Episode 315: Show Notes
Today on the show we are joined by the wonderful and inspiring Kathleen Cutler! Kathleen has worked behind the scenes on multiple million dollar online stores with her main area of focus being jewelers. She has coached over a hundred different jewelers to help them achieve their business goals and get their products selling online, but Kathleen’s expertise extends so much further than just jewelry! She wants to help everyone selling products or even services online extend the experience of the customer and drive sales through the type connections that you would usually associate with a physical retail space.
Along with all her incredible business skills, Kathleen is also an awesome speaker who will be joining us at our upcoming Product Powerhouse Summit! Make sure to go get your free ticket immediately! She will be one of many great speakers talking about the world of online product sales and marketing and getting your store busy and making that money! So without further ado, let’s get into today’s strategy.
Kathleen’s Journey Thus Far
Kathleen was a jeweler herself and is very knowledgeable with the business of product sales. She worked on handmade jewelry and sold it in a physical store. It was during this time she realized she was most attracted to the sales side of things, rather than the designing or creating itself. She preferred handling orders, creating spreadsheets and now loves facilitating creative sales for artists! She has worked on Etsy and creating websites and has learned just how important getting traffic into an online store can be. You have to figuratively get more bodies into your shop! After some time she turned to Facebook ads as a way to achieve this and ended up running an agency based solely on the use of these as marketing tools. She found it was a big missing piece in many product-based businesses and that many business owners were leaving sales behind through the malfunctioning of their website and sales funnels. You need a system to capture customers, support them through and during the sale, and then to follow up afterwards. A big lesson from Kathleen is to turn shoppers into collectors!
Comparing Product Purchases to Service Based Businesses
Buying anything physical online is such a nuanced game! While digital products are typically delivered immediately, physical things take some time to get to you and there is always the chance that it will end up being different than what you were wanting. As an owner of an e-commerce shop you have to understand your buyer’s journey and Kathleen advises trying to ‘show up to your shop’ as much as possible. This means populating your store and making it feel welcoming to customers. Pretend it is an actual, real, physical space! It has so much more to do with being clear and educating your customers about the products and services you offer. Including lifestyle photos, providing context and using videos can all lead to an improved experience. Kathleen details four stages of the buyer’s journey; awareness, comparison, consideration and purchase. You need to try and encourage repeat customers as it is so much easier and cheaper than trying to find new ones all the time!
Strategies for Making an Online Space More Real and Inviting
A lot of people seem to struggle with the consideration and comparison stage. Kathleen encourages live chat as real time conversation can be the best way to answer customer questions and help them make a purchase. She also suggests a prominent phone number so people can contact you directly. While in the stages of still growing, before reaching your eventual heights of unmanageable amounts of customers, it is also a good idea to maintain some sort of one-to-one strategy, reaching out directly to customers, following up and asking questions. This can be quite simple as a small online business and is a surefire way to create relationships and return purchases. You can thank your customers and offer personalized suggestions based on their previous choices. You are always going to have abandoned carts, people browse — that is a given, but some of these can be avoided by a little bit of care and attention, you need to give the customer the confidence to complete their shopping.
Repeat Customers and Building a Lasting Audience
It is so worth thinking about the cost of new customers versus that of repeats. How can we get people to come back again and again? This question is at the heart of the e-commerce game and answering it can turn your business into a thriving online shop! It will require that you make time to do that and to really differentiate between sales and marketing. Remember, marketing is awareness, getting people into the shop and sales need more focus and follow up. Sales is the piece of your business where you can really set yourself apart and shine in your own right! Kathleen also stresses the importance of knowing your most vital metrics. Our guest also believes you do not have to be anyone but yourself, you do not need to conjure a personality and persona different from your own. Your artistry is what is important, stick to your strengths and true self! It is just about supporting your art through smart systems and allowing this to then share your essence and art with the world!
Kathleen’s Journey Thus Far. [0:02:48.5]
Comparing Product Purchases to Service Based Businesses. [0:05:50.2]
Strategies for Making an Online Space More Real and Inviting. [0:13:55.7]
Repeat Customers and Building a Lasting Audience. [0:29:02.3]