These days, Shopify Plus is powering some of the world’s largest enterprises, without compromise. From luxury fashion brands to celebrity names, here are 15 top grossing Shopify Plus stores…

Gymshark

Kylie Cosmetics

AVON

FashionNova

Public Desire

Morphe

Beardbrand

ColourPop

Cosatto

Victoria Beckham

ThirdLove

KKW Beauty

Tesla

Allbirds

Linda Farrow

Your Shopify Plus Partner Agency

As you can see, Shopify Plus is the go-to platform for many global brands. And it could power your business too.

Whether you’re thinking about migrating to Shopify Plus or just want to hear more about the platform get in touch with our ecommerce experts today!

Customer experience plays a pivotal role in building brand engagement, boosting retention and driving revenue, but all too often, merchants fail to capture customers’ attention from the get-go. Why? Because of poor ecommerce personalisation. 

The most successful brands are the ones that keep their customers happy by giving them what they want; a personalised experience. Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach. Customers expect, in fact, demand a shopping experience that suits their needs and makes them feel like a valued customer. So, it’s your job to give them exactly that. 

In this article, we discuss what ecommerce personalisation is and how you can achieve it to boost your business’s conversion rate…

What is ecommerce personalisation?

Ecommerce personalisation is a marketing tactic that merchants use to tailor a customer’s shopping experience based on the user’s needs or interaction history. This includes product recommendations, email marketing or targeted promotions. 

The level of personalisation depends on the kind of information you collect about the customer. For example, the customer’s location, browser history, purchase history or level of brand engagement. 

Simply put, ecommerce personalisation is the practice of delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time. So, for your ecommerce personalisation strategy to be successful, it must add value to the customer. 

Here’s how to determine your personalisation strategy’s value…

Value*=[Relevance + Timeliness / Loss of privacy] Trust

*Value to the customer

What are the benefits of personalisation?

When you implement ecommerce personalisation, there’s a whole host of benefits including…

Sounds good right? Keep reading to find examples of how other merchants are using ecommerce personalisation to grow their businesses.

20 Ecommerce Personalisation Examples

Now you know the basics of personalisation and its benefits, let’s explore how other merchants use ecommerce personalisation to grow their businesses.

#1 Seasonal Content

Seasonality significantly impacts how we shop, particularly when it comes to fashion. Customers look for different products depending on the time of year. 

You can get prepared early and pre-empt this interest by implementing on-site banners in your homepage navigation or include notification and offers that are tied to the changing seasons. Highlight summer and winter clothing ranges, as well as holiday promotions like Halloween, Christmas and Black Friday. 

But be mindful that seasonal content will not apply to every segment of your market. For example, the UK is currently in the middle of winter, but in Australia it’s summer. So, you must account for seasonal variations in different countries and hemispheres.

Why not go one step further and implement weather-targeted product recommendations. This is a great way to influence buying decisions based on real-time weather and is a surefire way to gaining a competitive advantage over our competitors.

#2 Geo-location Alerts

If you have separate international stores it might be a good idea to implement geo-location alerts when your customer lands on your site. This way a customer is redirected to the right site (currency) if they land on the wrong one. 

#3 Personalise Your Homepage

Think of your homepage as your shop window. It’s your customer’s first impression of your store and it’s a prime space for advertising products, promotions and offers. 

Whenever a customer lands on your homepage, they should see a host of personalised links to their preferred categories, suggested items, recently-viewed products, and more. So, leverage what you know about a customer and use this to tailor their shopping journey in an easy-to-use way.

#4 Personalising Product Recommendations

One of the most popular and effective ecommerce personalisation examples is personalised product suggestions. For each product, there are other products users have bought and viewed. Related items are a great up-selling and cross-selling tactic. 

What’s more, adding ‘recently viewed’ products to your customer’s journey is often the extra push they need to make that all-important purchase. This is because most buyers browse before buying, so when they’re ready to buy they can easily come back to your store and find the product they were looking for.  

Also, we’d recommend promoting bestsellers and trending items on your homepage. This creates a sense of urgency and increases your conversion rate.  

Product recommendation carousels are versatile and can be added to almost anywhere on your website. From experience, we find the most commonly seen include:

#5 Show Continuous Shopping For Returning Customers

Many high-growth ecommerce businesses use the ‘Continue shopping’ tactic, allowing customers to pick up where they left off in just a click. 

This approach remembers your customer’s selected items and preferences through previous sessions, making it easier for them to buy. 

#6 Personalised Search Results

As an ecommerce business, there’s a lot of things you can do to make your customer’s shopping journey smoother.

For example, you can utilise what you know about returning customers and show the most relevant information when they search. Offering category suggestions allows your customer to keep their search broad, whilst focusing on their interests. 

Similarly, you can tailor the search results page by displaying personalised recommendations based on browsing history. And if you add cross-selling and upselling promotions to the mix things can really get exciting!

#7 Personal Emails

A surefire way to take your business to the next level is through email marketing. It’s cheap and effective. However, with so many emails cluttering your customers’ inboxes these days, you’re going to have to create emails that are jam-packed with personalised content, killer CTA’s and high-quality imagery to stand out. 

Also, you must segment your customers based on shopping behaviour including most visited pages, wishlists etc. And include product recommendations and imagery in your emails.

#8 Message Customers On Important Days 

As we mentioned above, personal emails are a great way to boost conversions. So, why not go further and message your customers on special days, including birthdays and anniversaries. These kinds of emails and personalised offers make the customer feel special and prompt purchase, as well as building loyalty and engagement.

#9 Re-engage With Past Subscribers

One of the best ways to re-engage dormant customers is to send personalised emails that spark their attention. This includes something as simple as a ‘we miss you’ email to remind the customer they haven’t shopped with you in a while. Or a juicy discount code to entice them back to your store. 

# 10 Abandoned Cart Emails

An excellent way to win back lost sales is through automated abandoned cart emails. Often it’s the case that the customer has got distracted during their shopping journey, so a friendly, personalised reminder can be the helpful prompt they need.

#11 Let Your Customers Personalise Their Products 

Another great personalisation tactic is giving your customers the flexibility to personalise their products. Whether it’s a colour change or adding gift-wrap, these small touches can make a huge difference. So, if it’s possible to offer personalisation options, do it. 

#12 Freedom To Set Marketing Preferences

Allow your customers to pre-select general marketing preferences when signing up. Doing this will give customers control over the kind of marketing content they receive, which means they’re more likely to convert because the promotions and updates will be specific to their interests.  

#13 Use Live Chat 

Just because your customers are choosing to shop online doesn’t mean human interaction is no longer important. In fact, customers crave a deeper connection with brands, particularly during a global pandemic. 

Rather than leaving your customers to search for the answers themselves, offer an instant live chat feature which will save them time and make them feel valued. Live chats are conversational and offer the customer a more human touch which boosts loyalty and improves customer experience

#14 Use Chatbots

In recent years, chatbots have become increasingly popular, enabling merchants to interact with their customers 24/7 – great for scaling businesses with customers in various time zones. Some people argue that chatbots lack a personal touch, but this isn’t a problem when you use AI-driven chatbots because they recreate the experience of talking to a real person and can even offer personalised product suggestions.

#15 Let Customers Save Their Favourite Items (“Wish List”)

It’s inevitable that whilst browsing visitors will come across products they like but aren’t ready to buy. 

When you implement a ‘Wish List’ function to your store it allows customers to save items for a later date – increasing chances of purchase.  

You could also incorporate ‘Wish Lists’ into your email marketing efforts. For example, if a product in a customer’s wish list is low in stock or discounted, inform the customer via email. This will create a sense of urgency and increase the chances of a sale. 

#16 Show Your Customers Name When They’re Logged Into Their Account

This is a simple example of personalisation, but you’d be surprised how many stores don’t do this. 

When a customer is logged into their account, show their name in the header. It’s a quick and easy way to reassure customers that they can purchase without having to input all their information or login again. And they’ll also know that they can access their account features in just a few clicks. 

#17 Multiple Shipping Options 

It’s important to offer customers a variety of shipping options. This is because some customers are willing to pay extra for speedy shipping, whilst others aren’t in a hurry and would rather save. The more options, the better!

And don’t forget to be transparent about your shipping costs from the very beginning. No customer wants the surprise of paying more than they bargained for at check-out. So, display your delivery options on product pages with clear CTA’s.

# 18 Personalised Retargeting Ads

Once a customer has visited your store, you’ll have a better understanding of what products they’re interested in. You can use this behavioural insight to retarget them and create a personalised shopping experience. 

There are lots of options when it comes to types of content you can use when retargeting. For example, you can show customers their recently viewed items or suggested items based on their browsing history. And you can also remind customers of products they abandoned in their cart. This is where tools like Facebook pixel come in handy (despite what you may have heard about the latest iOS14 update).

#19 Personalised Post-purchase Experience

A customer’s shopping experience doesn’t end at check-out, so why should personalisation? This is where a post-checkout page comes in. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage your customer further on a deeper, more personal level. 

There are a few ways merchants can do this, including a referral incentive, a CTA to sign up to a newsletter or a discount code for the customer’s next purchase.

#20 Personalise Your Pop-ups

Personalisation can significantly improve the effectiveness of your pop-ups, not to mention enhance the customer experience. 

Several tools on the market can help you create personalised pop-ups based on your customer’s interests. You can also customise when in the customer journey you would like the pop-up to appear. The key is to make your pop-up as unintrusive as possible. 

However, it’s worth noting that some customers find pop-ups annoying, especially when they appear frequently. So, always follow best practices when it comes to pop-ups and avoid distracting your customer from the end goal; the purchase!

Conclusion

As you can see offering your customers a personalised experience doesn’t mean you have to redesign your whole ecommerce store. But it’s something that should be taken into consideration if you want to boost conversions. 

As always, it’s important to take an omnichannel approach. Personalisation isn’t just about your website. You need to include other channels including email, SMS, customer service and social media.

Here at Velstar, we take a data-driven approach to personalisation. We leverage the very best technology to create highly personalised, targeted content that customers love. If you’d like us to help you, get in touch today

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 underused 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 use.

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 getting 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 Infomation 

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. 

Additionally, consumers can be wary of brands who 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!

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. 

What’s more, 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 the 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 multicurrency/ 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! 

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 a large number of 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.

reviews-laptop

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 – 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

trustpilot logo

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.

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 lead 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 huge 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 their 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 as 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 replatform 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 & Planning

At this initial stage, our team of ecommerce specialists learn more about your brand and identify 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 etc 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 replatforming 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 function 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 replatforming 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 offset, 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 & 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 on-going 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 the biggest brands in the world to Shopify Plus and generated some amazing results. Let’s start the discovery process today – get in touch.  

With the tumultuous economic climate and shifting consumer behaviour this Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is going to be particularly stressful for merchants. 

During this BFCM, Velstar is here to help your ecommerce business achieve the best results possible and maximise the opportunity. So we’re hosting a BFCM blog series with our technology partners. Next up, we interview Partnership Manager of Klaviyo, Phil Greenwood to discuss how merchants can drive conversions through email marketing.

With Black Friday, on average, generating 3.6 higher ecommerce sales than the average day in November and Cyber Monday on record for being the largest online sale day in history, when should ecommerce businesses start planning and sending out their email campaigns?

We’re predicting this year’s Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend will eclipse last year’s, surpass next year’s, and that ecommerce will hit a staggering $1.1 trillion for the first time in history by the end of the year.

More and more people started shopping online during lockdown restrictions earlier this year, which means there’s now a larger total addressable market who are prepared to do their holiday shopping online this year. Ideally, merchants will have already started working on their initial plans by now—but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start if you haven’t been!

Our data from 2019’s BFCM weekend shows that 60 percent of Cyber Weekend sales were driven by consumers who had engaged with a brand via email before Q3 that same year. This is great news if you’ve been engaging with your email list already, but there’s still time to catch up if needed! If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Holiday Marketing Guide, which is packed full of tips to help you prepare for this year’s ultra-busy holiday season.

As for sending emails, listen to your customers and watch their spending habits—especially this year when everything is probably a little different. In the run-up to BFCM, test different send times to see what works best for your audience. You can do this manually or automate your tests if your email platform allows it.

How do merchants add a sense of urgency to their emails during BFCM?

There are lots of ways you can use email to create a sense of urgency; here are my top tips.

  1. Highlight scarcity and fear of missing out (FOMO)

Telling your subscribers that an item will sell out if they don’t act quickly enough is a surefire way of tapping into FOMO (fear of missing out) and adds a real sense of urgency to your emails. 

Example phrases you could use include:

Also, if you sold out of a product last BFCM, mention this in your emails this year to encourage your subscribers to act quickly!

Of course, only say this if it’s truthful—or you run the risk of your subscribers finding out later and becoming suspicious of future emails.

  1. Include discount expiration dates in your subject lines

Including an expiration date alongside your Black Friday offers puts a concrete time limit on your deal and gets your subscribers to act now!

Here are some example phrases to use:

You could even use a countdown timer in your emails to show the time physically ticking away!

  1. Offer daily deals and steals

Give shoppers a compelling reason to return to your website by revealing a new deal each day across the Cyber Weekend. Your subscribers won’t want to miss out on the deals, which also helps to drive purchase frequency.

Send email reminders to your subscribers so they don’t miss out and promote the deals across your social channels to further add to the anticipation.

Major challenges for merchants when it comes to email marketing during BFCM include inbox invisibility and competition, what are your top tips for perfecting a great subject line and pre-header?

Beyond some of the urgency tactics mentioned above, the best advice I can give is to really know who your customers are and what motivates them to buy.

Firstly, do you know what your customers have bought from you in the past? Use this data to personalize your subject lines and offers by only showing products in emails that your customers are genuinely interested in.

Next, do you have customers who only shop with you at this time of year? Are they deal hunters? Or “gifters” in search of something for that special someone? And who are your most valuable VIP customers who are loyal to your brand year-round?

Each group is motivated to buy from you in different ways, so drive your open rates up by reflecting this in your emails—and especially within your subject lines.

You might want to be a little blunter with your deal hunters and call out your offers clearly in your subject lines, such as: “£5 Leggings + 30% OFF EVERYTHING ONLINE (you’re welcome!)”

Your gifters will probably appreciate knowing if they place an order in your BFCM sale then they’ll get it in time for Christmas, so clearly communicate that in your subject line. Perhaps try something like: “Save 30% + grab a gift in time for Christmas! ????”

As for your VIP segment, why not make them feel extra special by giving them access to some deals first? Something like: “Hey VIP, get 30% off everything NOW!” could work well. You could also try using curiosity in your subject lines to pique interest even more. Something like: “This deal will BLOW YOUR MIND! ????” perhaps? Just make sure your offer lives up to the hype!

Final tip: last year across the Cyber Weekend, we saw more brands using percentage-off discounts, but those that used dollars-off discounts tended to see more success. Why not try both in an A/B test to see what works for you?

What should ecommerce business owners consider when crafting a powerful CTA?

If you haven’t already done so, try A/B testing your CTAs in the run-up to the Cyber Weekend to see which ones perform better. Should you use plain text buttons or images? What colours work better? What about the size of the text and fonts?  You can test each of these easily—just remember to test one thing at a time so you can see what makes the most difference.

When writing your CTA, keep it clear, simple, and to the point. CTA buttons like: “Shop now”, “Get 30% off”, “Save 20%”, etc. are some of the most commonly used—and are usually the best-performing. As for CTA placement, most say your CTA should be included within the first half of the email (i.e. above the fold), but I say it depends on the copy. If your subscribers can quickly see what an email is about, then placing the CTA above the fold might make the most sense. If your offer needs a little more context, put the CTA at the end of the email. And if you’re looking to run a test, why not try both?

Final tip: avoid using too many CTAs in one email. CTAs are meant to stand out and direct readers to one desired course of action. If there are too many buttons, then nothing stands out, leaving your subscribers confused about what to do next. If in doubt, go for one strong CTA per email and no more than two or three.

With 14% average email open rate during BFCM how do merchants improve engagement rates? And should merchants be focusing on alternative metrics when measuring the success of their email campaigns?

One of the best ways to improve email engagement rates is through personalization and highly segmented emails, which have the power to drive up to three times more revenue.  I don’t mean just using subscribers’ names in emails though; we’re way beyond that now.

If you’re using smart marketing automation platforms, then you already have a lot of customer and subscriber data at your fingertips, like:

And these are all things you can use to segment your BFCM emails—and future ones—to improve engagement. Say you own a women’s fashion brand and you have a group of customers who only ever buy accessories from you. You might want to call out offers that reflect that rather than trying to drive them towards offers on knitwear or dresses that they’re less likely to be interested in.

With the right email provider, this is easier to achieve than you might think. Dynamic content blocks in emails help you to show different products to different subscriber groups, while integrations with platforms like Nosto help you to tie your product recommendations in with website activity.

Finally, to truly understand how well your campaigns are performing, keep an eye on how much revenue your campaigns and automated emails are driving—as a whole and individually—so you can quickly see which emails are giving you a better return on investment.

Which brands’ email campaigns caught your eye during last years BFCM and what can merchants learn from them?  

We saw so many fantastic campaigns last year, which makes narrowing it down quite difficult! But if I had to pick just three brands that stood out to me for different reasons, they would be:

Here’s why…

Last year, Skinnydip London sent a “Get ready for Black Friday” email ten days before the big day to encourage subscribers to make wishlists. This email also included a 30 percent discount off party wear, which is ideal for this time of year and helps to snap up some early holiday sales!

Chubbies Shorts is proof that humour goes a long way when it reflects your brand! Instead of Cyber Monday, Chubbies called it “Thighber Monday”, which is a unique spin on the holiday and fits in perfectly with their clothing brand. 

I also loved another campaign they ran last year, which offered a 25 percent sitewide discount. The emails were all written as if they were confidential and just for Chubbies employees. Such an interesting way to stand out in the inbox!

And finally, Evolve Beauty used email to thank customers for their support throughout the year, which adds a personal touch and establishes a genuine connection with customers.

Evolve also took this opportunity to offer a sitewide 20 percent discount, while promoting products that would be ideal buys for this time of year, such as stocking fillers, gift sets, and party prep beauty products. They also added a note at the end to remind subscribers about their half-price outlet store to help drive even more sales.

If you want to find out more about how to push your brand to the next level this Black Friday Cyber Monday or simply want to hear more about integrating Klaviyo to your Shopify store, then get in touch with our team of email marketing experts today

klaviyo-logo

About Klaviyo: 

Klaviyo enables modern communication between companies and consumers. We’re committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s technically possible and making it truly accessible to any online business, from entrepreneurs to leading enterprise brands. Our platform processes billions of consumer activities, or data events, every month — and then makes them available in real-time to fuel better targeting, deeper analysis, and more effective marketing. That means our customers can create incredibly personal email and advertising experiences without wasting their time or money. And it works: we’re proud that our customers grow 29% faster on average after making the switch to Klaviyo. That’s why over 20,000 of the most innovative brands like Brooklinen, Bonobos, Untuckit, and Taylor Stitch power their marketing through Klaviyo.

customer-acquisition-laptop

BFCM this year will undoubtedly look very different from previous years. With COVID-19 disrupting the lives of many, merchants are being forced to re-evaluate and adapt quickly. This means you should prepare extra meticulously to ensure a successful BFCM. With a particular focus on understanding your customers and the metrics around sales performance. 

Following the release of their ‘Fast-track upturn’ report we catch up with Klarna’s Commercial Manager, Rob Beattie, to discuss what challenges merchants are likely to face this BFCM and what they can do to keep their customer acquisition costs low. 

In the report, you mention how traditional Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) models are restricting retailers from reaching their full potential, in what way?

We wanted to look at how retailers can gain and retain more business post COVID, but there’s the age-old issue of keeping acquisition costs low whilst trying to increase customer retention and boosting propensity to buy. The traditional CLV model is a relatively simple way of gauging success, based on historical data and not necessarily taking social engagement and digital interactions into account. So we wanted to understand if there’s a more modern approach to measuring CLV.  From our report, we found that an emotional connection is now one of the most significant drivers of sales according to the 2000 shoppers we surveyed and consequently, retailers need a better way of optimising acquisition costs, taking engagement into account. 

What metrics should online retailers be focusing on this BFCM? 

First and foremost, a true understanding of your customers’ profitability and your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) is essential.  For startups and less established retailers & brands, it’s not uncommon for CAC to be their most sizable marketing cost, and unmanaged, it can easily inhibit growth or result in a long payback period (the time the customers needs to be retained before CAC is recovered).

With an understanding of CAC, it’s then possible to start to look at a future-focused CLV calculation, taking the digital and social world we live in into account, and including metrics such as frequency of engagement with advertising, social media interactions, click through rates etc. This model of CLV is more aligned with the shoppers ‘omnichannel’ journey and includes the four pillars of acquisition, conversion, retention & advocacy.  

What tactics can merchants use to hack into the acquisition process during BFCM? 

Here at Klarna, we’re huge advocates of collaborations and partnerships. As a retailer, or brand, think about opportunities to collaborate and leverage shared interests between brands to achieve more. Utilise partnerships to activate customers across both brands and work collaboratively on building out engagement tactics that retain shoppers and help drive loyalty.

Think about how you might be able to engage with the new demographic who are shopping online. We recently published our UK spend data highlighting Gen X 940-54) as our fastest-growing segment of customers, and the next fastest 54+. As a retailer or brand, how are you marketing and engaging with this demographic? Do they need a slightly different approach?  

Could partnering with Klarna potentially help reach that audience? Our shop directory, social media channels and shopping app all provide an amazing opportunity to show your brand off to our 9.5m UK customer base.  If you are working with Klarna, take the opportunity to feature in things like our organic social and targeted paid social, which will help drive traffic to your website.

Where should ecommerce business owners invest their money this BFCM?

Start with the basics. Take some time to look at the end-to-end customer journey and from there start to identify areas for improvement and quick wins. From the point they land on site, how easy is the website to use and navigate? Has the site been built mobile-first? How long does it take a web page to load? 

At checkout, are you accommodating for everyone?  From flexible payments to faster deliveries, it’s important to ensure a range of options are offered at checkout. Buy now pay later, Free shipping, click & collect….these are all expected by the shopper.  According to a recent report, 23% of shoppers said they’d be influenced by the speed of the checkout process and 22% said they’d be encouraged by flexible payment options. 

Beyond payment – how do you get the order to the customer in the most efficient and timely manner? What do returns look like? From the point you’ve got the basics right, what are you doing to enhance the customer experience? Are you sending personalised and targeted emails? Are you personalising on-site? 33% of consumers referenced personalised offers or discounts as something that would encourage them to shop with an online brand. Technology can impact and improve every step of the customer journey, so make the most of it! 

Can you give some examples of brands who you feel are doing a brilliant job at finding new ways to maximise revenue and why?

Cox & Cox is a great example of a retailer who has recently implemented Klarna and consequently seen some amazing results. Cox & Cox is also a perfect example of a retailer who has been able to tap into the Klarna consumer network. Interestingly 50% of their Klarna customers were new to Cox & Cox.  

And it’s impossible not to mention Gymshark. They are an example of a brand who have done amazingly at building an emotional connection with their audience throughout the pandemic.

klarna-logo-ecommerce

If you would like to watch the full interview with Rob then head over to our Youtube channel. Additionally, if you’d like to hear more about what’s been discussed in this blog or simply want to hear more about Klarna, get in touch with our team of Shopify Plus experts today! Let’s get started. 

About Klarna: 

Klarna is Europe’s highest valued privately held fintech, offering products and services to over 85 million consumers and 200,000 merchants globally. Klarna’s payment methods include Pay later in 30, interest-free instalments and financing up to 36 months. Klarna gives end consumers more control and flexibility with their purchasing whilst helping brands boost their sales, average order value and conversion.