You know what really grinds my gears?

It's been a long year. And by a long year, I mean we're officially one year in since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. How does this relate to this week's episode? Well, we're tired. So this week we're going to tell you what really grinds our gears in the world of e-commerce. I promise it'll be fun.




Octane AI
Octane AI enables fast-growing D2C brands to increase revenue and collect data from the marketing channels your customers use.

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show notes.

  • [09:35] "Site speed doesn't matter"
  • [15:33] Sarcastic "no thanks" messages
  • [17:43] Popups
  • [21:57] FOMO apps
  • [26:02] Getting unpersonalized marketing emails
  • [28:18] Getting too many emails
  • [30:08] Using SMS like email marketing
  • [31:32] Automatically being subscribed after placing an order when I did not opt into receiving
  • [33:15] When you're in the cart and there's no way to continue shopping
  • [36:11] Choosing a terrible, unreadable font for your site
  • [41:26] Store shoutout: Manta Sleep
  • [43:23] Store shoutout: Coffee Collective




 Kelly (00:00):
It's been a long year, and by a long year, I mean, we're officially one year in since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. How does this relate to this week's episode? Well, we're tried. So this we're going to tell you what really grinds our gears in the world of eCommerce. I promise we'll be fun. Let's dig in.

Rhian (00:24):
Welcome to Commerce Tea, a podcast to help you succeed on Shopify. I'm Rhian.

Kelly (00:29):
And I'm Kelly. Grab a mug and join us as we talk about all things commerce.

Rhian (00:33):
Hey Kelly. How can merchants leverage customer data to drive more revenue and increase intention? How can they create personalized experiences customers love?

Kelly (00:49):
I recommend Octane AI, the leading buyer profile platform for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants.

Rhian (00:55):
How does it work?

Kelly (00:56):
Octane AI features a shop quiz, Facebook messenger and SMS, and opt-in tools. Using the shop quiz, merchants can get to know customers with interactive questions. From product recommenders to gift finders, you can learn about a customers needs, preferences, pain points and more. This information gets saved in the buyer profiles, and you can sync your buyer profile data with your Facebook messenger, SMS, email, and ad campaigns for personalized customer journeys.

Rhian (01:21):
What kinds of returns can brands expect?

Kelly (01:23):
Brands using the shop quiz have increased email sign-ups by 16 times and driven a 28% increase in average order value. Facebook messenger and SMS see 80-95% average open rates and drive up to a 20% increase in revenue. Better yet, Octane AI has plans for any size business and offers a 14-day free trial. Every plan gives you access to the shop quiz, Facebook messenger, SMS and opt-in tools. There are also plans available where Octane AI's experts will help you set up and optimize your tools for success.

Rhian (01:55):
That sounds great. Where can merchants go to learn more?

Kelly (01:58):
You can learn more, book a demo, or try it free at Again, that's

Rhian (02:09):
Good morning, Kelly.

Kelly (02:11):
Good morning, Rhian.

Rhian (02:13):
How are you?

Kelly (02:15):
I'm good. I have a surprise.

Rhian (02:17):
What's your surprise?

Kelly (02:19):
I guess it's not really a surprise for you, but because we both did the same thing but we upgraded our audio podcasting equipment. And I apologize in advance because we have sound effects.

Rhian (02:38):
We have sound effects. I don't think we'll be using them too liberally, but also we're just learning them. And apparently there's like... Did you say 81,000 options on the internet or something?

Kelly (02:50):
There are so many options. It's very dangerous. So I cannot wait to dig in and replace the defaults with more interesting things. But until then-

Rhian (03:01):
Oh my god. Oh my god. So, Kelly, do you want to explain why we got upgraded?

Kelly (03:08):
Yes. So we actually do have some really exciting news. Rhian and I are officially bringing Commerce Tea to a brand new podcasting app called Fireside. Fireside is an interactive socially responsible podcasting app that allows us to actually interact with you directly, bring you up on stage to ask us questions. You can react to what we're saying. You can ask us questions while you're still just listening in the audience. It's going to be really, really, really fun. We're planning on doing episodes through Fireside every Thursday at 1:00 PM Eastern, which is 10:00 AM.

Rhian (03:46):
That is correct, 10:00 AM. 10:00 AM.

Kelly (03:50):
So we'll include some more information about this in the show notes. We are actually doing our first episode this Thursday. So you're going to get learn alongside us.

Rhian (04:02):
Yeah. You are going to learn alongside us. And I really excited. We've tested it. It's been really good so far, and I'm just excited to try something where y'all can join us and ask us questions. And hopefully we can answer them in real time instead of you tweeting at us and us getting to it eventually. That's the goal.

Kelly (04:25):
Yeah, and we'll be doing some interviews on there as well, and we'll also be doing friendly Shopify store tear downs directly through Fireside. So get some-

Rhian (04:34):
We've very excited.

Kelly (04:35):
... immediate feedback on your store. I'm so excited.

Rhian (04:39):
It's going to be absolutely phenomenal.

Kelly (04:44):
Okay. So we mentioned we're both tired. It's been a year since I've been home. My best friend posted on Instagram on Sunday, and she posted a picture of the two of us saying, "I can't believe I haven't seen this girl in a year." And I'm looking at the picture of the two of us, and it honestly took me a minute to recognize myself wearing real clothes.

Rhian (05:13):
Yeah. I get that. Looking back, you're like, "Oh. That's what it's like. That's what it was like." But I'm ready. As I sit here in joggers and a hoodie, I am ready to have a reason, and I know some folks dress up every day and it's part of their self-care. I absolutely appreciate that. If that is your self-care, you self-care. You care for self. Absolutely. And I have found myself starting to lean more into doing my makeup, which I had stopped for a while. It was like, "Well, there's no point." But recently, I'm like, "Okay. I'm going to start doing this again." That's more for me than for anybody else. But you're right, it's like looking back on those pictures, and I have cute outfits. I'm doing these things. Now it's just every picture from the past year, my hair's kind of dirty. Also, it's half one color, half the other. It's really long. It needs definitely to be cut.

Kelly (06:14):
When this pandemic started, my hair was blonde. My hair is very brown now.

Rhian (06:18):
Yeah. My hair was very vibrant red, and now it is dark, dark strawberry blonde and orange.

Kelly (06:33):
I think we can kind of just summarize this in the sense that I think there's a lot that we're all looking forward to doing, and I'm really excited that the vaccine rollout is progressing.

Rhian (06:44):

Kelly (06:44):
Definitely a little faster in some countries or states than others. Go Georgia for being literally last on the list.

Rhian (06:53):
I'm not laughing at the fate of Georgians. I'm sorry. It was the way you said it. Yeah.

Kelly (07:01):
Let me just put it this way, there's a reason why we decided to talk about all the things that frustrate us about eCommerce because I'm just generally angry right now, and I need something happy in my life.

Rhian (07:17):
Yay. If that makes you happy, which is us...

Kelly (07:21):

Rhian (07:22):
Yeah. That's okay. It's all about like I was saying about self-care. If dressing up every day and wearing heels in your house every day or whatever makes you happy, do the thing that makes you happy. If complaining on a podcast about the things that ruin eCommerce sites make you happy, do that too. Who's decides how we feel our feelings?

Kelly (07:51):
That's right. That's right. Sometimes I just want to sit and be angry or sit and be sad.

Rhian (07:56):
It's good to feel your feelings.

Kelly (07:58):

Rhian (07:59):
You're the one with the psych background. Me over here, I'm... It's good to feel your feelings. That's good.

Kelly (08:05):
It's really interesting being a trained therapist and seeing a therapist because we'll get into these conversations, and she'll start explaining some kind of topic. She's like, "Wait, you already know this." It's still figuring out that dynamic. It's good. It's good.

Rhian (08:27):
I'm glad that you found someone awesome though. For those of you listening, if you're able to and if you need, which I would argue all of us at some point need to speak to a therapist, go search for mental health support.

Kelly (08:45):
Yes. All right. Why don't we start digging into what really grinds my gears.

Rhian (08:50):
Yes. Is this therapeutic?

Kelly (08:53):

Rhian (08:55):
See, self-care out loud. Let's go.

Kelly (08:58):
Exactly. All right. What really grinds your gears?

Rhian (09:03):
I have a lot.

Kelly (09:07):
Do you want a 24 hour long podcast?

Rhian (09:10):
Yeah, as Gavin Ballard once famously noted or at least it stuck in my brain, "How long is a piece of string?" Or as Kelly, you point out to be frequently, the limit does not exist.

Kelly (09:25):

Rhian (09:26):
But in this context, I suppose there is a limit to how long we can talk about it on a podcast where people will keep us [crosstalk 00:09:34]-

Kelly (09:33):
Next time.

Rhian (09:35):
Okay. This is my number one pet peeve slash grind gears slash hill I will die on right now. The quote, "Site speed doesn't matter because Gymshark, Movement, Nike," blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Their site speed is slow. So it doesn't matter for everybody. No, no, no, no. That's not how it works. The reason why it doesn't matter very much for them is because they have so much brand name recognition that Google will treat them differently, and they will rank more because more people search exactly for those terms.

Kelly (10:18):
When you already have millions of customers...

Rhian (10:22):
This is comparing apples to oranges. And if Gymshark is the apple, most small businesses right now are oranges. And it's okay because I love an orange juice. You know what I'm saying? But it's just really important that you care about your site speed. And the other reason why, and we're going to do a whole episode about this, is because Google is rolling out something called Core Web Vitals in May. It is coming. It is happening. Period. Full stop.

Kelly (10:54):
To be continued.

Rhian (10:55):
Oh my gosh. Kelly just wanted to get this off to a bang. Yes, what are you thoughts on this?

Kelly (11:03):
No, it's absolutely right. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the site speed report on Shopify and using Google age speed insights in general just because it's looking at an aggregate of businesses, and it's not taking a lot of the unique aspects of your website and your company into this calculation. And as a result, they tend to trend very low. I published an updated theme for a client last week, and the Shopify page speed scored theme 10.

Rhian (11:48):
Oh, that's nice and fast.

Kelly (11:51):
Google Lighthouse scored the website... Actually what do you think it scored it? What do you think Lighthouse came in at for the site speed? And this is desktop. I haven't tested mobile yet.

Rhian (12:02):
Who's to say? Did you test it in an Incognito or did you test it in...

Kelly (12:05):
Total guess. No nothing. Brand new user.

Rhian (12:10):
Oh, god. Who's to say? Anywhere between five and 50.

Kelly (12:15):

Rhian (12:16):

Kelly (12:18):

Rhian (12:19):
What is the logic?

Kelly (12:21):
It was less than two second page speed load time. It's like a dream user experience in terms of browsing, navigating from page to page to page on the site, and yet it scored a 10 within Shopify. I'm actually going to pull it back up again to see if it's been updated since just because I think it's an average over time and maybe it's gone up a little bit.

Rhian (12:45):
Well, (A) I'm glad to hear that you were able to bring it up really fast. For a eCommerce store, 90 is really high.

Kelly (12:51):
I was shocked. Oh, we moved up. We're now at 11.

Rhian (12:55):
Woo! Incremental changes is successes. We celebrate them all here at Commerce Tea.

Kelly (13:03):
But here's the thing, it says no apps were installed or uninstalled this day, but other factors like theme changes or added media can also have an impact on your store. It's interesting that they don't count a theme change as an event.

Rhian (13:14):

Kelly (13:15):
Because that's a pretty big event if you ask me.

Rhian (13:21):
That's a whole other podcast episode where we can talk about the things that fire during certain events because I have feelings on that as well for a lot of reasons. I will say something though as to your point regarding Shopify's serving you one piece of data, Lighthouse is serving you another piece of data. And that's no longer where we should be looking. We should be looking-

Kelly (13:46):
Where should we be looking?

Rhian (13:48):
We should be looking in our Google Search Console, which you've definitely submitted your site map in. Because now in Google Search Console, there's a core web vitals section. So that's relatively new though. I want to say that's the last... It's March. The last three months. I don't know when it came out exactly. I believe it pushed after 2021 became the year. So sometime in there.

Kelly (14:19):
I actually this site that I updated a theme, it was because the business rebranded. So I went in and resubmitted the site map because new name and everything. I'm curious what it says for... Wow. It's Search Console. It used to be Google WebMaster Tool. That's what my brain always goes to.

Rhian (14:41):
Well, it doesn't hurt or it doesn't help that Google also... I mean, if you want to talk about things that grind your gears. Google's branding is not consistent. It's still Google WebMaster Log. But it's really Google Search Console. I don't know. I also really don't like Google Analytics new interface, but we're not talking about that today.

Kelly (15:03):
Oh, boy. You know what really grinds me gears? The new Google Analytics user interface. Okay, we don't actually talk about it. But I just wanted to mention it. Why?

Rhian (15:14):
Why? I changed everything to advanced mode, and it seems to have helped me a little bit.

Kelly (15:20):
Okay. That's good. I just don't understand it.

Kelly (15:27):
Okay. Are you ready for what really grinds my gears?

Rhian (15:32):

Kelly (15:33):
And I've mentioned this before on the podcast. Sarcastic no thanks messages. Like on a pop-up, which we'll be getting to momentarily, I don't want to sign up for your email list. So I'm just going to close it out, but no, I can't just click out of it. I can't just click the X in the corner because you got rid of the X in the corner. No, I have to be like, "No, thanks. I don't like saving money."

Rhian (15:59):
It is the worst. I loathe most growth hacking techniques. Let me be very transparent. That maybe my absolute least favorite.

Kelly (16:12):
Oh, totally. Second least favorite is when you unsubscribe from a newsletter, and it's like no text, no calls. We're breaking up. Or it's like sad face and the crying puppy. Yeah.

Rhian (16:26):
And you're like, "Yeah, I definitely want to unsubscribe now."

Kelly (16:29):
Yes. Thank you for helping me make this decision.

Rhian (16:36):
Right. What's the point of being glib I think is really what it comes down to. Even if it's really on brand, there's some brands and their brand voice that that wouldn't surprise me on that it feels more authentic on, such as Chubbies, which all of the copy is really tongue and cheek.

Rhian (17:02):
Also, is it Pit Viper? We can't read their product descriptions on our show. Yeah. Pit Viper sunglasses. If they had it and if Cubbies had it, I'd be irritated as well, but I'd be like, "At least it fits the vibe of the brand." It's when it's like a jewelry company, you're like, "Why would you do this? No. Stop. Timeout."

Kelly (17:30):
Yeah. So that was one I wanted to get off my chest early on, but I think we can easily transition into the next one, which is just... You know what, Rhian, you take this one.

Rhian (17:43):
I just really don't like pop-ups, everybody. I hate every part of them. Not only do I dislike pop-ups, I especially dislike them if they're served immediately, especially dislike that when they're served immediately on mobile and they're wall-to-wall pop-ups. And then you can't find the exit out. You know who also does them like this? Google. It's not just my feelings. It's Google. If you want to get found in Google, cool. They index mobile first. Why do you have this? It doesn't make sense. Yeah, sure, you can capture emails, but give it a second.

Rhian (18:18):
Kelly and I both talk about it's like if I was to talk into Nordstrom pre-pandemic or post-pandemic, whenever, and if someone was to stop me with a giant sign that says, "You can go no further until you give me your contact information," I am living. I'm like, "No, bye. This sucks." Think about it like that.

Rhian (18:36):
But wait, there's more. What makes the situation even worse is when there's multiple pop-ups popping up at one time.

Kelly (18:48):
I'm not going to give away our next one. But here's a pop-up, just sign up for emails. Oh, also, have you considered signing up for our text as well? Also, hey, I'm just going to pop up the chat be like, "Hey, do you need any help?"

Rhian (18:59):
Y'all can't see me right now. I'm literally grabbing my head because that's how this makes me feel inside of my heart. This is no disrespect to people who are using pop-ups or pop-up apps or anything. There is a time and a place for a pop-up. There's a way to do it that falls within Google's guidelines. There's a way to do it that doesn't impact customers. If you have a pop-up right now, go into Google Analytics, even though like I said, I don't really love the new interface. Go into Google Analytics and see how many people churn on your homepage. If that number is high, take away your pop-up and see what happens.

Kelly (19:38):
And I know you don't want to lose newsletter sign-ups. Again, there are ways that you can add in a pop-up that's not just like in your face immediately, give me your email.

Rhian (19:51):
Yes. Yeah. Or you know another type of pop-up that I really, really, really, really don't like?

Kelly (19:57):

Rhian (19:58):
The pop-ups that are like, "Hey, if you sign up for X, you'll get 15% off. If you follow our Twitter..." You know those pop-ups?

Kelly (20:07):

Rhian (20:09):
I don't like those for a couple of reasons. One is I think it sets you up to potentially be a discounted brand because then people I think are always going to search. And maybe there's psychology behind that that I just don't understand. Really the moral of the story is just think about when you pop things up because right now I'd say most stores I go to and I'm just like, "Ah." Literally, that's what I think.

Kelly (20:38):
I think what bothers me the most about it is that they actually do to a level work on getting you newsletter signups. Spin the wheel pop-ups for example. I hate them. Cannot stand them. And there's no particular reason why I can't stand them. I just hate seeing them. I just hate that they exist in general.

Rhian (21:03):
Oh, I have a particular reason.

Kelly (21:05):
They're really good at getting people to sign up for your mailing list. They might be like discount customers, but you could turn one of those customers into a lifetime customer as well. What's there to say except the fact that I just don't like them.

Rhian (21:22):
Yeah. (A) They don't create... I don't have an exact number on this. But the amount of qualified leads you get through that spin the wheel is relatively low. And then also the way most of those pop-ups work, most, not all. I can't speak. I haven't tested them all. It slows your site down significantly.

Kelly (21:46):

Rhian (21:47):
It just does. Oh my gosh. Next. What are we talking about next? Oh, we're talking about something very similar. Kelly, why don't you...

Kelly (21:57):
One of the ones that I didn't want to give an example of earlier, but FOMO apps. The fear of mission out, the thing that pops up in the corner of your screen that says, "So-and-so from," or, "X person from Y city bought Z item 20 minutes ago."

Rhian (22:13):
Isn't it just also mostly BS?

Kelly (22:16):
Yeah. There are literally apps got removed from the Shopify app store because they were fabricating all of the data.

Rhian (22:22):
Yeah. Maybe Kelly and I are so... We know how the sausage is made when it comes to stuff like that. So we're like, "Oh, no." But at the same time, the only time FOMO really works for me, really works for me is not the model pop-up ones. I always use the [Everlyn 00:22:44] as the best example. When they're like, "We have three left of this in your size," they mean that they have three left of it in your size. And I know because I've played chicken where I put something in my cart, and then come back 15 minutes later, and then it's gone.

Rhian (22:58):
So I think if it's genuine and it's on your product description page, there's a use case there. But the use case is not these little pop-ups that come in the corner that are like... Yeah, like you're saying, Bob from Florida just bought three of these.

Kelly (23:16):

Rhian (23:17):
They're kind of the worst.

Kelly (23:21):
If you're a client and you ask me whether I think you should have that on your site, it is a resounding no.

Rhian (23:28):

Kelly (23:29):
I will very quickly answer that question. I'll tell you why. Also the fact that I just generally don't lie them. It is something that I feel like they're not genuine. I feel like it's a dark pattern. I feel like it's a distraction. I feel like it's unnecessary code that you have to load on your site to pull that in. So many reasons why I'm just like don't do it. Don't do it.

Rhian (23:57):
Kelly, can you explain what a dark pattern is?

Kelly (24:00):
Yes. So a dark pattern is any action that's taken on your website that is almost like creating some kind of sense of like guilt or a negative feeling in general to convince you to do something. The example of, "No thanks, I don't want to save any money," that's a dark pattern as well. Or another example of a dark pattern is making it difficult for you to do something on the site. Let's say you want to unsubscribe from a certain news outlet, and they require you to call in to unsubscribe, and you have to go through a really difficult dialing sequence to actually reach a real person. And then the real person spends the next 30 minutes doing some kind of retention flow of just trying to keep you in there. Any kind of not being able to immediately unsubscribe from a subscription just in general is a dark pattern as well and something I strongly recommend against doing.

Kelly (25:03):
I believe in the state of California, you have to require a link to unsubscribe.

Rhian (25:08):
You do. But a lot of people still don't.

Kelly (25:13):

Rhian (25:14):
When I have to email you, when you're like, "Oh no, you have to actually email this," or you know when you're trying to unsubscribe from something and there's a pop-up. It's like, "Are you sure?" And you're like, "Yes." And then there's another pop-up, it's like, "But we'll give you 20% off. Are you still sure?" And you're like, "Yes." And then there's another one. You're like, "Oh my god."

Kelly (25:32):
Look at all the things you're going to be missing out on. Audible's really bad about this.

Rhian (25:36):

Kelly (25:38):

Rhian (25:39):
Here that, Bezos.

Kelly (25:40):
Oh, you want to hear all the things that Amazon's bad about. Coming up next week...

Kelly (25:49):
Okay. So these next few we're going to be talking about are all about email because there are a lot of things that grind our gears when it comes to email marketing and just not getting it right. The first one is getting unpersonalized marketing emails. There are so many opportunities to capture preferential information from your customers when opting them into the newsletter when they're signing up. The other day my husband, he's checking his email, and he's like, "Hey Kelly, I got one of your emails." And I'm like, "What?" He's like, "Yeah, it's from Banana Republic. They have all these new women's shirts." It's like to his email address. He doesn't need that. These are preferences that you can capture upfront so you're not wasting money and time on emailing the wrong customer. I'm not going to go to the website when I receive email about buying ties because I have no intention of buying ties or I don't need a tuxedo. I don't know. I'm just going for random things.

Kelly (26:59):
Oh, oh. One of my most recent ones. I bought a car a couple...

Rhian (27:04):
Just a small purchase.

Kelly (27:06):
Yeah. I got an email both from the dealership I purchased from and from one of the sister partnerships in another city in Metro Atlanta, both acknowledging the fact that I literally just bought a car, and then saying, "Now's a great time to buy a new Mazda-3." I'm like, "I literally just bought one. What do you mean now's a good time? How many Mazda-3s do I need?"

Rhian (27:39):
It's always without fail that that happens. Buy anything significant or if you... This isn't necessarily eCommerce. When I refine my home, all of a sudden I see all these emails about refinancing my home. I'm like, "I just signed docs. You're wasting your time. I don't know. Why are you..." And they're calling you too. You're like, "What is happening? Leave me alone."

Kelly (28:00):
Mortgage insurance people.

Rhian (28:02):
Oh my gosh.

Kelly (28:04):
I can create a quilt out of the number of letters I got about opting into mortgage insurance.

Rhian (28:11):
It's the worst. The worst.

Kelly (28:16):
From personalized and marketing emails, long story short.

Rhian (28:18):
Yeah. And while you're personalizing your marketing emails, let's get onto our other thing regarding... Our other thing. The other thing about email marketing that grinds our gears, and that is getting too many emails. There is a limit.

Kelly (28:32):
Yes, and everyone has their own limit. And you see different brands approach this by literally letting you opt-in to how many emails you want to receive per week or what emails you want to be receiving. Or maybe you want to receive one per month. You just like new releases or updates to a certain product or something like that. But I don't need to get daily new release emails for everything that you have coming out. That's not what I want.

Kelly (28:59):
Clavio has a very, very handy feature called smart sending that you can enable on your flows and on your campaigns, which prevents people from receiving too many emails in a small period of time. Please use it.

Rhian (29:13):
Yes. Please do use it. I cannot tell you the amount of times I'm like, "Why are you emailing me so much?" And then I just unsubscribe.

Kelly (29:24):
Oh yeah. I just get annoyed.

Rhian (29:27):
Yeah, I just get irritated, and these are brands that I like that I buy from. And I'm like, "It's cool. I'll check out their website. I don't need emails to update me on what's going on because I'm getting five a day." Why would you send me five emails a day if you're an apparel company? I have not changed my mind since the morning. Unless it's like some phenomenal new release that you're dropping, you're not dropping new product every day.

Kelly (29:53):
Boutiques tend to have actually daily new arrivals or at least like potentially two or three times a week. But there's no reason to send multiple emails per day. No reason.

Rhian (30:06):
It's the worst.

Kelly (30:08):
One of the things that we've talked about in the past on the podcast as well is SMS marketing. SMS is actually a really, really great opportunity to engage with your customers on a more personal level. Like actually have conversations with them. However, brands that use SMS as if it's just another form of email marketing. This is another thing that grinds my gears.

Rhian (30:31):

Kelly (30:32):
They are two completely different platforms. They are two completely different means of marketing with your customers, and you need to communicate with them differently.

Rhian (30:40):
Absolutely. I also feel like people should have to opt into it-

Kelly (30:46):
Oh, without a doubt. It's literally illegal to be sending marketing texts to people when they [crosstalk 00:30:51]-

Rhian (30:52):
All the time.

Kelly (30:53):
Yeah, I got one the other day from a client from three years ago saying... What did the text say? I'm going to pull it up right now.

Rhian (31:03):
Speaking of this or in the same vein as this, if I participate in something, this isn't really commerce. But hey, if this is Festivus but in March. Let's just go. I loathe when I give my email for one thing and then it gets used for a newsletter or for something totally different. It's like I did not consent to this. I did not double opt-in. I did not opt-in to your marketing.

Kelly (31:28):
Yeah. Are you talking like placing an order or just like generally?

Rhian (31:31):
I'm just talking generally.

Kelly (31:32):
Oh. [inaudible 00:31:33] the one like people who automatically subscribe you to their mailing list when you've placed an order or when you started the checkout flow. Don't do that. I do not want your emails.

Kelly (31:46):
I pulled up the text. It is a gif that says, "Some extra sunshine for you. Extra 15% off. Use this code at checkout." The text says, "Hi, Kelly. Hope this text brings you some cheer. 15% off with code," the code. And then the link. I was like, "I never once gave you my phone number. Never once gave you my phone number."

Rhian (32:17):

Kelly (32:18):
Where did you get it?

Rhian (32:20):
That's not good.

Kelly (32:22):
So I have to imagine that they had some really high unsubscribe rates because they're abusing the system.

Rhian (32:30):
And it's illegal. But we're not lawyers. But talk to one.

Kelly (32:33):
You should talk to one and also read up on reality of sending texts. Also, emails.

Rhian (32:40):
And emails.

Kelly (32:41):
Spam GDPR. What was the CCPA?

Rhian (32:47):
CCPA. Yep. [crosstalk 00:32:48] I think that's right.

Kelly (32:48):
CCPA. Okay.

Rhian (32:51):
There's a lot of rules.

Kelly (32:52):
There are a lot of rules for a reason.

Rhian (32:54):
And they get enforced. You do not want to play chicken with GDPR. You will lose.

Kelly (33:02):
You don't want to be the example of what happens when you are not complying with GDPR regulations.

Rhian (33:08):
No. No, you do not. Oh, oh, no. Okay, next. Next.

Kelly (33:13):
All right. This one's you.

Rhian (33:15):
I loathe when you put a product in your cart and it forces you into the cart and one of two things happen. One, there's no way to keep shopping. Why are you not letting me continue shopping? The only way that makes sense is if you're limiting your sale to one product and you only have one product. [crosstalk 00:33:38]

Kelly (33:37):
Yeah. Or it's a very specific checkout. Yeah, exactly.

Rhian (33:42):
That is your use case. There's a singular use case for that. That is it.

Kelly (33:46):
Very few stores actually apply here.

Rhian (33:51):
Or if you let me keep shopping but then you drop me or you direct me back to the homepage of your store. That would be like if I was... We're going to use a Nordstrom example again. I worked there once. It would be like if I'm over in shoes, and I'm like, "Oh, I like these shoes, and I'm going to get them." I give them to the shoe consultant, and then they're like, "Okay. Do you want to keep shopping?" And I say, "Yes." And then I magically get picked up and put back in the beginning of the store. God forbid I might get served a pop-up again. My gosh.

Kelly (34:37):
You're so right.

Rhian (34:38):
It's a level of chaos. I can't. My favorite thing, and Kurt actually... Kurt from Unofficial Shopify Podcast deposited this on Twitter earlier this week. How should this be handled? And I said, I think this is verbatim, but it might not be. That you should be directed to the collection from whence the product came, as in the product is in your cart. That is my preferred way of doing things.

Kelly (35:06):
Yeah, I see a lot of people defaulting to all collections, like literally all of your products.

Rhian (35:13):
Oh, that's a nightmare.

Kelly (35:14):
The homepage or literally... I'm debating if I should tell this story. All right. An individual who asked that continue shopping button to literally just take you back to the page you were viewing before.

Rhian (35:28):
Oh yeah. Why? [crosstalk 00:35:32]

Kelly (35:32):
Why do I need to see it again?

Rhian (35:34):
Nightmare fuel.

Kelly (35:36):
So yeah. Be smart with where you're directing your customers, and this includes if your cart is empty, you need a continue shopping link or literally start shopping link so people shop somewhere. And they're generally not going to start shopping on the homepage.

Rhian (35:55):
Generally, they don't get to your site from the homepage if they're Googling because that way they come through a product page.

Kelly (36:02):
Yeah. Yeah.

Rhian (36:04):

Kelly (36:05):
Okay. Let's do one more.

Rhian (36:09):
Okay. Why not?

Kelly (36:11):
So I dislike visiting a website that has... How should I phrase this? They have either a terrible font that's unreadable, the font size is too small, the contrast is completely off so it's difficult to read, or they're using so many fonts on their side. You have literally no idea what their actual brand identity is.

Rhian (36:39):
Oh, just pick one.

Kelly (36:41):
Or two.

Rhian (36:42):
Or two. Two works if they're complimentary to one another.

Kelly (36:46):

Rhian (36:47):
Also, just don't use... I don't know why I'm like tiptoeing around this one. I've just been very like just frantic. Unless there is like a true brand... If you can really look me in the face and say, "There's reason I'm using bleeding cowboy." So if you don't know what bleeding cowboy is, it's like the twilight font.

Kelly (37:14):
Yes. Just you have to Google. Actually, should we include it in our show notes?

Rhian (37:20):
Include it in our show notes.

Kelly (37:24):
Yes. Oh man.

Rhian (37:24):
Bleeding cowboy gives me nightmares. I've seen it everywhere. I've seen it on web. I've seen it in person at restaurants. I'm like, "This is the brand identity that you've chosen? Why?"

Kelly (37:36):

Rhian (37:36):
There's so many beautiful fonts. I mean, literally.

Kelly (37:40):
Yeah, lots of free fonts from Google Fonts. Also, Shopify has their own font library you can pull from. Lots of really great fonts on there. Personal preference, don't use Railway. I see Railway completely overused on websites. So you can always tell when a site is using Railway because the letter W. In the middle, it crosses over so it creates a little X where the two Vs meet. [crosstalk 00:38:14]

Rhian (38:13):
I can't. I can't.

Kelly (38:19):
I'm so tired of seeing Railway. Again, this is very personal preference about a font.

Rhian (38:23):
Is it personal though? Because it's also a professionalism. No shade to everybody as I'm about to say another font that I really dislike, a lot of wellness brands and other brands as well, a lot of wellness brands us papyrus.

Kelly (38:38):

Rhian (38:39):
I don't know. I don't know the answer to this. It's not very accessible as a font. It's quite difficult to read. It's just everywhere. No. Stop.

Kelly (38:59):
I'm [crosstalk 00:38:59] who decided by the way I'm going to include some random links in the show notes about what we've discussed, including SMS and MMS marketing regulations thanks to Postscript for having that page because I would not be able to explain those myself. I'm going to link to Clavio smart sending as well so you can read about that. I link to the bleeding cowboy fonts so you can just enjoy that experience with us.

Rhian (39:27):

Kelly (39:28):
Anything else? I don't know if there's anything else I really need to link to. Google Search Console. That's a good one, right?

Rhian (39:33):
Oh yes. And if you haven't submitted your site map, make sure that you do. If you don't have Google Search Console, today's your day. Please, please, please, please.

Kelly (39:42):
Yes, and everyone on Shopify, you already have a site map. It is your [crosstalk 00:39:50] site map. Yeah. Also, I'll link to submitting your site map from Google or not from Google, from Shopify because [crosstalk 00:39:57]-

Rhian (39:57):
Help [inaudible 00:39:58].

Kelly (39:58):

Rhian (39:59):
And also what's great about Shopify is site map is that it's dynamic and it changes. So you don't have to go back through unless there's been some major change and resubmit it. The only time you have to do that is if there's something really, really, really, really, really, really, really big. Like a rebrand, like what you were talking about.

Kelly (40:19):
Like a rebrand. Exactly. Also, cool feature that I did not realize was in Google Search Console was change of address. So I was able to change from the old domain to the new domain through that change of address. So Google's like, "Hey, look at this new domain. Same site, love it. New domain."

Rhian (40:38):
Oh, and as much as I loathe Google Analytics new interface, please make sure it's connected with Google Search Console. This is not the content we promised you at the beginning of the episode, but this is where we're at because we're talking... Just please do it. Just do it.

Kelly (40:54):
You know what, we're making it useful, right?

Rhian (40:56):
Yeah. There's any takeaways here, don't do the things that really grind our gears. Or at least if you're doing them, consider if you're doing them for the reasons that make sense and that you have a ROI on or if you're just doing them because you read about it or you saw it because there's so much misinformation when it comes to commerce on the internet. So much.

Kelly (41:18):
That's a fact. All right. On that note, you want to do some store shout outs?

Rhian (41:26):
Yes. I do. My store of the week is Manta Sleep. I actually just bought two new sleep masks from them. What I really love about Manta Sleep, I've been using them for a while, is they have these little cup do-dads. I've also been using the word do-dad a lot. That go over your eyes, but it doesn't touch your eyelashes or anything.

Kelly (41:48):

Rhian (41:49):
Yeah. But it totally blocks the room out. So this might be something if you work a nighttime shift and you have to sleep during the day, and it's really hard to totally sleep in complete darkness. And you require complete darkness to sleep like I do. It's a really great product. Their website's easy to checkout on. They have all the accelerated checkout options, which I love.

Kelly (42:15):
They also have a really great comparison page because I was just like, "I don't know what mask I would buy."

Rhian (42:22):
And I just realized this yesterday because I just had the regular sleep mask. So those cups that I was talking about on your eyes, you can change them. So let's say you have the regular one but you want to zhoosh your life up so you want to get the silk one. You don't have to buy the entire silk mask. You can just buy the silk eye cups.

Kelly (42:38):
Oh. That's cool.

Rhian (42:40):
I think it's really cool, and they Velcro off.

Kelly (42:43):
Huh. I think this original one would be... Or no, I think I need a slim mask because I'm a side sleeper.

Rhian (42:50):
I just love them.

Kelly (42:52):
[inaudible 00:42:52] sleeper actually.

Rhian (42:53):
I bought the weighted one just to see what would happen, and then I bought the silk one because I like silky things. There's no real profound reason here.

Kelly (43:05):
They did not prompt me the pop-up until I moved my cursor off of the page, which means it's an exit intent pop-up, and it just has big text, "Want 10% off your order?" And the options are yes and no.

Rhian (43:17):

Kelly (43:19):
Love it. Love it.

Rhian (43:20):
Love it, Manta. What about you, Kelly?

Kelly (43:23):
My store's not actually a Shopify store this week, but it is Coffee Collective. It is I have a coffee subscription from them because there's a lot of really great coffees state side, I know. But I really like this coffee from Denmark. So I get three bags of coffee every month from them. I had some issues with the delivery originally because it was during ship-ageddon, and their customer support was just phenomenal. Just staying on top of it, letting me know every time. They asked me for updates because it was an overseas shipment that didn't necessarily have detailed tracking on it. So they were checking in with me to see if it had arrived yet. Yeah, I mean, it's really good coffee too. So I'm a fan.

Rhian (44:12):
Yay! Coffee. How many cups of coffee can you drink in a day? Only one way to find out.

Kelly (44:21):
I'm currently one or two cups of coffee a day.

Rhian (44:24):
Yeah, same because otherwise my stress level, and I think I've talked about this before. I'm just a high strung person. That's just my level of existence. And if I drink too much coffee, (A) it makes me want to throw up, and (B) I get shaky, and (C) I get really, really anxious and a little bit mad. I just get angry for no reason.

Kelly (44:51):
We know these things.

Rhian (44:52):
Yeah. And the worst is when I travel, so Kelly keeps this in mind. Because you're traveling, and you're like, "Oh, let's try this awesome coffee." Then you find another cool coffee shop. So you're like, "I'll try this one too." And then you've drank five coffees in one day because you're trying all these coffee shops when you're traveling, which is totally reasonable, and then nothing good happens.

Kelly (45:11):
Nothing. Good.

Rhian (45:12):
That's when you're supposed to use the button-y thing.

Kelly (45:16):
I'm so proud of myself. I hit the right button. They're not labeled, so that was a good... I could've very much gotten like nothing good happens. Yay!

Rhian (45:30):

Kelly (45:33):
Amazing. All right. So thank you so much for tuning in and hanging out with us while we discuss all the things that grind our gears. Thanks again to our sponsors for supporting this episode. We do have a YouTube channel. I'm going to leave it at that. You can visit it at If you like our podcast, please leave us a review in Apple Podcasts. Reviews make us happy and we don't get enough reviews.

Rhian (46:00):
It's true.

Kelly (46:01):
Not to like dark pattern this, but I'm like doing a little sad face or something. I don't know. You can subscribe to Commerce Tea on your favorite podcasting service. We post new episodes every Tuesday. So grab your mug and join us then. We'll see you next week.

Rhian (46:14):
Bye bye.

Rhian (46:14):
ClockedIn is a time clock for Shopify. With ClockedIn, your team members can easily clock in and out of their shifts from anywhere. You can manage your team's hours as they work remotely with an intuitive interphase that can be used from desktop, tablet, or mobile. Check it out at or on the Shopify app store.

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