How to migrate your subscription business to Shopify
Migrating your website from any platform requires a well thought-out plan and strategy to ensure you continue providing a quality user experience and you don’t risk losing any acquisition channels in the process. This is especially true when migrating your subscription business to Shopify. In this article we'll discuss the benefits of moving from one platform to Shopify. We’ll also explore some of the pitfalls that brands make when migrating, how to avoid them and best practices when migrating. Why migrate your subscription brand to Shopify? Traditional ecommerce platforms such as Magento or WooCommerce require hosting and security updates to be done on a regular basis. When you factor the time required, the cost of maintaining a quality infrastructure and the inflexibility of hosting these platforms, many brands make the move to Shopify. This is because Shopify is a SaaS (Software as a Service) which means any hosting requirements are automatically applied to the site along with any security updates. This means less time and money invested in simply having an online store and more time and money invested in making it profitable. Using Shopify means less time and money invested in simply having an online store and more time and money invested in making it profitable. Shopify’s ecosystem of apps and technology partners means that integrating a marketing tool or specific functionality is much easier than other platforms. Combining Shopify’s platform with ReCharge for subscription management and payments creates a powerful online store that’s easy to manage and guarantees a quality user experience for your customers. [tip]Do you trust your subscription tracking? Littledata's ReCharge connection guide can help.[/tip] How to migrate your subscription store to Shopify Design The design of your site is important to your brand; it’s how you showcase your personality. The design will also impact the way that users interact with your site. When you migrate from a platform to Shopify or Shopify Plus, there’s no direct way of converting your site design. Rather, it requires choosing a theme from the Shopify theme directory, or rebuilding it using the help of a Shopify developer. However, the development cost of a Shopify site is often much lower than other ecommerce platforms. This usually gives brands the opportunity to take stock of their ecommerce site pre-migration and make design updates to their UX to further capitalise on their migration investment. Design and UX best practices are updated constantly, and if a brand is moving from an out-dated platform to Shopify then they’re likely to have outdated UX. Using the migration as an opportunity to refresh the user journey, design elements and the mobile experience will help boost the conversion rates of the new site. [tip]See how your store stacks up when it comes to conversion rates[/tip] Functionality An ecommerce site is not about just looking good, the functionality of the site has to be considered when migrating to Shopify. Similar to the site design, Shopify has its own template language called Liquid, which isn’t used by any other ecommerce platform. This means that any functionality within the code will need to be re-written. Again, this gives brands an opportunity to iterate and improve upon existing functionality and performance. To extend the ecommerce functionality even further, Shopify has a very active ecosystem of technology partners. This means implementing functionality such as loyalty points, deferred payments, personalisation, onsite search, UGC and more is very easy to set up. If you have specific requirements that can’t be fulfilled by one of the apps available on the Shopify market, then custom apps can be built to handle any of your requirements. Subscription functionality As a subscription ecommerce business, getting the subscription functionality right is absolutely paramount to the success of your platform migration. While there are various subscription tools available on the Shopify and Shopify Plus platform, none come close to the functionality and scalability as ReCharge. ReCharge has devised an easy 3 step plan to help merchants migrate over to their subscription solution. Step 1 - Setup ReCharge and test Without making the site publically available, set up all the products within ReCharge and optimise them until you’re happy with how they look. Make sure your shipping, taxes and payment details are correct. Once you’ve done this, run a test subscription transaction and contact ReCharge to make sure it’s come through correctly. Biomel, for instance, is a Littledata customer using Shopify for their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for their checkout. In this case you'd want to check that the product and subscription type are correct after placing a test order. Step 2 - Compile all the data ReCharge has a handy spreadsheet template that you can use to fill in your existing subscription data. It’s imperative that this is filled in correctly and that all the customer payment information is correct. ReCharge will then review this data to ensure that this is correct. Step 3 - Set a date While your existing platform will continue to service the subscriptions until the point of switching over, ReCharge can advise the optimum date to avoid any interruption. On the day of the switch, you will cancel your existing subscription platform and ReCharge will go live. This ensures that none of your customers are double charged and there is a seamless transition between the 2 platforms. Migrating the data Once you’ve switched over your subscription data, the bulk of your work is done. But if you also sell one-off products, then you’ll want to migrate that data over too. While there is no quick way of migrating your data from legacy platforms to Shopify, it’s important that data fields are matched correctly. Within the data migration process, you can import past order history data, customer account data and much more. The only exception to this, is importing customer passwords. However, this does give brands an opportunity to reach out and ask customers to change their password, usually, this can tie in with a promotional campaign. Back office processes 3PL, stock management, warehousing and other back office processes can be a tricky task to get right. Thankfully, due to Shopify’s API and extensive ecosystem of technology partners, there is a solution out there for almost every brand. Automating these processes as much as possible will help brands save time, reduce the risks of mistakes and make it easier to scale. SEO One of the biggest worries that brands have when they migrate to a new platform is the impact it will have on their SEO efforts. For established brands that have invested a lot of time and effort into getting decent organic visibility, their SEO state could be the main source of income for the brand. The key to successfully maintaining and improving the SEO efforts of a site during a platform migration is planning. If it’s planned correctly, there should be no reason as to why a site would lose any ranking. Redirects No two platform URL structures are alike, and moving over to Shopify will likely change the structure of your site. If you don’t tell search engines that you’ve changed the URLs of your site, then it will assume that all of the new pages are new content and will try to rank them as such. It will then see a series of 404’s on the highly ranked pages, and demote them as they no longer offer quality content. However, if you invest your time and effort into a proper 301 redirect strategy, you can tell search engines that your new URL is in fact the old one. This will help maintain a steady organic traffic flow while Google updates its listings and will also serve a better user experience for anyone visiting a legacy link. It’s also worth noting that by putting in a 301 redirect link, you’re also passing over any backlink weight or “link juice” as it’s commonly known. Content Search engines try to rank sites that offer the best quality content for a specific query. By ensuring that your content on the new site closely matches the old platform, you’re ensuring the same quality content that was previously being ranked for. Brands will usually take the time to improve on their content at this stage, as it gives them an opportunity to invest more into their organic offering. Speed Speed is key to a good user experience and Google and other search engines recognize this. That’s why improving the speed of your site can help improve your organic ranking. Because Shopify is SaaS, the loading speed of the platform is handled by Shopify themselves. This means that the platform is always fast and will scale as more traffic comes onto the site. Usually, merchants moving from a self hosting platform, such as Magento, to Shopify will often see a huge difference in the performance of the site. Shopify is constantly improving the rendering engine, which means sites will actually get faster over time. [tip]Thinking about migrating from Magento? Here is a comparison of Shopify vs Magento.[/tip] Analytics Finally, no ecommerce site can be truly improved without first studying the analytics of the site. While Shopify itself has an inbuilt dashboard for internal analytics, the industry standard is to use Google Analytics. By using the same GA tracking code on the legacy site and the new site, you’ll be able to compare the difference data pre-launch vs post-launch. And of course, for a better understanding of your ecommerce data across subscriptions, install Littledata. This will ensure that the data you’re seeing is correct and consistent with what’s actually happening in your store, including subscription ecommerce events: The first part is just getting your tracking right, so you can make data-driven decisions about subscription packages and product marketing on your site. Then comes the fun part: increasing not just overall sales and conversions, but optimizing for customer lifetime value. At Underwaterpistol, we’ve had nearly two decades working at the forefront of ecommerce and as Shopify Plus partners. Our status only reinforces our knowledge of platform migrations, so do get in touch if we can help with your mirgration! This is a guest post from Will Lynch. Will heads up the partnership program at Underwaterpistol who have been building Shopify stores for over 14 years. Specialising in theme builds, custom development and high-volume SKU migrations, Underwaterpistol think outside the box, helping you build a brand as well as grow your business. Underwaterpistol (UWP) is a Littledata agency partner.
How to manage multiple Shopify stores without sacrificing conversions
Even if you only run one business, that doesn’t mean you should only have one Shopify store. Indeed, there are many reasons why you may want to start using multiple Shopify stores for your business: Remove obstacles from the buying process: If you have a large inventory, customers may need to navigate through cluttered menus or click through multiple category pages before they can find the product they want and place their order. Breaking your inventory up into different stores removes friction from this process and makes it easier for customers to purchase products from you. Create a personalized experience: If you sell to many different areas, developing a unique online storefront for each location allows you to create a more personalized experience for your customers. By peppering the sales copy on your sites with local references and colloquialisms, you’ll be able to catch the visitor’s attention and stand out from the competition. Improve SEO: With the more streamlined and personalized experience that the multi-store approach provides, customers are encouraged to stay for longer periods of time. The average amount of time visitors spend on your site carries a lot of weight in search engine algorithms, so this should make your business more visible online. But, there are challenges to managing multiple stores as well. We’ll show you how to overcome these challenges and use a multi-store approach to improve customer experience, increase traffic and make more sales. Top challenges of managing multiple Shopify stores Perhaps the biggest drawback to the multi-store approach is that it makes managing your inventory and orders more difficult. Customers placing orders on the same pool of items from different sources can lead to confusion, delays and errors. Another issue is that manually creating multiple sites and duplicating content when necessary can be a very time-consuming process. This is more than just frustrating — it pulls you away from all the other tasks you must complete to keep your business running smoothly. Top Apps for Managing Multiple Stores The two challenges described above can both be addressed with a quick trip to the Shopify App Store. With the SKULabs and Shogun add-ons, managing inventory and content for multiple stores is much easier. SKULabs The SKULabs dashboard is designed to be especially intuitive and help users keep track of their inventory, orders and shipments for multiple channels. If you use solutions other than Shopify to sell your products (Amazon, eBay, etc.), SKULabs allows you to review the activity of those channels and your multiple Shopify stores all from the same place. Other notable SKULabs features include low inventory alerts for preventing stockouts and barcode scanning for fast and human error-free inventory data entry. Image source: Shopify Shogun Anyone can use Shogun’s large library of web-building elements and drag-and-drop interface to quickly create their own custom landing pages, product pages and blog posts. Shogun also has a Sync feature that’s quite useful for multiple stores — with Sync, you can copy a page from one store to another with just a single click. Image source: Shogun Multi-store Shopify best practices In addition to taking advantage of these apps, you should keep the following best practices in mind when managing multiple stores: Consolidate customer support: Just as it helps to manage all your inventory from the same place, it helps to manage customer support for multiple stores from the same place, too. That way, it’s easier to monitor performance and ensure there are no support tickets slipping through the cracks. Analyze your audience and discover new niches: Google Analytics andsimilar reporting tools can tell you a lot about the people who visit your store. With this information, you can determine which groups of people make up your core audience. If you’re popular with a certain group, you should consider creating a version of your store that’s designed just for them. Pay attention to SEO: To make the most of the multi-store approach’s SEO benefits, be sure to include the keywords associated with each version of your store (for example, “California dry cleaning” might be targeted by a national dry cleaning service’s California site) in headings, page titles, image alt descriptions and any other area that’s picked up by search engine algorithms. Managing Multiple Stores for Multiple Countries A multi-store approach is especially effective for businesses that attract a large amount of interest from international buyers. Seventy-five percent of consumers who don’t speak English prefer to buy products in their native language, and 59% rarely or never make purchases on English-only stores. There are many tools available for automatically translating the language used on your site to whatever’s used in the browser settings of the visitor. This is convenient, but these translations often contain errors. Machine translations may be mostly accurate — they just can’t process the context that’s required to get everything right. While it does take more time and effort to develop manually translated versions of your site for the different regions you serve, this will provide a better experience for non-English speaking visitors and help you generate more international sales. CRO Tips for Shopify and Shopify Plus Setting up multiple Shopify stores is an excellent method for conversion rate optimization (CRO). Using the following techniques will increase your conversion rate as well: Optimize for mobile: Since 2016, mobile devices have been a more popular way to browse the internet than desktop computers. If your site isn’t fully responsive, which means it automatically adjusts to the type of device that’s used by the visitor, you’re missing out on many potential conversions. Maintain performance: Most visitors will only wait a few seconds for your site to load before they move on to one of their other options. Mobile users are particularly impatient — the majority of them will only wait three seconds for your site to load. High-end performance allows you to keep people on your site long enough to make conversions. Offer free shipping: The most attractive offer you can make to potential customers is free shipping. In fact, simply shifting the shipping fee to the price of the product in order to offer free shipping should lead to a significant improvement in your conversion rate. By combining a multi-store approach with the above CRO techniques, you can jumpstart your conversion rate and set your business up for both short-term and long-term success. Shopify tracking for ecommerce success Of course, CRO is no good if you're not consistently tracking what's working (and what isn't). Luckily, Littledata's Google Analytics app fixes your Shopify tracking automatically, so you have accurate marketing attribution and shopping behavior at your fingertips (including ecommerce events like adds to cart, removes from cart, checkouts and more). You'll also get full access to data audits and ecommerce benchmarks so you can know exactly where your store stands among the competition. Adam Ritchie is a writer based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He writes about ecommerce trends and best practices for Shogun. His previous clients include Groupon, Clutch and New Theory.
How to engage returning visitors on your Shopify store
As a store owner, you’ve probably already heard the arguments for engaging returning visitors. You know that it costs 25 times more to win a new client than to win repeat business. You know that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can boost your sales by 25% - 30%. And you’ve also heard that returning visitors are more likely to add products to the cart, complete the purchase, and even spend more than first-time visitors. The problem? How do you ensure that it all happens on your site? How do you engage returning visitors and convince them to continue buying from you? [subscribe] In this guide, I’ll show you 5 strategies that will help you engage returning visitors and strengthen their connection with your store. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at how Shopify stores typically engage visitors. The state of visitor engagement on Shopify stores Close to the end of 2018, we conducted a research study to identify the level of visitor engagement among Shopify stores. We were pleasantly surprised that 62% of stores use at least one engagement strategy. Brilliant! The most popular strategies include popups, live chat, and social proof notifications. But we also discovered that the majority of stores do not use these strategies to their full potential. For example, 76% of the stores we researched fire off a popup immediately after a visitor lands on their site. At the same time, we know that timing and segmentation can multiply conversion rates and drive more signups. Similarly, for many stores, a live chat is nothing but another customer service channel. Yet, those who use it as a sales tool tend to report better results and conversion rates. To maximize your potential to convert returning visitors, try out these 5 strategies: Strategy #1. Acknowledge the returning visitor This is a simple trick that can drive conversions. When setting up your call to action, acknowledge the person’s return visit, and use it to engage them with your brand. Medium, although not an ecommerce brand, does this wonderfully. Take a look at the popup example below. Note how candid the company is about its intentions. After all, since the visitor has been on the site before, why not openly ask them to create an account? A similar strategy in ecommerce would involve creating a “Welcome back” popup, acknowledging the return visit and offering value to the visitor. Strategy #2. Evoke the returning visitor’s curiosity When you think about it; engaging returning visitors is as challenging as ensuring that anyone visiting your site for the first time wants to buy from you. Now, it’s true; returning visitors don’t feel anxious about buying from you anymore. But because they have bought from you before, it’s also harder to fire up their interest. At the same time, it’s that same interest that can keep them engaged with your store… Luckily, there is a way to do it – Evoke the shopper’s natural curiosity. You don’t have to do much to achieve it, either. Ask a returning visitor about themselves, for example. This will naturally make the person’s antennas go up. They might think whether you’re asking because you know something about them they don’t know. And that natural curiosity will engage them with your offer. (Note, whether they’ll convert will rely on the offer, of course. But the curiosity will get them to notice.) Here’s a popup using this strategy to get a visitor to read the rest of the offer. Strategy #3. Create special offers for returning visitors only Another powerful strategy. This one, however, relies on you showing returning visitors how much you care about them and their repeat business. In this strategy, the goal is to engage those visitors by rewarding them for their loyalty. How, by creating an offer - a discount, typically - that applies to them only, and rewards them for their subsequent purchase. PureCycles, for example, displays a popup offering a hefty 15% discount for the next purchase. But your offer doesn’t have to involve discounts, of course. At Wisepops, we've found offers to attract the highest engagement. Still, you could offer access to exclusive product lines before anyone else is able to purchase those. Or even the ability to purchase products that will never be released to the public store. The key is to offer returning visitors something unique for them, something they can’t get unless they do come back to the site over and over again. Strategy #4. Run a contest aimed at returning visitors Contests are one of the most popular ways of engaging visitors. They’re fun, promise getting something in return, and offer you a chance of your brand going viral. But what if you run a contest designed for returning visitors only? What if you advertise it as such, and present it only to people who visit your site for the nth time? I’d imagine they’d be quite intrigued by the concept (and engage with it immediately, at that.) Native, who uses Littledata's Google Analytics connection, ran this time-limited contest on their site, promoted with a clever Shopify popup. Strategy #5. Show returning visitors the downside of not buying from you The final strategy works particularly well on visitors who tend to sit on their purchase. Instead of completing it, they add products to the cart, then wander off, contemplating their next action. It happens all the time, sadly. One way to engage them and gently “push” towards the sale is by showing the downside of not acting now. Gaiam, for example, uses a simple scare tactic. The site tells visitors how popular a product is (one the shopper is thinking about buying), and how likely it is to sell out before they get it. Many hotels and travel sites use a similar strategy to convince visitors to act now in a similar way. They display the current interest in a given property or a room to evoke fear in visitors and push them to act. Trust your Shopify tracking This isn't technically in the top 5 strategies, but it's perhaps the most crucial part of the shopper re-engagement process. Tracking your returning visitors tells you exactly which of your marketing channels are working (and which are not), which campaigns are converting, and the re-engagement methods (email campaigns, etc.) that work best for your store. Without proper tracking, you're stabbing in the dark. Unfortunately, many Shopify merchants rely on the broken tracking of Shopify's native analytics or the incomplete attribution in Google Analytics. Have you experienced these data discrepancies between Shopify and GA? They can be extremely frustrating, especially since they have a negative impact on your decision-making. [note]Here's why your Shopify data doesn't match what you see in Google Analytics[/note] Luckily, Littledata provides an ideal solution. Their Shopify app, which automatically fixes your tracking. That means accurate data for shopper behavior, marketing attribution and more. [tip]Get a full month of accurate data — try Littledata free for 30 days[/tip] Not to mention, the app offers daily data audits and ecommerce benchmarks, so you can know exactly how your store stacks up against similar products. Wrapping up Returning visitors offer an incredible business opportunity. They are far more likely to buy and spend more on their purchases at that. However, to increase those repeat purchases, you need to engage returning visitors and keep them close to your brand. All that’s left is to start implementing the ones you liked the most in your store. Good luck! This is a guest post by Greg d’Aboville, Head of Growth at WisePops, a popup app. Greg has helped major brands like Fender, Nissan, and Skechers maximize lead generation strategies and 10X their results.
4 pricing optimization strategies for Shopify subscription stores
The subscription ecommerce market has an estimated worth of $12B-$15Bn. What’s more, 2018 was the year in which the highest amount of capital was invested into subscription box businesses. Fast-paced growth and yet-to-be-discovered niches attract numerous big retailers and new market entrants. To stay ahead of the competition, you must utilize pricing power to the fullest extent. Luckily, we’ve gathered four pricing optimization strategies for your Shopify store. But before jumping into that, let's figure out why the subscription business model is attractive to online retailers as well as shoppers. [subscribe] What makes people subscribe? People have recurring needs. Instead of shopping for everyday products over and over, they use subscription services that deliver everyday needs to their doorstep. While big retailers apply this model mostly on consumer goods, an increasing number of SMBs utilize it to send subscribers a selection of enjoyable lifestyle products to be discovered. The lifestyle products range from a french press to a book, from candles to clothes, and so on. From a retailer point of view, this model reduces the risks arising from uncertainty. SMBs often have a hard time estimating business costs and profits accurately, whereas subscription stores do not face uncertainty problems thanks to their steady customer base and stable costs. [tip]Trust your subscription tracking with the ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify[/tip] More and more retailers either switch to this model entirely or apply it on certain products in their assortment. So, what’s a good pricing strategy to outshine the competition? 1) Measure Willingness to Pay (WTP) Willingness to pay is the maximum amount of money people are willing to give up in exchange for your products. Before setting the price of a product, measure WTP. Charge a price in line with customer expectations to substantially increase the likelihood of purchase. Surveys are the easiest way of measuring WTP, and they grant you a chance to get to know your audience better. Ask the value-adding qualities of your service and find out customers’ pain points: "Please rank order the product features below according to the value you see in each" "Which product feature(s) do you think should be improved?" Keep up the good work and improve the negative aspects identified by customers. Perhaps more importantly, customers will be happy to know that their ideas are appreciated and taken seriously. It’ll increase the chance that they refer your subscription store to their friends, and referrals are far more effective than traditional marketing channels. In turn, offer referral discounts to enhance customer loyalty. Out of WTP research, you'll obtain multiple price points around which people are clustered. The following step is to utilize that data to divide your target audience into several segments. 2) Offer a variety of options and pricing Naturally, people differ in their WTP for a product. Now that you've segmented your audience based on shoppers' WTP, it's time to target each segment at different price points. For example, if you sell lifestyle subscription boxes like Birchbox, make boxes of varying quality and charge more for high-quality ones. Tiered pricing structure entices both price-sensitive and luxury customers to subscribe to your boxes. WTP changes over time, but it’s impossible to conduct WTP research frequently. Instead, test different price points to see if they yield better results. Note that even though fewer people buy luxury products, they can generate higher profits. Since high-end buyers don’t look for cheap prices, provide them a truly premium service quality. When it comes to commodity goods, however, no one wants to pay extra money for toothpaste. If your Shopify store specializes in everyday essentials, offer competitive prices. Which brings us to our next point... 3) Track competitor prices Millennials are financially worse off than older generations, and it's reflected in their shopping behavior. Price is the most influential factor when US shoppers decide where to buy a product. Thanks to the transparency of online prices and ease of using comparison shopping engines, shoppers effortlessly find the cheapest deal for their everyday needs. The only way to appeal to a price-sensitive and tech-savvy audience is by offering the cheapest deals for commodity goods. That's why you have to track competitor prices. You can try manual tracking, but the results won't serve the purpose. By the time you finish collecting competitor prices, the data will be irrelevant. Prices change far more frequently than we could track manually. Another option is building an in-house pricing engine. Since it'll only belong to you, you can customize it according to your needs. The important thing to note here is that the software requires maintenance. You'll devote a lot of time and resources to software development, and the expenses will keep coming up. And finally, you can use pricing SaaS with a monthly fee. Your activity is limited to the standardized service the company offers, but you don't spend hours on software development and maintenance. It's more affordable than maintaining an in-house engine. 4) Make use of predictive analytics Predictive analytics is a technique to predict future outcomes based on historical and real-time customer data. What does it mean for a subscription ecommerce store? You know that customer retention is far more important than customer acquisition. Returning customers account for more than 40% of US revenue even though they make up only 8% of all online visitors. What does it have to do with predictive analytics, or pricing to start with? Costs increase over time. Since you can’t sell at a loss, you have to increase prices. But price increases come at a cost. It’s highly likely that a portion of your customers will leave when faced with a price increase. Before making major changes in your pricing structure, use predictive analytics to determine which customers/segments will likely to churn after an increase. Don’t alienate the most price-sensitive customer segments with an increase. A small profit is way better than no profit. Final Words Subscription ecommerce is gaining popularity among online retailers. To stay ahead of the competition, retailers must utilize the power of pricing. Implement these optimization strategies to gain and maintain a competitive edge: Measure Willingness to Pay and take it into account when pricing Provide multiple products at different price points to target each segment Track competitor prices Make use of predictive analytics And of course, track with accuracy – the data never lies, and tools like Littledata's Shopify app for Google Analytics (or Segment) also help optimize your pricing strategy. With better data, you can price better! This is a guest post by Betül Parlak, Inbound Marketer at Prisync, which helps ecommerce companies increase sales by tracking prices automatically from any marketplace around the world.
Top 10 post-holiday Shopify marketing strategies
Organizing your ecommerce marketing strategy following the holidays can feel like going to the gym after finishing a marathon. You’ve just survived the craziness of holiday marketing, an extra high volume of orders, and the early January returns and exchanges. Come January, your marketing muscles are still pretty sore. However, Q1 is ripe with opportunities to plan new strategies for slower seasons. Here are our top 10 post-holiday marketing strategies for Shopify merchants: Take advantage of the “fresh start effect” The “fresh start effect” is a phenomenon that suggests people are more likely to take action on their goals during a time that marks the start of something new (i.e. the start of a new workweek or new semester). Of course, it also includes one of the most powerful “fresh starts” of all: the new year. Encouraging customers as they work toward their goals with renewed gusto is one of the best ways to do this. The key is positioning your products as a way to help customers achieve their goals. Here are some examples of how brands have successfully tapped into the fresh start effect: 1) Post-holiday mail marketing by Pact and 100% Pure Both Pact and 100% Pure used email marketing to encourage customers to work toward their New Year’s resolutions. Both brands highlighted how their products can actually help customers more easily achieve their goals. Take a look at the following subject lines and see if you notice a pattern: Let’s highlight some of the words that appear more than once in these subject lines: Start New Year 2020 Change Using words in your subject lines that are connected to the idea of starting over (a fresh start) is a simple but powerful way to increase the open rate of your emails after the holidays. 2) Resolution blog posts by Veestro and Thought Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Even if you didn’t, there’s an excellent chance many of your customers did. Create content related to how to set or maintain resolutions related to your products, and tap into the fresh start effect in a memorable way. In addition, these posts are designed to be shareable, which means more exposure for your brand. For inspiration, check out the resolution articles by Thought and Veestro. 3) Playful social media posts by Pura Vida Starting over doesn’t have to be serious. Pura Vida used their Instagram feed after the holidays to drum up excitement for the new year while managing to keep the tone light: 4) Humanize your brand with post-holiday personal content Personal content, such as an end-of-year reflection, is more expected following the holidays than during other times of the year. Personal content reminds customers that your company is made up of real people, just like them. This type of content is especially beneficial for smaller companies, emerging companies, or startups because customers love to support entrepreneurs. Sharing something personal can be scary, so steal some courage from the founders and entrepreneurs who’ve done it before you. 5) Passion Planner’s “Letter from the CEO” This frank letter to customers shares both the highlights and the “lessons learned,” such as “You can’t please everyone.” And the letter ends with a genuine thank you to all of Passion Planner’s loyal fans. 6) Skully’s Beard Oil’s Instagram gratitude post Skully’s Beard Oil is another brand that took the after-holiday opportunity to share something personal with customers. They posted a candid shot of the founders with the following message of gratitude: Start marketing for Valentine’s Day Last year, shoppers set a record for Valentine’s Day shopping at $20.7 billion spent. While the holidays are probably your real high-traffic days, Valentine’s Day is a huge sales period for ecommerce. Don’t wait until the week before the 14th to start marketing for Valentine’s Day. Start now! Here are some creative ways to use the post-holiday time to prep your customers for Valentine’s Day purchases: 7) Create a special “Valentines Day” category in your shop Make it easy for customers to choose a Valentine’s Day gift from your store by creating a special product category. This whittles down the choices customers have from your whole store to a single page of items. Not only does this reinforce the idea that your products are good Valentine’s Day gifts, the reduced number of options paradoxically makes customers more likely to purchase. For example, take a look at how Kate Spade has designed its Valentine’s Day category. The fashion brand goes a little further to call the category a “gift guide.” 8) Implement a home page Valentine’s Day banner Start reminding website visitors that your products make good Valentine’s Day gifts with a home page banner. Hopefully, they’ll remember your store when Valentine’s Day arrives, or maybe they’ll purchase in advance. Man Crates has already launched its Valentine’s Day home page banner: 9) Capture Valentine’s Day search traffic with Google Ads You might not be able to compete organically with global brands for high-converting searches like “Valentine’s Day gifts for husband,” but you can siphon some of that traffic with paid advertising on Google. To make your ad dollars count, don’t send traffic to your store home page or a product page. Instead, create a specific landing page for your Valentine’s Day ad. This way, there’s no disconnect between the ad copy and the landing page. For example, check out how Minted connected their Google ad to a dedicated, Valentine’s-Day-specific landing page. Here’s their Google ad: And here’s their landing page: 10) Use similar strategies for other Q1 and Q2 holidays If you find that a strategy was successful for Valentine’s Day, try repeating it for other holidays or events that take place in the first half of the year. Here are some holidays and events to be thinking about: The Super Bowl (February 2) The first day of spring (March 19) Easter (April 12) Mother’s Day (May 10) Memorial Day (May 25) Father’s Day (June 21) You can also review the list of fun “national days” in 2020 to find days that might be hyper-relevant to your brand. Accurate tracking for marketing attribution The most effective marketing strategy is one that enables better decision-making for your Shopify storgae – accurate tracking for marketing attribution. Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify allows you to connect your data from Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google Optimize and Refersion (affiliate marketing) so you can easily and accurately track the source and channel from which your shoppers arrive at your store. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 30 days" background_color="green" button_text="Get Started" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/get-free-trial"] Wrap up: Plan for the slow season As you roll out the immediate post-holiday marketing strategies shared here, we’ll leave you with one final way to leverage this time: planning for the slow season. For most ecommerce stores, the slowest sales period is during the summer months. People are preoccupied on vacation, customers have more time to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, and the summer doesn’t have any major commerce periods like Black Friday Cyber Monday. That’s why ecommerce merchants should plan ahead, building marketing strategies to boost sales and brand awareness during slower months. Fortunately, the post-holiday period is the perfect time to start planning for summer. This is a guest post by Krista Walsh of Electric Eye. Krista is a copywriter for ecommerce small businesses. Her writing and messaging strategies help her clients speak to their customers’ values and emotions for more sales.
Why every Shopify store should offer a "Buy Now, Pay Later" payment method
There are so many aspects that go into running your ecommerce store — finding the right combination of products, creating eye-catching product pages with tasteful images, reaching relevant customers with your marketing efforts, managing inventory and shipping, to name a few. The decision of which payment option to use likely falls to the bottom of your list. A payment is a payment, right? Wrong! Selecting a payment method is one of the most critical elements of the customer journey, and offering the right assortment of payment options is one of the most direct ways to impact your conversion rate. Think of it this way: by the time a prospective customer has reached the payment phase of the checkout, they have already made a purchase decision. They’ve found your site, chosen a product, selected the right size and color, etc. They’ve already done the main leg work. At this point, any friction in the payment process can result in a lost sale. A customer is not a customer until they click that pay button. Your job as an online store is to make clicking that button as easy as possible. By now, you've probably heard of “buy now, pay later” solutions, like Sezzle. This new wave of alternative payment methods make optimizing conversions at this critical juncture especially easy. By allowing shoppers to pay for purchases over time (rather than all up front), this new payment solution has opened doors for consumers all over the world that fear the use of traditional credit. What is a “buy now, pay later” solution? Retailers have long provided shoppers the ability to pay over time with installments. “Buy Now, Pay Later” solutions offer a new twist on financing for Shopify merchants (and any online retailer) with simple installment plans. Layaway options became popular in the United States after the Great Depression, when retailers began offering them as a way to generate sales with cash-strapped consumers. In the old layaway model, shoppers would physically go to the store and put down installment payments for merchants to hold an item they wanted. Once a shopper had made enough payments to cover the purchase, the sale was complete. But in the 1950s, a new innovation was introduced that allowed shoppers to pay over time: the credit card. Credit cards allowed shoppers to swipe, receive their items immediately, and then pay the credit card company back at a later date. Credit cards quickly expanded to the nearly ubiquitous presence they are in retail today. Of course, the downside of paying with credit cards is that they are only available to those who are approved for credit; as many of us know, they also carry the threatening potential of exorbitant interest and fees. Luckily, new fintech solutions offer a modern alternative to credit cards designed for the modern consumer. Sezzle, for instance, allows shoppers to pay for ecommerce purchases in four equal, interest-free installments. With this solution, shoppers pay only a fraction of the purchase price during checkout and merchants ship their orders right away. The buy now, pay later platform then pays the merchant upfront for the full amount, less a small processing fee. The remaining installments are automatically collected from the shopper every two weeks, with no interest or additional cost to the consumer. In short, buy now, pay later options provide a new way for shoppers to buy now, get their item now, and pay over time, at no additional cost. Why offer a “buy now, pay later” option? Buy now, pay later solutions are a proven way to increase sales for merchants. There are many benefits to adding an installment payment solution to merchants, including: 1. Reaching new customers To maximize your reach, it's no longer sufficient to offer only credit card options. Credit cards are a great purchasing tool, but only for customers who have them. However, the number of credit card holders in your target audience might be far fewer than you think; only one in three millennials own a credit card, according to a 2016 bankrate study. There are many underlying factors driving this statistic — from the credit crisis of 2008, to mounting student loan debts for young people, to regulatory changes that made it more difficult for credit card companies to extend offers to those under the age of 21. The key point for merchants is this: payment behaviors are changing dramatically for young consumers who have increasingly come to expect to be able to pay with a digital wallet, alternative payment platform, or an installment plan. In fact, over 87% of consumers want a simpler way to pay over time that is not a credit card. By not providing these options, you are leaving potential money in the cart. 2. Increasing conversions More than two-thirds of all online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute. The second most commonly-cited reason was the cart becoming too expensive. When customers see the total tallied up, they get sticker shock. Offering an installment payment solution that lets shoppers check out now and pay over time dramatically reduces cart abandonment rates. On average, for stores that have added a buy now, pay later method, checkout conversions have increased by almost 40% for first time visitors. Reducing sticker shock of a one time purchase reduces cart abandonment, which means more sales! [note]There are other effective methods for reducing cart abandonment, too.[/note] 3. Reducing return rates High return rates are a pain point for merchants. When customers are consistently returning their purchases, it can add a lot of unwanted and unneeded stress to your store. For merchants that use interest-free installments, return rates have decreased dramatically — some stores even drop down to 1% in returns by adding this alternative payment method. Through lowering these returns rates, buy now, pay later solutions can keep you and your customers happy. 4. Tapping into a millennial trend Buy now, pay later solutions have exploded in popularity in recent months. In other parts of the world, similar payment methods have become the predominant form of payment, with young shoppers mainly driving this trend. Young shoppers like the freedom of paying over time, without the financial pitfalls that credit cards pose. For them, they see these solutions as a kind of layaway on-demand or layaway for the digital age. As more and more major brands accept these payment methods, the trend will only accelerate. Why not get ahead of the curve by implementing this solution for your store now? Global expansion of “buy now, pay later” The rapid customer acceptance and adoption of buy now, pay later solutions led to Sezzle’s first international expansion into Canada in 2019. This market was chosen given the similar customer profile and online shopping habits of American and Canadian consumers. Much like their American neighbors, Canadian consumers have an aversion to credit cards and a desire for more flexible and lenient payment methods, making this move a logical extension of Sezzle’s platform. This entry gives Canadian merchants the opportunity to offer a new payment solution to their customers. As Kappa Canada CEO stated, Sezzle is essential to delivering “flexibility in the buying process” to customers and gives them a platform to extend their brand reach. This expansion also opens up an entirely new market of consumers. The market of Canadian online shoppers is growing at an unprecedented rate and is anticipated to increase by more than 25% by 2021, making this the opportune time to expand into this space. This rapid global expansion of the buy now, pay later space has proved very beneficial to those merchants that sell in multiple countries or use differing currencies. [note]If you have stores on Shopify Plus, learn how you can easily track your multi-currency sales with 100% accuracy.[/note] The US is brimming with merchants that sell their products worldwide, making it difficult when a payment platform only serves US shoppers. However, as the buy now, pay later space maintains its global growth, this problem will continue to diminish. Since its expansion in Canada, Sezzle has seen success with global merchants that now have the ability to sell to both US and Canadian consumers, in both American and Canadian currencies. For merchants looking to expand internationally, it will be important to note the aggressive growth that the buy now, pay later space has seen in recent years and the rapid growth that is expected to continue moving forward. As this alternative form of payment expands, so will its acceptance into international countries, making it an innovative move for every type of merchant. The best pay later solution for small businesses Buy now, pay later payment solutions are a proven way to reach new consumers, increase conversions, and tap into what Visa has called a trillion dollar market. The right payment solution can have a dramatic impact on your sales and customer lifetime value (CLV / LTV). As you consider which payment methods to use, think of the customer first. In the customer’s mind, the payment process is an extension of the store. A bad payment experience — whether it involves high interest rates or getting hit with hidden fees — equals a negative shopping experience. Therefore, it’s important to integrate payment options on your store that fit with the values and customer experience standards of your high-potential customers and buyer personas. This is a guest post by Kevin Wild of Sezzle, a payments disruptor that allows shoppers to budget their payments over time by splitting purchases into four interest-free installments over six weeks. By offering its ‘buy now pay later’ solution, Sezzle provides consumers with the financial freedom to buy what they want without having to fall back on high-interest credit cards.
The Shopify merchant's guide to Google dynamic remarketing ads
As a Shopify merchant, you probably use a number of marketing strategies to drive unique traffic to your store. With the help of SEO marketing, PPC ads, and even influencer advertising, you will notice a significant increase in traffic to your site. However, not all new visitors ensure a conversion (most don't), and not all Shopify marketing strategies are created equal. In fact, over 75% of all online businesses report that new visitors hardly convert or commit to making a purchase. If you're finding many of your shoppers stop midway through the purchase funnel (either after adding an item to cart or not purchasing after multiple store visits), thenGoogle dynamic remarketing ads sounds like the perfect solution for you. Campaigns from these types of ads result in increased sales and greater visibility among potential buyers. With the full guide below to creating dynamic remarketing ads that drive higher-quality traffic to your store, you'll give shoppers the extra push they need to convert. What are Google dynamic remarketing campaigns? Google’s dynamic remarketing campaigns are special Google Ads campaign types that target users who have already visited your Shopify store at least once. These campaigns are fully customizable; different ads can be used for different visitors based on their interaction with your store. As a concept, remarketing ads were born from the idea anyone who has visited your store or clicked on a product must be interested in a purchase. While this may seem like an assumption, the stats don't lie. The main job of remarketing campaigns is to follow up with visitors and remind them of their initial interest, which inducing them to make the purchase. For example, let's say you sell sports apparel on your Shopify store. A visitor on your site looks up a pair of Nike shoes, reads the product description, stays on the page for 45 seconds, and then exits the tab. With a Google dynamic remarketing campaign, you can send targeted ads for Nike shoes to that visitor based on the product page they visited. You can create these campaigns with multiple iterations as well. For instance, you can split your visitors into customizable audience lists and have Google send out custom ads based on the list they belong to. These lists include shoppers who visited your home page, product pages, added an item to cart, and more. Why Shopify merchants need Google dynamic remarketing campaigns There are many advantages of using Google dynamic remarketing ads in order to meet your sales goals and increase your business’s growth. There are many advantages of using Google dynamic remarketing ads in order to meet your sales goals and increase your business’s growth. Here are a few of the best reasons for you to sue such a campaign using a Google ads dynamic remarketing guide. Reason 1: Encourage shoppers to return to their carts About 75% of shopping carts are abandoned without a completed checkout. This is where remarketing ads can make a difference. Most shoppers simply browse or add things to their cart for a purchase at a later date. You can create a campaign that targets such kinds of visitors and remind them of their interest which will nudge them into making a sale. If your store has a special offer, you can also add this to the ad which sweetens the deal for the customer. Reason 2: Personalized ads Recent studies by Accenture show that customers prefer personalized ads. Not surprisingly, the chances of a shopper making a purchase increase significantly following a "personalized" ad. Google dynamic remarketing campaigns are tailor-made for ads that feel personal and highly targeted. One way to do this is sending customized emails based on past shopping behavior on your site. This creates a personal connection with the customer and makes them feel like you care about their experience and patronage. Reason 3: Returning customers Returning customers tend to spend more money than any other type of shopper. A remarketing campaign wades through the sea of choices and reminds customers of their previous spending history. These types of targeted ads will boost your sales and create a stronger bond with your customers. Reason 4: Updating shoppers One of the top advantages of a remarketing campaign is showing new products to past (interested) visitors. For example, if you have recently expanded your product line to sell plus-size clothing for women, creating a campaign about this update will keep you relevant. A shopper who couldn’t find her right size (but liked the style of clothes at your store) has a better chance of returning to your store. You can also use the campaign to promote customer loyalty programs. Reason 5: Great ROI Blue Mist Marketing found remarketing campaigns cost 56% less than other types of marketing strategies. Google dynamic remarketing campaigns give you relevant data to show exactly how much you are profiting with respect to your time investment. Based on this data, you can create more effective marketing ads. How to create a dynamic remarketing campaign in Google Ads Even with minimal coding experience, dynamic remarketing is fairly easy to set up. Google automatically creates 5 different customer match lists based on the pages shoppers have visited on your store. These include: Converted customers Homepage viewers Product Page viewers Shopping cart abandoners Category Page viewers You can also customize these lists. However, if this is your first time using dynamic remarketing, we suggest you use Google’s list and make changes later. Creating a remarketing campaign is a simple 3-step process. For success, carry out the following steps in order: Make sure that your Google Merchant Account is linked with your Google Ads account Using the right tag, add the Google remarketing pixel to your online store Set up a bid after you have created your desired dynamic remarketing ads Step 1: Link your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant account 1. Go to the Google Merchant Center. Click on the three small dots in the top right-hand corner next to your icon. Click on Account Linking. 2. Add your Customer ID for Google Ads, and then click on ‘Send link request’. 3. Select the Settings to a cog in your Ads account, and click ‘Linked accounts’ from the drop-down menu 4. Select the Google Merchant option 5. You will see a request in your Google Merchant Center like the screenshot below: 6. Select ‘View request’, and click on ‘Approve’. It will say ‘Approved’. Your Google Merchant Center will be now linked with Google Ads. [note]If you want to audit your Google Merchant Center, check out the Google Merchant Center audit guide.[/note] Now that you've linked your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant Account. Let’s move on to Step 2. Step 2: Use the right tag & add the Google remarketing pixel to your Shopify store Go to ‘Shared Library’ in Ads, and select ‘Audiences’. Select website visitors and click on ‘Set up remarketing’. Check the “use dynamic search ads” box and select the type of business from the dropdown. Click on 'Set up remarketing'. Select ‘View Ads tag for websites’ and then add the code to have the remarketing pixel on your website. For Google to build the lists, you'll need to first identify your category pages, home page, checkout pages and product pages. Step 3: Create your dynamic remarketing ads Now that your Ads account is linked and you've added the Google remarketing pixel, the next step for you is to create your Dynamic Remarketing Ads: Use the Google Display Network to create a new campaign. Select the option that says ‘Take action on your website’. Name your campaign and fill the settings as you would do for a search campaign. Tick the box next to ‘Use dynamic ads’ to confirm that you want to use dynamic ads. Select the business area and the merchant feed you choose for your dynamic ads. Save the campaign, and create your first ad and relevant ad groups. How to create Google dynamic remarketing campaigns with AdNabu AdNabu dynamic remarketing app is a convenient app that helps Shopify merchants simplify process of creating customized and targeted remarketing ads. It takes out all the guesswork and offers full customer support while merchants install and run their ad campaigns. AdNabu automatically creates the remarketing tag on its own, saving you the effort of doing it yourself. It applies this tag to all of your site pages, scans each relevant visitor profile for matching campaigns and ensures audiences are properly created in Google Ads. Here is how to easily install the AdNabu dynamic remarketing app: Login in to the Shopify app store Use the search bar to find AdNabu Dynamic remarketing App Select the Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing App Select Add App Link your Google Ads account Login with your Gmail address linked with your Google Ads account Read the terms & conditions and allow permission Your Shopify store will show a success page. Google Dynamic Remarketing app is now live! Google Ads conversion tracking for Shopify success Remarketing ads are a great strategy for stores of all sizes. But if you can't track how ther ads are performing or converting, what's the point? Linking Google Ads with Google Analytics is the easiest and best way to track your campaigns to make adjustments and improvements over time. But only one tool connects them with 100% data accuracy. Littledata's smart connection for Google Ads automatically pulls your Shopify data into your Google Ads account, so you can retarget ecommerce segments and track your sales easily. To name a few, the connection: Increases your Google Ads ROI with Shopify data for smarter retargeting Get back visitors who abandoned cart Retarget your users who viewed product details but didn't buy Prevents you from wasting money acquiring visitors who have previously purchased Get consistent data across both platforms View Google Ads costs in Google Analytics Connect Littledata's Shopify app for accurate tracking of checkout steps [note]You can try Littledata free for 2 weeks and test out the connection for yourself![/note] Wrapping up Google dynamic remarketing campaigns have proven to be a cost-effective, sales-boosting marketing move. One of the biggest advantages of using these campaigns is the ability to capture returning shoppers. Without a loyal customer base, your store can't survive in a market where merchants live and die by churn. Capturing the attention of shoppers is vital tom Shopify success, and Google dynamic remarketing does just that! This is a guest post by AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for ecommerce companies. If you are running search, shopping or display campaigns in Google Ads, their software will be able to increase your sales. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial.
4 tips for Shopify Plus merchants selling internationally
Cross-border ecommerce for businesses using Shopify Plus is a simple and effective way to grow your business, boost sales and expand your brand’s global reach. However, a common mistake of many companies is quickly jumping into international ecommerce without taking time to develop a proper strategy for selling internationally (comparing couriers, targeting customers on a local level, etc.). Fortunately, top solutions like Easyship make cross-border logistics frictionless and simpler, as we partner with Shopify and offer access to a global network of shipping solutions with discounted rates. Here are 4 tips to help your Shopify Plus business sell internationally in a way that’s smarter and more cost-effective. Use multiple couriers to cut shipping costs In most cases, international shipping is naturally more expensive than domestic shipping. This means grappling with import taxes, duties, additional paperwork and other expenses that can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are solutions! To cut shipping costs and better protect your profits, you should always use multiple couriers to find and leverage the best shipping solutions available. Transparency with taxes and duties at checkout is also important, as they can quickly cut into your profits fast and complicate cross-border transactions for you and your buyers. Depending on the following factors, courier shipping costs can vary dramatically: the tax and import duty regime of the destination country delivery time and parcel size, weight and dimensions However, by comparing couriers transparently to see which offers the best deal for international shipping, you can lower your shipping costs and boost your bottom line in a simple, effective way. Offer global tracking When it comes to cross-border ecommerce and logistics, gaining customer trust is key. Because your products are being shipped internationally, the chances of delayed deliveries and potential damage to your shipments admittedly increase. This can cause buyer concern, which is no surprise. However, you can give your customers peace of mind and earn their trust by offering international parcel tracking. By leveraging tracking service apps like Aftership, you can effectively track shipments worldwide and relay the information to your customers, building a sense of trust and security as their orders move across country borders. Target shoppers on a local level When you target shoppers with familiar messaging (language, cultural isms, and local advertising) including the use of country-specific stores, you’re drastically increasing your chances for conversion. There are a few simple ways to do this: Create local versions of your online store Redirect your paid advertising channels Your advertising efforts on Google Ads and Facebook Ads can be redirected to send international shoppers to the specific store version of their country. This means shoppers can browse products and checkout in their native currency, increasing your chances to record a purchase. Local versions of websites can help make your online store feel more accessible for potential customers depending on their location. Online merchants should always use different URLs for different versions of their site as well as hreflang annotations and sitemaps to mark country-specific pages appropriately. Language localization is also critical for reaching international shoppers. Be sure your store visitors are able to access multiple languages. This is a feature specific to Shopify Plus. Airinum, an Easyship client, makes it simple to switch between languages and currencies on their website. Make sure your digital marketing efforts are also localized with language-specific email marketing campaigns and local SEO campaigns. Langify and Yappn Translation System are two viable services to use for effective language translation, though hiring native language writers often worth the added cost to ensure a more accurate translation of your website copy and marketing content. Accept local currency payments Finally, be sure that your online store can accept payments in local currencies. Forcing shoppers to pay in a currency they’re not familiar with could make them feel uncomfortable, especially when import taxes and duties are involved in conducting cross-border transactions. However, offering local currency payment options can help to build a sense of security and reassurance for international visitors by creating a localized, buyer-friendly user experience. More importantly, it’s an effective way to boost sales. ? As a Shopify Plus user, you can use Shopify's payments feature to make transactions safe and easy. It gets even better — if your store presents prices in multiple currencies, Littledata’s Shopify app is 100% compatible with multi currency. Go global with Shopify Plus International ecommerce may seem complex and intimidating, even for experienced businesses with vast resources. But by implementing a strategy for cross-border ecommerce — including the use of multiple couriers to cut shipping costs, offering global tracking, targeting customers on a local level and accepting local currency payments — you can better prepare your business for global scale. By focusing on these areas, your business can appeal to shoppers on a hyper-local level while boosting your store revenue through increased sales and lower shipping costs. After all, that’s the key to success in the competitive world of international sales. This is a guest post by Steve Longo, the Content Writer for Easyship, the leading all-in-one shipping platform trusted by more than 40,000 clients worldwide to lower their shipping costs and break down the barriers of cross-border eCommerce and logistics.
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