Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The site Specto Design worked on did $9.3 million in sales in 2015. I am not attributing every one of those dollars to their genius, but it was a non-trivial project, and everyone found Specto Design to be delightful and smart.
How did Specto Design perform from a project management standpoint?
They were open to adopting any work process we wanted. Specto Design is the sweet spot of understanding new technologies and having been around long enough to understand business as well.
Skype is a particular way of video conferencing, but I find Zoom to be the superior tool. They also communicated well via email and were open to joining a client’s Slack.
On one end of the scale, there are people who won’t do anything, unless they’re given very specific direction and deadlines. On the other end, there are people running wild. Specto Design is pretty much in the middle of this: they will produce results as-expected or early, but also anticipate pieces we may need.
I didn’t work directly with Marla Carlton for this project. I believe that she handled tasks in the background. I also didn’t know the rest of the cast of characters. As my relationship with Axel evolved, I worked mainly with him, but I don’t know the degree to which he did things himself, or organized other people behind-the-scenes.
What did you find most impressive about Specto Design?
One of the great things about Specto Design and Axel Muench, is that they have been doing this for long enough and are smart enough to understand business cases and consumer behavior, unlike a freelancer who’s learned WordPress. The company can genuinely get under the skin of what it is we’re trying to achieve, and what the business case is, rather than just giving lip service. My general experience in business has been that everyone is full of lip and chat when getting to know them, and they’re experts in this, that and the other, but, when it comes down to it, many of them want to simply do what they’ve already done 20 times before, because it’s easy. Specto Design is good at using what they’ve done 20 times before, and making the process quick and easy, but also getting under the skin of what we’re trying to do.
As an example, we built an unusual component, a post-purchase add-on. As consumers, we are more likely to buy if the checkout process is as simple as possible. Every time we give people another field, we reduce the conversion rate. Big forms scare consumers off, so, included in the philosophy of simplifying the checkout process, is eliminating extra items in that process. We can be selling people extra items like matching cases, but it’s ideal to show them one great offer and have a minimum number of fields.
We built something called the “one-click upsell”, whereby people would complete the initial transaction, process the credit card, ensuring that the sale we’d worked so hard to get wasn’t compromised, and, on the thank you page, instead of confirming that we’d send an email, we’d also offer similar items and upgrades. Customers could say yes or no with a single click. Doing this is simple for the customer, since they’re given a straight choice, but there are multiple things happening behind-the-scenes around confirming the order, storing the information in a legal and ethical way, determining how that transaction will turn up on the buyer’s credit card statement (as one or two items), what would happen if the first transaction went fine and the second one failed, or vice versa, and so on.
This was an example of something Specto Design has understood much better than most. Making things simple is very hard. Every time a consumer has a simple, delightful interaction, making it was a hard task for the IT people.
The only way a client will come back is if they’re captured in some way. If we have their email address, we can send them notifications about the items in their cart. We can also have retargeting ads, even if we don’t have a person’s information, using Facebook and other platforms.
Are there any areas Specto Design could improve?
No. I think they’re fantastic. I have been focusing on a different business, but I know that it’s only a matter of time before I work with Specto Design again.