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As climate change becomes an ever-growing concern, more and more entrepreneurs are putting sustainability and environmental demands at the top of their agenda. 

Every day, new ecommerce businesses are launching with sustainability in mind. These direct-to-consumer brands try to minimise their impact on the environment, particularly when it comes to their manufacturing and distribution processes. From mindfulness about water usage and emissions to using recycled or naturally sourced materials in the creation of their products and packaging, these companies are committed to greener ecommerce practices and bringing about positive change to the environment. 

To shine a spotlight on some of these brands, here’s a list of 35 ecommerce businesses on Shopify taking sustainability seriously:

1. Know The Origin

2. By Humankind

3. Allbirds

4. Alima Pure

5. A Good Company

6. Unwrapped Life

7. Pangaia

8. Westbeach

Westbeach-sustainable-brands-on-shopify

9. Hanx

10. Birdsong

11. Handmade Candle Co

12. We Are We Wear

13. Girlfriend Collective

14. Lucy and Yak

15. SZ Blockprints

16. Known Supply

17. Nuud

18. The Citizenry

19. Tens

20. FIGS

21. Stasher

22. DedCool

23. Tropic Skincare

24. Wild

25. Organic Basics

26. Blueland

27. Avocado Mattress

28. NAADAM

29. Youth To The People

30. United by Blue

31. Marine Layer

32. Topo Designs

33. Outdoor Voices 

34. Summersalt

35. Hyer Goods

Wrapping Up

We hope this list of 35 sustainable brands on Shopify has inspired you to get serious about sustainability and provided proof that you can scale responsibly. 

More than ever, consumers are conscious of their impact on the planet and expect brands to deliver on sustainability across all aspects of their operations. By embracing eco-friendly practices, you will contribute to the health of the planet and your bottom line. 

If you need further support, get in touch with our Shopify experts today!

For many merchants, the build-up to Brexit has felt like forever. But as of January 2021, the Brexit trade deal changes finally happened. Months later, many ecommerce businesses, brands and retailers still feel unprepared. In fact, 76% of small businesses, post-Brexit admit to feeling unsupported and confused. 

With so much uncertainty, we wanted to set the record straight and help you understand what you need to do and how you need to do it, so we caught up with shipping experts, ShipStation to discuss exactly that. 

What are the key things merchants need to consider for smooth shipping into and out of the UK, post-Brexit?

All ecommerce businesses need to provide the following information for items to pass through customs: 

The above list is non-negotiable and missing them will lead to delays, fines, additional duties or failing to pass through customs entirely. 

Collectively this information is really important. It tells customs what an item is, its value, where it comes from and where it’s going. For example, the EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) number helps to identify the sender, while harmonisation codes are in place to standardise how customs operate across the globe. 

Gaining an EORI number is easy and applying for one takes minutes via the UK Government’s dedicated portal. From small businesses to large enterprises, it’s imperative that you have an EORI number if you’re sending an item out of the UK commercially.

When it comes to harmonisation codes, you can search for these here. Simply describe what the item is and its code, VAT rate, duties and any other information that comes up.

What are customs forms and why do ecommerce businesses need them?

Sending any product out of the UK now requires custom declaration forms. 

These forms vary slightly depending on your courier.

The CN22 form is used for items with a value of up to £270. Whereas, a CN23 form is for items valued above the £270 threshold and requires additional accompanying paperwork such as a commerce invoice or an appropriate licence. EDI forms operate in the same way. 

Ecommerce business owners can access more information about UK customs here.

For UK merchants shipping goods to the EU, what are the VAT changes?

Now that we have a Brexit trade deal, and the UK is no longer part of the EU, things aren’t as simple as they used to be. UK businesses need to consider EU Import VAT.

To be clear, this differs from UK VAT. Currently, UK businesses only need to collect VAT on sales after they surpass the £85,000 threshold. These domestic limits do not change, though all ecommerce businesses should ensure they understand what their UK VAT obligations are. 

EU Import VAT varies from country to country and depends on how your business operates, the value of the package you’re sending, and the item’s country of origin. We suggest seeking official tax advice when necessary to ensure your business is charging the amount of VAT and is meeting necessary legal requirements in every country you sell in. 

So, when do UK merchants need to pay EU Import VAT?

There are a few things merchants need to consider: 

  1. Is your product item value less than €22? If the answer is yes, then you’re not subject to EU Import VAT. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this threshold may change as of July 2021, as currently there are low-value consignment relief thresholds in place.
  1. Is your product item valued between €22 and €150? Here, EU Import VAT is due. This is often charged at 20% but can vary on the country. 
  1. Is your item valued at more than €150? Again, EU Import VAT is due, and additional import duties may apply. 

If the item you’re exporting is alcohol, perfume or a specialist product additional excise duties may apply, no matter what the value of the item is, so always check!

How do merchants pay EU Import VAT?

There are two options: 

  1. You leave EU Import VAT unpaid

With this option, the customer will see the price of delivery without VAT. All you need to do is complete the paperwork, and the courier charges the customer the EU Import VAT

Whilst this might seem like the easier option, it can lead to long shipping delays, payment refusals and disgruntled customers. 

So, check whether you need to register for tax in the countries you’re operating in. 

  1.  You collect EU import VAT and pay the courier

Just like with option one, the customer sees the delivery price, but you pay the VAT and other duties to the courier, not them. They often call this Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). 

Again, check whether you need to register for tax in the countries you are operating in.  

Are there any differences for merchants based in Northern Ireland?

If your ecommerce business is based in Northern Ireland and you’re shipping to the EU, then you will require an additional EORI number starting with XI. 

However, duties don’t apply if you’re shipping from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. This is because the shipment is treated as an ‘intra-community’ and not subject to extra charges. 

For Northern Ireland to Great Britain, exports are treated as a domestic UK transaction. UK VAT is also still applied.

What does Brexit mean for the future of ecommerce?

Around the world, COVID-19 has accelerated the shift towards more online shopping. In the UK, it’s unlikely that Brexit will reverse this trend, but it is having an impact. As a result, your customers’ buying experience is of greater importance than ever, and is key to your growth.

The new customs and tax regulations can complicate the ecommerce journey, resulting in delivery disruptions and delays if you don’t get it right. For example, what’s an EORI number or harmonisation code, the difference between DDP and DAP, how to update your fulfilment and delivery process software, communicate with the customer, and set realistic expectations.

Last word

For many online retailers, Brexit can seem daunting, particularly smaller businesses and entrepreneurs just starting out. Understanding Brexit’s impact on the ecommerce industry and what is expected of you is critical to navigating your way through this post-Brexit era successfully. 

Where can I learn more about Brexit?

About ShipStation:

ShipStation makes EU shipping easier by managing much of the new administrative procedures, but even if you decide to go it alone, remember that Brexit has happened and now is the time to act. Brexit related EU import VAT, customs charges and changes to how you ship items are here to stay.

Ecommerce Merchandising Banner

When it comes to ecommerce success, merchandising is key. 

The right digital merchandising strategy will increase your store’s appeal, drive sales, and boost your average order value (AOV). 

Still, perfecting your approach can be tricky. To help, product discovery technology, Klevu shares 4 strategies that you can use to showcase your brand and products in a way that resonates, excites and converts more customers…

1. Make Product Discovery Easy

Shoppers aren’t going to waste their time endlessly scrolling through your product pages. Give customers a helping hand by making it easier for them to find the products they’re looking for. For example, you should create product categories and add an instant search bar with search result filters. 

Also, why not make product discovery more enjoyable by creating collections and implementing advanced search filters such as style, fit and reviews?

product-search-klevu-ecommerce

2. Product Recommendations

More and more customers expect a personalised experience, and data is the driving force behind personalisation. So, be sure to analyse browsing and purchasing behaviour to generate intelligent recommendations. This will help you merchandise products to the right shopper, as well as help you to up-sell and cross-sell products on your product pages.

3. Great Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are what make your products shine and give your customers the information they need to convert.  

Great product descriptions start with your copy. So, make your copy clear, concise and easy to read, whilst detailing how your products work and why it solves a customer’s problem. Then complement the product copy with high-quality photography. This will allow your customers to imagine the product in front of them.

4. Highlight User-Generated Content (UGC)

Research shows that UGC is 5x more likely to convert than non-UGC. 

This is because customers see UGC as a personal recommendation that they trust. Displaying UGC at key touch points across your Shopify Plus store such as product pages and at checkout will help shoppers make confident purchase decisions. 

How Can Klevu Help You Convert More Shoppers Online?

Smart Category Merchandising

Many merchants face challenges when it comes to the merchandising of Collections. Without any underlying logic to how products are listed on Collection Pages, merchandisers are tasked with what can be a very manual job, especially when dealing with a large number of collections and products. Some ecommerce teams may not even have a merchandiser in-house, meaning lack of resources can amplify this problem further.

With Smart Category Merchandising, Klevu dynamically ranks ordering of products on category pages and also provides well designed visual merchandising capabilities to tune category pages, with AI still remaining a backbone.

Key features: 

Klevu learns and tracks shoppers interactions on-site, taking into account search data, category views, clicks and overall conversions. This underlying machine-learning improves efficiency and takes the stress out of merchandising every single collection. Klevu automatically demotes out of stock products to the bottom of collection pages without any manual intervention needed to prevent shoppers from clicking on or even seeing out of stock products.

“Machine learning can also detect trends much quicker. How could a new product ever rise to the top against historical best-selling products which would by default always be at the top.” – Chris Edge, Global Head of Customer Success at Klevu

Shopify Plus isn’t built with the intricacies of merchandising in mind. Klevu fills this gap with its visual merchandiser providing clear feedback as to what products show up where. 

Ease merchandising with clever rules

Note: Any attribute a retailer has in their back-end – Klevu can index and they will be able to boost by.

Merchants often require the flexibility to launch various campaigns ahead of a sale period such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Klevu’s scheduled merchandiser enables merchants to pre-plan these campaigns on an individual store view basis and even select the time zone. Its time-bound promotions allow for merchants to boost products leveraging tags (useful for seasonal specific merchandising) and layer visual merchandising on top of this (pin hero products to the top of a collection page for a fixed amount of time).

Shopify out-of-the-box has limited capabilities around filtering, hence why many merchants turn to Klevu to power facets also. Merchants using Klevu Smart Category Merchandising see marked improvements to dynamic faceting and page load speed. The Klevu template is rendered by JS, meaning the faster load times for shoppers.

Sounds good, right? If you want to hear more about how Klevu can help your ecommerce business thrive, so you never miss a merchandising opportunity again, get in touch with Velstar and we’ll point you in the right direction.

About Klevu:

Klevu helps connect people to products they want to buy. Klevu’s discovery suite includes ecommerce personalisation, AI and NLP-powered on-site Smart Search, Smart Category Merchandising and Smart Recommendations, powered by real-time buyer intent. Klevu discovery technology balances AI automation, and strategic control is quick and easy to install and compatible with all ecommerce platforms.

So, you’re wondering if it’s possible to change the name of your Shopify store? Maybe you’re a few months into your new business venture and you don’t like the way your store sounds, or you’re looking to rebrand. 

Whatever the reason, below is a step-by-step guide on how to change the name of your Shopify store, wherever and whenever you want to.

Is My Shopify Store Name Important?

When you create your Shopify account, you’re asked to choose a store name. The name you choose is then used to create your Shopify sub-domain in the following format: https://yourstorename.myshopify.com. This sub-domain is intended to be used for internal purposes, like logging into your Shopify account and setting up and managing your online store. 

You have the option of keeping this sub-domain as your public-facing URL, but we recommend using your own custom domain to build credibility and trust, one that is on brand and is memorable. 

How Do I Change The Name Of My Shopify Store?

To change the name of your Shopify store, there are two quick and easy options:

Method 1 – using the Shopify mobile app

This method works in both the iOS and the Android version of the Shopify app.

  1. Open your Shopify app and select the store icon in the right bottom corner
  2. Press Settings 
  3. Go to General
  4. In the store details menu, you’ll see your current store name in the store name field
  5. Delete your existing store name
  6. Type in your new Shopify store name
  7. Press the Save button at the top to save your changes

Method 2 – using the Shopify admin website

  1. Log in to your Shopify admin account on your desktop
  2. Click Setting in the left navigation menu 
  3. Click on General 
  4. You’ll see your current store name in the Store name field. Delete it.
  5. Type in your new Shopify store name
  6. Click Save in the top right to save your changes

Should I Change The Name Of My Shopify Store?

Deciding to change your store name could be a key factor that will contribute to the growth of your business. We hope this article will help you successfully rename your store. However, if you still need assistance, please get in touch with our team of Shopify experts today. 

These days, more and more brands are choosing to move away from their Magento platform to Shopify. If you, too, are thinking about re-platforming and need some inspiration, then look no further! 

Here’s a list of 22 innovative direct-to-consumer brands that have migrated to Shopify and haven’t looked back since:

1. Public Desire

2. Gymshark

3. Rebecca Minkoff

4. Rebellious Fashion

5. Pineapple Dance Studios 

6. Beard and Blade 

7. Jack Rogers

8. Bombas 

9. Linda Farrow 

10. AAB Collection 

11. Gunner Kennels

12. Alessi

13. Emazing Lights 

14. Neom Organics

15. Pura Vida Bracelets 

16. Lavish Alice

17. Milligram 

18. Culture Kings

19. Tateossian

20. International Military Antiques 

21. LSKD

22. SCI-MX

Your Shopify Experts

The list above is just a few of the brands that have migrated from Magento to Shopify. If you want to find out more about the process and what upgrading could mean for your business, get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts today. Let’s give your business the platform it deserves.

So, it’s finally time to start selling your products online, but you’re not sure how to do it? You’re not alone. With so many options available, it’s hard to choose which platform is right for you.

Maybe you’ve been evaluating different platforms. Maybe you’ve finally narrowed it down to just two. Either way, chances are you’ve stumbled across Shopify and Amazon FBA. When evaluating these two options, you need to consider what you want most out of the selling process and how you want to position your brand. 

To make things easier, we’ve outlined below what the key differences are between Shopify and Amazon FBA, and answered some of the most common questions we receive from merchants. 

The Marketplace

First things first, the major difference between Shopify and Amazon FBA is the marketplace. Shopify gives merchants the freedom to create their own unique, branded store. Whereas, Amazon FBA is about selling through Amazon itself, so retailers don’t have a store of their own. Amazon comes with a ready-made marketplace, where merchants have to post their products directly onto the platform, which will then appear amongst competitors selling the same products.

And, although merchants have access to Amazon’s enormous customer base, as you might expect, there is something you must give in return. You will have to pay a percentage of every sale you make to Amazon. On the other hand, when you choose to sell on Shopify there isn’t a ready-made audience, which means you can keep more of your sales profit.

Ease of Use

Shopify is the leading ecommerce platform on the market and it’s easy to see why. Its simple, user-friendly, self-hosted design features make it an excellent place to start for entrepreneurs looking to launch a business online with very little technical knowledge. At its core, Shopify gives merchants everything they need to build a premium store on their own. 

Like Shopify, Amazon is a hugely popular platform and where many entrepreneurs find themselves when they’re just starting out. Amazon gives merchants the ability to sell their products immediately. However, listings and product descriptions can be time-consuming because of the regulations, fees, and back-end logistics merchants need to familiarise themselves with. 

Features

Shopify comes with fantastic in-built features, with over 60 themes to choose from, you can have your online store looking the way you want it in no time. And by utilising Shopify’s deep app ecosystem, you’ll end up with a super customised store. 

Not only that, but Shopify offers a great range of learning resources, jam-packed full of industry insights and solutions, taking care of any technical hurdles you might run into. 

With Amazon, you can sell almost anything you like and add different product imagery, but the overall design remains in Amazon’s control. 

On the plus side, it comes with some notable features such as FBA and protects customers with easy refunds, so you don’t have to worry too much about building trust or loyalty with your customers. 

Payment Gateways

With Shopify, you have tonnes of payment methods to choose from. This is a helpful feature for online retailers looking to scale their business globally. Because customers are more likely to buy from you when their chosen payment method available. Also, Shopify’s payment gateway, Shopify Payments, eliminates transaction fees which mean more profit for your business. In contrast, Amazon does not allow sellers to accept certain payment options, like PayPal, which might affect your bottom line.

Security

Unsurprisingly, both Amazon and Shopify operate globally, which means both are optimised for speed and security. In particular, Shopify gives you SSL certificates, ensures seamless browsing and offers 24/7 customer support should any issues arise. 

Amazon also offers merchants a secure environment to sell with a whole host of services such as cloud solutions, backup services and risk management. But although from a customer’s perspective Amazon can seem very reliable, they still have to be vigilant when it comes to scams and fraudulent accounts. 

Scalability

Shopify not only appeals to small independent businesses but also to giant organisations like Nestle and Kylie Cosmetics. This is because Shopify is an easy way for brands to scale without limits, with endless customisation possibilities and innovative functionality options. 

Amazon, too, is appealing to large and small sellers. Small businesses who can’t afford to sell on large platforms are drawn to Amazon’s reputation, its international market and ready-made customer base.

It might seem like Amazon is a no-brainer, when you consider its global reach and intuitive catalogue system which makes searching for products a breeze. After all, customers are there to find a specific product, which means your chances of connecting with a new customer are very high.

However, ironically, this is also Amazon’s greatest downfall. Because it only highlights products and not specific dealers or brands, it has specific restrictions on what and how you can sell your products. If you don’t abide by these strict rules, which include a lot of competition-orientated policies, you risk suspension from the platform. 

For any business to make it big on Amazon, you’re going to have to overcome negative reviews, a lot of price fluctuations, and the constant battle of losing your customers to your competitors. 

Shopify or Amazon FBA – Which is Better?

Choosing which platform to go with will depend on your business objectives and what you’re looking to get out of your ecommerce platform. You’ll want to look at the above comparisons and determine which works best for you. Overall, Shopify is one of the best platforms for entrepreneurs looking to start their own business and looking to create a store that embodies their branding. If you want to have your own online store (what brand doesn’t these days), more control and complete flexibility, then Shopify is the solution for you. 

Amazon FBA Vs Shopify – Can I Use Both?

You don’t have to choose between Shopify and Amazon. You can choose to use both. 

With Shopify, you can easily integrate Amazon. Simply connect your Amazon account to reach Amazon customers instantly. This allows you to attract even more customers from both sides of the spectrum.

Amazon FBA Vs Shopify – Which is Cheaper?

On a basic plan, Shopify costs $29 + VAT a month. This is cheaper than Amazon’s Individual Seller Plan, which is $40 per month. However, this Amazon plan is only appropriate if you’re looking to sell a few products, as you only get to sell under 40 items at $0.99 fee for each.

When comparing the costs of the two platforms, ultimately, Shopify gives you more bang for your buck. Not only do you get a high-quality ecommerce store, but you also get unlimited products and many other outstanding features to help you scale. 

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that Amazon has its benefits, including a global pre-made audience, although this can come with hidden, and often significant, costs. On the other hand, there’s Shopify – an intuitive, fully-hosted platform that’s quick and easy to use. It provides you with all the key components you’d need to scale, without being confined by rules and regulations. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours. But it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. We suggest you consider how much time you have available, how much control over your business you desire and how quickly you want to grow. 

Here at Velstar, we champion Shopify as the ecommerce solution for entrepreneurs. It offers unrivalled security, support and flexibility, allowing you to focus on what’s important: growing your business. Shopify has been built with merchants in mind. We believe it’s a truly unique platform that understands the value of your time and money. 

So, if you’re interested in hearing more about Shopify or want help integrating Amazon onto your Shopify store, get in touch with our team of experts.

Now more than ever, women are making incredible strides in the field of entrepreneurship. In fact, research suggests in the US alone there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses that are contributing a colossal $1.8 trillion a year to the economy. And this trend shows no signs of slowing down. 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs from across the ecommerce industry. We hope their stories of success and determination motivate you to start your own journey to entrepreneurship. 

So without further ado, here are 21 women-led direct-to-consumer brands and the amazing females who founded them: 

1. LOLA

Jordanna Kier and Alex Friedan founded LOLA in 2014 with a simple idea: women shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to feminine care.  From 100% cotton pads and tampons to cramp-care and sexual wellness products, LOLA is reinventing how women talk and feel about their reproductive health. What started as a conversation between Jordanna and Alex is now a fast-growing, start-up business with $35.2 million in funding, and has donated over 1 million tampons to women in need.

2. DedCool

In 2016, at 21 years old, Carina Chaz created the brand DedCool as an extension of her passion for conscious living, cologne, and masculine scents. As fragrance is an essential part of one’s identity, Carina believes in only creating scents that are composed of the highest quality and natural ingredients, and that’s exactly what customers get when they shop at DedCool. Disrupting the world of fragrance by creating a line that is uni-sex, vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic scents with a naturally chic edge, DedCool is making its mark on the world of beauty.

3. Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 by prominent fashion figure, Aurora James to keep traditional African design practices and techniques alive. Now handmade artisanally across the globe, Brother Vellies creates luxury, one-of-a-kind accessories that celebrate cultural histories, timeless design and fashion transparency. 

4. AmorSui

Beau Wangtrakuldee is the founder of AmorSui, a brand that produces protective clothing for female scientists. The brand launched in 2018 after Beau was badly burned by a chemical spill through her lab coat. She then made it her mission to make PPE safe and stylish, as well as more inclusive. True to her word, Beau recently launched reusable, antimicrobial hijabs to protect Muslim women in STEM. Also, since COVID-19, AmorSui has been supporting front-line workers, as well as society at large with PPE supplies.

5. Parachute

Ariel Kaye launched Parachute in 2014, as an online-only, direct-to-consumer brand focused on creating impeccable bedding. Since then, Parachute has expanded to other areas of the home, including decor accessories, and has opened several brick-and-mortar stores. With a focus on functionality and simplicity, Parachute’s products are perfect for any consumer looking to create a serene sanctuary.

6. Roamwears

Founded by Kay Sides, Roam offers a range of innovative and fashion-forward sliders and sandals. Known for its faux-fur textures and fun prints, the brand continues to push the boundaries of shoe design.

7. Stasher

Stasher was founded by Kat Nouri, whose lightbulb moment came when she was packing her children’s lunch. Kat realised just how much single-use plastic waste she and her family were producing every day, and so she went on a hunt for an alternative. But instead, what she found was an opportunity to create a unique and revolutionary product. Stasher’s silicone bags are keeping plastic out of the oceans and are proving a big hit with conscious consumers everywhere.

8. Birchbox

Arguably, one of the most popular and successful beauty subscription services, Birchbox has gone from strength to strength over the years. Its founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna found a gap in the market: people were becoming frustrated with searching for the right beauty product and were spending far too much time and money on sampling new products. So, Katia and Hayley came up with a solution that lets consumers try different products without breaking the bank. With over 1 million subscribers, Birchbox was once valued at nearly $500 million. 

9. Jade Swim 

Founded by fashion editor and stylist Brittany Kozerski, Jade Swim is all about minimalism, versatility and sustainability. Each item in the Jade Swim collection is crafted to sculpt and smooth the body, day or night.

10. Know The Origin

Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh in 2013, Charlotte Instone could not understand why consumers were still not being told who made things they were buying. So, she founded Know The Origin, a sustainability marketplace selling over 200 ethical brands, including an in-house Fairtrade and organic line produced in India. Since launching in 2016, Know The Origin has become a global success, raising a new standard of sustainability and has been voted Ethical Consumer’s most ethical fashion brand.

11. GEM 

Inspired by her health struggles and driven by her passion to change the way women around the world care for their minds and bodies, Sara Cullen founded GEM to offer bite-sized, plant-based vitamins designed specifically with women in mind. From combating stress to boosting energy levels, GEM’s vitamins provide the essential nutrients that women need to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

12. Susan Alexandra

From 90s inspired beaded bags to quirky and colourful necklaces, Susan Alexandra is bringing the joy and sparkle back into everyday accessories. Each item is handmade in New York – cartoons, watermelons and flowers are just some of the brilliantly bubbly and expressive jewellery designs the store has to offer.

13. Cavo Candles

Rachel Femi and Naomi Adeyemo created CAVO because they didn’t see their personal fun and eclectic style represented in the candle space. And they also noticed an overarching lack of representation of black people in the eco-conscious space across industries. Each of CAVO’s candles comes in eco-friendly packaging and is accompanied by a Spotify playlist to match its mood.

14. Baggu

After working as a fashion designer for a large company, Emily Sugihara realised she wanted a more hands-on creative role. In 2007, she finally decided to combine her need for creative independence and her frustration of finding a stylish reusable bag into Baggu. From tote bags to backpacks, Baggu is the accessories destination for consumers looking for reusable bags that are functional, stylish and affordable.

15. Gilded Body

Blair Armstrong is the founder of the luxury body care brand, Gilded. On a mission to elevate the conversation around body care and provide women with higher quality, more effective wellness solutions, Gilded is helping women rediscover the art of skincare one product at a time.

16. Storksak

Award-winning changing bag brand, Storksak was founded in 2003 by Melanie Marshall and Suzi Bergman. With a single aim: to design one bag that does two jobs. Bags that you will love enough to use as your regular bag, with all the intelligent features to make your job easier as parents. Today, their ethos remains the same. They select the very highest quality materials to offer parents bags they can rely on. 

17. Then I Met You

Then I Met You was founded by Charlotte Cho on the Korean concept of Jeong: a deep and lasting connection that encourages empathy. With Jeong infused in every aspect of the brand’s products, Then I Met You hopes to inspire its customers to commit to their skincare routine whilst yielding a meaningful connection and achieving rewarding results.

18. Maya Brenner

After unsuccessfully searching for a sentimental piece of jewellery for her mother’s 50th birthday, Maya Brenner was inspired to make her own necklace. Soon strangers and acquaintances were asking who the designer was and so Maya Brenner Designs was born. From beautiful diamond necklaces to unique beaded finger bands, Maya Brenner has something for everyone. In fact, Maya’s designs have caught the attention of big celebrity names including Busy Philipps, Jennifer Lawrence and Megan Markle.

 19. Mlouye

Inspired by Bauhaus Movement’s artists and architects, Mlouye’s founder and Creative Director, Meb Rure creates accessories that stand out from the crowd with geometric shapes and unexpected colour combinations. Lantern handbags to dainty triangle totes are just a few of Meb’s revolutionary handbag designs.

20. Pattern Beauty

After recognising that hair-care brands were failing to formulate products inclusively and meet the needs of their consumers, Tracee Ellis Ross created Pattern Beauty. The brand celebrates curly, coil-y, and tight-textured hair and its proceeds also go towards helping support organizations and programs that empower women and people of colour.

21. Rebecca Minkoff

An industry leader in accessories, footwear and apparel, Rebecca Minkoff burst onto the scene in the early 2000s and has been taking the fashion industry by storm ever since. Today, Rebecca Minkoff is distributed in over 900 stores worldwide including four domestic retail stores and eight international locations. 

In addition to her hugely successful fashion brand, Rebecca founded the Female Founder Collective that champions and supports female-led businesses in the hope to normalise female leadership and positively change communities. It’s safe to say Rebecca is an inspiration to us all.

Start Your Story Today

Achieving your dreams isn’t easy, but the women discussed above are proof that it is possible. With a combination of focus, determination and confidence, you too could become a successful entrepreneur. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started

Happy International Women’s Day!

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.

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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 are 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 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 re-target them and create a personalised shopping experience. 

There are lots of options when it comes to types of content you can use when re-targeting. 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!