Marketing Podcast for Shopify Merchants: The Ecommerce Coffee Break

How Saying 'Thank You' Boosted Online Sales by 20% | #174 Alex Papli

April 19, 2023 Claus Lauter: Ecommerce Podcast Host | Shopify Partner | Marketing Optimizer Season 4 Episode 37
Marketing Podcast for Shopify Merchants: The Ecommerce Coffee Break
How Saying 'Thank You' Boosted Online Sales by 20% | #174 Alex Papli
Show Notes Transcript

Learn how an online store increased revenue by 20% with a simple thank you: Alex Papli, Founder of, shares his insights on the latest Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast episode.

On the Show Today You’ll Learn:

  • How you can use personal video messages to help your brand grow
  • How you can benefit from using AI to interact with your customers
  • How you can make your past customers buy more with these simple strategies
  • How you can create effective video messages by including these essential tips

Links & Resources

Shopify App Store:

Get access to more free resources by visiting the podcast episode page at

Episode Sponsor

For inquiries about becoming a guest or sponsoring the podcast, email

Subscribe & Listen Everywhere:

Listen On: ​ | Apple Podcasts/iTunes | Spotify | Amazon Music/Audible | Stitcher | Deezer | Google Podcast

  • Subscribe today so you don't miss an episode!
  • By rating and reviewing the show in the app that you are listening to, you will enable us to invite bigger and more impactful guests.
  • Tag the podcast on Instagram

💰 Supercharge Your Ecommerce Business with Remote Marketing Talent. Discover the secret to scaling your online marketing without the expense of hiring, at a fraction of the cost — enabling you to grow your business faster. Visit for more info.

Support the show

Get free marketing ideas to help grow your revenue on Shopify. In your inbox for free. Every Thursday. Consumed in 3 minutes or less. Join 4,000+ Ecommerce Merchants, Founders, and Marketers here:

Claus Lauter: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the e-Commerce Coffee Break. In normal day-to-day life, if you get something, you say thank you. Now in online business that might look different. Usually get an order confirmation email and that's it. And then you might get your order at some point, but. Saying thank you can make actually a huge difference in the customer experience and you can really notch it up a game.

And that's what we are gonna talk about today. So as a guest on the show today, I have Alex Papli, he is the founder of Thank You Video app. That gives a little bit away what we're talking about and we discuss on how you can increase your revenue by 20% or more by just simply saying Thank you. Alex is a veteran in the IT industry having worked for leading tech firms, including Microsoft Salesforce, Australia's leading Telco Telstra over the last two decades.

And he is an inventor with a globally recognized patented in artificial intelligence. So let's get started. Hi Alex, how are you today? Oh, thanks. Nice 

Alex Papli: to, catchy class. How are you? 

Claus Lauter: well. Alex, gimme a bit of a background. What got you on the idea of bringing Thank you back in the real. 

Alex Papli: Over probably the last decade or so, I've been working closely with retailers and different brands in various capacities.

And I noticed that, through that in digital marketing we were doing everything we could to almost not talk to our customers. And if you think about it, , we spent so much time seeing how do I automate this process? How do I actually. Try to make my customer think I care about them, but at the same time, we were dis mediaing the human.

And in Covid, we had quite a few lockdowns here. And, what I noticed was that you had all these , companies, regional ones, particularly producers, wineries a whole lot of other, organizations too that were missing out on foot traffic. and I thought, how do I actually bring that personal experie.

To them when we can't even physically go and visit them. the reason that's important is that from a brand perspective, you need to be able to have that connection with a customer. And, I just felt, maybe we just make it a bit more human and maybe not stop the automation, but also enhance the automation with being a 

Claus Lauter: person.

Okay, makes perfect sense. Now, for a small and medium business, and for the bigger ones, they might think, okay, how can you do this? It might sound like a lot of workload to reach out personally to everyone that has become a customer, has ordered from you. Give a bit of an idea. What was your idea on how to change that?

How to make it easier? 

Alex Papli: It certainly took me a while to think through and at its heart I thought, well we know that, video works really well for resonating with You can just see the stats from different email, marketing packages saying if you embed, a video in it, then you'll get better open rates.

And I thought, well, if we can make it a personal video, it's gonna be even better. But the thing is, how do you do that at scale? And maybe talking through the problem statement might help you get a sense of how I tackled it. So if you think about it, if you're gonna send a thank you to every customer, the first thing you'd need to do is figure out, who was the customer?

It was class. What did class buy or class bought? Four soy candles, a bottle of red. Okay, great. , how many purchases class made? , what's his lifetime value? , where's the package going to? There's all this research that you need to do before you even start thinking about doing a video.

Once you record the video, you've gotta record it, which actually is pretty quick you say thank you and say, Hey Klaus, I saw you bought some soy candles and some wine, and I hope you really like it. And here's a quick story about how I made the candles. But then once you've got the video, you've gotta figure out, how do I stick it in an email?

How do I make sure it avoids spam filters? Because if it's a big attachment, it's gonna get hit by a lot of spam filters along the way. How do I actually entice a customer to want to click on it and open it and in what do I do to write an email that actually gets 'em again, enticed, to understand what it's about?

The way I tackle it was we thought the video creation, if we can enable, a store owner to send the thank you video, what if we automate everything around it? So other words, do the research so they don't need to find out, the customer lifetime value, what the products were in order, provide that in a prompt so they can say thanks directly to their customer.

And literally as they're saying, thanks, see exactly the talking points they should be saying. And then once they've hit send, Pick the video up, put it into a branded email. Sent it to the customer. , when they click the play button in the video, which is embedded in the email, it loads up a landing page, which is branded like their website, , and streams it to them.

So again, avoiding any bandwidth issues they might have. What I tried to do was , how do we actually go along and make it really, really easy for someone just to say thanks and then take care of all the other stuff that actually has to happen to deliver that. Thank you.

Claus Lauter: Amazing. That's a very good solution. We're talking a lot about artificial intelligence these days. but really , the personal experience with your customer, probably you can't top that with any algorithm. Now. You said there were a lot of things that you needed to find a solution first to make it work.

talk me through orders coming in. What's the next best step that a, version needs to do to get the ball rolling? 

Alex Papli: The actual app itself, is on the Shopify marketplace, so someone can just install it. Once that happens, once they install it, it'll receive a feed of the orders.

So you don't really need to do anything except, you'll load up the mobile app, which is, available on the Google. And, App stores. So you just download, the mobile app, log in with the credentials that you set up on the little admin console that's embedded in your Shopify admin console.

And then once you've logged in, you'll start seeing the orders and you literally just start , hitting record the email will go straight to. Your customer's email address that all , the notifications are for, shipping and it will come and appear as if it was from your email address as well.

So it looks like it's come from you, Klaus, at your email address, not some random, no reply. And that's important because you want customers to actually be able to reply. It's about being human, , as. So that's how they get started. So the idea is that it very much is just click, click, wait for the order and then say thanks , and get on with what you need to do is running a busy store.

Claus Lauter: Are there any kind of, pre-recorded bits and pieces that you can use, like an intro or an outro 

Alex Papli: or something? not right now. , then the reason for it is that I thought, long and hard about it and thought, look, there's some really good Technologies out there allow you to send a pre-recorded video.

YouTube is probably the best one. So again, if you wanna send a thank you video once to many, then if you use something like Vimeo or YouTube, they do that really, really well. And my thought was, look, thank you video. Isn't there to compete with those sorts of platforms.

And equally, you can embed a video in your clavio, email sequence. But really getting the cut through and one of the stats, if you think about it, things like 80% of consumers like will buy from a brand of, had a high emotional connection with, it's one of those things they'll always buy from them.

60 or so percent of consumers want to buy from brands that actually stand for something. And so it's very difficult to really, really cut through, the noise when everyone's getting bombarded with messaging all the time. I've actually taken a very specific decision to say actually the time it takes to record the video is not actually a big problem when you think about all the other stuff you need to do for your customer.

Spending a minute during fulfillment , so there's usually a couple of ways people do it, by the way. There might be either, straight away after the order when it's being packed. I've got artists for example, who say, Hey, here's a poster or whatever you've bought from me. I'm packing it.

I've wrapped it up and it's all protected. And they choose to do it there. Wineries often like to do it in the vineyards, so they'll actually. , do all of their normal fulfillment during the week. Hop out on a Saturday morning for, 10 or 15 minutes and shoot off 10 or 15 videos to their customers and just say thanks.

And the reason for that is they can then stand in front of the grapes that have come off the vine, that the wine is made from. And actually say, Hey, here's the vineyard. This is a little bit of a story about it. That portability, the mobile app provides, actually enables them to send it from a really strong on-brand location.

Or a candle maker might do it from, where they're actually making the candles rather than just in the office. 

Claus Lauter: Absolutely showing that you are really working in the workshop or producing the wine, for sure increases the, customer relationship with your brand. Obviously, we're not only wanna say thank you, we're business people.

We all want to increase our revenue or lifetime customer value. How can you use these videos to get people coming back, buy more? What's the best case scenarios there? 

Alex Papli: It's really interesting. We've found that, and if you think about it just , as a normal human, if someone says, Hey, thanks, I really appreciate it, by the way, here's a 10% off voucher for next time you buy it.

And you're literally in the store saying, well, why can't you just give me 10% off the order I've just paid you for? There's a sort of a human. Reaction that says, well, hang on, you've just said thanks, but you've taken away that thank you by actually trying to ask me for something else. And so through our experiments and through our customers, what we've actually found, the best example is literally just to say thank you and be very authentic and very human about it, and very appreciative.

, and through that, just simply doing that without any extra ask. Extra call to action or extra request actually provides a whole lot of things. So one of the things was, , we're finding anywhere from at the low end, 12%, the high end, 46% increase in repeat business, literally just by saying thanks.

So if you think about it, a traditional or it's pretty typical and every industry is a bit different in retail, but. It's usually between 15 and 30% of first time customers will come back. So if you reverse the numbers between 70 and 85% of first time customers never come back to you. So if you can improve that by say, 46% like we've done with the winery, and other businesses, what you're actually doing very quickly is moving the needle on your revenue just by getting people to have a nice affinity, , with your brand.

The other thing we've found. It's helping a couple of things. First of all, positive reviews. Because you got that ability to, it comes from you. Klaus, , it's from you. Hey Alex. Thank you so much for your order. We are actually finding end customers are replying back to the stores saying, wow, I'm blown away that you've actually said thank you.

I really appreciate it. And if you have a look at our Instagram, you'll see some of those snippets of those emails that customers are actually sending back. And at that point in time, the retailer can then say, Hey, if you like us that much, can you put a positive review on our, Google or website or trust pilot or whatever.

We had one who buy, another winery of seem to have a lot of wineries, but there's some great stories there where they had a customer buy online. They bought a couple of bottles. They received a thank you video. And then they were so delighted they replied back to the winemaker saying, Hey look, we were coming up to the Brossa Valley, which is just out of Adelaide if you know South Australia.

But I noticed you're in Clear Valley, which is about a hundred kilometers drive. Can we come and see you? The winemaker said, yeah, absolutely. I'll organize a time. I don't have the cellar door, but I'll get you to come along. And they said, oh, by the. We're going with another couple of friends, could you come?

Can we bring 'em along? And she's like, absolutely. They went along to that winery, so they detoured a hundred kilometers from their trip to Barossa Valley. They still went there and checked out some wineries, added a trip to the Claire Valley, and spent an extra thousand dollars with her. In person. So she turned a two bottle of wine purchase into $1,000, face-to-face purchase.

And that was simply by having a very brief dialogue, on that. And there's like countless other stories I've got from customers that are sit finding similar things. So it's really interesting that even though and I know this from being in digital marketing, it seems like, yeah, let's attach a call to action.

Let's ask for something because we've got their attention. Why wouldn't we? It's actually really interesting when we observe the metrics and very much the feedback from retailers who are using it, saying, actually, if we just say thanks, we know, , that either we get better reviews, we get more, word of mouth, , customers, or they just come back because they loved us that much and they loved the story behind the product that they felt they connected with us emotionally and as a result have actually come back for more.

It's a really interesting question. You've. But yeah, we're finding that just keeping it simple and saying thanks also makes it really efficient from a time perspective. Cuz you're just saying thanks and you're telling 'em a little bit about what they bought. 

Claus Lauter: A hundred percent. , it's an amazing, example there, just keep it simple and stupid and try to be humble and, , just human and don't be the hardcore salesperson who forces the client to more, which might leave a bit of taste.

You talk about the winemaker there, Kendall Maker, who would be the perfect person to send out that message because some organizations, they have to have the age. They might sit in the Philippines or wherever in the world. Who's the, the. Person to send out that message. Yeah. 

Alex Papli: There's really a couple of things, and I might actually answer the question a bit broader and say what's the right type of business, as well, because I think there's both the type of business, which fits this really well. But then there's also , the actual individual, first of all, the type of business, , first of all, where this, what I can say is where this doesn't work is where there's not really an emotional bond, in as part of the transaction.

So if you think about a commodity U s b key memory stick purchase on eBay. Typically the customer's just looking for a solution. They don't really want a, dialogue, about, the merits of that particular USB memory key, right? So they're not a great fit. And that leads me to the point that, if it's a real commodity type product that has no major differentiation and probably not a lot of emotional connection, it's not a great fit because customers are often buying based on price or other factors such as just you're gonna get it to.

In, a day. So whatever. That'll be fine. And I'll move on and I'm not planning to come back to you for a second purchase. So where it works really well is businesses, that are actually, , have figured out their customer acquisition cost is necessary, that they probably need to get, repeat purchases.

Logical ones are businesses that sell consumable products. So unless products that you consume in some shape or form, so hence wineries because the wine gets drunk. And in customers are looking for another wine. And interestingly, in wine, customers. Often they like to try lots of different wine brands.

So the problem for that particular industry is they could spend all this money acquiring the customer, to then sell 'em a set of, six bottles, but the customer will never come back, even if they like the product. , and so it's about how do I get an emotional connection within the actually mons.

It makes them come back. So I think there's a couple of things. So first of all, you need to be in a business whereby your product can be consumed in some shape or, I've got fashion retailers, like small sort of startup brands that have a really lovely story about, the fabric and the environmental credentials.

What they do and what they're able to do is say, well, if you've bought my t-shirt, maybe you'll buy maybe another t-shirt or other things. Even though they're not specifically consumable, they've got a product catalog that is amenable to buying more than, once off them. so you've got this business model has to be built around repeat purchases and necessity of saying, , we actually want to drive that relationship.

I think the next question then, back to your question is who's the right person? There's a couple of things. Obviously if you as if you're small, then often the owner can do it. And that's fantastic if that's possible. But one of the things that, we did on the platform very, very, deliberately was make sure that, , if you think about it as an end customer, you receive this email.

It's from the brand. It's from, hey, Klaus, it's Alex from, whatever business, Alex's books, , has sent you a thank you, , video. Click here to watch it, and they click on that thumbnail. The thing is though, the landing page is branded, so it's got a watermark on the video, which is from the brand as well as the landing page itself is fully looking like your website.

And that's all configurable in the console. And the reason for that is so that you don't need to have the business owner do it. So in other words, it can be someone who is. Maybe not the owner, but as someone connected to the brand and because they've got the branding over it, it helps make sure that it still looks authentic.

The key thing is though, that you want that story, so whoever is saying it, you want them to have an anecdote or two about the product or the business or something that's gonna help with that emotional connection. , although it's always nice if it's the business owner because as the end customer, you go, wow, I can't believe you sent me that video.

, thank you so much. It's something really special. It actually doesn't need to be. And we've got, companies that are doing, I'd say hundreds of orders a day and what they do is they filter 'em out and they say, let's just do. First time customer welcomes or high value, like over $500 orders.

So they don't send 'em to everyone. But what they'll do is they'll say, look, here's the person who's gonna send it. We know they've got a really nice, , spiel about our brand or our business. And so the key thing is that we get someone to be able to form that emotional connection. So it could be a va.

As long as they're pretty well briefed, on what you stand for. Because this is all about trying to form that emotional bond those are the things like Deloitte did a report recently. It's the emotional connection that Ashley drives the brand loyalty. It's not how many points balanced someone has on, a loyalty system is actually, do they really care about you?

, you've gotta have someone who can do that. And it's actually really not that hard cuz if you have a passion about your product. You just tell 'em about it, it works pretty easily, so you don't need, you certainly don't need a degree, you just need a passion.

Claus Lauter: Hundred percent. No, I think there, there was a lot of golden nuggets in what you just said. , so it can be just a person who's packing these things, , saying, Hey, I'm just packing your order here. Does not necessarily be the owner of the company, which might in some cases be a problem.

Now you said it's a Shopify app, it's also a, mobile app. , how does the implementation and the setup work. 

Alex Papli: So in the Shopify, marketplace, you just do a search for thank you video, and then you hit the install button. , what that does is it'll bring inside your admin console, you'll find then the admin console for thank you video app.

So if , I'm saying admin a few times, but. For everyone who knows Shopify, you click on in the apps, and then you've got that little box where, you know that space wherever, the apps are that you can go along and just control. So inside that, you've got then it, it will show you a feed, , of all of your orders that have come through to thank you video.

It also enables you to create new users. So for example, if it's not just you, the business owner, you might have two or three people doing, packing or whatever it might. You create an account for them so that they can then log into the mobile app. So there's inside, that there's a link to the Via QR code and also a hyperlink off to the , Google and Apple, , stores.

They download that mobile app onto their, , mobile device. And the reason for that is portability, cuz then they can go to a really good brand specific location cuz you don't wanna be sending a thank you video from a boring office. It doesn't really help. , you want to. In the packing room, in the showroom, in the vineyard, in your artist's sort of residence, if that's what you do.

So you download the mobile app and from there, it literally just receives a feed of the orders. , you can filter based on order value if it's a first time customer, those sorts of things, and you just pick through and decide which ones you wanna send a thank you to. Just record your message.

You can see everything you need to say. You hit send. And then we take care of everything else. So branding the delivery, avoiding spam, all that sort of stuff. And in that way, your customers get a great experience and by then you are well onto the next customer. 

Claus Lauter: Sounds pretty straightforward.

Tell me a little bit, , to pricing. 

Alex Papli: The pricing's based on the amount of orders you do, and the reason for it is that, we thought, look, what's the best way to be able to make this as cost effective for businesses that don't do a lot of work? So there's a startup plan that's $12 90 a month allows you to do 25 or so cents.

So if you have an amazing month and you spike up to a hundred, you're not gonna get stopped. You can just keep going. But the idea is just try and find a plan that matches , roughly your turnover.

So I think the highest plans, , 30 or $40 a month, , you can get through an awful lot of videos, in that time. The idea really is we wanna make it as simple as possible businesses to go along and say thanks to their customers, with minimal blockers , to do that. So we didn't wanna have a bi big expensive plan , even though we probably could because it's actually a real turnkey solution.

There's no one else that does this particularly, or specifically for e-commerce. So it is actually the only app that does it. it's fully tuned because of that prompting in the mobile app. That's very unique, but, The deliberate decision was let's keep it cost effective. Let's let customers send out as many thank yous as possible, and ultimately just make the world a nicer place by just being human and saying thanks.

To the heart of the business is actually just bringing joy to e-commerce and, forgetting all the dollars and cents. The thing that makes me happiest is when I see a customer of mine. So one of our customers who's just forwarded me an. I'm so delighted the fact that my customer is delighted about the experience, and thank you for doing that.

in many respects, that's what actually keeps it going. , it's just a really nice thing to be doing in business. No, definitely connects connect revenue, 

Claus Lauter: which is great. Definitely connects you on a very nice level with your customer. And I said it's a win-win situation off on both sides.

Where can people find out more about the app? 

Alex Papli: Yeah, so a couple of ways. So if you're on Instagram, that's actually not a bad way because if you do a, in a search for thank you underscore video, then you can see things like the customer testimonials. You can also see sample example videos, , just to give you an idea of , what different businesses, what they're sending out to their customers.

Just getting an idea of those. That's a good way. Our website is if you go, thank you, dot. So that's. So thank you., that gives you obviously everything, on the website. In terms of some case studies, references, more stats. There's quite a lot of research we've done around everything from, profitability of doing this.

One of the stats was something like the basket value was, I think we've found like, $240 for repeat purchases versus 140, so significantly higher value on repeat purchases. So there's a lot of content on the website and of course if you just wanna get started, just jump on the Shopify web,, website on there at Marketplace, and just type in thank you video and you'll find us there too.

Claus Lauter: I will put the links in the show notes as always. Then you just one click away and I watch the Instagram videos. They speak for themself. the idea is great, straightforward. Let's hope that a lot of merchants just will give it a try and I'm sure they will be convinced. It's a good idea.

Alex, thanks so much for your time and 

Alex Papli: talk soon. guys. Appreciate it. Catch you later.