Intro: Welcome to the winning with Shopify podcast. This is the podcast that will teach you to take your Shopify store and turn it into an automated sales machine. It has the latest marketing email, sales, and social media advice and it also has strategies and tips from the experts without the fluff. Your host is Caroline Balinska. She’s a Shopify education partner with the Shopify approved course, 1000 sales and beyond and she’s the founder of justaskparker.com The only small marketing task agency for Shopify owners. She has an 15 years experience in marketing, manufacturing, design and eCommerce. In the podcast, she’ll share her knowledge and interview the experts to help you in your journey to success. So don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so you never miss an episode. Now here’s your host, Caroline Balinska. Welcome back to the podcast.
Caroline: Welcome back to the podcast. I’m your host, Caroline Balinska, and today I have a great highlights reel from the interview with Holly Cardew. Holly is someone that was on the summit last year with us and this year in the social media influencer marketing summit. Holly is bringing us another great interview with a lots of great information and we really go into a whole new angle that we haven’t covered in other parts of this summit. So this interview is one that you must must listen to before we start. Here’s a quick word from our sponsor, Gorgias, who my team use everyday in our business. Just ask Parker.
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Caroline: Holly is the owner of Pixc. Pixc is an app on the Shopify store in the app store, which is all about up-levelling your images. This app has been out for quite a few years now and I highly recommend it. I recommend it to everyone who is one of our clients or whenever I do a podcast about images. What Pixc does, it takes out the background so you can have a very consistent images in your store, but also she can offer another service where she actually fixes images as well. So for me, if your images are bad, you might as well just give up because your images are the thing. There are many aspects of your store that are super important, but if your images are terrible, I can tell you you only have three seconds to get someone’s attention and that three seconds has to be instantly on images. Once someone gets past the images and thinking that the images are good enough, then they start reading the text and they start looking at prices. But your images need to be 100% amazing. If you expect to succeed in your Shopify store. I don’t care what information you’ve heard out there about these stores that have terrible images and they’re succeeding, it’s just not true. You need to have great images and you do not need to spend a lot of money on images. Pixc is one of those apps that you get 50 images fixed for free each month. It is just an amazing service. So Holly is absolutely amazing with the information that she gives us and she was on The Summit last year talking about images and this year we’ve decided to go down the new path and that’s really all about what 2020 is looking like. And we’re looking at this real hybrid solution when it comes to influence marketing. So Holly does discuss that in great detail. It’s a great interview. If you have started doing any influencer marketing or if it’s something that you’re thinking about or you’ve done it and it hasn’t worked for you, you must listen to this interview to understand where influencer marketing is going in 2020 this is a super important interview. This is only the highlights in this session, but please head over to www.winningwithshopify.com/summit and we do have the full interview thhere for you 100% for free. Sign up, get three days access and listen to the full interview with Holly. You can listen to her last year’s interview, which is still highly relevant and another about 30 interviews that I had in there as well that are very relevant for influencer marketing and specifically for Shopify merchants. So let’s get into today’s session. Like I said, it’s going to be the highlights from the interview, but there was so much that Holly actually covered that I can guarantee this is not going to be enough to listen to once you get into it. And you need to understand the whole hybrid future of influencer marketing for your Shopify store. So listen on in, enjoy this interview and head over to winning with shopify.com/summit to listen to the full interview.
Holly: in 2013 I was building Shopify stores for retailers and the biggest problem as you just mentioned, well as the product images were terrible. They were giving me all these content upload and I was like, how can I possibly sell your product? Got to help you sell your product. Images are terrible. So I created an app out bus app could reach already photos and basically we pull your images from your site. We will edit and remove the background, make them all you know, uniform. A white short, if you want another color that’s okay too and then we push them back to your store within 24 hours. So I guess, it’s not only
Holly: Valuable for Shopify stores and your branding, but also valuable for your social media or if you want to sell on other marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Google shopping, etc. We’ve also launched as you mentioned a second app, it’s called Photo Resize by Pixc, which essentially will resize all your photos because so many stores have photos that have, you know, the text is one height and then an image and another one and some portrait. And I just, I kept giving this pay back to store owners and I couldn’t understand why can’t they just have them all perfect. So we built another, um, app called photo resize, which is not just from pressing your apps, your photos for speed, but also resizing to make them all alligned. Cause that’s, that’s like the easiest thing you can do for your store. To make it look good quickly.
Caroline: No, that is so true. I do website audits constantly and I’m constantly seeing exactly that. I have one long image than they have one square one with the background, one without a background. And I decided that if you just go and take it the look at the competitors that you’re showing me, you’re giving me the competitors that you say you want to be like and their stores don’t have this. So, I think everyone just needs to step back, look at
their store and just go, okay, be realistic. Is it actually good enough? And the fact that your app does it and you offer it for free as well, that people can get a certain amount of images for free as well. It’s fantastic. And even the paid plan is super cheap and I just love it. I think it’s fantastic. So amazing, amazing, amazing work. I love it.
Holly: I definitely, yeah, Pixc at the moment it’s all about images. But my, I guess our vision and what I’m really passionate about is like business owners shouldn’t spend time doing this then essentially. They focusing on getting more customers, getting more product. And so I really want to automate more more of these mundane processes for businesses. And that’s what we’re doing with Pixc.
Caroline: Love it. Fantastic. So let’s talk a little bit about I guess what’s going on this year in images in websites, in what’s looking like, what the future is of eCommerce. So why what can merchants do right now to sort of improve their product to images? Let’s say that they install your app or they’re looking at the images. What are the sorts of things that they can do?
Holly: I think first and foremost, it’s like go stepping back as you said, like looking at what you want your brand to be. And if you don’t have like an idea, it’s you sort of want to go to your competitors with quota. I always say go to the brands that have more money and more budget and have done a lot more testing. Now it’s not about copying, but you have to remember that going into, I don’t know if you noticed, but if you go into a supermarket, it doesn’t matter which supermarket you go into, all the cold stuff is in one section, all the fruit and veggies, another section, and it’s always laid out in a very similar pattern. Now it’s the same with the consumer coming to an eCommerce store. You don’t want to have to go on and one eCommerce store, the consumer is used to going to say, let’s say hypothetically let’s say Nike huge company and then comes to your store, the navigations in a different format.
Holly: The photos are in a different format. They have to like relearn the whole system all over again. It just makes it really complicated. So I say to brands like Shopify stores, businesses that are not nike.com and don’t have millions of dollars to spend on their econ a site. It’s like going back to the basics, follow what is already working for other sites. So that will be when it comes to your photos. It’s like how all your photos on a white background have your images like in a simple format, white background, all aligned. But then you also want to make sure that you have your images. You want to have multiple formats, you want to have contextual photos, you need to have, you know, your product image in, you know, the front, the back, the side because people can’t physically hold your product. So if you have more photos, it actually reduces the friction.
Holly: Someone to check out. And then the other thing is you’re going to have less returns cause there’s nothing worse than buying a product. It coming in the mail and you’re like this is not what I ordered. So I think like just the basics is having ideally at least four images on your product page, have one on white and then have different angles and then also have it contextual photos.
Caroline: Love it. That is so true the amount of times. And because I’m in this industry, and I’m guess you go through the same thing. I get the sometimes ads for days like fashion stores, I think, Oh, I’ll go get something new and I go and have a look and then they’ve got an image and then they don’t have the back of it. It’s like, okay, I’ve no idea what the back of that dress looks like. Or, um, is there a zip on the back of those pants or is it a pull on pair of pants like I have no idea because descriptions aren’t there and then the pictures aren’t there and it really drives me insane and I just walk away from those sites now because exactly that I can’t be bothered going through a returns process and complaining, but other people will, they’ll go through it and then they’ll complain and you might think you got all this money in your bank account and then suddenly you get all of these returns, and it actually costs you money to do that.
Caroline: It’s cheaper to, to sort out your images beforehand.
Holly: Definitely. I completely agree.
Caroline: And tell me, you mentioned that about big brands. There’s a lot of talk about no heads in images. Can we just talk about that for a second? Do you know much about that? So where they say like fashion shots and then is it like halfway or no head at all? Do you know what’s going on with that at the moment?
Holly: It’s all interesting. You also, I have heard that models charge more if you have their face in a photo. So I think sometimes people go no head because it’s going to cost them less. But then I spoke to someone else and I’m going, I can’t remember, but I literally spoke to them last week and we were talking about this exact topic. Oh, models smiling or not smiling and they did tests and I’m going to get the data because this was super interesting that they found that there was a high conversion when the model smiled. And it’s so true. There’s not like I’ve seen high end this like Australian brands that have models. Who look depressed. Yeah, like those. And I get that going for certain look, they’re going for that catwalk look. But when you are consumer buying, I have no desire to wear that dress. When this person looks depressed, it looks like they hate it. Yeah.
Holly: So I think if it was, well I don’t have the data yet and I would definitely try to find some, but I have no just in myself when I’m shopping online, I am more attracted to that thick healthy lifestyle model showing like being active or moving or at least happy. So I can provide some examples. Yeah, this is definitely, it’s definitely true in the fact like fitness industry. So active were, you’ll say go onto different sites. Some are just like straight up, no smile, no head. And then some are like really you know, people jumping in the air, different angles. And I think that works really well. But again, it comes back to your customer. Um, I can’t say many people won’t like have depressed customers. Ideally you want customers who you trying to create a better lifestyle for them and something that they aspire to be.
Holly: And so they’re going to buy your product. So I don’t, I guess no head could work. But I don’t understand the ones where they have the head shot in the photo and no emotion.
Caroline: Yeah, no, I totally agree with you on the psychology of that makes complete sense that we all talk about just to make other people happy around us. You make, you know, let me smile and it makes all the difference in the world. So yeah, I see that sometimes I think, Oh my God, it’s like that doesn’t to me, it just doesn’t make the rest of the outfit look that great. And sometimes you think, are you just doing that to try to put on this like fake like attitude and then that sort of makes me think something about the brand as well. So totally agree with you. Okay, so that’s about that.
Caroline: I will get any of the, um, stats that you can get hold of. I’ll put them in the show notes underneath this video so people can get those as well. What is important about having, we’re talking about multiple images. Can we just go into a little bit of details about that? Because I do know we talk about when you’re running a Facebook ad or an Instagram ad, a lot of these lifestyle shots are working a lot better now. So rather than just the product images in the last lifetime lifestyle shot. So how does that work when it comes to having multiple images on your product? Is there a set, an order that you recommend them in or a set in time that you show certain types of photos?
Holly: Yeah, so I think, um, lifestyle shots are really important. Don’t get me wrong, I know we sell, we sell white backgrounds.
Holly: But, I think contextual and lifestyle shots are really, really important because different platforms, different images work on different platforms. So for example, on Pinterest and Instagram, people are looking to create a lifestyle. I know personally I have folders and folders, well bookmarks or whatever. Instagram calls them a photos of things. I actually have one code wardrobe, things that I come across, well, one that I call home. And so all the things that I would like for my home or one that’s travel. And so people are recreating like the lifestyle they want and you, they need to be able to visualize your product in a context or lifestyle that they want. So the white background doesn’t work in that situation. But I think for an online stall you need the white background because when you’re on mobile or when you’re on a website, you want to quickly scan and do all the products and if you’re looking at them on a shelf, you don’t want to have to, I find it quite hard to shop a full outfit model shot.
Holly: If I’m looking for a t-shirt, it’s really nice to be able to roll over like Hover over a picture, the white t-shirt and see it in context. And how is it, is it a crop short t-shirt or is it a long t-shirt? But when I am shopping and if you see all the outfits, you’re kind of like, which product am I buying? Am I, am I looking at the t-shirt or am I looking at skirt? And then you click through and you’re like, Oh, it’s not actually the t-shirt, the skirt. And actually I was looking for t-shirt so you got to try and find it and it gets a bit complicated. So I always suggest having that white background shot on agile here. Image for the product, allow people, I mean I know Net-a-Porter does this really well. You can allow people to shop as the product only image all the contextual image.
Holly: Now if you can put that in, I think that’s really powerful. But the next thing you can do is have a Shopify thing that allows you to have a hover over. So when you hover over the image it shows you the next photo and the next photo might not be another angle. The next photo might be the lifestyle shot and then you can go into the product page. So the first photo you see is the here image on white background and then you say the contextual shop quickly. And then if you want to say the other angle, she can continue through to say the other angles. I think for Instagram ads as you mentioned, and Pinterest, it’s fantastic to have that lifestyle shop because that’s what people are used to. And, um, in the Instagram page there is actually a Shopify store, I believe it’s called petrol and pop in Australia.
Holly: Their Shopify plus store doing really well. They have an interesting Instagram sort of look and feel because they’re not going for lots of different lifestyle shots. They’re all styles. They’re all in the same context. So it’s like a model. Um, on a white background. Not, I don’t want to say computer white but like in a white studio or in a white house. But it’s easy to visualize and browse the Instagram as if you’re shopping because it’s consistent. You’re not distracted by the background or on your shot, you’re just focused on the clothing. So I think you have to decide on what, like what sort of style you want to go for, for your customer. I like it because I can essentially go onto their account and I’m not looking necessarily for the lifestyle. I guess they use it, use the used generated content so they customer content and the tagged images, well they lifestyle shots, but for their personal account it’s just like, here’s the model.
Holly: She’s happy, she’s smiling, this is what she’s wearing today. I can quickly scroll through and say, okay, I need to know the dress for the weekend and I can go through their account rather than trying to Dodge these photo of this angle. Someone’s sitting down and having a meal. And then the next one is like somebody walking down the street and you don’t know if the product, every product on the model is theirs or if it’s only the topics, et cetera, et cetera. So I think it really depends on your strategy, um, but I think the key thing here is consistency, like pick something and be consistent. Don’t be all over the place.
Caroline: I’m writing that down. Consistency. That’s a good one. Let’s talk about some other things that people can do to improve their product pages. You have seen it all by now. So other things besides the images, what’s really important for people, because I guess people need to understand that we’re talking about influences. So getting an influencer convincing them to use one to use your brand, even if you’re gonna give them something for free, this is where a lot of people go wrong. They think, okay, well I’m gonna ask the influencer if they want this for free, it’s $50 so they’re gonna take it and they’re gonna love it. And it’s like that’s actually not true. Sometimes the influences we hear, but they take the product and then they keep it, but then they never promoted because a lot of the time, and this is just honestly what I’ve seen is that they just don’t like the brands that they don’t like your website and they think, God, I’m not actually associated with my brand with that because it doesn’t look as good as what I want it to do.
Caroline: So we need to make sure that our brands are good enough for those influences. So, while the images are like amazingly important, that’s the first thing. That’s definitely the first thing. If the images are bad, then people end up going to read any of the rest of the information. But there is other information on product pages that are really, that’s really important as well. So what do you recommend from that?
Holly: Yeah, so we’ve actually started writing these about six months ago. We start writing these blog posts, called product page tear downs because I kept seeing this like as you’ve seen, people want to know what they need on their product page. But we started to analyze what other bigger brands or other brands do on their product page. And the key things that we’re seeing is like product page layout, like spend time thinking like a user.
Holly: Where do you want your, um, images to sit versus where do you want your buy button to sit? And it seems simple, but actually a lot of people don’t take that into consideration. The other day I saw a website and instead of having an arrow on the right and left to go to the next image, they had an arrow up and down and the images would scroll up, which makes so much sense because you don’t have to drag your mouse to the other side of the bait put that way. And then another side, it was just they were right next to each other. It was such a simple thing but it made so much sense. So I think number one is the layout. Like really just take some time. You can install something like a hot jar which can, you can track, Oh the users on your site, you don’t have to track them for months and months and months.
Holly: Just track for a week and watch what they do on your website, see how they interact with the page. Then the next thing is is the product title and the product description. If you’re selling clothing, you really need to mention the materials. Some people are really fussy. I am bossy, I do not want to buy, I just like to buy things that are cotton silk, linen like natural fibers. And if I don’t see what it’s, what the product is made of, I just laid the page cause I’m like I could get this and it could be polyester and look really cheap. Again, it kinda of comes back to the photo. Like, I’m not so much about something being expensive, but I find that cotton items, um were better and lasts longer than polyester, but I cannot tell from the photos. So you do need that. And some people are really fussy like they travel a lot, they don’t want things that crinkle.
Holly: So I think including as much information as possible. And then I think also having those user generated content and your influence, the images. So I mean at the beginning you’re not going to have the influence of images because you’re trying to get your brand aligned. But I think if you can have a simplified product page with a lot of information and a nice user experience, you’re more likely to align with an influencer and their brand, which means that they’ll want to work with you. I think a lot of influences, they spent the visual people at heart, most of them are building their network or their following on two channels mainly. And you can correct me if I’m wrong, but Instagram and YouTube and Instagram is particularly, if you look at influences, it’s all about the visual layout. So they are going to want you to have a beautiful user experience, and a beautiful product page.
Holly: And if you don’t have that, then they probably don’t want to work with you because they have this beautiful Instagram account, they redirect, they following and traffic to you and they use this like these doesn’t align. Like I’m so used to looking at this amazing Instagram account and now I’m going to these terrible website like, and then the following drops off and they don’t trust them. So I think you need to again, look at what the influencer is doing or take 20 influences and look at what they’re doing and try and recreate their experience on your product page.
Caroline: Oh yeah. Because if that’s your customer and you’re looking for that customer, they have your customer, they’ve done the work to get your customers. So yeah, giving your customer what they’re looking for I think is such great advice and it’s so important for people to do.
Caroline: And let’s talk about for a second, you’re really good at this and that you said at the very beginning you spoke about you want to save time for people. Let’s talk about for Shopify merchants, how they can say some times as a business owner, what are some things that they should be doing and implementing or doing in their business to create more time and doing the right things rather than the wrong things?
Holly: Such a great question. I love this topic. So I’m really, really passionate about distributed and remote teams and I feel that whether you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur or a tech founder, you could be outsourcing. And I don’t want to say outsourcing, actually, it’s more delegating task to someone else. So I always recommend writing down a list of the things that you do on a regular basis and finding someone else to do them. So you need to get a blog done, but you don’t have time to sit down and write it. Find a writeup, find someone who can write for you, jump on the phone with them for 30 minutes a week. Tell them all your thoughts. They can then write the content. Get a virtual assistant who’s going to help you, you know, upload products and upload descriptions. Get someone who can answer your custom, customer support questions.
Holly: And I’m not saying the really important customer support questions if you still want to learn from your customers. But the basic one, where is my package or you know, how much does shipping cost or what are your returns policy. So I feel like as old as all entrepreneurs, we can delegate more and more and it is hard at the beginning cause you’re like, Oh I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough resources. I didn’t have the budget to hire someone. You don’t have to hire someone in house. You don’t have to hire someone for five days a week. You can hire someone for two hours a week. There are amazing people around the world who can do tasks for you. So I always say take a task that you do on a regular basis. You know how to do it. Don’t say you want to outsource or delegate Facebook ads when you’ve never done Facebook ads, you’ll, it will be a disaster.
Holly: You don’t know what you want. You don’t know what the results should be like. You don’t know what to expect. You’ll have someone who probably….
Caroline: You don’t have to train someone on it.
Holly: Exactly. So I always say take the things you know how to do. It can be a small task. Write up a process, hire someone specifically for that task, give it to them on a weekly basis and then, and then see how it goes and then scale up. So my first point is to start with a virtual assistant to get you, like do the things that you need to get done.
Caroline: So I love that Holly. And that’s exactly what Just Ask Parker was created for was to help people when they’re completely lost and they don’t have any idea. I wanted to create a business where we had actually know how to do all the tasks.
Caroline: Okay, so I hope you enjoyed that interview with Holly Cardew from Pixc. She has been an amazing help and gives the most amazing insight into the hybrid solution for the future of social media influencer marketing. And like I said, this is not the full interview, so head over to winningwithshopify.com/summit to understand exactly what you need to be doing in 2020 when it comes to influencer marketing. So hope to see you over at the summit, join the Facebook group as well, “Winning with Shopify” and ask questions in there. And I’m more than happy if you’ve got a question for a particular one of our guests that will get them into the group to ask your questions as well. So see you over in the group, see you on the next episode. And until then, keep smiling.
Outro: Sign up for free for the Shopify approved marketing course at 1000salesandbeyond.com and get our show notes at www.justaskparker.com/podcast thanks for listening to the winning with Shopify podcast.