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The 2020-21 COVID boom set unrealistic expectations for year-over-year growth. So, when brands saw 2022 YoY revenue figures start to drop, they started “squeezing the sponge” — wringing every last bit of revenue out of their existing customer base without acquiring new customers.

Now, that’s coming around to bite most brands: returning customer revenue growth is almost nil, and efficiency is about to take a nosedive.

On this episode, Richard talks with CTC Growth Strategy Manager Luke Austin about what the future holds, and the tactics he’s using to manage the upcoming dip for his clients.

Show Notes:
  • Early bird pricing is still available on the Ecommerce Diagnostic Toolkit for podcast listeners only — just use code POD197 at checkout to get the lower price.
  • Check out Luke Austin’s tweet on the state of returning customer revenue
  • The Ecommerce Playbook mailbag is open — email us at to ask us any questions you might have about the world of ecomm.

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[00:00:00] Richard Gaffin: Hey everyone. Welcome to the E-Commerce Playbook Podcast. I'm your host, Richard Gaffen, director of Digital Product Strategy here at CTC. And I'm joined today, not by Taylor as per the usual, but rather by somebody who's in the front lines every day here at CTC managing our growth teams. Well, Taylor and I sit in our ivory tower. We're joined today by a very special guest, Luke Austin, who is our Growth Strategy Manager here at CTC. Luke, how are you doing?

[00:00:27] Luke Austin: I'm doing great. Longtime listener, first time guest, as they say. So happy to be here.

[00:00:32] Richard Gaffin: that's right. Long time. First time. A broadcast classic. Yeah. We're happy to have you too, man. Particularly because I think you've had recently had an insight that you've been tweeting about a couple times over the last couple of weeks that. Has been pretty crucial I think, in terms of the way we're thinking about how the macroeconomic environment, or rather the macro e-commerce environment is going to look like over the next quarter or so. We can jump straight into this. So you tweeted, let's let's play a little game of Defend that tweet, so to speak. So this was. May the fifth, which is at the time of recording, was last Friday. You tweeted a tweet, which is

actually a follow up to a previous one But essentially the gist of it is this that new customer or rather returning customer revenue is at a relatively low ebb and specifically it's the lowest Q1 year over year growth in returning customers that we've seen in the past four years Which of course

suggests something troubling which if you have been listening to this podcast you'd be familiar with the concept of the shrinking sponge The idea that if you over-index on engaging Or rather growing returning customer revenue at the expense of acquiring new customers You'll get to a point where eventually you run out of returning customers So what this particular data point suggests is we're now at the tail end of that process where suddenly new customers that should have been returning customers this quarter aren't there So the returning customer or rather the sponge is relatively dry which is problematic So maybe Luke you can sort of speak to that a little bit Like how did we find ourselves here What's playing into that What's going on

[00:02:09] Luke Austin: Yeah, And I think This is so important because returning customer rev revenue is the highest margin revenue that there is right New customer revenue has for many of our brands a lot of implications on the cost side in terms of the customer acquisition cost specifically And so as brands are running into cost constraints the decline in returning customer revenue I think is super important to identify what's going on specifically And so I guess maybe to take a step back even before this year we zoomed out over the past few years across our dataset so it's about 3 billion and D two C revenue hundreds of millions of spend and try to understand what's been going on in the broader landscape within the context of our dataset And so Returning orders so far this year are flat compared to last year across the dataset as a whole So what that means we're looking at Q1 2023 compared to Q1 of 2022 And we're saying returning orders and returning customer revenue is flat It there's no increase at all there For some brands there is an increase in returning revenue even though returning orders are down That's mainly due to a o V and Co increases people raising prices but the returning orders pieces is the important one to focus on If we look back at last year what we saw across our data set was new customers were flat There were some quarters where actually new customers in 2022 where it was a negative a decline compared to the prior quarter in 2021 But aggregate last year compared to the year prior new customers were flat And so what we're starting to see here is the reckoning of that decision right For a number of reasons which we can dive into Brands decided not to acquire or were not able to acquire as many new customers last year compared to the previous year And the results of that decision is is reckoning right now in the returning returning customers being flat because that's the trickle down effect right That is the sponge that is being squeezed

[00:04:19] Richard Gaffin: Right So you mentioned some of the reasons behind why that decision may have been made so let's get into some of those right now Obviously there's the general sort of macroeconomic doom and gloom that's been part of the conversation for the last six seven months now or maybe more than that But what's your take on the reason behind some of that decision making and why do you think why do you think we're in this situation We are now

[00:04:44] Luke Austin: If I were to say one one reason would be the focus the perpetual focus on year over year comps specifically in revenue and so that that's been something that has continued to be a focus poor branch just yeah Wanting to see revenue comps year over year and increasing that And so what I think happened or what we know happened is in 2020 there was massive new customer growth So that same chart and that tweet shows the new customer year over year growth in 2020 And it was massive right The covid arbitrage a lot of brands grew their new customer portfolios really significantly and so the year following in order to comp up to that brands needed to spend more right Like if we think about it in the context of the covid arbitrage those that same arbitrage was not available We didn't have the everything goes online CPMs are lower let's just spend into it And so if you're trying to comp up compared to the previous year being 2020 and you're a brand in 2021 You know that your new customer acquisition is gonna have to increase given the different environment that you're in What I think the data shows us is that brands did not have as much discipline in growing their new customer profiles during that year and rather took the growth from their returning customer splits So they took all those new customers in 2020 realized the value of them over 2021 which made the year over year comps not look as bad Actually like the year over year comps were pretty good because all the new customers of 2020 brought returning revenue in 2021 but now in 2022 there's not a lot left from them And there has to be another time period of filling that sponge back up of bringing in those new customers because those new customers back in 2020 they're not there the same way that they have been over the past 12 months 15 months

[00:06:41] Richard Gaffin: Yeah so we're seeing yeah essentially the fallout from this is a mixed metaphor but the fallout from the massive wave that was covid three years ago right Or the splash or whatever it happens to be Because I mean, that was massive And the initial take on that was E-com is going to be we're gonna be in the black forever And then of course that didn't happen And so now what the numbers that we're seeing in 2023 are directly related to what was happening 2020 one thing that I think is interesting to point out from what you said or to draw for our listeners is we talk a lot About poor, short-term poor short-term decision making based on having to hit your monthly revenue targets But then of course we don't talk much about setting We do talk about it a little bit but we haven't touched as explicitly maybe on setting your monthly revenue targets realistically and not based on your purely on year over year comps I think that there's definitely like a very human way of saying last May was this if this may isn't better than what are we doing and it's our fault or whatever. And of course that there there's things you can do but there are certain economic realities that actually cause you to make poor decisions If you are attempting to exceed last year's goals right

[00:07:54] Luke Austin: That's exactly right And just to give the benefit of the doubt to a lot of us out there you know executing on the daily and monthly timeframes there some of those decisions Are there's constraints around them right Real cost constraints And so if you're wanting to see year over year growth in revenue or achieve a certain you know bottom line or top line number and in a year like 2021 you're seeing higher caps You're seeing higher cost of delivery right none of that has changed Then there are some constraints where it's like Hey maybe this is a time period where we need to cash in some of that returning customer margin that we've accumulated And that's fine There's time periods for that right Like the whole this is the whole idea what is the time period in which we're trying to maximize value or profit Many brands chose that to be during some months in 2021 and into 2022 but now you don't have that option anymore It's what it's coming down to you don't have that to fall back on given what we're seeing in the broader data set

[00:08:51] Richard Gaffin: Yeah It's also worth pointing out too that like it's easy for me to say from my vantage point or whatever you know not being on growth teams for instance and looking back to to sort of think of those decisions as panic decisions or whatever or poor decision making or whatever But a lot of the time you're making a survival decision in which case yeah you have to maximize revenue over that monthly target and if you don't then you're out of business And so of course like that's That's going to happen But like again like you're saying that's not really an option anymore or the landscape has changed dramatically So let's talk a little bit then about what I guess yeah let's talk about like what action steps brands ought to take What is that new reality And if that's not an option anymore what are the options available to us

[00:09:36] Luke Austin: Yeah so What we're seeing is yeah that your growth of returning customers fell off a cliff We're just not seeing that support anymore And so if brands are in a place where they want to achieve any top line growth and their returning customers are flat or for many brands they have returning orders where you know you're 10 20% behind last year potentially you're already in a negative position Any top line growth is going to have to come from new customers right Your return customers aren't there If you want to achieve top line that's gonna have to come from new customers So let's talk about that first as scenario one and then there's a another second scenario we can dive into what brands should expect though is if you're wanting to grow top line and you need to do that by increasing your new customer efforts there are additional cost considerations particularly your CAC that come into play So You have to whereas your returning customers you don't have to acquire them again for your new customer revenue You're gonna have to pay that customer acquisition cost It's going to increase the overall cost of the business EBITDA's gonna go down yeah the overall bottom line outcome of the business is gonna look rougher your m e r is not gonna be in as strong of a place and as an example if you're a brand that wants to grow 10% year over year And your returning customers are flat That means your new customers if you're at a 50 50 split will have to grow 20% if you're at you know exactly half between new and returning and customer revenue contribution But what we all know is that CAC goes up with spend right So you're not just gonna spend 20% more to get 20% more revenue you're probably gonna have to spend 30% more maybe 35 or 40% because your CAC is gonna go up as that spend escalates as well So if you're in a position wanting top line growth certain number there's a certain outcome that Stakeholders or investors are expecting from the brand That's what the business needs to expect is lower bottom line outcome and then near to midterm higher tax as a result of spending into that because your growth is gonna have to be driven by all new customers

[00:11:52] Richard Gaffin: Yeah so maybe that's a good way to segue into thinking about if the sort of traditional all of the traditional growth metrics if the expectation is going to be that they're gonna be lower like we're gonna see MER come down We're gonna see cat go up, we're going to see your growth go down Like all of these things are going to be trending downward Then what's the metric What is the sort of north star metric we should be looking at Then Like where are you going to measure success Because I imagine it's different than saying and maybe it's not You can tell me like Hey guys we're going to target a worse m e r this month maybe not specifically that but so what should, the 

new, north Star metric be then

[00:12:31] Luke Austin: Yeah so the good news that we're seeing so far this year is that we started to see a growth in new customers for Q1 of 2023 compared to last year So that's the trajectory that brands wanna see across our dataset We're seeing Q1 of 2023 about 20% growth year over year in new customers So ultimately that is the focus we need to add new customers to our customer profile we need to build that back up The constraints or metrics that any given brand focuses on to to get there I think really especially in this environment will be dependent on the cash position and capitalization position that that those brands are in So like we we've been having more and more of these conversations this year Where folks are needing to find additional margin within their business in order to support that new customer growth or that acquisition to build their position back to a healthier place And I think we're seeing this across the board right with with all the all the tech companies Snap Twitter meta and the rounds of layoffs and the places that just the costs are being sought out in general And so I think that is What it's going to come down to is understanding what sort of cash position are we in and what profitability do we need to realize in a specific timeframe in order to not die in order to get to a place where we are sustainable because

We'd love to say Hey go acquire as many new customers as you can every month and spend to the moon to achieve that outcome But there is a time constraint against that and for a lot of brands that could be you know every given month they need to see X amount of profit realized in order to sustain their operations and support the life of the business to To the next month but I do have specific ideas on metrics that can be identified and executed against but I'll stop there I think that's the general thing to get clarity on

[00:14:31] Richard Gaffin: Right Yeah and I think like we we talk about it On the podcast anyways like as a general rule and this is just yeah this is sort of a CTC philosophy let's say As a general rule you should be trying to take The lowest or rather the least efficient acquisition cost I guess you could say still responsible right That is still makes sense given your cash position because that's the way to that's the way to grow essentially Like so you shouldn't obviously like the general advice there is to not try to balloon efficiency for the sake of it Like you always want to keep it generally speaking as low as you can as long as you're growing that new customer pro or File and you're not endangering your business right But in this case

[00:15:13] Luke Austin: Yes

[00:15:14] Richard Gaffin: That you have to do that right It's not like you were saying before it's not optional anymore This is the reality you can expect and you should be planning for lower efficiency anyway So make the most of it and make sure that you're acquiring new customers with the rate that you need to

[00:15:30] Luke Austin: That's exactly right Yeah and I think in historical in recent years or even recent months a lot of brands would've been more open to executing against maybe a 60 or a 90 day break even right Hey growth and we can realize the value of those customers over a longer time period because we have additional capital to support the acquisition efforts whatever it may be Now I think to your point Every new customer acquisition dollar that is that produces positive margin for the business That's the level where it should be pushed because new customers need to be acquired At as high a rate as possible without getting margin deteriorative on those acquisitions So it really is identifying a you know CAC against our cost of goods against the cost of delivery all the variable costs that go into it and understanding okay what's the most amount I can pay for a new customer that they where I'm at breakeven on the first order or producing X amount of margin based on whatever my cash flow needs are And then push against that line because th this quarter's new customers are Q4 s revenue in the same way that last quarter's new customers were were Q2 and Q3 and Q4 s revenue as well And so the outcome for brands in the second half of this year is really gonna be based on how they're able to execute and acquire new customers during this coming quarter

[00:16:57] Richard Gaffin: Okay So speaking of that execution you sort of teased us a little with some specific ideas that you had around guard guardrail metrics and other ways to sort of bring this about responsibly let's say So why don't we get into those Why don't you break down some of those ideas that you have around how to actually execute this

[00:17:14] Luke Austin: Yeah Yeah for sure So I think and this will be a good way as well with the diagnostic toolkit I dunno if there's more context you wanna give there but there's some specific metrics there that I think are the parameters and focus areas And so I can start sort of start with the first one which I teased which was first sort of value to new customer acquisition cost ratio So your fob to your end cac Right And that's really the really understanding how much how many profit margin dollars right Not revenue but what is the profit outcome I'm getting from a first time order against my cac And you want that to be in a place where it's producing positive margin dollars right ultimately and I think that's the main guide rail to have into place first because that's gonna be the definition of success that trickles down all the way to Your specific paid media channels and the targets you set on those and we can get as tactical in talking about what that looks like to set a Google Row out target based off of your based off your first order value number But ultimately we have to have a definition of success and I think that should be what is the cac that I can go out and acquire against that's not going to deteriorate my business's margin this month

[00:18:27] Richard Gaffin: Yeah so l let me break that metric down a little bit more So first F O V to N CAC is

first order value to new customer acquisition cost ratio And what first order value what that number includes is it's a o v right So it's the actual revenue that you receive from the first time customer but then it's also it's that number less cogs or rather sorry cost of delivery which would be cogs tax shipping any expense associated with getting the product to the customer Right And then that we subtract CAC from that number as well So you have a o V minus cost of delivery minus CAC divided by c Equals your f o G and C and what you want that number to be is greater than zero So if you've already run the diagnostic toolkit and maybe you've seen that you have a bigger there's a bigger negative effect on your growth quotient score let's say from something else But

this number is still sub-zero. It's still in the negative. This is

actually the place to focus on right

now. Because that is The if that number is in the black, then you're probably going to be okay in terms of new customer acquisition So you have to figure out like where that balance is So that

number is always staying in the black. Right. so 

[00:19:39] Luke Austin: I know

[00:19:40] Richard Gaffin: we can get into then if you wanna go get into some tactics I'm sure we 

would appreciate some tactics So what are the specific things that you are putting in place now to protect that F O V to n C ratio for your clients

[00:19:51] Luke Austin: Yeah So so I think there's two things One is on the daily execution in our paid acquisition channels and the other is a full p and l view of the business and Maybe we can we'll jump to the full p and l view and what that looks like but first to speak more tactic tactically to the pay channels with that what that entails So we want to hold that whatever our target is for our F o VDA nca we wanna hold that expectation on a daily basis we need to have a plan for what we're setting out to accomplish in the month We need to break that down not in just to a monthly target but a daily target and then we need to have channel and campaign specific targets that ladder up to that because if we're violating that on any given day then it's gonna we have to dig ourselves outta the hole the next day right if you're negative on day one of the month that means day two of them you have to be even more efficient than you set out to be And that's harder than ever You're probably gonna have to spend less and it's just gonna perpetuate the cycle You can't get behind that identify what that ratio is and then break that down into a a volume constraint as well right Because this race ratio is a helpful efficiency constraint but for many brands there needs to be a total profit dollar expectation in the month as well cuz there's rent to pay and there's overhead and everything else that goes into the operating costs And so I think a really helpful starting place is start with what is the returning Customer revenue that we can expect this coming month What's that Foundational returning customer revenue Right Like we talked about at ctc the layer cake start at the bottom That's the most predictable That's going to get you to a place where you can understand Okay This is how much revenue I'm I can expect from my returning customers You can less your cost of delivery against that revenue right To basically get to a returning customer contribution margin expectation for the coming month This is how much contribution dollars I can expect from my returning customers The hope is that can at least cover your fixed costs for your business to support you in the coming months Because what that does is it doesn't put as much constraint on your first time customers now for some brands that won't be possible and they'll say okay hey we're we can expect this much returning customer contribution this coming month Our expected costs are actually higher than that And so that Delta is now what we have to go out and get from our new customers right So get clarity on that number What's the new customer revenue number is step one that we need to achieve that's going to make sure that we continue to operate the business over the time period that we're hoping to operate it at then you have new customer contribution dollars That's what I'm going after this month Now we can start to think about where to get that from each of our specific channels but we're holding to not just an efficiency constraint a volume constraint as well that's gonna make sure we get to the total bottom line profit and EBITDA number that we need to achieve

[00:22:56] Richard Gaffin: So those are the tactics you're employing right now but you also had some ideas around incremental strategies that you can put into place particularly around like let's say operational costs expenses more generally Break some of those down for us

[00:23:10] Luke Austin: Yep Yeah so you have clarity on returning customer contribution what that's going to be for the coming month Then you have clarity on new customer contribution how much you need to achieve in terms of profit dollars from new customers and you have your f o V to end CAC to go and execute against on a daily basis right We're gonna spend against this number we're gonna acquire as many customers at at or above that efficiency ratio for f O V to end c Now what are the other things we can do to to increase our outcome What are some incremental strategies that will get us beyond that projection right Because that's sort of the baseline of what we're hoping to achieve So I think we can kind of go down down the line here maybe let's start top funnel and then work our way down sort of towards the bottom of the p and l first percent organic traffic right Like this is we're thinking of new customer acquisition being the main focus and wanting to do that in the most marginally accretive way increasing the new customers that you're acquiring from non-paid channels will be really helpful for that This has a longer tail And so that's why I think when we're thinking about prioritizing these things first setting the constraint on efficiency for paid channels and executing it against that is the main priority And then focusing on you know organic new customer acquisition strategies Cuz many of these have longer tails where you may not realize the value the next month or two but starting to build those blocks for the coming quarter will be really helpful So that's just that's really thinking about like when I think about driving organic new customers for brands there's so many different strategies that come up right Oh should we be doing affiliate Should we be doing influencers Should we be doing pr Okay How about how about different blogs right what's our SEO presence like and The brands that I have seen drive substantial organic new customer contributions to their growth Focus on one or two organic strategies and do them really well which is actually what we say on the paid side of things 

[00:25:09] Richard Gaffin: Yeah

[00:25:10] Luke Austin: Focus on meta and Google and do them really well that and that can get you to a really big revenue number And that should be the same thing on organic Not Hey let's dip into making some blogs Let's maybe do some influencer seating here What we should do is take a step back identify what our strengths are as a brand what our strengths are as a team really the skillsets that we have and where our customers are at Where does our audience interact and then build our organic channels from there So I'll give like two very different examples in terms of brands that have done organic well One was a a ring company that I worked with back in the day So engagement rings wedding rings et cetera are you they're a demand Demand you know creation demand capture they fall more in the demand capture category right you're not gonna market someone into thinking oh yeah I need an engagement ring it's very need-based at that moment for where they're at So that's one thing The brand identified another item is the team at this particular brand was had a really strong coding skillset so really just had expertise in development That's what the founder his background was at And so they identified SEO as the main organic strategy they were gonna go after and it was very substantial for the business They had various blogs on lab diamond versus natural ring sizing all those different things And they owned some of those key terms and did it really well They didn't do influencer they didn't do affiliate you know they didn't do these other areas and they focused on that and then on the other side of it a brand that I've seen gets strong organic contribution from as well does so through influencer and PR specifically and so their product footwear brand high fashion and their customers are on social media a lot and post their outfits a lot right What they're doing throughout the day And so that made sense to them And also that brand had some strong connections within the PR space from their prior background So when thinking about organic channels that's what I usually like to start with and thinking through is not so much Hey here's you know the five main organic strategies let's kind of dip into each one You know who's gonna own this Okay let's go execute But Hey where does our audience hang out and what is the skillsets within our team that are already lend to one of these organic strategies and just start building from there So that's where I'd start on organic traffic

[00:27:38] Richard Gaffin: Yeah that makes sense And yeah I think that there's also sort of an intuitive understanding of your product and how it would work in organic spaces as well which is really important that particular footwear brand It's lends itself to people photographing themselves in the product Whereas there are other apparel brands where let's say that you make I don't know gray t-shirts for the gym or whatever That same strategy won't work at all even though you're technically in the same vertical And so there there's some there has to be some understanding there of like Hey given our skillset and what our product is these are the one or two things that we should focus on right away basically

[00:28:14] Luke Austin: that aren't

[00:28:15] Richard Gaffin: So yeah Any anything else specific to incremental strategies that you think would be worth hearing

[00:28:22] Luke Austin: Yeah so we're starting sort of top funnel here and moving our way down a number of revenue peaks I think this is a really good opportunity for brands to take a step back and assess their marketing calendar and think about moments that they can take advantage of that they currently aren't to drive new customer acquisition Brands have to be careful because the especially in this environment where as we talked about MER is gonna be lower profit is gonna is gonna be a bit rough You don't have that contribution room from returning customers The initial lean is gonna be into discounting and just Hey let's run a you know let's run a sale as our next peak but really thinking about what are some moments that our brand can align with to create a new peak for For a new customer acquisition really good time to do that as well and then I think as we move down from top line revenue to more cost related metrics cost delivery and operating expenses There are most likely opportunities hiding in both of those still for any given business it could be incremental and pretty small in the impact It could be substantial but as CS continue to increase and returning customer contribution isn't there every additional percentage point half a percentage point and cost of delivery every additional expense monthly expense on your opex that's eating way up margin is going to be super helpful And so that's a longer exercise Exercise of course of really getting real with Hey what are the expenses that we need to continue to maintain And what are those that that we should consider cut cutting for the long term health of our business we're having a lot of conversations about that currently diving into PNLs To understand what's needed what's not and what can be adjusted and then I think finally we've been sort of messaging returning customers are flat this sponge has been squeezed and so this is this point is gonna go slightly against that in the sense that there is probably opportunity within your returning customer base still But not in the way that you have been going about extracting that value A different strategy and incremental strategy And so when we think about returning customers can be broken into a number of different segments right It's not just all returning customers How we think about that them is returning customers that Are active those that are at risk and those that have completely lapsed And then churned finally So those four main categories and within STAs we have a distribution of where our current returning customers lie within each of those segments to identify over time But most likely your current returning customer strategies are lending to one or maybe two of those four segments And there are some at risk or lapsing customers that need to be spoken to differently or need a different offer in order to convert again Or maybe there's churned customers that have fallen off certain campaigns and flows where if you think about a strategy for those customers specifically there is additional value as well Again we talked about this last cuz it should be the last focus Growing that new customer portfolio is really the main goal but There is most likely opportunity within the recur returning customer profile as well It just has to be extracted in a in an incremental new strategy compared to what you're currently doing in order to realize any outcome from it

[00:31:54] Richard Gaffin: Right So maybe another way of putting is that not all returning customers are created equal Many of them are at let's say different points in their own customer journey

So one thing that won't work is not really doing anything and hoping

that they return, which is often the way it goes. and finding those that are

about to basically about to dip

figuring out what they want how they need to be messaged and

then bringing them back into the fold which is obviously the way that you grow that bottom layer of the revenue layer cake

and support all the new customer acquisition that you're 

gonna need to do. cool. so I think like, so then if we can wrap this all up, 

what would you say the headline here is? Let's summarize it.

[00:32:32] Luke Austin: The main thing to keep into mind is that returning orders are flat year over year. What that means is they're going to be additional cost constraints on any brand that is wanting to achieve. Top line or bottom line growth in this first half of 2023. That said, brands are going to need to take the hit in the short term to realize growth and build their business back to a place of health in the mid to long term.

So there's a short term trade off here for a long-term payout. Most brands realized the value of their customers in 2020. Over the course of 2021 and 2022, and that was fantastic. That was a great time. We all enjoyed it, but the music has stopped and we've got to build back those new customers to get back to a place where we're realizing top line and bottom line growth over a longer time period.

[00:33:30] Richard Gaffin: And if you want to know where you stand relative to those metrics and what you are going to be needing to do, the e-commerce diagnostic toolkit, which Luke and I have been talking about here, in which those metrics that you're talking about in terms of incrementality, those are all from. The diagnostic toolkit as well in terms of assessing your costs relative to where they need to be.

To get a positive f o vda n c or rather to assess the F O V to n c, you'll need to hit those are all in the e-commerce diagnostic toolkit and you can figure out exactly where you stand relative to those metrics in order to make these big decisions over the next few months. The discount code POD197 is still available to our listeners.

You'll get a hundred dollars off the current price if you wanna go ahead and use that. Luke, is there anything else that you want to hit before we head out here?

[00:34:14] Luke Austin: Go get those new customers. We're all doing it.

[00:34:18] Richard Gaffin: That's right. Go get those new customers. We're all doing it. And if your M E R numbers are down, don't feel bad. All of ours are. That's just the way it is right now. Luke, appreciate you coming on. Appreciate your on the ground insights. I think that's something that all the folks appreciate and we'll have to have you back.

But thanks for coming on, man.

[00:34:33] Luke Austin: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

[00:34:34] Richard Gaffin: Hey folks. Thanks again for listening to the E-Commerce Playbook podcast. Again, as I mentioned, use the code POD197 on our site, to get the e-commerce diagnostic toolkit. For a hundred dollars off of our regular price. That's still available. That will be available for our podcast listeners for this foreseeable future.

Again, we appreciate you guys listening. If you have any questions or comments, go ahead and email us at We would love to answer your questions on air if you have them. So again, thanks for listening. Happy scaling everyone.