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How To Scale Ecommerce Growth With SMS Marketing – Lisa Popovici

In this episode, we talk to Lisa Popovici, Co-founder and COO of Cartloop. Lisa gave her best advice on abandoned cart recovery strategy and the value of real human interactions for ecommerce brands.

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About this episode:

In this episode of The Ecommerce Insights Show, we sit down with Lisa Popovici. Lisa is a Med School graduate turned to tech and the Co-founder of Cartloop, a conversational SMS marketing app for ecommerce brands. We talk about the benefits of SMS marketing as a long term investment to improve customer experiences.

In this episode, you’ll learn about:

  • The business value of real-time human interaction for a better customer experience
  • The power of personalized cart recovery
  • Cartloop as a relationship management tool for brands
  • Treating abandoned carts as an opportunity to understand shopper’s intent
  • Cartloop client success stories and case studies
  • Qualities of a great customer relationship agents and how to find one

So if you are interested in learning more about driving revenue using real-time customer support for your brand with limited budget, then this episode is for you.

Learn more about Lisa and her resources here:

Want to be a guest on our show? Have feedback or ideas for how we can improve? Send your thoughts over to podcast@thegood.com. We’ll be keeping an eye on that inbox. 🙂

The Ecommerce Insights Show is brought to you by The Good, a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) consultancy specializing in helping ecommerce businesses accelerate their growth through better research, testing, and design. Learn more about our team, our work, and our services at www.thegood.com.

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] James Sowers: So here’s the question. How can you, Congress leaders make sure that they are producing a great product, providing a world-class customer experience responsibly managing the finances and still reserve time, energy and resources for marketing their products. My name is James Sauers, and you’re listening to the e-commerce insight show.

[00:00:16] The podcast that gives you a specific, actionable advice for growing your e-commerce business. Every Monday, you’ll get a conversion rate optimization tactic that you can implement quickly to make your business 1% better. Every single. Every Thursday, we sit down with industry experts to go deep on a specific aspect of running a successful e-commerce business.

[00:00:34] It’s the perfect blend of learning and application, which means that you maximize the value of every single minute you spend with us. We’re just as committed to growing your business as you are. So if you’re looking for a partner to help you crush your revenue goals, you’ve come to the right place, roll up your sleeves and grab a notepad because it’s time to get to.

[00:00:52] Lisa welcome to the e-commerce insight show. Super excited to have you on the podcast today and learn about what you’re working on at cart loop. Maybe what you did before that a little bit, and what you see coming up in the future for e-commerce. So maybe before we get into the meat of the conversation, It helps you hear two or three sentences about who you are and what you’re working on.

[00:01:12] And what’s got you excited to fire up your laptop every day and get to, yeah.

[00:01:15] Lisa Popovici: Hi James. Thanks for the invite. I’m excited to be here. I’m uh, I’m Lisa I’m co-founder is Cartloop. We are a conversational text marketing platform that helps e-commerce brands drive extra revenue and recover more abandoned. By texting with choppers in real time.

[00:01:33] So we have a team of real people that interact with customers through text messages, uh, in real time. So it’s the human to human interaction. And I like to describe Cartloop as both your sales and support team and just one. And a little bit about myself. I previously started and graduated from med school.

[00:01:52] So my background is very non-stereotypical and as her desk, I basically turned three commerce and then to tech. So while I was studying medicine, I started to e-commerce brands as a side. I was learning everything on my own and with the help of my co-founder. And then in 2018, I sold my last friend and decided to start a fast company with my co-founder.

[00:02:18] And I think like, to answer your question, what gets me excited every morning? I think the fact that we’re still in early stage startup gets me excited every day, because things are pretty dynamic. Yeah. You just cannot get bored. And especially when we’re launching new products or new members are joining the team, which is currently happening and gets Cartloop.

[00:02:41] And also this month, it’s pretty exciting for us as we’re allowing a bunch of very cool and requested.

[00:02:48] James Sowers: That’s awesome. Uh, I love to see products that have kind of that operational cadence of shipping features regularly, even if they’re smaller, because it’s always good as a custom. When you’re paying that monthly subscription to see the product get a little bit better every single month, maybe multiple times a month.

[00:03:03] So kudos to you. I know that’s not easy to do to constantly ship on time and make those improvements, but it sounds like you’ve got a great team helping you out there. You know, I’m curious, you mentioned that there’s a lot of momentum basically in the e-commerce space and I think. Kind of enjoying some of that.

[00:03:18] Some of that was forced by the COVID pandemic, of course, but I don’t think it’s going away at least not completely. And so we’ll continue to ride this wave and e-commerce will continue to grow. That’s part of what you said interests you in this space. What interests you specifically in like abandoned cart, recovery or SMS?

[00:03:34] So, because I know your previous product was an email marketing tool. If I’m not mistaken and you’ve also been on the brand side, so there’s gotta be a reason that you fell in love with recovering abandoned carts specifically. Yeah. Yeah,

[00:03:47] Lisa Popovici: that’s a good question. So part of how Cartloop was born was basically through our experience as brand owners, we were experiencing a lot of abandoned carts back in.

[00:03:59] I dunno, it was 2015. When we started, we were experiencing a lot of abandoned cars and we were very frustrated. We just couldn’t find the reason why people were abandoning. We were very, very surprised at how much revenue we were losing due to those abandoned carts. And a question kept circling back in our heads and, you know, Google Analytics things are caused drive, or just saying like, like a percentage part of the story.

[00:04:27] And we decided to actually start sexting our, our abandoned shoppers. Right. Back then there were, I’m not sure if there were any SMS tools. So what we did, we were gathering like manually gathering all the phone numbers from Shopify and that we use WhatsApp to actually manually test them, text them. And we were saying something like, Hey, Sarah, notice you left something in your cart.

[00:04:51] Any way I could help or how can I help you complete your order? Yeah. We got a very high reply rate and people are actually very appreciative because we were reaching out to them in a very friendly and personal way. And they actually told us, most of them told us, like, what was the reasons behind their abandoning?

[00:05:11] And then it got us thinking that traditional marketing ways were just not enough anymore. Sending only emails or one way marketing blast, or just relying on external marketing channels, such as paid advertising just made us actually miss out on capturing those real leads. So this is part of how Cartloop was born.

[00:05:33] And also what unique about Cartloop is that it’s that human to human interaction happening in real time. And the fact that we are not treating SMS as a traditional channel or a profit only channels. The way we see SMS marketing is as a long-term investment, that’s built the best customer experiences and also a long-term relationship.

[00:05:59] James Sowers: I think that’s really smart. I mean, you know, as a software founder now that every customer that churns is painful and so on the e-commerce brand side, every abandoned cart that you see come through Hertz, you’re like, why, why, what was wrong? Right. Like, why was I not good enough? Right. There’s something like that.

[00:06:15] And so abandoned cart recovery conceptually makes a lot of sense because obviously you want to capture as much of that value as you can. You want to serve as many customers as you can. Email alone might be highly effective, but if you’re only doing email, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table.

[00:06:30] And I think the way that you present it to the market where it’s not necessarily just a revenue channel, it’s a relationship building channel. It’s a lead nurturing channel, right? People don’t look at their customer support, help desk solution and say, how much money is this making? Right. They see it as a way to maintain relationships with our customers and uncover information that has impacts elsewhere in their business.

[00:06:54] Right. I think for the listeners, if you’re a brand owner, this is my opinion, but I would put cart loop in that same bucket where it’s really a relationship management tool. That’s human power that just happens to have kind of a sales and a conversion upside to it. Would you say that’s an accurate kind of perspective to have on the tool?

[00:07:12] Lisa Popovici: I actually like your approach to. Yeah, definitely.

[00:07:17] James Sowers: So what do you think that most brands get wrong about cart recovery? Maybe we’ve already talked about one example, which is like, if you’re only sending emails and that’s it, you’re probably not doing enough. You know, a lot of people are still in that stage where they’re trying to do it themselves.

[00:07:31] They might be on a limited budget. They have a very small team, whatever. And so they’re trying their best, but what are some of those common missteps that they’re making that maybe carte loop addresses or maybe they can address with other tools or other tactics?

[00:07:45] Lisa Popovici: I think the biggest mistake would be that brands don’t treat abandoned cart as an opportunity to understand their shoppers better.

[00:07:54] And to find out who their shoppers really are, what they need, what are their expectations and why they opted in for your emails or texts in the first place. So they just, you know, most mentioned, most brands want to see those carts being recovered as best as possible. And they most mostly push out promotions and discount codes with no intention of offering like personalized, real value.

[00:08:21] If one day they would recover all those abandoned cars, they will feel satisfied. They will feel happy, but then the next day, the abandonment rates would be the same or maybe even higher because they didn’t really find out what was the root cause of those abandoned carts. And that’s must be a sign that something is off.

[00:08:39] Something would need adjustments in their business, and something must be upsetting. Those shoppers that are continuing to abandon their carts and. The way, I see a bet on cars as an opportunity to reach out at that exact time to find out why they abandoned and simply just ask, how can I help? What seems to be the problem, or just like being there in a very friendly and human way, because if you act like a human, your shoppers will act the same.

[00:09:08] And yeah, I think this is, uh, the biggest problem that I see right

[00:09:12] James Sowers: now. I tend to agree with you. I mean, I’m an email marketing nerd. That’s where I like to be. That’s kind of one of my specialties. So sometimes I’ll abandon a cart just to see what their sequence looks like. Especially if it’s an established brand that a lot of people see.

[00:09:25] Be fans of, and you know, I’m surprised by how many, just take this. Right. I’m surprised about how many, just take this off the shelf template. And it’s like, okay, within five minutes I get a 10% discount or free shipping offer. And then within an hour, I get a reminder about that. Right. And then maybe one day later, I get something else.

[00:09:43] The most standard kind of cookie cutter experience. And to your point, it doesn’t get to the root of why I abandoned the cart. Now I’m an isolated case because I’m just curious, and I want to see their campaign, but some shoppers are bending in cart because of price or they’re concerned that something’s not going to fit them or they’re buying it for somebody else.

[00:10:01] And they don’t know if that person’s going to like it. Right. There are a hundred different reasons why somebody would have abandoned a cart. An email alone is not going to get you the answer to that question. Right. And I think that a human powered text messaging solution like cartloop offers a little bit of a different upside to it in that there is a real person talking to that customer.

[00:10:21] In the moment that they abandoned that cart, right within minutes, probably saying, Hey, what’s on your mind. Like what’s holding you back. How can I help? And I think the key here is that replicates the brick and mortar retail shopping experience that we’re so used to where it’s like you walk in and somebody says, good day, sir.

[00:10:37] Madam, like, how can I help you? Right. How, how can I help you find what you’re looking for? Answer any questions you might have. And that’s really hard to do online when somebody’s shopping experiences, self guided SMS. Pre-sales support abandoned cart recovery. That’s a great kind of situation to try to replicate some of that real-world experience.

[00:10:56] Absolutely

[00:10:57] Lisa Popovici: agree. And it’s very convenient for shoppers. I mean, they can answer at their own pace. They can get back to that conversation. And perhaps, I don’t know, six months of further down the way they can ask another question if they want to purchase something again, because they have that dedicated phone number allocated to that breadth.

[00:11:15] So they can’t even save it in their contract.

[00:11:21] James Sowers: That’s really convenient. So obviously you’re a fan of this platform, this channel, however you want to characterize it. Uh, I saw on your homepage, you’ve got a five X ROI guarantee. That’s a really strong stance to take for any tool. What makes you that confident in the value of your service that you’re going to deliver at least five X returns to your customers.

[00:11:41] And maybe this can be communicated through like a customer success story or a case study or something like that. Like what kind of results are brands seeing and why does that motivate you to kind of make this five X ROI guarantee? That’s a pretty strong statement.

[00:11:57] Lisa Popovici: One way texts, for example, so automated texts, which do not offer the possibility for shoppers to reply. So they are pretty much a missed opportunity to convert shoppers into brand enthusiasts and using tools that enable two-way communication and conversational campaigns. For example, such as clever tools, they are adding a whole new layer of personalization.

[00:12:20] I would say they open an entire world of possibilities. You can do interacts with quizzes surveys. You can just engage, nurture, and provide content free content, anything that you want within those conversational texts. If we look at some recently released benchmarks on SMS, I just recently read the latest benchmarks and the average conversion rate is 9.1%.

[00:12:47] So this is for automated estimates, marketing men, 4.1% conversion rates. So it’s kind of the average conversion rates for abandoned cart. Tech is 20%. So basically double. Twice as high as the automated texts. And also our average ROI is 25. The confidence that we’ve got, um, on our homepage was due to our merchants that were experiencing that results are seeing that those metrics in their dashboard.

[00:13:19] I can talk about some of our most successful, um, brands that includes Livo sclera snacks, China on biotic game. But if we take Livo for example, uh, we also have a case study published on our website for Rebo. We crafted a very personalized text that goes out after 30 minutes after the shopper abandones a cart.

[00:13:41] And it sounds something like this. Hey James, this is Emma from Liebow. I saw, I see we’re taking out our product. One of my personal favorites anyway, I could help. So we are just offering help, not being pushy. We don’t push any discount. We don’t push any sell. It’s a very casual, friendly human message. And they’ve got some ads are living with.

[00:14:01] And they have experienced. So this was in, um, 30 day time frame or 20 X ROI, 38% reply rate, which is pretty high for SMS. And they have collected just through the, through the checkouts point. They have collected over 30 new subscribers. And some of the other benefits were the fact that the team had to allocate like lethal to no additional efforts, uh, for providing this kind of support to their shoppers.

[00:14:31] They saw sales within 24 hours of installing Clara and their shoppers. Um, increased a lot due to Eastern support. And also there are a lot of first time visitors, first time buyers that were a bit hesitant because they didn’t know the brand. They didn’t know him to trust me. And being there, like having a person to actually provide us assistance and any kind of answer to any kind of question really helps with those hesitant first time buyers.

[00:15:02] I believe they saw a decreasing customer support tickets by 21%.

[00:15:09] James Sowers: That’s really impressive. So there are a lot of, kind of secondary benefits to launching something like this, which is reduce customer support volume. I definitely wanna get into that. I want to go back to the statistics you shared for just a second.

[00:15:21] So when you define conversion in that sense, so you said 9% for kind of the automated SMS marketing, but this two way kind of conversational SMS marketing and support has, I think 21 is the number you cited or somewhere around 20. So when you define conversion there. Is that an actual sale or is a conversion, a reply to the message is a conversion, an email sign up areas at some blend of these goals.

[00:15:46] Lisa Popovici: Yeah. So the way we ask for good sales is if that shopper who receives our texts uses the discount code provided by us, or click on the custom, you are. So these are the two ways that we attribute tell. So if he uses either the discount or the link, he will be basically that will be a recovered cart. So we will consider that as a sale.

[00:16:09] James Sowers: Okay. So they’re either claiming the discount code, which is definitely a sale, or they’re visiting the link in the message, which takes them back to their cart. I’m guessing, which is kind of a, a revisit, right? That’s a different type of marketing KPI, but it’s still valuable, right? To get someone back to your site to at least consider a purchase.

[00:16:26] So then, uh, related to the other information you shared, you shared a couple of company names for client success, stories or customer success stories. I’m curious. Are there any industries or product types that lend themselves more to this kind of abandoned cart recovery? Like I’m thinking, you know, something that needs to be fitted to a person, maybe like a custom suit or something you might have.

[00:16:50] Questions about that, that really having a person to talk to pre-sale can benefit. Uh, I don’t mean to steal your thunder. So are there any industries or products that you think are a better fit for a solution?

[00:17:01] Lisa Popovici: I honestly think that this works for any kind of niche. We have all kinds of niches from fashion to food and drink like beverages tools, gadgets, all kinds of niches.

[00:17:15] So, but of course, for example, if you have like a skincare brand, there will definitely be way more questions than if you have like one product. But I think it works for all kinds of. You know, if people have questions or at least they have issues like payment issues, technical issues. Some, some people don’t even know how to add the discount code in that scene, that box at the checkout.

[00:17:39] So if you just help them, it only takes like 30 seconds. They will actually go for day and complete their order. So sometimes it just takes like a, a small effort from your.

[00:17:51] James Sowers: Yeah, they just need a nudge right there on the fence. They’re really considering the purchase. And there’s just one thing standing in their way.

[00:17:56] If you can come in and remove that you’ve got yourself a sale makes a lot of sense to me. I’d like to ask a question about the staff. So this is human powered. Um, this isn’t kind of a, a chat bot, as I understand it, or any kind of artificial intelligence, there’s a real person talking to a real person.

[00:18:10] And so tell me about your staff. And I don’t want you to give away your secret sauce or anything like that, but like what makes them great at what they do? Right? Because I’m thinking either somebody who’s considering. Signing on with cart loop is going to want to ask that same question. I’m handing off basically sales and customer support to an outsource service.

[00:18:28] I want to make sure it’s high quality, but also if they’re not ready to do that yet, and they’re going to kind of roll this themselves and try to do it with the founder or the founding team, like what kind of personality traits or approaches to those conversations, make somebody great at communicating with customers this way.

[00:18:43] Right?

[00:18:48] Lisa Popovici: Quality, you have to have it to be empathetic, uh, and to be as human as possible. And don’t be afraid to show your personality. So this is what we, we tell our agents. We tell our, our members from the support team, don’t be afraid to show your personality, talk as if you are talking to your friends, but to circle back to your initial question, people, the people behind Cartloop.

[00:19:11] Extremely well-trained or some of them are actually at Amazon customer support reps and everyone loves Amazon support service, and they have years of Shopify experience and also customer support experience, and they know how to manage any kind of situation or in a human friendly, but still professional way before we start officially working with.

[00:19:35] An agent. We, we, we go through, um, two weeks of training and testing things out, showing different kinds of use cases that we’re tackling at Cartloop with all kinds of customers, because every single customer is different. So then definitely.

[00:19:54] James Sowers: So they’ve got a really strong background in customer support anyway, through big established brands like Amazon. So they’re familiar with, e-commerce familiar with helping customers out, finding that perfect fit. And then the key there, I guess, is to be empathetic and put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

[00:20:09] And, um, maybe there’s a little bit of patience in there too, right. Because you know your product inside of. If you’re doing support for your own product line. And somebody has a very basic question that could be frustrating, but remember, they’re coming at this from a blank slate. They, they’ve never known your brand.

[00:20:22] They’ve never known your product before. They might not even know your category or industry. So patience is probably the key, I would guess. So we touched on this a little bit earlier. There are some secondary and tertiary benefits to this, right? Like the direct benefits. Hey, somebody abandons a cart. They decide not to buy you, reach out to them within 30 minutes, you provide great support.

[00:20:39] They end up buying awesome. Right? We all want sales. Sales are great. What are some of the other use cases for what comes out of those conversations? Right? Like what can I learn in a conversation with a customer like that and apply elsewhere in my.

[00:20:52] Lisa Popovici: Yeah, that’s a great question. So the buyer, the best parts of having a real humans handle customer interaction is the fact that they can solve almost, I would say, 80 to 90% of the most common issues without having to involve the support team or the development team or the.

[00:21:11] And what our life agents do is tackle all kinds of use cases, such as provide assistance when shoppers have technical issues, family issues, product related information, uh, shipping and delivery questions. Product recommendations up, sell, cross, sell you name it. And I mean, these are use cases that are usually handled by the bread’s customer support team via email tickets, which can say even couple of days to reply to our two shoppers to actually get to reply.

[00:21:40] And for shoppers is also a huge benefit is extremely convenient. They get that personalized shopping assistant experience. They get a single point of contact. They get that cause consistent number to get to text at any time, they basically save a lot of time, which they would otherwise spend on before tickets or live chats.

[00:22:01] And they have that, you know, that inbox, anxiety that all of us have, but now it can be reduced if you’re actually talking through SMS and basically they get that real time instant support, which is, I would say very, very important. And for the merchants, if you, if you look from the merchant’s perspective, they get tons and tons of insights from those shoppers that are abandoning.

[00:22:25] They can see the main reasons why shoppers were abandoning their cars and they can basically improve their business according to those problem issues, whatever

[00:22:34] James Sowers: it might be makes a lot of sense. I mean, I think this probably has applications across the board. It’s going to reduce that customer support workload, and it’s going to help you build out your frequently asked questions or your help desk or whatever.

[00:22:45] But also, I bet you find some nice one-liners to pull over to the marketing team or put in your Facebook ads or, you know, you might find some ideas for new products, right. Where it’s like, Hey, I love this, but I’d love it. If it came in this color or it had a different scent or flavor or whatever, it’s like, you just take all those copy and paste them into your idea board, and then you take it to your next product development meeting and you’re off and running.

[00:23:08] So I think it’s. And I think what’s happening right now is especially let me phrase it this way. If we flash backward a few years when you’re still running your e-commerce brands on the side of going to med school, because you know, you’re crazy and you just don’t like to take time off now I’m kidding.

[00:23:23] But if you go back to those days, like you said, this was a problem for you, right? Like this is kind of a scratch your own itch type of situation. What was happening in those e-commerce businesses that made you say, like, I need to go find this or I’m going to build it right. Because it’s this painful, it’s this annoying it I’m leaving this much opportunity on that.

[00:23:43] Tell me what that felt like, because somebody out there is listening and they’re probably in that same situation. And they’re saying like, okay, this is an indicator that maybe I should start looking for a solution like this. It’s a great

[00:23:53] Lisa Popovici: question. Never thought of it this way, because I always wanted to go beyond just owning an e-commerce friends.

[00:24:01] I knew I wanted to build something way bigger. That would impact more people and help more people. So when I found out that when I find myself dealing with this problem, I’d be a bedroom. And then in class, I just thought that I started researching. Of course, I saw that a lot of people were dealing with the same problem and it’s, I think.

[00:24:21] It’s the most frequent problem. That’s my to deal with on a daily basis. And, and this is basically how it started, uh, you know, that first we wanted to tackle this problem, but it was, it was more like not relying on external marketing channels. That’s why we wanted to create an email marketing app. That was our initial idea.

[00:24:42] But. That’s base was way too competitive. We were first time founders. We’ve made a couple of mistakes and after trials and errors, uh, we decided to move to cloud. And we saw this gap in the, in the SMS space, which is adding that two month patch to SMS and keeping SMS as personal as it’s been so far, because we are using it every single day with the most intimate channel.

[00:25:09] So we want to keep it the same. Branson and their customers are interacting with each other. So that was basically my

[00:25:18] James Sowers: thinking. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And I think, I feel like it’s one of those things where people might feel like they’re already doing this, right. They’re like, Hey, I have an abandoned cart, email campaign.

[00:25:28] I’m already doing this. Or I’ve got a, one-way kind of. Broadcast SMS channel. I’m already marketing to people that way, but I think Cartloop is a little bit of a unique spin on it in terms of it’s like blending those two worlds. And so it’s probably less about like frustration with your current situation and just knowing, like there’s more opportunity out there.

[00:25:49] If you’re recovering 13% of abandoned carts. Now you might be able to double that with something like cart loop with kind of that personalized support.

[00:26:02] Pretty much. Yeah. Okay. So if somebody is out there today and they’re like, ah, I kind of want to do this myself. Like, is that something that’s even possible? Like, can I, as the founder, let’s say I’ve got two other team members just like I hired my wife and, uh, or whatever. And I’ve got a part-time marketer helping me.

[00:26:17] Like the three of us are willing to hop in here and do this kind of two way chat with somebody. Is there a way to kind of test drive the concept first and then I’m sure at some point they’ll realize that. Hey, this is taking way too much time. I can’t be texting people all day. I have other areas of the business to focus on.

[00:26:34] If I had a tour service to help me do this, that would save me a lot of time and energy and still get the results. So is there a way to kinda try it yourself before you buy it?

[00:26:46] Uh, either one, I mean, so basically I’m thinking like if somebody wanted to use tools that are out there or the tools they already have, or something like that to replicate the cart loop experience. So basically to provide human centered sales support to try it first. And then when they kind of run, they prove the concept that run short on time.

[00:27:07] They’re realizing they need to focus their attention elsewhere. Then they buy a cart loop to basically have that done for them. But let’s say that they’re skeptical of. You know this as another, yet another marketing channel for them. They want to try it themselves with in-house resources and then make a decision to sign all the cart loop.

[00:27:24] How would you recommend somebody kind of test drive it in that way?

[00:27:27] Lisa Popovici: Yeah, a couple of tools that offer that possibility of doing your own like one-to-one interaction, but you would have of course, to allocate your own support team resources, time by debt to actually providing that service and to be. I’m I’m very, I’m very curious.

[00:27:45] If any brand would allocate like 24, 7 of their times actually be there for all of the abandoned shoppers. It depends. I mean, it depends on your traffic. It depends on the size of your brand and the stage you’re in. But in terms of the building, like the service internally will be very difficult because.

[00:28:03] Need to have that, that technology behind and also the team of trained experts or trends, customer support reps behind. Yeah. So either, either use a tool that’s already existing, but you have to know that you have to put more effort than you think. Or, yeah, just try to like Cartloop, uh, for free. There’s also a pre-trial I mean, most to have free trials, so you can see like how they experienced what actually look like.

[00:28:31] And also we were thinking to include the possibility for my chance to actually be hands-on as quite a little bit as well. So they using their own support teams to engage with their own

[00:28:43] James Sowers: subscribers. Okay. So you can kind of supplement the cart loop staffing with. As you’re available. So it’s like, Hey, I’ve got a free hour.

[00:28:51] I’m the founder. I want to stay in touch with my customers. So I basically say I’m online. Start funneling a few conversations to me and I can, I can just hop in for an hour here and there to stay in touch with kind of the market. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. That’s really cool. It looks like the growth plan is at $29 a month.

[00:29:07] Plus 10% of cart loop revenue. It’s not going to break the bank. And to your point, like if you’re a small team that. Would be doing this themselves. I mean, you’re probably already working nights and weekends just getting packages out the door, right. And chasing down other issues or working with suppliers to get more product or whatever you’re doing.

[00:29:25] So $29 a month, plus 10% of revenue. Kind of feels like a no-brainer at that point, especially because like that unlocks 24 7 support, which is certainly not something that most of us want to do given we sell things globally now. Right. And so there could be somebody across the world that needs support right now.

[00:29:41] And, uh, I’m trying to get my beauty sleep. So it kinda feels like a no brainer when you put it that way, which I’m sure is the intent. Right. So if. SMS and email off the table because you’ve already built or are currently working on tools to solve those two areas. What would you work on? I mean, you’ve got the brand background, you’ve got the med school experience.

[00:30:02] You’ve got SMS and email. If we take all that off the table. Kind of build yourself a new job or go look for one today. What tighten a problem? Would you try to tackle?

[00:30:11] Lisa Popovici: Oh, if I were to remain in the e-commerce space, which I love, I love the e-commerce space. I think I tackle research because I hate going to the post office.

[00:30:22] It’s very unpleasant for me because. Where I live right now. There’s no such thing as happy returns or loop or those convenience solutions. So that’s why I love what loop is doing in this space. I think it’s a huge loyalty driver. And basically if you’re using like tools like loop or happy returns, you can offer like a similar customer experience as Amazon.

[00:30:47] So that’s amazing. With Amazon. I think there, they have the easiest experience, both for customer support and return. So this is one of the things that I might be interested, uh, getting into before, before Cartloop, I actually had a lot of ideas around like help them fitness nutrition apps, because I’m very passionate about those as well.

[00:31:11] Yeah, I think these are the things that I would

[00:31:13] James Sowers: be interested. Well, returns is certainly a big problem to try to solve. I know I hate going to the post office too. I’m fortunate enough to have a wife who, if she minds that she doesn’t complain. So she does all of our returns, but definitely something we’re tackling because.

[00:31:27] As e-commerce continues to grow and we see unprecedented consumption and purchasing naturally returns are going to go way up. And I think it’s becoming a more prevalent consumer behavior to say, I’m not sure which one I want. So I’m just going to buy all six and I’m going to return five. Right. And so like just the nature of.

[00:31:44] Processing those returns both as the consumer and the brand who has to kind of accept those products back and restock them. That’s a big problem. So maybe you’ll be glad you chose SMS. Cause that, that sounds like a tough one to solve. And I don’t know that the answer there is going to be easy for anybody who gets involved.

[00:32:00] Okay. So I’ve got one more question for you before we let you go. But is there any emerging trend or technology you see kind of out there on the horizon? If you project out maybe five years down the line that you think is going to make a big splash in e-commerce or that has. Wow. So in

[00:32:14] Lisa Popovici: a commerce. Hmm. I believe honestly, that I’m very passionate about SMS at the moment.

[00:32:21] And I think getting started and the market is fragmented and this means brands will and already have quite a few options. But the question is how long until they realize they cannot treat SMS, like any other channel, because most of them are treating it like email or they’re just using it for transactions.

[00:32:41] Transactional purposes. And I think being such an intimate channel, it has a huge potential, um, further down the line. And I think, as I said, it’s just getting started and we will, we will be seeing a lot of, a lot of interesting things in the SMS space, such as, for example, moving the entire web experience to text.

[00:33:04] So imagine being able to shop through text to do anything through. From your, I dunno couch or, or, uh, bedrooms is purchasing anything you like talking, getting answers, getting that assistance. So making it very similar thing convenient other than SMS, I, I have to think about it.

[00:33:26] James Sowers: I mean, there’s a lot of opportunity out there and I think, I think what you said is smart.

[00:33:29] I mean, I’m picturing. I don’t even know what that experience would look like. Like I would text somebody and I’d say, show me your top three bestselling men’s jackets or something like that. And then I get, you know, image, tiny images with links to each one and pricing or something like that, tap on it, go shop or something like that.

[00:33:45] Or it’s like, okay, I want option two. And then they send me like a checkout link and maybe it uses shop pay, or apple pay or Google pay or whatever. And it’s like, You literally just tap that and, and you’re, you’re done. And the product’s on its way to you because everything’s store. To make the purchasing experience that seamless through SMS is, is kind of scary.

[00:34:06] Good. You know, if it, like, if it goes like that, it’s like you could really blow through a paycheck fast if it was something like that.

[00:34:16] For sure. For sure. Awesome. Well, this has been a fantastic conversation. Thanks so much for sharing your story and sharing the story of. And what it’s doing for e-commerce merchants. I think we’ve established through this conversation that anybody out there who’s on the fence about it as an additional kind of revenue recapturing stream should probably go ahead and at least test drive it because the investment is modest, but the returns are potentially very big.

[00:34:40] And like you said, some folks are, you said your average, I think is 25 X. The promise is five X. So it feels like a safe bet to me, it feels like a number. Hopefully somebody goes to cartloop.io I believe is where you guys are still hosted. So we’ll check that out anywhere else that folks can go to learn about you, Lisa, and what you’re working on and just keep track of your journey as you guys continue to grow.

[00:35:00] Yeah, I’ve

[00:35:01] Lisa Popovici: been pretty active recently on Twitter, so you can find me at least.

[00:35:06] James Sowers: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time today. Uh, we’ll have to have you back maybe in a year and see what Cartloop’s been up to and what other new projects you have, because I don’t know. I got the sense, like when, when I asked what you’d be doing instead is a different career path that you might’ve already had something in mind.

[00:35:19] Like, I dunno, fall on. Tell him that yet. So we’ll see what new features, new products, new companies, whatever you’ve got going. And a little bit, but thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciated having you on and enjoyed the conversation.

[00:35:31] Lisa Popovici: Thank you.

[00:35:33] James Sowers: Hey everybody. This is James again. And before you go, I just wanted to invite you to join one of the coolest things I get to work on as director of marketing here.

[00:35:40] It’s called the e-commerce insiders list. And it’s a private version of this podcast feed that gets you access to tons of additional bonus content, like extra interviews, Q and a sessions, website, tear downs, and anything else we can dream up. It doesn’t cost you anything, but your email address. And we promise to always respect your inbox.

[00:35:56] This is just our way of forming strong relationships with our listeners and making sure that we produce content that is actually valuable to you and to your business. If you’re in. You can join the rest of the e-commerce insiders by going to the good.com/podcast and dropping your email into the form at the top of the page, we’ll follow up with directions for how to access the private feed and you’ll be off and running.

[00:36:16] Like I said, this is one of my favorite things that I get the opportunity to work on because it lets me interact directly with e-commerce founders and leaders. Just like you. If you’re interested, I’d love to see your name pop up in my notifications until then keep an eye out for the next episode of the e-commerce insight show.

[00:36:30] And we’ll talk to you soon.

About the Author

James Sowers

James Sowers is the Director of Marketing at The Good. He has more than a decade of experience helping software and ecommerce companies accelerate their growth and improve their customer experience.