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Octane AI Shoppable Quiz Blog

Octane AI Shoppable Quiz Blog

We are excited to share our SMS partner **Octane AI** has released a new product called “The Shoppable Quiz”, and just in time for the holiday season!

Octane AI’s Shoppable Quiz:

We are excited to share our SMS partner **Octane AI** has released a new product called “The Shoppable Quiz, and just in time for the holiday season! The Shoppable Quiz introduces the in-store retail experience online, is not industry specific, and is completely customizable to match your brand’s colors, fonts and more. Brands can add an embeddable, full-page quiz to their website and customers have the ability to add products directly to their cart from the quiz results page. Check out Octane AI’s new product demo video, and listed below is an overview of some key features:

  • Personalized shopping experience: the quiz can be tailored and personalized to customers by asking questions to build buyer profiles and match them with the right product recommendations.
  • Collect valuable data: Data collected from the quiz can be used on-site and in marketing for personalization and retargeting.
  • Opt-in Tool: Customers who participate in taking the online quiz are considered valuable prospects, turning them into subscribers for Email, SMS and Messenger.

Data from Octane AI’s Shoppable Quiz shows a significant lift in AOV for customers taking the quiz, and clients are seeing an increase in email subscribers too. Having the Shoppable Quiz ready for the holiday season will significantly help increase your BFCM business!

Customization:

With each quiz question, merchants have the capability of customizing the layout, size and shape of images. Different product blocks can be updated, allowing merchants the ability to have more customization over how their results pages look. From product image ratios, to desktop vs mobile-specific settings to text size, to choosing what content gets displayed— all of this can be customized based on your business’ needs.

The Shoppable Quiz opens up a ton of personalized shopping and customer profile building possibilities for your brand. Now is the perfect time to roll out this exciting product, just in time for the holiday season!

Interested in learning more about the Shoppable Quiz and setting up a demo? Contact Ambaum here and we are happy to help!

Notion for Students and Teachers

Notion for Students and Teachers

While the school bell may not be ringing for everyone this year, virtual learning will be the new norm for some students and teachers.

While the school bell may not be ringing for everyone this year, virtual learning will be the new norm for some students and teachers.

Being in the technology space, we wanted to showcase a virtual learning platform, share technology supplies and tools to help virtual learning, and suggest ways you can help support local schools.

Notion for Students and Teachers:

As our agency is in growth mode, we collectively decided to use Notion to organize our business. Notion is a single consolidated platform for all team members to utilize and collaborate together. Within Notion, there are many different standard templates available to help organize a business, and that’s when we came across the Education section of templates.

While there are quite a few virtual learning platforms, Notion is a great way for schools trying to consolidate into a single platform, and is available for free for both students and educators.

Teachers can use Notion to manage attendance, create lesson plans, calculate grades, and track student progress.

Remote learning can lead students to additional distractions since they are in a different learning environment. Students can use Notion to help them with overall task management, staying organized and focused. Notion has a template for note taking, gears students to stay focused with a daily agenda, and a section to manage and publish homework.

Student and Teacher’s Virtual Learning Tools:

Listed below are a few supplies to help both students and teachers with remote learning:

Supporting Education:

There are many ways you can give back to your local schools, however we chose to support the STUFF the BUS initiative in our area. This school year you can support the Stuff the Bus program by financially donating, or fulfill a wish list of supplies for schools in need in your local area.

Volusion to Shopify Plus: BulletProof Diesel Case Study

Volusion to Shopify Plus: BulletProof Diesel Case Study

Ambaum recently moved BulletProof Diesel (BP Diesel) from Volusion to Shopify Plus.

Ambaum recently moved BulletProof Diesel (BP Diesel) from Volusion to Shopify Plus. Ken and Gene Neal founded BP Diesel in 2002 and started a line of highquality custommade truck parts: water pumps, brake lights, oil systems, engine parts and much more. Gene handled the website and got BP Diesel started selling online on Volusion, but by 2019 they reached a point in their growth trajectory where they started to look around for a platform that could fully support them. Gene found Shopify Plus and then reached out to Ambaum to get started on scoping out the development of a new custom theme and migrating BP Diesel’s data. 

Scoping & Timeline  

BP Diesel had recently completed a site redesign and was not looking for us to help them with a complete redesign, but they did want some subtle design help on their product detail page. The client did not have an aggressive timeline for completing the project, they wanted to get through their 2019 holiday busy season and launch in spring of 2020. From start the finish the project took 8 months, but the last 2 months the client was pushing back the timeline to get some of their internal processes lined up to go live. Our typical timeframe to move a customer from Volusion to Shopify is 4-5 months to complete the redesign, build, migration and any customizations we need to develop. 

Custom Theme Build 

Ambaum developed the new BP Diesel Shopify Plus site on top of Shopify Theme Kit. Shopify Theme Kit is a command line tool that manages its connection using a private app. We were able to leverage our proprietary custom theme that includes a lot of pre-built sections, snippets, scripts, icons, and much more. Our starter theme gave BP Diesel the benefits of a professional theme and they also got the flexibility of building everything from the ground up to fully accommodate the look of their new store. The new theme for BP Diesel included the following pages: 

  • Home
  • Collection
  • Product Detail
  • About Us
  • Blog
  • Cart
  • Forms
  • Static Text Template Page
  • Mega Nav

Ambaum built the custom theme in a development environment and BP Diesel was able to view progress and give feedback through the process.  

Product Migration 

Ambaum helped BP Diesel moved their existing data from the last 10 years on Volusion to Shopify Plus. When the new site launched customers could login to Shopify Plus and see their past order data and view all historical information. In addition, we created a launch email to notify past customers about the launch so they could come check out the new site. The migration covered the following data elements 

  • Products  
  • Customers 
  • Orders 
  • Product Review Migration 
  • 301 redirects were created for the old Volusion URLs that pointed to the new URLs on the Shopify site

When we exported Volusion product data it was all lumped into one field and we needed to break it apart so we could setup products correctly in Shopify. Our team wrote custom scripts in PHP + we used the Shopify Product API to allow us to separate out products into tags, kits into tags, shipping to tags and products warnings to tags. Our script also allowed us to identify embedded You Tube and magazine hyperlinks so we could place them in Shopify metafields. The initial Volusion data migration did not bring over each order number and their ERP needed that so Ambaum setup a script to fix the relationship and update each of the orders with the proper number. 

Core Charges & Kits 

Some of BP Diesel are sold with a refundable core charge. When you add the product to the cart, you will see the core charge show as an additional product:


The customer is required to buy the core along with the part, but if they choose to the core can be returned to BP Diesel for a refund. We leveraged tags to make sure the approximately 10 products with core charges would show up on the product detail page and in the cart. Ambaum
also used Ajax calls to show different cores that were buried in kits with multiple products. 

BP Diesel sells kits which are bundles made up of many different individual products. On the product detail page of a kit we wanted to show each individual product that made up the kit, here is an example:

Also, when you add the kit to the cart it will show each of the child products. These child products are zerodollar product variants that are associated with the “handle” or the URL slug of each product. 

Filtering 

BP Diesel wanted custom filtering throughout the site and wanted it front and center on the home page. The ability to shop by vehicle, shop by product, select make, select model and select year were critical filters as that is how their customers think when they are looking for a particular automotive part. Ambaum worked with Gene and decided to use the Automotive Part Search app, which powers that front make, model and year filter on the home page. We needed to create robust filters for each of the collection pages so we leveraged the Product Filter and Search app to give BP Diesel customers a number of advanced product filters. We were also able to make the filters unique to particular collections to give BP Diesel a lot of flexibility for all their custom automotive products. 

Shopify Plus Subscriptions: How to use the ReCharge Theme Engine

Shopify Plus Subscriptions: How to use the ReCharge Theme Engine

If you are a merchant on the Shopify Plus platform there is a strong probability that subscriptions are a component of your business.

If you are a merchant on the Shopify Plus platform there is a strong probability that subscriptions are a component of your business. We find that ~40% of the companies we support on Shopify Plus have subscriptions built into their operation and most of them are using the ReCharge app from the Shopify app store. You can find ReCharge in the app store and it is one of a handful of subscription apps: Bold Recurring Orders, Pay Whirl Recurring Payments, Spur IT Recurring Orders to name a few. Ambaum is a certified ReCharge App Partner and a Shopify Plus Partner, we have worked with many of the different subscription options and recommend Recharge to our clients for it’s ease of use, flexibility, APIs and Theme Engine which comes with the ReCharge Pro Plan.

How Recharge Works

When you setup ReCharge with Shopify Plus, you need to think about your sales funnel: home page – collection page – product detail page – cart – checkout and where along that path you give customers the option to subscribe to your products. The most common implementation is integrating subscriptions as a purchase option directly into your product detail page. We provide development support to Bulletproof Coffee and have helped them with their ReCharge implementation, here is an example of how they integrate ReCharge into their product detail page.

You can see that the subscription option is right next to the one time purchase, you may want to A/B test locating subscriptions above the one time purchase as the default option.

Checkout Process

It is important to know that when you use ReCharge and a customer moves from the cart to the checkout page that the transaction will be handled outside Shopify. If you are using Shopify Payments for your store and you sign up with Recharge you will end using another payment processor (most end up using Stripe which is what powers Shopify Payments). Recharge has mirrored the look and feel of the Shopify checkout page so from the customer’s standpoint it will be a seamless experience, but if you look closely at the image below, you can see that the URL has changed to checkout.rechargeapps.com from your primary URL.

 

 

Shopify Reunite 2020 just happened and they announced the following: “In working on subscriptions, we’re working on making the checkout process more extensible and customizable, allowing apps to integrate more easily into the checkout workflow.” We expect that in the future the checkout process for subscriptions will be more tightly integrated into Shopify’s overall process, but the launch for this is still TBD.

ReCharge Professional Plan & Theme Engine

ReCharge offers a professional plan for companies that want to fully update the customer portal using ReCharge APIs. When you upgrade to the professional plan you get access to ReCharge Theme Engine so you can make updates to the portal directly in the source code.

The professional plan is $300/month + (1% + $.19) per transaction, here is what you get with Pro:

  • Theme Engine V2
  • One-Time Products(included in Theme Engine)
  • Developer Support in Slack (API & Theme Engine Channels)
  • Custom Domain so you can own the checkout URL
  • Enhanced Analytics
  • Avalara (Pro Integration)
  • Octane AI (Pro Integration)

Here is more information on how to update your ReCharge Customer Portal:

Theme Engine allows you to fully optimize the customer portal to manage accounts and setup one-time product purchases for customers that already have a subscription. If your business is doing close to $100K/month in subscription revenue you should strongly consider upgrading to the Recharge professional plan.

Manage Subscriptions (Standard Portal)

 

Manage Subscriptions (After Theme Engine Implementation)

 

You can see from this example that with Theme Engine you can make substantial changes to your ReCharge customer portal, further empower your brand and tailor to the needs of your target audience. For example, this version drastically reduces the number of clicks by allowing your customers to customize every aspect of their subscription in one page, whereas the Standard Portal will take them to different pages to perform certain actions. This is a critical area because small tweaks like this to your customer portal can lead to significant increases in your conversation rates.

Adding a one-time product

 

Allowing customers to add one-time products is a no brainer to increase your average revenue per user. This is a major benefit of upgrading to the ReCharge professional plan and is one of the primary reasons Ambaum gets involved in these customizations.

Things to Consider Prior to Customizing Theme Engine

This section is going to get into the details of how we approach a theme engine build, read on if you want to get “under the hood” of one of our projects.

  1. Create a test customer account
  2. Create ReCharge subscription products
  3. Enable the one-time products setting

Theme Engine Development Best Practices

When you are editing the ReCharge Theme engine code, here are some best practices that have helped us with our projects:

  1. Do not edit the Base Theme directly. Theme Engine comes with a Base Theme that ReCharge provided with, this theme is considered stable and should be used as a fall back or for reference.
  2. Avoid editing the live them, all work should be done via a development theme. It is best to duplicate the Base Theme and edit it to match your brand and the functionality you require.
  3. Understand that theme engine is not the same ReCharge API, refer to Theme Engine doc to understand what’s doable. ReCharge tech support is also available via Slack and are very responsive.
  4. Preview customer portals using test customer account, by default, customer portal opens a preview using an existing customer account, this makes testing hard.

To preview a specific customer account, follow these steps:

  1. Preview a theme in Theme Engine
  2. Recharge > Customers
  3. Find and select customer (pic 1)
  4. Mouse over the link icon next to customer name on top (pic 2)
  5. Copy the hash in the URL after ?token=, i.e. https://DOMAIN.com/tools/recurring/portal/428203138365f76f0e58e704/subscriptions?token=6a9d96ce8f2b40139f36cea6a9c2bb80
  6. Replace the token value in the preview URL with this value

Version control is highly recommended

  • It is best to have version control to keep track of changes made to the customer portal. Although inconvenient, a theme can be downloaded from the dashboard and push to a repository.
  • Alternatively, you can duplicate and name theme with appropriate work being done.

Maintain brand consistency

Here are list of things of things to keep in mind style wise when customizing the Customer Portal:

  • Typography – color, font size, font family for headings, and texts
  • Form fields like text input, radio button, select, quantity adjust
  • Buttons & CTA
  • Spacing

We hope this post gives you a clear understanding of the benefits of ReCharge and Theme Engine, for growing Shopify Plus brands this is a must!

Shopify Reunite 2020 Thoughts

Shopify Reunite 2020 Thoughts

Shopify Reunite 2020 happened today and it was a bittersweet moment for me.

 

Shopify Reunite 2020 happened today and it was a bittersweet moment for me. I’ve been to all 4 previous Shopify Unites (even when they were in SF!), so to not be there in person with all my colleagues and friends was definitely a bummer, but understandable in this new world we live in.

Each year I do a recap post of Unite, but this year is going to be a bit different. Since the entire show was online, Shopify has already provided a wonderful summary of all the new features they announced. I would recommend starting out there to recap everything and then jump back here to this post where I will provide my commentary.

Money

Shopify Balance was launched and my initial impression is that this will function like a company credit card/debit card where you can track your store cash flow, pay bills, etc. Feels like Shopify is setting up to get into banking for merchants and is a outgrowth of their hyper focus on merchants. Interesting side note, Amazon focuses on customers, Shopify focuses on merchants, this philosophical battle is shaping up to be a huge one for the next decade or more (they both can win though!).

Shopify Capital continues to lend money to merchants to help them finance inventory and grow their store. Shop Pay Installments is a great idea (Affirm and others must not have liked this), for example if you buy a $400 watch, you can now spread the money over 4 monthly payment of $100/each with no additional interest added. You are required to be on Shop Pay to use Installments, this is one more feature Shopify is building into Shop Pay which helps locks merchants into using it (Shop Pay is to Shopify as Prime is to Amazon). One interesting data point was that merchants that use Shop Pay see customers check out 4X faster and get 2X the conversion rate.

Online Store

The Express theme was launched to provide restaurants and small stores a simple one-page theme to get up and running quickly. Allowing customers to tip merchants directly from checkout was a great feature and really impressed me that Shopify has been able to adjust their feature set so rapidly to deal with Covid.

Localization of stores with custom currency and language has been something Shopify has been working on for a while. I liked the feature for merchants to be able to automatic FX rates, would make selling in different countries more plug and play.

Checkout app extensions were announced at last year’s Unite but aren’t quite ready and I’m not too surprised. There is a lot of complexity to integrate subscriptions into the core Shopify checkout process, but also allowing for partners like Recharge to integrate as well. Improving the subscription process would be a huge lift for all Shopify merchants since its such a critical part of the online stores we help support.

Shopify Email

30 million emails sent so far through Shopify email and the fact that it’s free and seamlessly integrated into Shopify will put a lot of pressure on Klaviyo and Mailchimp to really upgrade their email game. We don’t see a lot of Plus merchants adopting Shopify email yet, but that could change with more features here.

Shop App

I downloaded the new Shop app a couple weeks ago and found it useful for aggregating all of my shipping emails (even products from Amazon!) in one place. I also liked the ability to find local stores to see which companies were already selling online in my neighborhood.

Back Office

The purchase order functionality might be the least sexy announcement at Reunite, but could end up being one of the most popular. Merchants can track and receive inventory, set payment terms, adjust pricing and all from their phone, this could help simplify their inventory management.

Shipping

Curbside pickup and local delivery are 2 must have options, especially when you consider that average daily local orders grew 176% after CV set in. Merchants have often asked us about this feature and integrating into checkout will make like much easier for everyone.

What was Missing?

Here are the areas I was hoping to hear more information on:

  • No mention of wholesale channel – Shopify hasn’t been spending a lot of time/energy on their wholesale channel and that leaves out some of the manufacturing and distribution companies that I think could be a good fit on Shopify.
  • I wanted to hear about features that were specific to Shopify Plus. I have a feeling more information on this may come out post Reunite.
  • The Fulfillment discussion was thin on adoption rates, stats about merchants etc, plans for distribution centers (is Shopify going to build any?). I think there is a big opportunity here for Shopify, but I’d like to see more specifics.
  • Selfishly I didn’t hear as much about partners as I did in the previous 4 Unites, I know Shopify cares about us, but it’s also nice to hear! 😊

6 Ecommerce Strategies for 2020

6 Ecommerce Strategies for 2020

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and that means it’s time to rethink your ecommerce strategies.

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and that means it’s time to rethink your ecommerce strategies. Take your ecommerce journey in a bold new direction. Dump the baggage of 2019 and create a faster, better ecommerce experience that not only engages your customers but boosts your bottom line.

Ready to make 2020 your best ecommerce year yet?

Get ahead of your competition by embracing these 6 ecommerce strategies for your Shopify or Shopify Plus store.

Strategy 1: Multimedia

High-quality photos will never go out of style, but your shoppers want more, they need interactive media. This gives more context to your product, not only minimizing returns but boosting customers’ perceived value. This helps them convert more quickly and increases the likelihood that they’ll buy again. 

Video content is becoming more popular in the ecommerce space. But keep in mind that this can’t be a low-quality YouTube rant about your product. It needs to have top-notch production quality and helpful content. Consider doing a product unboxing, sharing an unbiased third-party product overview, or showcasing the product in the real world. Shopify Plus allows merchants to upload these videos directly to product pages

Sometimes, not even video makes the cut and customers will still say the product isn’t what they thought it would be. This leads to pricey returns, which digs into your profits. Go beyond, with truly experiential product visuals like interactive 3D or Shopify AR. These let customers experience your products as much as (if not more than) they could in-store. The experience of in-store without all that fuss of actually having to go anywhere.

Strategy 2: Personalization

Did you know that personalized homepage promotions persuade 85% of shoppers to buy? That’s pretty powerful. When you personalize a product to a customer’s interests, they’re more likely to buy. It’s a perfect way to increase value per order, too. 

We know personalization is important, but how can you implement it for Shopify Plus? It’s easy: put Shopify apps to work for your site. 

Use the Personalized Recommendations app to show related products to your customers. This will help you up-sell and cross-sell with the power of AI. Simile is another intelligent Shopify app that uses customer browsing and purchase history to display personalized content.

Strategy 3: Voice search optimization

50% of all search queries will come from voice-only users this year. With more customers shopping through Alexa and Google Assistant, Shopify stores should pivot to serve these customers. 

Voice queries are different than text queries. Take a new approach for your Shopify SEO, targeting more conversational, long-tail keywords. You can check out Shopify’s voice optimization guide for an in-depth tutorial.

This is still new territory for Shopify stores, but the new Voice Search app shows some promise as a plug-and-play solution.

Strategy 4: Create a brand experience strategy

A clean, mobile-friendly website is just the beginning. For 2020, customers care about the mood on your site. What vibe do they get from your store? It’s just as important in-store ambiance. You know as soon as you walk into the store (or even at the door) whether you are even going to spend the time browsing the products. Customers need to be sold on the brand before they will even bother with the product.

Great products and quality content are no longer enough to keep customers from bouncing at first click. To make it in ecommerce, you have to present your site in a visually-pleasing package. Now isn’t the time to rely on shoddy in-the-box templates. For a brand experience that delights customers, invest in good graphic design and storytelling.

Strategy 5: AI tools

AI was once unimaginable for most businesses, but it’s 2020 and we are here for all of the technological advances that now make AI tools attainable for the merchants that need them most. Use this tech to keep your Shopify operations lean, productive, and profitable. There are AI tools available for many different aspects of your Shopify store, like AI-powered marketing or analytics.

One of our favorite AI tools for Shopify is Octane AI, the FB messenger bot made for ecommerce merchants just like you. This tool is customer service on auto-pilot, with the ability to provide customers basic information about products, their orders, shipping, and more. Save time and boost customer satisfaction.

Strategy 6: Influencer marketing

Are influencers talking about your ecommerce store? If not, 2020 is your year to embrace influencer marketing. Don’t think influencers are in your budget? Think again. Smaller influencers (called micro-influencers) are more affordable and have engaged, niche audiences that are primed to buy. It’s all about finding the right influencer for your brand.

If you sell niche products on Shopify Plus, influencers are a slam-dunk for your bottom line. Consider hiring an Instagram influencer to promote your products organically. You can connect Shopify to Instagram so the influencer’s followers can shop your store directly from Instagram, too.

The Bottom Line

Ecommerce brought in $3.5 trillion in 2019. Are you part of that sweet, sweet statistic? Stay relevant in 2020 by following these 6 ecommerce strategies, overhauling your Shopify Plus journey to earn more loyal customers.

Ready to embrace the future of ecommerce? Get in touch with us to brainstorm your ecommerce store’s strategies for 2020.

Shopify Plus Happy Hour

Shopify Plus Happy Hour

Our Shopify Plus Happy Hour event was a hit last night!

Our Shopify Plus Happy Hour event was a hit last night! Thank you to everyone who showed up and contributed to the good vibes. A special thanks goes to Do The Extraordinary for allowing us to host the event in their speakeasy (what a cool venue!) and to The Catering Company for providing amazing food and beverages!

We had a lot of fun getting to catch up with some old friends as well as meeting new people and establishing new connections. We hope everyone enjoyed the happy hour as much as we did and we look forward to the next event!

Shopify Plus Marketing Channels

Shopify Plus Marketing Channels

Most Ambaum clients already have a good handle on the go to marketing channel for driving their company’s sales.

Most Ambaum clients already have a good handle on the go to marketing channel for driving their company’s sales. Either Facebook, Google, SEO or even email marketing is the primary source of sales; and they may have tried others but without much luck. Some types of products will inherently do better on Facebook, Google, etc. However, what we find in many cases, it’s the familiarity a merchant has with a channel behind their success. We recommend branching out and practice ABT (always be testing) when it comes to different marketing and customer acquisition strategies. Here are the primary marketing channels our Shopify Plus merchants are having the most success with.

Google Product Listing Ads

Have you tried Google search and been unsuccessful previously? Does it feel like you are throwing money away, paying for clicks with zero sales? Before you give up on Google advertising you should to try a Google Shopping campaign to sell your products. Google shopping ads show a picture of your product directly in a Google search, which is crucial for getting more clicks and more sales. For example, if you sell Adirondack chairs and someone types in outdoor cedar chairs, your ad has the chance to show up with an image of the your product directly in Google search. The visual prompt quickly shows this potential customer they have found what they are looking for.

To start your Google Shopping campaign, first create a Google Merchant Center account. Your Google Merchant Center account will be the repository for your products – you can use a 3rd party app or setup a manual process to sync your Shopify Products to the merchant center. It’s important to for your product feed setup properly so when you add a new product to your store it automatically syncs to your Google Merchant center account.

If this is all new to you, check out this in depth guide from Google on creating a Google Merchant Center account. Or simply reach out to us here at Ambaum, we are happy to walk you through some dos and don’ts of getting started with Google product listing ads. You can also hire a professional Google advertising agency – this guide will help you.

Email Marketing

Why do email communications matter? Email is an affordable way for you to disseminate information about your company and is a great touch point with your customers to educate people about your latest products. It is an effective and non-intrusive (make sure to opt out options are set up for subscribers) way to incentivize your subscribers to purchase additional products from your store.

What tools should you use to send your emails? Shopify has purchase confirmation emails automatically sent directly, however there are many other marketing and brand messaging emails you should send. The two most popular email platforms used with Shopify are MailChimp and Klaviyo. You can find both of these email providers in the Shopify app store to test.

Check out this comprehensive post from the Shopify blog and the email marketing case study they performed on Birchbox for ideas.

Facebook & Instagram Ads

Facebook ads have been around for a long time, and many Shopify Plus merchants we support have found a lot of success converting customers on Facebook. To start testing, you will sign up for a Facebook business account. Take a look at this Facebook page dedicated to retail and ecommerce companies for some examples. If you want to learn more about connecting Facebook and Shopify, here is a great guide Shopify created.

Shopify purchased Kit, a fantastic app for testing Facebook ads on Shopify, about 18 months ago. Kit will connect your products to your Facebook ads account and suggest different advertising campaigns to you via a SMS chat bot right to your phone. If you are advertising on Facebook you will also want to set up retargeting so the ads can follow your customers across different sites and platforms. In addition to Kit, there are a few other Facebook apps on Shopify worth testing out – take a look here to see the latest and greatest.

Instagram ads are a relatively new frontier for most ecommerce companies. The companies with an strong social presence have had the best luck transitioning to advertising on Instagram. It should be obvious, but Instagram ads are heavily dependent on the quality of the pictures. Photos mean everything! The quality and variety of your image ads on Instagram are critical to the success of your clicks and conversions. If this is all brand new to you, check out this article with some helpful tips on how to optimize your Instagram account.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

New to ecommerce SEO? SEO is a complex topic, but if you spend the time to learn, it can pay off with organic traffic converting to additional sales. SEO is your organic listings (rankings) for different phrases in Google and other search engines. Your organic results are constantly updating based on a number of variables, some of which Google makes public, but many are intentionally kept hidden so companies can’t game their rankings.

Ecommerce SEO spends a lot of time focused on your product detail pages. By using tools like SEM Rush you can see which sites currently rank for the phrases you are targeting. You will need to create an inventory of the pages on your site, the phrases you currently rank for and the apirational phrases. Once you have your inventory of your current rankings you can shift into action mode and create a plan to increase your SEO traffic for your entire site.

To kick off your ecommerce SEO plan of action, do your homework by reading some of the expert guides already created and even consider hiring an agency to help out. A word of advice, before you hire an agency or company to help with SEO make sure to educate yourself on how SEO works. Many businesses have hired ecommerce SEO companies without a full understanding of how it works, or they get into black hat tactics causing serious damage to their site.

Shopify Multi Currency Roll Out

Shopify Multi Currency Roll Out

At Shopify Unite in May this year, Shopify announced the upcoming plans for offering multi-currency functionality for their stores.

At Shopify Unite in May this year, Shopify announced the upcoming plans for offering multi-currency functionality for their stores. This was a very big deal for a couple reasons: many other ecommerce platforms already offer this and secondly there were workarounds to make this work for your Shopify stores, but they were very clunky. For example if you wanted to sell in multiple currencies, you could create multiple versions of your store (in different currencies and languages), but there was no way to sync all your reporting and data between them. When this goes live for Shopify Plus stores in December this should be a huge benefit to everyone that wants to offer products in the 9 currencies listed below.

If you have any questions on how this could work for your store, don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to chat! Here are notes from a recent Shopify multi-currency webinar that happened earlier this week:

Currencies:

  • Great British Pound (GBP)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • United States Dollar (USD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  •  Japan Yen (JPY)
  •  Singapore Dollar (SGD)

Additional Notes:

  • Only for Shopify Payments customers, but still in beta and not live yet, but planning to go live before end of year (will be after BFCM)
  • Initially just for Shopify Plus customers
  • Currency selector in top right-hand corner
  • Selector can automatically detect country and will default to shop currency
  • You can apply rounding to prices
  • If a customer selects another payment option like PayPal on checkout it will default to shop currency
  • In the Admin panel to go settings and then within the Shopify payments section there is a new section for Shopify currencies and you can toggle on and off different currencies
  • On the product page in Admin you can see exchange rates for different currencies to give you an idea of your products price in that currency
  • Flow can present the currency code displayed to the buyer
  • API: presentment currency – currency shown to customers and the shop currency – currency used by merchants
  • Debut theme is updated to allow multi-currency
  • Shopify scripts will also allow multi-currency
  • Multi-currency migration guide soon to be released
  • Long term the intent is to allow merchants to be able to set individual prices (in different currencies) per product
  • Currency rate check happens approximately every 15 minutes
  • Draft orders doesn’t yet support multi-currency

Thank you – Shopify Plus Seattle Meetup – September 20

Thank you – Shopify Plus Seattle Meetup – September 20

The event on September 20th, was a lot of fun!

The event on September 20th, was a lot of fun! I really appreciate everyone that made it down to Code Fellows and a special thanks to our speakers! The following companies and people presented:

 

After I gave a brief introduction to Ambaum and our services, David Stober from Guided came on stage and we hosted a Q&A session that walked through David’s experience as one of the first companies ever on Shopify Plus. David went through the apps he’s tested and tried – some examples: Kit.com, Intercom, Product Reviews and many more and explained how they each help his business on a daily basis. David was very open about his business and walked us through how Shopify has helped him increase sales!

Janice Yao presented and discussed multi location inventory and multi-currency updates that will be rolling out very shortly to Shopify stores that are currently using Shopify Pay. She also gave some examples of Shopify Flow and automating tasks within your Plus store, this is an untapped area that a lot of Plus merchants should start using. She also gave us a explanation of Transporter, a new tool for importing customer records, orders and even bulk product loads. It was Janice’s first time presenting and she did fantastic!

The final presenter was Brian Mackin from Avalara and he walked us through all the new tax laws that are rolling out over the next year. There has a been a big shift in how states are going to collect taxes, moving from the old system of primarily using physical location as the primary rationale for collecting taxes to the new way of economic nexus – which many states will use a threshold of $100,000 or 200 transactions a year in that state as the baseline. There are many different rules on a state by state basis and the big takeaway is that if you are selling products all over the US you should really consider using Avalara to help you manage a very complicated compliance process!

Here is a link from Brian’s presentation that contains tons of helpful information regarding the tax rules that you might run into as an online seller:
https://www.avalara.com/us/en/learn/sales-tax/south-dakota-wayfair.html

I would like to thank Code Fellows for allowing us to use their space for our event, it is such an outstanding facility!