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Hey, Shopify Store Owner.

We interact with humans.

It’s not just numbers, right?

This means that it’s not because you see a dashboard showing you some numbers but that it’s solely about numbers.

Although these numbers appear on the dashboard of Google Analytics, Google Ads Conversion, Facebook Pixel, or TikTok Pixel event manager, each represents a human interaction.

A human interacting with your Shopify store, product page, category page, video, ad, you name it.

Often, we focus on one of the results this interaction can bring us: money.

Which ultimately makes us only see numbers.

Focusing on numbers only without the underlying reality of these numbers will lead us most of the time to abuse a human.

How is this happening?

1. Well, we often see our funnel as linear.

2. We push ourselves on our Shopify store visitors.

Linear Funnels.

When we see our funnel as linear, meaning the visitor goes from steps 1 to 5 sequentially, we ignore essential aspects of human interaction.

As a result, we also try to improve our funnel by breaking down each step and tweaking them individually, using different tactics to push the sales or people to the next step.

The results of the two mindsets mentioned above in the short term give you quick results.

But in the long term, it will hurt more than you think.

The reality is that human interactions are nonlinear. Often, they never interact with your funnel linearly. They don’t go from step 1 to 5 in a sequel way.

Most of the time, it is zigzag circling or unpatterned.

So numbers indicate a small reality of your visitors, not the total and definite truth.

In the absence of the truth, we keep pushing. Pushing. Pushing.

We keep offering discount after discount.

We create a discount online store or a customer base that is only attractive to discounts.

What would happen if someone forced themselves on you?

Would you like that?

Isn’t it uncomfortable?

How long do you want to stick around that person?

Exactly.

The results of pushing and forcing ourselves onto our store visitors led to the creation of GDPR, CCPA, and DMA laws to protect visitors from the abuse of digital advertising.

These laws gave us less insight to help our Shopify visitors solve their problems.

But there is a different approach.

It is all about your relationships with your Shopify store visitors.

How would you feel if someone proposed to you when they met you?

That’s awkward and maybe uncomfortable.

The chance of a “NO” is 99.99 percent, right?

How would you feel if someone forced or manipulated you into accepting the proposal?

You won’t enjoy any part of it, right?

I don’t.

Before you propose, you will introduce yourself and then take some time to see if this person is the right fit.

You will go on dates, get to know each other, and build relationships. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

The point is that it takes time, and it is a process. This process sometimes happens in days, months, or years.

You don’t have control over it.

Still, besides this fundamental truth, we use data to force our Shopify store visitors into accepting our proposals/ offers.

We barely have the patience and time to harness the relationship, get to know them, and let them know us.

Marketers often use a strategy that retargets Shopify store visitors who didn’t show intent to get them back.

Most retarget the visitors without personalization or anything relevant to the visitor’s needs.

You often see discounts after discounts, countdown timers, limited time, and more.

All of the above tricks your Shopify store visitor into action.

Again, if we look at where we are today with all these privacy laws and new ways of tracking our store visitors, we can see that those strategies only work in the short term.

Those strategies made keeping track of and understanding our users more challenging.

So, moving forward, if you want to make the best out of your data, start treating each number as they are: a human who needs help and is looking to build a relationship.

And to build a long-lasting relationship will take time. A lasting relationship takes into consideration both humans.

It’s not only about what you want—It’s about what we can agree on during our relationship.

Most often, we want a wish list. I am an Amazon Prime member, and I have multiple lists—some for regular buying, some for one once a year buying.

Trust is an indispensable commodity for Shopify store owners.

When your Shopify store visitors trust you, they give you power over them.

Please don’t take it for granted. Use it to build and grow.

“When we trust, we give people and organizations power over us. Often, we take this trust for granted and don’t even realize we are trusting.”

Sandra J. Sucher & Shalene Gupta

What is trust, exactly?

From a rational choice perspective, trust is about confidence in expectations. People’s approaches go beyond this, defining trust as confidence in expectations that others will do what is right. From this perspective, trust involves more than predicting the behavior of another; it includes the perception that people have a responsibility to fulfill the trust placed in them.

As argued by Francis Fukuyama in The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity:

“Prosperous countries tend to be those where business relations between people can be conducted informally and flexibly based on trust. Numerous studies indicate the dividends of trusting relationships.

Some show that, at the least, trust is robustly related to economic growth and, at most, that the relationship between trust and growth is statistically significant. One study concluded explicitly that growth rises nearly one percentage point on average for each 15 percentage point increase in trust.

Others demonstrate that as mutual trust between the populations of two countries increases by one percent, exports increase by 0.6 percent, and the stock of foreign direct investment increases by three percent. The theoretical basis of this is that high-trust relationships have lower transaction costs.

Lower transaction costs stimulate investment, production, and trade, leading to economic growth.”

This can be used as proof that if you focus on building trust with your Shopify store visitors and customers, your online shop will get lower transaction costs, stimulating the worth of mount, more sales, and growth.

Your customers and visitors expect you to keep your promise and deliver on the expectations.

And as they share their personal information, they expect you to care for it as you would for your own.

Here are a couple more facts to consider:

  1. 73 % of people will not purchase products from a business they don’t trust (Edelman Trust Barometer of 2011 and 2013).
  2. 75 % of customers recommend products and services of companies they trust (Edelman Trust Barometer of 2011 and 2013).
  3. 67 % of customers proactively criticize a business, services, or products they do not trust to friends (Edelman Trust Barometer of 2011 and 2013).
  4. 70% of customers base their buying decisions on the experience they get from businesses. (McKinsey)
  5. Customers are 4 times more likely to change to a competitor if the problem is service than if the problem is price or product-related (Bain and Company).
  6. Price is usually not the primary reason for the loss of a customer. More often, this is due to the need for better customer support. (Accenture Global Customer Satisfaction Report, 2008)
  7. Happy customers who resolve their problems, tell about 4-6 people about their experience – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
  8. 85 % buy products and services from businesses they trust (Edelman Trust Barometer of 2011 and 2013)
  9. Buyers who rate you five 5 on a scale from 1 to 5 are 6 times more likely to buy from you again, compared to only giving you a score of 4.8 (Telecation Data Research)
  10. 96% of unhappy buyers do not complain. However, 91% of those will leave and never come back (F1 Financial Training Services)

More on customer satisfaction

Now that you understand the value of trust and how it can impact your business if you take it for granted, let’s focus on how to build it…

Start with showcasing genuine customer reviews, providing clear and detailed product information, implementing transparent return policies, and ensuring a secure checkout process. These steps can significantly enhance customer confidence in your store.

Also, it is best to use your digital analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Google Ads Conversion tracking, or TikTok Pixel, to build trust and increase the value of faith in your business.

Be careful. Don’t let Shopify Analytics and GA4 data consume you.

Yes, I often come across Shopify store owners so consumed by the number that they only care about accuracy.

You hear all the time, does the number match? Is it accurate?

Now, I thought your accountant was supposed to worry about accuracy. Quick Books and other booking platforms were supposed to be accurate.

It’s not just me –>. Check what Simo Ahava has to say about data.

What is the purpose of Digital analytics?

First, no tracking can capture 100% of your visitors’ data. Even before GDPR and 2021, no one captured 100% of the data.

We used to capture about 80 to 90%. And now, post GDPR, CCPA and DMA, and iOS 14 Update,e, and the browser’s privacy restrictions capturing 80 to 90% is becoming almost impossible.

You should be happy if you capture more than 60% of your Shopify store data in Google Analytics. For example, in Germany, in some cases, 40% of visitors opt out of tracking.

Secondly, digital analytics only helps you track 15-20% of your customers’ data.

Why?

Simply because only 15-20% of your Shopify store visitors buy in the first 90 days, the rest, 80-85%, will buy in the following 21 months. Watch Dean Jackson’s video.

If you let the numbers consume you and take them as the only truth, you will leave 80-85% of your money on the table for your competitors to catch.

I also noticed this in my business. Some leads I interacted with in the first 3 months didn’t purchase and returned after a couple of months or even a year and then purchased from me.

Last but not least.

Tracking systems like Google Analytics 4 help you understand trends and patterns.

They are here to help you understand:

  1. Who. (Traffic)
  2. What. (Results)
  3. Why. (How you got results)

Who came to your Shopify store, what did they do, and why did they do it? Based on that narrative, you can influence to improve the results.

You need to do this consistently if you want to see improvement.

So, you need to:

  1. Break your marketing into worlds and make sure they interconnect. World Building 101 for Marketing.
  2. Build a narrative of what your audience is doing.
  3. Influence.
  4. Implement loyalty programs.
  5. Offer high-quality content.
  6. Provide excellent post-purchase support to keep customers returning.
  7. Shopify analytics to understand customer preferences and behaviors.
  8. Tailor your product recommendations, discounts, and content accordingly.

It is an endless game for Shopify store owners.

Why?

When I started as an entrepreneur, I focused only on making money and becoming a millionaire.

I was doing everything possible to push and get the money, and because of my narrow vision, I couldn’t make any money online.

The significant shift came when I switched focus and started playing the long-term game.

When I decided I would be doing this for the rest of my life, no matter how much I made.

I realized there was a need in the market, and Shopify store owners needed help solving their problems.

So, it wasn’t about me anymore. It became about my customers/ audience.

How can I serve Shopify store owners best…

As my skills and services improved, more and more store owners wanted to work with me.

More and more store owners recommend me.

The thing is that there is no stopping this growth if you keep doing a great job and providing an excellent experience.

This leads me to conclude that the game of business is endless. It’s an infinite game.

Here is what Simon Sinek, a world-renowned author and public speaker, has to say on Infinite Game:

“In game theory, there are two kinds of games. There are finite games, and there are infinite games. In baseball, a finite game is defined as known players, fixed rules, and an agreed-upon objective.

We all agree on what the rules are. And at the end of nine innings, whoever has more runs. We declared the winner, and the game was over.

No one ever says, wait, wait, wait, wait, if we can just play three more innings. I know we can come back, and win doesn’t happen.

Right? You have winners and losers, right? Then there’s an infinite game. An endless game is defined as known and unknown players.

The rules are changeable, and the objective is to keep the game in play to perpetuate the game. The system is stable when you pit a finite player versus a finite player.

Baseball is stable. The system is also stable when you pit an infinite player versus an infinite player. The Cold War was stable because there could be no winners and losers.

It doesn’t exist. That’s not a scenario we want. So you keep the game in play to keep it stable and in an infinite game because there are no winners or losers.

What happens is that players drop out when they run out of the will or the resources to play. And then they’re replaced by other players.

The game perpetuates the players’ change-out problems when pitting a finite versus an infinite player because the finite player is playing to win.

And the infinite player is playing to stay in the game. The finite player will always get, uh, frustrated. They will find themselves in a dilemma.

This was the United States in Vietnam. We were fighting to win, and they were fighting for their lives. This was the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

They were fighting to beat the Mujahideen. The Mujahideen would fight for as long as it was necessary.”

Here is his saying on business:

“The game of business is by its very definition infinite. It preexisted before every single company on this planet ever existed.

And it will outlast every single company on this planet. But if you listen to the words of most companies, they don’t know the game they’re in.

You listen to companies. They want to be number one based on metrics, timeframe revenues, and market share square footage.

They want numbers of employees based on a quarter a year, five years, 10 years, and 50 years. I didn’t agree with those standards.

You can’t arbitrarily say we’re number one. No one else agreed to the standards. It’s nonsense to beat our competition based on what.

And they study their competition, trying to outdo their competition. And yet, I’ve never heard of a company that competitors take down they have known. They’re always taken down by the competitors they didn’t know. Do you think my space knew that Facebook existed?

They were worried about Friendster. You can’t make strategic decisions by studying your competition. You can make tactical decisions from researching your competition, but not strategic choices, which, when you listen to how most companies play the game, they need to be in the right match.

That’s why they get frustrated. The great organizations understand that they’re playing to stay in the game. Jim Senegal, the founder of Costco, says, “The Wall Street is in the business of making the quarter of the year. We’re in the business of building a company for the next 50 years.”

Knowing what game you’re in radically changes your decisions and how you see the world.

It is also tremendously confidence-building. Let me give you a true story. I spoke at education and education. That’s funny.

I spoke at an education summit for Microsoft. I also spoke at an education summit for Apple education from Mike at the education summit for Microsoft.

Furthermore, 70% of the executives spent about 70% of their presentations discussing how to beat Apple. At the Apple education summit, 100% of the executives spent a hundred percent of their presentations discussing how to help teachers teach and how to help students learn.

One is playing this way. And one is playing that way. One is playing finite, and the other one is playing infinite.

Guess which one gets frustrated? So, at the end of my talk at Microsoft, they gave me a gift. They gave me the new Zoom when it was a thing.

And let me tell you, this thing was spectacular. It was the most elegant piece of technology I’ve ever used. The user interface was incredible.

The design was spectacular. I loved it. It was easy to use, and it was suitable and gorgeous. And it didn’t work on iTunes, which is a different problem.

I couldn’t use it, but it was impressive and elegant. My God, it was brilliant. So I’m sitting in the back of a taxi with a senior Apple executive sort of employee, a number 12 guy.

And you know, I like to stir pots. So I turned to him. I said Microsoft gave me their new Zoom, which is much better than your iPod touch.

And he turned to me and said, I have no doubt—conversation over Because the infinite player understands. Sometimes you’re ahead, behind, your product is better, and sometimes worse. The goal isn’t to be the best every day. Neither to outdo your competition every day. That’s a finite construction.

If I had said to Microsoft, I’ve got the new iPod touch, and it’s so much better than your Zoom, they would have said, can we see it?

What does it do? React, react, react, react. Finite players play to be bet to beat the people around them. Infinite players play to be better than themselves, to wake up every day and say, how can we make our company a better version of itself today than it was yesterday?

How can we create a product this week? That’s better than the product we made last week. We also have to play the input game.

It’s not about being ranked. Number one. It’s not about having more followers on Twitter than your friends. It’s not about outdoing.

Anyone. It’s about how to outdo yourself. It’s not about selling more books or getting more Ted views than somebody else.

It’s about ensuring that your work is better than the work you created before you were your competition.

And that is what ensures you stay in the game the longest. And that ensures you find joy because the joy comes not from a comparison but advance.”

Watch the full 10-minute video here.

The understanding that the business game is infinite is one of the critical factors in the growth of my Digital Analytics services business and my Shopify store clients.

I recommend that you adopt this mindset.

By the way, I am not the only one who has adopted this mindset.

Here is another market leader in business who understands the infinite game:

Amazon.

Here is what Jeff Bezos had to say in 1997:

“It’s All About the Long Term.

A fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will directly result from our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership position. The stronger our market leadership, the more powerful our economic model. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, profitability, incredible capital velocity, and substantial investment capital returns.

Our decisions have consistently reflected this focus. We first measure ourselves in terms of the metrics most indicative of our market leadership: customer and revenue growth, the degree to which our customers continue to purchase from us on a repeat basis, and the strength of our brand.

We have invested and will continue to invest aggressively to expand and leverage our customer base, brand, and infrastructure as we move to establish an enduring franchise. Because we emphasize the long term, we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies.

Accordingly, we want to share our fundamental management and decision-making approach so that you, our shareholders, may confirm that it is consistent with your investment philosophy:

  • We will continue to focus relentlessly on our customers.
  • We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions.
  • We will continue to measure our programs and the effectiveness of our investments analytically to jettison those that do not provide acceptable returns and step up our investment in those that work best. We will continue to learn from both our successes and our failures.
  • We will make bold rather than timid investment decisions where we see a sufficient probability of gaining market leadership advantages. Some of these investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson.
  • When forced to choose between optimizing the appearance of our GAAP accounting and maximizing the present value of future cash flows, we’ll take the cash flows.
  • We will share our strategic thought processes with you when we make bold choices (to the extent competitive pressures allow) so that you may evaluate for yourselves whether we are making sound long-term leadership investments.
  • We will work hard to spend wisely and maintain our lean culture. We understand the importance of continually reinforcing a cost-conscious culture, particularly in a business incurring net losses.
  • We will balance our focus on growth with an emphasis on long-term profitability and capital management. At this stage, we prioritize growth because scale is central to achieving the potential of our business model.
  • We will continue to focus on hiring and retaining versatile and talented employees and weight their compensation to stock options rather than cash. We know our success will be primarily affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like and, therefore, be an owner.

We aren’t so bold as to claim that the above is the “right” investment philosophy, but it’s ours. We would be remiss if we weren’t clear about our approach, and will continue to take it. With this foundation, we would like to review our business focus, progress in 1997, and outlook for the future.

Obsess Over Customers.

From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Therefore, we set out to provide customers with something they could not get any other way and began serving them with books. We brought them much more selection than was possible in a physical store (our store would now occupy 6 football fields) and presented it in a proper, easy-to-search, and easy-to-browse format in a store open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We maintained a dogged focus on improving the shopping experience and, in 1997, substantially enhanced our store. We now offer customers gift certificates, 1-ClickSM shopping, and more reviews, content, browsing options, and recommendation features. We dramatically lowered prices, further increasing customer value. Word of mouth remains the most robust customer acquisition tool, and we are grateful for our customers’ trust in us. Repeat purchases and word of mouth have combined to make Amazon.com the market leader in online bookselling.”

So, how to proceed:

  • Staying agile
  • Responding to market trends
  • Get customer feedback
  • Use technological advancements to keep your store at the forefront of e-commerce
  • Use data to inform decisions but always maintain customer satisfaction and experience. 
  • Aim to understand and meet your customers’ needs, turning data insights into meaningful actions.

If you want to get interested in Insights or How to’s articles on the steps mentioned above:

Josipher Walle Digital Analytics Specialist

Josipher Wallé

Josipher Walle, CXL Certified Optimizer
Josipher Walle, Contributor in Brainz Magazine
Josipher Walle is a vetted Fiverr professional
Josipher Walle CXL Certified in Digital Psychology