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shopify product manager program

Published on: January 31 2023 by pipiads

Product Management Interview with Mark Dunkley, Shopify PM

I'm joined by mark Dunkley. mark start off as a product manager at Shopify back in 2009, when you guys were only ten employees, so you've really seen a growth of a start up to becoming a much larger company as a product manager, and now you transition to a role leading one of the design projects, which is really cool because I think the designers and product managers are probably the two- you know, groups or two roles that work very closely together from the inception of a product to actually delivery of this. so welcome, mark, thank you. yeah, so what were you doing, I know, before product management? what were you? what kind of roles did you have before? what kind of jobs you work at before? yeah, when you're a company of around nine or ten people, your rules are really loosely defined. everyone's doing everything and obviously we didn't have product managers until, like officially, probably on the nine year, 100 mark, we didn't really have anyone especially owning, you know, a specific product or a project. even it was all kind of in the air, if you will, and I think that works for some cultures and it doesn't work for some cultures. but around the 90 mark we start experimenting with, with product managers and putting a formal team in place. so when I first joined I was the first designer. the design co-founder hired me, Daniel, and I was the first like full-time designer for Shopify. so I definitely got to see it grow from a small team to to 550- I think we're at right now cool. so when you you said that you were basically, you know, brought in when they were only ten employees, how did you get the job? and I was trying to apply for like a summer job and I just met Toby and Daniel, the two founders for coffee- and I know he's also founder too, Toby and Daniel- and and they saw some my Shopify work because I eventually got onto e-commerce from my freelance career. there's some some small, small projects. one of those like a bakery and the- the site was featured on like Shopify is like Fester's on a website, it's and stuff. so we were having coffee and they just said like hey, we'd love you to work for Shopify and that was in the summer. and then I dropped out of school after because I just loved it so much and I I did it not like school at all, more you do for business business University of Ottawa's business program and it was good. you meet a lot of people and did case competitions and the extra cruiser stop really helped, but I can't recall a single like thing I learned in class from from school, unfortunately, that seems to be the kind of common theme. and would you say that you are a or are tiknical and you feel you need to have a? I guess how much of an understanding of the tiknical cuz implementation of the products that you are designing. you need to have to be a product manager. yeah, I'm tiknical all the way up until I just don't ask me to write any tests like fer for my code and I'm fine. I swear I just a little. yeah, B snippets, design, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, all that fun stuff. does a product manager need to be tiknical? as a real interesting question, I feel like the most important thing for product manager, the adds value to his team and if you're working on a problem that's like super niche, maybe like, for example, shipping, and you're toking about like ups and how to broker deals, the UPS or FedEx or whatever, then if that product manager has, you know, an extraordinary mount of knowledge in that field, both from you know understanding the trials and tribulations of a other merchant and also understands, you know, what it is from a UPS and FedEx perspective as well, that's. that's an incredible amount of knowledge to bring to the table. and I don't that person necessarily has to be as is tiknical. as long as he's flanked by you know some. really a head designer or lead developer, long has resources available to him. in some ways, being tiknical can be a bit of a burden because if you don't know how to step back and give your developers and his owners breathing room to actually explore and make their own mistakes and give you in a lot of trouble. and that was definitely one of the mistakes I made when I first came in there. obviously I had a bit more knowledge about Shopify than everyone else, Ellison, I was trying to bestow this cornucopia of knowledge upon upon these people and- and you know, I think in making mistakes and and really act as a mentor more than anything. so I think it depends on the project. I definitely would struggle in in the like, trying to estimate timelines and estimate the the value of projects and how long it would take if I was non-tiknical. and I think in a row like Shopify you have to be tiknical because we're so engineering driven. it just gives you respect and and you can communicate better with your peers. yeah, I agree with it. I think that's, you know, being too tiknical. you can't, I guess, can't really be too tiknical, but you do want to let people that you've hired or love, who they that's on your team, do the jobs that they're good at and that they were brought in to do. and I think what we were toking about before the start of this recording, about how I think the product management role prime ends with job, is very transferable to being a CEO or being the, the founder of a start-up, a founder of a company, and those are kind of challenges that I think a lot of founders experience at first, where, when they are just by themselves, they have this kind of superhero of mentality where they try to do everything themselves or try to have their hands and everything, but it's just not scalable. and that's the main reason why you know you hire and, as a product manager, that's the reason why you have people like designers, project managers and actual developers, you know, working with you rather than you doing everything yourself, and you were actually a founder for two companies that you previously- and you previously worked as a freelancer, which is, you know, I think a pretty common trait is entrepreneurial, like spirit that a lot of product managers have. and now that you are on the product management side and design side working at a company, how do you feel like the skills are transferable between a product manager at a company and then if someone wants to start a company of their own later? yeah, I think I'm they're very related, very closely related. I see a designers, entrepreneurs and product managers- all kind of similar, this sense that they really care a little bit extra and the user experience. they really care about the overall, how they sign up to, how they get into the product and the first few days in the product. especially those, those three roles really care about that initial experience. so they're definitely transferable, especially, I think, the biggest thing- more so, it's entrepreneurial and CEO and product management is just time management and establishing a roadmap. those are skills that are transferable. even when you leave. if you become the designer again or a developer again, you're able to kind of ask yourself: caves, is something that we should be working on. it is is important. does it fit my criteria? I like being able to. if you get a chance to do product management and you're a developer or designer or secretary, whatever it, definitely jump on it, because you know there's nothing more like as a designer. right now I'm living where the design projects at Shopify I can. I can communicate better with, with my, with my product manager or director, whoever I'm speaking with, because I understand what they value, what they're judged against and and how we both can work together a lot better. so, yeah, they're always transferable between the two. the only real difference between product management and design is just what you do day to day. yeah, I just want to jump into that next. you know, because I heard a lot of things there about the different teams that you work with, how prioritization is important. now, how does your actual day-to-day when you were a product manager, how did it break you out? what did you do first thing in the morning, all the way t?

WHAT is A PRODUCT MANAGER? Chief Product Officer Shopify Explains!

[Music]. [Music]. [Applause]. [Music]. the fan of Luton once said: if you not embarrassed by the first version of the product you've launched too late. he is referring to product managers. yeah, the lights do not. good. product managers are quite an extraordinary role in a startup today. are these essential figures that really work? cross-functional? they work in business but also work with engineering. they try to set the strategy and the roadmap for the price, but at the same time they're always with the products entire lifecycle. so we're gonna take a closer look for what these people actually look like. [Music]. good morning. marketing of the game, great stiker Brennaman, planning to post them on our HGTV. now up to start a, a GT of all the famous chefs, of what of all the famous chefs? I'm quietly sitting and working and then look who just arrived, dear, look who's late. they can see what happens. ah, ah, you know, just the usual: I had to save a cat from a tree and some other heroic deeds. not entirely sure if that's true, and some you late, but indeed a hero for the many different types of pm down there. there's business, there's first, there's tiknical. so if one person lies its biddy, she knows have what to look for when it comes to PM's. so did he do? what do you look for? a product manager are so young, our vision, our vision, but also someone who can really prioritize ruthlessly and can execute at a super high level. so, basically, looking for product Superstars. you should then have the ghost people speak with will and gun owner. that's actually very good. let's go to will, who's a product manager, and see what he actually is doing. is the person we're looking for? will, they will? hey, you have a moment, of course, perfect, so just toking to the Liana, but could you tell me what a product manager actually does? so the most important thing for a product manager to do is to figure out what we need to build for our customers and then how we're going to do it, and that means firstly, going meeting with restaurants, really understanding their needs and things that we can do better. secondly, it's working with the team, and often we work with a very wide-ranging team stretching all the way from developers through to sales people who are out on the streets telling everyone about how great our product is. and then the final thing is really making sure that the project is running as smoothly as it can be and we're executing as as efficiently as possible. I think this is the question that everybody asks themselves to once a working product manager: but what products do you use every day? but that was ready for this question. my favorite new product is a product called linear, which is a issue tracking tours, a competitor to JIRA, and I absolutely hate you and it's a terrible product. I also just used my iPhone all the time and we've just started using notion as our company wiki, which i think is also a great product. nice, thank you. and so then, lastly, when it comes to also vision, so not only the execution side- we're going to tok, to our CEO, Gannon Hall, who worked for which companies? again, couple of little known ones like Google and and Shopify. poor you, Kenan. do you have two minutes? are we perfect? can we go over there? absolutely, my, you've been at Google, given the CP right, Shopify and now, yeah, checker in Europe. you left Silicon Valley to come to Berlin. I did white checker, looking for opportunities that were interesting from a tiknical perspective, like a big challenge, interesting from a business perspective in terms of the scale. all those things are important to me, but the biggest things of business to people like that's, at the end of the day, it's all about people. so you know, I came here, did some work with the team here, just just really liked it, really liked the culture, really liked the leadership. I think tastik CEOs, enemies, age a lot of talent and, frankly, a lot of opportunity for someone like me to come in and, you know, spring the television right. so what's what's the business? to check that where you going. I don't think it's the chief product officer job to have the product vision- I bet another spasm. what my job is is to contribute to the vision, to refine the vision- and you take the idea to founders time, which was my idea, that's the vision- and to expand on it so peacefully communicable to the people here, to get some inside of the motor, to refine it and iterate on it so that what you know what, what the company's founders day one were like this is what we're gonna build, admissible. we want to accomplish my job: accomplishing will Will's at the product manager. I'm a chief product officer, my, so my job is to support in, coach and help guys like will become the best. pop an interest in the world to deliver and build, build and deliver the best products, and that's my job. my job is not to come up with the coolest idea. I'd like to form Titan if I contribute ideas, yeah, but I have no expectation like- and I don't want my idea to trump anyone else under snow- the boys room product this process, because we don't code, we don't design, we orchestrate. you know, we use basically science, scientific methods that are hundreds of years old to determine what product assistance. but that's really what we do, you know. yes, you know we tell the future ideas. yes, we understand the problem space, but what we really do is figure out how to create a mechanism for communication. you know, optimized workflows for everybody. the right people are toking to the right people the right time. that product ideas are validated before they're invested. in that the sequencing things that we build make sense for how we want to go to markets. about determining what we can cut in order to continue market faster. what we can't cut or it won't make any sense to bring it to market. [Music], at least that's how I do it, and it may not be the right way, but we have someone's birthday today. oh, nice, you do it. it's mr Gannon Hall. or secure the other one. use my bike, okay, I'll take it away then. so plenty of interesting insights on who is a fact manager, what they actually do, and she was setting the vision. I think we got quite close, understanding how to build a product team in a global company and how we scale [Music].

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What do I do as a Product Manager?

hey yo, it's khloe. recently i have been doing a lot of toks with college students from all over the nation and one of the most common questions i get is: hey, chloe, i am interested in being a product manager, but what is it that you even do? the product manager role is definitely one of those really buzzy and cool jobs to try to go after. it is highly sought after, it is well paid and it is very respectable in the world of tik. so today i am here to tell you what it is that i do on a day to day as a product manager. so let's get started. [Music]. welcome to my channel. colors of chloe. i am a product manager and i work in the creator space. i have built features for many years now, and i have worked at boeing, google, caffeine, facebook and now at tik tok. so now that's out of the way. let's tok about what a product manager does. the one thing that we do really is that we launch features to make our users happy. our role is really at the intersection of user experience, tik and business. we are really involved in crafting the look and feel of the experience. we have to understand what are the tiknical costs and what the tik debt is to help us prioritize what features to work on, and then we have to be very, very in tune with the roi is for the business, whether that's in revenue or user growth or safety or pr. we have to know how it benefits us as a business. though i really like to think about product the way that todd jackson, who's a vp of product at dropbox, has put it. pms are responsible for number one, artikulating what a winning product looks like. number two, rallying the entire cross-functional team to build it, which is a really hard process. and number three, iterating until we get it right. so how it starts off is like we really have to understand how product is broken down into features and experiences. like you're not just a product manager of google, you're not the product manager of airbnb, you are staffed on a specific product team that owns a very partikular product experience. i couldn't quite understand this concept for a really long time until i started to understand how org charts are created. oftentimes, companies will separate different types of product teams based on, like, different user experiences, or maybe the different buttons that exist on your platform, or maybe a combination of both. so if we're separating teams on different user experiences. people can be staffed on product teams that own the creator experience or user growth or ads and monetization, or the creator insights team or even the viewer experience team. if you think about it from a buttons perspective, there's pretty much a product team for every like cluster of buttons that exist, like there's a team for the share button, the go live button, the notifications that pop up, the admin settings panel, the feed team, the event creation flow. if there's any features that you roll out as a pm that impacts other teams, which often times it does, you have to make sure that every team is okay with what you're launching, because sometimes your feature might take away from another feature. for example, rolling out instagram stories probably took away from instagram posts. you know there are always these product trade-offs to think through [Music]. so let's pretend that we're on the creator experiences team and usually your leadership, which refers to your executives on the team, they set a north star that you have to aim for. these are your metrics of success that you're measured against. this is a really important metric to understand and to define. so i read this somewhere. but basically, once upon a time, slack used to measure their north star on the number of spaces that users created and that's not super meaningful because, like what, if you have a bunch of spaces that people create and nobody engages with them, that's not really valuable. you have to really understand what the magical moment is within the scope of your product team and the users that you're serving. what is the aha moment? for slack's case, it's really getting to that point where you're collaborating and working with your teammates. that's what slack is all about. so they change their north star from raw number of spaces created to something more meaningful, which is their activation milestone, and that is like getting a space to have three members and 3000 messages sent- and this is not random, which a lot of companies do, which is pretty bad. but slack really did very deep analysis on what their threshold is for what spaces that exist that have really great retention, and they find what correlates to that. this is just like facebook's aha moment, where facebook try to get as many users to reach 7 friends in 10 days. this is the point where your users finally get it, if you know what i mean. so we, as the product managers, have to really understand, number one, who our users are. what are their user personas? how do they behave, what are their demographics, what do they like, what don't they like, what are their pain points and what prevents them from reaching the experience that we want them to have. then the next step kind of is like putting together design workshop, where you bring in all your cross-functional partners- we call them xfns- and we whiteboard out all the different user profiles and then we figure out which ones are most important to our team. and then we analyze these specific personas and we're like: can we come up with a set of people problem statements to understand their pain points? then you brainstorm all that, you prioritize which ones that are important for you right now and then for every single pain point, for every single people problem, you brainstorm all together what are all the different feature solutions that you could implement to solve their problems. so let me pause right there and give you an example- and this is really outdated, but a people problem could be: as a new facebook user, i have a hard time finding friends who are already on facebook, and then from that people problem you can come up with all kinds of solutions, like it could be adding a suggested friends list or in the account creation process you can import emails or contacts from your phone. you can also browse other profiles based on your network, your school. ultimately, you want to come up with feature solutions that solve the root pain point, that can help move the needle on your north star- does that make sense? and then, after you have all these ideas, you prioritize. you ruthlessly prioritize, and then you build your roadmap. and then, once you have your roadmap, you start working on the individual features and you scope out the product with your xfns. you work with uxr, partnerships, data, product operations, engineering and ux. in the understand phase, you really have to deep dive into every single part of this feature. you build the design mocs with your designer and your copywriter or your content strategist and you simultaneously work with your data team to understand the success metrics and you put all of that into what's called a prd, which is a product requirements document. this is your main direct deliverable. i mean your deliverable should be launching the product and making users happy, but like, the thing that you have to write up yourself and you own is this document. but once you have that done, you go through so many rounds of review. it's insane. you just have to make sure that this feature is a net positive in the grand ecosystem of things within your product and that takes really deep understanding of your product. so it's best that you have a deep interest for the product space you're working in. after your billion reviews then you hand it off to engineering to do their own tiknical review. they figure out end time edge costs. who needs to do what is a client-side server side? you have to decide whether or not it needs a b testing and after you're ready to release, like at least the v1, you have to go through qa testing, release testing, launch planning. we usually don't roll out features at 100 all over the world. we have to.

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Product Stacks #1 - Christin Karwatzki at Shopify

product Stacks is brought to you by storyblock, one of the world's fastest growing headless cms's. headless CMS like storyblock separates the back end from the front end. by moving to an API based CMS like storyblock, you can publish your content to any front end, whether that's your marketing website or directly inside your product. developers love storyblock because they can use it with any front-end framework they prefer and create components that can be reused anywhere as content blocks, cutting development time in half. content teams are excited about the discussions feature built directly into storyblock's visual editor. no more slack or email threads to discuss content changes. join 86 000 developers plus companies like Harvard Business School, Adidas, Netflix, Oatley and Pizza Hut, who all use storyblock, by trying a free demo at storyblockcom Department of product. go to storyblockcom department or product. that's storyblock with a k at the end: slash Department of product. so joining us today is Christine kowatski from Shopify and we're going to tok through in this series what tools product managers like Christine are using in their day-to-day product roles, so that you can get inspired in your day-to-day role as well. so, Christine, thanks very much for taking some time out of your out of your busy day today to to chat to us. should we should we kick off with just a bit of an introduction as to as to who you are and what you work on, and a bit of background, of course. well, as Richard always said, I'm Christine. I'm currently located in the north of Spain, a senior product manager in Shopify. I've been here for about a year and 10 months now. I've been in the shipping time shipping Team all this time, uh, but owned two different more lab product in two different areas, um, one being delivery promise, so everything around delivery expectations, and most recently, I've changed my scope into what we call shipping rating systems, so everything about shipping rates- Dynamic rates that are surfaced, and checkout- The Experience around that, like which rates are surfaced, how fast they are surface, so very performance related- and the delivery settings experience, so the merchant side of things and how they set things up. before that, I worked at Amazon for five years, both in Seattle most recently and before that in Luxembourg. in terms of products that I build, I think the two that people are familiar with is one. if any one of the listeners has ever bought at Amazon and has bought a product that follows in more like a tiknical space and has had trouble with it. there are two options customers could. routes that customers could choose is one they could return product if it was in fact effective, or they could actually go through a support experience. and there's a support experience that is a chat experience, a call experience, and that are also self-service workflows. I was involved in all of those products, but specifically self-service support and the workflows and the knowledge base that powers those workflows. I built that at my time at Amazon. okay, and that's what returns, is it? well, yeah, it's for it's. it's basically for any product. if you go in the returns flow, not every product needs a support flow. if you buy a t-shirt, most likely you won't need it, but, for example, coffee machine, very likely you will find my product there. um, and most recently in Shopify, I allowed shop promise. I don't know if people are familiar with it- it was quite big in the news but maybe not. it is from an experience point of view. it is the ability for merchants to surface delivery expectations. so delivery dates on the product page, but the feature, so the pure product feature itself is linked to a program experience. that is really more a promise around this Merchant delivering the product highly reliable and very fast, and right now it is linked to using sfn as a fulfillment service. so Merchant that uses sfn, our fulfillment Network, to basically deliver their products to customers will be able to advertise this highly reliable and fast experience on their product page. so my team basically built the platform to cut to capture delivery dates, but then also the entire solution to surface that on product pages and the the user experience around that and product pages at checkout actually so being able to surface promises. yeah, those, those two are probably the biggest one most recently- and you mentioned SSN. is that? is that like shopify's- sorry, sorry, sfn, sfn shopping file fulfillment Network? ah, okay, so does Shopify now own the kind of the full stack in terms of logistiks or are they still using third part? how does it work both? but, but basically our own Warehouse solution where Merchants can stok their products and then we take care of it. oh, brilliant, awesome. yeah, I actually use. I used to work in in fulfillment as well. actually, when I, when I was at eBay and it's a, I had no idea, yeah, it's. I had no experience whatsoever before I joined I was like, okay, well, yeah, it can't be that difficult. but you get into the details you're like, wow, there is, this is such a deep, deep world. it's like Logistiks and shipping. it's like, oh my God, like this is this. there's so much to it, there's so much depth there. um, yeah, fascinating when you get into it. like you mentioned, you know, like shipping rates, people just take that for granted. you go into an e-commerce website, you see the price of shipping. people don't realize how much legwork goes into the, into the back end and coming up with those shipping rates. and then you know it's- yeah, you know, tracking is a massive world, as you know. you know all this and, of course- but I'm just, you know, for listeners, it's huge, it's a huge World, huge space. yeah, and I think that the interesting part of it- like, of course, there's the whole experience that you're focused on, like what is a streamlined experience? what do customers want? but I feel the really nitty-gritty what people don't immediately think about is we need- we're toking about- massive scale here. yeah, like whatever you build needs to work for a Shopify, two million merchants. and then thinking even about, like the amount of customers those two million Merchant support and the amount of checkouts those generate, like just the volume is is, I think, the part that doesn't immediately come to mind, because you first think just about the streamlined experience and the individual user, but whatever you do just needs to scale massively, and that's where things become really interesting. yeah, and from a product perspective as well, it's. it's one of the rare roles where it's online plus offline as well, because the decisions you make for the digital product inevitably then have a knock-on effect in the physical world, and that isn't something that many domains actually have. so it's quite like Logistiks is quite fairly unique in in that respect. yeah, so before we get into your product Stacks, we thought we would take a little bit of a look at the overall process at Shopify- and I'm just gonna share my screen- and this can be either broadly speaking at Shopify, globally, or just locally within your personal team as well. so we've got like three different areas. the first area is roadmap and strategy. the second area is how you know what is a typical product team, if such a thing exists. what does a team look like at Shopify? and then, finally, what software development process are you using? and then, when we come on to your product Stacks, we thought we could then use this as a place to kind of almost contextualize some of the products that you use on a day-to-day basis. so maybe if we just just start with the process of Road mapping and strategy and if you could tok a little bit to us about you know how do you do this at Shopify, I I think so overall, the speaking for Shopify overall, I think the process that we generally use is the GSD process. it's literally getting done- that's what they call yeah, and this process has various stages. it all starts with a mission, so we have the company Mission that you also pointed out here.

10 Innovative Customer Loyalty Programs (And How To Start Yours)

did you know that it can cost between five and 25 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one? if you didn't, you are not alone. most marketing advice focuses exclusively on topics like growing your audience and expanding your reach, and while both of those things are certainly important in building your business, not enough is said about the importance of cultivating brand loyalty with your customers. in today's video, i'll be outlining the four most popular types of brand loyalty programs and sharing 10 examples of companies with innovative customer rewards options that we can all learn from. by the end of this video, you'll understand why customer loyalty programs are such an important part of growing an online business, and have the tools and inspiration that you need to create one of your own. [Music]. hi everyone, and welcome back to learn with shopify. i'm your host, stephanie pellet, and i'm a coach for creative entrepreneurs. if you're not already subscribed, take a second to click the button below so that you never miss an episode now. it probably goes without saying that the most important part of creating brand loyalty is to have a quality product that solves a specific problem for your customer. after all, if you were a cafe selling terrible coffee. even the very best punch card program in the world wouldn't be enough to keep people coming back for more. but if you're confident that your product or service delivers on its promise and is a high value for your customer, then creating an accompanying program to reward your clients for shopping with you can be a huge boost to your business. and if you're still not convinced that rewarding your customers for their purchases is a smart business strategy, consider this. according to one study cited by the harvard business review, increasing your customer retention rates by just five percent can increase your profits by between 25 to 95. here's the bottom line: building relationships is good for business, and creating programs that reward your customers for shopping with you is just one of many ways to create loyalty that lasts. first off, let's look at why loyalty programs are such an effective strategy for deepening relationships with your customers. as i've already shared, retaining customers costs a lot less than acquiring new ones, and we now know that customer retention in general creates a huge boost in profits. loyalty programs take this concept of retention one step further by establishing a formal system for celebrating and rewarding your existing customers through some combination of points, discounts or other rewards. when done well, these programs will make your customers feel appreciated, help to build trust in your company and give your audience even more reason to choose you over your competition. not only that, but you'll also be giving people what they want, since consumers are increasingly looking to have a meaningful connection with the brands that they buy from. one recent study from yacht po showed that nearly 70 percent of customers would be interested in joining a loyalty program for a company they like, and almost 60 of those would be willing to spend more with a brand they love, even if cheaper options existed. that being said, it's important to note that in order to create a compelling loyalty program, you will have to be generous with your rewards, which may mean giving something away, such as discounts on products or special bonuses. but remember that your customers are not only looking for coupons here. while saving money is obviously a motivating factor, engaged fans are also motivated by exclusive benefits and perks, like behind the scenes sneak peeks, early access to products and sales, and customized recommendations tailored to them. and it's actually in your best interest to be generous, because what you'll get in return is so much more valuable than anything that you're giving away, in addition to greater excitement about your business and more referrals from your customers. there is a financial incentive to reward programs too. close to fifty percent of respondents in one study indicated that they spend more with the company after joining its loyalty program. while the sky's the limit in terms of ways to reward your customers, there are four major types of loyalty programs that most businesses adapt for their own audiences. let's take a quick look at each one and some of their advantages and disadvantages. the most common option for a loyalty program is a points-based system. customers accumulate points for their actions and trade them in for various rewards, such as discounts or merch. but while encouraging purchases is great, the best of these programs also offer points for other kinds of actions, such as signing up for a newsletter, leaving a review or sharing about the business on social media. these programs work well if they are simple to understand and intuitive to use. when people can see their points adding up and know what they're working towards, they'll have a clear incentive to take further action. but customers can also be cynical about this kind of program, so make sure that yours delivers as promised. i, for one, have had far too many experiences of not receiving points i was promised in exchange for taking an action or making a purchase. you should also make sure that the rewards you're offering are compelling to your customers. if i have to rack up thousands of points just to earn a simple 10 off coupon, i probably won't be very motivated to change my behavior. but if your point system is straightforward, generous and reliable, this can be a great option for motivating and rewarding your customers. in a tiered loyalty program, customers are assigned ranks that net them different benefits depending on their status with your company. these ranking systems are usually based on how much a customer spends or how engaged they are with your brand. the higher their rank, the more rewards the customer receives on an ongoing basis, unlike in a points-based system, where customers trade in their accumulated points for a one-time benefit, tiered loyalty programs are a gift to the customer that keeps on giving. once they've earned a partikular tier in your program, members will continue to get certain perks as long as they shop with you, which can be a huge incentive for your fans. the biggest pitfall with this kind of reward system is that it can feel like a money grab if your tiers are based exclusively on how much a customer spends with you. in order for your customers to feel appreciated. it's a good idea to include alternative strategies for folks to reach a higher tier, for example, taking part in surveys or focus groups, referring friends to your brand or joining your online communities. paid loyalty: in a paid loyalty program, customers pay a one-time or recurring fee for access to instant and ongoing perks from a brand. this kind of program is a harder sell, so the key is to offer benefits that clearly outweigh the cost of the membership. in partikular, customers are likely to be motivated by features like early access to products or events, customized rewards tailored to them or the chance to be part of an exclusive community. paid programs are also typically easier for a customer to understand and engage with, rather than worrying about how many points they've earned or figuring out which tier they're in. a paid loyalty program offers specific benefits in exchange for a simple fee, and if you're able to convince your customer to join your paid program, it's also likely to be more lucrative for your business. one recent report by mckinsey showed that consumers were 62 percent more likely to spend more on a brand after joining their paid loyalty program. value loyalty- the last type of loyalty program, takes a different approach. a value loyalty program doesn't directly reward your customers, but it does allow them to make a greater impact to causes they care about by financially supporting specific charities or nonprofits this type.

Platform Management by Brandon Chu

[Music]. [Applause]. hey everyone, how's it going? let me just flip. I'm super honored to be here to nerd out with all of you on some product stuff. i-i've had various product roles in my life in some form or another, so I've been a founder, I've been a pm for many years and for a while now, actually have been a leader of cross-functional teams of PM's, designers and engineers. so today I work on a team and lead one that is focused on platform at Shopify. so we're about 200 people, and platform has been one of the most interesting domains in my product experience and it's what I want to tok with all of you about today. so at Shopify it's we've grown from this tiny Canadian tik startup to now a 40 billion dollar public company, and what we've seen throughout the years is that more and more of our teams are changing their work from being product focus towards platform, and my team is actually at the epicenter of a lot of that change. so I hope to share with you today what platform could mean for your product strategies and your companies, and also share some tidbits about how we learn to build a platform at Shopify. so it's always worthwhile to start out by just toking about what do we mean when we say platform? because it's probably one of the most ambiguous terms in tik, and so I'm gonna share with you how I think about it, hopefully in a simple way. so I think about it in contrast to products, right? so products are what we build and then we ship it to an end customer where, as a platform- as we're building a platform for other builders or creators to then ship it to end customers. okay, so it's only one step in indirection, but it has huge ramifications for our work as product managers, and the biggest reason is because we can no longer control what it is that the end customer is seeing. right, we can only control who we let build on the platforms that we manage. so there are three major types of platforms in this universe. I kind of made up this structure, but the first one is developer platforms. I think those are the ones that are most in to ative, to all of us. so these are the operating systems of old and companies today, like stripe and Twilio, and really they enable developers to build products faster. so developers pay them for some sort of compute, and I think one of the the unique qualities of developer platforms is they tend to have no relationship with the end customer. so when you have an app and you get an SMS message, you have no idea that it's from Twilio, right? the next category are some of the big marketplace and consumer platforms. so, in abstraction, I think about these as they are enabling creators and consumers of X- whether that is videos or rides or whatever it may be. so these types of platforms are really trust platforms that enable two types of people, or many people, to actually trust each other to transact. but there's a third category which I didn't really have a name for, so I made one up, but it's a combination of the two. so I call these product extension platforms, and this is actually what Shopify is as well- has a lot of really big companies. we just maybe don't have a name for it. so what our product extension platforms? they are basically platforms with the purpose of enabling third-party app developers to make the product better, so that your product is more appealing to your customers, right? so the simplest example is an iPhone, where you buy an iPhone, yes, for the amazing hardware and operating system, but a lot for the apps, right? so this is actually something that I think is one of the most interesting platforms types and also mostly universally applicable to everyone here, and the reason is because if you're not already to developer tools company or you're not already a consumer marketplace, you're not likely just gonna become one. but if you are a product and you're selling it to a customer- which most of us are- you have the opportunity to actually open up your product so that developers can inject experiences and build apps into it. so why would you do that though? so here's the sort of strategy and theory behind product extension platforms, right? so on the x-axis, we have time growth of your company and hopefully, over time, you're getting lots and lots of customers, but as you do, the number of problems you need to solve for all of them is gonna rise exponentially. right, you might be expanding globally. rate of tiknology change: I think anyone that's worked at a company that has grown significantly knows that that backlog never shrinks. it actually grows into infinity, right? couple this with a different problem, which is: even with unlimited resources, you're never going to be able to solve all those problems, and that's just a law of do large companies like they just can't do it. you can't coordinate at that level. so how do you fill this gap between the problems your customers have and what you have the capacity to do, and it's a widening gap. well, that's what product extension platforms are all about. let developers fill that gap, and the reason why they can is because they're distributed all over the world. they'll know the niche use cases of your customers. they'll know different cultures and languages and different tik stacks. they'll be able to actually fill those gaps faster, right? so how do these types of platforms grow? through? a very simple flywheel: you have your own customer base that you've grown through growing your own company- and that's the bottom left here- and that base of customers that you've accumulated is very attractive to developers, right, they want to build apps for them. they want to sell to them. so if you figure out a way for them to build apps into your product, that's gonna make your product better and you're gonna get more customers and the flywheel will reinforce itself. so, to give you a tangible example here: Shopify's platform. so for those of you that don't know much about Shopify, we are a commerce platform and we power over 800,000 businesses globally today. we have done over 100 billion in sales since we started and we're actually the number three online US retailer after Amazon and Walmart in aggregate. so in a given year, over 200 million US residents will actually buy from a shop, buy store, even though they don't know it. so we figured out the merchant part and I think what- how we actually enable developers to make our product better- is what I want to show you next. so here's our developer portal and you can see we show them the business value and whatnot. but really our developer platform is a set of api's and UI extensions into Shopify which let a developer mutate any data in a shop so they can like update prices for products, they can fulfill orders for the merchant and they can also actually build an app and embed it inside of Shopify. so I'll give you a sense of what that's like with my own store. so I sell mirrors and I'll just leave it at that. but inside, inside of Shopify, I'm clicking messenger on the Left sidebar and what everything you're seeing right now is an app. so we didn't build it, and what this app does is it actually lets you put in a facebook Messenger chat widget onto your store. it's gonna pop up on the right there. now this is not like an insane feature or anything like that, but it's really powerful when you think of it in aggregate. all right, this is one feature that we didn't have to coordinate with and actually it just emerged on the, on the platform, and it's a feature our customers can use. so if you multiply that by thousands and thousands of developers and apps and features, you start to realize, like holy, your products gonna become really powerful. and then, finally, once we have all these apps, how do we connect them to the customers, our merchants, who are looking for them? well, we built the marketplace, so we have an app store, we've laid out a taxonomy of different commerce categories and we have thousands and thousands of apps today in that store. so what has been the impact of our product extension platform? we have tens of thousands of developers around the.