Upselling—suggesting add-on products during checkout—seems like a reliable way to boost your average order value. Except when it has the opposite effect.
In this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from an entrepreneur who believes that not every business should use upselling and, when you do, there’s a right time to offer the upsell to customers.
Sholom Chazanow is the founder of LIV Watches: a direct-to-consumer microbrand crafting durable, high-quality, Swiss-made watches built to suit the modern man.
In our category at least, upsells create this distraction and it’s like, ‘I’m not sure if I need this upsell, let me save this page and I’ll come back.'
Tune in to also learn
- How to stand out in the crowded watch space
- The benefits of selling other brands first before you create your own
- Why you might want to offer a 90 day return policy instead of a 30 day one
Listen to the podcast below (or download it for later):
- Store: LIV Watches
- Social Profiles: Facebook, Instagram
- Recommendations: Upwork, Shipstation(Shopify App), Klaviyo(Shopify App), Criteo, Justuno(Shopify App), Brightpearl(Shopify App), Front App (Customer service)
Felix: Today, I’m joined by Chaz from LIV Watches. LIV Watches is a direct to consumer, microbrand crafting durable, high-quality, Swiss-made watches built to suit the modern man. It was started in 2013 and based out of Miami, Florida. Welcome, Chaz.
Chaz: Hey, how are you?
Felix: Cool. Yeah, that introduction, the word microbrand. This is one of the first times I’ve heard this. This something that was written in the description that you guys provided to us. What is a microbrand?
Chaz: Probably the best way to describe microbrand would be a brand that, I don’t want to say we’re going after the big guys, but we sort of have a niche. Micro is … Obviously, we’re very small.
Felix: Got it.
Chaz: We’re a small, niche brand and we’re trying to do what the big boys do, but we’re doing it on a much smaller scale.
Felix: Got it. Makes sense. This is obviously a very competitive industry. Watches are a very competitive industry to be in. How do you guys differentiate yourself when you are, like you were saying, a smaller brand, a niche brand, a boutique brand essentially that’s going against the much bigger companies out there?
Chaz: I think that the two things that we strive for would be obviously the product. From a design perspective, from a quality perspective, those are the two key points. Then, I would say our connection with our fans. We don’t call customers. We don’t use the word customers. It’s a bad word here. Everybody that wears one of our watches is considered a fan.
Felix: That makes sense. The product, like you were saying, is a prerequisite. You have to have a good product, a product that is high in quality for anyone to even consider you. How do make sure that those kind of values that you have internally to make sure you have a great product, how do you make sure you communicate that out to your fans and make sure that they know the product that you’re offering?
Chaz: Obviously, we strive a lot on content. When it comes to imagery, explanations, specifications. Imagery and video I would say is probably our key way of communicating it. The other way is actually people holding our watches in their hands.
We have a 90-day return policy, no questions asked. If you’re not happy with the product, put it back in the box. We’ll even send you a return label if it’s in the United States.
If you look at our reviews, it’s just phenomenal. The feedback has been great from day one. I’ve been obviously in the industry for quite a few years, actually since 1993. I was in production earlier on. I spent about five years in production so I have a very, very good handle on what a good quality watch should be like.
Felix: So, 1993 is when you got your start in the industry, so 20 years in the making before you started LIV Watches. Talk to us a little more about that background. What were you doing during that time to build up the expertise in the industry?
Chaz: Yeah, okay. Sure. I started with a small brand called Daniel Mink. I’m not even sure if it still exists anymore. I got a job right out of high school. I started work, then I actually started packing watches. Then, I was slowly promoted. A year and a half later I went into sales, which was great, by the way, because it gave me a really good idea of what people wanted, what was going on.
That part of the business I think was … It was that transition that I had I think was optimal. Going from starting in the packing room to sales and then from sales, I moved on to production. That company unfortunately folded, but the five and a half years that I spent there was a phenomenal … It was phenomenal for me. I got a lot of experience, the ins and outs both from a logistical standpoint also from sales and, like I said, production.
Felix: Can you talk a little bit more about that? What are some of the most valuable skills and experience that you got out of working on the production side that you’re now able to ply when you started LIV Watches?
Chaz: I think from a production, I think, is the most important thing I would say is relationships. You have to know who’s, what, when, and where, what each, I would say each … When it comes to a watch, you have many, many different suppliers. You have your case supplier. You have your dial supplier, crowns, small components like screws, gaskets, crystals, movements. There’s a lot of different components that go into a watch.
Each one of those pieces are sometimes produced by different people. Having those relationships, knowing those people, and knowing exactly what the lead times are for things, knowing exactly how to coordinate. There’s a lot of different pieces that need to come together to make everything work together.
Then, obviously, you have the assembly of the watch, which comes after you aggregated all the different components and I think having that all work in a very cohesive way is, I’m not sure if it’s a talent, but it’s more of a know-how, understanding it is really, really important.
Felix: Yeah, I think this is one of the most successful ways to segue into starting your own business which is to build an industry expertise, get to see what it’s like on the inside by working for someone else, and then branching out and starting your own business. Like you were saying, one of the key aspects of doing that is to build those relationships in the industry, know who the players are, have some kind of personal relationship with them.
I think one of the concerns for anyone else that’s maybe not even in the watch industry but any other industry when they want to do this is that there are probably politics and maybe some legal issues involved when you make this transition. How did you branch out gracefully to make sure that you weren’t stepping on any toes or running into issues in that way?
Chaz: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a concern. I think just going from working for another company and then all of a sudden to making your own brand could be a sticky transition. In my case, I didn’t go from this brand … The brand had fizzled out and so, therefore, they kind of went away. Then, I spent about close to eight years of just trading watches. I moved away from the manufacturing side and I was just trading high-end watches.
Felix: I see. So, you weren’t a direct competitor right away. You spent time in a different kind of role in the place. Okay.
Chaz: My experience in the production side was obviously the base of where it started, but trading other brands was actually where I learnt what works and what doesn’t work, what brands are doing correctly and incorrectly. So, the production side was great, but I only got to really understand what we were producing at the time.
When I went into trading watches, I got a very good grasp of what brands were doing successfully and unsuccessfully. I knew what was selling, what wasn’t selling, whether it’s style or whether it’s sizes of watches or materials that they’re using or just marketing stuff that they were doing, what was happening, what wasn’t happening.
Felix: Okay, I think this is important. Another important segue in your path, which is to reiterate, you started by working for someone else, then you started essentially becoming a retailer, right? You didn’t own your own brand at the time. You were selling other people’s brands and then you created your own brand.
What did you see then? When you were a retailer, you were selling and trading other people’s products, other brands of watches, what did you recognize in a marketplace that said that there’s room for me to come in and take a piece of the pie?
Chaz: Yes. I think the big part was really the evolution of, I would say, social and smartphone. Well, it actually started obviously with the internet. When Amazons of the world came along and I think the consumer became more and more comfortable buying stuff online and then they …
Interestingly enough, when the whole internet thing came on the scene, a lot of the big brands sort of shied away from it because they were so set in their ways of doing business. You have your production side. You have your distribution side. You have your retail. They have all these different channels and all these layers. Then, when the Amazons of the world came along and websites started popping up and selling watches online they were like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is not how we were built to do things.”
I think once I saw that the consumer was becoming more and more comfortable with purchasing online and I realized that, probably like in 2008/2009, I realized that these companies are out of touch. The brands who I was trading and selling, they’re completely out of touch with what’s happening on the consumer side.
Felix: I see. So, you’re talking about the direct to consumer business model where you’re selling directly to the consumer rather than going through some kind of retailer, physical retailer typically and having your fans or your customers go through it that way.
What challenges did you face with that approach? Because it sounds like a new path that you’re blazing, a new trail that you’re blazing in this industry. No one’s really done it yet at the time you started the company. What challenges did you face along the way?
Chaz: Obviously, as a new watch brand, I think the biggest challenge is, how do you find customers and how do you get people to know that you exist? For us, we obviously had to create a product. We had to come up with some kind of idea of who we are, what our DNA is. We had to do that part, but I think the biggest challenge was, okay, if we get the design right and we get the product right, which I think we could, how do we reach people and let them know that we exist without blowing tons and tons of money on advertising? I think that was our biggest, biggest challenge.
Felix: Do you have to do any kind of testing during this phase where you were … The market initially you’re talking about is obviously very important, but before you even get there you have to create a product that people want. How did you determine what people wanted in a watch that was different than what they could maybe get out there currently?
Chaz: What I realized was there was a segment of the market that the big brands didn’t want to touch. First off, I want to go back and say that the structures of the big brands given the fact that they have all these different layers, their retail prices are completely out of touch with what’s going on in reality. What I’m saying is, if they’re built on that layered sort of system, they have to have enough profit in there to pay the distributor, they have to have enough profit to move to the retailer and the retailer has to go to consumer. Their retails are completely out of touch.
Besides for that, there was a certain segment of the market, a certain point in the market I would say for a Swiss watch in the four to $500 range. There wasn’t a lot of emphasis on quality and unique design. That was the kind of place where oh, if you need … All the big brands had that price point. I mean, not all the big brands, but a lot of the big brands have those price points, but that’s like the bottom of their barrel. That’s like, “Okay, we’re going to bring somebody in. He doesn’t know much about watches and we’re going to charge him $500 and eventually when he has enough money, he’ll go ahead and buy our $2,000 watch.”
That area, like four to five to $600 range was neglected. There was nobody really emphasizing and saying, “Okay, this is our price point. We’re not going to $2,000 unless we’re producing something that’s probably worth $5,000.”
Felix: I see. For the competitors out there, they had a product in that price point but it was just an introductory product and it wasn’t their core focus. You recognize that you can come in and make the price point your core focus and you’re able to do this because and you’re able to compete because you’re going direct to consumer. There were no middlemen involved that ate away your profits and required you to charge a higher price for a higher quality product.
Now, you mentioned that one of the issues, once you create a product like this is to be able to reach them, reach your target audience. How would you describe your fans? What is the ideal fan like?
Chaz: The ideal fan, believe it or not, a lot of our fans actually own a lot of high-end watches. I think this is also a little of a shift in the consumer mindset. It’s sort of all happening at the same time, so there’s a lot of different moving parts that are happening. You have social. You have the web, obviously. You have the mobile phone and you have the mindset of the consumer.
I think up until now, the mindset of the consumer was, “Okay, I see a billboard and, therefore, they tell me I should buy this watch and I’m going to buy this watch. I see an ad in the Wall Street Journal. I see an ad in Business Week or any other big publication and, okay, this is what I need to buy because they have some ambassador on there. They paid some George Clooney to wear the watch. They paid $1,000,000 and this is what I need to wear.”
I think the new consumer has a very, very different approach. They’re looking for something a little bit more niche. They’re looking for something a little bit different. They’re looking for something that not everybody else has and that’s the kind of customer … I shouldn’t say customer, bad word. That’s the fan we’re looking for. We’re looking for the fan … By the way, this kind of fan is growing in numbers. I wouldn’t even consider it a niche anymore.
Felix: Are you seeing this outside of your industry as well?
Chaz: Yeah. I see it, not just when it comes to watches, I think when it comes to … I’m into cycling so I see a lot of new cycling brands coming online. I see a lot when it comes to leather goods, men’s accessories. I think it’s across the board. I think it’s just, especially when it comes to accessories and stuff like that, I think maybe with phones or other items, maybe not electronics, I think it’s a bit harder, but when it comes to fashion where someone can create something that’s very, very different, I think a lot of the new age consumers and some of the older consumers are looking for something that not everybody else can get.
They’re looking for something a little bit different. They go on Instagram. They’re viewing things. They see what people like. They see images. They see videos and they’re less and less driven by the old style of we get a brand ambassador, Leonardo DiCaprio’s wearing the watch so, therefore, you should wear it.
Felix: I see. You’re saying that the best way to approach this new growing market even outside of the watch industry is to compete by being unique and really avoid trying to become a ‘me too’ product or a cheaper version of a Rolex or a cheaper version of some other high-end brand. You’re able to emphasize your uniqueness through images and video, which you said earlier.
Can you talk to us a little bit about that content creation process? How do you guys create … What’s the process behind creating new image or new video content for your brand?
Chaz: Oh, I think that’s probably consuming 50 or 60% of our time is just focusing on imagery and content. I don’t know how to explain a process. I don’t know if there’s a particular process. I could just tell you that we have a very, very strong emphasis on imagery. I think as a brand that’s direct to consumer, we do not have a store. In fact, we’re not even interested in stores. We do have stores call us and say, “We’d like to carry your products,” and we’re just not interested. That’s not our business model.
Obviously, imagery is obviously key. We have people outside the company that do a lot of imagery. We have in-house now that do a lot of imagery and video.
Felix: Yes, I see, but let’s start with the website then. So, when it comes to the website, I recommend anyone check out the website because it looks like very high-end website when I take a look at it. When someone comes to the website, they look at your product images and you guys sit down and think, “Okay, we’re releasing a new watch. Let’s get the product images for it.” What are the key qualities of a great product image in your opinion?
Chaz: One thing that we’ve done recently and we haven’t rolled it out to all the products, but we’re doing Now video. We are actually doing 360 videos and where the product is in real-life, not like a 360 … Years ago there was these 360 videos where basically it was like 40 images and you could kind of scroll it back and forth. Now, what we’re doing is real-life videos and we upload them on YouTube and then we embed them on our item pages so people can actually play in real-life a product turning at 360 as well as you can see the movement working, you can see the hands moving. It’s like a real-life experience.
Felix: Do you have a service or an application? How do you guys get this made for anyone else that’s out there that wants to take the same approach?
Chaz: The 360 video is a very, very difficult especially when it comes to watches. Watches has it’s own very unique challenges especially when you’re taking pictures or doing 360s of any item that has a glass or a glare or it’s high gloss. You end up with a lot of reflections. The 360 videos where we use I use a particular person that actually that’s what he does. That’s all he does.
Felix: Yeah, but for someone out there that wants to find some specialist, what’s the name of the overall I guess that they would look for?
Chaz: I know it’s one of those things it’s been very difficult for us to find. We tried to do it in-house. There are a lot of tools out there that you could buy, like boxes that allow you to do these 360 videos in-house. For us, we weren’t able to replicate the quality of what we’re getting right now from using a … We’re outsourcing it right now.
Felix: Got it. Yeah, it sounds like your case is very specialized like you’re saying because there’s a glass, there’s reflection, there needs to be someone that has a little bit more expertise. For a product that maybe doesn’t have that kind of reflection, you might be able to get away with something that’s more … You buy a product online instead of finding an expert.
One of the other keys to ensuring that customers are getting what they want, you mentioned this earlier, was the 90-day, no question asked return policy. Not only are they getting to see the product and 360s, they get a real sense of what it’s like if they were to have one. They can actually buy one and try it out themselves.
This is an approach, it’s obviously used by a lot of big retailers. Amazons, Apples, they all have this key emphasis on no questions asked, buy it, try it, if you don’t like it, return it. How do you manage all those? How do you make sure that A, you’re not going to lose profit over this approach? We’ll start there. How do you make sure that that doesn’t happen?
Chaz: We used to have a 30-day return policy and what we realized was that it puts a lot of pressure on the customer or, I should say the fan. Should not be using that word. Yeah, so it puts a lot of pressure on a fan. When they get the product, they see it, sometimes they’re like, “Wow, I love it,” but then you have the people that are like, “I’m not 100% sure. Let me look at it.”
The 30 days sort of has that back of the mind ticking like there’s a clock that’s going off. 90 days takes that out of the equation and gives them a real chance to just, without pressure, saying, “Do I like it,” or, “I don’t like it.” In our case, and I’m proud to say that we have very, very few returns.
One thing I will emphasize is the return process has got to be as easy and as seamless as possible. If someone buys a watch, there’s this point that we’ve found that a lot of people will actually say, “Oh, you know what? Let me try on something else,” and they’ll actually keep the second product. They’ll call. We’ll give them a recommendation. We’re like, “Oh, what didn’t you like about this watch?” They’re like, “Oh, the size. I thought it was a little too small, maybe I need something a little bigger. I didn’t like the strap.” Then, we’ll guide them.
In order to get to that conversation, you have to give them the feeling that at any moment if they decide they just want to return it and they don’t like it, no problem. Easy. We do it with a smile.
Felix: Yeah, I’ve heard this study that actually shows that the longer the return policy, the less likely the customer is to return it because, like you’re saying, they have more of a chance to know how … They don’t feel rushed so they have more of a chance to get the value out of the product, to embed it into their life, their lifestyle and they’re further away from the pain essentially of paying for the product so it doesn’t seem as much of urgency to get their money back essentially.
I think that you’re certainly onto something and I’ve certainly heard other studies that show the same thing, to extend your return policy for that purpose. Get the customer … Especially if it’s a product like a watch where it’s now going to fall apart anyway, you have the time for it to be … It’s going to be a durable product.
You mentioned that it needs to be as painless as possible for the return process. What are some things that you guys actively try to improve in that arena to make sure that the customer is absolutely happy with the return policy or the return process if they were to begin one?
Chaz: Yeah, so I think the most important thing would be obviously communication. From a system’s perspective, we use ShipStation. ShipStation does have a built-in return portal. We also like to believe, I’m not sure if we have it in Shopify, but I definitely know that when someone contacts us and says they have interest in returning the product, we immediately, we put our representatives in charge of it and that person is sort of like the concierge of the return.
Make your process, make your return process a concierge service. All languages, any language that you’re using whether email, it should be very, very ‘we just want you to be happy’ style.
Felix: I see. You dedicate one customer service representative for the entire process rather than just having a team and whoever gets to them gets to them and they kind of bounce around. That’s what you want to avoid.
Chaz: Yeah. You want to make sure that it’s hassle-free ’cause I think a lot of the consumers, part of the return policy, they’re already on edge. If they want to return a product or they’re thinking about returning a product, they’re already on edge and by having the proper communication and giving them the ease of mind … You might also find some times where people are just like, “You know what? Forget about it. I’ll just keep it.”
Listen, if they’re not happy with the product and they absolutely want to return it, you’re going to get returns. There’s no question, but you’ll find a percentage of customers … Man, I can’t believe I just said that again … percentage of fans will keep the product just because not only do they have the 90-day, but they just feel very relaxed in the communication. There’s someone that’s on top of it, someone that’s making sure whether it’s a return label or just giving them all the information that they need to make the return as painless as possible.
Felix: Got it. Once you do get the return back from the customer, what process goes on there to make sure the product is ready to go back out for sale?
Chaz: Our return policy is if it’s not worn. So, they can’t wear it for 90 days, which … Listen if someone puts it on and wears it for a couple days, it’s okay, but I can’t … We don’t have a return policy where someone could buy the watch, wear it for 90 days, go to the Sahara desert with it, and then decide to return it. That we don’t have.
We’re kind of lenient on it. We’re very lenient when it comes to getting back watches whether it’s got a little bit scuffed or it’s got something on it. The process of actually getting it back … When the product comes back obviously we inspect it. If there’s an exchange like they want another product, most of the times what we’ll do is we’ll actually ship out the exchange before we get back the watch ’cause we want to close the sale as fast as possible. We don’t want there to be a huge amount of time between when they return to when they get the product they want if it’s an exchange.
As soon as we see that the tracking is already moving back to us, the return tracking is coming back, we’ll immediately process the new watch and send it right out to them.
Felix: I’ll take a quick step back and talk about your manufacturing process because, again, you have lots of years of expertise I think this is going to be valuable for anyone out there that doesn’t have years of expertise. You’re creating a product that’s not easy to create. You’re creating a product that has lots of moving pieces, no pun intended, and it has to be high-quality. What is your manufacturing process like and how do you ensure this level of quality?
Chaz: A lot of sampling. I’ll tell you that. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but our first watch was launched on Kickstarter and that watch, our first watch, it took, I think, five sets of samples until we got everything right.
Felix: What’s coming in the sample? Is there just one watch or how does a sample work in your industry?
Chaz: Okay. Yeah, sure. So, the first sample that we get would be component samples. It would be like, “Okay, so we need this and this and this and this part,” and then we would assemble it here in Miami just to understand all the different parts. Okay. Once we’re happy with all the different piece and components, and at that point, we can have already let the assembler do the assemble sampling.
After we get our initial samples, which is not very color variant, like we’ll choose one color and we’ll say, “Okay, we just want to make sure that we get the components correct,” and they all fit together perfectly. Once we get that done, then we’ll say, "Okay, now we need samples of color, so let’s go with an orange, a blue, a black, and let’s get all those samples, make sure all the coloring is correct.
Then, if the coloring is correct, hopefully, it happens within the first shot, that could be … In the past, that’s taken three or four different iterations of those samples until we get the coloring correct and sometimes as well as the components as well. Each one of those steps could be a couple different sessions until we actually get them correct.
Then, there’s the pairing up with the straps or bracelets. That’s a whole other set of samples that we get in from strap samples, bracelet samples, clasp samples, all that stuff.
Felix: Okay, so you’re creating this high-quality product. The customer is now interested in purchasing it and one thing that was mentioned in the pre-interview questionnaire was that you guys have a lot of experience optimizing the full customer journey and minimizing the pain points and purchasing barriers.
We touched on couple things already. One is to have these high-quality images and these 360 videos. The second thing is to have a great return policy. What about the middle? What’s the middle … Someone lands on the site for the first time, what are some things that you guys try to actively do to minimize or to reduce any purchase barriers?
Chaz: Obviously, you need to have the least amount of friction as possible. Most of the traffic that we get is direct traffic to the product pages. I think that’s key. I think that thinking that a consumer is going to land on your homepage and then somehow find, depending on how many products you have obviously, to be able to find the product they’re looking for, it’s hard. Now, we run a lot of Facebook ads. We do a lot of direct linking to the product itself. So, when they land, they land on something that caught their eye and then they land directly on the page and then from there, we just want them to check out.
Give them all the information that they need on the product page, as much information as you can. Whether it’s specifications, extra pictures, different angles, 360 videos, whatever it is to make them feel as comfortable as possible with what they’re buying and then send them directly to the checkout. On the checkout, I’m a big proponent of no upsells until you get a sale.
Felix: What about your brand, your product requires you or encourages you to remove any upsell on because I think you’re hinting at is that there are a lot of websites, lot of eCommerce websites out there that try to maximize that average order value by pushing upsells particularly before the initial purchase. What makes you decide to remove that from your process?
Chaz: For us, obviously every single category is different, but for us, I think the purchase of a watch, I wouldn’t consider it an essential item. In other words, if I’m looking for let’s say protein powder, okay? Obviously, I work out so if I’m looking for protein powder so then maybe I need some other supplement. Then, that’s okay. Someone says, “I see that you like the 16-gram protein whatever, maybe you’d like to get some amino acids together with that because … ” It’s sort of in line with it. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to buy this and this because I sort of need them together.”
I don’t want to say that upsells cheapens our product, but what I do think that it does is that it sort of sets in a little bit confusion. There’s a little bit of a, “Oh, I have to make a choice now.” I feel like if somebody needs a particular product, like they need something like protein powder or they need some other supplement or anything that they absolutely need like they ran out of it and they need it, then, I think, upsells make sense.
Nobody needs a watch. Well, a lot of our fans need watches today, but for the most part, you don’t need the watch to survive. I think upsells, in our category at least, upsells creates this distraction and it’s like, “Oh, I’m not sure if I need that upsell. You know what? Let me save this page and I’ll come back. Do I really need this upsell?” I don’t want that to be the barrier. I want to keep it as simple, as clean as possible.
We sell a watch and we offer different straps. After you buy, we’ll do the upsells, but right now, check out, buy the watch.
Felix: I see. When do the upsells happen? How do they happen? Is it through email marketing afterwards? How do you …
Chaz: Yep. So, it’s all done through our email marketing system.
Felix: I see. What’s usually the upsell? Is it like a strap or how do you upsell them?
Chaz: Yep. So, it’s usually like a strap. So, what we do is post-purchase we have different flows that go out through the email platform and part of that flow would be … We’re like, “Hey, I see that you bought this watch. Here’s another strap and get in with this [inaudible 00:35:04] on a strap.”
Felix: What email platform do you use to manage all of this?
Felix: Got it. Now, how soon after they make this purchase, the initial purchase, do you try to do the upsell?
Chaz: We usually try to do this upsell, I believe it’s set to after delivery, I believe it’s like one week after delivery.
Felix: Got it. Have you played around with this number as well?
Chaz: Yeah, so we’ve played around with it. We’ve also tested an immediate upsell post-purchase. It did work. I liked it. The problem with it was that it wasn’t a Shopify checkout and it created some challenges like with tracking and canceling and there’s some limitations on discounts and coupons, how they’re applied, et cetera. Right now, we’re just doing the email.
Felix: You mentioned this earlier about how you have Facebook ads that drive traffic directly to the product page and also during our pre-interview there’s mentioned that you guys nurture your leads through sequencing Facebook ads. What does it mean to nurture leads?
Chaz: What we’re finding is that it takes sometimes six months to actually close a customer. People see an ad … We sell an expensive product. We’re not selling a $50 item. Our entry-level watch right now is at around $350. That’s a significant amount of money. So, a lot of times, what we find is it could take four to five even six months for someone to actually come back and close a sale.
For us, nurturing would be a sequence of ads. Someone comes in with an ad, you have your top funnel of ads that’s usually just a single image. They come, they land on the page and then we would … If they don’t buy, then we would give them more information. People want to be fed information.
For example, we have content that explains a little bit more about the product, about the processes of what it takes to make one of our watches. We have those kinds of ads going. Obviously, there’s an email sequence that they get if they sign up to one of our popups. I can believe it’s a four or five part series for like a welcome series. So, they’re getting that.
We’re, obviously, we’re targeting them through the network, through the Credio is the one I think we use. Credio. We obviously hit them up again on Facebook as well with videos and carousels, et cetera.
Felix: Got it. So, the first interaction usually with the product is an image of the product and if the Facebook user clicks on the image, they land on your product page. They don’t make a purchase right away. You immediately start hitting them with content about the manufacturing process, like how the product is made, why it’s high-quality, why it’s worth the price it is.
Chaz: Mm-hmm. As well as a lot of social proof, so places that we’ve been written up. We’ve been written up at Inc. magazine. Forbes did an article on us. Business Insider did a huge article on us. We’ve had a lot, a lot of great press. So, you can use that in your sequence as well to show people we’re not just another website you clicked on but we’re making significant headway within the marketplace.
Felix: Even if you don’t have those write-ups, even reviews, I think, are great. If you have customer testimonials, reviews, certainly put those up. They are typically unbiased, social proof like you’re mentioning.
I want to talk a little bit about the website. I mentioned earlier that it’s a great designed website. Highly recommend. You want to check it out. L-I-V-W-A-T-C-H-E-S.com, LIV Watches. So, when you guys sat down to create this website, was it all done in-house? Was it outsourced? How was it made?
Chaz: We outsourced everything.
Felix: Got it. What was your directive? What was your, I guess, description of how you wanted the website to look?
Chaz: Number one, it’s got to be simple and it’s got to be easy. It’s got to be all image driven, so a lot, a lot of imagery. We used Upwork. That’s one of the reasons we actually went with Shopify is the huge community that Shopify has to get talent to help you, whether it’s designing it.
I will tell you that the first thing we actually did before we actually built the website was actually build a brand book.
Felix: What’s that?
Chaz: So, sort of like a brand guideline book to understanding our logo, the fonts that we use, et cetera, et cetera for consistency.
Felix: Got it. So, when you build this, this is all done in-house. Is there a formula to follow to create a brand book to help align all of your online properties?
Chaz: We actually outsourced that.
Felix: They can get that through Upwork as well? How did you find …
Chaz: We just went into Upwork and there’s plenty of people on there that will build you a brand book. Explain to them the concept of a brand, what you’re going for, what the DNA is, what the look and feel is. That process actually took three months until we actually got that done, but once you have that, then that’s your guide.
Then, when you have your guide, then you can go onto Upwork, again, and then say, “I’m looking for a designer,” and the designer’s like, “Okay. What do you want?” You’re like, “Here’s my brand book. This is what I want. This is the kind of style that I like. This is the concept. This is the imagery. This is the kind of person I’m going after. These are the fonts to be used. These are the colors to be used. These are the guides, like how close you could put font next to our logo. How our logo should be presented on the page.” That really helps designer have a better idea of where you’re going with this thing.
Felix: When I land on the website, there was a popup message for an email collection that I’m assuming goes through Klaviyo. When someone does land on your website, I think it was mentioned that there was a tailored popup message conditionally based on the referral source. So, wherever the person came from, they land on the website, the popup messaging might be different. Talk to us about this. How is that done?
Chaz: Yeah, so I think the popups, in general, I think you have to be really smart in how you use them. A lot of people get annoyed by them, especially when they come back to your website and they see the same popup over and over and over again. So, I think you need to tailor your offers.
For example, if someone comes to the website, they’ve never been on the website before, they get an offer for 10% off their first purchase only. If they come back to the website, they shouldn’t get that same message. So, they’ll get a different kind of offer like, “Would you like to be part of our limited edition? We have limited editions. Would you like to be notified when our limited editions get released?” that kind of offer.
For example, if we’re running a coupon on a Facebook ad, then the popup would be directly related to the coupon and be like, “Hey, here’s your coupon. Copy it. You can copy it straight out of the popup or give us your emails to copy the coupon.” something like that.
Felix: What application do you use for that?
Felix: Got it. You mentioned Justuno, ShipStation, Klaviyo, and Credio for your retargeting. What other apps or services do you rely on to help run the business?
Chaz: For our inventory, we’re using Brightpearl. It connects directly to Shopify. Brings in all the orders. It’s a great way for us to fulfill orders especially we have a lot of different parts when it comes to watches. So, essentially, every single watch that we ship is custom made. Because we have different strap options, every one needs to be built like a custom order and what Brightpearl has, which is really unique is a product builder.
In other words, when a watch is sold on the website, your order comes in, it compiles all the different parts that are needed to make that particular order whole and it puts it into the order.
Felix: Anything else?
Chaz: Yeah, the other thing that we just started using, which is phenomenal is FrontApp. I don’t know if you ever heard of it.
Felix: Is it for customer service?
Chaz: Yep, it’s for customer service and that directly connects to Shopify. So, for example, if someone sends us an email, we immediately see all their transactions on the side panel and it just makes the communication a lot easier. No one has to look up any orders. It’s all right there.
It also, all the conversations that are happening, whether it’s through email, Facebook, Twitter, live chat, all that comes into this one platform and what’s great about that is that if someone hits you up on live chat and sends you an email, you can see all the different communication that has happened with that particular fan.
Felix: Got it. Thank you so much for your time, Chaz. LIV Watches, L-I-V-W-A-T-C-H-E-S.com is the website. Again, highly recommend folks check it out. Great designed website. What’s next for the brand?
Chaz: Yep, so we’re launching our new Kickstarter campaign. Can’t give up the date yet, but we will be launching sometime within the next three weeks. We think it’s going to be phenomenal. We have four new styles that are coming out. Our last Kickstarter campaign was amazing. We raised 1.7 million on our last Kickstarter campaign. We got 3,000 new people to wear our watches.
Chaz: Yeah, happy, happy customers and so far, we’ve given our fans a sneak peek of what’s coming up and they’re extremely happy, so we’re excited about that.
That’s what great about the direct to consumer part is that we had that direct connection so we’re getting a lot of feedback. A lot of what went into these four new models is feedback that we’ve gotten from our fans.
Felix: Awesome. For anyone that wants to check it out or stay tuned to it, again, LIV Watches, L-I-V-W-A-T-C-H-E-S.com.
Again, thank you so much for your time, Chaz.
Chaz: Thank you. Appreciate it.
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