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Over the past few months, advertisers on Facebook have been made aware that changes are coming to Apple’s privacy policy in their next iOS 14 update that will mean iPhone users will be explicitly required to consent to app publishers being able to track them across their apps and the websites they visit.

To shed some light on what the iOS 14 update means for your ecommerce business and how you can prepare, our Paid and Organic Social Media Manager, Rob Watts shares his thoughts.

What will the iOS 14 notification look like?

The notification expected to land on all devices using iOS 14 once launched will look something like this…

What does it mean for businesses running ads if a user has decided to opt-out?

If users decide to opt-out, we expect to see fairly drastic changes to how we report on the data provided. This includes shorter attribution windows, zero demographic data in breakdowns when reporting, only 8 standard and custom optimisation events, and more than likely smaller re-targeting audiences because of higher prioritised events now being noted.

In short, this will mean that we will see less reported conversions overall, not ideal!

Back in 2015, a similar update was introduced to iOS 13 that gave iPhone users the option of allowing/giving Facebook & other apps access to their geographical location when the apps were not in use.

This change saw an opt-in rate plummet from 100% to less than 50%, which we think you’d agree, is a drastic drop! Could this latest update follow suit?

Maybe, but it’s not all doom and gloom as Facebook is reportedly working on something that will help with the loss of attribution we as advertisers are expecting.

Facebook has been rather vocal about their stance on the changes, both on their owned platforms, as well as more traditional platforms like newspapers and forums. This is just one of the newspaper ads they’ve taken out to express their feelings on the matter.

Alongside the newspaper ads, they have also released a statement saying:

‘In testing, we’ve seen more than a 50% drop in Audience Network publisher revenue

They go on to say…

‘Our studies show, without personalised ads powered by their own data, small businesses could see a cut of over 60% of website sales from ads.

Now, we do have to point out that the figures Facebook has used are only precautionary, and at this stage, we’re all completely unsure of how close or far away the actual numbers will be. However, it’s worth noting that Facebook has released this statement to express concerns and put pressure on Apple to reconsider the decision. As this update could potentially have severe consequences on smaller businesses and agencies across the global. 

So, what can you do to prepare for the changes? 

Verify your domain
Although there’s not much information as to why, Facebook has hinted that verifying your domain will be beneficial in the long run, so get your domain verified, the sooner the better! To help, Facebook has a list of steps you can follow.

Conversion tracking events
The update will mean only 8 conversion events per domain will be allowed. This includes standard events like purchase or add-to-cart, as well as your custom events! If you are currently using more than 8 events, it’s time to take a look and see which ones you need to keep and which ones you may have to drop.

Email database
Focus a percentage of your current Facebook ad efforts on increasing your email database to rely less on the Facebook Pixel optimisation for re-targeting. As an agency, we’re currently seeing an incredible return on our email campaigns for clients, many of which had never looked at email prior. If you’ve neglected emails before, now is the time to start thinking about them! 

Analyse your current data
Start understanding how many purchases/conversions/leads currently come from iOS devices. The breakdown report tab in Facebook Ads Manager is great for this! From here, you can start to gauge how your reporting figures may be affected and come up with a contingency plan.

Conclusion

So, that’s all we know for now. As the situation unfolds and more information is released, we’ll continue to keep you updated as best we can.

This isn’t the first big change in the marketing world, and it won’t be the last!

But if you’re worried about how the iOS 14 update will impact your ecommerce business and need support, get in touch with us today we’d be happy to help.

So, you’ve spent hours perfecting every part of your Shopify store and imported all your products. Now, it’s time to make your new Shopify store live. But how?

To help, we’ve rounded up a few simple steps you can follow to put your Shopify store live. Here’s what you need to do…

1. Add Your New Domain in Shopify

First things first, you need to add your new domain into Shopify. To do this, log in to Shopify Admin. Then go to Sales Channels – Domains – Connect Existing Domain. Then copy and paste in the domain you want to connect.

2. Update DNS Records

You need to login into your domain registrar e.g. GoDaddy, Namecheap etc, and make the following changes to the DNS records: Replace the @ or main A record with this IP address: 23.227.38.32

Also, you need to replace the www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com (i.e. your store Shopify link without including the HTTP – you can find this on the Domains Settings page. 

3. Remove All Storefront Passwords

It’s imperative that you remove all storefront passwords, otherwise no one will be able to access your store when it’s live. 

To do this, log in to your Shopify Admin, go to Sales Channels – Preferences – Password Protection – untick Enable Password. 

4. Set As Primary Domain If Relevant

You can choose what you want your primary domain to be. To do this, go into Sales Channels – Domains, and set your domain. 

Also, be sure to check the ‘Redirect all traffic to this domain’. This means that traffic to all other domains is redirected to your primary domain, which is essential for good SEO.

5. Adding Other Domains 

Using your other domain names, repeat steps 1 and 2. All other domain names will be redirected to the ‘Primary Domain’, which you can change at any time by going to the ‘Set as Primary’ option next to each domain name.

What I Need To Check Before Launching My Shopify Store?

Once you’ve followed the above steps discussed, there are still a few final things you must do before setting your site live.

  1. Make sure all the links across your Shopify store are working and there are no 404s. 
  1. Copy check all your content, including images. First impressions count, so make sure your customers aren’t put off by silly mistakes. Check and check again.
  1. If you have any active promotional codes on your old store, make sure you set them on your new store.

If you need support making your Shopify store live, then get in touch with us. We have years of experience working with the Shopify platform and can support you every step of the way. Let’s get started!

Since the global pandemic, online shopping has soared, but so too has the activity of fraudsters. In fact, The World Trade Organisation reported price gouging, product safety concerns, deceptive practices and cybersecurity threats have all amplified, particularly during the first few months of COVID-19.

From fake personal protective equipment (PPE) to knock-off cosmetics and clothing, the online market is saturated with counterfeit products as shady businesses try to exploit consumers. And this exploitation shows no sign of slowing down

This rise in fraudulent behaviour is significantly impacting consumer trust. More than ever, customers are questioning the legitimacy of online businesses and worrying about their personal information being stolen. So, if you want customers to buy from you, you’re going to have to prove that you’re a trustworthy and genuine brand.

Why is consumer trust important in ecommerce?

92% of consumers have concerns about purchasing from unfamiliar websites. This could mean lost sales for your business. When consumers don’t trust your online store, they won’t purchase your products – it’s that simple!

The trust between your customer and your brand is key to ecommerce success. When you build a genuine connection with a customer it not only increases conversion rates but it also creates brand loyalty. 

So, how do I build consumer trust? Building trust requires strategy and effort. You need to appeal to your customers’ individual needs, whilst remaining authentic. Here’s how to do it. 

Personalise Your ‘About Us’ Page

This is one of the most under-used tactics to build trust. Your customers don’t want to read a sales pitch full of jargon. Instead, they want something genuine. So, get creative.

Your ‘About Us’ page is where you can form a deep connection with your customers. Share your business story and what makes your products unique. Give your customers a reason to associate themselves with your brand.

Detailed Product Descriptions 

We can’t stress enough how important product descriptions are. This is because they massively impact consumers’ purchasing behaviour.

The more detailed your product descriptions are, the better! From measurement descriptions to materials used, be sure to give your customers all the information they need.

Also, be careful when writing copy. Nothing screams ‘scam’ more than copy jampacked full keywords with no real meaning. Of course, SEO optimised content is important but ensure the copy resonates with your target audience and is easy to read.

Why not go one step further and introduce reviews & other UGC content to your product pages? It communicates authenticity and provides social proof – which customers value!

Regularly Post & Engage On Social Media

Fraudsters aren’t just saturating ecommerce marketplaces, you’ll also find them on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Your brand must be active on social media, conveying the genuine nature of your business.

Consistently update your social media channels with fresh, targeted and quality content. Regularly interact with your followers and reply to customer enquires quickly. This will go a long way in building trust with your customers and offer them an insight into your brand’s personality.

If you feel like you don’t have the capacity or resources to update all your social media channels regularly, it’s best to focus on the key platforms your target audience uses.

Another great way to establish trust and authority is through influencer marketing. Social media influencers have already established trust with their followers and through the power of personalised content that trust can be transferred to your brand. 

If you need some inspiration or help to get started, our team of social media managers are here. We have years of experience in helping global brands reach millions of customers on social media – get in touch.

Make Your Privacy Policy Accessible 

It’s no surprise that the rise in the number of hackers and scams has led to concerns regarding data protection.

The responsibility is on you to ensure that your customer’s data is safe. You should reassure consumers that they are being protected by using badges on your site. Also, make your privacy policy fully accessible throughout the customer journey.

Transparent Shipping & Returns Information 

There’s nothing worse for a customer than reaching the checkout and seeing unexpected shipping costs. In fact, 64% of consumers cite shipping costs as the most important factor when it comes to purchasing decisions.

To prevent consumers from abandoning their carts, make your shipping costs and timelines clear. Be honest with your customers from the get-go to avoid disappointment. 

Another important factor to consider is your returns and refund policy. Offering a flexible returns policy may help make that all-important sale. 

An Efficient Customer Service & Support Team

Customer concerns about the legitimacy of a store are immediately raised if they can’t access customer support information. So, be sure to make your business information accessible and visible throughout the site. This includes an FAQ page, your business’s physical address and other relevant contact information. 

Consumers can be wary of brands that leave customer complaints and concerns unanswered. The key is to respond to a customer promptly and professionally. This will go a long way in earning customer trust and brand credibility. 

In conclusion, establishing trust and authenticity is not difficult. For most ecommerce businesses, it’s just a matter of communicating honestly and openly with your customers about your products and service. Investing time and resources into quality content, customer support and service will help you gain consumer trust in no time.

But if you still need further advice, then get in touch – we can help!

It’s no secret that this year hasn’t gone as planned. COVID-19 brought with it chaos and destruction, changing the way we live our lives forever, in particular how we shop.

Increased social distancing measures have forced people online more than ever before. In fact, online shopping has increased by 43% in September alone.

Looking back on 2020, the businesses who have come out on top are those who have adopted an omnichannel approach. And though we don’t know for certain what 2021 holds, it’s clear that omnichannel is here to stay.

To help you plan for 2021 as much as possible, we’ve rounded up a list of predictions on which omnichannel trends you need to look out for.

1# Shoppable Video Content 

In 2018, Instagram introduced shoppable photo posts. This allowed ecommerce brands to sell their products on the platform. Shoppable video content allows customers to shop in exactly the same way. When a customer watches a video they can click on the price tag and be redirected to a brand’s online store.

Besides Instagram, many other social platforms have jumped the bandwagon of shoppable video content. For example, TikTok recently announced a new partnership with Shopify, so more brands can continue to reach millennial and Gen Z audiences

It’s predicted that Shoppable videos will gain significant popularity in 2021. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must include them in your 2021 strategy. 

In need of some inspiration?

The international beauty brand, Maybelline, has taken the omnichannel trend to the next level. They give their Instagram followers the ultimate shopping experience with shoppable video and images.

2# Selling Through Live Videos

Customers watch live videos 3x longer than other video content and with 85% of customers admitting they’re more likely to purchase after watching a product video – it’s a trend you don’t want to miss out on. 

At the start of 2020, live streaming gained momentum across the landscape of ecommerce as more and more D2C brands recognised its marketing power.

Streaming live is a brilliant way to immediately connect with your customers and bring your products to life in real-time. And when you add influencers to the mix, things can really heat up – allowing you to get in front of different audience segments.  

As the demand for live streaming continues to rise, other platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Twitch have had to adapt and introduce Live features. So, if you want your brand to stay relevant in 2021, live video is the way to go.

3# The Move From Me To Us

There’s no getting away from the psychological impact of COVID-19. Some people have gone months to almost a year without seeing their friends or family. Consequently, more than ever people are craving a connection with others.

In 2021, consumers will look to their favourite brands for a sense of community. They’ll be attracted to brands that are authentic andhonest 

Some brands are already way ahead of this trend – incorporating it within their marketing strategy in 2020. For example, Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho, tells the brand’s Instagram followers about her favourite Korean dramas, engaging in conversion and asking for recommendations. Not only does this humanise the brand, it also strengthens customer relationships in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. 

4# Apply Customer Data Offline 

The chances are you’re already leveraging some data to understand your customers and maximise conversions, so why not apply this to other sales channels?

73% of customers use multiple channels during the buying process, so be sure to apply customer data. In fact, most customers prefer an omnichannel experience, so make sure you’re tracking your customer behaviour. 

User research, analytics and social listening can all be used in combination to get under the skin of your audience. Building a deep-data picture will enable you to keep up with ever-evolving trends and engage with your customers more effectively. 

Prepare For 2021

Q1 is almost here, so you need to start planning now if you want to hit the ground running in 2021. 

There will always be things you can’t prepare for. But we hope by shining a spotlight on a few trends and insights it will go some way in helping you remain ahead of the curve.

But if you still need more advice, our team of ecommerce experts are available. Get in touch and see the difference we can make to your online business.

Are you seeing more clicks than conversions? It could be because you’re making it difficult for customers to buy from you.

Here are some of the most common reasons why customers are choosing not to buy from your ecommerce store and how you can avoid them.

1) Poor Site Navigation

One of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor conversions on an ecommerce site is complex navigation. Consumers are easily frustrated by complicated site navigations, too many options and irrelevant information. In fact, 50% of lost sales are because visitors can’t find what they’re looking for. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to navigate around your site – it should be effortless and intuitive. 

To make the customer journey as simple as possible, you should use heat mapping tools to understand what your shoppers are trying to do and reduce the number of steps it takes to find the product they are looking for. From there, you can declutter the information that is distracting your visitor. 

Also, we’d suggest ensuring that your search bar is visible throughout the shopping journey – on every page! And keep your navigation menu to the top left side of your webpages, this is where your customers expect to find them. 

2) Boring Shopping Experience

The highly saturated landscape of ecommerce means that it’s harder than ever before to capture a customer’s attention and keep them on your store. Once a shopper gets distracted, bored or uninspired, then chances are they’ll go straight to your competitors. 

The solution here is to create an enjoyable and engaging shopping experience that resonates with your customers. This could include interactive product pages, gamification and our personal favourite, social shopping – all these tactics will help to sustain your customer’s attention. 

3) Slow Site Speed 

Did you know 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less? 

This means if your pages aren’t loading quick enough, you’ll be losing a lot of customers (and you can forget about converting them). Of course, if you’re on a platform such as Shopify Plus, this won’t be a problem, because it’s 2.97 times faster than other platforms on the market. 

If you’re not, here are a few things you can do to increase site speed:

4) Product Information Is Missing 

It’s not uncommon for merchants to miss the mark when it comes to providing adequate information about their products. Not offering details about a product that addresses a customer’s questions can cost you sales. And with 46% consumers admitting that they abandon their cart if they can’t find a quick answer to their question, you must give them all the information they need to make that purchase. 

So, entice your shoppers with captivating product information and highlight the benefits of each feature. We recommend complementing your text with photos, graphics, videos and zoom features to capture your customers’ imagination. And don’t forget to add size guides and a general FAQ page to your store, too. 

Global Fashion brand, ASOS is an example of a brand who take product descriptions to the next level. They allow their customers to watch a ‘catwalk’ video of products being worn, so they can visually experience how long the item is, how it fits and how it moves. 

5) Lack Of Payment Options 

Did you know that 85% of visitors leave a site without making a purchase when prices are not shown in their local currency? 

You must introduce all the major currencies if you want to scale. Again, if you’re on platforms like Shopify Plus, this isn’t an issue. It comes with internationalisation features and a multi-currency/ multi-store functionality which allows you to deliver a local experience globally.   

What’s more, offering your customers multiple methods of payment is essential. Internet Retailing reported that merchants risk losing 44% of customers if they don’t offer preferred payment methods. 

Be sure to integrate popular payment gateways such as PayPal and USA ePay. And display trustworthy card logos such as Amex and Visa on your store to increase trust in your customers. 

And don’t forget to consider shoppers on tight budgets! More and more shoppers are preferring to spread the cost of purchases over interest-free instalments, so consider installing ‘buy now, pay later’ options at checkout like Klarna.

6. Limited Shipping Options 

So, you’ve got your customer to checkout and you’ve reached the final hurdle: shipping!

Customers expect multiple shipping options at the checkout. On average, try offering 3-5 different shipping option along with other information like estimated delivery time. 

Also, you need to inform your customers about delivery charges. Be honest from the get-go, if you don’t offer free shipping, tell them. 

Let’s Start!

We hope this has given you some food for thought on what might be preventing your browsers to buy. 

In summary, it’s all about simplifying the customer journey and creating a seamless shopping experience. When you overcome the obstacles discussed above, you’ll be converting in no time. 

But if you need further advice on growing your online business, please get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts today! 

As 2020 draws to a close, we have seen a surge in influencer marketing. Merchants have become increasingly dependent on ecommerce to make up for the lack of footfall through brick and mortar stores. As a result, they have turned to influencers to provide a connection between consumer and commerce that the disruption of this year has made difficult.

The rise of influencer marketing is hardly surprising! Not only does it boost a brand’s social media presence, but it’s also a cost-effective way to boost revenue.  

Here, we deep dive into what influencer marketing is and explore why it should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. 

What Is Influencer Marketing?

First things first, let’s look at what an influencer is. Put simply, an influencer is someone within your niche who has authority over your target audience. An influencer has accumulated a large following on one or more social media channels – and they can have anything from 1000 followers to millions. 

Influencers have formidable power over buying behaviour and can easily help turn screen-scrollers into buyers, with just one or two social media posts. This is because influencers continuously engage with their followers and curate content that their followers can relate to. In turn, this offers brands like yours, the perfect opportunity to tap into this existing interest and use it to promote your products. 

This is where influencer marketing comes in. It’s the modern-day version of celebrity endorsement. The new digital age has brought with it mass social media consumption, which has allowed influencers to take centre stage. A once expensive and hard-to-reach marketing tactic has been redefined and is now attainable more than ever before. Influencers are the new celebrities of social media. They allow brands to promote their products to the masses for a lot less money. 

What are the benefits of influencer marketing for your online business?

1. It builds trust with your target audience 

It’s no secret that when a customer trusts your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. Unlike traditional marketing strategies where it can take years to build a relationship with your audience, with influencer marketing you can build trust quickly, right from the get-go.

The trust and loyalty influencers have established with their audiences is one of their most valuable assets. In fact, people instil the same level of trust in influencers as they do their friends. And in a landscape where only 4% of consumers trust advertising, the ability to speak to your audience through a source they trust is an essential marketing tool.

You might be wondering why influencers are trusted so much by their audiences. The answer is simple, authenticity. An Influencer is followed by their audience because they have the same likes, dislikes and share the same values. This positions the influencer as someone similar to their followers – someone who has their best interests at heart. 

Influencers who have a dedicated following and the knowledge of how to speak to them in a relatable way enables them to create highly personalised content even when they’re advertising your product. 

When you choose the right influencer for your brand, it will allow you to tap into an already existing community of loyal followers who crave content. 

2. Helps you reach a niche audience 

As we mentioned before, an influencer’s community is built around a shared interest. Their audience follows them because they want to see the specific type of content they produce. This means their followers are interested in their niche, which can be a highly profitable opportunity for your business. 

Put simply, a niche is an influencer’s USP. It’s what sets their content apart from others and makes them the go-to influencer for certain types of inspiration. 

For example, a generic fashion influencer is all well and good, but if this influencer has carved themselves a niche around certain types of clothes or a specific style they emulate, their audience will be more focused and receptive. When an influencer has a clear, defined niche, they’re more likely to form deeper, long-lasting relationships with their followers. This will result in higher engagement, generating more ROI than traditional tactics.

However, it’s important to note that when you’re choosing an influencer ensure they reflect your company ethos and share your brand’s values. If they don’t, you’re at risk of an inauthentic partnership which can have catastrophic consequences for your ecommerce business. 

3. Influencers can generate quality leads 

Because influencers allow you to tap into precise audiences with specific kinds of content, there’s a high chance your brand message will resonate and lead to conversions. In fact, 50% of marketers report better quality leads through influencer marketing. This is great news for your business because better quality leads mean more conversions, and more conversions mean higher revenue.

4. Improve your SEO

Working with influencers can also improve your ranking on search engines like Google. This is because they improve your link profile by generating more inbound links to your website. 

What’s more, influencers often have their own high-authority sites with quality content and large online audiences, which in turn boosts your rankings and increases brand visibility.

5. Build brand awareness

Finally, one of the greatest benefits of influencer marketing is that it builds brand awareness. With so much content floating around on social media these days it’s hard for businesses to stand out and reach their target audience. When you collaborate with influencers, you cut through the noise. 

As mentioned earlier, influencers have already done all the hard work for you – they’ve built a loyal community of followers. All you need to do is get the influencer to feature your product/service on their social media profile.

As you can see, influencer marketing can be hugely beneficial to your ecommerce business. Its true power lies in its ability to attract your target audience without bombarding them with overly salesy content. It can strengthen your relationship with consumers, improve your brand’s online presence, and drive conversions. 

Ecommerce Influencer Marketing Experts

Do you want to hear more about how influencer marketing can grow your business? Get in touch with our team of ecommerce marketing experts today! We have years of experience when it comes to building meaningful relationships with influencers and connecting brands with millions of customers. Let’s get started!

So, you’ve successfully made it through BFCM. The crowds have settled and the mania of last weekend is feeling like a distant memory. You’re probably thinking it’s time to sit back and relax, but you’d be wrong! There’s a bunch of new customers that have come your way over Cyber Weekend – it’s your mission to make sure those customers stick around. 

Often merchants will see a deep dip in sales soon after BFCM – it’s not uncommon! We call this the Black Friday Cyber Monday hangover. This is because new customers gained over the holiday season often have a lower overall lifetime value. Despite this, LoyaltyLion has found that 46% of customers would return to a shop they’ve already brought from, versus 14% who wouldn’t. So, it’s clear that failing to re-engage new customers and convert them into loyal repeat customers is a missed opportunity.

Here are a few simple tips for how to beat your BFCM hangover and increase customer lifetime value (CLV):

1. Ask Your Customers For Reviews 

We all know the importance of reviews during Black Friday Cyber Monday. But did you know they play an even more meaningful role after BFCM?

Reviews are a great way to build long-lasting relationships with your customers because they show you genuinely care about what your consumers think. Sending your new customer a review request in their welcome email shows that your brand values its customers.

Think about the huge numbers of shoppers who have flocked to your store over BFCM, this offers you the perfect opportunity to collect a huge number of reviews. Since 75% of consumers refer to reviews to influence their purchasing decisions, rolling into 2021 with hundreds of reviews about your service and products will set you up for a strong start to the new year. 

2. Leverage Email Marketing To Build Loyalty & Drive Sales

Another way you can encourage holiday shoppers back to your store is by utilising the power of email marketing effectively. By sending segmented, personalised emails you’ll be wining your new customer’s loyalty in no time! 

Personalisation significantly improves open rates, clicks, engagement and sales. When you send content that’s tailored to specific audience segments your emails will resonate with the receiver, which ultimately generates better results. 

For example, you could automate email flows that encourage customers to sign up to your newsletter, join your loyalty program or send limited-time discounts and offers. Also, why not go one step further and automate your emails based on user behaviour? This could include ‘viewed product’ segments, perhaps your customer didn’t end up buying a particular product they were looking at, you can target this particular type of customer again.

All in all, personalised emails play a prominent role in engaging consumers throughout the customer journey. They deliver value, boost retention, increase upsell and deliver a richer, more relevant shopping experience.  

3. Implement A Loyalty Program

What better way to reward your new customer than with a loyalty program. Offering customers rewards for purchases, referring friends, and leaving reviews gives them a reason to remain loyal to your brand. 

What’s more, loyal customers buy more, it’s a fact. For example, recently our client Personalised Co generated 25% of revenue from its loyal customers and saw a 34% increase in customer spend compared to non-redeeming customers.

However, simply rewarding customer behaviour is just the beginning. You need to ensure your loyalty program is data-driven. This can be done through segmentation based on consumer activity. For example, segments could include loyal customers, those at risk of losing and customers you need to win back. Third-party Shopify Plus integrations, such as LoyaltyLion offer merchants the functionality to keep track of these segments and take action. 

4. Entice With A Post-BFCM Campaign 

The BFCM buzz doesn’t have to end in November, so why not prolong it? Encourage your customers to create and share User-Generated-Content (UGC) including pictures of products they brought from you during BFCM. 

This is a really simple, yet effective way to drive new shoppers to your store. Execution is easy, all you need to do is promote your request via email and on your social media channels with a short and snappy hashtag. 

UGC is an extremely powerful marketing tactic to build trust among new customers and drive conversions for your business. In fact, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. And with 54% of customers using social media to research a product, a post-BFCM campaign utilising UGC is a surefire to drive your sales back to the top. 

Conclusion

If you want to overcome the BFCM slump and keep your brand top of mind long after Black Friday Cyber Monday, you’ll need to think fast and implement these ROI-driven tactics discussed. Give your customers a reason to engage with your brand and you’ll have them coming back to your store in no time at all. 

Are you using a marketing medium that guarantees a 98% open rate within five minutes of hitting send – without the need for online connection? If the answer is no, then it’s time you looked into SMS marketing for your ecommerce business. 

SMS offers brands the opportunity to communicate with their customers anytime and anywhere. Now more than ever consumers are using their mobile devices – people check their phones on average 150 times a day. Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of it. 

SMS can work seamlessly with other channels like email, helping brands connect with people when they’re most primed at every stage of the sales funnel. 

Why Do D2C Brands Use SMS Marketing?

One of the biggest challenges for many D2C owners is getting their product, promotions and services in front of their target audience. Information overload is leading to overflowing inboxes and people no longer like to feel as though they’re being sold to. 

In the highly competitive landscape of ecommerce, D2C brands are finding new ways to reach their customers. This is where SMS comes in. 

Since the pandemic, online shopping has surged, with 72% of shoppers choosing to browse or buy online from their mobile device, mobile traffic is on the rise! This means brands need to adapt quickly and start using SMS marketing to engage with their shoppers. And with SMS marketing driving 25x+ ROI, there’s even more reason to. 

People are more likely to open text messages – and open them faster than email. For example, 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes. And when someone does respond to an SMS message it takes 90 seconds eight times faster than email response rates.

When marketing to Millennials and Gen Zers, SMS can be a really effective tool. Young Millennials and Gen Zers have no memory of a time without smartphones. For these generations, phones aren’t simply communication tools, they’re an extension of them as individuals. Whether they’re speaking to friends and family, checking-in on their social media channels, streaming videos or playing a game, mobile phones are an integral part of these generations’ lives. 

How Do D2C Brands Use SMS Marketing?

Brands across the globe have embraced SMS marketing to help them reach their business goals. With so many options available, we’ve put together a list of the most common and successful SMS marketing methods that you can use to maximise revenue.

Automated email flows are proven to drive ROI, so why not go one step further by adding SMS to the mix – to really boost success. 

This is a quick and simple way to improve the customer experience. Also, by keeping your customers in the loop with regards to shipping and delivery timelines, you’ll drastically reduce the number of inbound customer queries you receive. Informed customers are happy customers. And happy customers are good for business. 

Upselling is effective when done properly, and upselling via SMS is no different. After a customer receives their order, follow up with a text message to ask for feedback. From there you can direct them to a special offer on related products they might like. 

This is a great way to make contact with your customers during times that means the most to them. From birthdays to anniversaries, customers like to feel special, so give them what they want. With the omnichannel marketing platform, Klaviyo you’ll be able to automatically pull this level of detail about your customers, and watch your engagement levels skyrocket. 

SMS messages are a great way to drive urgency. Since it’s fast and direct, it gets your brand message across to your customers in real-time. 

What’s more, brands who use promotions in their SMS strategy see an increase of 47% in their overall revenue. Some brands even set up SMS only promotions, to keep shoppers not only engaged in their brand but also SMS as a communication channel. 

Get help from your current customers to convert new ones. 

Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with brands communicating with them directly on SMS, Facebook and other direct messaging platforms. All these apps are accessible on mobile, so automate engaging templates for your customers to share with others is a great way to make quick wins. 

If you’re a D2C subscription-based retailer, then there’s even more reason to utilise SMS marketing. Via text message, you can send your customers weekly or monthly reminders about their subscription and keep a constant flow of communication throughout the shipment process, so the customer feels connected to your brand until their package arrives. 

SMS can help you achieve repeat conversion through timely reminders that don’t annoy your customers. For example, some brands use AI to predict when customers are likely to run out of a product they last purchased. Subscribers are then prompted to reply to the text message ‘yes’ if they’re ready to re-order. 

Finally, SMS can be used to enhance your relationship with customers who are a part of your loyalty or rewards program. You can engage with your VIP shoppers with tailored messages and exclusive offers all through SMS. And with 76% of loyalty members preferring to receive personalised updates from brands through SMS, there’s never a better time to start implementing SMS into your marketing strategy. 

Getting started with SMS Marketing 

Getting started with SMS is easy and only requires a few simple steps. But you need to figure out what your message is going to be and why, and it’s imperative that you ask your customers whether they want to receive text messages from you before you start sending them out.

The more you use SMS and constantly review your results, the more powerful the tool will become.

If you need help incorporating SMS into your business or simply want to find out more about it, get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts today!

With festive decorations popping up everywhere and mince pies hitting supermarket shelves, this can only mean one thing…the Christmas countdown has started.  

The holiday period has always been busy for merchants, but this year it’s predicted to be even busier, against the backdrop of COVID-19.

With more and more consumers being forced to shop online, this presents a fantastic opportunity for retailers to make up for lost sales and propel revenue. In fact, the surge of sales and festive cheer could make it your best yet for attracting new customers and rewarding loyal ones. 

But with so many shoppers flocking to online stores, it also means that competition is fiercer than ever before. To stand out, you’ll need to have a smart marketing strategy that resonates with your customers – otherwise, you’ll blend into the crowd. 

To help, we’ve rounded up the very best marketing campaign ideas that you can incorporate into your holiday strategy, so you can have a tremendous Christmas. 

Reward Your Customers With Early Deals

If you haven’t started this already, there’s no better time like the present! 

Everyone likes to be made to feel special, particularly at Christmas. So, spread some holiday cheer early! Your customers are your priority, so tell them. Giving them exclusive discounts is a great way to show them just how much you value their custom. And with 79% of consumers admitting that unlocking exclusive offers makes them more loyal – it can also boost loyalty. What’s more, loyal customers convert more than first-time buyers which means they’re likely to buy more from you and more often. 

How to reward your loyal customers? Here are a few tips:

Email marketing campaigns: Create a Christmas themed email campaign and send it to existing and loyal customers with a holiday discount they can’t refuse. And don’t forget about that all-important subject line – make it fun, use Christmas themed emojis and embrace the festive spirit.

Social media campaigns: Make sure you promote your VIP discounts on social media and incentivise your customers to share the discount on their own social media – reward customers who want to get involved.

Christmas Bundle Offers

This holiday season, value will be a big priority for shoppers. After all, everyone likes to get more bang for their buck, particularly amidst a pandemic. This is where bundle offers come in. By offering bundled products at a discounted price you’ll not only increase your sales but also your AOV. 

Here are some tips for creating successful bundles: 

Bundle similar products together: Promote these bundles across your store and marketing channels.Identify your best-sellers: Bundle them with complementary products, this will create an even better deal and ignite your customers’ imagination.

Identify your best-sellers: Bundle them with complementary products, this will create an even better deal and ignite your customers’ imagination.

Sprinkle your bundles with Christmas charm: Give your bundles festive names. You could even give them their own hashtag to get your customers talking about the bundle on social media.

Delight Your Customers With Festive Upsells 

Just like bundles, upsells are an excellent way to increase your AOV. But what makes them even greater is that they’re presented to customers who are already at checkout, so these customers are in the buying-mindset. 

What’s more, not only do upsells increase revenue, they also increase customer experience and satisfaction because they’re giving a customer exactly what they need – like a hat to go with a pair of gloves or socks to go with shoes. 

Here are some tips on how to use upselling: 

Relevancy: Make sure upsells are relevant to the individual customer. These can include personalised recommendations based on user information and browsing history, Wish Lists or products that are required to make the initial purchase work properly.

Free gift: Everyone loves a freebie. So, offer your customers free gifts this Christmas, such as free delivery, gift wrapping etc.

Upsell throughout the customer-journey: Upselling doesn’t have to be at the checkout only. Leverage the power of upselling at every stage of the sales funnel and sprinkle personalised recommendations throughout your website.

Use UGC & Customer Reviews 

Customer reviews are a great way of convincing your customers to buy with you. Using rave reviews across your owned marketing channels is a surefire way to show potential customers that your products work and people love them. 

With 29 per cent of shoppers claiming they’ll be looking for social media content when it comes to deciding where they make their purchases this Christmas, using User-Generated-Content (UGC) from these social media channels is an effective way to inspire purchasing behaviour. Not only does it increase trust it also drives sales. Also, it can promote brand awareness and help turn one time buyers into your most loyal fans. 

Here are a few simple ways you can use UGC: 

Create a unique hashtag: Encourage customers to use the unique hashtag and share photos, videos and stores using your products.

Re-share UGC: Keep sprinkling your social media with your customers’ photos to keep the buzz around your brand going.

Utilise UGC throughout the buying-journey: Implement a social shopping page on your store and use UGC in email marketing campaigns and product listing.

Add social proof to Ads: Leverage the power of UGC and reviews into your ads, it’s the ultimate conversion combination.

Partner With Influencers & Brands 

Remember people love to buy from people they can relate to, so harness this in your marketing strategy. Identify and partner with well-known industry influencers this holiday season. They can help promote your deals and discounts to their own audiences. 

Also, you should consider collaborating with other brands – just make sure they’re not your competitors! Brand partnerships are a great way to drive more traffic to your site and tap into other audiences. 

Here are a few ways you could do this: 

Create a gift guide: You could list your favourite brands in a gift guide and get those brands to share it on their social media channels. Or you could partner with a well-known influencer and ask them to include your products in their gift recommendations.

Create a special offer: Align your deals with the influencer or brand’s audience to create a discount on a product that’s suited to their audience. The more personalised, the better!

We hope this has inspired you to add some sparkle to your holiday marketing strategy. With these handy ideas, you’ll have the most successful Christmas yet. But remember, its imperative that you take an omnichannel approach, to ensure you’re engaging new customers and nurturing loyal ones that will last long after the Christmas period.

Your Shopify Plus Agency

Whether you’re feeling inspired or thinking: ‘Oh deer Christmas is here’, get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts to find out how we can take your brand to the top. Let’s talk.

Over the years, Shopify Plus has grown in popularity amongst merchants across the globe. Despite this, there are still some misconceptions surrounding Shopify Plus and its capabilities.  

From concerns around price to doubts around inventory capacity, many merchants are still wary when it comes to the Shopify Plus platform. 

Here at Velstar, we know that when you’re a merchant researching and evaluating ecommerce platforms for your business, it can be difficult to sort the misinformation from the truth. 

But fear not, Velstar is here to help: we’ve made a list of the 4 most common misconceptions about Shopify Plus and explain why they’re completely unfounded.  

Misconception 1: It’s Expensive

Merchants are often reluctant to make the move to Shopify Plus because they feel it’s too costly. 

For enterprise-level brands, Shopify Plus pays for itself and works out much cheaper in the long run. This is because from the get-go a merchant has everything they need on the platform with no hidden extra costs. 

The initial price can seem steep, but the benefits it can bring certainly justify the cost. For example, Shopify Plus is PCI-DSS by default, which saves merchants thousands of pounds every year on store security. Also, the platform comes with built-in tools such as Shopify Flow and Launchpad, which help merchants automate operational tasks, saving them time and money. 

Misconception 2: Shopify Plus Is The Same As Regular Shopify

This myth often makes merchants think that the price of Shopify Plus isn’t worth the switch. But, as we discussed above; Shopify Plus comes with various in-built features which make it perfect for high growth businesses – many of which do not exist at the core level of Shopify. These include, but not limited to: 

  1. It’s customisable: Shopify Plus is a lot more customisable than believed. For example, Shopify Scripts (a Shopify Plus exclusive feature) allows merchants to fully customise their checkout. 
  2. More API endpoints: The platform’s richer technology infrastructure means that it can support more complex integrations. 
  3. Unique features: For example, Launchpad and Flow have been created specifically to help out high growth brands, providing with the tools to simplify work processes and offload time-consuming tasks. What’s more, Multipass is great for merchants who want to keep their content platform (e.g. forum) separate from their ecommerce side of the business. 
  4. A point of sale platform: Shopify Plus provides seamless retail integrations, including those from its deep app ecosystem.

There are many more unique benefits when it comes to Shopify Plus, all of which you can find here

Misconception 3: Shopify Plus Can’t Handle Large Inventories 

This is another common misconception that merchants with large inventories have. However, as we mentioned before, Shopify Plus has many integrative apps and existing features that make it easy for merchants to manage their inventory. 

This includes third-party apps such as Brightpearl, which allows brands and retailers to automate their inventory management regardless of how extensive it is. 

Need proof? Shopify Plus powers mega-brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Public Desire and GymShark, all of which have large inventories & high sales frequencies. If Shopify Plus couldn’t cope with such demands, then these brands wouldn’t be on the platform in the first place.  

Misconception 4: Shopify Plus Is Not For Enterprise-level Businesses

Again, this is not the case at all. 

As previously mentioned, Shopify Plus has a number of exclusive enterprise features that have been created specifically with high growth brands in mind. This makes it the perfect platform for fast-growing brands, as well as those looking to scale. 

But don’t take our word for it – the results speak for themselves! For example, through the power of Shopify Plus, Kylie Cosmetics was able to handle 200K visitors simultaneously during the biggest product launch in ecommerce history and helped Kylie become a million-dollar brand in just three years. 

Is Shopify Plus For You?

It’s clear many of the doubts about Shopify Plus’ capabilities are due to a lack of understanding about the platform. 

If you want to hear more about the platform or find out how your business can scale with Shopify Plus, just get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts and we’ll be happy to help.