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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us, it’s going to be an excellent opportunity for your Shopify Plus store to make lots of money. Last year, Shopify reported record-breaking sales of $2.9+ billion worldwide and this year it’s predicted to be even bigger! 

At this stage, we hope you’ve got your BFCM strategy plan mapped out and ready to go. But there is something you might have missed out on: reviews!

Here, we catch up with Partnership Manager, James Owen of Trustpilot to discuss why reviews are important and how they can be used to take your store to the top this BFCM. 

Why should online retailers consider reviews as part of their BFCM strategy?

I believe that all online retailers should consider reviews as a core part of their digital strategy, not just limited to the BFCM period. This is because as high as 93% of us consult online reviews as part of our buying journey. With so many enticing offers flying around during the BFCM period, the differentiating factor between retailers can be who has the strongest online reputation or who utilises social-proof more effectively.

Trustpilot has conducted third-party research into the effect reviews have on shopping cart abandonment and value. We found that integrating genuine feedback throughout the natural buying journey not only increases the order amount, it also heavily reduces the number of people that do not complete their purchase or abandon their shopping cart altogether. 

How can merchants use reviews to increase sales this BFCM? 

I’d suggest that every merchant needs to shout about their online reputation and display social proof as much as possible. This all contributes to yielding the highest amount of sales and revenue available during the BFCM madness. 

Product reviews are especially important in my opinion, they are trusted as much as 4x more than any company description or product advertisement. For a customer, this is genuine and honest feedback from someone just like them that has bought the item they’re pondering over. 

How can customers be encouraged to submit reviews? 

Here at Trustpilot, we took the strong stance a while back to stop businesses incentivising their customers to leave reviews, this is now prohibited on our platform. 

My advice would be to show your customers that you genuinely care about their feedback, so invite everyone that’s had an experience with your business and automate reminders to send to those that do not leave a review the first time around. 

What’s more, customers will also be encouraged to leave reviews if they can clearly see feedback throughout their customer journey. Again, it signals that your business cares about their opinions, so they realise their review will be heard and valued. 

Get in touch with our Shopify Plus experts today!

If you’re an online store looking to push your brand to a new level, we’d love to hear from you. 

Our team of ecommerce specialists can help you create an online experience that your customers will love and keep them coming back for more and more. If you’d like support in creating a winning BFCM strategy or simply want to hear more about Trustpilot, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk

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About Trustpilot

With more than 100 million reviews of over 425,000 companies, Trustpilot gives people a place to share and discover reviews of businesses, and we give every company the tools to turn consumer feedback into business results. Our mission is to bring people and businesses together to create ever-improving experiences for everyone. Trustpilot reviews are seen more than 5.5 billion times each month by consumers worldwide. With offices in Copenhagen, London, Edinburgh, New York, Denver, Berlin, Melbourne and Vilnius, Trustpilot’s 750 employees represent more than 40 different nationalities.

United Kingdom, October 8, 2020 – Velstar, Ltd. announces the acquisition of a controlling interest in its shares by Revolutionary Rascal, LLC, a U.S. private equity investor.  The change introduces a group of highly experienced strategic business partners, complementing Velstar’s best-in-class Shopify Plus development and digital marketing teams. Dan Sheard, Velstar’s founder and CEO, will continue to be a major shareholder and the driving force behind Velstar’s expanded global footprint.  “Our newly formed international board of directors, of which I will continue as a member and lead director, will help create our strategic plan for continued growth and global expansion plans.” said Sheard.

Sheard also pointed out that “it is an exciting time for Velstar. We have been growing strongly at a yearly rate of 70%.”  Velstar has been expanding its professional services teams to manage and support the expanding client base in the UK, Europe and the U.S.  Velstar is committed to delivering exceptional results for its clients.

Commenting on its acquisition Frank Wellens, Revolutionary Rascal’s representative, said: “We are very impressed with what Dan has achieved at Velstar during the last 4 years. He has built a sector leading and growing business with an excellent creative reputation. The Velstar team is getting stronger than ever and the new board is ready to support Dan and the entire Velstar team to take the agency to the next level.”

On Velstar: Velstar is a leading Shopify Plus agency, headquartered in Liverpool, UK. Velstar consists of 20+ Shopify Plus / Ecommerce experts across its design, development, marketing and strategy departments. Velstar is expanding from its base UK Ecommerce market, adding international customers in mainland Europe and the US, and building the fundamentals for a global structure. Velstar was founded in 2016 by Sheard with co-founder D. Solomon, who exited as part of the transaction.

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With Magento 1’s End-of-Life (EOL) occurring back in June 2020, many online retailers had no choice but to make the move to Magento 2. And with it came excessive expenses, bundles of technical issues, poor reliability and serious security concerns. This has led to a significant number of merchants migrating to Shopify Plus

Why should I move to Shopify Pus?

Here at Velstar, we’re one of the very few Shopify Plus partner agencies in Europe and proud to recommend the platform as the best ecommerce solution on the market.

Across the globe, thousands of big brands rely on Shopify Plus to power their online stores including, Linda Farrow, Gymshark, Kylie Cosmetics, Personalised Co and Femme Luxe. Here are some of the reasons why:

On traditional platforms like Magento 2 or WooCommerce migration is exhausting and takes up to 6-12 months. In contrast, with Shopify Plus your new online store can be up and running in less than 3 months! 

Shopify Plus is already PCI-compliant and saves merchants thousands of pounds every year – keeping their customer and business data protected. 

Brands on Shopify Plus are growing 126% YoY, and the reason for this success is that Shopify Plus has been built to handle and encourage high volumes of traffic. With 99.99% uptime and unlimited bandwidth, Shopify Plus’s support team work around the clock to ensure your site can deal with demand. 

What’s more, Shopify Plus has a cloud-based infrastructure which means its storefront loads 2.97 times faster than other ecommerce platforms, including Magento 2. And has an amazingly fast page response time of 80 milliseconds whilst handling 500,000 hits a minute. 

Another enormous benefit of migrating to Shopify Plus is that you can automate many of your business functions and therefore significantly reduce the back-end management of your online store. Also, the Shopify Plus dashboard is incredibly simple, and the platform comes with exclusive features, such as the Launchpad and Shopify Flow, which allow you to automate many of the routine business processes in just a few clicks. 

Last but certainly not least, Shopify Plus has a world-class app ecosystem with a broad range of technology partners, each with thier own area of expertise, including email marketing, customer services, subscriptions and reviews. 

Sounds good, right? We think so too, considering the above are only just a few of the fantastic benefits of migrating to Shopify Plus

 How do I migrate from Magento to Shopify Plus?

So you’re feeling confident that Shopify Plus is the platform for your business (we don’t blame you!), now you’re probably wondering what a re-platform looks like. 

To help, we’ve put together a summary about the stages of a migration from Magento 2 to Shopify Plus: 

Step 1: Data review and planning

At this initial stage, our team of ecommerce specialists learns more about your brand and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your current site. For example, we use tools like Google Analytics and heat mapping to better understand how your customers interact with your site and how well your Magento platform performs. 

We then review all of your data that you want to migrate such as customers, products, page content, orders and create a migration plan. 

Step 2: Consultation

Once we understand your business goals, we will have an open and honest discussion with you about the scope of your migration. We’ll run through what areas of your ecommerce store are working and what isn’t, as well as opportunities for new features and functionalities. 

If you’re happy with what we’ve proposed, you’ll then be assigned a Project Manager who will work with you on roles, responsibilities, timelines and deliverables.

Step 3: Design 

Before the re-platforming process can begin, you’ll need to think about the design of your new site, particularly when migrating from Magento 2 to Shopify Plus. 

Shopify Plus is highly customisable and offers an array of theme designs to choose from, whilst offering you the flexibility to create your own bespoke design. 

Our team of designers will help you marry form with functionality, to create an exceptional customer experience that will guarantee results. 

Step 4: Development 

We’ll then create a roadmap. We’ll use this site roadmap to create and code a brand new Shopify Plus website, where all of your business data from your original Magento 2 store will be safely and securely transferred.

Step 5: Migration 

Data migration 

With Shopify Plus, data migration is simple. Your Shopify Plus Project Manager will guide you through the best re-platforming tools for your store. We’ll then transfer your specified data onto your new site. 

SEO migration 

For many merchants, their biggest concern when considering a migration is the impact it will have on their SEO ranking. However, with Velstar managing your migration, you don’t need to worry! Our team of SEO experts will work with you to maintain your store’s search rankings. 

From the outset, we’ll put together a checklist to follow, including monitoring duplicate content, tracking 404 errors, testing site speed, and installing page redirects to minimise the changes to your SEO performance. 

Step 6: Test and launch 

Both before and after your site launch, Velstar will review and test every part of your store’s performance in detail – with no stone left unturned. This is because we pride ourselves on providing our clients with world-class websites and want to ensure that every ecommerce site we design and build is one that customers love using. 

But that’s just the beginning of what we offer. Our team of Digital Marketing specialists can work with you on an ongoing basis to help you establish your presence online. From PPC and social media management to email and influencer marketing, we know how to drive engaged traffic to your site across all digital channels. 

Contact our Shopify Plus experts today!

If you’re an online business looking for help with your store migration from Magento 2 to Shopify Plus, we’d love to hear from you. 

Our whole ethos is about partnering with online retailers to help them grow. We’ve moved some of the biggest brands in the world to Shopify Plus and generated some amazing results. Let’s start the discovery process today – get in touch.  

It’s easier than ever to start an ecommerce business, but it’s more difficult than ever to scale one. As customers increasingly turn to online retailers for the things that they need, effective ecommerce operators know innovative products aren’t enough – they also innovate on experience. Here are 7 brands that will inspire you to innovate on your own store’s customer experience: 

1. Bruvy, SMS coaching

Even though SMS is a hot topic in ecommerce nowadays, it’s important to note that it is not the “new email”. That’s a feature, not a bug. The brands that use SMS to spam post-purchase upsells, sale notifications, and product drops are missing an opportunity to connect with their customers on an extremely personal medium. Check out how Bruvy, a men’s skincare brand, uses SMS to offer deeply personalised value to their buyers with their cleverly named “Guydance” coaching program.

2. Personalised, product recommendations

Even though SMS is a hot topic in ecommerce nowadays, it’s important to note that it is not the “new email”. That’s a feature, not a bug. The brands that use SMS to spam post-purchase upsells, sale notifications, and product drops are missing an opportunity to connect with their customers on an extremely personal medium. Check out how Bruvy, a men’s skincare brand, uses SMS to offer deeply personalised value to their buyers with their cleverly named “Guydance” coaching program.

3. Condor, product customizer

Bicycles are difficult enough to purchase in-store while leaning on employee guidance – Condor Cycles takes this to the next level and allows you to customise your bicycle entirely online. The site does a fantastic job of walking the customer through all the various steps of a custom bike, as well as describing the implications of each option. It almost feels like you’re creating a character in a video game. 

4. Rebecca Minkoff, referral program

Legendary brands like Rebecca Minkoff know that your happiest customers are also your most effective salespeople. Check out their referral program: 

5. Seek Discomfort, offer expansion

In order to build a true lifestyle brand, teams need to grow their offer beyond physical products. Seek Discomfort, the apparel arm of the YouTube influencers “Yes Theory”, has done a fantastic job of offering their customers unique offers in the form of online classes. Their ideal customer is someone who loves to try new things, and these classes are a natural evolution of their adventure-seeking apparel.

1) Saved By Christ Apparel

Saved by Christ Apparel designs “on-trend Christian apparel”. They’ve done a fantastic job of targeting a niche within a niche – young Christians who are looking to represent their faith but still wear trendy apparel. Their Instagram feed is a masterclass on building an authentic emotional connection between your followers and your brand by speaking their language. Check out how their comment threads often turn into a community of prayer:

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2) Magic Spoon Cereal

It’s incredibly difficult to reconcile being a cereal junkie and a health junkie at the same time. You just can’t have both – until Magic Spoon came around, that is. They’ve done an incredible job of positioning their product as more than just a “keto-friendly” cereal. Unlike their competitors, Magic Spoon understands that most people don’t care about staying in ketosis – let alone even know what the ketogenic diet is. Instead, they’ve positioned their brand as “Adult cereal” – tasty enough for your inner child, but healthy enough for your grown-up sensibilities. Their Instagram feed does a consistent job of telling this story over and over again but still manages to create content in ways that continue to feel fresh.

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3) Doe Lashes

Doe Lashes has one of the most consistent visual identities we’ve seen on Instagram. They contrast user-generated content (UGC) against colour and design palettes that their audience will appreciate, to create a unique feed in a sea of beauty brands.  

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4) Liquid IV 

Liquid IV is on a mission to hydrate the world, and their Instagram feed makes sure that’s not a secret. By designing their feed around their central mission, they’re able to rally their followers around more than just their product. 

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5) Gravity Blankets

Instagram is the social media of vanity. But don’t get us wrong – that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Oftentimes the brands with the most aesthetic pictures are able to stand out on feeds and stay top of mind for their followers. The originator of the recent weighted blanket craze, Gravity Blankets does a fantastic job of playing the Instagram game of “aesthetic pictures”, but they also differentiate themselves by providing real, targeted value to their followers. As a company that aims to help you relax, it’s not enough for them to just show pictures of people relaxing. Instead, they break up their feed with text blocks that offer tangible tips on ways to relax.

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6) Grunt Style

Grunt Style is a veteran owned apparel brand that creates gear around country and family pride. In the midst of an increasingly polarised political climate of the USA, the brand does a great job of using User-Generated Content to demonstrate the brands’ values – without speaking directly on the hot button topics of the day.

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7) Dolls Kill

Dolls Kill is another apparel brand that deeply understands its target customer – “the misfits”. The visual identity of its Instagram feed, the User-Generated Content it displays, and the influencers that they employ all tell a cohesive story about what it means to be a misfit.

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Shopify Plus Experts

Still need some inspiration? Get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts and we can help.