member Facebook community
from email upsells
Giant Vapes is the brainchild of Josh McCluskey and his business partner Mike Runshe. McCluskey, who was an eCommerce website developer in his prior career, decided in 2013 to open his own eCommerce store. When scanning the landscape, he saw an opportunity in the young vapor industry. At the time, there were a number of sites selling only one or two products, so consumers had to buy from multiple places, pay multiple shipping costs, etc.
McCluskey entered the space with the goal of opening the “Amazon of e-liquid,” he said. After three years of speedy growth, Giant Vapes now has the largest selection of e-liquid on the market, works with over 150 brands, and sells five to six thousand products at any given time. For the past two years it’s won the Guide To Vaping award for best customer service in the industry.
With deep experience in eCommerce, McCluskey is a big believer in social proof. “People come to Giant Vapes to discover new products,” McCluskey explained. “Especially in a niche, online market, we needed a system that would enable people to find products they love.”
But it’s not that easy. Right on Giant Vapes’ homepage, the featured products include names like “Custard Drizzle” and “Cannoli Be One.” McCluskey knows that these flavors are awesome, but upon first sight, consumers are naturally hesitant to buy unfamiliar products.
Already aware of Yotpo from his prior career, McCluskey knew that tons of UGC would be the ultimate enabler for product discovery. “Cannoli flavored e-liquied sounds weird,” McCluskey said, “but when it has 169 five star reviews, people take it seriously.”
“Yotpo’s marketing tools were also important for us. An average customer will try between 6 and 8 flavors, so there’s plenty of opportunity to reach them at different points in the customer journey,” McCluskey said. In particular, email upsells within the Mail After Purchase review request email were appealing. “Once they’ve tried the product and are ready to write a review, they’re also ready to discover a new product. Upsells help them do that.”
40,000 reviews later, Giant Vapes is the vapor industry leader. The benefit from social proof has extended way beyond product pages. “We have a tight-knit Facebook group with 25,000 members. Every day people ask about products and the reviews are always a part of the conversation when deciding to buy or not,” McCluskey said. On the page, people post recommendations, product review videos, questions, and more. Some people post instructions on how to leave the most informative review via Yotpo, so everyone can benefit when shopping.
Furthermore, “the email upsells from Yotpo have proved to be beneficial for us. We’ve made thousands of sales that we wouldn’t have made otherwise. The review submission point is the perfect time to re-engage them and tell them about new products,” McCluskey explained. That way, Giant Vapes keeps growing and uses the cycle of user-generated content to fuel itself.
“There are so many websites out there selling similar things, and it’s not easy for a consumer to tell which ones are serious and which are not. That’s why social proof, and specifically reviews, is the most important thing you can have on your site in eCommerce. It shows that products are actively purchased and your customers are engaged.”
I’ve developed hundreds of sites in the past and ecommerce reviews are priceless.
- Josh McCluskey, Founding Partner and COO of Giant Vapes