The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

“How is an entrepreneur like me supposed to scale my Shopify store?” That's what The Unofficial Shopify Podcast aims to answer. Discover new opportunities to grow your store from the world’s most successful Shopify entrepreneurs. Hosted by Kurt Elster, a senior ecommerce consultant and Shopify Plus Expert, The Unofficial Shopify Podcast is not authorized, endorsed, or sponsored by Shopify– It's a no holds barred discussion of ecommerce growth strategy and tactics.

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    Sourcing the Future: How One Man Brought Smart Jackets to Market

    It’s 2017, forget about flying cars, where are our smart clothes?

    Today’s guest is making smarter clothes

    Peter Netzel of Kelvin Techstyles joins us today to discuss his journey. He drops a megaton knowledge bomb regarding sourcing and manufacturing products through Alibaba.

    If you’ve ever considered having a product manufactured, but didn’t know where to start, Peter makes it sound easy.

    Listen now.

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    Embracing Video: How Tactical Baby Gear Grew 5x with Video

    If this show had a mantra, it might be "People buy from people, not brands."

    I've certainly said it enough times

    because I believe firmly in the power of selling H2H, human to human.

    I've seen solopreneuer stores try so hard to make themselves look bigger than they are, and we see right through it.

    Hey, I did the same thing when I started my own business eight years ago.

    But one of the turning points that leveled up our business was when I got out in front of as the face of the brand.

    It's something I've seen as a common characteristic of successful online brands

    And today's guest does a great job at it.

    He was on our show last summer as well after moving his store onto Shopify and experiencing explosive growth after a successful free plus shipping campaign.

    Now he's back to update us how his business grown in the last year through his personal video content marketing

    Joining us today is Beav Brodie from Tactical Baby Gear.

    Beav developed Tactical Baby Gear and brought it to market in 2013 using Instagram as a platform to promote and sell it initially. He came from a 15 year career as a custom car builder and knew some, but very little about e-commerce, and had to learn everything on his own

    The results have been extraordinary

    Listen now.

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    How to Omnichannel: Bridging Online & In-Store Experiences

    Rarely on this do we talk about ecommerce from a retail-first perspective.

    Today that changes.

    How does ecommerce as a channel fit into an existing and successful brick & mortar experience?

    If you’re a retailer re-selling other people’s products in a brick & mortar, this episode is for you.

    Joining us to discuss it is Gregg Shanefelt.

    Gregg is a senior web developer and marketer who has been working with small businesses since 2009 with a passion for helping the little (and not so little) guys grow to compete and build the community.

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    4X Your Black Friday Emails with Segmentation

    Last week we heard from Kaleigh Moore on ecommerce trends that will optimize your store in preparation for Black Friday

    One of the suggestions from that episode that got most excited was the idea of a buyer’s guide– specifically having customers segment themselves into new vs returning customers by offering a buyer’s guide on the home page.

    That’s a simple but powerful example of customer segmentation.

    Right now, nearly all websites treat all visitors the same.

    But our customers aren’t the same.

    If we can segment them based on their interests and actions, then we can personalize their experience, and make our marketing much more relevant to them.

    To discuss the realities of personalization, is RightMessage founder Brennan Dunn. RightMessage is a software company that helps bring on-site personalization to the masses.

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    eCommerce Trends You Need to Boost Sales Before Black Friday

    The year is half over, which means the holidays will be upon us before we know it.

    The summer, right now, is the time to start preparing for the holidays.

    One way to prepare is to look at what’s working for other ecommerce retailers and cherry pick those ideas for your own brand.

    Joining us to discuss several actionable example of revenue-boosting trends is Kaleigh Moore.

    Kaleigh is a freelance writer specializing in eCommerce. Since 2013, she's been working with various eCommerce platforms and publications like Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur to highlight the best practices, new data, and rapid growth associated with online sales.

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    How to Get Better Traffic, Free with Semantic Data

    Everyone wants better ranking but that’s not really what they want.

    Stores want more traffic.

    They want that because it leads to sales.

    Sales is what really matters.

    All of SEO is just a marketing channel to get more visitors who turn into customers.

    The main FIX for SEO is better rankings

    What if there was a way to get more sales with the existing rankings you already have?


    By convincing more searchers to click on your search listings.

    More clicks == more traffic == more sales.

    What we’re talking about today is a search enhancement in Google called Rich Snippets, specifically Product Rich Snippets.

    They enhance your existing search results with more data and pixels.

    Eric Davis joins us today to walk us through it in easy to understand terms.

    Eric is founder of Little Stream Software, which helps Shopify entrepreneurs customize their Shopify stores using public and private Shopify Apps.

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    Building The Perfect Shopify Theme

    Not all Shopify themes are created equal.

    Even in the Shopify Theme Store, which has a carefully curated collection of fewer than 50 themes, some are certainly better than others.

    That's we've learned In working on Shopify themes for the last five years.

    (Which is why we now only work on themes from trusted developers.)

    For new store owners on Shopify, choosing the right theme can be an intimidating task.

    On today's episode, I talk through my theming experience, and we take a deep dive into a new theme that's become my preferred go-to choice.

    Joining us is Brad Miller from Out of the Sandbox.

    Brad is the founder and CEO of Out of the Sandbox, the designers of Shopify's best reviewed and most popular themes.

    Out of the Sandbox has been designing revolutionary online shops and setting trends in the ecommerce world since 2011.

    Their theme work has earned them a Shopify Design Award, and they've continued to push the technological boundaries for high-performance ecommerce.

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    How customizable is Shopify, really?

    The biggest misconception about Shopify I hear from people considering the platform is that it’s “not customizable.”

    Joining me to discuss the realities of customization on Shopify is repeat guest Ross Allchorn

    Ross an entrepreneur and a specialist in e-commerce and digital marketing. Founder of ShopCreatify, a Shopify design, development, and customization collaborative.

    His days are filled mostly with solving interesting and complicated issues on Shopify and allowing his merchant clients to squeeze every ounce out of the platform.

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    The Vivian Lou Story: How One Mom Quit Her Job to Sell Insoles on HSN

    In speaking with Shopify entrepreneurs, there are definite patterns that appear in successful stores

    A common one is having a product that solves a pain or problem for people

    Today’s guest sells one product that solves a literal pain and has been tremendously successful doing so

    If you’ve ever worn high heels, you know there are designed for style over comfort

    That’s where Vivian Lou comes in. Vivian Lou is a brand that promises to allow women to wear high heels four times longer without pain.

    Joining me is Vivian Lou’s president, Abby Walker.

    Abby’s entrepreneurial journey started 3 years ago after she picked up the phone and asked one simple question.

    She launched her company as a hobby business (while being a full time working mom of two kids.)

    Since then, her flagship product - an insole for high heels - has been featured in O! Magazine, Real Simple and USA TODAY. It’s also been featured on The View and is sold on HSN.

    In May 2016, she quit her full-time job to pursue her dream and has covered her lost corporate salary (and then some) since November 2016.

    In today’s episode, Abby will explain her journey and the mindset shifts that enabled her success.

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    Pad & Quill: How an Award-winning Business Started With $1,200

    If you own a tablet or iPad, you’ve probably shopped for a case for it. And if you bought a case for it, did you ever run across beautiful leather cases that looked like books?

    If so, you and I have the same taste. Pad & Quill makes those luxurious cases.

    Our guest today is Brian Holmes, President, and owner of Pad & Quill. He started the business in 2010 with his wife, Kari.

    It was a desire to create exceptionally crafted luxury accessories (rather than profits) that motivated Holmes when he chose to start the business with a budget of just over $1,000.

    Pad and Quill is the tale of a shop formed with bookbinders, carpenters, a painter and a working mom coming together to create beautiful handmade iPad/iPhone cases, leather bags, and other dry goods.

    In this episode, we dive into his seven-year journey in ecommerce and discover what he’s learned along the way.

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