Q&A with Frankie Layton at The Dirt Company

The Dirt Company was born on the belief that they could make sustainable household products, that work and something that people would fall in love with whilst being kind to the environment.

Frankie-Layton-The-Dirt-CompanyIt provides sustainable household products including laundry detergents, wool and delicate wash and stain remover, all of which can be returned to be refilled.

Payments Consulting Network Commercial Director, Liz Beggs, caught up with Frankie Layton, founder of the Dirt Company, to discuss her business. Read the highlights of the conversation below.

Please explain your role.
  • Founder of the company.
  • Areas of responsibility include growth/business & product development, marketing and sales.
  • Region is Australia.
How do you measure success in your role?
  • There is a focus on 2 areas:
    • Having an impact – by reducing and reusing plastic. Our impact goals are driven by our fiscal goals
    • Having a Happy team
  • Impact Metrics:
    • Annual initiatives
    • Quantity of plastic recycled (via returns)
    • Quantity of plastic prevented (via sales)
  • Happy team metrics:
    • Team Alignment (do we move in one direction)
    • Growth pathways (are we able to keep everyone moving forward in their careers)
How do you leverage first party data to personalise the customer experience on your website?
  • We don’t personalise the customer experience as we don’t feel like this is what they want. We focus on providing clear & simple information to allow them to make their own decisions. It doesn’t work to get too clever.
  • We collect the following customer information: sales from existing and new customers, average basket size & occasionally location data.
How critical is social media in your success?
  • Digital advertising, primarily through Instagram, Facebook and Google, provide us with reach.
  • Our owned social media channels are where we entertain, educate and inform. Facebook and Instagram our still our primary ‘owned’ channels.
How do you engage with visitors to your website?
  • Our website is not entirely custom built. As mentioned previously, we like to keep everything as simple as possible for our customers. It is simple to navigate and choose what they need quickly.
  • We have an exceptional conversion rate and we think this is because the information we present is simple and straightforward.
  • We have a mailing list and only send out emails to our customers if we have big news or some value add eg gift with purchase. We don’t do emails for email sake.
How do you leverage payments data in your business?
  • We don’t have any payment metrics. We monitor sales, look at merchant fees and try to simplify the structure as best as we can but that can be tricky with our subscription platform.
  • Stripe, AfterPay, PayPal and Shopify are the platforms we use. Our strategy has always been to give the customer a few ways to pay but not kill the sale with options.
How important is it to select the right payment service provider and what are the key criteria that you look at when evaluating payment service providers?
  • To ensure that the payment is secure and cost effective merchant fees.
  • Make sure the PSP is big enough for them to trust.
What lessons have you learned from the last two years, and how will they shape your future e-commerce strategy?
  • The lessons learned is to always remember to think of the customer as a person who has a lot going on in their lives and that you’ll at best represent a tiny fraction of what they do. My job, is to make sure when we do interrupt their day, we’re doing it with a high quality, very simple, fast experience.
  • These lessons continue to shape our e-commerce strategy through product development and bundling to make sure it is super easy to engage with us.
What tips can you give for other e-commerce businesses for ensuring a frictionless checkout experience for customers?
  • Make it easy to engage with us and make it a simple purchase from us.
  • Don’t overload them with too much information.
What will you be sharing at Seamless Australia?
  • I will talk about building a digital, e-commerce and sustainable brand.

Author: Liz Beggs, Chief Operating Officer, Australia, Payments Consulting Network. 


Frankie Layton has participated in the panel entitled ‘Building a Sustainability-Focused DTC Ecommerce Brand at Seamless Australia 2022.

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