Leveraging Shopify Experts for Hypergrowth with Storetasker’s Charlie Fogarty
If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that ecommerce is here to stay and also highly competitive. To stand out, ecommerce brands have to constantly update their Shopify sites to reflect the consumer’s ever changing needs and values. But, that requires time, resources, and talented Shopify developers.
Most emerging brands don’t have the funds to hire a full-time developer or a high-end agency. They’re looking for reliable, skilled freelancers, who can commit to ongoing work and know the ins and outs of Shopify. Whether it’s building out a custom quiz, making a few theme edits, or customizing a product page, that’s where Storetasker comes in.
Since acquiring the integrated marketplace about two years ago, Charlie Fogarty and his team have built a network of skilled, trusted Shopify experts and the technology to streamline the process of matching freelancers and Shopify-native brands. In our recent conversation, we chatted with Charlie about Storetasker’s network of top talent, business model, and take on performance analytics.
Shopify Experts: Finding The Best of The Best
As a prior freelancer, Charlie understands firsthand the challenges of independent entrepreneurs—chasing leads, settling billing issues, working with difficult clients, and managing the peaks and troughs of a business.
And, having parents who ran an ecommerce business themselves, he knows the difficulties on the brand side. His parents’ number one headache always had nothing to do with the business itself. It was finding a talented developer.
Storetasker handles the hardest part of the whole process: finding high-quality talent. Publicly, they say their acceptance rate for ecommerce experts is 5%, but in reality, it’s closer to 2-3%.
When the Storetasker team interviews experts, they look for technical expertise. That’s a given. And then, they look for soft skills—client service, project management, organization, and communication.
They ask applicants:
- How many years have you been a freelancer?
- How long have you been working on Shopify projects?
- Can you tell us about a time a client wasn’t 100% happy and how you handled it?
Over the years, they’ve refined their process, nailing down the right questions to ask and implementing asynchronous interviewing.
Storetasker has a strong onboarding process to bring experts into the community and help them get started. Plus, they stay close to their devs throughout the entire project lifecycle, ensuring they’re successful and clients have a positive experience with the platform.
“We find talented developers who are going to be there week after week and month after month for anything that ranges from $100 to $15,000.”
Storetasker’s Niche: Ongoing Work
More than 30,000 brands—Ordinary Habit, Chubbies, JUDY, Native, and Fellow, to name a few—use Storetasker. They range from pre-launch to over $100 million in revenue. And, Storetasker actually works with tons of high-end agencies too.
Hiring an in-house developer is costly. And because of services like Storetasker, Charlie sees more and more brands push that full-time developer hire until later in their lifecycle.
But, Storetasker also partners with brands who have full-time developers on staff. For example, Storetasker compliments Boll & Branch’s developer team in a flexible way where they can scale up or scale down as needed.
All Shopify sites require ongoing work—week after week, month after month updates—and that calls for a specific type of freelancer. Storetasker projects range from Shopify theme updates to launching in-cart upsells.
Name any Shopify project, and a Storetasker expert can do it.
Shopify is Storetasker’s bread and butter. But, more and more experts are working on Shopify-adjacent projects—setting up analytics infrastructure, creating Klaviyo emails, building out headless commerce solutions, and working on supply chain and 3PL integrations.
Overall, the value lies in cost saving as well as access to a whole network of expertise.
“You get the best of both worlds from a flexibility and cost savings perspective. Plus, you get access to a great pool of talent and expertise.”
How to Drive High-growth Roadmaps
Understanding data and KPIs is incredibly important in order to be successful in any business. But, it’s especially true for any ecommerce business.
Storetasker experts mostly look at high-level metrics—conversion rate, average order value, LTV, and repeat order rate—to measure success.
Sometimes projects are driven by hard metrics, such as improving site speed to drive 15% more conversions. Or, sometimes a site update is just a site update.
But, with tools like Tydo, brands can get an even clearer picture of Storetasker’s impact on their business—specifically by looking at conversion, repeat customer, add to cart, and abandoned cart rates with Tydo’s Email Reports.
“At the end of the day, it’s on the brand to think about what metrics matter most to them. Those key metrics will help them know where to invest and how to drive forward a successful roadmap.”
The Market Opportunity for Ecommerce Experts
Over time, the Shopify ecosystem has matured, in terms of the depth of talent. “There are some incredibly talented people moving into the Shopify space,” says Charlie.
The volume of talented developers entering the ecosystem paired with Shopify’s capabilities all reinforce each other. The opportunity is there.
Today, some of the largest ecommerce brands are built on Shopify. They’re using the Shopify API. They’re implementing custom apps. And they’re going headless. Shopify isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
What’s most exciting is the economic opportunity for developers and creators.
Some Storetasker developers make $200K+ a year. One particular developer has made $320K in the last year. And, that number is only growing.
“There’s a huge economic opportunity. It’s increased in part because of Storetasker but also because of the general trend and explosion of ecommerce.”
- What to pledge
- How to improve
- Which tools will set you up for success
I think the most important thing brands can do in 2023 is to better manage their customer data—both ethically and effectively. There’s an opportunity for brands to know their customers better than ever before—a clear benefit for both the customer and the brand. When you manage your data correctly, you’ll create stronger and more personalized ads, creative, site experiences, and so much more.
This is a classic: Let the data guide you. Go where the buyers for your products are and communicate with them on a personal level (i.e. by persona and funnel position) and nurture those relationships (past, present, and future customers). It’s possible—all through data.
We recommend that Shopify brands analyze and update their websites using data-driven decisions. Using analytics tools such as heatmaps and scrollmaps can help brands better understand how customers are interacting with their store.
Store owners tend to make assumptions about the way customers interact with their website. Most never go back and analyze their design choices to find pain points or areas of opportunity. By using heatmaps and scrollmaps, they can see where real customers are clicking and concentrating their attention. Leveraging this data, brands can start to iterate on design and make their online store experience streamlined and intuitive.
Hotjar provides a simple way to implement heatmaps, scrollmaps, and recorded user sessions on your site, helping you acquire incredibly informative user data. Additionally, it gives you the ability to create on-site surveys, which allows you to obtain direct and often critical feedback from users about their experience.
Test various attribution models and analyze the impact on your business. At Fifty Six, we are always here to help our clients identify and optimize their approach—a critical step in any successful marketing strategy.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times–Customer Lifetime Value. And even more importantly, Future Lifetime Value (FLTV). With the ever-growing importance of first-party data, it is crucial that brands take a good look at their CRM and FLTV metrics.
Stop allocating budgets to low-hanging fruit that doesn’t move the needle on conversion. Think about what’s really going to improve your CX and the return of undertaking different initiatives—not just on what’s top on your list of bugbears on the site!
One of the best ways to understand your customer behavior is by using HotJar. Their heat-mapping and screen recording tools shine a light on where customers are navigating to and from on your site, where they're rage clicking and experiencing frustration, and where conversion is dropping off within real life customer journeys and flows!
Understanding your customers’ pain points via data and analytics , will allow you to work with your CRO/CX Agency to solve customer frustrations and improve conversion.
Rewind backs up all product, customer, and order data for Shopify sites—essential since Shopify itself doesn’t provide this solution. It's saved so many of our clients time and money from administrative accidents.
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33% of customer service inquiries are pre-sale questions. What does this mean? If you’re not investing in customer service, you’re missing out on revenue-generating opportunities.
The benefits of elevating your customer experience:
- 10% to 25% increase in AOV for customers who engage with live chat pre-purchase
- 21x higher conversion rate for customers who reach out via Live Chat or SMS compared to other site visitors
- 87% of customers who have a great customer experience will make another purchase
- 72% of customers share positive experiences with 6 or more individuals
Gorgias is our favorite Helpdesk platform. They can reduce costs by 35%, primarily by decreasing the average ticket handle time. Their machine learning algorithms are trained on millions of ecommerce-related interactions across Gorgias’ customer base and provide accurate, automated replies for the most common ecommerce inquiries. This helps our agents resolve tickets faster, which provides the customer a seamless experience.
Trust your agency! Agencies do the same things across multiple brands and niches, so we see the trends and have the practice and experience!
Don't be afraid of data and insights. If customers aren't clicking on your emails, try a new CTA. If your ads are driving good metrics at a small spend, start scaling. If your customers are complaining about a product, look into QA! If the data tells you something isn't working, let it go and try something else!
I'm supposed to say Tydo, right? 😉
Double down on differentiation. There will be a lot of headwinds this year and standing out from the crowd will set you apart.
A picture is worth 1,000 words. A video? Probably millions. In ecommerce that value translates into engagement, acquisition, and retention—everything you need to impact your bottom line.
At soona, we've seen the we've seen the impact of creative and the continuous split testing of it yield results. Our resolution is to challenge ourselves and double down on innovation and creative optionality so that each brand we work with can distinguish themselves in a crowded sea of D2C ecomm. We'd love to see our brands share this resolution and keep pushing the creative limits.
Klaviyo. We're using it to power our email and newsletter at soona too!
Optimize your returns strategy! This can lead to valuable customer insights, enhanced user experiences, and increased revenue and customer loyalty.
Brands need to dive deeper into understanding their customers to set themselves up for success. Conduct research to gain insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. By doing so, you can develop targeted strategies that will enhance customer experience and boost overall retention.
Right now I would say Gorgias. Having a good customer service tool is crucial to building strong customer relationships.
Start paying heavy attention to data, specifically around retention. We see a lot of effort put towards acquisition with the assumption that once someone buys, they are your customer forever. Instead, get to know your customer, understand their needs, and analyze their behaviors once they are on-site and judge their sentiment after they have visited. Work with a retention focused and data-driven agency to implement tools that contribute to repeat business and customer delight. It will pay dividends.
When surveyed, about 80% of ecommerce merchants think that they are delivering a great experience to their customers. However, when the same customers are surveyed, only 8% of those customers think that they are getting a great experience from the merchant. Now, more than ever, retaining loyal customers is an essential part of any online business and you should spend time with your customers to judge their experience with your website and products and offer improvements based on that feedback.
Tydo's report cards are an essential tool, along with Klaviyo for email and SMS, Recharge for subscriptions and memberships, Okendo for reviews and surveys, Rebuy for AI driven collections and upsells, Loop for self service returns... each tool is great on their own, but their strength as the ultimate tool comes from when they are used together!
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