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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!

Hammerhead

Hammerhead

Hammerhead is building the future of cycling by only building products they believe will be the best in their class, and are fully focused on making Karoo 2 the world’s best cycling computer. Hammerhead came to Ambaum in early 2021 looking for a development partner for their website hammerhead.io and to create four new expansion stores in CA, AU, UK and EU.

We initially helped Hammerhead with writing scripts in the Shopify Plus script editor for discounts and custom logic to support various marketing campaigns. Hammerhead utilizes Klaviyo for email marketing automation, which we used to set up promotional emails with unique/dynamic discount code fields.

Prior to working with Ambaum Hammerhead was using a page builder for most pages on their website. We rebuilt their homepage, multiple PDP templates, and tweaked collection templates, and cart using ThemeKit. A major part of the rebuild was creating a new system to sync data across all five stores. We needed to make sure shared data could easily be synced across all five stores, while ensuring store-specific data could be added/updated. We used the US store as the base, deploying to all four expansion stores at once using code, which minimized manual work. Since the website was built pre Shopify 2.0, we utilized metafields on the product detail pages where we used metafields to be able to add, remove and rearrange sections.

As Hammerhead’s development partner, Ambaum has not only helped with maintenance work, but also solutioning future designs, building new custom features, and efficiently deploying data and theme updates across all stores.

Pro Compression

Pro Compression

Compression sock brand.

Pro Compression is a direct-to-consumer powerhouse in the growing athletic category of compression socks. For over a decade, PRO Compression has provided premium compression socks for all your favorite activities. Whether you need the best compression socks for running, walking, home workouts, or for everyday comfort, we have a pair for you. Designed and made in the USA, our compression socks improve circulation, accelerate recovery, reduce muscle soreness, help prevent swelling and varicose veins.

Ambaum has been Pro Compressions agency of choice through their rapid calling first lending support in simply a fractional development to designing and developing their new front-end Shopify Plus store (2022).

Dewey Crush

Dewey Crush

Regional ready-to-drink cocktail in can brand.

Dewey Crush is a Delaware-based brand with the tagline: We Canned Summer. Their initial three products were designed to take full advantage of the exploding ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktail segment of the alcohol and spirits category. Ready-to-drink cocktails are the fastest-growing alcohol product in the country right now, and beverage companies and industry experts are predicting even more growth in the future.

Ambaum was approached in 2021 to form a digital strategy that contemplated zero eCommerce initially but with a changing legal landscape in retail alcohol sales, something that could easily morph in the future to accommodate. So basically, build it on the platform they will eventually fully-leverage for eCommerce – Shopify.

Tactically the work involved setting a roadmap for digital growth and building out the eCommerce stack to accommodate all marketing and features they will be using in the future, but doing so without technically turning on product sales. So this involved building out flavor pages and turning off any sort of shopping functionality, rather pushing users to find their crush at local stores in the Mid-Atlanic. Beyond that relatively light merchandise sales were turned on to offer some level of shopping. But this was done more so as practice then it was for any level of revenue growth.

The activities for the Dewey Crush launched involved full digital strategy, design and build, app integration and marketing systems setup and growth services.

Seven Coffee Roasters

Ambaum has been supporting Seven Coffee Roasters since late summer in 2019. Sean Lee approached Ambaum looking for help with a number of services: Shopify site updates, strategy and consulting, design and online advertising help. David Stober, Ambaum’s COO met with Sean and mapped out an initial strategy to help him grow the revenue through his online Shopify store.

The first thing David and Sean discussed was getting a new look and feel for the Seven site. Sean started Seven Coffee Roasters in a small cafe/roastery in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle with the mission of bringing Hawaiian coffee to the mainland. Ambaum setup Seven with a new theme that brought together two brands under one main site and gave everything a smoother and more streamlined look. 

A big focus for Sean was getting more customers signed up with a monthly subscription for his coffee. Seven was already leveraging Recharge’s Shopify app for managing subscriptions but they weren’t getting the most out of it. David and Sean spent many months designing and building out a new product detail page and the outcome was this:

This enhanced product detail page saw a large increase in customers that signed up for a subscription. Before Sean started working with Ambaum he had less than $500/month in subscription customers and within 6 months he was approaching $8,000/month in total subscription revenue. 

Fantastapack

Fantastapack believes every business deserves beautifully printed packaging. Fantastapack approached Ambaum in 2018 looking for help with configuring their product detail page to price out large and bulky items. Due to the custom nature of their products, they calculate each custom order’s price based on the size, quantity, and material of the boxes. Formulas for calculating the box dimensions and pricing are stored in Shopify metafields and pricing information is passed on through line item properties and used by a checkout script to set the correct price in checkout.

A lot of our day-to-day work with them has been focused on making front-end improvements and fixes to the site. The complex nature of their PDP means that adding new customization options often requires developer assistance in editing the template to add these new features. One major task Ambaum we accomplished was building a template for a new product, precut box bundles. These products come in a range of predetermined sizes with pre-printed patterns, so customers can order a simple set of boxes when they don’t need a fully custom option. This new product required some custom pricing logic of its own, as the client wanted to offer an increased discount for larger bulk orders. Ambaum came up with code using JavaScript and checkout scripts to calculate the price based on the selected size and quantity of the boxes to arrive at the appropriate discount. 

The VP of Innovation had an idea in 2019 to make it easier for their resellers to place high volume orders. Using Fantastapack.com to enter orders worked for smaller customers, but resellers placing large and frequent orders found it tedious to place orders through the standard checkout process. Ambaum worked with Fantastapack to architect a solution that involved creating a React front end application in conjuction with a Laravel framework to handle the order processing and artwork uploads from resellers. Ambaum also setup API connections to internal Fantastapack systems and integrated Ship Engine APIs to allow resellers to enter their own UPS, Fed Ex and USPS shipping rates. The custom software Ambaum created is now an integral part of Fantastapack’s operations and a valuable tool for resellers to place frequent orders.

Deep Sentinel

Deep Sentinel

Shopify | Ecommerce| New Site Build

The Client

Deep Sentinel is the next-gen home security solution that stops crime before it happens. Powered by a proprietary AI, HD smart cameras, and 24/7 LiveSentintel™ personal security guards, Deep Sentinel sets the new standard in home protection. Deep Sentinel protects your home and proactively stops burglary, package theft, or driveway break-in, allowing customers to feel dramatically safer at home. 

The Overview

Deep Sentinel was a new company looking to sell their proprietary home security product through an ecommerce site. This required a full site build and a custom theme created in Shopify. We had to set up purchasing to handle the initial cost for the physical product as well as a recurring subscription cost for the service that could be annual or monthly. Their store is currently active, generating sales and can be viewed here: Deep Sentinel

The Challenge

Deep Sentinel came to us as a new store looking to sell their next-gen proprietary home security solution through an ecommerce site. Being a new company selling a new-to-the-market product, they had no site and no customer base. This meant our job was to build an entire site from the ground up that would draw customers in and showcase the product to make great first impressions.

The Process

This build required us to create a custom theme in Shopify. The actual product catalog of the site is relatively simple, so the focus of the build was on design to really feature and sell the product. There was some complex configuration we had to do to set up the subscriptions for the products. Deep Sentinel has an initial cost of the physical product and then the subscription kicks in for the service. We also had to set up a monthly subscription and an annual subscription and provide customers with the ability to toggle between the two before the final purchase.

The Solution

Deep Sentinel is a subscription-based online store that is built on the Shopify platform. The site needed to be the start of building a relationship of trust with customers. That meant building a high grade site that is easy to navigate and guides customers to all the information they need. The purpose of the site is to provide customers with a more comprehensive security system that has 24/7 “Live” surveillance. The store is currently active and generating sales.

The site can be viewed here: Deep Sentinel

The Result

“Hands-down…an invaluable asset for our company. [They are] extremely knowledgeable, work is top grade, and the turn-around is amazing. I would highly recommend Ambaum for UX and back-end work in Shopify.”

Pair of Thieves

Pair of Thieves

Performance basics and clothing brand.

Pair of Thieves (PoT) is a diverse clothing brand with the tagline: we’re here to make all lovely humans ready for everything. Ambaum first engaged with Pair of Thieves in the summer of 2019 and we were brought in initially to fix performance issues on the site.

Ambaum took over regular maintenance work on the PoT site and quickly got started creating new custom pages, adding a new collection navigation features, as well as various minor style edits, and developing custom discount scripts for special promotions.

PoT was struggling with slow-loading pages and Ambaum kicked off a site speed diagnostic to figure out what was causing the problem. The biggest problem we found was how the theme managed color swatches for their products. PoT lists different colors of the same product as separate products, rather than variants of the same product in order to improve SEO, but this requires custom code in the theme to associate the different colored products with each other. The information has to be stored under the hood so that the theme knows what products go together, and what swatch image to display for each color. 

  • The previous code developed for managing these swatch associations was inefficient, it required looping through many large lists of data in order to pull the information needed to display the swatches under a product. This slowed download times considerably as the looping caused it to take longer to pull all of the needed information from the server.
  • We were able to improve the efficiency of the swatch code by moving some of the data out of lists that had to be looped through, into metafields which could be accessed more quickly and efficiently. Rather than having to loop through a long list of swatches until the needed one was found, we are able to instantly access the swatch by name through metafields. We also came up with more efficient ways to store the groupings of products. While some looping was still required to go through and get the data for the products, splitting things out into smaller groupings reduced the amount of looping needed. These edits provided a noticeable improvement to the loading speed of the site.

While we were able to make some improvements to the site loading speed by editing several aspects, such as swatches, to be more efficient. Some of the site speed issues were more deeply rooted in the foundational structure of the site, so in order to further improve site speed, we began a complete theme rebuild that with an eye towards efficiency and performance.

In the process of optimizing, we recommended our tech partner, Searchspring: the leading search, merchandising, and personalization platform built exclusively for eCommerce. With Searchspring’s robust reporting and insights, Pair of Thieves is able to leverage data, creating synonyms and redirects to ensure that shoppers find exactly what they want. Searchspring’s advanced filtering and sorting capabilities mean less time scrolling through results that don’t match shoppers’ needs.

This partnership resulted in 3.5x higher conversion rates from customers using the site search, and found that customers using the site search spent 3.7x more than customers who did not. Check out their full case study here.