We were recently invited to join the panel at the latest Shopify Plus tech webinar (hosted by our partners Quickfire Digital), offering eCommerce brands practical advice on how to grow and improve their Shopify store in 2022 and beyond.
Meet the panel
Discover key takeaways in our mini-report, or watch the full webinar below:
Bridge the gap between automation and personalisation
When Louis Lavedan started as Senior Partnerships Manager at Gorgias in March 2020, everything merchants wanted centred around automation. The questions he received were along the lines of, ‘How can I automate things like, order updates, refunds and cancellation?’ However, in the last few years he’s seen an acceleration towards personalisation and believes striking the balance between automation and personalisation is the key to success.
Louis says, “As a customer, if you are spending £500 on a merchant website and you automate the answers to all their questions, it can be a bad experience. Instead create a relationship with your clients. It’s the best way to drive retention and repeat revenue.”
Create and grow a community
Louis (Gorgias) believes that the term ‘customer support’ needs an update to ‘customer experience’ to encompass the whole holistic journey. After all, a key pillar of fantastic customer experience is creating and growing a community.
Drawing on best in class clients leveraging the power of community, Louis recommends French cosmetic brand, Merci Merci who have used the power of TikTok to interact with customers, improve their eCommerce strategy, grow their audience and drive revenue. Today, Merci Merci has one of the biggest TikTok accounts with over 2B views of their content to date.
Be smarter about segmentation
The key to a successful eCommerce strategy is segmentation, believes Louis (Gorgias). Louis says, “The best way to segment your customers is around around pre-purchase questions and post-purchase questions. All the post-purchase questions are around hygiene factor topics such as ‘where is my order’ all of these questions can be automated to decrease resolution time and increase retention. This way you have more time for pre-purchase questions such as ‘oh you have this product but I’d love it in yellow’ or ‘my skin is very dry’ you can personalise these questions to improve attribution and turn your customer support into a profit centre.”
Pay more attention to retention
Harvey Hodd, CEO at Blueprint suggests focusing on driving revenue from existing customers, rather than always chasing the new and shiny. Harvey says, “Historically, customer acquistion has taken the focus however that’s changing quite dramatically as customer acquisition costs increase year-on-year. Revenue needs to come from your current community and customers. There are three main areas with big unlocks for existing customers - repeat rate, converting a one time to subscriber, and ultimately keeping those subscribers. Concentrating on this flow can really help drive lifetime value and revenue.”
Get ahead with sustainable delivery
Mike at Shipstation has seen a shift towards consumer and merchant demands for sustainable green delivery. He says, “Consumers are asking what the carbon footprint of their delivery is and what we’re seeing is they’re even okay with delaying delivery if it’s a more sustainable way to deliver their goods. However, there needs to be a join up between what carriers can provide and what retailers are expecting as some of the carriers are not currently able to provide the green delivery experience.”
Cut out high manual costs
Mike at Shipstation suggests reviewing the end-to-end eCommerce journey, looking at where the manual processes are and if costs in these areas are high and significant, merchants should consider automating them. He says, “There is tech out there for you to automate any kind of process.”
Invest in people, processes and the technology to support both
Head of Technology at Anderton’s Music, Matt Wilkinson has seen the company experience phenomenal growth and double in size over the pandemic as more and more people took up learning an instrument. As the company has grown, it’s been a challenge to scale up without operational difficulties. To mitigate scaling issues, Matt recommends investing in “people, processes and the technology to support both.” In terms of tools, he recommends product development tool Jira and project management tool Trello. Both enable tremendous operational efficiency.
Take advantage of new Shopify tools
Hannah Rowlands heads up Merchant Success at Shopify, and recommends that merchants using the platform get to know the newest tools and updates available to them. Two in particular that are "the most talked about" include:
- Online store 2.0 - allows you to add customisable theming templates without having to touch code. This has been a game-changer to merchants.
- Shopify Market - makes it easy to sell in more territories using one admin point. It also gives merchants the chance to test out other markets and where they’re not so established.
Leverage loyalty with brand advocates
Hannah at Loyalty Lion trusts in community building as a way to drive revenue, “Having a group of highly engaged subscribers that become brand advocates is important. Customers say when they feel part of this community, it’s key to securing their loyalty.” Drawing on Loyalty Lion’s own customers, Hannah cites UK jewellery retailer, Astrid & Miyu as being major players in the community space. Astrid & Miyu created an online hub at the start of a pandemic with Q&As, focus groups and content to drive engagement. This led to their community “coming back more and more to the website to consume more content which made them feel like they’re part of something bigger.”
Harness the right data to target customers effectively
Ensuring you have the right data from the offset will help retain customers further down the line, suggests Adam at Blend Commerce. He says, “Rather than having a standard sign up pop-up on the website, why not implement something more interactive where you can ask [in the case of a fashion retailer] what their favourite colour and fit is or even create an interactive quiz?” By doing this, you can avoid blanket offers and target customers with more intent.
More than 1 million businesses are currently using Shopify Plus, and this number is set to grow over the coming years. As the digital revolution continues to explode, merchants need to diversify in order to get ahead of the competition. Using data smarter, building and growing a meaningful community, implementing a bulletproof retention strategy and personalisation through data are all great starting points.
Thanks to Shopify Plus for inviting us to speak. Read the best in class eCommerce report for more in-depth recommendations and insights on growing your DTC business in 2022 and beyond.
Blueprint is a market-leading SMS platform helping DTC businesses to grow, scale and retain customers. From precisely timed re-order campaigns to rockstar customer experience, discover how your business can start harnessing the power of SMS.