It's time to start planning for BFCM.

 The sun is shining and the weather is warming up, so you know what that means... it's time to start planning for Black Friday/Cyber Monday! Yes, I know, it's the beginning of June, but bear with me here. The sooner you can get started on your BFCM planning, the better off you'll be for the upcoming sales season. This week we're discussing what you can begin focusing on now in preparation for Black Friday.

Let's dig in!



Mesa is an easy way to integrate any Shopify store with any eCommerce app or service. Mesa is the only automation platform designed exclusively for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants. By creating workflows that carry out repetitive tasks automatically, merchants can focus on their business and create new customer experiences at scale. 

Mesa has a no-code workflow builder for any action your customer takes, such as a new order or product return. Leverage Mesa's built-in features to extend your connected apps. Set up email notifications, receive forms, schedule tasks, delay workflows, or even work with files to sync data with your back-office systems. Developers love Mesa too, since they can lift the hood on any automation to customize them for total control.

Even if you're unsure where to start, Mesa's library of workflow templates helps you get set up quickly with popular tasks common to growing businesses. Or contact their team of automation experts here to support you every step of the way, 24/7.



Win back valuable lost time for your support team. Gorgias has machine learning functionality that takes pressure off small support teams and gives them the tools to manage a large number of inquiries at scale. Gorgias combines all your different communication channels (email, SMS, social media, livechat, phone, etc.) into one platform and gives you an organized view of all customer inquiries. 

Their powerful functionality can save your support team hours per day and makes managing customer orders a breeze. They have allowed online merchants to close tickets faster than ever, with the help of pre-written responses integrated with customer data to increase the overall efficiency of customer support.

Their built-in automation also frees up time for support agents to give better answers to complex, product-related questions, providing next level which helps increase sales, brand loyalty, and recognition.



Malomo helps ecommerce brands generate more revenue by turning their shipment tracking experience into a marketing channel. Customers are most excited after they buy so they check tracking 3.1 times.

If you’re shipping 10,000 packages that’s 30,000 brand impressions. Most brands are sending that traffic to UPS or Fedex, handing it off to a third party and disrupting the customer's branded experience.

It's never been more difficult to get and retain customer attention, so every touchpoint with a customer matters. Malomo gives you the control to turn the typically stale and confusing experience of shipping into an opportunity to drive customer engagement while the customer is most receptive to your brand



show notes.

  • [08:04] Rhian finally gets to use her history degree
  • [13:41] Plan to succeed or plan to fail 
  • [16:26] Review your customer journey
  • [22:32] Fix your store
  • [26:54] Make your product pages incredible
  • [32:09] It's all in the UGC
  • [36:45] Emails! 
  • Store shoutout: Allbirds
  • Store shoutout: Parade



Kelly (00:00):
The sun is shining and the weather is warming up, so you know what that means. It's time to start planning for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Yes, I know, it's the beginning of June, but bear with me here. The sooner you can get started on your BFCM planning, the better off you'll be for the upcoming sales season. This week we're discussing what you can begin focusing on now in preparation for Black Friday. Let's dig in.

Rhian (00:26):
Welcome to Commerce Tea, a podcast to help you succeed on Shopify. I'm Rhian.

Kelly (00:31):
And I'm Kelly. Grab a mug and join us as we talk about all things commerce.

Rhian (00:43):
Buying online is fun, but you know what isn't? Waiting days for your package to arrive. Once a purchase is made, customers track their shipment four to five teams per order. That means they're visiting order tracking pages a lot. Why not use that time with excited customers to drive sales and build your brand? How? With a tool like Malomo. Malomo helps you turn shipping from a cost center into a profitable marketing channel by using branded shipment emails and order tracking pages to drive additional purchases by showing new products, upcoming sales, subscription options and other engaging content.

Rhian (01:22):
Plus, it cuts support tickets down by 50% by proactively managing delivery communications with customers, and the best part is, it really works. Malomo merchants see a 2 to 3% repeat purchase rate from customers while they're waiting for their current order to arrive. Post-purchase experiences are the new frontier in marketing. What are you doing to tap in? Hey, Kelly. Let's say I can't write code but I want to create workflows that carry out repetitive tasks automatically, so that way I can focus on my business and create great customer experiences. What would I use?

Kelly (02:00):
I recommend Mesa, no-code workflow builder for any action your customer takes. You can use Mesa's built in features to extend your connected apps, set up email notifications, receive forms, schedule tasks, delay workflows, and much more. Developers like me also love Mesa because we can lift the hood on any automation to customize for total control.

Rhian (02:20):
Okay, I'm in. How do I start?

Kelly (02:23):
Go to That's, and their team of automation experts will support you on your journey 24/7. Rhian, good morning.

Rhian (02:34):
Hi, good morning, Kelly. How's it going?

Kelly (02:37):
I'm doing great. I just got back last night from a month long road trip.

Rhian (02:45):
Yay. Congratulations. How was it?

Kelly (02:49):
It was so good. It was so good. I'm usually traveling to Europe, I'm flying somewhere, so it was nice to sit in the car and I did not drive a single mile. I went through four books. I got to see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and a couple of the national parks, and I got to see some friends that I haven't seen in a very long time. I made some new friends as one tends to do when they're traveling like me, and going to do a lot of breweries. It was really good.

Rhian (03:22):
What Kelly's trying to say right now is she was chauffeured across the country by her husband and from there she made a lot of friends, drank a lot of drinks, and had a fantastic time.

Kelly (03:35):

Rhian (03:35):
What books did you read?

Kelly (03:35):
We also went through five rental vehicles.

Rhian (03:38):
Oh, yeah, you had a rental catastrophe.

Kelly (03:41):
Our last one lasted us from Salt Lake City through the end of the trip, which was great.

Rhian (03:46):
Well, that's good.

Kelly (03:47):
We put over 5,000 miles on that one vehicle.

Rhian (03:51):
Did you name her?

Kelly (03:52):

Rhian (03:53):

Kelly (03:55):
It's kind of like, you want to wait and make sure that it's going to survive the rest of the trip for you give it a name.

Rhian (04:01):
Well, I guess you got burnt pretty early on so you're not like, "Let's name this one."

Kelly (04:06):

Rhian (04:09):
Sue. Sue the car. Yeah, I was in Arizona this weekend.

Kelly (04:14):
Yeah, how was that?

Rhian (04:15):
Hot. It was good.

Kelly (04:19):
Now I know what that dry heat is like and I hate it.

Rhian (04:21):
Yeah, it was really hot, which I knew, because I grew up there, went to Arizona State, blah, blah, blah, and it was fine. My daughter had to have some finals proctored, so her proctor lives in Arizona. Actually, he lives in LA but he's in Arizona right now because of the pandemic and stuff is still very, very closed down in LA, or not very, very. That's being dramatic. Significantly more [inaudible 00:04:52] is closed down, or, sorry. Yeah, is Los Angeles, so we went there for her to be proctored, had some cocktails, went to an art museum, so that was good. It was my first museum since the pandemic. They have the Infinity Room that's super hyped. There's one there, so I got to go to that.

Rhian (05:13):
Had some good food, had some good drinks. I went to a Brazilian steak house. Turns out, not my jam. My daughter was obsessed with it because ...

Kelly (05:23):
She would love it, because there's literally unlimited food for her.

Rhian (05:27):
Exactly, because she's got a black hole in her stomach, so, yeah, I was like, "This is fun for the first two things," and then I was over it, and she was like, "I'll try that and I'll try that." I'm like, "Can we go? We've been here for two hours. This is awful."

Kelly (05:46):
She ate for the both of you. It's okay.

Rhian (05:47):
Yes, she truly, truly did, so that was my experience. What was your favorite state, and also what books did you read?

Kelly (05:59):
I always love visiting Chicago, so I only did Chicago, so that's all I saw. Let's go cities, because I did not see a lot of states. I saw most of South Dakota going from one side to the other. That was not my favorite state. I really enjoyed Minneapolis.

Rhian (06:16):
Yeah. The food there is great.

Kelly (06:18):
It's great. They have too many breweries to choose from. The people are awesome. I went to a live show. I saw music performed live for the first time in a very long time.

Rhian (06:29):
That's incredible.

Kelly (06:31):
Yeah, so, it was just a good time. Speaking of good times, Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

Rhian (06:39):
Oh, my gosh, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, my favorite time of year, otherwise known as, colloquially referred to as the holidays.

Kelly (06:48):
Yeah. We keep on saying, "Let's prep for Black Friday, Cyber Monday." You're prepping for the entire holiday sales season. It's not like this is just a one day, two day thing.

Rhian (06:59):
It's also important to note, for our international listeners, that, I've been giving Black Friday, Cyber Monday talks since 2016, globally, and when I first started giving them in Great Britain, it was like, it's not really a thing here, or it wasn't really a thing last year, and that year it was up 60% year over year from the year before, so it has continued to rise meteorically, dare I say, and in the United States it, as well, has continued to rise in a hockey stick formation up and to the right. Super important that we talk about Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Kelly, do you want to go ahead and define Black Friday, Cyber Monday, maybe, for some folks who are unfamiliar?

Kelly (07:49):
In the United States, our Thanksgiving takes on the third Thursday in November. I think it's the third Thursday.

Rhian (07:57):
It's in November.

Kelly (07:58):
It's always a Thursday. It's in November, yeah. It's after my birthday because my birthday's November 1st.

Rhian (08:04):
It's at the end of the month, and it's a Thursday.

Kelly (08:06):
It's towards the end of the month, yeah. It might be ... I don't know what number. It's on a Thursday in November, let's put it that way, and Black Friday, I don't know where the name came from. We could probably Google it and find out, but it's basically ...

Rhian (08:21):
It probably is [crosstalk 00:08:22].

Kelly (08:21):
Yeah, we're not going to find out. It kind of marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, essentially, or what used to mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Let's put it that way. I always remember, growing up, we would do Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house, and we would go through all the catalogs that came with the newspaper on Thanksgiving day and look through all the sales that were happening for Friday, and then we would wake up early and get in line to go shopping at, like, 5:00 AM and start buying the things we wanted to get.

Kelly (09:00):
It's evolved so much over time to where, it was very retail-focused originally, so brick and mortar, you get up early and you go shop, and it can get really nasty in some of these stores, with people fighting over sale items. People have died, literally.

Rhian (09:19):
Okay, so, real quick. I did look up Black Friday and it's not terrible so I'm going to read the definition.

Kelly (09:24):

Rhian (09:24):
This is from Oxford so we know it's legitimate. The shopping sense dates from the 1960s and was originally used with reference to congestion creating by shoppers. It was later explained as a day when retailers' accounts went from being in the red to in the black.

Kelly (09:43):
Ah, okay.

Rhian (09:45):
Because retail is not generally profitable year round because it's highly seasonal, so that makes sense because holiday, as we all know, is when you can make some serious, serious coin.

Kelly (09:58):
For sure, for sure. Okay, so that's the history of it. It is evolved over time in a couple of ways. One, it's shifted more online, so you're now looking for deals online as opposed to in store, and the pandemic definitely helped with this, as well, but it was happening long before the pandemic, and two, it's starting earlier. It is no longer starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. It's starting weeks before, and as we all saw last year, it started months before, with Amazon's Prime Day usually happening in June, happened in October. That is what we could consider last year's, like, the start of the holiday shopping season, really.

Rhian (10:40):
Yeah. It was a really robust holiday season, and Cyber Monday originated as an e-commerce answer to Black Friday. Ironically, now, they're one in the same. Commerce is commerce. Commerce is everywhere, but, yeah, last year it was Prime Day, and then it was Singles Day, and then for the first time I really saw North American merchants running Singles Day ads last year, which, by the way, if we're listening and we're like, "What is Singles Day?" It is the biggest shopping day ...

Kelly (11:23):

Rhian (11:24):
... ever, yeah, period.

Kelly (11:25):
Also happening in November, by the way.

Rhian (11:27):
It's right before ...

Kelly (11:28):
It is on 11/11. It's November 11th.

Rhian (11:31):
Yeah, so it's November 11th. It's in China, but it was the largest day of commerce last year. Is that correct? At least out of my memory.

Kelly (11:40):

Rhian (11:40):
Okay, that might be fake news but I'm 99% sure.

Kelly (11:44):
No, it is. The holiday has become the largest physical retail and online shopping day in the world. Alibaba shoppers exceeded 2.13 billion, or let's say, in USD, $30.7 billion on a single day, and this was 2018.

Rhian (12:00):
Much bucks. That's how much. How much? Much.

Kelly (12:04):
Many monies, yes.

Rhian (12:06):
Many monies. One could argue, while we're having this Black Friday, Cyber Monday in June conversation, we're also having a Amazon Prime, Singles Day conversation in the same ...

Kelly (12:22):
Sales days. How about that?

Rhian (12:25):
Yes. Internationally recognized sales days that people are going to expect you to discount around.

Kelly (12:32):

Rhian (12:32):
Please do.

Kelly (12:33):
Precisely. Hey, Rhian, what can I do to help my support team be more efficient?

Rhian (12:42):
I recommend Gorgias. Gorgias combines all your communications channels including email, SMS, social media, live chat and phone into one platform that gives you an organized view of all help requests. This saves your support team hours per day and makes managing customer orders a breeze.

Kelly (13:02):
Sounds great. What else can it do?

Rhian (13:04):
With Gorgias, you can pre-write and save responses to your most frequently asked questions. You even have access to the customers' order information so you can personalize responses with things like an order or tracking number. This then frees up your time so your support team can focus on complex questions.

Kelly (13:21):
This sounds like a great way to also increase sales and brand loyalty. Where can I learn more?

Rhian (13:25):
To request a demo, visit That's

Kelly (13:41):
Let's dig in. Let's dig into what you can actually do. I think the first one might seem obvious, but we're going to talk about it anyway, because this is every good sale or every good whatever you're doing starts with a plan, so have a game plan.

Rhian (14:01):
You have to have a game plan. What's that old saying? If you don't plan to win, you plan to fail. I'm terrible at sayings, but essentially, that ...

Kelly (14:10):
It's a saying now. Yeah.

Rhian (14:12):
Because it's true. You cannot go into Black Friday, [inaudible 00:14:16] Day, and be like, "Let's find out. Let's [inaudible 00:14:21], if you will." Do you know what I mean, Kelly? Okay, great, because I've been saying that recently, and my mother will say, "What are you talking about?" This is not the time to just be like, "What's my inventory going to look like? Who knows? How am I going to ship? Let's find out." You need to plan for, I don't want to say the worst, because the worst is not selling the most, but you want to plan for that, expect that, and then have backup plans and contingency plans because if you do not, this will not be an enjoyable time of year for you.

Kelly (14:59):
You're looking at your inventory levels. You're looking at what you did last year, if you're not a new merchant, look at what you did last year and analyze that performance. What went well? What didn't go well? What has changed over the past year in your product offering, so what might you be offering for this year's BFCM, and then, the pricing and inventory piece to that, as well. We had two episodes on inventory that we will link to in the show notes that are definitely worth a listen if you have not listened to yet, which, especially with Jill, she goes into planning for these events like BFCM and making sure you can forecast your inventory ahead of time.

Rhian (15:39):
Absolutely. It's so crucial. You do not want to get caught out in [inaudible 00:15:46], so to speak, during this time, because you will be full of regrets, or rage-rets.

Kelly (15:51):
Full of regrets, yes.

Rhian (15:53):
And, during the holidays, customers are extra sensitive to shipping delays and any challenges. Things tend to, but are not always, centered around a couple holidays, so, because of that, if you cannot make sure that your product is in their hands by a certain date, do not advertise that you're able to. You will make a lot of people give you bad reviews.

Kelly (16:21):
Yes. We want to avoid the bad reviews.

Rhian (16:26):
Yeah, please. No bad reviews. This is good review Black Friday, Cyber Monday. In order to do that, it's really critical to also review your customer journey. We talk about customer journey a lot. Kelly, do you want to go ahead and redefine it for anyone who's new listening in who's like, "What does that mean?"

Kelly (16:43):
Yeah, so your customer journey is the path your customer takes from entering your site to completing the checkout process, and notice I say, "Entering the site," because they might enter from the home page, but they might enter from a product page ...

Rhian (16:56):
Probably will.

Kelly (16:56):
... or a collections page or a specific landing page that you're promoting, so it's important to map out your customer's journey, how you will be marketing for this sales weekend for the holidays. I can keep saying BFCM, but if I say BFCM, know that I'm talking about literally any sale. How about that?

Rhian (17:18):
That's the new thing. Okay, so, review your customer journey. You use a tool that you're really bullish on, Kelly. What's it called? It's the heat mapping tool.

Kelly (17:29):
Ah, yes. I like using Hotjar for this.

Rhian (17:32):
That's right. Hotjar is the name. I was going to call it something else, so Hotjar. Also, if you're like me and you really love Google Analytics, I'd be digging into your Google Analytics. I'd be looking at last year's if you've got data from last year. I'd be looking right now to see the drop off points, because you'll be able to see where people are dropping off your website, and a great thing to do is to go in and say, "Why?" Like, "Why are they dropping off my website?" And go on those pages. If a thousand people enter your store in a day, and I know that's a great day, and all but 10 drop off on a certain page, you should go to that page.

Kelly (18:12):
That indicates something is wrong.

Rhian (18:12):
Something is wrong on that page. Make sure nothing is broken. Make sure the buttons make sense. Make sure it's easy to checkout on.

Kelly (18:19):
There are four primary areas of questions I'm usually asking when I'm looking at this data. What I'm looking at, reviewing the customer journey, the first one is, how many steps are there in your customer journey? Are there too many? I often see are there too many be relevant when you are using sub-collections when you don't need to be using sub-collections. You're forcing your customers to click from the home page to a collection. They don't see any products yet. They have to click to another link to get to products, and then the product page, and then the cart, and then checkout, and through the multiple steps of checkout. It could be a lot.

Rhian (18:55):
You got to get a customer in and out as fast as you can. I call it the StubHub moment, and I think I've talked about it before on the show. It's when you go in, and you're like, "This seems like a good idea. Should I make this purchase?" Then, two seconds later, you have bought tickets for something. That's what you need. You need accelerated checkout options on every single page. Yeah, sure, you want people to build a big cart and increase and generate your AOV, your average order value, but at the same time, the bottom line is getting people to buy things on your website.

Rhian (19:35):
If you make it hard on your store to buy things, people will give up. People are very impatient. I have tried to buy a hat, this is not a lie, like six times in the past week. Every time I go in, I have to enter in my information because they don't have Shop Pay, and I give up. Every time, I'm like, "Oh, yeah, I have to get my credit card out," and I stop, and I'm not the only consumer. The reason these fast checkout options exist is because there's so many consumers like me now, I'm like, "Where's my credit ... I don't know where my credit card is. I barely left home."

Kelly (20:07):
Because, somebody is still learning how to use LastPass.

Rhian (20:09):
Well, yes, allegedly, that may also be the case, allegedly.

Kelly (20:15):
Allegedly, yes.

Rhian (20:17):
That is something that I am really passionate about. It's just like when you use an app. You want it to be frictionless. Make buying things frictionless. People will buy more stuff if it's easy to buy.

Kelly (20:31):
Yeah. Question number two, which we already addressed but I'm going to note it anyway, is, at what stage are you noticing the most drop offs and why might this be? Again, go into Google Analytics, look at where those drop offs are happening, and then look at Hotjar, watch people interact with your site and see, are they clicking on something that shouldn't be clicked on? Are they ending up at a dead end, which, that's something I talk about a lot, is that no page on your website should be a dead end.

Rhian (20:58):

Kelly (20:58):
Number three is, how is the page load speed on your product pages and your cart? How fast are these pages loading? We'll be digging into this one momentarily, so I'm not going to dig into it too much right now, but that is something that is important for me to look at for the customer journey. Lastly, is your shipping strategy clear? Does it take me until I hit the last stage on checkout to know how much I'm going to be paying in shipping? If so, that's not great.

Rhian (21:27):
Not great. Not great, although I did buy two extra pairs of sunglasses yesterday because I was $2 away from hitting my shipping.

Kelly (21:34):
Hey, look, it works.

Rhian (21:34):
It works.

Kelly (21:34):
Shipping thresholds work.

Rhian (21:38):
Yeah. It was like, one pair of sunglasses. It got $2 away and then it turned into me buying two more things, because then I was like, "Oh, do you want blue light glasses, too? Cool." Okay, let's talk about the next thing, which is page speed, which stresses me out.

Kelly (21:56):
Yeah. Work with your development team for ways to improve your site. Most of this, we're talking about page speed optimization, so how fast is your site loading? We know more than ever that your page speed is so incredibly important for ranking on Google, for the overall user experience, for, I don't know, just giving you a nice page speed score.

Rhian (22:20):
Google Core Web Vitals rolled out the beginning of May. If your website is not fast, do not expect to be on the front page of Google unless you are an absolute power player, and by absolute power player, I mean, household name, absolute power player.

Kelly (22:38):

Rhian (22:39):

Kelly (22:39):
It does not matter how fast Gymshark's site is. People are going to buy from there.

Rhian (22:43):
Exactly, and people get in their heads, and I know I've talked about it and I want to talk about it again. Just because someone like Gymshark or someone like Nike or someone like Allbirds, even, can do something, does not mean you can, as well. Just because they can get away with a slower site speed does not mean most merchants are able to, and so, don't get caught in that trap of thinking, because those can be exciting competitors. They're not true competitors. They're like your North Star competitors.

Kelly (23:20):
Your moon shot competitors.

Rhian (23:21):
Your moon shot competitors, but look at your actual competitors, people you're truly competing with and if you're not compliant with Google's new regulations for Web Vitals, and by the way, you can find in your search console, right now, you can find your Core Web Vital score, and if it looks bad, then it is bad.

Kelly (23:40):
If it looks bad, it is bad.

Rhian (23:42):
You need to go in and fix it. We're going to do a whole episode about Core Web Vitals because it's a lot to unpack, so I'm going to stop talking about it right now, but please go in, pay attention to those numbers. Those numbers are not fun and games. We have seen people's rankings shift dramatically. Google said, "It's not going to be a huge rollout." They announced it over a year in advance. It's a big rollout.

Kelly (24:03):

Rhian (24:03):
It's a big rollout.

Kelly (24:03):
If they announce it a long time, yeah, you know that it's a big deal.

Rhian (24:07):
Direct correlation.

Kelly (24:09):
Yeah. One of the things that you can do now, as well, is do an analysis of the apps you currently have installed on your store.

Rhian (24:17):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kelly (24:18):
There's a chance that you might want to be installing some new apps for the holiday season. Let's say you want a bundling app that you're not currently offering that, which, by the way, if you're on Shopify Plus, you do not need a bundling app. You can do all of your bundles through line item scripts. Anyway, look at how many apps you have installed and, there are two types of apps that talk about this a lot. They are the back office apps like managing your inventory and things like that, and then you have any kind of storefront app, so, anything that your customers are interacting with, that impacts your store site speed.

Rhian (24:49):
Yes, it does.

Kelly (24:50):
Do an analysis of those, see which apps are your biggest culprits for site speed for slowing your site down, and also, if you've recently uninstalled any apps, make sure that that code is still not in your theme, because there are a lot of apps that do not remove your code from your theme when you want to install it.

Rhian (25:07):
Yes. Unfortunately, that is the case. Part of it, in apps' defense ... Let me just defend all apps.

Kelly (25:14):
In apps' defense.

Rhian (25:15):
Once you uninstall an app, the app provider no longer has access to anything on your end, so they are unable to go in and change something unless you ask, so make sure to ask. I have never met an app team who's unwilling to help, but you have to ask, otherwise you will have a bunch of, I call it, junk code because it's just leftover code, and often time it duplicates, especially with SEO code. You're like, "There are four meta fields here. Why are there four meta descriptions on one page? This isn't how it works."

Kelly (25:49):
Yeah, exactly.

Rhian (25:52):
Be cautious of that.

Kelly (25:53):
For what it's worth, if there's an app company who's like, "We're not going to remove the code from your feed," tell Shopify, because that is not a good thing.

Rhian (26:00):
That's not a good look.

Kelly (26:03):
Exactly. Nobody can use that app anymore, basically, because they'll get removed from the Shopify App Store.

Rhian (26:10):
Yeah. Apps, we have rules that we have to play by, and I can only speak for my own company, but we take them very seriously. It's like, if this is what it says in the terms of service, we're going to make sure we do what's in the terms of service because this is how we make all of our money. This is how Shopify pays us."

Kelly (26:29):
Exactly. Exactly.

Rhian (26:31):
Most apps, I've never had an experience where folks won't, bust, if you ever do, like Kelly said, that is actually a really big issue, so for yourself, for everybody, I would definitely report it. Speaking of apps, but not really ... That was a terrible segue.

Kelly (26:52):
You just did a segue like me. That's me usually, yeah.

Rhian (26:54):
Speaking of the next thing, let's talk about product pages.

Kelly (26:58):
Speaking of things.

Rhian (26:59):
Actually, how's this as a segue? Speaking about SEO, because Core Web Vitals touches SEO, let's talk about SEO as it pertains to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and why you need to optimize your product pages right now or collection page, or, slash, your entire site, before Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Here's why. If you're going to buy a lot of traffic, as in take out ads or do some kind of Tik Tok stunt, whatever, and your stuff isn't optimized already, you're driving a whole lot of traffic, you're spending a whole lot of ad dollars to get people to your site for no reason. Not only that, but, you can create holiday collections and you can optimize those as a landing page, and really, you can even do that in kind of a lookbook type manor, like, if you want to gendered gifts, I guess, like gifts for her under $50, gifts for him under $50, et cetera, gifts for kids.

Kelly (27:59):
My favorite ones are like gifts for the adventurer or gifts for the ...

Rhian (28:02):
Oh, I like that so much more.

Kelly (28:04):
Yeah, instead of going gender, go for hobbies or lifestyle.

Rhian (28:09):
Yeah, because if you were like gifts for an adventurer, I would be like, "Do you have a snack aisle for myself?" No one is buying me a gift for adventurer, which is fine, and it's good to know when you're trying to buy gifts. Anyways, you can optimize for all of that stuff. You can write copy around it. You can write meta copy for it, so your title text, your title tag, your meta description and your alt text, you can optimize this for the holidays, especially when it's on a separate collection, so you use a collection page like a traditional landing page, the end. Kelly, what do you have to say?

Kelly (28:47):
Let's keep on going into the content. That's a really important piece of that. You covered titles and meta descriptions, but your actual product's descriptions, make sure those descriptions are up to date. You can change the description again to reference the holiday season or colder weather, or whatever it might be, staying at home for the holidays, enjoying time with friends and family, because, small details.

Rhian (29:11):
Writing blogs about ... I would be trickling these blogs out, beginning late ... Is October the month before November? I think so.

Kelly (29:21):
Yes, it is.

Rhian (29:22):
Okay, so, starting in October, I'd be trickling these blogs out which are gift guides, and not just gift guides but just doing profiles and interviews of people and favorite things. You know how Oprah does her favorite things and then everything sells out forever?

Kelly (29:37):

Rhian (29:37):
Why can't you do that, too? I get that we're not all Oprah, but at the same time, if you have a place to write a blog that people read, make gift guides.

Kelly (29:46):
People like gift guides. People like knowing what other people like, so just do it. You don't have to be Oprah. Trust me. I'm not Oprah.

Rhian (29:53):
No, you don't. Look, last year I wrote on Twitter some of my favorite things. I don't have very many followers, especially compared to Kelly. I was like, "This is my favorite weighted blanket. You should buy it." Three people I know, and I know I've talked about this, bought it and they were like, "This is a fantastic weighted blanket." It's like, okay, so, don't just assume that you have to get really big influencers on board. You can target people who are, I would say, who have 3 and 5,000 followers depending on your niche, so don't get caught up in that, like, "I can only talk to people who have 100, 200, 300,000." You probably can't afford them, or you can ... No shade, Kelly, but it's much more difficult.

Kelly (30:40):
Yeah. You don't have to be able to afford these mega influencers in order to make use of influencers for your brand. Keep in mind, a lot of smaller audiences like those 3 to 5,000 range for example, they have a highly engaged audience.

Rhian (30:56):

Kelly (30:57):
They're looking at everything you're saying, so they're useful.

Rhian (31:01):
Yeah, and if you can get placement on one of those lists, whether it's on Instagram or Twitter, or I guess, Tik Tok, that could be a big win and it would cost you probably not much if anything besides product, because, smaller influencers, like, "Cool, free stuff," whereas bigger influencers are like, "Actually, this is my rate," so it's a very different market.

Kelly (31:26):
Yeah. I immediately am just like, "I will Tweet for $400 per tweet."

Rhian (31:31):
Yeah, whereas I'm like, "Oh, you'll send me a blanket?" Well, actually, no, I have to say, Bearaby, I just love.

Kelly (31:36):
I was going to say, yes, that would be ...

Rhian (31:38):
No one is sending anything and I've just spent thousands of dollars there, but, that's a terrible example, but like a jewelry line, a skin care line, something like that, yeah, I would do that, but remind your people, your influencers who you do use to use the little, "This is an ad, blah, blah, blah," statement so they don't get in trouble.

Kelly (32:01):
The last thing I wanted to talk about in terms of product pages is the page layout itself.

Rhian (32:04):
Oh my God, yeah.

Kelly (32:05):
You don't have to have your entire product's description in one block of text.

Rhian (32:09):
Please don't.

Kelly (32:09):
You can have different sections on your product page to break things up, that includes some nice photography. Make sure you're collecting reviews for your products. Start now if you do not have a reviews app installed. They are necessary and they are very helpful when there are a lot of sales happening all at once and people are trying to decide who to buy from and what to buy. If there's a highly rated product and people, they can see other people like it, that social proof is real. People trust other people's reviews, like Airbnb, I just booked a bunch of Airbnbs for this road trip. We do not book an Airbnb that does not already have good reviews from other people. I'm not going to be the guinea pig. I don't want to stay in a terrible place.

Rhian (32:50):
Yeah, I'm like, "One person stayed there? Sus."

Kelly (32:54):
Also, like, the timing of the reviews, like, if I see that there hasn't been a review in over a year, I'm questioning it because things could change over time.

Rhian (33:03):
I totally agree. There's two things I want to say, too, about product pages and reviews. One is, if you sell apparel, I really think you should have a review app that has the sizing bar, where it's like, "Fits large, fits true, fits small." To me, huge difference when I'm buying apparel online. The other thing is this. Put your buy button above your text, because if you are on mobile and you've got a whole bunch of educational content and product content, I love that for you. Content wins all day long. Put the button up top in case I do not care about your content, because I would say about 50% of the people coming to your website's already pumped on it and they're going to be, like, "Cool, yes, buy. Add one to cart. Go." In most themes, you could just use it.

Kelly (33:55):
It usually has a setting above the product description or below the product description.

Rhian (33:59):
Yes. I feel very passionately that this should be an above ...

Kelly (34:02):
Go above.

Rhian (34:03):
Oh my gosh.

Kelly (34:03):

Rhian (34:04):

Kelly (34:04):
If you have a custom theme or if you have a developer and you do want to include a little bit above, I'd say two sentences, max, or two bullet points.

Rhian (34:13):
Like a hook.

Kelly (34:14):
Yeah, exactly.

Rhian (34:15):

Kelly (34:16):
It's like the beginning of our podcast episodes.

Rhian (34:18):

Kelly (34:21):
Which, as we were talking about collecting reviews, this is actually our next point being gather and build social proof. This also includes, we mentioned influencers, get people to post pictures, especially if it's apparel or home good, post pictures of your items on Instagram. Have a hashtag for it and then share that on your website. I think one of the coolest things I've seen more recently is including a section on your site that includes Tik Tok videos.

Rhian (34:47):
I love that. I was also going to say, my favorite user generated content is Healthy Roots Dolls. There's so much user generated content and it's always happy because it's always little kids hugging their dolls.

Kelly (34:57):
It's so cute.

Rhian (34:57):
You're like, "This is so cute. This makes me smile so big," but then you see how much joy. You're like, "Do I know any small children I could buy this doll for?" That says something, when you look at a product and you're so pumped on it. Homesick does a really good job, as well, with their UGC. Really, really good job.

Kelly (35:17):
Speaking of influencers posting about their products without having to pay for the positioning. They get that a lot.

Rhian (35:23):
That's a lot different than me. Yeah, user generate content. What apps do you like for that?

Kelly (35:31):
Loox is a great one if you're doing photo-based reviews.

Rhian (35:35):
Absolutely. That's what I was thinking, too.

Kelly (35:36):
And any of the buyable, shoppable Instagram feeds where you can trigger them based on, you can filter by a product, you can filter by a hashtag and then actually tag the products that are displayed in those photos. Love those.

Rhian (35:49):
Yeah, I really like Foursixty for that. It's nice and fast and clean.

Kelly (35:53):
Oh, yeah, Foursixty is great.

Rhian (35:55):
Foursixty's fantastic. Let's talk about something real quick and this is, okay, so now you've got people coming. You've collected some content, some emails ... Content. You collected content from people. You collected emails and contact information from folks. What do you do?

Kelly (36:14):
You nurture relationships with them. You start talking to them. Now is the time to start planning out your automations. Make sure your abandoned cart flow is up to date, especially for the holidays. Again, you can change the language you're using here to reference the current state of life, whatever it happens to be at that time, your welcome series. During the holiday season, during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, you have a lot of new customers who are shopping on your site.

Kelly (36:45):
You might use an email capture to give them 10% of their order on top of a sale, whatever it might be, but you have these new customers who have never shopped with you before. Use that welcome series as an opportunity to teach them about who you are and why they should be buying from you, especially if they haven't actually placed that order yet. Include the social proof in there, some reviews. Include a backstory. People want to know who you are, who they're buying from. Your welcome series is really, really solid for this.

Rhian (37:14):
Very, very solid. What email provider would you use, Kelly?

Kelly (37:19):
I would use Klaviyo.

Rhian (37:22):
We're not sponsored for that, by the way.

Kelly (37:23):
We're not sponsored by Klaviyo. I just love Klaviyo. It is my go to email platform for all of my clients. It is the one I am always pushing, if they're not currently on Klaviyo I want to get them over to Klaviyo. There's just so much you can do with it. The automation tools for building your flows is so easy, and as a developer, I can send all kinds of custom data over to your Klaviyo account based on what your customers are clicking on and if they have a subscription, for example, you can send over the cancellation reason, all kinds of unique things that you can send over, and then further segment your audience, so you get some really targeted emails that actually convert.

Rhian (38:04):
I would also say, as an add on to that, is if you are collecting phone numbers, which I think you should be, we recorded an SMS episode almost a year ago. We need to talk about it some more because SMS converts ...

Kelly (38:22):
It converts so well.

Rhian (38:24):
It's so good, so do not ignore the power of SMS. People still are sleeping on it. Do not sleep on it.

Kelly (38:33):
Now is your opportunity, again, now is the time to start building that audience, and you can do some really cool things, like, let's use Klaviyo for example because Klaviyo does both SMS and email. You can have separate flows to, let's say, your SMS list is like your VIP list and then your email list is your everyone else list. You start a sale, you can create a custom link to a landing page to purchase something, send it out to your SMS audience first, and give them first dibs. It also gets people signed on, so go ahead and get to work on getting those flows setup for Klaviyo because we love Klaviyo and if you're not on Klaviyo, you should move over to Klaviyo and that is my story. Why don't we just do shout outs? How about that? We can wrap this up.

Rhian (39:21):
Yes. Let's do store shout outs. Kelly, over to you. What store are you going to shout out? Am I going to be surprised?

Kelly (39:26):
Yes, you are, because it is Allbirds, and I know this is very surprising. I bought two pairs of Allbirds on this trip. I love the Allbirds retail store experience. It's just so easy and the interior's pretty. I bought a pair in Minneapolis, and then Allbirds was like, "Hey, we just released a new style," and I'm like, "Dang it," and then I bought a new pair in Chicago because I wanted the new style, as well. It's always fun. I basically wore my Shopify hoodie the entire time from Shopify Unite 2017, and I got to use the new tap to pay that I had not used from Shopify [crosstalk 00:40:06].

Rhian (40:07):
Oh, amazing.

Kelly (40:07):
I was like, "Oh, this is fun." They're like, "Yeah, we use a system called Shopify for everything," and then he sees my hoodie. He's like, "Oh, you know this."

Rhian (40:16):

Kelly (40:20):
"We love it. Here are the couple of things that just kind of bother us about it." I'm like, "I don't work for Shopify. I just build on Shopify, but I agree with your qualms. The end." I had to shout out Allbirds again because I bought a new pair of Tree Runners and a new pair of the Tree Pipers.

Rhian (40:38):
Incredible, incredible. My store shout out of the week is Parade, and Parade is an undies brand, intimates brand, I guess, if you will, dare I say, and I love that they have inclusive sizing. They're super comfortable. They have gender-free models and gender-inclusive models and gender-expansive models, and I'm just so pumped, a great lead into Pride Month. I'm really pumped on Parade. They are super, super comfy, they're affordable and they're sustainable, so they're everything I love and their website is fire.

Kelly (41:23):
It's so good. It's so good.

Rhian (41:23):
Not only is it a good brand, their website is absolutely, ridiculously good.

Kelly (41:29):
Yeah, so, a very good model for sure.

Rhian (41:31):
Yes, 100%.

Kelly (41:33):
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, it is going to come and it's going to be here and you are going to prepare for it because you have all kinds of really great actionable items to take out of this episode, so thank you so much for tuning in and thanks again to our sponsors for supporting this episode. We have a YouTube channel and this month we are going to get back to actually recording two videos and releasing them, because I actually truly do miss them. You can see our previous videos at If you like our podcast, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews make us really happy to read and we just want more of them. You can subscribe to Commerce Tea on your favorite podcasting service. We post new episodes every Wednesday, so grab your mug and join us then. We'll see you next week.

Rhian (42:18):

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published