Bringing Design Closer with Gerry Scullion

Lola Oyelayo-Pearson 'Understanding Money & Shaping experiences to empower entrepreneurs at Shopify'

John Carter
March 15, 2022
40
 MIN
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Lola Oyelayo-Pearson 'Understanding Money & Shaping experiences to empower entrepreneurs at Shopify'

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Episode Transcript

This is an auto-generated transcript and may contain minor errors.

00:00:25

S1: Hello and welcome to another episode of Bringing Design Closer, the podcast focus and discussing Design's role in tackling complex societal issues. Our goal is to have conversations that inspire and help move the dive forward for organizations to become more human centered in their approach to solving complex business and societal problems. My name is Gerry Scullion and I'm the founder of the human centered design network, and the CEO of This is doing income home of many of the world's best design and change maker courses online now. Next month marks. This is Haiti's fifth anniversary. And if you found this network useful to you over the last five years, I hope so. I want to help me and the team at this. I say CDO's, you can do two things. If you haven't already done it, please sign up to our newsletter. This is how it said where you can get fortnightly content about all that is going on in the world of this site today. And also if you love what we do. Just leave a rating for the podcast wherever you listen to it. It helps us out enormously and helps others find the podcast too. If you want to leave it anywhere.

Our preference will probably be in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts. They're probably two of the most important channels for us now.

In this episode, I speak with Lola Oyelayo-Pearson from Shopify, and Lolo is a director of UX in the money space. We chat about what that actually means. We speak about the mission at Shopify to remain truly independent whilst supporting enterprise worship globally by making it easier to sell online and creating a support network for those merchants. What really interested me, though, was the points about how Shopify makes money and also not. They share the risk in opening up available funds to enable businesses to succeed. I mean, that's a huge statement right there. They open up those funds for businesses to succeed, and I can't really think of many of the businesses out there who walk the walk quite like this. Many of, you know, talk the talk very well. But this is a really exceptional case. I was really keen to drill into what that actually means. We chat about also all money means, and it's not just a system to enable a transactional relationship. It's visceral and money is real and it can empower and it can also destroy people. I was keen to hear their thoughts on how the Western driven perspective of money could translate into markets like Africa or Asia, and what that might look like. Lolo rocks OK, and I know you're going to enjoy this conversation, so let's jump straight in.

Lola, I'm delighted to have you on the podcast. We've been talk this for a little while. Yes. But tell us, what do you do? And where are you coming from today?

00:02:52

S2: Hi, Gerry. It is a pleasure to be on the podcast. It also is super strange for me because, you know, you get used to hearing someone's voice on a podcast and they feel really familiar. But then you still get that starstruck moment when you actually like, meet them and you're like, Oh,

00:03:05

S1: that's me, you. Yeah, I've I've been listening to your podcast Mutual Appreciation. Yeah, well, there you go. It's it's kind of like, you know, two worlds collide in here today. Like, you know, I love what you see. Well, we we've been speaking with I've been speaking with Jane on Shopify for the amazing woman. Sure. Yes, Jane. So you could have been here. But like, you know, I think we wanted a day off, so aren't able to make it to this podcast.

00:03:30

S2: We occasionally give us some holiday cheer.

00:03:32

S1: Yeah. Well, was it three days or three days off a year? You got to shop for something great in a little bit more than that? Put your fantastic sponsors for the society for the next six months, and we wanted to connect with somebody at Shopify to talk to us a little bit more about what you do and why. Shopify is a great place to work, and this is not a sales sales kind of conversation. I'm going to get into the nuts and bolts.

00:04:00

S2: Yes. No, it's good. It's good. I'm I'm good at sales, but I do. I kind of draw the line at B.S., so we will do some real talking. But yeah, so I I'm one of the directors. If you exit Shopify, there are a few of us, but I look after our many products, so I'm the bank can bring the back and my team designs a bunch of specific financial solutions to help entrepreneurs just focus on the business of selling. So we take care of payments. We sought out loans, we do some business banking stuff. We make sure they get their money, where they need it, when they need it as quickly as possible, and we try to take care of the stuff that they don't need to be an expert at in order to run a business so that they can actually be an expert at, you know, supply management and marketing and buyer relationships and stuff that that really makes a difference for them.

00:04:55

S1: We're assuming that people know what Shopify is. Oh, that's good point. Yeah. So like I've known about Shopify since 2010, maybe.

00:05:05

S2: Oh, you're good. I have no clue who they were in 2017 when I first got closer. Who the hell are these people? No, no. Thank you.

00:05:11

S1: Oh, it was. It was insane like it was. I remember when it came on the markets because the alternative at the time was WooCommerce. I think, yeah, and probably a few other ones that were just kind of not very easy to use. Yeah. And Eric, wow, you can get all these kind of look and feels and we can compete with all these big businesses very quickly and have great experience. Yeah, it's been going for quite a while and it is a Canadian business. Where is it?

00:05:37

S2: Well, it's kind of both. So our founder to Tobi is German and emigrated to Canada. And the how I built this episode with him on NPR podcast is is worth a listen he talks about. He was in an in-between space where he wasn't allowed to get a job, but his immigration status allowed him to start a business. So my friend there co-founded a snowboarding shop, selling snowboards and very quickly found it really hard to build and maintain the shop and pivoted into making it easier for other people to set up shops and take online payments. And Shopify kind of grew out of that, so it is essentially an entrepreneurship platform. So if you have an idea for a thing that you want to sell, go to Shopify. You can start with a bunch of really easy stores, templates or build your own. So kind of cover the spectrum of technical literacy, and we make it as easy as possible for you to quickly list something for sale and sell it. And you know, you get paid daily. Teams like mine are sort of the the add ons, right? So when you when you're digging into what the user's problems are, you know, money is because people were selling and then finding it really hard to accept payment methods from different countries or just, you know, give people the payment options they wanted to see. So we came up with Shopify Payments, which is like built in most countries. You sign up Shopify, you can get it for free. It's fee free and there are ever growing number of payment options. They change by country. So we try and make sure that depending on the country, a buyer is in the payment option they would expect to see is there. And probably the halo thing is a shop pay. So like Shop Pay is a really cool. Well, we just have seen the wallet. Yeah, exactly.

00:07:29

S1: Yeah, like cheap for Android.

00:07:33

S2: It's super shopping. It's everywhere and it just makes it easy. And I'm a bit obsessed because it then means I can, like, track anything I. Pay in the app, and I can just follow the little dot to be like, when will it be delivered?

00:07:46

S1: I know. Well, I remember the Shopify way back in the early days by the sounds of us, and it kind of grew. And around that time I had a small agency in Sydney where we did WordPress kind of integrations. And yes, we would sell and we would kind of do a mash up of being able to enable e-commerce to happen within WordPress and stuff. Then it got to a point around 2012 2013. We. What's the point anymore? Just use Shopify. Remember, we used to say that all the time we were like these, we can't compete with this. Just why would you pay us 20 grand when you can just go and get a Shopify account and to do it like that? So we ended up kind of closing her towards pretty quickly.

00:08:28

S2: Yes, it's an interesting evolution, though, because I think like it's it's a bit odd. This is a bit of that because like I used to have a WordPress store with like commerce and you know, you'd have a lot of these plugins that unfortunately broke a lot. Like every time there was a bit of an upgrade, you have to go in and like, fix all of your plug ins again. And it was super painful. We had a lot of flexibility, and I think there is a trade off, right. What Shopify does is it says you're probably trading off a little bit of flexibility, right? We are not trying to give you everything in the kitchen sink. We are trying to give you the fastest, simplest, cleanest way to get from A to B. And so I reckon 80 percent of people want to be there. And then there's probably 20 percent of people for whom it's a bit inflexible and they want a bit more. And you know, we're looking at that as well, but actually, we're quite comfortable with that. Like it's the 80 percent that we're designing for. And so there's there's a sense there that like simplicity is more important than comprehensiveness of features and all that kind of stuff.

00:09:27

S1: There was kind of a whole kind of pattern of new businesses around at that time as well. Squarespace was launching a similar thing. Yeah, it was a similar kind of trajectory of, well, why would you do that when you can just go to Squarespace and there's hardly a host of others like Wix and and the easy way to kind of control? Yeah, but that was really kind of a game changer for a lot of people. Yeah, way back then. Can I just say like the mission statement has kind of shifted an awful lot from way back there? I think it has. I could be completely wrong on this now, but I do remember it was just really about getting people online really quickly and can make people stay. Whereas now, from when I was speaking to Jen, the mission seems to be a lot more kind of ethical in terms of making the next at a million people, you know, online, and it seems to be a lot more deep rooted in some sort of human centered A.. Is that fair to say? Is it as us? Does it feel that way?

00:10:25

S2: So I can only speak to the being in on the inside last year? And as I said four years ago, I didn't even know what this company was. I won't lie. But the the law of Shopify that I have heard is that it was always quite human centered and user centered. So like Daniel and Tobi, the two co-founders, Daniel was very design let himself. So he kind of cared a lot about abstracting complexity out of the system. And Toby was very much like it should be possible to build all the things. And so he was kind of deep in the code, in the infrastructure. And so that combination meant that there probably was a time when they were worried more about online commerce. And so e-commerce was the thing and just kind of selling online and making that simple. But the mission now is make commerce better for everyone. So it's not actually that different. It's probably more an acknowledgement that commerce is omnichannel. So like e-commerce isn't the only place you should ever want to or be able to sell, and we can probably serve all environments. And then everyone, it's kind of like, you know, we've got tons of research, and sometimes it's hilarious to figure out who your users are. But like I remember a story in the beginning of the pandemic with we listen to a recording of a farmer and a farming family in the Midwest of the US, who had never sold a single thing online because they were farm shop. It was kind of like eggs and milk and, you know, butter. And then the pandemic forced them to close down. And so they gave it a go like a couple in their 60s, and they made up all of their income and more by selling online and getting in their truck and delivering than they had ever done in the farm shop. But they were able to basically set up all their basics using Shopify, and they called and left this hugely emotive message. And you kind of think, you know, super tech company, tech company, it's just there for Gen Z and like very literate people. But then you hear stories like that about a couple that was very anti tech to a certain extent. Also being able to use the platform and you realize, OK, we do mean everyone and set in my my lens on it is how do we make sure everyone means everyone like, who do you see in F1? You know, if I say everyone in your mind, you see a swathe of white people in America or do you see literally a global community of people of all backgrounds? And entrepreneurship climate trying to like economically emancipate S&P political, but like, you know, the focus on entrepreneurship is that it is it might be a side hustle, it might be your full time job, but it's you taking control of your income and so we can accept that, acknowledge it and actually lean into it as opposed to just trying to be like simple to sell online and like selling the platform. We recognize the ambition and the energy and, you know, and so it's all very emotive stuff when you start digging into sort of the who, are the people using Shopify?

00:13:14

S1: And how do you support that? Like because, you know, emancipation and all these these terms that we can talk about and saying, like making us accessible to everyone and truly everyone on the planet to be able to access this, how are they how are they being backed up those statements?

00:13:35

S2: So let's start by saying it's almost impossible to say that you're going to achieve a mission like Shopify is because at any point in time, this someone you're not serving, right? So that that's a reality. So first, you acknowledge the fact that it's like it's a never ending job. The second thing for me that I've seen is like, we're present in, you know, hundreds of countries around the world. But that doesn't necessarily mean we localize for every single market. So we tend to look at like, how many merchants do we have in any given region? And then we'll start to evolve our focus in that. So in the last two to three years, for example, we built an API Asia-Pacific presents from scratch, and now we've got sort of thousands of people across the region working on a range of solutions, and we also try and be mindful of that. Like most of the time, most of Shopify should be easy for anyone to pick up and use. But we are on a journey to localize not just language, but actually, you know, a good example of that is in many like local payment methods are a really big deal in one market. Yeah. Yes. Pay, but in another market, you probably want to look at a different range and the concept of debit and credit work very differently, depending on the country. So again, we lean into that and think, OK, sometimes we're designing for Country X and specifically trying to enable and unlock possibilities in that country. And but the majority of the time we're trying to create a global maximum, I think is a term that Toby uses. I'm not sure if I'm interpreting it right.

00:15:04

S1: Explain what that means.

00:15:05

S2: And so it's it's that 20 rule again into that kind of practice principle of like, you want to try and work on stuff that will benefit a huge number of people the majority of the time. And if you find yourself over steering on to complexities and edge cases that nudge for a small group of people, you might be spending your time in, you might get a 0.1 percent uplift versus like I've now provided access for another group of 20 people 20 percent, 20 percent of that population. So you're kind of trading off with that at any point in time. And I think for any multinational company, it's really bloody hard to cover all of the globe. But I quite like the challenge of trying to think about who is everyone? What do they actually need? How do you give them optionality and simplicity at the same time? It's it's a job that's never done and we get things wrong all the time. But then the workers who just pick yourself up and figure out, OK, how do I correct that?

00:16:08

S1: Yeah. You mentioned there about money being, it's such an emotive thing like you either. You know, it means and I think we're we're probably in an a point in time where we're transitioning out of kind of like the whole kind of we don't talk about money at the dinner table to especially in the pandemic, there seems to be a lot more openness around talking about money, what it means, you know, when you have it and what does it mean when you don't have it? So what is what is money? Because your role as director, you act on money, which is a fantastic title. Honestly, I said before, I'd love to get that as a t shirt like talk of money. I direct an illustrator, you x.

00:16:48

S2: But yeah, we'll just get that part.

00:16:51

S1: What does that look like? How do you interpret it and how does this service shift based on those distinguishing factors of what money is to different people?

00:17:01

S2: Yeah. So I'll start maybe with like my personal principle, like I enjoy working on money products. I think there is a level of authenticity and accountability here that says the majority of us are not working for charity, so we care about how we get paid and we're not donating our time for free. That means at some point there's a business model that you have to engage with. Whether you feel talking about money is a dirty thing or not, it's practical. And so, you know, I quite like the virtuous benefit of how Shopify makes money, for example, right? So our business model is predicated on you become. Being a successful entrepreneur, the more money you make, the more money we make, the less money you make, the less money we make, so there is a benefit there. And that applies in the way that we set up our financial products. So.

00:17:52

S1: So tell us what that looks like. I know this inscriptions in there as well.

00:17:57

S2: So you have like so we keep we keep our monthly subscriptions fairly flat, but give you a good example of Shopify Payments is one of our flagship products. So if you're a merchant, you sign up to Shopify Payments. You have a bunch of different payment methods and it's essentially I don't think it's 100 percent fee free, but it's kind of like, you know, each payment provider has its own costs and then like we add 30 cents or stuff like that. Now, if you're selling to 20 people, you will pay us 30 cents, 20 times. If you sell two thousand people, you will pay us 30 cents a thousand times. And so there is a virtuous benefit there that we're not charging you more for selling to more people. We're charging you the same, however many people you sell to. But the better you perform, the better we perform. And so we try and set up all of our products in this way that they are grounded in not penalizing growth and success, but they're actually scaling with the merchants own improvement in their circumstances. A good example of that is like we have a loan product called capital. And the way we've designed that is we build it based on your business. So we look at how you're selling and then we determine that you could probably use some money and we'll give you a few options of amounts. You pick an amount, we put it into your account straightaway and then you repay it as a percentage of your daily sales. If you sell nothing, you repay nothing. If you sell a lot really quickly, you repay it faster. And if your sales slow down, you repay it slower. But at no point is money due to us if you haven't sold anything. And so again, you get that incentive is locked in to you doing the thing that helps you and then we get paid back. And so when you design your products that way, you have to think about the product itself. But then you have to think about like, well, if I'm lending you money as a as a capital loan, what you probably want to do is go sell, go buy some inventory. So how do I make it easy for you to go buy that inventory? How do I make it easy for you to go get the marketing that's going to get you the sale? So I care, not just about how I'm giving you that product. I also care about the next step you're going to take when you have that, those funds in your hand and that that, I think, is what makes it interesting. When we design it, it creates complexity, right? Because then it's like. You're trying to solve all the problems in one place. We're not. But we're trying to always question ourselves on like, how do you design this so that it's a mutually beneficial model? Even though it costs us money to offer these services, so we have to consider about our business model as well.

00:20:31

S1: So how is us like? Is it a closed network in terms of two people have the choice to opt in or opt out of these things? Or is it a case for us? Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, so OK. So I'm trying. I'm trying to understand it a bit more. And what does it look like as it scales? Because as I said, yeah. So where does that look like, say, in countries that are, shall we say, than than other countries like if you're in? We were talking earlier about Africa or even like other parts of the world that, yeah, how does this adapt based in those territories? So it also returns it.

00:21:09

S2: It depends on where you are. So like, I think it would do better in some regions than others. I was surprised to find we have Shopify merchants in Nigeria, which is where I'm from, Sokoto, which is super cool, but that speaks to the 88 percent thing, right? Like Nigeria and national languages, English, even though we speak over 200 odd local dialects and languages. So the platform doesn't need to be translated. And we have a huge diaspora. So there are people living in Nigeria who are very American or European or, you know, lived in Asia. And so when they go home, they bring those influences and those expectations of delivery and service with them. So there is an emergence of Western like ecommerce in Nigeria that Shopify able to surf and tech that Shopify is a huge service. But you know, my mother runs a business where she sells a product in Nigeria. She cannot use Shopify because a majority of her sales happen still in day to day contact between people and having salespeople and marketeers and a different model. So we don't have enough merchants to say fix all of those things. But where there is an intersect of what Shopify offers and what the market demands, then yeah, it's definitely seven. I think because the model works exactly the same way everywhere, the same thing still applies. Like Nigeria isn't as wealthy as, say, the US. But for the merchants who are using Shopify and have buyers on Shopify, they're managing to make the business work within the calculations that they've got. Otherwise they wouldn't be using the product. So that equitable mindset of like, if you do better, we do better still applies. Even if we haven't, 100 percent said like, here's a Nigeria based version of Shopify for the Nigerian market. I'd love to see that happen one day. Yeah.

00:23:03

S1: You would be so cool. I mean, what I'm interested in is the current state of yeah, where, where? Because the world is in different places, some places are more mature than others, obviously in terms of financial services. Yeah. What does that look like, say in the short term and where to shop? If I see it going in, say, the next five or 10 years, what does that look like for for the service? Because it is a service now, it's no longer just a platform to to sell T-shirts on because there's a whole ecosystem at play. Here is what I'm hearing.

00:23:37

S2: 100 percent. I think what it looks like for us is just doing what we've become very good at, which is adapting, listening to our users and then adapting to their needs as as as it happens. So, you know, for each market, we have to consider regulatory environments, legal environments and economic environments. And I think sometimes that means yes, we have a lot of uses, but we can't customize. And that's just a practicality, the decision we need to make. Sometimes that says, OK, we have a lot of uses and now we're going to start doing cool things. So a really good example of that is, I said in the last few years, we've grown in Asia-Pacific and one of the things that is very clear, like I personally perceive Asia Pacific when it comes to fintech to be way more progressive than any other region in the world. And so we had merchants wanting to offer payment methods that we would not ever need to think about in North America, in Europe. And so we kind of innovated this concept of a dev platform, a payments platform. So we allowed partners to build their own payment methods into Shopify's ecosystem so that we could offer merchants those payment options in that market. And so we offer Alipay, therefore in Malaysia, but we don't offer Alipay all over the world. So we recognize that the extensibility that was needed from Shopify and for those who had the ability to build into it, we made it possible. But we didn't necessarily build that ourselves from the center because it didn't apply. As broadly as we would like, so there's always that stretch that says that will pay attention and then how do we enable and empower and that payment platform is now scaling. And so there are lots of other places where potentially will allow people to build their own payment methods into Shopify so that merchants can access that and benefit from it. So we try and think about it as an extensibility capability. So like, how do you extend Shopify even if we ourselves aren't actually offering that service?

00:25:45

S1: So moving into the world of kind of say, you have a store, I'm for argument's sake, you're selling T-shirts, which a lot of people saw.

00:25:53

S2: Yeah, I thought you said, Yeah, oh,

00:25:56

S1: does it have a director of UX money in it? But it's still do I know ByWard? What does it look like in terms of other services? And because, yeah, you know, you can see that Shopify started here and then it's growing and suddenly it's getting closer to what what a bank would have been 10 years ago by offering these kind of flexi loans and all these different things. So 10 years time does it move into the world of where, you know, Intuit and QuickBooks and holistically supporting the business? A One-Stop Shop? Where does this? Where's it going as what? I'm sorry, I cannot understand.

00:26:36

S2: Yeah, I

00:26:37

S1: tell you what you're going to do in the next 10 years.

00:26:39

S2: Yeah. But you know, do you know what this is? The thing that's fascinating, right? I haven't got a clue. So I can I can only respond, speculate, well, what is my personal opinion? And I don't know if this is actually the company's opinion, right? But I have a very allergic reaction to the concept of one stop shops because what ends up happening is you get this kind of closed ecosystem scenarios and then tech evolves and people want different things. And then you basically feel like you're stuck and we have to start from scratch. And it doesn't feel super dynamic. And I don't I don't think one company serves everybody's needs all of the time. Yeah. So my ideal outcome for Shopify, if you know, if I stay here for the next 10 years in this money space is we are not a bank, we don't have a banking licence. I personally hope, you know, I'm not going to spend time trying to get one. And what we can do is say like what, what unique things that that does that actually give us the opportunity to do so. A good example is we can lend you based on the business we see as opposed to putting a loan that makes your house at risk. Right. So we can give you that benefit in a way that a bank probably would want to collateralize a loan. Yeah. And that and you know, their risk modelling forces them into that scenario. Ours means we have something else that we can use.

00:27:57

S1: And can I ask on like, say, you mentioned there about freeing up some of the assets and giving it back to them and saying that when you sell up, you pay us back? What happens if you don't sell any more T-shirts? What what does it look like then has as other roles?

00:28:14

S2: Yeah, it happens. You don't. You don't pay us back like really. But this you ride the risk. I can honestly tell you that that happens at much lower rates. I used to work at Capital One, so I understand the world of credit because while it happens at a much lower rate than anyone would expect, people kind of go to that place is like, Oh, you're going to lend people money. They may never pay you back. Let's develop some like massive repayment muscles and go get bailiffs and knock on people's doors. And it's like, what we're doing is saying, like, this is your business. You're doing it to, you know, pursue your interests or like emancipate and quit your job and set up a career for yourself so you care about making money. And therefore, if you're going to do it and you're going to do it well, you're going to pay us back. So we have the benefit of a highly motivated user group and so that non repayment scenario happens much less often than you would expect. But in that, it's kind of like, Okay, how do we get you back into selling? Do you need to start a different business? Do you want to sell in a different way? Do you want to change your supply? Do you want to simplify your marketing like our support teams are not your usual tech support. They're like business coaching and counseling teams, you know, and they're like, it's a 360 conversation. So it's really nice in that sense that like, it's not something we have to overdesigned for because it is a very, very low incidence in our risk. Modeling allows for that. So we end up on the other side, which is people have one loan do really well and then they kind of go and get another loan so they can buy, get more resilience in their inventory, right? So they don't sell out so often. So the kind of, you know, and so we ladder them through the business stages really effectively, and it works. So I believe like Shopify will always do that right? And if you if you wanted to get a loan from a bank because you wanted to build and kitao a physical store, you could still go and do that. And potentially, yeah, because it's so key to prevent that.

00:30:10

S1: It's like you've got your Big Brother is going to. Willing to float, yeah. You know, to to see you succeed, it's it seems it almost seems too good to be true. It's like.

00:30:24

S2: I mean, the thing is, so it we won't. So the thing about capsule, for example, is you can't apply for it. So you can't show up today and say, Hey, I want a capsule.

00:30:34

S1: So we offer it to your sales.

00:30:36

S2: We will offer it to you when we see your business. So that and again, that's how we've designed it to get that mutual benefit. So if you've not done anything yet, then Shopify is not going to serve that need. And that's what I mean. It's like we're not a one stop shop, but where those benefits intersect really? Well, then? Yeah, absolutely. We're here for you. And like, you know, this kind of like a virtuous cycle there. But you probably want to combine that with other things that you mentioned, like QuickBooks and into it. We have those apps in our store. We want our margins to come by like, you're the master of your business. You know what? Your combination of tools that you want to use are there are certain things that you might be asking of us that we like. Yeah, OK, we will get to that and we will definitely offer you that feature. But at no point does that mean locking you out of making a choice of using another product. So to me, I would imagine in the next 10 years when even less like a bank. But that's also because finance becomes less more decentralized around away from banking institutions into these more nimble, contextual financial offerings that makes sense in the in the scenario in. And we are still allowing you to kind of have this permeable experience where like you can do stuff on Shopify exclusively or with Shopify and parts of other partners. And what we do is we connect really well. So we don't make it hard for you to use other services alongside Shopify. And I feel like that that feels more right than let's build giant walled garden ecosystem Shopify where we do everything for you and you never need to leave. And actually, what ends up happening is it's a burden for us to ever keep up with all the things that you won't ever need anyway.

00:32:16

S1: So I'm going to ask a question here now that it's on my mind, I was like, Can I ask you, can I will? We don't know the answer. So in your experience, you've been there in that business for two years, right? And you mentioned there that businesses, you know, you can get advice and business coaching and stuff through Shopify. What what are the top three things that businesses get wrong and what does Shopify do? Can. You can. It doesn't have to be scientific. Just I

00:32:46

S2: know exactly. So this is this is I don't know if this is like the technically considered, but things that I have seen. So number one

00:32:54

S1: and number three, the starting number three will work number one.

00:32:56

S2: OK, well, the number three is figuring out where your actual buyers are.

00:33:03

S1: Okay, so

00:33:04

S2: like everybody hates, you know, we all like to pooh pooh on ads, but they're actually really important because if you if if you're selling something and you want to start selling something, no one knows who you are. So you have to turn into a really great marketer, and that could be ads that could be content. But you have to go and get the people who want to buy the thing that you have to sell. And no one can do that for you. We offer advice training. There are partners who can help you with that. But actually, that's the lonely work of entrepreneurship is figuring out who wants to buy the thing that you want to sell. If you don't work that out, it doesn't matter how stunning your store is, how many features you've got, how much inventory no one's coming to buy it. The second thing is you're probably going to have to spend money on marketing and buying ads. So if you have this allergic view to advertising, you know, I feel for you. You've kind of reduced your chances of success to maybe five to 10 percent to those magic. People never advertise, right? The majority of people have to advertise in order. Now what that looks like can be different. You know, an ad can be, yes, a banner or a display, or it can be sponsored content or it can be, you know, something. VIDEO But you're going to have to build that muscle because what we see a lot of Americans do is they're like, Oh, I'll buy a Google AdWords for like two weeks and then they'll get a couple of sales and I'll be like, Oh, great, now I've started selling and then they stop buying the AdWords and then the sales drop off and it's like, this isn't always on costs. You kind of just have to learn to accept the ads are important to entrepreneurs.

00:34:45

S1: Absolutely. I definitely agree with these two.

00:34:48

S2: Yeah, and probably the

00:34:50

S1: final entrant and internet content and

00:34:55

S2: you won't be surprised to hear is manage your money. So, yeah, we sometimes see people fail at the weird intersection of success. So you have sold a lot of products and then you have immediately recycled that cash, but you. Didn't factor in what you need to spend to ship the product. So you now have to get that product to the people who bought it, and suddenly you find your cash flow is gone it or you create a lot of demand and you have not sorted out your supply. So you haven't paid enough and you haven't ordered enough. And then now you kind of got a really big bill for like, you know, you've sold 5000 T-shirts. But the minimum buy you need is like 12000, and you haven't sold the other 7000 yet, but you need to buy it in 12000 blocks. How do you plug that gap? So, you know, one of the services we recently offers is like a banking solution, right? So it's like separate your personal finances from your business finances as early as possible so that you're not just recycling all the money you earned straight away and you're starting to plan for spikes because there will be inevitable spikes. You know, success actually ends up being the riskiest point of growth for a lot of merchants that we see because it requires you to be really on top of cash flow and people who are still mingling their personal and business finances are will struggle with that more than people who separated them out and started to try and budget ahead of sales cycles. So those three things find your buyer. Learn to love adds marketing and manage your money. Like separate your business money early. Like those three things I think are the most important that I have personally seen

00:36:39

S1: and siphoned off and of fear.

00:36:43

S2: Oh my God, pay your tax bills. Please pay your

00:36:46

S1: taxes. Yeah, that was one hard lesson my personal attacks, but I had a tax issue in Australia. That's when GST and I was like, I got nominated on my invoices and then it came back to bite me and they're like, No sign you. That's included in your rights. Sorry, you always. No, I don't. I didn't charge it. Or OK, son, you need to use the money and I had to do it now.

00:37:12

S2: So I got my taxes wrong when consulting once and I had to pay back. They came for me and they went back five years and then they added interest. Okay, thanks as really expensive mistake

00:37:28

S1: as as a little disclaimer there it's all the Australian people that was me actually doing an Australian accent. There wasn't, another person added. I guess you're saying you need to give us the money. Okay? Yes, it's usually comes in the back of the throat. It's I'm doing it quite amazing. The Australian accent. So people in Australia are shaking their heads, going to go, What are you doing? What are you doing? Yeah, look, Lola, we're coming towards the end of the episode. I know people are going to want to reach out to you and ask you questions. Yeah. What's the best way to to connect and also feel free to give a plug to inside Shopify podcast as well?

00:38:03

S2: Yeah. So I mean, we didn't we didn't dig deep into the necessarily design stuff. But yeah, inside Shopify UX podcast is conversations that I have had with various people around Shopify to uncover, like what we do, how we think the range of topics that we cover give you a sense of what we're thinking about talking about and doing, and hopefully isn't like painting a crazy, rosy picture because it's not all roses. No, that's why we need more people to kind of join. So we're always hiring. So dig, look out for that on all of the usual podcast sources, as well as YouTube. And I am on Instagram. No Instagram, I'm actually not, but I'm on Twitter at La La. Yeah, and I'm also on LinkedIn, probably, but it's DM me on Twitter because I have been hiding from my LinkedIn inbox for about the last three years. So takes a little bit longer for me to reply to messages on LinkedIn. But I am active on Twitter, so I sense to me that

00:38:59

S1: I'll troll links to both of those into the show. Notes Post Lola Grace speaking today. Thanks so much for your time.

00:39:06

S2: Thank you. It's been a real pleasure.

00:39:08

S1: So there you have it. That's all for this episode of Bringing Design Closer. If you like this episode, feel free to visit this at e-comm where you can access our back catalogue of over 100 episodes, with episodes related to service design, product management, design, research, and much, much more. If you're interested in design and innovation training, feel free to check out our business. This is doing Gqom, where you can join online classrooms and learn from the world's best design and innovation leaders. Join that! This is a city newsletter where you receive updates from the network and also, if you're interested, apply to join the Slack community on this is 18. Stay safe and until next time, take care.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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