Improving Conversion Rate & Average Order Value w/ Carl Weische – #35

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The Brand Builder Show
Improving Conversion Rate & Average Order Value w/ Carl Weische – #35
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Welcome back to another episode of the Brand Builder Show! 

This week we’re joined by Carl Weische who is taking the eCommerce Twitter community by storm!

Carl operates a fast-growing conversion rate optimization agency and helps eCommerce brands grow their revenue and profitability by improving the on-page experience for customers.

In the episode we covered the key mistakes beginners make and how you can avoid them!

Helpful resources:

If you got this far, there’s a chance you enjoyed the episode… if so, please consider leaving a review – we really appreciate it!

Talking Points:

00:00 Introducing Carl Weische

04:27 Conversion optimization

08:55 Custom coding apps

09:54 SEO biggest mistakes

12:17 Improving conversion rate

15:52 Increase customer’s trust

20:19 Working with Carl

Ben Donovan 
Hey, guys, and welcome back to another episode of the brand builders Show. Today we’re going to be talking all things conversion rate optimization, optimizing your Shopify store, specifically for greater conversions to make more money to use your ad spend better. And to talk through that I am joined by Carl. Carl is tearing it up on Twitter during these great breakdowns of brands. And I’ve been loving his breakdowns. And and so I reached out to him and asked him to come on the show to chat through this topic. Carl, thanks for joining me on the show today.
 
Carl Weische 
Pleasure to be here. Ben, thanks so much for the intro.
 
Ben Donovan 
No, it’s, it’s gonna be good to chat through this stuff. Because you what I love about what you do is you take a brand that I assume hasn’t invited or asked you to do this. And you just kind of do a step by step breakdown on what you would improve about their site for better conversion rate. They’re not asking you to do this, right? No, no, they’re not. It’s just you’re just doing it just to kind of try and show what can be done. And it’s genius. Because I you know, I don’t know if it’s actually kind of helps you get those brands as clients but it’s definitely helping you create awareness on Twitter, you know about this topic. So no hats off to you, man. Tell us a bit about yourself. Your journey into E commerce what you’re doing now, give us a bit of the backstory
 
Carl Weische 
for sure. So Carl 23 years old are born and raised in Germany, currently living in Hamburg, beautiful city in northern Germany. For me, my whole journey started when I was 16. I had my first steps on the kind of making money online niche where I was just buying and reselling a limited sneakers like Yeezy booze, Jordan supreme back then when he was was still like a huge hire. So those were my first steps. Then I had my first brand, I believe, like around four years ago now. Where I was just saying stuff online like wireless chargers, phone cases, had I had my eye on I started Amazon FBA and just literally tried out everything myself. So I set up the store that email marketing, SEO, Amazon, PPC, logistics, packaging, pictures, everything that you could imagine I just did it myself before I would give it to an agency to do it because I just wanted to have this hands on experience. For me it was really like learning project and was what was ducking with me is that I hired a freelancer last and he did this whole SEO for my store. So he basically optimized my store increase conversion rate, increased average order value in revenue, and he’s now my co founder. So that’s how we started I just met him back then when he was a freelancer, we started working together on the star. I really really liked it and for me always. My passion was really psychology understanding what motivates me what motivates under others. And when he came around, and we started working, I understood that SEO is basically just psychology and neuro marketing applied to ecommerce. So for me, it was like two worlds colliding from my huge passions. So that really stuck with me. And that’s how we kind of grew into becoming friends started with the agency and started taking on the first clients two and a half years ago. Now time is running we do differ so that’s one second the date but it was five years ago doing like the first COVID lockdown
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, and you’re just 23 geeze, you’re making me feel old man all of this ecommerce experience at the same so you will link to the He will link to some of the breakdowns that you’ve done in the description, because what you said about psychology using psychology to help with conversion rate, I think is really comes through in those in those tear downs because you, you know, there’s things like showing trust with reviews and loads of stuff in there. That Yeah, well, I’d love for people to see some of these breakdowns you’ve done. So we’ll link to those. So let’s jump into the questions. And obviously, you’re tearing it up with the agency growing massively, you know, getting lots of clients for obvious reasons. But in terms of the people that are listening, that are maybe, you know, early on in their journey with E commerce, let’s talk about conversion rate optimisation, you know, what exactly is it when you come into a store? What are you trying to do with regards to conversion rate optimisation? And why should ecommerce small medium growing e commerce brands? Why should they care about it?
 
Carl Weische 
For sure, so a couple of questions into one. So let’s just start with the first half conversion optimization basically means increasing your conversion rate and average order value, so that you make more revenue of the same ad spend, right. So just imagine you have 100 people coming to your store, like you push traffic to a page and 3% of that convert, then you have three buyers. And conversion rate optimisation basically increases the number to like four out of 100 people or five other funnel people, for example. So that’s SEO, I like to give this analogy of a real world example. So I asked this people when I talk about SEO, like do you rather go into like really cluttered store where you have to search a lot to find your product, and the customer service is rude. And you don’t really know what you want, the packaging is really off? Or do you go into an Apple store where there’s like an employee in the front greeting you and taking you to the store, and everything is really, really great design, and you know, where all the products are, and you can see them, and they are really, really well displayed and everything. And for obvious reason, everybody chooses the Apple Store. And that’s basically the experience that we want to have online, right?
 
Carl Weische 
So you push traffic to a landing page, you push traffic to a product page. And people can really easily understand the benefits your value proposition who you are as a brand, and why people should buy from you, right? Why shouldn’t they buy from a competitor or whoever, but they need to buy from you. Right? So they need to understand this, the value proposition product benefits your USPs as a stores. And then on top of that, you also want to build trust, right? Because and this is funny, because usually, it’s intuition for people when they get on the store, they just know, it’s a trustworthy store. Or it’s like giving off a scammy vibe, right. And you probably noticed, from your customer experience buying have multiple different stores, you come on a store, come on a website, and there are certain elements that some or create trust or give up like a scammy vibe. And some of those might be for example, the trust badges or the reviews, or social proof or other great design elements that have created trust, for on the other hand, there may be like big red pop ups, or some other elements or like those elements missing that then give off a scammy vibe, which won’t let you into buying products from that store. So that at the end of the day is conversion optimization, the whole process of optimizing user experience user interface of your website and creating this trust and getting across a proposition and benefits for people to actually buy. And that also goes into the question of why should brands care about it. Because at the end of the day, your conversion rate and your average order value are two really, really important KPIs, they will tell if you are profitable or not. So you can live with let’s say you spent 5k a day on ads. And that can be on like a 2x rose with like a 2% conversion rate. And then you increase the conversion rate to like 3%, which would directly increase your rows to like the three extra rows, which were which may make you highly profitable. And that’s the whole output and outcome of conversion optimization, why brands should care about because it can be the change between you having like a break even for us to use scaling highly profitable. For example.
 
Ben Donovan 
If you have say 100 Is the goal in terms of how well optimized you are 100 is the most optimized you can be for conversion rate, the store owner that just fires up a Shopify theme out of the box, and just puts their product info in it, their brand info in it, but doesn’t do anything more than that. Where are they on that scale? Would you say?
 
Carl Weische 
Probably at around a 30 depends on how good the situation is. Because when a Shopify theme is out of the box, it’s really, really clean. So you’re just pushing into your images and your product, text right and all these headlines, sub headlines and some texts, but you’re not really utilizing any trust badges or apps. says Cross says social proof reviews, all of that sort. So you really have to jump in and custom code all of that, for example, to do the heavy lifting of the SEO work.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yep. Are there app solutions that can do the same thing as what you do with coding?
 
Carl Weische 
Yeah, of course. So there is, for example, Gem pages or other page builder, which lets you easily customize that. And there are also a bunch of apps. I don’t know all the names from top of my mind right now. But there are apps that lets you showcase these trust badges that have said happy like Zippy phi, one click upsell lets you upsell across our products. There are also apps for like a sticky add to cart button or like a custom kartra On Page checkout. Usually, we like to advise people to custom code everything, just in regards to Page Speed, because usually page builders and also apps tend to up the page speed a lot and slow down the page.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, sure. Okay. And so then what are the biggest mistakes brand owners are making aside from ignoring conversion rate optimization, when they try and improve conversion rate on their site and add badges? Pop Ups? banners? Yeah. What are the biggest mistakes you see beginners make?
 
Carl Weische 
That’s a great question. I think the biggest mistakes you can make in this whole SEO process and journey with your brand, and your store is relying too heavily on best practices. And they’re like, I mean, they’re no best practices, after all. But there are certain things that tend to work across like 90 95% of stores, which is everything related to increasing trust, like showing reviews, showing trust badges and showing store benefits, like this will never decrease your conversion rate, because like, why should it? But then, like, they rely too heavily on that, and they don’t focus on what’s really, really changing the needle, which usually is diving into the psychology of your audience. So really understanding what are their pain points? What are the motors, beliefs and desires? And also, how are they interacting with your store? Like, what is their customer journey throughout your store? Where do they click? Where do they scroll? And where do they spend time on the page. And it’s really easy nowadays, because we have hot jar, and they they are basically providing you with these heat maps, click Maps, Google Maps, and also these screen captures of your users. So you can just take a day, take two days, you and your team and just watch all of those videos, like we’re pushing traffic to a landing page, then what do they do, they may scroll down, they may hover over certain images, and then they may jump off to like the homepage, they try to find the about us section because they want to know more about the brand, then they may jump to a product page, Edge cart, buy the product, right? So you need to watch these videos to understand the individual customer journey that your target audience has on the store. And that’s where the real value comes in. And then also, what I like to advise is sent out customers service. So do surveys on page and send out customer service to your existing customer base. And with this, you can really understand again, all the pain points is is Mater so don’t just talked about and you can understand what words are they using, because you may be using different words than them for the same product benefit. But then you’re not exactly hitting the pain point or you’re not exactly hitting that desired state. Right? And then small things can make the difference.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, that’s good. How much can these implementations move the needle, you know, in terms of conversion rate, what some of the biggest moves you’ve seen in percentage.
 
Carl Weische 
So one, one story that I love to talk about is from literally like the first client that we ever had. And he had a general dropshipping store. Right, so the user Shopify thing, he had products for dogs for the kitchen for he had leggins and some gadgets, right, so like the typical general dropshipping store, and he had a point three 5% conversion rate. So as traffic was really, really unprofitable. Like he didn’t matter if this guy, obviously. And then we jumped in, analyzed it and understood really quickly that his best selling product was the dog pet, right. And then what we did, we push we completely throughout all the other products that he had, and completely rebranded the page to being a dog brand. So bear away from the general store to the dog brand, completely redesigned the new logo new see I did the copywriting and then just tell the story around the product and then really hit the pain points and the benefits of this product. So now he was pushing the same traffic to like the branded store for dark assessories or gauges or whatever you want to call it. And that was then converting at a 2.7% conversion rate. So We’d nearly like 10x the conversion rate, which was insane for us, like I checked the Shopify dashboard every 10 minutes, because I couldn’t believe it. But that’s how much you can move the needle can be completely like, difference between day and night. Same with your ads. I mean, if you have like a, maybe an image ad or carousel, in comparison to like a 62nd, UGC video, that can be different from day to night, right. And the same with your store. If your store looks like and has bad copywriting, like nobody would buy, but then if you have a really, really great position, so all with amazing value proposition amazing benefits, really hitting the pain points and desires of your target audience. Like obviously, more people will buy it from it.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, now that’s really interesting. And the the takeaway I’m getting from it obviously, is branding is important. You’re not just selling products, but the brand communication that you have. You mentioned the about us page, obviously, that’s a lot of people will will go there and having some kind of brand story, you have seen that to make an impact on conversion rate,
 
Carl Weische 
for sure. So again, depends on the niche and the product that you’re selling. But especially for like jewelry, apparel, and everything regarding to your pet, like when you’re buying for your pet or for your baby or child or something, then they want to buy into the brand and like it’s really heavy for for example, like jewelry pages that they want to buy into the vision of the brand, because then buying the jewelry for the main reason that it looks good, but rather for the emotion that it gives them. Right and like the brand story brand vision. It may doesn’t matter that much for like gadgets or electronica accessories or something like that, or household gadgets. But for those luxury products tend to make us more.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, nice. So we talked about some of the, you know, mistakes people make, what are some sort of quick wins, that people can implement? What are the first things that you would suggest to a beginner to fix you may have covered them before, but just if you can sort of summarize, you know, if you open up your Shopify store, you’re running ads, these are the first three things I would do.
 
Carl Weische 
For sure. Um, so to summarize, biggest thing, trust increased trust. So show reviews show happy customers, show the store benefits, make it as easy as possible to buy and show the product benefits, right. So everything in regards to trust and social proof. Second thing reduce friction in the customer journey. And I see a lot of people doing this mistake is that it’s really hard to buy from that store. I mean, Shopify, made it really, really easy. But if you’re still using like WooCommerce shop, where every hour, any other system, they have like a really custom checkout that takes ages and has tons of friction, right? So you want to reduce friction, a customer journey from the product page, make it as easy as possible to buy, click the Add to Cart, and then quickly send them to the checkout. That’s the second biggest thing. And third biggest thing is having congruency between your ads and your store, because you’re grabbing the attention from the user that’s just like scrolling to through the phone or like Tik Tok or IG Pinterest or whatever, you’re grabbing their attention, and they have the first interest. And now they’re clicking on the ad to your store, because they saw something the ad they like, now you have to show the same imagery, the same copywriting and like the same offer, for example, on your landing page. Because what happens with a lot of people, they have one specific ad set, and then they push it to a product page, which has the same product, but everything else is completely unrelated. Right? They may have like different colors, different visuals. And then people already forgot what they’ve seen in the ad, what they’ve seen in the ad, because they may have just looked at this for like two seconds. And then they want a product page, and then they cannot remind themselves again, and then they’re just bouncing off instantly again.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah. Are you sending pretty much all traffic to a landing page or custom landing page where people can buy the product?
 
Carl Weische 
Yes, so we’d like to work mostly with landing pages and product pages. We have some people sending the traffic to a collection page, for example for like the apparent fashion brands, but most mostly the traffic goes to product page for landing page.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, and that for product pages, do you recommend people again go with the structure of a Shopify theme? Or are you really heavy on building out full custom landing pages
 
Carl Weische 
rather, for custom landing pages. So for me landing page and product page is really, really similar, but the only difference is that on the landing page at the top, he showed the value proposition and the copywriting rather than directly showing the product and another product page showing the product at the top and then in that sense you I have like all the other sections of the landing page, right. But it’s essentially the same sections. That’s what we like to do. But I like to treat the product pages as landing pages in the sense that it’s not only the product and a bit of text, but again, showing the product and news showing the brand story and all of that.
 
Ben Donovan 
Someone wanted to get started with like coding their own sort of stuff like this into the store and didn’t maybe want to use landing page builders and stuff like that. What are the kind of point what’s the point at which that becomes worthwhile, you know, how much revenue does a store need to be doing to start really going deep into this stuff.
 
Carl Weische 
I mean, a lot of the heavy lifting should be done in the beginning, obviously, because otherwise you won’t be able to scale. So you really need to nail Product Market Fit value proposition, USPs, and all of that and have a solid conversion rate to be able to scale profitably. But then where it makes sense to start investing time, money and energy into SEO, is around the 100 to 200k mark of revenue a month. Obviously, if you’re running at 100k a month with like a 5% conversion rate, you don’t need to optimize. But if you’re wanting like 200k, with like a 2%, conversion rate, mightly profitable, then you should optimize, then it enables you again to scale more aggressively.
 
Ben Donovan 
Yeah, that’s good. And then finally, then, from your agency perspective, what does it look like for someone to work with you sort of beginning to end? How well how much involvement do you have to do everything for them in terms of pages coding, that kind of thing?
 
Carl Weische 
Sure. So in the beginning for the smaller brands, so we offer just audits and consulting, right, so that we have to help them do the heavy lifting, or completely, like rip apart the page to redesign and implement all the best practices copywriting, so they can scale the store up. For the bigger brands, we like to jump in and really get into the psychology and do all of those micro changes with a B test that you have seen on Twitter, right. So then we wouldn’t completely tear apart a store that’s doing like 10 million a month, but rather focus on like the small changes that we can do to incrementally increase conversion rate and average order value. The way that we offer the service, it’s a completely done for you service, where we have the small unit teams with basically one full time employee for every part of the process. So like data analysts, project managers, SEO, strategist, designer, copywriter, and developer, so that we can take care of everything ourselves. We liked clients getting involved in process just so that they can give their ideas, we can align the strategy and everything with them. But they wouldn’t have to like we could even do everything on our own if they wouldn’t like to get involved in the project. Yeah.
 
Ben Donovan 
Awesome, man. Are you? Are you enjoying the agency life?
 
Carl Weische 
Yeah, I like it. At this point. It’s a lot of fun. In the beginning, it was a lot of hard work and hustle when you were still like a solopreneur when it was just starting out with my co founder. Now having a team having, like so much stuff happening, and being at this stage in the agency, it’s really fun.
 
Ben Donovan 
Awesome, man. Awesome. Is there anything that I haven’t asked that you think would be valuable to share?
 
Carl Weische 
No. Yes, great questions. So nothing from me from my mind.
 
Ben Donovan 
Now, that’s all good. Where’s the best place for people to find out more about the agency. And what you do
 
Carl Weische 
best would be my Twitter, because as you said, like, that’s where most of the content happens. And that’s also where I push most of the value. So just check out the Twitter, go through my timeline, have a bunch of free resources, giving, like so much stuff away for free. I will also send this to you. So you can give it to the audience like the landing page framework. For example. I just gave that away completely free to the audience so that they can have it, they can build landing pages themselves without needing to pay a SEO agency or designer whatsoever. Yeah, and then if you have questions, just slide into my DMs on Twitter. And then our simple as that,
 
Ben Donovan 
and I can, I can vouch that you answered them because I slid into there to ask you to come on to the show. So appreciate that. That’s awesome, man. Yeah, and we’ll link some of those AB tests kind of threads that you’ve done as well just so people can easily access those because they’re super helpful. Carl, thanks for taking the time out. Man. I really appreciate your time. Excited to see what you’re doing and you know, keep keep tweeting the value because I’m enjoying it.
 
Carl Weische 
For sure. I appreciate you so much for having me. And hope you guys can take some value away from this.
 
Ben Donovan 
Absolutely. Awesome guys. Welcome. Or thank you for joining us for another episode and I hope you enjoyed it. Check all that stuff out for call in the description in the show notes below. And I will see you in the next episode next week.