need. And then on top of that, we'll put we're pushing the contact us if you have any questions, if something doesn't make sense and instructions, as maybe you misread it or we forgot something you understand in that situation. So there's no friction for you enjoying the amazing food you ordered. That's the ultimate goal.
Noah Rahimzadeh 28:15
Absolutely. I wanted to ask you about like your preferred stack and how you figure out what, you know what tools to recommend to your clients. So that's a great segue for the for the support app. Do you use a software tool for that? Or is it something? Yeah,
Luis Lluis 28:32
yeah, my favorite is gorgeous. Yeah, awesome. Yeah, they're amazing. The integration with Shopify is spectacular. And essentially, it's a win win, right? You get to enhance experience with the customer because of the features it has. And it also takes less of a toll for your CX team to answer those tickets. So it's to me it's a win win. And that's another no brainer in the stack.
Noah Rahimzadeh 28:54
Absolutely. Yeah, we have an awesome gorgeous integration where we send shipping data back back to them so that when customers do submitted a ticket asking where their order is, or some sort of issue, the gore, the gorgeous platform has all of the information they need from our end to troubleshoot. And we have like the I don't know if portos has it set up yet. But we have like a chat widget that you can drop on the tracking pages as well. I'm curious. Yeah, like just just going a little bit deeper there. Obviously, you're wearing all of the EComm hats. So I want to ask about your preferred tech stack, but also how you evaluate technologies. And like even when you were thinking about Malomo, like what were the what were the things that you sort of wanted to make sure that we check the box on to make us the preferred solution?
Luis Lluis 29:48
Yeah, definitely. So for me when looking for a tech stack, partner to work with because that's what it is right? Everything. Every piece of platform service is a partner in your brand. And so for me, the biggest factor is the customer support or tech support within the service or platform, because there's always going to be an issue that, you know, every brand is unique in the sense that there has a different use case. And so you're going to kind of push the envelope on that service or the platform, as you grow. Right, as you offer a feature of some type within your brand. The other services have to offer that to you, in some sense. And so that's the biggest factor. The second is its ease of use for the customer, if it's customer facing, if it's not, how easy is it to use for the team. Because again, you want to add value to yourself or your team, your brand, or the customer depend on who's facing the platform, but you don't want it to be a heavy lift either. Because then you kinda have to weigh the difference of that takes a lot of work, but we get a lot of value. And sometimes that always is that doesn't always make sense. So for example, we always use clay VO, we're always using Shopify, we're always suggesting gorgeous, we're always suggesting Malomo Because they all work together phenomenal. Each of those platforms, including yourselves, have great tech support. So you know, you're always going to, it could always be user error as well, there's always a challenge forgot to click this, I forgot to unselect that. And the ability to resolve that relatively quickly, and then have the educational words, hey, don't just click that. But here's why that setting does that thing. Opening your idea to other opportunities. That's the most important portion of deciding which service to use, because you're not always looking for the cheapest, you want something that's going to be a relationship, a partnership with your brand, especially if your goal is to continue to grow, you need to understand that that partner is going to support you with that growth.
Noah Rahimzadeh 31:41
Yeah, 100% I'm, this is a topic that I'm really, really fascinated by, especially in the E commerce space. So I came from, like, the enterprise space which required, you know, like custom implementations, custom integrations, it was very hands on but also extremely costly. The difference here in the Shopify ecosystem is like, there's 10,000 apps that are plug and play, right? You can go download an app for just about anything. The reality is, is that that problem might be solved might be a band aid for the short term. But to your point, Louis, like as you scale, you're going to need hands on support, like the technology is really only as good as the implementation and the ongoing support you get when you have issues or you need to troubleshoot something. And what I love about our approach, not to, not to brag This is a testament to our founders than anybody else. But they came from the agency life like they built Malomo The software while running an E commerce agency. So they saw firsthand the challenges of like, the Shopify apps that were just product lead growth, here it is, good luck. Verse, what they were doing at their agency, while they were building the platform, the super hands on, let's make sure that this is custom built for you and that you have everything you need from the software before we go like scale this thing. And we've maintained those sort of agency roots and that hands on white glove support, even spanning to our agency partners, right because as like you at grow stable are getting familiar with malema, we want to make sure that you have everything you need to be properly enabled. And even after you are and you're running full implementations and ongoing support, you always have a dedicated resource with us. Because while that, you know, a VC looking at that could be like, Oh, that's a little bit costly to have that human resource. It's it's changed the game in terms of like how we're able to properly support our clients compared to a lot of those other Shopify apps that are just just that,
Luis Lluis 33:57
right. Yeah, totally. And I think the on top of that, it makes a lot of sense with the agency background of the founders is the constant integration of new features. Right? As they see, you're constantly seeing a new challenge, whether you're speaking to a food brand, a clothing brand, a subscription brand, a one off brand, you know, small ao v hi, OB, every approach is kind of based on the same, you know, standard of best practices, but you got to tweak it, you know, a little bit, and you guys are always talking about the new features that are rolling out. And it's the only way to have that confidence. It's like, wow, they are really looking out for the brands and agency partners so that they can continue to implement a better service or better approach to the customers. That's something that like you're saying, not many nominee apps are constantly pushing. And the ones that are you can tell are the ones that are growing like you guys because it instills a level of confidence that I don't have to bug the tech team or the customer support team. For XYZ feature. They're gonna hear me out When I suggest one, and a lot of times, they're already working on it, and you have a short timeline to get to experience it yourself.
Noah Rahimzadeh 35:08
Yeah, absolutely. Appreciate you noticing that. I mean, but we've we've sort of embraced that founding story and background very heavily recently. And it's seems to resonate, because it's very clear the difference, right? I'm curious, on the fulfillment side, that's, that's really an area that most of our other agency partners don't touch. So like, what is your what is your take on fulfillment? What do brands need to consider when evaluating different fulfillment partners? And is there are there one or two that you're like, if you have fulfillment challenges, I highly recommend you check out this solution.
Luis Lluis 35:56
Totally. You know, at the bakery, when we built it out, we did the fulfillment ourselves. So we didn't use a partner. And I haven't really experienced the partners just yet the brands I'm working with, they're shipping the orders out on their own, which is super exciting. So my partner there is not actual three PL but the system they use, which is ShipStation. It's what I push and recommend to my clients, and the brands that we work with. And because of that, or because of ShipStation, we have a lot of customization that you can use, right? And every product that a brand is shipping could have a different use case, not only the dimensions and the weight and kind of the basics of fulfillment, but when does it need to be shipped? How quickly does it need to be shipped? Is there a product that needs to get there in two days, is there a product that needs to get there and five days, right? The standard shipping. And that's the difference that allows you to manipulate the enhancement of a customer relationship, because sometimes you can get over there in two days, when it's not always recommended. But you know, maybe a customer says they have a wedding or big event or something that need to get their order, you know, you know, expedited you have the opportunity when you're handling the shipment for yourself. And within ShipStation has so many customers customizations for the process that you yourself can build, right just like we were speaking, every scenario with growth, you enter a new challenge to acquire that milestone and fulfillments, no different, right, you kind of have to adjust the way you're doing things, maybe you're shipping 100 orders a day. And then you grow to 1000 orders a day, maybe you're running one team of fulfillment, and now you need two teams to help you fulfill. Maybe you have, you know, a handful of different carriers gonna be of one care, there's so many differences that needs to be approached. And I think that's part of the excitement is kind of owning the entire relationship with your customer, knowing that communication through a personalized tracking page, or through clay vo to continue to speak with them are gorgeous to handle any questions or concerns. But literally, how do you get the product in your customers hands? Doing so is really exciting. I know there's brands that handle or work with a great amount of through pls that have great services and and being integrated with the best three POs that I've seen means you have great communication understanding of where that package is, where's the status? How quickly is it really going to get out? And then how do you communicate that to your customer, from the standard customer who's not really in a rush and everything is easy peasy. Or if you have to transfer to someone who has a critical request where they need to get it for, you know, maybe they forgot to order a gift they need to get there next day. Having the levers to pull to execute. That commitment you make to your customer really helps you stand out as a brand.
Mariah Parsons 38:37
I love that analogy of like having levers to pull to have that flexibility and to like comfort or like to like step up or fulfill those expectations with fulfillment because I know like fulfillment is something that as a marketer, like I don't think a ton about except for this podcast, which is really exciting when we got when we get to talk to experts, like yourself, Lewis, who is like dealing with all these problems on the day to day and it's so interesting to me that like thinking through I guess of when you're smaller, you have more options, I think for that flexibility, and then how to properly scale that so that you don't lose that flexibility while you're growing and like having more having more needs for fulfillment is super interesting. Like do you see with when a is it? Is it kind of like a catch all? Or is it? Is there still like that balance where if you're scaling a brand you can still have that like flexibility in your fulfillment? Or is it kind of like you you see like time and time again, when you are scaling you lose just traditionally like because of communication and bigger teams and all that like it does, you know, trend to have tend to have less of that flexibility. What would you say definitely
Luis Lluis 39:59
more challenging Right, just the nature, like you mentioned, the economies of a larger team become more challenging. But the exciting part is, when you're in that smaller stage as a brand, if you end up doing fulfillment on your own, you get to establish the standard of your brand and how they approach the fulfillment portion of your business. So when you get to that growth, and you know, there is a ton of use cases, for three POS, I'm not speaking against it, if you need to partner with a three PL, where maybe you do your fulfillment, if you're on the West Coast, and three PL may help you with the East Coast or all the nation or even global, you now have established your standard. So when you're speaking to these companies, you get to say, Hey, I'm looking for XYZ, and here's how we do things. And you're going to find that Threepio says, Oh, absolutely, we agree. And actually, that one idea you mentioned, we're adding on this feature, Have you have you thought about this, and maybe they're thinking of something you haven't because they are the expert in that field, and allows you to enter those conversations where you're not just entering in blind saying, Hey, I simply need to hold this, ship this and I'll give you the address, but in essence, you get to give them here's our playbook because fulfillment is a cornerstone to the relationship we build with our relationships. And we want you to be a partner in establishing that.
Mariah Parsons 41:12
Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Thank you.
Noah Rahimzadeh 41:18
Yeah, Louis, I'm, I want to ask you about the holidays. But before I want to make sure that our listeners know, can you talk a little bit about like the verticals that you serve? Are you specific to the food and beverage space? Or what sort of what sort of merchants on the E commerce end do you work with?
Luis Lluis 41:36
Yeah, all types of merchants. I'm just an econ nerd. And the team likes to support everyone. Every new challenge is exciting. And in most cases, we could take something from maybe a food vertical and apply it to an apparel vertical, or, you know, a clothing, excuse me, like a bedding vertical or something that we're speaking to now, where they're having challenges. And I'm like, oh, yeah, no, I know, we've encountered that with things such as the food vertical. And it's kind of, it's less about the vertical for us and more about like the use case. So for example, is it something that is absolutely critical for an event, right at the bakery, it's why we add so much attention at the bakeries themselves in LA, but also an E commerce division. When you order a cake for us from us, and it's going to a birthday or some type of celebration, we don't have a second chance, like it needs to get there on that day, so you can enjoy it for that celebration, or birthday. That type of focus on customer support and delivery and communication gets applied to something like you know, an apparel vertical that's ordering something as a gift, right? They may not think so they might just think, oh, let's go get there five days, but we kind of bring that level of like, hey, no, a customer order this, they need to get it and or you need to communicate why there might be a challenge and how you resolve it. So those kinds of practices against those types of use cases really apply to all verticals. And we just get excited when we find a new vertical that someone said, Hey, we have these challenges. But you know, we've we've approached those from, you know, naming apparel or food, but maybe it's like an automotive or some type of equipment that we're like, Hey, this is exciting. We get to do this for a different approach, learn their different use cases, and then apply our best practices to solve them.
Noah Rahimzadeh 43:15
That's awesome. Yeah, it's very cool to think about, like learnings from one vertical applying to another even if they have absolutely nothing to do, like bedding. Exactly. cookies in bed, not a horrible combo,
Mariah Parsons 43:29
not a horrible combination.
Noah Rahimzadeh 43:34
I'm curious before we get into holidays, are there any verticals that you're like, Man, this one in particular right now is really feeling the heat? Yeah, I don't know. I don't ever Yeah,
Luis Lluis 43:50
yeah, I think everyone's challenged with the marketplace for acquisition. But like we spoke earlier, the brands like brands are still spending money. Right. So that hasn't stopped right now. Is that per dollar as effective as it was in the past? Maybe not for not not everyone? Will it change? I'm sure it will. It's a marketplace and the economies of the marketplace, things will change and get better. But in that meantime, the customers that the brands that have not stopped or even slowed down, even spending more are the ones that make the most of their lifetime value, right then know their data that aren't just saying, Hey, I think we could spend 20 bucks on an acquisition. And then when it becomes 22, they're good. Oh, no, no, we have to pull back until hits $20. Again, the brands I know we would love $20. That's a nice target. But technically we make money up until 30. In that gray area, they're stepping on that pedal because people are pulling out or brands are pulling out with their budget trying to find another opportunity where the hey, this still works for us because we know our data. And that's truly the only way to have a systemized approach to growth because if not, you're just guessing or the kind of like the biggest challenge that I've seen some brands as they hit like a tick tock virality, or they have a tremendous amount of coverage and PR for some awesome reason. And all, that's great. But it's kind of like that bear hug where it's awesome at first, and that squeezing so tight, like, hey, now we've kind of structured our business on that traffic, when we don't have that traffic at that low costs. How do we do it? How do we continue to move forward? The flywheel is not necessarily a flywheel, it's kind of a one off, and you have to recreate that wheel every time which isn't sustainable. So I think everyone's kind of feeling the heat. But the brands that have created that understanding of their data, and know how to structure there, LTV, are the ones that aren't feeling as much.
Noah Rahimzadeh 45:40
Yes. 100%. Yeah. And I think a lot of the principles like like you mentioned list that we talked about earlier, apply directly to this, right, it's like, yeah, we can we can go up to 30 on adspend. Not just because we know, we know that we'll get that back. But we were super confident that we'll get them to the third person purchase. Right? Yeah, that will lead to profitability from this from this newly acquired customer. And here are the things that we're doing to, to get them there, right on the retention strategy side, here's the spend, and here's where we actually start to see that revenue. So to your point, I think the brands who have Yeah, the data visibility is, is absolutely crucial. Love that. So tell us what you're doing to prep for the holidays, in terms of from the from the agency perspective, and what you advise based on that, that brands do head of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and then the holidays.
Luis Lluis 46:41
Absolutely. So my kind of approach to the holidays is, if almost like studying in college or in school, if you're not ready the day of the test, like just prepare to do your best. And with brands, the way I kind of approach that is, if you don't feel like your conversion rate is the best they can be. You don't have much time to kind of finalize that. Because if you keep tinkering with your website, you may have a critical error. And that error could cause a giant loss for your sales. So I like to, you know, it's October 25. Today, we're getting pretty close to Mark, I don't like to do too much work on stores, after November, I kind of just try to get ready to put out all the fires that you need to. And if you don't have too many moving pieces with a constant integration of new ideas or new features, new services, new platforms, you have a better chance to put out those fires. And so for me, as long as you aren't integrating any new moving pieces, a B tests, etc. Starting November, kind of hunkered down to get ready for that traffic. And once that traffic comes, make the most out of it and take any piece that you think you could have done better as a learning experience for the new year. Because you're really putting yourself at risk. If you have too many moving parts at you know, arguably the most critical part of the year.
Noah Rahimzadeh 47:57
Yeah, that's a that's a fantastic mindset. I think. I know, you know, we the way we see it is a lot of brands are scrambling right now we obviously expect our business to slow in November in December in terms of bringing on new merchants to Malomo. But realistically, you know, and I think that makes sense based on what you said right? But like, realistically, we should be doing everything we can to make sure that they're prepared right? Well Ahead of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, not you know, in an ideal world, we would have testing all completed and final approvals for the new experience that they're gonna launch just to make sure that you know, all of the money that they spent on these newly acquired users convert to to that second purchase because they have the correct customers customer experience stack in place after those newly acquired customers buy for the first time.
Luis Lluis 48:54
Yeah, absolutely. And conversing with new brands in the new year because they probably either knew they wish they could have something like Malomo or they didn't think about it and when you have the volume of traffic against an opportunity like Malomo personalized tracking page it's really eye opening if you haven't thought about it yet yeah all right, you
Noah Rahimzadeh 49:15
Mariah Parsons 49:16
I was well, I was just gonna agree but I was holding out because I was waiting to see if you're gonna comment No but I love that you kind of gave that perspective of or that analogy of like holidays and like a test or something of like if even if you're not correct or you didn't get everything that you wanted done right away like when November hits. I love that you can you said like you can still have wins and learnings from it. Anyways, I feel like there's a lot of pressure to have everything perfect but and I put air quotes around perfect meaning like, like there's just even like from our side of things. It's like how can we best prep like Noah said, how can we best prep our customers to have success? during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and there's all this all these pieces of content, like everything around it, right? Like this is, this is part of that content of like advice sharing of like, how can it be like perfect? Meanwhile, in reality, you're like never gonna have a perfect like Black Friday Cyber Monday, right? Like it is. So it is very like, hyped up. So I think it's like comforting kind of to hear that even if you don't you had all these goals and ambitions that, you know, timeline it just didn't didn't work out, you can still hit those. That's the part that I love that that analogy right there. That's awesome. No, you can ask her question now.
Noah Rahimzadeh 50:41
wrap us up. We're coming to time. Incredible. Louis, thank you so much. We like to end by asking kind of back on the personal side, but related to business. What is one tip that's helped you throughout your career? And this can be anything from like, whether it's advice to other agencies advice, the E commerce market, or just general? You know, career advice. What would you what would you attribute you know, your your awesome success to so far, far? Yeah, definitely.
Luis Lluis 51:12
I think what I'm most excited about and what worked really well for me in my past is being very democratic with ideas in the sense that all ideas are good ideas, as long as they don't go directly into your brand was kind of like your personal way of life. Because the coolest part of E commerce and with life, you have so many opportunities to test things. And a B tests are my favorite part of E commerce because we can take everyone's idea and instead of being in a room and arguing or discussing who's right, we can just sit in a room, come up with ideas, make sure they don't go against our brand awareness or brand guidelines, and deploy them as an ad test at some statistical significance. And now you know what the winner is. And some of the winners that built out you know, when I was at the bakery at Porto's Bakery, or with the brands I'm working with now are ideas that we thought hey, they're not bad ideas, but we don't think they're going to be the best and the customers show you that you're actually wrong and they know what's best and there you can leave with confidence that that is the best decision and you could seem to move on and being raised trying all ideas as long as they don't go directly against your own brand guideline or personal guideline and seeing which one wins because you never know what could work out the best
Noah Rahimzadeh 52:26
awesome yeah, I love that answer Test test test is what I heard. You know, I think I think sometimes like I have this theory that like speaking in absolutes is just or having like an absolute mindset is very limiting and a lot of cases Yeah, being open to new ideas and you know, even if there are things that you you fundamentally don't agree with, being able to test them and see the data behind them which has been made easier by newer technology is is great advice, man. Thank you so much for for stopping by. Really appreciate it happy we got portos live page looks great, makes me hungry. And looking forward to working much more closely with you as you as you grow out the business at grow stable.
Luis Lluis 53:16
Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
Mariah Parsons 53:18