What's in episode 20?
Felix Süllwold chats to Keith all the way from Bangalore (Bengaluru), India. Originally from Germany, Felix has travelled the globe and is Head of Partnerships at Pushowl. Felix explains the power of push marketing and how a merchant can send notifications of abandoned carts, shipping notifications and back in stock alerts to name but a few to gain more sales. Pushowl is exclusive to Shopify.
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About Milk Bottle Labs
Episode 20: Milk Bottle Shopify Ecommerce Podcast with Felix Süllwold
Felix: [00:00:00] Push notifications or browser push notifications means that you as a merchant are able to send push notifications as you may know them from... You know, probably know them from mobile app stores for example. But web push allows you to send these push notifications through the browser.
[00:00:21] Welcome to the Milk Bottle Shopify Ecommerce Podcast brought to you by Milk Bottle Labs, Ireland's top rated Shopify experts, Milk Bottle Labs, build, upgrade, migrate and market Shopify and Shopify Plus stores all over the world. Milk Bottle will migrate you onto Shopify with zero interruption guaranteed, or optimise your Shopify store and maximise store sales. This podcast is kindly supported by our favourite Shopify app and the only app we install in every store. Rewind.io is the leading backup solution for your Shopify store. We'll talk more about Rewind later now over to your host, founder of Milk Bottle Labs Keith Matthews.
[00:01:07] Keith: Hey folks, welcome back to the Milk Bottle Shopify Ecommerce podcast.
[00:01:11] I'm delighted to chat to a good friend of Milk Bottle Labs today, Felix Süllwold. Felix is partnership manager with a wonderful Pushowl that sends push notifications to potential customers of Shopify stores on. Felix is here to have a chat with us today and give us some insights into a new channel for many users.
[00:01:33] That's a lot of people probably haven't considered in the past. Felix, how are you?
[00:01:37] Felix: Keith. I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. How are you today?
[00:01:40] Keith: I'm good. It's not too bad. We're recording on a Friday, which is a nice wind down time to record, and I am sitting at home in Dublin. So where are you based?
[00:01:49] Where are you talking to me from?
[00:01:50]Felix: Right now in Bangalore, India, 8:30 PM right now,
[00:01:56] Keith: Bangalore in India. I can safely say that you're the first person that I've interviewed from India. So let's have a chat a bit about where you're based, but before you go there, you've traveled quite a bit. I noticed that you've lived in Vietnam.
[00:02:06] Are you originally from Germany, Felix?
[00:02:08] Felix: Yeah, right, right. I'm originally from Germany, actually coming from like a small village on the Island, like literally an Island. So we just got to get away and I tried to travel a bit. Yeah.
[00:02:20] Keith: And what brought you initially to Vietnam?
[00:02:23] Felix: I was, so that was ages ago I was in university studying business.
[00:02:32] I just needed to get out of that cause otherwise I would have ended up being an investment banker.
[00:02:39] Exchange term that was super different to, to that experience. Meet there and I could choose, I was like, let's try something new, let's try Vietnam. And that's kind of how I ended up there. Uh, and there's some university came back for language school for internships, for travels, for full time work. And yeah, ended up there.
[00:03:01] Keith: Yeah. I was there back in 2002 - 2003 and I have to say, I still miss the food there. The food and the depth of the culture is just fantastic. I was in ho Chi Minh as well, actually. You were there also, so now you are with Pushowl and you're looking after their partner channel. So in terms of an app and in terms of the channel, would it be correct to say that's customer notifications are probably as something that most eCommerce store owners don't even consider it don't even look at up.
[00:03:32] Felix: Yeah. I mean, many people don't have it on the agenda yet. But the adoption rate is crazy. We got four to five Shopify Plus stores signing up to us every day, so it is coming right now. Web push. It's like a lot of people. Yeah. As you said, what people haven't really considered yet, but those who are checking, okay, what else can I do? What channels do i have available?
[00:03:55] those people typically find web push as their next avenue.
[00:03:58] Keith: For new Shopify for the store
[00:03:59] owners or even I suppose, mature store owners. A lot of store owners out there that are probably utilising email, they're probably getting 10 or 20% of their store revenue, through email. For those who haven't or don't even know what a push notification is, just give us a rundown on exactly what a push notification is and then we go in specifically into Pushowl and what Pushowl can do. But explain in principle what a push notification is to a user?
[00:04:22] Felix: Sure. Push notifications or browser push occasions means that you as a merchant are able to send push notifications. As you probably know, web push allows you to send these push notifications through the browser, so, so that means through your mobile browser, through your desktop browser, and this means there will be notification right on your screen. That is promoting a coupon code, promoting your blog, reminding you of, there's something back in stock. These push notifications have texts, image that, so it's a pretty rich media.
[00:05:05] Keith: So a push notification to a mobile user let's say an iPhone user will be a typical notification where it's a notification on their phone, simply says one SMS or your operating system is ready to be updated.
[00:05:15] That's the format that people would be used to. What you guys are doing is actually connecting that to a specific eCommerce store. Is that right?
[00:05:23] Felix: Yes. So we absolutely focus on Shopify ecommerce, really utilise all the technology that is available with Shopify, for example. That is really the typical use case.
[00:05:36] So people come to us because. Obviously a lot of carts are abandoned and now they're seeking for a good way to retarget those shoppers. And because Shopify provides us this cart token for everyone who ever clicked on add to carts. We are able to them them a push notification and we don't need the email address anymore.
[00:06:00] We don't need them. They don't need to start the checkout process. That's a, that's a very typical use case.
[00:06:08] Keith: And I also noticed that you have a back in stock automation as well. So can you explain how that would work? Obviously a store owner records, new stock, having arrived, and then what does that push to the user than to the consumer.
[00:06:21] Felix: So you can, inside the Pushowl dashboards, you can predefined the notification you want to send. And once you have set that up, all you need is subscribers. Obviously going to the product page. Subscribing to that specific back in stock alert. And as soon as your Shopify backend realises, uh, having this product back in stock, automatically the push notification to send to everyone who subscribed to that specific product, maybe a tee shirt or like a table, whatever it is, it's fully automatic.
[00:06:55] Keith: And in terms of integrations. Then the first thing that I'm
[00:06:57] thinking of Felix is the back
[00:06:59] and stock alerts that Klaviyo has inbuilt. Are you guys integrated with the email providers?
[00:07:05] Felix: We're not integrated with the email providers yet. We do integrate with a now back in stock from east echo that's an app, we integrate with, so basically that means that you click the back and stock the alert button as usual, enter email, and then additionally you can subscribe to the web push-based back in stock alert.
[00:07:31] Keith: Okay. The ones that I'm really interested in is shipping notifications because one of the, I suppose, one of the key updates that you can of any customer is when the product is actually going to arrive.
[00:07:41] So how does that work.
[00:07:42] Felix: Yeah, I mean, the most of customers put requests, the shipping notification is automatically sent when the item is fulfilled. Again, it's automatic. It's based on Shopify, and we received the information, and if you think about it, it's actually fairly simple. And then what merchants do is there was, for example add more information to add shipping notification, for example, the coupon code. So then would already think of the offer, the up-sell opportunity in that notification.
[00:08:16] Keith: Can you give us an example as though some brands that are using the app and taking advantage of the features?
[00:08:21] Felix: Sure. For example, we are working with pezzi fitness gear a Shopify merchant, and they have been one of our early clients.
[00:08:34] Working with them over four months to optimise their campaigns, optimise their automation, and just kind of build a case study out of that, what they saw with that timeframe, 299x return on investment on what they spend with Pushowl. So they basically saw 300 times the revenue generated, by push on what they paid for the software.
[00:09:00] Keith: That actually just brings me to the next question then. In terms of your pricing, I noticed that you've got a basic plan, which is forever free, which I think is fantastic. It gives you a list of functions on the app for no charge, and then your next price, that's up to 19 so if I go to the enterprise level, which is, you know, high traffic sites, is the pricing connection to the sales in the store or is it just a flat fee?
[00:09:21] Felix: We go by impressions. So impressions means a successfully delivered. And that's by the way, another advantage of this web push technology. Like we actually know notification was successful. And then it's basically a usage based charge by 50,000 impressions, hundred thousand impressions. And that's how the pricing enterprise fuels.
[00:09:46] So. If you're getting really successful, you might pay us $500 per month.
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[00:10:56] Yeah. It's interesting you say that. I just got off a call with another app developer actually, and they were linked to sales and they were taking a small code of sales and they just moved over now to impressions. I suppose from a customer point of view, it makes perfect sense.
[00:11:07] If you're getting more impressions, the chances are that you're getting more conversions, so your sales are up as a result of the conversion, so you can afford to spend more than if the app is working. It's doing exactly what it says.
[00:11:18] Felix: I think impressions is the value and like taking a cut of your sales, then you probably end up discussing, you know, you might end up discussing attributions and all these kinds of things.
[00:11:32] So impressions is something we fully control and the merchant has control over. So we felt there was a true value, a true measure that we can provide.
[00:11:42] Keith: Can you guys measure how many people dismiss the notification as well? Can you do that?
[00:11:46] Felix: Could you just show us? I'm not sure how the technology is going because all the browsers deal with it a little bit different.
[00:11:54] So currently we just show that the people who accept the notification.
[00:11:58] Keith: Okay. And can I choose as a push out of use or whether the notification goes to the browser or it goes to the user's mobile device, or is it just the same notification that goes to whatever device the user is on?
[00:12:08] Felix: It's based with you as the expert customers of Shopify, as a store visit to subscribe, to subscribe a mobile device then you can only reach that use on mobile device. But then what the Pushowl dashboard again allows you to segment. So if you have something, if you have an offer that you want to bring the mobile user, then you can just segment these people. And equally, for example, if you, if you ever campaign and you just assumption is this will be for people who are commuting to work at 9:00 AM and 8:00 AM so maybe you just want to reach the mobile people, then maybe you run another campaign in the evening. As you know people are shopping on the desktop. So you set up the desktop segment at 8pm for example.
[00:12:56] Keith: That's very powerful, isn't it?
[00:12:57] Felix: Yeah. I think it's, I mean, it's one of the default segments.
[00:13:00] It's very helpful. But. Even like for example, one of the, one of those approaches you're looking into, like how long has somebody not purchased with you, right? Has somebody not purchased you for 60 days, for example? And then use that segment. Trying to get these people back trying to win these people back to your store. So segmentation is very, very interesting topic, obviously for email.
[00:13:32] So we like to utilise that at web push.
[00:13:34] Keith: So would it
[00:13:34] be logical then, Felix, to say that if you target your unengaged users, which is what you're referring to and target them on mobile, that you may actually have a higher conversion rates. Because naturally most people are going to have their phone in their hand 24 seven is that something that you're seeing or is that just a sweeping statements?
[00:13:54] Does every customer on every demographic and every vertical that you see, do they all have a different range of results?
[00:14:00] Felix: Yeah. So the results, for example, the click through rate varies a lot and depends a lot on how often the call frequent notifications.
[00:14:11] At some point people just get tired of it potentially. But then coming back to your question, right? Mobile visitors, I haven't, I haven't looked into that kind of data yet. So basically let's say. If you are, if you are sending, let's say, two or three campaigns a week to your subscribers. Yeah, I mean, I've seen a 4% click rate on these push notifications and that's kind of the baseline.
[00:14:42] And then. Everything else, like all the other results, depend on how engaged your audience is.
[00:14:51] Then it becomes really becomes a one by one case and i don't have like good averages right now.
[00:14:56] Keith: That's fine. But the way you're describing it is people should actually consider this as a channel, obviously, but also it looks like something that you should really manage similar to outbound emails. Is that right?
[00:15:08] Felix: Oh, definitely. Yeah. Keith, of course, it is the equally important channel.
[00:15:13] I think it's another channel you own similar to email. We're not on Facebook, so yeah, I shouldn't have. Maybe even marketing experts. Management,
[00:15:28] but it is definitely a channel you have to pay attention to it. Yeah.
[00:15:31] Keith: Yeah. I've also noticed Klaviyo recently switched on Klaviyo the email marketing platform recently switched on SMS notifications. An SMS, I suppose you're not guaranteed delivery depending on where the user is that they have no phone reception. But of course with these notifications, you have the ability to send it to the browser and also the mobile.
[00:15:51] So would you suggest that users of Pushowl treat the browser versus the mobile browser or the mobile handset as a completely different channel? Should they be treated differently.
[00:16:00] Felix: Each channel has its specifics. What I think is you have to have to be aware of your audience and send the right message on the right channel.
[00:16:10] I think SMS has its advantage because you're going to ask them as you end up opening it. That's how I feel a lot of times where push has another advantage, because it is already opened when it's on your screen and all it needs. You need a good channel mix to be successful with your retention marketing.
[00:16:33] Keith: Yeah, absolutely that makes perfect sense. Is there any other use cases you'd like to share?
[00:16:37] Felix: One thing I been. Looking into it a lot recently is Shopify flow. Have you used Shopify Flow? So we've built a connector for Shopify Flow and that basically allows you to send a push notification as an action. So you can like ask me if then, so you have a trigger and a conditioner and then an action and you can connect everything to send them a push notification.
[00:17:06] So it could be asked say the refund as a push notification, but you can get more sophisticated. Say with loyalty you can send a push notification in seven days, it's your birthday,
[00:17:23] or you have you moved up a tier you about to move down a tier. So what I really, what I'm really interested in is seeing these connections with people use web push to improve the customer experience. I think web push as a communication channels is just made for that as well.
[00:17:42] Keith: When you talk about, for example, a push of a happy birthday message to somebody, the individual has to submit the birth date to receive, ultimately received a web push.
[00:17:52] So are you integrating with other apps to collect that information? Like how is Pushowl and receiving, for example, that day, checking the birthday notification as an example. How is Pushowl receiving that data?
[00:18:05] Felix: Right. So like for the birthday example you would need Shopify Flow. So you would open Shopify flow. You would build a trigger based on loyalty line and then you would connect that to push off sending a push notification. But you're mentioning these connections, right? We'll also build some native integrations. For example, we integrate with review apps and review apps, obviously, help merchants to get more reviews, but emails don't necessarily get open anymore.
[00:18:37] Open rates are declining. So what'd you can do is when you take a review app, you can connect them with Pushowl and you can additionally send the web push. You can even remind your customer after they left the review 'hey here's another push notification please can you also add a photo?'
[00:19:02] Keith: Yeah. You just mentioned Loox there. We're big fans of Loox and Yoni, the founder is a good friend of ours. So you've explained that very well. That was exactly what I wanted to hear in terms of the integrations with other apps, because where Shopify becomes extremely powerful is the fact that. All of the apps can talk to each other and integrate with each other, so one can trigger the other ones to do something.
[00:19:20] So that makes perfect sense. So Felix, you know, well done on a wonderful app, personally, it's a channel that I haven't really explored. I'll definitely explore it after spoken to you. You guys are app developers. You're busy, you're improving, you're always changing. Is there anything exciting that you're working on at the moment for a launch in the near future, either internal or external?
[00:19:39] Felix: Oh, we always working on like super exciting stuff, like something the whole team is very excited about is that introducing a lot of custom segments to our enterprise merchants. So we get, of course, a lot of demands. earlier you mentioned hasn't purchased for 60 days, or are in New York, or this zip-code within 50 miles. I want to run an AB test on two different segments, like clicked on this collection. So we have one developer, right now who is absolutely dedicated on just building these segments based on their desire. And that's something we've been excited about building these segments for the merchants.
[00:20:26] Keith: Interesting. So I suppose to our listeners then, what you're saying is, is that if you have customers, but a significant customer base that require changes or tweaks to the service or to the app, you guys would actually work with the clients and make those changes on a case by case basis. Is that a good way to explain it?
[00:20:43] Felix: Yes that is a good way.
[00:20:49] Keith: Okay. It's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, and we have a discount code, which we will share in the show notes. Listen, really nice to talk to you and I'm sure I'll see you at the next international Shopify event. Thanks for your time.
[00:21:03]Thanks for listening to the Milk Bottles Shopify Ecommerce Podcast. All of our episodes are available on Spotify and iTunes. We really appreciate the support of our sponsor. Rewind.io, the leading backup solution for your Shopify store. Get your first month of Rewind for free. Just to respond to any of the welcome messages or emails after you begin your seven day free trial and mention our podcast until the next time. Take care.