Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 407 58 mins

Optimizing Customer Journeys → Branden Moskwa

About the guests

Branden Moskwa

Kunle Campbell

Branden Moskwa helps DTC eCommerce founders and C-suite executives maximize their potential and scale their businesses successfully. TheGuardian.com calls him remarkably innovative. IBM has called him one of the industry's brightest minds, and Ecommerce Weekly listed him #19 on the top 100 most influential people in eCommerce. He has been featured in Inc and most recently won a Contributor of the Year award from Hackernoon and an Intelligent Data and Analytics Award from Compass Intel for his contributions to the industry.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Branden Moskwa, Founder of Nadimo, a website for eCommerce consultation that provides guidance for entrepreneurs.

It is rare for young people to know what path they might take on later in life but not for Branden. For Branden, being an entrepreneur is like a natural thing to learn like reading and arithmetic. He started renting his toys to his brother at a young age. He sold his toys in the streets to buy new ones to sell until he discovered eBay. His curiosity about eBay led him to become an IBM futurist for commerce.

Be the extra pair of eyes with a fresh perspective. Branden’s mission is to help eCommerce operators point out and lay out a plan to attain growth. He set up his website, Nadimo.com, to provide insights and guidance to entrepreneurs and make sure that these are all accessible to them.

It’s an interesting episode as you’d hear Kunle and Branden talk more about macro trends that impact growth strategies, content and influencer marketing, brand and user-generated content, and important resources for eCommerce operators.

Here is a summary of some of the most important points made:

  • In a flat structure, a team consists of people who are working on their ‘core’ or expertise and experience and work together to allow growth for the business.
  • It’s always important to maintain the core essence of your brand.
  • “You have to keep your core message and your core principles have to be front and center.”
  • GA4, Triple Whale, Hotjar, and FullStory are great resources for eCommerce operators. Hotjar and FullStory allow you to watch user sessions.
  • Use micro-influencers when you’re starting and working on a budget, and grow your brand from there.

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview, Kunle and Branden discuss:

  • Born to be an Entrepreneur
  • What is an IBM Futurist?
  • Macrotrends that Impact Growth Strategies
  • Flat Structure in Marketing
  • Distinctive Content for Marketing
  • Brand-Generated vs. User-Generated Content
  • Best Approach to CRO
  • eCommerce Vital Resources


  • 00:03 – Born to be an Entrepreneur
    • Brendan’s dad was one of the people who graduated from a university in Canada with a computer science degree and programming.
    • Using his dad’s Compaq computer, he learned how to code his own games.
    • Brendan used to rent his toys to his own brother until he started selling his toys in the street and would buy more and sell them off to make money.
    • When eBay started to come around, Brendan got curious when he read an article that it was evaluated at $1 million so he started an online store.
    • Brendan worked in the development space of eCommerce and was brought on by IBM as a futurist.
  • 05:16 – What is an IBM Futurist?
    • Brendan is an IBM futurist for the commerce side and was tasked with helping them build the future of eCommerce in their WebSphere Commerce.
    • “It was about educating me as to what they’re doing and then learning from me as to what they could be doing better to build their products and stuff like that.”
    • Working as an IBM futurist, Brendan also worked with cognitive technology which includes AI, machine learning, and all the technological aspects of it.
  • 08:11 – Macrotrends that Impact Growth Strategies
    • Brendan wrote an article several years ago about chat and the use of chat.
    • IBM was known for its Watson tool, an AI-driven tool.
    • “Technology is now at a point where you can utilize the chat tools if you want to and you have the resources to do so and they’ll talk more about resources.”
    • Technology, no matter how improved it is, always needs a level of humanity to it.
    • Economic times don’t seem to impact companies that are doing things right (e.g. flat structure as opposed to traditional hierarchy).
  • 19:30 – Flat Structure in Marketing
    • Brendan worked with a CMO of an organization named Tammy who wants to get her company’s ROAS up. They worked together to bring a content manager and worked on a flat structure.
    • People worked on influencer marketing, design and copywriting, and then a customer service team.
    • Customer service can bring in dollars, a renewed business, and make your customers happy.
    • “When I talk about a flat structure, there’s a person in charge there.”
  • 23:51 – Distinctive Content for Marketing
    • “The biggest piece is getting decent content creators that relate to your brand to create content.”
    • If dealing with a limited budget for content creation, start with micro-influencers or influencers who may not even have a big following and grow it from there.
    • “It’s like the old concept of getting on the street and handing out cards and doing different old-school hitting-the-streets types of mentality.”
    • The downside with micro-influencers is that you can get off-brand as you can’t control the content they are making.
    • Brendan worked with Crossnet, a company that grew its business entirely on influencers and content creators.
  • 33:47 – Brand-Generated vs. User-Generated Content
    • Brand Generated content always goes back to the core essence of a brand and what its owner stands for.
    • “If that user-generated content goes against everything that you stand for as a brand, you have to nip that in the bud.”
    • For Branden, user-generated content always comes to the human piece, what the brand stands for.
  • 37:00 – Best Approach to CRO
    • Make sure that data collection and the data are accurate.
    • Understand your customers’ journey.
    • “Moving the needle comes from understanding the true customer journey and where they’re having those stalling points.”
    • Have your data in place and dissect it to figure out what needs to change or improve.
    • “Don’t make any assumptions. Use the data.”
  • 40:42 – eCommerce Vital Resources
    • “Google Analytics, believe it or not, is a good tool if you use it correctly.”
    • GA4 is the updated version of Google Analytics.
    • Triple Whale, Hotjar, and FullStory are also great resources.
    • Hotjar and FullStory allow you to watch user sessions.
    • Bring in external help, another set of eyes to bring in a fresh perspective.


  • “Technology is now at a point where you can utilize the chat tools if you want to and you have the resources to do so and they’ll talk more about resources.”
  • With the old concept of hitting-the-streets type of mentality, with a limited budget, start with micro-influencers or influencers who may not have a big following and grow it from there.
  • In understanding your conversion rate optimization, you have to make sure that your data collection and the data are accurate.
  • Bring external help as they can bring a fresh perspective.

Links & Resources:



This episode is brought to you by:

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Branden, welcome to the 2X eCommerce podcast.

Thanks for having me, Kunle. I’m excited to be here.

When the opportunity to speak with you arose, I dawned some research on your website, and I realized that with everything you’ve put out there, which is Nadimo.com, there’ll be so much value in this conversation we’re about to have. A warm welcome to the 2X eCommerce podcast.

Thank you. I’m super pumped to be here.

You’re an eCommerce advisor and coach for two eCommerce teams of varied sizes. How did you get here? What were your beginnings like? Would you want to give us a quick overview of who you are? I’ll be keen to hear.

A quick overview, that could be interesting. It started after I learned to read. That’s why I said it could be interesting.

Let’s go back. The further back, the more interesting it is.

It’s an interesting story, to be honest with you. If you’re Canadian or not, either way, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is where my dad is from. He graduated from a university there as a programmer and he was one of the first people to graduate in computer science. I grew up with computers coming home and this was back in the day when they called them the compaq luggables. You can Google search that if you’re not sure what it is.

It’s an old computer about the size of a suitcase. You’d flip down the keyboard and there’s your monitor. It’s this little one-color monitor, monochrome, they called it back then. He brought it home and he said, “Here you go. Have some fun.” I went on there and all there was were unbeatable games of Tic-tac-toe. That’s no fun for a kid when you can’t even beat the game. I said, “Dad, I want to play games.” The next day, he brings me home and he throws this book in front of me and I’m probably 8 years old so I knew how to read.

I was a little older and I just learned to read. He threw this book down and it said, “Games in basic.” I had to learn how to code my own games. From that day forward, I’ve been always interested in technology and what makes it work. From that, I always wanted to earn some money as a kid. I went out and did what the kids do, lemonade stands and stuff, but I didn’t find that made enough money for me so I decided I would sell my toys and rent my toys.

I rent my toys to my brother until I had my first bankruptcy when my parents took all my money and emptied out my piggy bank and said, “You can’t be renting toys to your brother. You lend those to them.” Long story short, I went ahead and started selling my toys, had toy sales on the street, and I would sell. I sold all my toys and then I’d go and buy more other things and sell them off to make some money. As time grew, those two started to merge when eCommerce started to come around with the beginnings of eBay and that thing. I started an online store.

Back then, when eBay was a year old and they evaluated it, I read an article where it was evaluated at $1 million, and I’m like, “This is cool. That’s a cool idea.” I started to investigate how that worked. That was my beginnings in the eCommerce world way back then. As I’ve grown and worked in the development space of eCommerce and then was brought on by IBM as a futurist a few years back, that’s when people started reaching out to me as an advisor and a coach because they were looking for assistance.

What seemed like simple things to me were a little bit deeper level problems for other people. We started to mesh and a lot of that came from becoming a futurist with IBM and realizing what types of things people were in need of and looking for and that thing. That’s a quick history. I would go way back and it starts from when I was learning how to read.

There are a lot of contexts. The threads I picked up from that were, one, clever in terms of coding your games, two, enterprising, and three, passionate about eCommerce. What does an IBM futurist do on a day-to-day basis? I’m curious. Is it specific to commerce? Is this technology as a whole?

A little bit of both. For me, I came on as an IBM futurist for the commerce side of the company. This was when they had WebSphere Commerce. I was tasked with helping them build the future of eCommerce. They wanted to understand what is it that the thought leaders in the space are looking at and dealing with on an ongoing basis and that included being invited as a VIP to their conferences and that thing.

Of course, when you’re at the conferences, you tweet out about stuff you’re seeing. It was about educating me as to what they’re doing and then learning from me as to what they could be doing better to build their products and stuff like that. I’m no longer involved with that because we’ve since grown that side of their business to a point where they were able to offload it and sell it off for several billion dollars, their WebSphere Commerce side of the business. It was brought on specifically to help them with that side of things.

When you ask about the technology, the neat part about it was it got involved with what they were calling at the time cognitive technology. They were trying to stir away from the word AI, which then we coached them in the fact that people will relate to AI and they’re saying, “Yeah,” but negatively in many cases. That was their fear but then they went ahead and realized, “We have to go with AI because that’s the common terminology for it.”

Cognitive was the overwhelming piece because it included artificial intelligence, machine learning, and all these aspects, all in one. If you break it down on a technical level, they’re all different. Here and there, there is cognitive college, which I was part of that and that thing as well. It’s interesting times right now, especially with AI where it’s at because I saw this evolving several years ago.

IBM sold to HCL back in 2019, their platform, for about $1.8 billion. You spoke about megatrends. Readers of this podcast are operators, they roll their sleeves, and they’re charged with the task to grow their businesses. What macro trends in 2023 would have a direct impact on their growth strategies? You mentioned AI. I don’t want to make this a suggestive question. We can’t ignore AI. What should they be aware of to be at that cutting edge from a technology as well as a business strategy standpoint in 2023?

I’m going to throw a curve ball at you. You talk about AI and everybody’s talking about AI and ChatGPT and all these new tools that are there. I wrote an article several years ago about chat and the use of chat. Going back to my time as a futurist, they were using Watson. IBM is known for their Watson tool, which is their AI-driven tool. When I was sitting there at the conference, I’m seeing all these visions in my head of all this greatness and how people could ask a chatbot for the answers. It never got there.

If you go to a site now, you type into the chat, and you end up with a form that pops up, or you end up talking to a bot and you know it’s a bot and they get the standard answers and they give you this. Technology is now at a point where you can utilize the chat tools if you want to and you have the resources to do so and they’ll talk more about resources. If you leverage the technologies that are available, you could stand apart and you could keep people from going into the queue.

People used to hate getting on the phone and getting put in a queue. Now, you go to a website and you get put in a queue or you’re waiting days for your reply. People want instant satisfaction and gratification. One of the struggles with eCommerce over the years is that you are interfacing with a machine so you don’t get that personal level interaction that you can get when you go into a traditional retail outlet.

You can make these interactions with technology much more humanistic. Click to Tweet

Technology is almost, if not already, at a point where you can bridge that gap a lot. You’re to be able to increase your customer service satisfaction levels by integrating some of these technological tools that are out there. Yes, you didn’t necessarily want to feed the beast talking about AI but there are some advantages that people could leverage right now. It’s not a quick win because there is some work to be done by the development teams, the marketing teams, and the customer service team as a whole to make that happen. As a futuristic type of thought and bringing that to today’s reality, that’s where we’re at now.

Your thoughts are still infusing a bit of humanity into the chat experience and making sure that the instant gratification that people expect is still there and not necessarily relying wholly and solely on tech to solve that piece.

I believe heavily in technology, don’t get me wrong. Of course, if you’ve known by my life’s history. I do believe that it always has to be a level of humanity involved. It may get to a point where humanity is used strictly to check these chat sessions that the chatbots maybe are having with people to make sure they’re answering their questions and directing them correctly. It may be to that level but there still always needs to be a human touch, a human factor involved. I also believe that you can make these interactions with technology much more humanistic.

I started to use a plug-in for my Google Mail and it’s called Ghostwrite. It’s paired with this GPT thing, I’m not quite sure. Let’s say you wanted me to speak at an event, you sent me an email, and I completely forgot about it, and you sent me a reminder. I need to open up that email, there’s a small interface in there, and I’ll type out, “Respond to Branden. Give him a yes.” It has options if I want to make it professional, concise, formal, and all of that stuff. It will write that email.

It learns from my tone of voice. I need to instruct it and then it’ll give me an okay to sign off on there. The more I sign off, the more it gets my tone of voice. It saved me tons of hours. It helped me with inbox efficiency. One of the sponsors of this podcast is called Tidio. They’re an online chat solution for Shopify stores and they’re doing something similar exactly like that but for your agents. The improvement there is it then learns and knows transactional history so it can read your orders. It can get the tracking information and all of that stuff.

There’s a lot more context. One, you are not going to need as many agents as possible. Two, the productivity per agent is going to triple. There’s still that humanity on there because a human is still going to okay what it’s generating. It types faster than a human. It figures stuff out. That cyborg blend is where we’re at in commerce. What other macro trends are you seeing that eCommerce operators must embrace? Some of them might be sitting on the fence to thrive given all the headwinds in the economy and commerce. There will still be winners. The funny thing is that they are winners emerging from all this chaos.

It’s funny because I write for a publication and in doing so, I do a lot of interviews with a lot of the fast-growing companies. I specifically target only the consumer brand, companies that have eCommerce websites, and that do a significant amount of their business there. One of the biggest challenges that they’re running into now, quite frankly, is the fact that they’re growing so fast that they need to build their teams for where they’re going but they’re currently stuck. They’re stuck at the teams and their infrastructure as a whole.

Technology as well is built for where they’re at and not where they’re going. That’s a common trend that’s coming. The funny thing is that the economic times that we keep hearing about don’t seem to be impacting the companies that are doing things right. When I say doing things right, I mean that has a whole gamut of components. For me, it’s specific to the people in the process and the technology falls within that. I always talk to people about considering the gray areas, the grays, the fringe pieces, and the overlaps.

When you speak to your audience, a lot of the time, it’s, “That’s a marketing problem. We’re struggling right now. That’s a marketing problem. We need to increase our sales or we need to increase our ROAS.” Don’t even get me started on ROAS. That will open up a whole new can of worms because I’m not a fan of that specific number. you can bring it up if you want. what I’m getting at is people still put things in silos.

No matter how big, small, or otherwise your company is, the problem is marketing. The problem is the technology. You hear the IT department always fighting with marketing saying, “This isn’t the problem. It’s your problem and otherwise.” The problem often lies in between. There’s a gray area in the middle that needs to be solved.

Those companies that are doing well have identified that and they’re nailing that part of the situation. They know, “This is an overlapping issue.” A lot of those companies that are doing well run more of a flat structure as opposed to the traditional hierarchy. That involves a big change. Within the departments themselves, if they’re running more of a flat structure, they can interweave these problems and solve them together as opposed to opposing forces.

With a flat structure, do you want to delve a bit deeper? What does a flat structure for your marketing department look like? Let’s say the acquisitions team, the retention team, a blend of that, or the tech team.

I’ll give you an example. I was working with a girl named Tammy and she came to me and she’s overwhelmed. She’s a CMO of an organization. About $5 million a year. She came to me and she’s overwhelmed, a little bit discombobulated, and directionless. These were her words to me. What it was is she thought, “My issue is I have to grow this company. I want to grow this company. I need to figure out a way to get my ROAS up.”

Everybody saw a dip in those numbers over the years. A lot of numbers dropped. She’s like, “How do I increase these numbers?” She and I sat down and dissected it and looked in the fringe areas and thought, “This is not an issue of the numbers because your numbers are still solid. The issue is you need content development.” She said, “I’m aware of that.” We were thinking about hiring a designer. We explored that further and realized, “You don’t need a designer. You need somebody to run your content team. Let’s bring on some influencers.”

She had a small influencer program going and she saw a lot of runway that fed to the marketing side within the Facebook ads, Instagram ads, etc. What we did was we worked together to bring on a content manager so to speak. The titles are irrelevant. I’m talking about a flat structure, they all work together. She’s working on the strategy, this other person is working on the influencer marketing side of things and some email, and then their other person who is their designer and their copywriter is also a little bit of a general manager so to speak.

What does is those three people and then the customer service side of the team have one key customer service individual and that overlaps a little bit because customer service is not thought of as necessarily part of your marketing team. It can be because customer service can bring in dollars. They can bring renewed business. They keep your customers happy. There are a lot of things they do there. When I talk about a flat structure, there’s a person in charge there. That’s what she’s got going there.

The thing is it’s all flat and they’re all working in what I call their core. You’ll hear it in other places, their area of genius, their brilliance, and their passion area. They’re all working in that specific space in overlapping degrees. What that allows in a flat structure is you build this solid team that works well together and they all have their experiences and their expertise that allows that business to grow exponentially and grow well because they’re working well together. It creates an inner level of energy within that team. It’s incredible what it does at many different levels for the business.

Speaking of content teams, asking for a friend, what will be your first hire? The reason I’m asking is we had Jake Karls come in. He’s a co-founder at a digital-first CPG brand called Mid-Day Squares. He’s quite a character. He’s a colorful individual. He has a camera with him all the time. He’s been able to create a story around himself. Not only that but at the start of the inception of the business, he has two other co-founders, his sister, and her husband.

They made a deliberate decision to be a media company alongside being a CPG brand. What did that mean? They wanted to create a D2C, CPG reality showing the trials, tribulations, and wins of their brand. They picked up an enemy, Hershey’s. They do keto-friendly chocolate bits or something. It’s a refrigerator-type product. That has done phenomenally well. They’re growing in strides. They’re entertaining.

They’ve even done a rendition of the Eminem, Slim Shady, video. They’ve done a whole video. They did their own version of that video on YouTube. They’re creative. The one thing I picked up was, like, “We’re going to get a scriptwriter.” They had the resources. They’re somewhat funded. They were initially bootstrapped and then they decided to raise finance. They have this video production team. They have a YouTube setup on the one hand.

People buy the why. Click to Tweet

They moved into like a $3 million production facility. Their stuff tastes good. From an op standpoint, they’re killing it. They’re right there. The marketing team now has made them different from everybody else. They cut through the noise. My question is for readers who may not have those resources, what is the barest minimum from a content marketing standpoint to have a niche or to stand out in whatever market or vertical you’re operating in?

That’s an excellent question. I interviewed a company called Crossnet and they grew their business entirely on influencers and content creators. I mentioned them because they grew their whole business on it but the thing is what they did was a little bit different and what each company does is always got to be different. Everybody has different funds that they can allocate to different components. The biggest piece is getting decent content creators that relate to your brand to create content.

You don’t have to have a huge production team. You can find people on Instagram or where you’re audience is that is producing content and can produce content maybe with talking about your product that they’re eating or wearing your purse or your shirts or whatever. If you build that up and you have enough of them, sometimes you’ll find that a micro-influencer can produce an extra $50,000 to your bottom line.

You’re paying them maybe a couple of $100 a month. In the same vein, you might be paying a couple of $100 a month and they’re not producing. It is a matter of getting people out there talking about your brand. It’s like the old concept of getting on the street and handing out cards and doing different old-school hitting-the-streets types of mentality. That level of things can be applied at a grassroots level. If you start with a few influencers or people who are content creators who may not even have a big following and you’re targeting those micro-influencers, you can grow it quickly that way and for a limited budget.

This is off-brand and one trouble that you will run into is you can run into situations where you’re a little bit off-brand because you’re not controlling the content necessarily that’s coming in because you’re getting these other people to do it.If you’re doing this and this content is being created by the people, it has a better chance of going viral. In the case of Crossnet, they got coverage in some big news publications because one person talked about their brand and their product in such a way that it resonated with the right person.

All of a sudden, it skyrocketed from there. They work with micro-influencers. I am a fan of working with micros to build a bigger picture. What you can do is now with different things in the Facebook world and the Meta world so to speak, you can end up in a situation where you’re repurposing that content in your branding throughout all the different platforms in an easy way. I’m not sure if that answers your question necessarily. The whole key there is micro. It can be on a micro level and grow from there.

I take on your point and I like the point on working small, finding that fit, and being a bit scrappy to democratize the word-of-mouth from these micro-influencers so that it organically goes viral or anything close to viral. You relinquish a little bit of control from what you alluded to in order to let it have a life of its own by giving it to these somewhat scrappy micro-influencers who, to be honest, have a good ROAS when you find the good ones. They give you a good return and their audiences are quite attentive to their choice of suggestions.

We’re assessing an account now that we’re potentially going to acquire at Octillion. A lot of that business is influencer marketing. I can tell you that the highest returning customers for what this particular business invests in influencers come at that micro and a bit of a macro. When they work with the mega influencers, influencers with 1 million plus followers, they get the least ROAS for that investment. One, they’re expensive, and it costs tens of thousands of dollars. Two, it doesn’t pick up the volume. That sweet spot is from 15,000 to 500,000 followers and that tends to work well.

Those were the numbers. I’ve seen a lot of success in that 15,000, that smaller bracket. It’s amazing how much the ROAS is. You focus too much in that space and you’re going to have to have multiples of them and that’s when you start adding resources to your team to run and manage that whole process of things. You have big returns for those micros. Once you get to a certain level, it doesn’t pay off quite as well. You’re right.

You’re a UGC man, User Generated Content. What about brand-generated content? When should brands start tapping into controlling their own narrative and what approach would you suggest they take from a content perspective?

I’ll be honest, that end of things is when I start turning it over to more of a branding agency or in-house. I don’t necessarily spend a lot of my life and time in there outside of the higher level question like you were mentioning here. With that in mind, it’s always important that you maintain your brand and you have to do that. What is your brand about? That core essence of what your brand is about, what it is that you’ve gone into this business as an owner?

We’re going back to the owner level. What is it that that brand is about to the owner? That comes down to all of the different levels. What is your brand about? It has to be at the core of everything. Even if it’s user-generated content, if that user-generated content goes against everything that you stand for as a brand, you have to nip that in the butt. You can’t allow that to go too far. Sustainable businesses, I see them carrying plastic bags or doing something in the ad but they’re swearing my swimsuits, which are sustainable. That goes against everything that you’re trying to create.

That said, you have to keep your core message and your core principles have to be front and center. We’re talking eCommerce here. If you go to your website to make a purchase and they go to the homepage or they land on a product page, the messaging has to be consistent throughout. It has to maintain its consistency as far as exactly what you as a brands stand for. People buy the why and they don’t buy the what. They’re like, “I like the flowers on that design or whatever.” They buy the why.

That’s what I was talking about at the beginning. It’s user-generated but, for me, it seems to come back to the human piece. How do you put that human into that computer when you go to that website? That human element comes through in your branding and in everything that you push as a brand and what you stand for. That still has to be paramount and it has to be front and center right from the beginning. I think of user-generated content as a means of building upon that. Those people who are generating the content need to understand your overall brand before they should even start doing work for you as well.

Let’s speak to a topic you are familiar with, which is conversion rate optimization. For brands that have not started CRO, what is the best approach? How would you lay out the next six months should they decide to get into CRO?

The first thing you’ve got to do for any CRO effort is you have to make sure you have the data. The data has to be accurate. There are all kinds of data tools out there. You have to make sure that you’re collecting the data correctly, first of all, and that could be a variety of things. Data collection is number one. You have to know the customer journeys. You have to understand your customers as well as you can in order to convert and figure out why they’re not converting. That goes right into the data, first and foremost.

Where technology takes over is understanding all of those components. There are simple things that everybody can do. You can google it and you’re going to find them. Honestly, those aren’t what moves the needle. Moving the needle comes from understanding the true customer journey and where they’re having those stalling points.

Moving the needle comes from understanding the true customer journey. Click to Tweet

In some cases, if you think about where we started the conversation with regard to the chatbot, in some cases, that data that’s collected from there is going to speak volumes to you too. It’s like, “I’m looking for this and I can’t find it.” If it injects and asks questions of the person who’s on the site, it can assist them in getting to where they need to go. It also lets you know that it’s not as user-friendly in some instances or they’re not flowing through the site as you had intended or your testing team had tested for. You have to have your data in place so that you can then dissect it and figure out what needs to change and what and that thing.

From there, it becomes pieces like AB testing to make sure that you’re on the right track. The worst mistake you could make there is to say, “This is what we recommend you do. You’re only doing that based on common best practices. A common best practice for you may not be what’s going to work for you or you compare it to your competitor. You don’t know what your competitor is doing, maybe they’re doing worse than you are as far as their conversion rates. You don’t know.

You could be assuming that they’re doing better. Somebody walks in and says, “This is our competitor. This is what we need our site to look like on these product pages, for example.” Is that what’s going to work for your people? Don’t make any assumptions. Use the data. It all comes down to the data is my opinion on that.

On that note, I’ll have to say that you’ve made an important first-principle approach to conversion rate optimization or optimization in general, which is setting up those data systems to capture metrics that matter. The second is that customer journey and that obsession of knowing how customers transition from step to step. It’s not just on your website. It could be influencer paid media, landing page, and cart abandonment. They then respond to an SMS. It’s understanding all of those touch points.

Having that big picture and understanding what data to even collect in each touch point and then deciding, “This is what I’m going to split test. This is my hypothesis. This is what I think could work if I change or tweak this.” You have that understanding. It’s like an electronic engineer that knows the motherboard of a device whether it’s a computer or gizmo before they attempt to fix it.

You’re trying to fix stuff. You’re trying to fix it in an optimized rate with CRO. Good point, Branden. Let’s wrap this episode with your final thoughts or suggestions on vital resources eCommerce operators reading this podcast will or should tap into. Your most highly recommended resources for them to tap into for growth.

That’s interesting because I find that a lot of the resources I’m recommending on a regular basis vary. I’ll be honest, here’s one that people are going to be like, “Branden, that’s a no-brainer.” Google Analytics, believe it or not, is a good tool if you use it correctly. One reminder for people out there with that one is to upgrade to GA4. Lots of people haven’t done that yet.

For readers who don’t know what GA4 is, do you want to give a quick rundown on GA4?

It’s a new version. It’s the updated version of Google Analytics in short. It’s using different technologies to make it more efficient in some ways. Long story short, the old version of analytics is going to be going away so you need to upgrade to the newer version so that you can get deeper-level information from them. You might want to add a little bit more to that for me, Kunle. That’s fine. I don’t know what depth you want to get into as far as GA4 is specifically.

That is sufficient, Branden. You said Google Analytics is your go-to.

That’s my go-to for getting deeper-level information. There’s Triple Whale and there are other resources like that as well that are great. One of the things too is Hotjar but there’s also one called FullStory. That’s a great little tool too that people don’t necessarily know a lot about. It allows you to watch the user sessions. Hotjar does that as well. I know that FullStory was one of the first ones I was put in touch with many years ago. I still like to use it. You can watch user sessions.

You have to set it up because if you’re getting 10,000 visitors in a day, you’re not going to watch all 10,000 of those. You have to set it up so that you’re watching specific journeys on your site. It’s nice to be able to see. There’s something they have and the others have in the same way but they call it different. I can’t even remember what they call it now but it’s hate clicking or whatever, which is people are bashing on a button because they think it’s supposed to do something.

It tells you, “There’s an issue here.” People are thinking they’re supposed to click but they’re not. They’re clicking it and nothing’s happening. Little things like that you don’t even realize when you build it out. You have all the systems in place to have, your testing team go through this. A lot of the time, they’re focused in one direction. Because they work within the company, they believe they need to test it a certain way or they all have a specific way of doing something.

Another piece of advice there too is, in some cases, to bring in external help so that there’s an extra set of eyes that’s not so used to your company and they can bring in a fresh perspective. That’s one of the other pieces that also is advantageous, especially when it comes to things like that because it’s like, “We’re focused on our company and our business.” It goes back to what talked about, looking in those gray areas. Sometimes it’s hard to see those intersecting aspects of the business from the outside looking in too when you’re in it in the day-to-day.

You make a good point about those blind spots in a business and parachuting somebody in to get a lay of the land and then pointing out those bottlenecks you wouldn’t even know. You mentioned it prior to our speaking recording where we’re talking about Good to Great where it’s about the small increments. You mentioned small incremental changes and when they compound, it makes that net difference from the competition and you want that. For people who want to find out more about you and want to follow you, your website is Nadimo.com. Are you active on any social media platforms?

I am on LinkedIn on a regular basis so people can go there and they can connect with me. If you’re going to connect from this show, say, “I saw you on 2X eCommerce,” and then I’ll accept your invite right away. I do get a lot of generic ones. If it’s generic with no message, I may not accept it. Say you saw me on 2X or heard me on 2X eCommerce and I’ll accept you there. I’m semi-active on Twitter, @BMoskwa.

I wanted to be on your show for a while. It’s taken me a long time to reach out to you. We had talked about bringing in somebody external first, an extra set of eyes. If anybody out there wants to get my eyes on something or get some advice, I’d be happy to sit down with any one of them for fifteen minutes and. I’ll bet you that in the fifteen-minute call that we have, I can give them some specific marching orders or direction that they can take.

If they want to do that, they can go to NoSalesBS.com and book a fifteen-minute call with me. I bought that domain specifically because I don’t like people thinking it’s a sales call because I am not selling you anything. I want to help people. If that fifteen minutes helps you move your business in the right direction, then let’s do it. I am more than happy to do that for people from your show. I’ll put that out there as well. Those are the best ways to get ahold of me.

Branden, thank you so much for coming on the 2X eCommerce Podcast. It’s been a warm pleasure having you. Thank you again.

Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed the time here. Thank you.

About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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