Episode 002 – Trent Mankelow of Trade Me

This week on the Growth HQ podcast I sit down for a chat with Trent Mankelow, Chief Product Officer at Trade Me.  Trade Me is New Zealand’s largest market place and Trent and I have a really dynamic discussion around the growth this business model in recent years.

The feverish adoption of mobile content consumption has driven marketplace businesses challenge the assumptions they’ve made in the past few years.  Ebay Now, Tinder, and others are disrupting these markets every day and making other founders reexamine the approach they’re taking to their businesses.

Trade Me itself is changing quickly.  With some software and website updates coming in the next few months it is preparing itself for some of the changes that Trent sees coming very soon to the web.  Changes like this are important to the web community in New Zealand as Trade Me is a cornerstone of the web business.

You can learn more about Trent and find out what he’s up to on Twitter @TrentMankelow and on email him at

If you enjoyed the show today please head over to iTunes and leave a quick review.  I read every one of them and would really like to hear from you.  Thanks.

ecommerce site

5 Quick Wins for Your Ecommerce Site

Optimisation has been a buzz word in ecommerce forever. We are all striving to get that little bit extra out of the traffic we have and the customers who already trust us.

Sometimes we just want to throw out the whole platform and start again. But this is expensive and often does not deliver the results to justify the investment. Sometimes it can deliver a worse experience that impacts revenue, as big ecommerce players like Marks and Spencer discovered.

Small changes can have a huge impact. At GrabOne we changed the design of a yellow box on the mobile site and improved conversion by $256,000 per year. Testing should be part of your culture but I want to hand you some quick wins that you can implement in the next 30 days.

Criteria I used to choose these:

  • Easy to implement
  • High upside, low downside – little risk
  • Platform agnostic – you can do all of these with what you have or simple tools

1. Chat

Online shopping inherently lacks the retail experience of having someone walk a customer through a purchase and deal with objections and questions as they come up. Chat is a way to improve engagement with the customer, discover frequent problems and hidden issues. I’ve seen chat linked transaction average double than those without. Anecdotally younger users use chat in higher numbers as its a more natural experience for them.

How: Olark only requires a single line of code and starts at $15 a month.

2. Payment options

Offering customers an alternative way to pay has been proven to boost conversions. Payments company SeeWhy analysed payment methods by platform and showed an increase in performance when offering customers more options.

How:  QCard

ecommerce marketing

Paypal has obviously gained market share but digital wallets haven’t really gained traction in NZ. The quick win I would recommend is you focus on payment solutions that increase your average transaction value. GrabOne’s implementation of QCard was successful in increasing transaction values.

How: Speak to QCard. It will seamlessly sit next to your existing payment gateway.

3. Social Proof and Urgency

Daily deal sites have some of the highest conversion rates online. They do this through a unique product but they have also been very successful in increasing urgency and layering social proof onto a purchasing decision. Displaying the number of purchases, how many have been sold, stock remaining or recent purchases can all be effective.

image01 have always been my favourite implementation and I know they have a extensive conversion testing regime so ‘taking inspiration’ from them would be wise. Look at the daily deal sites for design ideas as well.

Two important caveats don’t create false urgency and don’t overdo it.

How: Userstats offer a lightweight tool from $18 a month

4. Onboarding

Customers who have already bought from us are far easier to re-engage than new customers. Getting a new user to a purchase and experience your product as early in the relationship as possible ensures the lifetime value is maximised. Onboarding them to let them know what they can expect from you and potentially incentivising them to purchase is a fast and simple way to do this. The art is nurturing them rather than chasing them.

Onboarding should:

  • Set expectations about how you are going to communicate with them eg email frequency
  • Start to build a relationship with them eg your company’s values and usp
  • Let them know about any other actions that would be beneficial eg mobile, app, account preferences

Generally onboarding is done via email but a thank you page post sign up can be a good early introduction to your relationship.

The next time a customer sees and email from you or an ad out there they will be slightly more likely to engage.

How: Fire up your email program and write an email (preferably from a person) telling them exactly what to expect from you and suggest some next steps in the relationship.

5. Cart Abandon

Are people really still not doing this? If it’s not the most profitable email you send in your stack then I will personally send you $11.50 which happens to the value per email of the last onboarding email I wrote.

Seriously just do it. The customer has got all the way through to the cart and left for some reason. Give them a nudge.

Test messaging sequences, frequency and content later but please start. FYI A two email abandon reminder seems to work best for most ecommerce types. But start with a single email and find out later what is optimal.

How: It is likely built into your ecommerce platform of choice but if you need a third party solution Salescycle offer this along with remarketing functionality.

Priorities are always challenging but if there are gaps in your strategy please fill them with one of the above ideas as soon as you can. I guarantee it will make you more sales.

Want someone to make these small but important changes for you? Check out Growth Advise. There’s a waiting list right now but register and I will let you know when an opening becomes available.

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