In today’s episode, my guest is Jan Soerensen the General Manager for Nosto North America.
Nosto enables Shopify retailers to deliver carefully merchandised, and meaningfully personalized, shopping experiences at every touchpoint, across every device. They are an AI-powered Commerce Experience Platform designed for ease of use.
Nosto empowers retailers to build, launch and optimize 1:1 omnichannel commerce experiences without the need for dedicated developer resources or a lengthy implementation process.
Tune in now to find out more about Jan and Nosto!
Today’s episode is made possible by our friends at ConversionFanatics.com.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Building Nosto from the ground up
- How Nosto works as a platform to help Shopify brands
- Optimization of a customer’s website
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Welcome to season five of eCommerce Fastlane. This podcast helps resilient entrepreneurs, marketers, and founders to accelerate growth and thrive with Shopify. And now onto episode 245.
You’re listening to eCommerce Fastlane, the podcast show to help you build, manage, grow and scale a successful and thriving company powered by Shopify.
Listen to real conversations with partners and subject matter experts as they share proven practical strategies, platforms, and the best Shopify apps. To help you accelerate your business. The time is now. For you to improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty, please welcome your host startup, founder, and strategic advisor, Steve Hutt.
Before today’s episode. I have a question for you. How many marketing experiments have you done in the last four weeks? How about in the last year? Now, look, if you’re doing seven or eight figures in revenue on your website or more, and you’re not doing conversion optimization, you’re leaving a ton of cash on the table.
You won’t scale to the next level, and you’re going to get your lunch eaten by the competition over the next 12 months. Now our sponsor conversion fanatics run thousands. I mean that thousands of experiments each year for clients like Clorox, Burt’s Bees, NBC sports, we have a whole list here, Golf channel Harper, Collins, ClickFunnels.
I can rattle off a ton. There’s an incredible amount of brands, including Shopify brands that run these experiments. Now what conversion of fanatics does, is it optimizes your Shopify stores so you can get a lot more customers to scale up your traffic much faster, and see a lot more profit fall into your bottom line.
And they make it easy and they handle everything. So go to conversionfanatics.com for a free site proposal today and tell them eCommerce Fastlane sent to you because traffic without maximizing conversions, in my opinion, is sad.
Well, Hey there, my name is Steve Hutt. I’m a senior merchant success manager here at Shopify and welcome back to season five of eCommerce Fastlane. Whether this is your first time listening or you’re a weekly subscriber, I seriously appreciate that you’re taking time today to listen to the show. I know that plenty of podcast choices are out there, both in eCommerce and in direct-to-consumer marketing.
And just the fact that you’re here today means the world to me. And I know it definitely means a lot to my featured guest. This is your first time listening. This is an e-commerce show where we have honest and transparent conversations about building and thriving with your store powered by Shopify or Shopify plus.
Now, if you’re an ambitious, lifelong learner, which you likely are since you’re here today, you’re definitely in the right place. New episodes are available twice weekly and are available from your favorite podcast apps like apple podcast, Spotify, and Google podcast. We’re also now streaming live on Amazon music and on YouTube.
So go check that out. I also highly recommend getting the full value of today’s episode that you click through from your podcast app to the show notes at e-commerceFastlane.com and there you’ll find the full show transcript, all the links, and all the resources that we mention in today’s episode. Now in today’s episode, my guess is Jan Sorenson.
Who’s the general manager for Nosto? I believe in the North American market. Who’s been building this US presence of Nosto since 2014? Now Nosto is a personalization platform. They’re a plus technology partner. So they have reliability in scale and data privacy for Shopify brands. And what they do is create highly engaging shopping experiences, which is interesting here, both on and offsite. And I think we’re gonna dig into that one for sure today. It’s guaranteed to be a great conversation and a ton of learning. Please make sure you listen through to the end to get access to an exclusive listener-only bonus. So hi, Jan welcome to eCommerce Fastlane.
Yeah. Excited to be here, Steve, thank you for the invitation. And I think it’s the second time that we’re on, right?
I just went through the back catalog just for recording today. And strangely enough, this is your Encore, that’s true. But the first time we recorded was believe it or not on July 12th, of 2018, it was episode number nine. Believe it or not. And here we are, I don’t know, 250 some episodes now, and I don’t know, quarter million downloads, whatever we’re at now.
It’s so interesting how everybody is evolving. And I know the Nosto platform from 2018 is a different Nosto than it is in 2022 today. And that’s why I wanted to have you back on the show was to unpack, just all the innovation that’s happening and there are case studies, and it’s an incredible growth story that you’re directly impacting brands.
I guarantee there’s gonna be a few people that maybe don’t know who Nosto is and the problems that you’re solving. So maybe let’s unpack that first, maybe a little bit on a high level first about the platform and just overall high level, how you’re helping brands.
For sure. I think definitely the complexity, it has grown alongside your platform, as well. So I know when we started, we actually started also targeting the SMB market. And I think we were on the Shopify platform even before plus came to market. That’s definitely evolved for sure. But just in general, Nosto is on a mission to make every impression relevant specifically for Shopify and Shopify plus stores.
So, basically what we wanna be is that intelligence layer. So you go from having a fairly static out-of-the-box experience, and then we wanna make that fairly dynamic, but then also kind of optimizing for various goals, merchandising goals, performance goals, whatever you might be, goal your business for that part.
And of course, from an output perspective, there are definitely different channels and products that we do. I think the most adopted solution as of today is actually our category merchandising, which has evolved. So we’re not just the product recommendation engine anymore. So we definitely live on the collection pages for sure.
And then also moving into what you might have done in the past with AB testing tools. So we do dynamic content, so we can take over content blocks, whether it’s on the homepage landing pages. And then as you’ve mentioned, there’s definitely an evolution, with our platform. So we’ve acquired technologies, we are now also a user-generated content company and that might sound random, but there is logic to it. So we feel that, generating content and serving basically all those personalized and segmented experience it does there’s almost this content gap. So we just wanna make sure that we can feed that in a more automatic fashion.
And we do believe that UGC can be that key for us. And then we also did buy a search, a platform I think, super exciting. And that feeds more into kind of our merchandising portion, which we already are fairly strong in. And yeah, personalization experience optimization. It’s almost like this retail is detail.
I think that’s what we do like we bring in that detail, and at least from a psychological perspective, there are a few theories about why that works. And then one of them being it’s like near exposure effect to seeing stuff that you like, and you have been exposed to previously that seems to convert. And then also just reducing the complexity. There’s this paradox of choice.
So interesting about the UGC side and the search side, that’s definitely conversation topics that I have with brands right away is like, first of all, we know there are the reasons why conversion rates can be low on some brands is it’s all about trust, and one thing that UGC, like non-professionally, produced content just seems to resonate with the end consumer more and then having it available on a PDP page on the product details page potentially on collection pages.
But man, if it’s dynamically inserted, recommended, and dynamically inserted at the right place at the right time, even from the search side through that acquisition, it’s so interesting because once again, Shopify does have search and yes, they keep iterating and improving upon it but we start thinking about Semantic and the buyer intent and being able to reveal the right collection and products dynamically in real-time, based on a continued search or by that session, or understanding that known or unknown site visitor, that’s such a powerful technology to have access to.
I think for us, it’s definitely, you don’t wanna just be a collection of technologies. That is basically also our goal is that all the features speak to each other when you have a search or you have a UGC portion of the platform we wanna make sure can we AB test it. Can we make sure it’s segmented? Does it talk to the recommendation engine? So the idea is not just to be an aggregator of these random technologies. There is a bigger mission here that we’re working on diligently. And hopefully, we’ll be able to realize, that vision for fusion.
So we chat a bit about the founder’s story, I think for me, and I’m sure my listeners, it sets the stage a bit about, why people build what they build and like how dare you build it and what you know, where do the technology come to like?
This brain power, and the desire and the expertise. Just maybe you can share a little bit about how all the pieces came together with the founding team and how it’s iterated over time with this founding team.
I’m gonna probably use the first names only.
Oh, fair enough.
It’s probably the easiest.
So obviously our founder’s three-person team. So we have Juha, Antti and Jani. The first thing that I’m super proud of and perhaps also the reason why I’ve stuck around so long if you will, is that all of the founders are still with Nosto. So they’re still working on it, and everyone has their own expertise at this point, from a CTO perspective, Antti, who’s kind of the architect of the platform. He’s been building econ platforms for a long time. So you really had that technical know-how, Jani on the other hand, he’s an infrastructure guy. So the AWS, hosting, making sure that we can deliver on response times and that’s his role, and then Juha is actually, the person who has been running the business website. So he’s been selling ski and snowboard equipment, and that’s the founding story that he couldn’t personalize online the way he could in his retail stores in Finland, and so those guys got together still here, still doing their thing and, yeah.
It’s lovely too. And then I think over time, you became on the radar, with Shopify and then over time, we’re invited to apply for the plus technology partners team. So I guess we call it C pop plus the Shopify plus technology partners. I know there are quite a few hoops you have to jump through from privacy and security and data handling and customer service. There are a lot of things to becoming a plus technology partner.
You’re one of 80, and there’s like almost 7,000 apps in the app store and, the cream rises to the top. So it’s very clear for those that are listening today that, then going to the Shopify app store and you look for the plus certified apps, that doesn’t mean that you have to be on plus.
So it just proves the fact that the biggest baddest brands in the world have been, Shopify has vetted these particular solutions in Nosto being one of them in the kind of personalization category. And I think that’s pretty impressive. Like over the years and I’m sure you and the founding team are very happy that you are part of the initial launch of this plus certification program.
100% and obviously you guys have been good to us, and we obviously wanna repay that also by being platform specific. So I feel whether it’s integration with OS 2.0, or I think we were also one of the first who did, Shopify flow. We had an integration being able to pull in some of those Shopify flow triggers.
So we still want to continue to make investments that are specific to you guys. So that’s also, our promise. I think there are a lot of tools that are very generic and we don’t want to be that in a way.
So, yeah, absolutely. One thing I notice when I look at the Nosto website or I follow you on social and I believe I’m even syndicating a lot of your content.
Your blog content on eCommerce Fastlane, the word experience optimization comes up quite a bit, and I don’t believe you’ve coined it, but it’s interesting, you certainly have adopted it as part of your overall language and core mission, I believe. Maybe, can you explain a little bit to our listeners why Nosto believes that experience optimization? Why does it matter for brands today?
Looking at the history? Like we’ve definitely also become more abstract, in how we describe our platform because it is obviously getting broader, but yeah, I think experience optimizers just captured quite well. So we feel it’s a scientific approach to just improving the usability of a website and also other channels, obviously that you want to connect those as well.
Wanna make it intuitive, wanna make it fun, and for us, it used to be just putting the right product, right time, and the right place. Now it’s obviously also the right offer. It’s the right piece of content and just making sure that we use all of the signals that we process to make it more fun, and enjoyable. And of course, performant that’s at the end of the day that our customers will pay for as well. But I will say experience optimization, why our merchants and our customers buy our platform that keeps changing, and the challenges that they address with the platform. Like Nosto, that definitely keeps changing. I’ve talked a lot about how our tool has been used during COVID, and they’re almost like these tailwinds where you had, the influx of new traffic and there were new customer segments that you wanted to have a personalized experience.
I feel now in the last six months, maybe two years, there were a few obviously challenges in e-com. So of course we had things like inflation, which drives a decrease in conversion rate. So we’ve seen that when price adjustments have been made by our merchants, you had the identification around the apple iOS 14 updates.
So kind of the ad performance and CPAs are being addressed, and certainly a lot of merchants and speaking with our CSM team are seeing that, as well. and then there’s some other macro stuff, which of course you could talk about like the venture funding, et cetera. But, so I feel also that the way our tool is being used that is is changing as well.
So for example, now seeing some conversion rate drops, you might, for example, do more, work around optimizing your landing pages. You might be a little bit more transactional around, how I sort my collection pages. And just maybe get a little bit more, I wouldn’t say aggressive, but a little bit more around, increasing AOV, maybe have more cross-sell opportunities.
So I feel that keeps changing how the tool is being used to address the challenges that our merchants face for sure. And as Shopify, that’s goal is about to democratize. Online businesses. But of course, if it’s easy to start, it’s still difficult to master.
And so definitely our tool is flowing into what would be considered conversion rate optimization. So a lot of our agency partners also use kind of our tool to do that in a more scientific and rigorous, AB testing type manner, for sure.
What’s interesting. I think about the topics that come up with the brands that I manage and, privacy obviously is one of them.
And we talk about the iOS 14 update and, safari doesn’t have cookies anymore. And Chrome is thinking, seriously considering having a cookie list. So it’s interesting. And then first-party data then becomes super important. Even zero-party data. We’re asking extra questions to learn more about your buyer or a potential buyer.
I wanna talk a little bit about Nosto’s position or technology around both known customers. And the unknown customer, cause I’m always fascinated around that because I think it’s a delicate balance of there are these GDPR and privacy policies and, this PI I, we call this personally identifiable information, but then there’s the known customer where they’ve knowingly given.
A phone number or an email address assigns itself to a customer record of some sort purchased or not, but there’s still some history. So I’m just curious about how Nosto is managing someone who shows up on a website and I say this because let’s just be under the assumption that I don’t know, a 2% conversion rate, 98 out of a hundred or leaving.
You may know, that 10% of them left, but there’s still a large majority of site visitors that are unknown. How does Nosto handle that? And is the experience different from the logged-in known experience and then the unknown non-logged-in experience from your platform’s perspective?
Great question. So I think from a technology perspective. So we are the first party. So I guess some of the questions around third-party data do not concern us. I think that’s definitely a positive, I will say in terms of like cookies, and clearing cookies or not even allowing cookies to be set, the identification rate is still going down and there are certain strategies that we deploy to still make the shopping experience very personalized. So there are definitely contextual data clues that we use more frequently nowadays than we have in the past. So for example, IP lookup so geolocation. So you would come to websites either your first time or it’s your second time, but if you cleared your cookies, it would still be possible.
For example, to do a geo-target experience, whether it’s a banner or a recommendation that highlights what’s trending around you so that’s already personalized the same goes for, reading your UTM parameters, and traffic source. So that is also something that we can take into consideration. You come from Instagram, you come from Google shopping, and then we capture that traffic, and we show something that’s absolutely relevant.
It is already personalized, even though we haven’t clicked just yet. And then of course, once you’re on the sites, any behavioral data close clicks, add to card events, of course, conversions that’s something we will then process in real-time and still be personalizing that for sure, in terms of logged in user for us, we do like to see email as well.
We wanna tie that to a cookie ID just for us to, for example, work with, email integration, like play, view other tools. So if we pass browsing data to other platforms, then it usually happens through and identifies that email. So there are still benefits to identification, but technically as a first party, a cookie tool, our ideas that you don’t have to log into to personalize the experience.
That’s lovely. Let’s talk a little bit about some campaigns, because I think this is more of the tactical part of the show. Now I wanna be more specific, those that are potentially wanting to use Nosto or those maybe that are in the early stages are just like, Hey, that’s a great idea.
Maybe I need to implement that now and help move the needle a bit for my brand. Are you seeing any specific campaigns that are performing well, maybe in the last six months, things have changed, obviously, just because of COVID, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, more traditional retail is opened up.
I mean, e-commerce adoption is not as great as it was in the middle of the pandemic, but there’s still lots of people that just love shopping online, the convenience factor and the selection factor that’s available. So I just would love to understand. I’m sure we’ll get into some case studies a little later on in the show, but just maybe campaigns on a high level, like what are you seeing that’s working specifically for Nosto customer?
I think a fairly broad question because we have so many different tools and I could probably spend a good hour here, but I feel as mentioned before, like the way the tool is used, that is definitely updating alongside our clients, and their programs, but I just did a, I think it was a webinar with echo cards.
So what we also found out is like a lot of our clients actually using our AB testing and content personalization to come up with some sustainability messaging testing that what’s the actual value of it instead of taking it at face value. So I thought it was interesting, one of our clients doing a banner swap for folks who had an affinity towards buying sustainable products.
That’s a really increased conversion rate to maybe even a cost to pay by being sustainable, you don’t know, obviously until you test it. So that was quite interesting to see that our tool is being used in that fashion. What I feel is happening right now is that certain strategies that already work within other channels are being adopted onsite.
So for example, onsite lifecycle targeting. If you use your email tool, you probably do welcome series and you do targeting by a customer lifetime value. These are very standard things you would do in email. But then once you get to your website, it’s, you’re not taking those queues and running with it.
So for example, onsite lifecycle target is something we’ve done very frequently now. Like how do you treat a new visitor versus returning versus a converted versus maybe a VIP customer and that’s something that applies to any merchant I would say, regardless of vertical, so that works quite well.
Then perhaps moving away from content personalization. If we look at recommendations, we do a lot around bundling now, like shop a look, there’s a lot of intelligence that’s being added and perhaps a thing that I’ve seen with our new tools on the UGC side, certainly tapping into more social media channels.
So for example, TikTok content is being pulled in. And just getting smarter about UGC. So instead of just collecting random content and curating that maybe going out and looking for specific and asking your users for specific content, that’s more strategic. And I feel one example is perils. I think it’s the Unilever brands maybe is one of our CPG clients.
Instead of, asking people to take a picture of, laundry detergent. They had this campaign, it was dirt is good. And folks would upload, pictures of kids, splashing and puddles. So it’s just getting strategic around UGC as opposed to letting folks, tag you and be done with it.
I think that’s been key, and maybe one last one, I think definitely getting smarter out the collection page merchandising. If you look at your website, it’s probably the one portion of an econ website that’s the least optimized. People have been optimizing their websites, landing pages, using AB testing tools, but it’s fairly difficult to pull off on the collection page, so a lot of work being done there as well.
It’s interesting with the collection page too, cause I have a lot of brands that do nothing about it. It’s just, it’s sorted in the default sort order or they’re using other tools in maybe a merchandiser, a little more senior brand. They’re using a merchandiser to make decisions on which products need to be allocated beside each other. But it’s interesting. This might allow us to pivot to my next question about machine learning and AI as it relates to Nosto because I think that’s the problem right now there. The human right now on the collection page typically is dragging and dropping and moving things around some brands.
As strange as it may sound, some brands have a drop, they only have 500 pieces. They know they’re gonna get more. I have one brand that does that, where they do a drop on a Friday and they see Monday morning what happened, but they do not change the sort order they do manually curate the order of them on the collection page by hand, because this looks nice with this goes along with this accessory.
Okay. I get what they’re trying to do. They purposely don’t force down out of stock items or non-selling items. They don’t push them down lower on the page ‘cuz we know above the fold is important just for discoverability. Everybody has a different kind of methodology about how they want their collection page to work.
And so I guess that kind of gets me to my next question around how this experience platform is evolving. I guess I’m getting under the hood here a bit, but just understanding some of the trends right now in machine learning and artificial intelligence, as it relates to Nosto.
On the collection page, we do see that and we actually have that conversation quite frequently. Like someone who’s doing very manual merchandising, Can you trust a tool that’s going to kind of reran products all the time? So you’re more or less just moving almost to a marketplace approach. Perhaps you let the products kind of battle it out for exposure on your website, getting more financial.
So some folks are not do not like that approach, which is fine. So I think you can find a balance between, ranking by product performance, which is, by the way, changing all the time, right? If you use an out-of-the-box all-time bestseller, which I think is usually, the case with out-of-the-box ranking, it doesn’t take into consideration if the performance of a skew changes over time.
So I feel there’s a lot of efficiency gains to be had. And when we do the testing, simply adding, revenue per impression does a huge amount to performance, but you can still manually merchandise. So I feel there’s a great kind of balance to be had, but from an AI machine learning piece, there are definitely updates across the platform.
Some of them I’d say, are maybe indirectly touching the category merchandise, certainly also product recommendations. So one bigger update. I feel that’s taking hold now is kinda this image recognition. So understanding what’s going on in the image, can we maybe sort, can we build bundles? Can we make sure that products are shown that have a very similar nature or are even dissimilar? So we added one algorithm that’s, visually dissimilar, just to make sure that you can actually show a broad spectrum of products, whether it’s in the recommendations, or so on. So those models are getting smarter, but I also spoke with our engineering team recently and they also tell me like a lot of the stuff around, deep learning, some of those algorithms that you hear about, and read about, in the news, they’re not fast enough to be used in an e-commerce website because you do have to respond in, 10 milliseconds or 12 milliseconds, et cetera. So there’s also a lot of hot air. So you also need to be honest that some of those that you might be reading about are not ready for a high-performance environment where you just have to be super fast.
So that’s certainly big. And then I feel where we can come in, is really this full funnel orchestration. And that’s also where a lot of work is being done connecting different experiences across different pages, across different channels, because as a user, this probably quite well that you can create an unlimited amount of experiences.
An unlimited amount of segments, and you can slice and dice in so many ways. I think the end goal, especially with machine learning, should bring those opportunities to you. And I feel that’s also where a lot of work is being done is this kind of opportunity surfacing to just make that easier just giving you all these possibilities without, highlighting which direction you should take, is maybe not even that helpful.
So, what’s interesting, a topic too, that comes up is about the, I could say cross-device or tracking between different networks outside of your own website. And I think a head tap cart which is another technology partner, building mobile apps for folks that, they understand that their mobile traffic is big and they want the push notifications and all the benefits.
And I understand that partnerships are a big thing for Nosto. I went to your website, it’s very clear you stay in your lane, but you also can appreciate it. There are some amazing other partners out there. People have existing tech stacks and you wanna play nicely with them. I know one of them is a tap cart, so maybe we can talk a little bit about this kind of personalization thing and how these two technologies are working so well together.
Yeah, Tap Cart, is definitely one of the bigger partners for us. And I think they’re getting gathering even more steam now with, I think this ad performance. I think they’re capturing a lot of the interest now, like just owning your own channels as well. I think very similar to what clvi was talking about, good for them. So we’re actually also working on deepening our integration. We wanna make sure that the additional features and capabilities of Nosto, whether it’s, more recommendations and perhaps a collection, page merchandising, and content personalization, make their way out there as well.
So I think right now we have recommendations in a fairly basic setup on the PDP. And now we’re gonna add all the other more personalized recommendation types as well. That does require us to actually get some of the signals back from the tap card. So they need to send us page views, conversion events, et cetera.
And so that’s something we’re working on just to make sure that we can deliver a 2.0 integration. And that’s exactly gonna also allow you that cross-device experience. You look at a product on the tap card app, and then you go to the website and there’s your, browsing history. So, those are the things that we of course wanna deliver and will deliver, with a tap cart.
I think seeing one of the founders there, make it a comment about app clips is this new thing from the apple kind of developer community, where it actually allows for a small part of the app to be discovered. Directly at the moment when people need to see it and it’s so interesting. So, I’m not downloading the whole app and going to Google play or the app store.
It’s just like a little clip of it. And then you can download the full app and go through that whole flow as required. It’s so interesting where things are headed. And it’s nice that you’ve been very intentional to wanna work with some premium partners. I just went into your integrations, section and, for all the loyalty solutions, email providers, shipping and tracking, and some UGC companies external.
It’s so interesting that you’ve aligned yourself with a lot of these external partners because I think that’s one pushback that I get sometimes from brands and saying, Hey, we have an existing, especially with the marketing teams. They’re like, okay, we have an existing tech stack and things are working well for us.
Yes. We know there’s a need to, potentially improve our personalization, our one-to-one. And these sorts of, Nosto definitely fits that bill, but they’re a little bit apprehensive saying, we’re running loyalty lion or we’re running yacht poll over here doing our thing. And the reality is you already have tight connections with all of these great partners already and, the time to market is much quicker knowing that you’ve already aligned yourself with good partners in other verticals.
In the end, you can’t do everything, well, like we’re honest about that. We’re not gonna be, competitive in our triggered email, for example. So we’ll always bring in an email platform.
Of course, even though you could trigger some kind of loyalty experience, of course, we’re always gonna bring in a loyalty vendor. So even though we’re becoming an integrated platform and we could, of course then just focus on ourselves. I think that’s not gonna stop. We’re gonna add more integrations.
I think we’re gonna now work on the attentive bit just to make sure we have also the SMS. So that’s never gonna stop. I think if you wanna win and be relevant in an ecosystem if you don’t do it, there’s absolutely no chance that you can win over any of your clients to be quite frank.
Yeah, absolutely, there’s a lot of duct tape going on. I think in a lot of the apps and app selections and things. When I do, when I. Take on a new brand that they’ve platformed up from core to. Plus, the first thing I do is take a look at their apps and talk to the powers to be and saying, why did you choose these?
And are there any native things we can do? And, oh, now that you’re on, plus, you might want to consider some more enterprise-grade, put on your big boy pants, so to speak when here’s, what’s recommended and that’s where the plus certification program fits in.
Cuz there are some great partners in there. You being one of them. I wanna pivot to a story if I can right now. Cause I think a lot of us myself included, we’re very motivated and inspired. It helps me in my day-to-day, even though listening, there are, tens of thousands of people listening to this episode right now, they wanna understand, okay, no, I’m not using Nosto right now.
I understand the benefits of personalization. And I understand that there are technology partners, there are some baked in trust over time. And so I get all that. Hopefully, I don’t put you on the spot here, but maybe you can share a story or two around maybe someone who has a Shopify-powered store. They implemented Nosto and then like, how is the brand grown or scaled up thanks to the Nosto technology?
We highlight our clients often in this as, everywhere where we can. So some of those, are definitely, top of mind, but I feel one that I have recently been talking about a lot with, merchants, and also prospects of course, as well, is a site called Adina.
So it’s a New York-based jeweler. So very close to where I live actually very much a master of their craft, like very serious about jewelry, and very unique and creating this very bespoke, amazing jewelry. But one of the challenges, that I feel she approached us with is that she had a very distinct audience.
In fact, there were like two big audiences that she was working with. One was the fine jewelry, a segment. So folks who could actually, pay for pure gold necklaces and, diamonds and so on, like very high priced, but she also didn’t wanna lose out on kind of the fashion. Jewelry people might wanna buy something for 30 bucks, or 50 bucks, but she was struggling.
Like how can I make sure that those two swim lanes are addressed properly? Like they feel, welcome, and in a way treated equally, and very uniquely. So she approached us and asked us what we could do to target those two segments and reflect their preferences. And so what we came up with was actually using our segmentation tool and our category merchandising or collection page merchandising.
So we set up those segments based on behavioral triggers. So anyone who had shopped high-priced products would be put into the fine jewelry segment. Anyone who’s maybe shopping products at a lower price point, and maybe discounts will be put into the fashion jewelry segment. And we completely reran products for those two segments.
It’s amazing. Like you can really treat and. Compare to a physical store, almost, restack the store shelves for those segments. The performance was really amazing and we’re so proud that we could help out. And then, there are so many brands, but definitely, one that I wanted to bring up is women’s health supplements, a brand as, as well might not name the exact, merchant.
Believe we’re under NDA, but I think the experience was amazing like that was using our segments and content. So this is a fairly new brand. So they also had a goal of branding themselves, introducing the brand, like how was, the supplement created, what are the ingredients, et cetera.
So what they did was actually then use lifecycle segments. So first-time visitor returning visitor, and initially there was a lot about what does this brand stand for. who are you? How do we produce our product? And then once there was a conversion that whole experience changed entirely. So it became more transactional.
It was more about, here’s a subscription to some of our products. And then if someone converted again, then they assumed this is gonna be, a big fan. So maybe we can showcase a referral approach and may be asked to bring us a new client. So that’s again, being relevant. It’s being, focused on who’s in front of you, that experience.
And I feel maybe there’s one more here, Princess Polly. They did something that was actually inspired by something outside of e-comm. So I’m not sure if you have a Spotify, I’m sure you do this annual year review. Do you see that? Where do they give you all your favorite tracks and tracks to get away?
Yes, definitely, I love that. Cause then it goes into summary saying, oh wow. I listened to a lot of yacht rock this year.
so they were inspired by that and asked, could we do something similar? Bring it to retail and in E Comm. So we build out these personalized landing pages that had your most viewed products and the products that you looked at, and, but didn’t buy, what’s your favorite category, and what’s your favorite, style?
So they also used our segmentation and behavioral affinities. So there were like five or six kinds of these personalized blocks, and it yeah, reflected this year, end review experience. And I think they did an amazing job with that and just being fun and relevant and still having a commercial value of course as well.
It’s lovely. I’ll make sure I put the links to a lot of these. So I went to Adina’s jewelry in New York and I just had a little peak while you were chatting about it. And I saw dynamically what Nosto was doing. So it’s very interesting kinda how you do it, princess Polly. And there are a few others, there’s a link to a lot of your success stories and case studies on Nosto.com
I’ll make sure I put that link in the show notes too. So go back to eCommerce Fastlane. You’ll be able to see that for this episode. I don’t wanna pivot to, nearing the end of the show, but I just would love to understand the future of Nosto, meaning I said before we’ve last time, we chatted was back in 20 18 and man things have changed. We’ve gotta have a pack that maybe we have annually. We have to have you on the show again because I think just customers and platforms and just, the demands of the market change. And so does the roadmap. And so does the implementation, the technologies are changing, and, Nosto is right alongside, those demands.
And so just to understand what the north star is, for the remainder of 22, leading into BFCM, which is a big time. I don’t wanna think about fall when just starting summer now, but it’s still an important thing to think about. So I just would love to understand the roadmap publicly, what you can share and where you believe the Nosto brand is headed in the next few quarters.
Yeah, some of, the things that we’ve talked about publicly, of course, were the acquisition. So search, and UGC is quite big for us, but again, making sure that there’s a unique. On those products wanna make sure it’s fully integrated. It makes leverages what we’re good at already, like segmentation and personalization.
So those tools will always be combined to unlock these hopefully compound performance effects, so hopefully, it’s also something that will speak to bigger brands who are going maybe towards a more consolidated approach. So hopefully we have something that is completely strategic and allows you to really intentional and strategic with your efforts.
So you can definitely expect us to have a unique take on both of those. I think there’s gonna be a bigger update around our visual AI component. So we’re already doing a host of things around understanding what’s going on. In your product image, we already of course understand what’s going on in your UGC.
So we’ll automatically tag all the concepts. So you can expect us to make some updates there as well. And then, of course, wanna be relevant to you as well. So Shopify 2.0, make sure that we can support that. Invest more into the flow, invest more into your ecosystem, just making sure we integrate with attentive and some of those other tools, that we have as well.
So definitely not gonna get boring, and because we are at the forefront. Like some of the stuff that our machine learning team comes up with will obviously then be able to speak about that as well, but certainly exciting times ahead and certainly also the ability to implement headless as well.
So our API infrastructure is quite broad at this point. So already now you can pull in racks and content experiences for our API and I feel we could probably still do better, we could still improve the documentation, and the use cases. So certainly a big investment into the ability to play ice with hydrogen, for example as well.
Yeah, the whole hydrogen and oxygen thing that, that Toby’s released it’s in its early days right now. But headless is, for the less than 1% of the market, it must be just cuz the tech infrastructure that goes along with it. But decoupling the front from the back office is very interesting and having an API first kind of storefront slash fulfillment and like marketing and all the.
It’s an interesting angle, but it’s not for everyone, but I think Shopify, once again, is trying to innovate again. I think hydrogen and oxygen are democratizing kind of a headless opportunity with, cause that’s the problem right now is having a separate host and a separate CMS and just things are, they have to talk to each other.
I think we’re trying to figure that out of giving people full kind of front-end control, but we’re still quote unquote, the Shopify back office runs quite well. So instead of people having to go the third party using content full, and web flow and other different types of CMSs, which are great WordPress, even at some, point’s gonna be all under Shopify’s hood.
So, I’ll put a link to that. I think it’s hydrogen.shopify.dev. You can go there and learn more about hydrogen and oxygen. So one is the hosting. One is the actual technology around it, the react framework, and at least not the fun thing. So I guess one last thing that I would like to mention, I know we chatted in the green room just before recording.
I wanna send people to nosto.com for sure. That’s number one, just to at least checkout everything. That’s all Nosto you have on your blog and your case studies. And a lot of there’s a lot of learning going on there. And I understand that like for our listeners today, there’s like the bonus for those that really wanna level up their skills really well on your LinkedIn profile too. You have a certification program I’d like you maybe to share some of the details and how people can take you up on this free offer.
Absolutely. So I just wanna make sure that everyone gets something out of this outside of our conversation as well. So we will be offering a free commerce certification for anyone who wants to, so I’m gonna put the link, in the comment section for us, the commerce experience certification is something that we take very seriously is basing it on what our CSMs do day in and day out in terms of delivering the solution, just being top of mind and just using the latest and greatest experiences, getting the most out of the.
And I feel it’s necessary because becoming, again, more complex to solve some of those issues, and challenges that merchants, come to us. So you’ll be definitely up to date in terms of your knowledge around experience optimization specifically when it comes to onsite, and personalization UGC.
So please let us know. And if there are any questions, I’m also happy to answer those. So it’s [email protected] Just my first name, is always, available. If there are any conversations to be had, just, , ping me by email as well.
It’s lovely. So I’ll have this link in the show notes. I thank you, for offering that, cuz I think typically this certification is for Nosto customers, but this is a good way if you’re not even a Nosto customer yet, and thank you for listening in today’s episode because you get access to this program, it’s kind probably a thousand dollars program quite in-depth and fully certified and, just levels up your knowledge and your skills around a Shopify store optimization and strategy. How to use the platform and best practices.
I’m gonna actually do the course myself too, just to kinda level up myself. I have this life of learning mantra and so never wanna be the smartest person in the room. You have to keep leveling up, and just kind of part of the day-to-day here at Shopify, and this podcast is part of my talking points with the brands I manage.
But yeah. Thanks, Jan. I really appreciate thank you for coming on the show. Thanks for all the great work you do being a plus-certified partner. You shared a lot of knowledge. I think the vision of the Nosto brand is very exciting. And I know that you’re making a lot of impact for a lot of brands.
So for those listening, please go to nosto.com. Definitely do this free training, cuz it’ll open your mind about what is available. Just will make you a better entrepreneur or a better marketer if you’re working for our Shopify brand right now. So thanks Jan again for coming on the show.
Thank you very much, Steve.
All right. Take care.
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All right. Go check them out conversionfanatics.com. Well, that’s it for today’s episode, I’d like to thank you. A loyal listener of e-commerce fast. It’s my hope that this podcast is offering you a ton of value through growth strategies, tactics, and exclusive insider tips on the best Shopify apps and marketing platforms.
All with my personal goal to help you build, launch, grow and scale with Shopify. Thanks for investing some time today and listening to the show. I’m so proud and excited that you have a growth mindset and are a constant learner. I truly appreciate you and your entrepreneurial journey.
Enjoy the rest of the week and keep thriving with Shopify.