As Sydney and Canberra's lockdown shows no sign of abating, demand for nutritious food safely delivered to your home continues to grow.
McKenzie's Meats is fortunate to be an 'essential service', we are one of the lucky few at a time when many people are doing it tough through no fault of their own.
With socialising and travelling more or less off the table, it's been a great tim to focus on MM and experiment.
Experimentation is the theme of this update, I've tried many new Shopify Apps, we've tweaked our messaging and offers and employed a couple of new staff members.
Not everything I've tried has worked out but I'm glad I gave it a shot. The things that have 'worked out' have had a big impact.
I was inspired by Daniel Vassallo on Twitter (@dvassallo) who operates with a 'small bets' framework. He regularly learns new things, tries them out and sticks to them if they work or cans them if they fail.
He's launched a SAAS product which hasn't taken off but he has had a lot of success with his informational products - PDFs and video series. He doesn't get emotionally attached to his 'small bets', he analyses the numbers - money + effort in vs income + enjoyment out, and decides whether they're worth pursuing.
It's working for him and I can see it starting to work for me.
Here are this month's numbers:
A very good month across all metrics!
Our revenue growth is the most significant number and we've had to reassess our end of year target. A good problem to have.
Email subscribers also grew significantly.
As did our 5 star reviews on TrustPilot. I am absolutely stoked with the reviews we have collected. Our customers have taken the time to give us detailed feedback and there is nothing more satisfying than knowing we have served them well!
Experiment 1: Two Meat Days in Sydney
This month we added an additional Meat Day, expanding from Friday only to Tuesday and Friday. Our first Tuesday Meat Day we had 11 orders. It was super easy but financially it didn't add up (extra day of kitchen rent and extra staff). Fortunately, we did 33 orders on Tuesday the 31st making the addition of an extra day totally worth it.
Adding the extra Meat Day means we get two big order pushes prior to Meat Day each week, Monday and Thursday. These are our biggest order days by a mile.
It's more convenient for the customers too. They know they can order on a Monday or Thursday and get fresh grass-fed meat delivered to their door the next day.
The next step is operate Monday to Friday!
Experiment 2: The Meatbox Quiz
Early in the month I installed a new Shopify App called Prehook which lets you create your own quiz for your customers so you can help them choose the right product based on their preferences. Prehook also lets the business owner capture valuable customer data including their email address.
I created the 'Meatbox Quiz' to help our customers workout which meatbox is right for them. So far 218 people have started the quiz and 78 people have completed it (swapping their email address for the answer).
I've captured some valuable data eg. 81% of people like beef & lamb vs beef only, 56% of people aren't into bone broth and 30% of people eat Halal meat (higher than I expected?).
And of course, I've captured plenty of email addresses. 'Owned' customers (email subscribers and social media followers) are vital to most businesses. It means I can communicate with people without having to pay Google. It also means I have the chance to build a relationship with these potential customers and over time explain how we can help them reach their health goals.
I'd like to thank Nathan Gould who owns and runs Luv Ya Guts (check them out if gut health is important to you), Nath is an eCommerce gun and it was his idea for me to run a quiz.
Experiment 3: Tweaking our offer for new customers
Jimmy who runs McKenzie's Meats Canberra had the idea to tweak our introductory offer, changing it from '20% off your first order' to '$20 off your first order, no minimum spend'.
The new offer is really compelling. It means you can purchase $20 worth of products and you'll only pay $10 shipping.
I tested it on our email capture pop-up when you first visit the store and we increased our success rate from around 5.5% to 8%, over time this will really add up. Here is our new pop-up:
We are also retaining more of our margin on larger orders. Previously, we were getting stung when a customer placed a $300 order and got 20% off ($60).
I thought our average order value would decrease significantly as people made small purchased with their $20 off voucher but it has only dropped by 5% to $149.30.
Retaining a decent average order value was boosted by our next experiment, I'll explain now.
Experiment 4: Up-sells, down-sells and cross-sells
This month I added a Shopify App called LimeSpot which allows you to suggest products to customers when they're on any or all page/s of your website (another great suggestion from Nath Gould).
The products you suggest on each page are customisable eg. 'frequently bought together', 'recently viewed' or 'new arrivals'. You can get granular and suggest a specific product for a customer based on what's in their cart eg. if a customer has a beef brisket in their cart I could suggest they add some Spicery Steakhouse spice which goes beautifully with the brisket.
I haven't gotten that granular yet but I will!
It's hard to decipher how many extra sales were generated by LimeSpot. According to their dashboard, an extra 10% of sales were generated by people adding a suggested product to their cart, huge if true.
The most popular up-sell is 'recently viewed' which instinctively makes sense because the customer has already showed interest in the product.
At the very least, customers are shown more of our range of products and therefore learn about the different ways we can help them. For this reason, I'm keeping LimeSpot for now (and it only costs $10/month).
I'll go deeper with LimeSpot this month, think it has a lot of potential.
Experiment 5: Paid advertising update
This month I focused on Google Ads and it appears to be working.
This is the Ad I'm running:
And these are the results it's generating (ad spend is $40/day):
Tweaking the copy to include the new offer '$20 off your first order, seems to be working. Cost per click is below $1 and those that click are clearly interested in grass-fed meat and would like $20 off their first order. The store's conversion rate is 2.42% which seems ok..?
I'm getting a bit more savvy in the world of paid advertising but as you can probably tell, I've got a long way to go.
Experiment 6: New product launch
This month we launched GevityRX's range of incredibly nutrient-dense bone broth concentrates and sauces.
We started with a small order and sold out in two days.
Our second batch has arrived, it's a bigger order and we've almost sold out.
Stocking GevityRX has been a great business decision for a few reasons:
- Add more value and variety for our customers (the products are epic)
- Help to increase our average cart value
- Leverage GevityRX's popularity, these guys are going to be huge!
It's also helped me to clarify MM's mission. More to come on that later.
Experiment 7: Affiliate program - failure to launch
Growing via word of mouth is every business owner's dream. It costs nothing, requires little marketing effort and your new customers know what to expect when they purchase.
MM has grown a lot via word of mouth and we have some incredible MM advocates to whom I am greatly thankful.
Following this logic, I tried a new Shopify App called ReferralCandy (it's the most popular referral App on Shopify). When a new customer purchases they are offered 25% off for every customer they refer to MM who makes a purchase.
This is a red hot offer and I thought we'd kill it.
Only one person has used the referral code so far.
My theory is the offer isn't compelling enough and it's not easily accessible. First of all you need to spend more money to access it. Secondly, you don't get it right away, you have to wait until you're ready to make your next order.
I chatted with a friend who runs an online coaching business who has implemented a successful referral program and it's clear why his works and mine doesn't.
He offers referrers 20% of the revenue they generate ongoing. He frames it as an opportunity for his most loyal customers to own a stake of his business. It's a really interesting way of looking at a referral program.
It has certainly got the cogs turning. I'll update you on my progress in next month's business update.
Experiment 8: New staff
This month we made two key hires which have helped professionalise the business and give me more time to work on strategy, content creation and making the business more efficient.
Ani has joined me at MM HQ every Tuesday and Friday to help with fulfillment. She is super organised, thorough and hard working. Together we've got the meatbox packing process down to a fine art. There's a process for everything (even turning on the lights).
If you've seen the movie The Founder about McDonald's you'll remember the scene where the McDonald brothers map out their kitchen design with chalk on a tennis court. I've drawn a lot inspiration from that scene.
Crystal has joined the MM team as our Admin and Customer Service Manager. She helps me prepare for Meat Day each Monday and Thursday afternoon. Plus, she helps answer customer enquiries throughout the week.
Crystal lives in the Philippines and is doing 20 hours per week for MM. She's very well spoken, thorough and an absolute wiz with Shopify. Having her onboard is a huge win for MM!
Clarity of vision.
This month I caught up with Tom who is a MM customer and has a background in Management Consulting. He quizzed me on what MM's role was, are we a producer or a distributor?
At the time I wasn't quite sure because my gut reaction was to say 'both'.
After some more reflection, and the success of the GevityRX launch, it's clear we are a distributor.
Our mission is to maximise your health and vitality by giving you access to the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.
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