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Let’s Get Ship Done

The order is not really complete until the customer has the product in their hands, but getting from point A to point B can be arduous and time consuming. There is so much involved such as packaging to planning, to strategy. In this article, we’ll dive into why we suggest ShipStation as our top pick for “getting ship done”.

Seamless and Fast Connection

For Shopify merchants ShipStation can connect in seconds and offers extensive customer onboarding and support along the way. ShipStation can integrate with marketplaces, shopping carts, carriers, fulfillment centers, ERP and inventory management platforms, and more. This allows the service to grow with your business, ensuring scalable success.

Shipping Carriers

ShipStation works with the most widely utilized shipping companies such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, and more, across the globe. ShipStation also holds their finger on the pulse of updates on these shipping carriers, and can offer premier discounted rates from select carriers. This can be extremely beneficial as these discounted rates do not typically have any volume requirements. Alternatively, ShipStation allows the merchant to connect to any existing negotiated rates, as well as the ability to compare prices and delivery times in-app and in real-time.

Bulk Processes

Whether fulfilling orders through your e-commerce site or other sales channels, manually processing these orders can quickly become extremely overwhelming. With ShipStation’s cloud-based assisted software, bulk order processing and multi-channel fulfillment creates a superiority over other shipping solutions. ShipStation allows the merchant to print shipping labels in batches, up to 500 orders at one time. The UI allows the merchant to set up their shipping settings easily so these batches can be processed successfully every time. This is a huge advantage for merchants wanting to create a one-stop shop for streamlined and organized fulfillment.  

Fulfillment Operations

In that vein, being able to customize internal operations toward the specific needs of the business is integral to streamlined and scalable growth. ShipStation allows the merchant to take out the guesswork of processes by fully customizable merchant UI, so with a bit of work the process can be as simple as a click of a button. ShipStation works if the business has multi-channel fulfillment, so creating those standard operations becomes a possibility.

Integrations

ShipStation has created and connected a vast number of APIs, making the process of setting up ShipStation on a Shopify store incredibly simple. Additionally, ShipStation will connect other third-party tools that are already integrated into a business model such as:

This ability to connect to the marketplace, selling channel, and other business integrations makes ShipStation’s fit right at home into the success of an e-commerce store.

And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg; there are many additional advantages to using this industry standard. In short, ShipStation’s flexibility allows the system to grow with the business, becoming as robust as one might need.

Excited to get started? We’ve got a special partner deal where, after starting a 30 day free trial, ShipStation is offering an additional 30 days for merchants coming from Ambaum. So, start a free trial today to get ShipStation in the toolbelt. Questions for us on how to optimize with ShipStation or our other Shopify tech partners? Drop us a line.

Updates on the horizon for our Shopify tech partner, Rebuy

Rebuy recently held a town hall to kickoff their agency and tech partner programs.

Back in 2017, John Erck and his brother James came up with the idea of Rebuy, born from a love of ecommerce. Rebuy is a personalization tool for driving increased AOV, LTV, and conversion rates. Personalized product recommendations can be implemented throughout the entirety of a merchant’s website to leverage the true power of upsells and cross-sells. (also offers omnichannel personalization for ecommerce brands on Shopify and ShopifyPlus!). Recently, we had the pleasure of attending Rebuy’s partnership town hall, and to say we are excited for their Q3 and Q4 would be an understatement. Let’s check out a few highlights from the event.

First, Rebuy has partnered up with Klaviyo, a leading email marketing and SMS automation platform, to bring personalized and customized email flows to customers and potential customers. This integration brings a unique product experience by directing the user to a dynamic landing page based on their behavior on-site, increasing conversion. They also plan on launching the Rebuy Smart Cart™ App Store, allowing developers to build a customer checkout experience for a more personalized and valuable customer flow.

Next, Rebuy has partnered with Recharge to launch the Recharge Customer Portal Recommendations. This partnership sprung from the need to offer up relevant product add-ons directly to the customer through their portal. With this solution, merchants can offer one-time items, subscription products, and include dynamic discounts for the customer, increasing CLV.  Customers can expect to have desired product recommendations automatically added to their next delivery date, creating a seamless experience for both their Recharge subscription products and Rebuy upsell or cross-sell recommendations.

A huge asset update here is their library for developer resources – the Rebuy Developer Hub. This includes comprehensive guides and streamlined resources to assist developers to work with Rebuy quickly and efficiently. A unique element of Rebuy is that its founders are also developers, allowing the company to have a fuller spectrum of understanding toward the merchant’s needs, and a more seamless flow of communication internally.

“We implement Rebuy in about 3 or 4 different places and it’s immediate ROI.” – Brandon Armoroso, Founder & CEO of Electriq Marketing

With a mind prioritized for personalization, Rebuy wants to continue merchant and partner driven development. We look forward to our continued partnership!
Want more information on how we can integrate you with partners like Rebuy? Drop us a line.

Interview with the Project Manager

Meet our new Project Manager Anne Howrey!

I had the pleasure of discussing the unique background and experience of our new Project Manager, Anne Howrey. Native to Texas, Anne achieved a degree in Math from the University of Texas, where she honed her problem-solving skills. She then began her journey into entrepreneurship and gained an MBA from Northeastern University.

“I wanted to get to a place where I could lead other people to solve problems better.”
“The way I’m going to be able to help clients is that I’ve been there.”

Anne then launched two companies, building the e-commerce of both from the ground up, growing into a Shopify Expert by necessity. Anne has been on both sides now, and the empathy that she is able to bring to the client service experience is sure to impress. Check out the full interview below for her full perspective.

Let us know how we can help you here, and meet more of our team here. Stay hungry!

Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2022

trend: /trend/ “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.”

While consistency is always important, being consistent also means incorporating change. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s new and useful toward your marketing efforts is key to growing your reach and your new converting customers. Let’s break it down to some pivotal elements for success.

  1. A/B Web Testing with SEO

Trends wouldn’t be trends without testing – this is a way to truly understand your audience and their subtle changes. Although A/B testing is traditionally used as a tactic toward paid advertising, a brand can also utilize A/B testing for organic reach and search traffic to the site. A low-cost tactic; identify the blog post or page that drives the most traffic and run some A/B tests. Track conversion, duration, and bounce rates to optimize your site. 

Check out how we were able to help in our partnership with Pair of Thieves to optimize their site and improve their SEO.

scrolling .gif of Pair of Thieves
  1. Motion Graphics and Video

With a reported 8-second average attention span in 2021, grabbing a user’s focus quickly and efficiently is more important than ever. And, with fast moving apps like TikTok, the average attention span is sure to shrink even further. So, how do you compete in this high speed highway of content? Try motion graphics and video content. This can be as simple as switching out a .jpg with a .gif, or creating full-blown videos for social posts and ads as they are proven to be more effective. Leverage and strategize the effectiveness of channels such as TikTok and Instagram Reels. Try different approaches to stop-the-scroll within the first 5 seconds of your content. Of course, as in all things marketing, keep brand authenticity at the forefront.

Pro Tip: Make sure all video content includes captions. This promotes inclusive usability and allows the user to enjoy your content in spaces where having sound on is not possible or preferable. This can also increase conversion rates.

  1. Mobile Optimization

With the marketing world becoming even more fast paced, on-the-go convenience will be vital to a brands success. In fact, we know that in 2020, about half of global website traffic came from mobile devices. Having the ability to purchase, navigate, and otherwise interact with your site is pivotal as millennials and Gen Z increase their buying power. Always check how the output of your content interacts on mobile devices, and with different mobile devices, ensuring the user’s journey is reflective of a more fast-paced and cross-channel user for the following key elements:

  • Ensure products are explained with the least amount of clicks. Include FAQs about the product, reviews, and images that can be zoomed in on a mobile device.
  • Consider additional customer service options. Be sure to give users many options if they have questions about your product or service – via email, phone, or live chat.
  • Make the payment process as easy as possible. This can be done by allowing the user to create an account and save their credit card information for easy check-out in the future, to allowing alternative payment options such as ApplePay or GooglePay. But, keep the fillable forms as short as possible so you do not lose the users interest or attention. In this independent study, creating payment options resulted in a 101% increase in conversions.

Pro Tip: Do a double-check on your email content, as well, to make sure it is optimized for mobile.

Example of a websites view on mobile
  1. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Often overlooked, and with minimal effort on the brand’s part, is cultivating brand loyalty through UGC. This is a direct way for users to feel like they have a voice, are valued, and increases word-of-mouth awareness. User-generated content can incentivize influencer and partnership programs, as a clearer channel toward customer reviews and feedback. Incorporating UGC into your marketing channels is cost effective, and takes a bite of content-creation off your Social Media Manager’s plate. Shopify offers a UGC app to make this easier such as Cevoid or even Shoppable Instagram & UGC.

Another tactic here is to make sure you give back to the community, especially the users helping through UGC. This could be in the form of a promo code for them and to share with friends, free product for their review, or feature them in a sweepstakes to build followers mutually.

Example of UGC from gopro

Featuring these users as Brand Ambassadors gives them a VIP feeling, and creates a partnership between them and your brand. But, don’t stop there. Reach out to your team, and empower employees to advocate for your brand. Word-of-mouth is statistically proven to be one of the most effective forms of lead-to-customer conversion, so take every opportunity to promote real-life interactions with your product.

  1. Personalization

Especially in times of bulk discounts or times where KPIs need to be met, personalizing your content output can get lost in the fray. A few ways to tighten the scope:

Identify buyer personas

How can you create content without knowing who the audience is? See how granular you can make the buyer personas. Find stock images, write out what their hobbies are, if they consume content on a Mac, PC, or mobile (and, if so, what type of mobile?), what music they listen to, what they do after a long week, etc. Writing content toward a specific audience will evoke a more emotional response and keep them engaged.

Email segmenting

Keeping a good email database is like keeping a carefully pruned bonsai. It takes careful attention and pruning to ensure that the overall channel is healthy and growing. Segmenting your email list by data points identified in your personas and customizing those emails and promotions toward the consumer increases open rates, click-through-rate (CTR), and ultimately conversions. 

Think of the consumer’s journey

From usability to personalization, keep trying to think of each personas experience as they navigate through the journey you’ve built for them. If a user converts from an email, how is their journey different from a user converting from word-of-mouth? From a social media post? From digital paid advertising? Even, from traditional physical advertising? Then, how does that user journey change over time after they are now a converting customer? Taking a look at the Human Design of each user’s path toward the main road of your core customer is key to maintaining and measuring a user’s customer lifetime value (CLV).

Infographic of success

Listen to your audience, provide opportunities for them to express their feedback, and try for those subtle changes to your interface. Interested in talking more about how we can help you on optimizing your user experience? Drop us a line.

Your Need-to-Know for Shopify Online Store 2.0

What’s new in 2.0, and should your brand upgrade now?

The summer of 2021 saw some significant changes from Shopify with the launch of Online Store 2.0. As a partner that is ever-listening to their customers, and optimizing their service, this upgrade offers streamlined solutions for developers and merchants alike.

But, when has anyone ever accepted transition without a modicum of hesitation? We’re here with our expertise and services to help. Let’s dive into some of the major updates.

  • Themes and Editor Update

On earlier versions of the online store, we were limited in the number of blocks we could include in the store, with a wide range of templates for products. Now, usability is improved with adding sections to each page (not just the home page). As opposed to needing Liquid code for templates, we can now use templates with JSON files to get even more granular with the UI both frontend and backend. With the updates to the app extension and app blocks, apps can also integrate with the themes for greater consistency across multiple themes. This means a development team can greatly improve the site for faster and easier functionality.

Before 2.0, the only fully customizable drag-and-drop sections was the homepage. Now, you can get  all that flexibility on every page of the site; no hacky duplications or workarounds with blocks to mimic the homepage sections. - Bree Therkildsen, Lead Developer at Ambaum
  • Metafields

Although integration to external apps is easier, Shopify’s Online Store 2.0 has implemented user-friendly metafields that can be edited directly from the admin view, making those apps or special urls obsolete. This is a major change, as the merchant is now able to modify metafields, as well as add content to product pages (i.e. lists and size charts). This update makes metafields more flexible and simpler for developers to keep the UI for merchants clean across market verticals.

supporting screenshot showcasing the new metafields

The metafields can simply be linked on the frontend through a field already in a section’s settings so now supported PDF files and images can be directly integrated without needing to hard code into the theme. Last, the theme editor now showcases a side view, with movable sections to allow frontend arrangement of those sections. 

  • Developer Tools

Previously development teams needed to create complex systems in order to deploy updates. Now, the Shopify GitHub integration provides streamlined use of the Shopify CLI tool and theme check for a more direct experience on deploying changes. 

supporting image showcasing the Shopify GitHub integration.

Another fantastic update is the functionality to scan the theme for errors with Theme Check. This scan highlights the possible errors of the platform and Liquid language, providing best practices before implementing. These tools enable developers to test their work, improving overall processes in Sandbox. The Shopify GetHub integration into the themes allows the developer greater collaboration in deployment before pushing updates live, with the new CLI tool giving developers a more exact view of the final customizations.

  • Do I need to update now?

At this moment, Shopify does not plan on disintegrating any older versions, but the advancements in the Online Store 2.0 deployment are hard to deny. In some examples of the clients we helped migrate, we saw a significant jump in pagespeed. Previously, even the most optimized Shopify stores would score in the mid 50’s, but our clients are now seeing 98 – 100 Google pagespeed scores with the switch to Shopify Online Store 2.0.

Example of one of our current clients on Shopify 2.0.

With the Online Store 2.0, new and expansive opportunities are available for developers and merchants alike, making the Shopify experience easier than ever before. Having more extensive sections means we’re able to reuse templates rather than repeatingly building out new ones, and simple content updates no longer require lengthy development recycles. 
Shopify has detailed the process of migrating to Online Store 2.0, and we’d love to help. Questions? Drop us a line.