5 smart ways the Storetasker app can help your Shopify Expert agency grow

Home from Shopify Unite 2017, my mind is buzzing with ideas, a long list of new friends to follow up with and about a week’s worth of work I need to catch up on. All the freshness from Unite is posted on the blog, and I think the updates positively affect every user segment in the Shopify eco-system.

Skip down for the 5 ways Storetasker can help your expert agency. For more context into what Storetasker is, read on.

Despite all the announcements, and an evident conference theme around ‘’bending the difficulty curve for merchants’’, one topic I think didn’t get enough attention is the number gaps and amount of white space around merchant support. By this, I mean the nitty gritty, unscalable challenges of human interventions needed at almost every stage of the Shopify merchants business lifecycle. Shopify’s technology is bending the curve and it’s impressive, but as Shopify continues to lower the barrier to start a business, more people are left needing technical support to reach profitability, and the freedom they are chasing.

To be clear, by support, I’m not talking about standard Shopify support delivered by gurus, Shopify is doing great in this department, which I would classify as first level merchant support. I’m sure Shopify has challenges with this, but not really what Unite was about. I’m talking about small to mid-scale technical support that helps non-technical merchants advance their businesses, and inch closer to their vision, on a platform that still presents significant technical obstacles.

An important stat shared at the conference was the +55,000 requests placed to experts via the Shopify experts eco-system. I’d love to know more about the outcome of these requests. How many of those requests ended in successful job completions? Maybe we can talk about that at Unite 2018?

It’s pretty clear to me that many expert agencies are serving people well, the quality of people and teams in the Shopify partner eco-system, and their client success stories are clear indicators of this. But I know there are still too many merchants not finding the technical support they need, at a cost that makes sense for their bootstrapped, growing businesses.

This is a topic I am fiercely passionate about and a problem which I am eager to help solve for merchants.
If you do not know who I am or what I do, I run More recently we launched Two separate but complimentary service brands with the aim of helping lower and mid-tier merchants get affordable, trusted Shopify design and development help, without the hassle and friction points that are innate to finding and offering small scale development help. 
HeyCarson launched in April 2015, and is a small task service with 220 active monthly subscribers and over 4500 single task customers served. We’ve streamlined a support service for Shopify jobs that take up to 1 hour of a development time. We do this with a talented and Shopify focused team of 14 full-time developers. They tackle small job after small job with quality and customer service as a priority. It doesn’t replace Shopify’s main support channels, but compliments it. 
In 2 years, HeyCarson has become the highest rated expert service in the Shopify experts directory and the leading small task service provider in the ecosystem. 
Storetasker is a newer project launched in January 2017. It’s a platform, accessible via an embedded Shopify app, that connects merchants with a vetted pool of expert developers and designers for Shopify jobs, at a standard hourly rate of USD$65/hour. The platform and workflow within the platform are designed to support Shopify related jobs in the 1 to 20 hour range. These job requests are typically below minimum project scopes for most expert agencies. Watch the video.

Storetasker allows both parties, merchants and Storetasker experts, to manage work from assessment to estimate, to approval and payment, through to completion. The merchant never has to leave the Shopify dashboard, giving them an easily accessible and secure network of trusted expert help. Something they can’t find anywhere else.

If you compare the market for job requests up to 1 hour and the market for job requests up to 20 hours, it should be clear and obvious that the potential market size and power of Storetasker is immensely larger than what we’re able to handle at HeyCarson. We know.

That said, HeyCarson has become an invaluable service to many merchants and has provided our team with insights from over 15,000 completed merchant requests. It’s safe to say we’ve learnt a thing or two.

At Unite, I had the opportunity to chat with many of you, I asked you questions about your support challenges, and shared the challenges and ambitions we have with our business.

As a company, we truly believe Storetasker will become a leader and pillar in helping Shopify bend the difficulty curve for many early and mid tier merchants. In addition, the value proposition of the platform is as strong for Shopify Plus merchants. 
What we know?

Many merchants are getting priced out of the typical agency rates and project minimums, and we know many more struggle to successfully hire on Upwork and similar platforms. There are always exceptions but based on our research and interactions with merchants, theme developers and app developers, we know this is a significant problem. As a business we’ve decided to pay attention to it. 
While I think there are many different opportunities and channels to get the word out to the merchants that need Storetasker, we think we are able to exchange the most value with expert agencies that get the bulk of relevant work inquiries but are unable to serve lower value jobs. We want to work with you. 
If you run an expert agency you’re probably thinking, ‘’yes, I know this is an issue but what’s in it for me as an agency?’’ Right?

Here are the 5 points of value we think Storetasker can offer to Shopify expert agencies

1. Customer centric lead management

We’re all working on limited resources and with constraints. We’re also all very thankful for the lead source for real work provided to us by Shopify and the various channels. In speaking to some of you, I know you all have different perspectives and processes for lead handling. 
For inquiries that you quickly identify as ‘’not in your wheel house’’, some of you ball park with ‘’hail mary’’ scopes which tests the merchants level of commitment, some of you forward lower value leads to sources never to hear back and many of you simply don’t have the time to reply with a refusal that makes sense but keeps your brand in a positive light. It’s a tricky science to say ‘’no’’.

Which ever one you are, you can stop doing this. While we figure out a way to help you direct leads to Storetasker with a click of a button (coming soon), you can now simply lead people to install the Storetasker app from our website so they can submit their work request. A vetted Storetasker expert will engage with them, usually within minutes, get the info they need and submit an estimate at a $65/hour rate. The minimum work committment on Storetasker is 1 hour.

Although this won’t change your business in terms of revenue, you now have a very customer centric approach to refusals which believe or not, reflects positively on your brand.

2. Earn monies from low-value and refused job inquiries coming from your Shopify expert listing

By simply referring leads that don’t suit your agency, earn a kickback. You can charge your usual rates, and keep the difference. Or you can become a partner and earn a 7% commission on jobs submitted through your ambassador page — requiring zero effort on your part.

3. Focus and relaxed

By having a trusted platform to direct new inquiries to, or even clients that you’ve served, but no longer fit into your ideal workflow, Storetasker allows you to stay focused on design, store buildouts, custom app development, marketing, or whatever niche you’ve chosen.

4. Training up great team members and keeping bench staff busy

If you’re so inclined, you can apply for you or your company to be vetted a Storetasker expert. By becoming a Storetasker expert, you can quickly train up junior staff with practical engagements. Note: Our vetting process is very tight and being an official Shopify expert doesn’t guarantee acceptance to the Storetasker expert program. Skill is important but attitude and philosophy come first. Read more on our philosophy here.

5. Leverage the talent pool to earn healthy margins

Anyone with a Shopify store account is free to use Storetasker to get real Shopify jobs done by our expert pool. We’re very confident in the quality and growing range of excellent work being delivered on the platform. This presents an amazing business opportunity for enterprising Shopify partners. If you’re in a position to quote Shopify jobs at above USD $65/hour and pay USD $65/hour on Storetasker, that’s one more way you can win.

The Storetasker expert talent pool is getting bigger and stronger every week.

We’re dead set on helping improve the merchant experience and bend the difficulty curve. HeyCarson was our first initiative. We followed that up by building the largest unofficial Shopify seller community on Facebook and now we’re back at it with the Storetasker app, designed exclusively to serve merchants with a reliable, affordable place to get small to mid-tier Shopify jobs done.

We want to build our business, by helping you build yours.

Two steps to get started today:

  1. Sign up for our affiliate program here to earn revenue from these unloved leads. (Optional)
  2. Start sending the lower value leads coming to your email, directly to our website to install our app and submit their job requests. This can be done by adding the Storetasker link to your rejection email. The only way to install the app is via our website. It’s not yet available in the Shopify app store.

If you’re an expert agency and any of this struck a cord, please reach out. If you have suggestions of feedback on Storetasker or the problem we’re solving, I’d love to hear from you.

Book a partner call with me here.
Email us for questions