In May, we had the opportunity to interview Michael Morales, the Co-Founder of MauKau, a Shopify agency located in Paris. In fact, MauKau is the #1 Shopify expert in France. Michael shared the story of how he got into the world of ecommerce, talked about some frightening experiences with data loss and how he brings Rewind into his conversations with clients.
The following is a transcript of an interview.. Some of the questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Dasha: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into ecommerce.
Michael: I got into ecommerce a while ago, in 2010. I was a student at the time and I was looking to build my first ecommerce store. That’s how I actually ran into Shopify. I’ve known about Shopify since 2010. A lot has changed since, obviously. In the French market, Shopify was literally unknown back then. That’s the backstory. Fast forward a few years later, I had graduated from college and I was wondering what I was going to do. Since I had started mastering Shopify, I was trying to build some stores just on the side while figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. That’s how I slowly figured out that Shopify was a huge platform already in the English speaking markets and there wasn’t really any presence, especially on the agency side, in France. That’s where the idea came about to join the Shopify Experts program and become the first Shopify-only agency in France. That’s how the business idea came about and here we are now!
Dasha: What did the first Shopify store you created sell at the time?
Michael: It was for a relative of mine who had a cosmetics line. I specialized in ecommerce and a bit of cosmetics at the same time.
Dasha: Tell me a little bit more about MauKau – who do you work with most often and what kind of services do you provide?
Michael: MauKau is a small team still. We’re three people focused on Shopify but we also specialize in marketing services and a lot of consulting, operational work and strategy with clients. We have an international team but we mostly work with French merchants because that fits our positioning. Our clients usually have their sights on international markets very quickly, sometimes right from the get-go, so we can be a real value add there, given that we’ve lived in the USA and England. We work in different verticals. A lot of recurring themes are fashion, jewelry and accessories but it really varies. We’re really focused on providing all the know-how and advice necessary to launch French ecommerce businesses with Shopify.
Dasha: What’s been your favourite project that you’ve worked on to date?
Michael: Well, I guess there’s a bit of recency bias involved. It was a migration from Magento 2 – JoliesCulottes. The client was great to work with and the concept of the business is really unique. It was a small team of two female entrepreneurs who started a business and it’s been taking off. The business is unique in the sense that the pricing is tiered. The more you buy, the cheaper the products get per unit. We’ve unleashed their potential by working together and going on Shopify. So that’s been a great project and we’re still working with them. And we’re really happy with the collaboration and the results.
Dasha: Why did you decide to join the Rewind Agency Partner Program and start recommending Rewind Backups to your agency’s clients?
Michael: That’s a really good question. Every time we find an app that could be used on multiple clients and different use cases we’re interested in getting to know the people and the company behind the app. We try to establish contact with the team, share what our experience has been with our clients and try to see if we can provide for different needs in the market using the app. That’s kind of why we got involved with the program. Rewind, we’ve been recommending it for several reasons. The main one is it’s an insurance policy. We always talk about all the great things that Shopify does but one of the drawbacks is that you don’t really have much in terms of backups. It’s really easy to lose a piece of data or information. Most of the time, from what we’ve experienced, it’s not super big. It’s not like somebody just closed their entire store at once. It’s more like merchants’ getting acclimated to the Shopify platform and just accidentally doing something they shouldn’t have. It could take us a lot longer to rebuild or recode just to recreate whatever they deleted instead of just clicking on the button to get it back. So it’s a huge time saver. But it’s also an insurance policy to begin with.
That’s sometimes how we explain it too – as an insurance policy. I think the main difference with insurance is a lot of times you pay for it for your whole life and you never end up using it.
Dasha: With Rewind, we see most people actually do end up making a mistake – that fire in their house (which is their ecommerce website) – and they end up using that magic “undo” button.
Michael: Oh, absolutely. I mean, we do get familiar with the Rewind interface. It’s not like we’ve never seen it before or we install it and forget about it. No, we definitely go back in there and retrieve stuff from time to time.
Dasha: What would you say has been your worst experience with data loss?
Michael: Hmm. One time, it was a client that tried to get involved in the code of a page, and broke up the structure of it. They sent me a message like, “It’s an emergency! This whole page that’s important to us is all messed up and we need to retrieve it.” I was super busy at that moment. So it was really easy for me to say, “Thank God, there’s Rewind. Let me just go in there and retrieve it instead of spending an hour with them refining the code or finding the person that could have the page and getting it back.”
Dasha: So seeing historical data in the Rewind Vault helped you identify what had been deleted?
Michael: Exactly. That reminds me of another thing we did for that merchant. The ability to check what had changed historically, for a specific product, really helped us. Whether it was just the price or part of the product description that was written differently before, that was not only a time saver, but it brought us elements that we would have never had if the store didn’t have Rewind.
Dasha: I’m glad to hear! A lot of our agency partners wonder when the optimal time is to recommend Rewind to a client. Is there a point in time in your process when you find it’s the best to recommend rewind? How do you go about that?
Michael: From our experience, usually before even launching the site, in the weeks or days ahead of the launch. Usually, by that time, especially on the complex builds, we’ve gotten to know the merchant and their team. If we see that some of the people who are going to be operating the website aren’t that acclimated with Shopify yet, or aren’t too tech savvy, that’s typically a reason for us to say, “Hey, you might want to have Rewind just in case. For everything it provides, it’s not very expensive and it’ll save you a bunch of time. You should try it out.” Also, if it’s a store that could have up to 20 people in the backend, whether it’s their accountant or a new intern coming in, you’re just not too sure what could happen. It’s also a great way to tell a merchant, “You should have Rewind in place so if something ever gets deleted, without trying to figure out who deleted it or when, you can easily retrieve it and get back on track instead of spending your whole day trying to recreate the content. Shopify can track who does what but only to a certain extent.”
Dasha: I think it’ll be very helpful for a lot of people to have that script when they talk to their clients about Rewind. Where can people follow you and learn more about MauKau?
Michael: The main place to find out more about us as our website MauKau. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram. And we also have a blog in French where we talk about several Shopify topics adapted to the French market.