Common wisdom in the eCommerce world is that if you want to increase your revenues, you need to “buy” more traffic with paid advertising.
The thing is, that while that may have worked during the startup phase of the business, it becomes less and less effective with an established business… not to mention more and more expensive, which cuts into your profits.
Joris Bryon, founder of dexter.agency, recommends a different tactic. He says you can grow your online store with the traffic you already have by optimizing your eCommerce site in key ways. And these are strategies that any business, in any industry can use – even if you’re offline.
We go over the changes you can make that will have the most impact, as well as…
- The only four ways to increase your business revenues
- How to encourage repeat buying by the same customers
- Why conversion optimization is about much more than just your website design
- The type of testing you must do to get the data you need
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Adam Lean: Welcome to P is for Profit a podcast for small business owners that makes business concepts easy to understand so that you can be a better business owner and own a better business. And today’s episode we’re going to be talking with Joris Bryon who owns an eCommerce agency specifically focused on helping online stores grow by working with the traffic they already have. Now, of course, growing profit should be a priority in your business. When you boil it all down there are really two ways to grow profit you can either increase revenue and or you can decrease expenses.
Well in today’s episode, we’re going to be talking specifically about the ways that you grow revenue and how ads are different ways that you can grow revenue in your business. The nice thing is this really works not just for eCommerce businesses for any type of business. So for example, one of the ways we’ll talk about growing revenue is you can increase the traffic to your website.
Well, traffic or visitors is simply just another word for a lead. Or it can be another word for somebody walking into your shop or somebody calling you on the phone. There are many different terms that you can that you can use. But the whole point is that you need one of the ways to grow revenues by increasing the number of leads.
So you could take the four ways that we’re going to talk about growing traffic, and we’re going to talk about it from an eCommerce perspective, but you can almost use them and apply them to any business. Okay, without further ado, let’s jump into the interview with Joris. Joris, welcome to the show.
Joris Bryon: Thanks, Adam. Great to be here!
Adam: Yeah, I’m excited to have you on because you what you do is super important to small businesses, especially those that have an eCommerce website, you essentially help online stores grow by working with the traffic they already have. And so that’s I’m excited to dive into that and understand how you do it. But first, before we get into it, tell us sort of about your background and how you got into this.
Joris: Right. It’s kind of a long story. I’m already old as well now. So I started my career about I think 18 years ago now. And I started in classical advertising, and I worked for quite a few advertising agencies. And I think I did that for in total, almost 10 years. And that was the typical discussions, like make this big, make this deal, put a logo there, make it blue, make it red, and always based on discussions based on opinions. And never based on data and after a while, well after a while, after a couple of years, I started hating it. And I wanted out I wanted to do something different but I didn’t really know what and I caught him some kind of what is it quarter-life crisis and started well, I went traveling with my wife for a couple of months and got back went back to advertising because basically, I was broke, it was the easiest way to to make some money again.
But of course I got bored again of it and it just wanted to do something else. And I started my first company that failed, but when when I had that first company, while business wasn’t really going great, and I was kind of interested in starting aside and trying to see if I could make it work and yeah, make some money with affiliate marketing. And that’s how I well I want to traffic of course to that side and I didn’t really know I hadn’t didn’t have any a budget to drive traffic. So I was looking into SEO. And while doing that, and driving traffic to the site with SEO, I realized that actually, this whole digital marketing thing was that I really love it.
So I was like, Okay, this is totally different than the classical overtaxing, where it’s all about opinions. In digital marketing, it’s about data. And it’s so much more fun and so much cooler. So, I decided to go to work for a digital marketing agency in Belgium, because I’m from Belgium. And at the time, I still live there as well. Yeah, I was fortunate enough to be hired by a really good agency and I learned a lot about digital marketing. But while I was working there, I also encountered basically the conversion optimization and that at the time, there was still like some kind of obscure discipline within digital marketing. nobody really knew how with words and there was a lot of focus on driving traffic traffic traffic but once the traffic is on the site nobody really cared about it they just dumping traffic on the site and the whole… yeah, I don’t know conversion optimization thing that that piqued my interest because the thing is it combined a lot of my previous backgrounds with my new background so my previous background from advertising with a lot of design, copywriting psychology, but combined with the whole data thing of statistics and A/B testing and analysis and research that came all together within the discipline of conversion optimization.
And so yeah, I fell in love with that and I, I knew immediately that I want to become better at it and learn everything I could about it. So I took a course I read all books I could lay my hands on about conversion optimization, and basically, I was I’m still obsessed but at the time I was really obsessed about it and every single minute I had Next to my day job was about learning, conversion conversation. So at one point, I was ready to start putting it into practice. And that agency I worked for, they didn’t really have that many clients where they could do conversion optimization because the minds of those clients were not ready for that yet.
So I decided to venture out on my own and start looking for my own clients. And yeah, so I started doing that and working on conversion optimization for my own clients and grew into an agency because things went really well. And that expanded also from merely working on the sides and trying to make the size better to basically looking at Okay, you have the traffic. What do we do with it? It’s not just about optimizing the site, but it’s also it’s more about optimizing the lifetime or the life cycle of a customer. You have the traffic now you have to get the most out of that traffic. So it’s about capturing emails, looking at email automation, trying to increase average order value. You trying to increase purchase frequency. And all that combined is basically is working with the traffic that you have. So that’s how I rolled into where we’re at. Right now it’s working with the traffic that our clients basically already have.
Adam: One thing that you mentioned that I wanted to talk about or explore further is you said that you liked the fact with conversion rate optimization or digital marketing that you’re that everything’s based on data, not opinion. So explain that a little bit more.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Joris: That’s actually that’s a fun part of what we do now. Because I do remember all those discussions back in the day when I worked in advertising was like oh, make this blue make this bigger make put it let’s put it right. And it was always based on opinions and on gut feeling. Whereas nobody ever knew if it was the right decision. And now what we do is we do research, we’ll look at it, we look at the data, but also we do a B testing. So whenever there’s some doubt it is like, okay, let’s test it. And so we show for people who are not familiar with a B testing, we show 50% of the people who get to see the original version of a page and 50% of the visitors get to see an alternative version of that particular page. And we just look at which one converts best and that’s it, and no more discussions based on gut feeling or opinions.
It’s just based on data and you know, at least that you’re going to make the right decision because you know, it’s going to make you more money. Whereas when you do it based on gut feeling, or opinions, or maybe your whatever color your wife prefers, that happens, as well. It’s like, oh, let’s make it red because that’s my wife’s favorite color. You just base it on data and you know that it’s going to work and that’s what I like so much about this job
Adam: Now, I was studying your website in preparation for this interview. And one thing that you have on your website that’s very interesting is you talk about a formula for increasing your revenue for ways to increase the revenue you say, get more traffic. And number one, number two is increased conversion rate number three is increased purchase frequency and number four increases average order value. Can you talk about that and sort of why you came up with this formula? And what it means?
Joris: Yeah, so if you really think about it and say like, okay, I want to grow my revenue. There are only four ways right so but the revenue of your site lets look at it like this. So you have an eCommerce store because we mainly work for eCommerce stores. So you have your store. And what you can do is you can either have a try to get more people to visit your store, that’s one thing that’s the traffic so the formula is revenue equals t times car times AOV times F. So P for traffic, that’s one, basically one lever, you can pull. The second level you can pull is the average order value. So if you can get your average order value up from, let’s say, $50 to $60, of course, you’re going to make more money.
So that’s, that’s another thing you can do the car, so the conversion rate, that’s it, there’s a third one. So if you can make your site better, so people, people are going to convert better, then you’re going to make more money, and the 41, the f4 frequency, basically, that is trying to get people to come back and buy more often from you. So it doesn’t stop at that first. At the first transaction, you have to make an effort to try and get them back. And it’s not just about sending a newsletter, but it’s about clever animations, as well. And it’s those basically those are the four levers you can pull and there’s basically there’s nothing else that the problem is that most, most people when they have a site, they focus on traffic in the beginning, and that’s totally fine, that’s normal.
That’s what you should do as well in the beginning. But at some point that becomes increasingly difficult because you’ve tapped out on all the potential on all potential channels there maybe but also, potential customers, there may be and it’s becoming harder and harder to get that travel extra traffic to your site that is also relevant traffic because you can always dump extra traffic to your site that has no intention whatsoever to buy from you. That’s not too hard to do. But that’s useless, right? But a lot of companies get stuck in a traffic mindset but because that used to work for them in the beginning days of their site and they think that just throwing more effort and more traffic to on the side that it’s going to help them grow, but usually you Most companies will hit a plateau if they focus only on traffic. And when they hit that plateau, then that’s the typical moment when they come to us. And they’re like, okay, maybe there’s something else out there.
But I noticed a lot of companies get stuck in a traffic mindset. And it’s very hard to get them unstuck. And usually, one of the questions I ask is, Do you want more traffic? Or do you want more revenue? And of course, it’s always more revenue, right? Traffic is, it’s just one of the ways to get more revenue. And if you’re struggling to grow with more traffic, then you have to focus on these other levers. But also traffic is becoming more and more expensive. If you look at Google ads, for instance, it’s in some in some sectors, it’s becoming this super, super expensive to get that really relevant click to your site, but also, Facebook used to be dirt cheap, but that’s not true anymore either.
So every dollar you spend on the traffic side, you have to make sure that it gets to a greater ROI. And how do you get that by focusing on these other levers as well? So it’s just a combination of factors. But I have those four levers that get you the best, best results and the best revenue. But a lot of companies tend to get stuck on the traffic side, and we try to get them unstuck and focus on those other three levers to help them grow further.
Adam: Yeah. Well, I mean, one of the things that I’m hearing is that you’re not really just a conversion rate optimization optimizer, you’re really almost like a revenue optimizer because it’s not just about conversion rate is not just about traffic. It’s about those four pieces of the formula that more traffic, more conversion rate, increase purchase frequency and increased average order value.
Conversion Optimization vs Revenue Optimization
Joris: Yeah, right. Yeah. And that’s you asked because I actually, I actually hated term conversion rate optimization. And because it focuses too much on the conversion rate aspect of things. I mean, there’s it for me it’s continuous revenue optimization, that’s I prefer the term zero. I’m, I mean, we’re stuck with it. There used to be SEO, SEO. So a lot of people were like, Oh, we need to give this thing a name. Let’s call it zero conversion rate optimization. And I think it’s not about conversion rates. It’s about optimizing your revenue. So that’s why I prefer to, to say zero is actually continuous revenue optimization because the conversion rate as such is, I mean, it is an important factor, of course, but it’s not the most important thing. At the end of the day, what you want to move the needle when it comes to your revenue, who cares if it’s a 2% or 2.2% conversion rate.
At the end of the day, you run a business and you look at your actual revenue. So if you can get all those leverage A work to get a perfect, annual revenue goes up. And it’s good. And you don’t have to worry too much about just the conversion rate. Because look at at at what I mentioned before, for instance, you can start dumping a lot of unqualified traffic to your site and your conversion rate is going to go down. So that’s I mean, the coverage is is is is is very, it’s very relative, you know, it’s, it really depends on all the other stuff that you’re doing. And it’s it, I think it’s wrong to just focus on that particular metric is just it’s one of the metrics, but it’s not the one that we should obsess about. It’s about revenue. That’s, that’s the main thing.
Adam: Yeah, no, that completely makes sense. I mean, you’re an expert at digital marketing and as well as you know, helping eCommerce stores increase the revenue through the traffic they’re getting where do you see eCommerce going in the future?
Joris: That’s an interesting question. I don’t really know because I, to be honest, I speak to a lot of clients, a lot of companies, and there are so many different stages that companies are at. So I think it’s a very individual mean, some people are not even ready for conversion optimization yet. They’ll, they might them, they might be ready in one or two years. Others are doing this for you for four years already. So to say like this is going to be the trend, or that that is what I predict in the future. I don’t know. I really I always struggle to answer that question. So I’m sorry, I don’t have a really concrete answer there. So I guess we’ll have to see.
Adam: Yeah, I mean, I know it’s hard. It’s a hard question to answer, you know because things change so rapidly.
Joris: Yeah, and I could say stuff like AI and, but I mean, I feel like everyone has to That already the Internet of Things, that kind of stuff. Of course, those are evolutions. But those are evolutions that are coming up and that might be mainstream in a couple of years but some of the eCommerce there’s they’re not ready for that yet that they have to get the basics right first and there’s so many out there that don’t have the basics right. So I think there’s sometimes there’s a tendency to claim that the shiny object syndrome you know, it’s like, Okay, oh, we should do this now because this is hot right now. Let’s do it right now. But they don’t have the basics covered yet.
So you have to have those basics covered. And unfortunately, I speak to a lot of companies that don’t have those basics covered yet. So don’t start thinking about the AI and personalization and whatnot, all those things that or chatbots are all things that are kind of trendy. You can think about that when you get the basics right. So That’s why I’m also a bit hesitant to like look in the future. Because I know that a lot of people are still a little bit even in the past. So let them let us get them in the present. And then we can think for them to how we get them to the next step. So Oh, yeah. I hope that helps a little bit. Yeah, I know. It’s not a concrete answer here. But yeah.
Adam: So what is what’s your number one piece of advice for business owners, in general, doesn’t have to be just eCommerce business owners, but what’s your number one piece of advice that you think business owners entrepreneurs should focus on?
Joris: Yeah, I think maybe two things, if that’s all right. I know, you know, that’s great. Okay, okay. I think one is focused on your customer, really cares about your customer and I know we all think we do that. But it’s more customer-centric you are, the more you can Everybody, your customer, and the more you solve a real problem your customer’s face, I think the Yeah, the higher the chances of success. And the other thing, from my personal experience, I would say, get a mentor or a coach or join a mastermind. Because running a business, I think it sometimes it’s lonely and just having other people to bounce ideas off. I think that’s really helpful.
And yeah, sometimes just getting an outsider’s perspective because you can get stuck in your own head and just an outsider’s perspective can be very helpful to get you to get those things clear again and, and get you back on track and get to the right focus again. So yeah, don’t be afraid to ask other people and what they think I think that’s, that’s, that’s something that I should have done earlier in my career as an entrepreneur.
Adam: Yeah, I completely agree with both of those. I’m reading a book now called Basic Letters. It talks about Amazon is essentially their 14 leadership principles and customer obsession is definitely number one. or high priority for them everything they do is is is because they obsess over the customer.
Joris: Yeah, that’s absolutely right and I, I mean, even I, I can still learn to do that more and more and more. I think when I think back to a couple of years back, I think I’ve evolved a lot as well and being more customer-centric, but I’m still not there yet. I think it’s an evolution of course, you but always try to think like, Okay, put myself in the shoes of my customer and talk to my customer Of course, as well and try to understand the real problems they have and so that you can really solve it and don’t just assume, but really talk to them. And that’s, that’s really helpful and I should have done more of that and in the early days, but also, as I said, getting a mentor coach or joining mastermind that that’s really helpful.
Adam: Yeah, totally agree. So your us where can people find you, especially if they want to learn more about having you help them grow their revenue?
Joris: So, yeah. So on that sort of agency, you can reach out to me there or you can find me on LinkedIn. If you look on LinkedIn, and you put in my name, yeah, I mean, there’s one other guy called me, but he doesn’t live in Valencia in Spain. So that’ll be an easy pick between me or him. And yeah, just add me on LinkedIn as well. If you have any questions, you can also reach out to me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’m happy to answer any questions.
Adam: Perfect, and we’ll put those links to everything in the show notes. While you’re at this has been really helpful. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
Joris: Thanks for having me, Adam.
Adam: All right, and to everybody listening. Until next time, have a great rest of your day.