Listen To Fairing On The Honest Ecommerce Podcast
A few of the discussion points we tapped:
In this conversation, Chase and I discuss:
- Life before Fairing
- What is attribution? Why is it important?
- How do post-purchase surveys help online store owners?
- Interesting data points
- An upcoming Fairing report on attribution
- DIY post-purchase surveys vs Fairing
- Fairing’s response clarification features
- Incentivizing users to complete a survey
- Diversifying your media
If you’re not already subscribed to Honest Ecommerce, be sure to give this episode a listen here .
Life Before Fairing
Thanks chase for having me. Yeah, just to go a little bit into my background, I guess I've been in Ecommerce for about 10 years, the first three of which had a small consultancy, and then I actually was an early employee at a headphone company here in New York called Master and dynamic, where I kind of ran a bunch of things there, everything from DTC, P&L to logistics to digital marketing, was there for about three years, and then left in 2016, to found a startup in the same day delivery space, essentially, was just going on the coattails of Uber, Rush, and Postmates, and was really excited about that vertical, never really found product-market fit with that.
And then about a year and a half ago, we pivoted into Enquire [now Fairing] one of those customers was having trouble with their top-of-funnel attribution. Long story short, all of their last click conversions in GA were direct or branded search and really didn't have any insight into where their customers were coming from. We told them to go implement a post-purchase survey and just ask and found out there was no attribution survey or just survey platform in general that was built for Ecommerce. So been scaling that for the past year and a half, have about 450 Shopify customers, and investing in the product today.
What Is Attribution? Why Is It Important?
So attribution has a lot of ways to look at it. But this more simplistic way is really just giving credit to what channels drove sales. So in a very simplistic sense, what we're doing is just productizing, this question, “how did you hear about us?” which is your top-of-funnel attribution.
I think in a space today, everyone's kind of convoluted the problem, there's a bunch of ways that you can look at attribution, whether that's just looking at last-click, which is essentially just giving full credit to that last source that drove the sale. If you're a bit more complex, you can use multi-touch attribution, which starts to weight every single touchpoint on the path to the purchase, which definitely gets quite complex as you dive into it.
And what we're doing at [Fairing] is just simplifying that problem. So taking this qualitative approach, which essentially allows you what we say just measure the unmeasurable it's very difficult to give weights to heard from a friend or saw from a billboard or even heard from a podcast if they're not using a discount code. So that's pretty much attribution, in a nutshell, is really just helping you allocate your budget to the channels that are performing best.
How Do Post-Purchase Surveys Help Online Store Owners?
If people aren't jumping across devices, and they're just clicking on ads to find your products. Like, that's pretty much a pretty linear path to purchase.
But once you start advertising at events, you start going into channels that are offline, and measuring how those things are working becomes very difficult. For a Shopify merchant, for example, like how do you measure your word of mouth ? So obviously, word of mouth is one of the best channels, can create virality with your product. And it's just very difficult to measure through just pixels and cookies just because people are searching for your brand on Google or just going to your site directly.
So the way in which using an attribution survey works, it helps you to uncover all of those channels that aren't necessarily measurable through your typical kind of pixel and cookie tracking.
It's like, oh, I didn't even know this YouTube ad was working, because people were just going to Google and typing our product in. But now we have this whole new data set we didn't have before. It's essentially direct engagement from the customer that's allowing us to really understand the effectiveness of these channels.
Interesting Data Points
I think the most interesting thing is just really … being able to measure the channels that are just kind of gaining popularity from a marketing perspective now. So we've served about 10 million surveys in the last 12 months. We get about 60% response rates, so it's about 6 million survey responses around attribution.
And kind of I guess the first thing to know is like everyone is still very highly leveraged on Facebook, and Instagram, which is a little bit concerning, just given the fact that CPMs are increasing and tactical nature of making those channels ROI positive is just getting very complex. So that's definitely something we're seeing. And part of our call it mission, or just strategy in 2020, is to continue iterating on the product to allow people to expand into new channels.
So one of kind of the stories that we tell is, it's quite difficult to kind of jump into podcast advertising or out of home unless you have much larger budgets. It's very easy just to put in your credit card and start spending on Facebook and Google. And what we're trying to do is … allow our customers to just diversify their spend in a more comfortable nature. So that's kind of one of the things that we're looking at is like, how leveraged are people on these channels that are getting more expensive?
And then the second point, I guess, to really answer your question is some of the interesting learnings is just like seeing TikTok and a few other channels just slowly rise in popularity over the last 12 months, going from okay, we get maybe 10 responses a day that are TikTok, and now we're getting about 2000. So it's really just escalating, and we have the insight … [and] … data to show that.
So yeah, what we're going to be doing is just starting to surface that to our customers, so they can more effectively kind of allocate their spend and not be so reliant on Facebook and Instagram.
An Upcoming Fairing Report On Attribution
One of the things we've kind of been talking about that a lot internally, and we work with probably about two dozen brands that are quite large, call it over 100 million, and we work with a bunch of brands who are just doing between maybe one and 10 million and of one of the things with that report, and we are working on it is trying not to kind of uncover the tactical nature of the larger brands … because their media mix is going to be very different.
So what we're most likely going to do is kind of what I alluded to before with tick tock is like, just have a TikTok report, like kind of go channel by channel and just show how these are increasing. Just to give just a general scope of how acquisition is changing over the next couple of years.
DIY Post-Purchase Surveys vs Fairing
With [Fairing] if you're just a merchant starting out, you can install us we [have an affordable starting subscription ]. So it's very cost-effective. And we priced it in a way that will beat any kind of build versus buy argument in that regard.
But just starting out, yeah, it takes about two seconds on Shopify to install, [Fairing]. And right now we live solely on the order confirmation page. So that's very much on purpose. We actually can't take a survey response without other data points, so you'll never get a response that says Facebook, and you don't know who the customer is that that's attached to it or what they bought, or how much they spent. And what that allows us to do is kind of model against that.
But yeah, if you're just getting started, like, I think if you asked me that question five years ago, I'd probably say just like buy Facebook ads and enjoy the ride. But kind of in the current 2020 market, I would look to start diversifying early, obviously, start on Facebook, but at least kind of start to build this model and standardize this process internally for measuring outcomes for anything you try.
Fairing's Response Clarification Features
We're really focused on … going deep on attribution, so it is single question. We are actually rolling out … we're rolling out response clarification this month, which would allow you to drill down on a response.
So if someone selects podcasts, you could then list which podcast you're advertising on and then a user can click on that. But for the most part, I'd say for at least Q1, Q2, and probably at least most of Q3, we're really just focused on this kind of single question or kind of one two-step question in regards to attribution.
Incentivizing Users To Complete A Survey
It's not right now. So we haven't done too much on kind of increasing the response rate yet. And that's really just because the average response rate across all of our customers is just over 60%.
So the response rate, I'd argue, is already pretty great. We have a few customers who are incentivizing, like offering 15% off if you complete the survey, and they definitely have response rates of 75 to 80%. But for us, we're collecting a lot of data on like how fast the survey loads, how fast the user is submitting the response.
And I think there's still a lot of opportunity for us to more or less increase the response rate coming from maybe like the back of house versus enforcing someone to provide a code or provide some kind of incentive.
Diversifying Your Media
Don't get so caught up in kind of quantitative marketing analytics, because oftentimes, it's very easy to forget how important the qualitative side is. And that's kind of just the message that we're sending is diversify or media be comfortable doing so and just find ways in which to measure it.
And we obviously think that attribution surveys are the best way to do that.