Brand Focus Digital Built Upon an “Amazon” Foundation
I often get asked about the so-called “backstory” as to how Brand Focus Digital was born. A significant impetus behind our company relates back to my experience with Amazon, where I served as a Vendor Manager for over five years. Working within the walls of Amazon for many years afforded me the opportunity to really understand the culture and processes behind an eCommerce giant. So much so, I left Amazon and started my own eCommerce consulting business and Brand Focus Digital came to fruition.
Fortunately for our business, I’m not the only one that can bring Amazon experience to the table. We have several members on our team that have also enjoyed prior roles with the company. This combined history allows us to better help clients sell their products on the largest eCommerce platform on the planet.
Yes, we help manufacturers sell their products with other online retailers. But selling products on Amazon is definitely in our wheelhouse given the foundation on which Brand Focus Digital was built. Personally, since I was a prior Vendor Manager at Amazon, I know the tools that Amazon uses, and I’ve experienced what Vendors experience themselves. This has taught me how to diagnose issues and troubleshoot vendors’ problems before most “so called” Amazon experts can.
Part of building a team of experts is to invest in building and optimizing their skills with Amazon tools. Annually, our team completes the Amazon Advertising certification program to ensure we have the latest strategies in Amazon DSP, Sponsored products, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and Video Ads. Additionally, we ensure to use the latest innovations and beta programs within enhanced content, Brand Store building, Posts, and promotions (Brand Tailored).
Since leaving Amazon, it’s been a sincere pleasure working with the talented members on our team and helping other businesses achieve their eCommerce goals and realize their eCommerce outcomes. We purposely ensure that our client-to-team ratio is low, so quality and attention is guaranteed for every client. This guarantee helps motivate us and our team gains personal value from being able to serve as a direct link to the merchants we help.
Recently we had the pleasure of sitting down with Rebuy’s Co-Founder & COO, James Van Erck to discuss the pursuit of customer satisfaction and business growth in an in-depth fireside chat. We dive deep into the world of digital retail, uncovering powerful strategies, tools, and concepts that drive success for merchants. A high-level overview includes:
Dynamic Bundling: Simplifying the purchase journey through dynamic bundling to increase convenience and encourage multiple purchases uplifts customer convenience and merchant AOV. We’ve created a Comprehensive Guide to Bundling, complete with a developer-perspective on setup.
AI-Driven Merchandising: Leveraging AI to create unique customer experiences based on customer preferences, needs, and bundles optimizes the shopping experience.
Data-Driven Shopping: The integration of AI, email, and SMS to offer a retail store-like experience enhances search functionalities and reduces the amount of clicks it takes for a customer to get to checkout.
“I think that with apps like Rebuy; it gives [the merchant] such an opportunity to iterate and really get out there and quickly learn because whether you’re building a bundle, putting in an upsell, integrating with Klaviyo, you’re basically throwing stuff against a wall and you need to figure out what works. And then once you figure out what works, you just hammer down and keep working at it.”
Testing and Iteration: Merchants should test and iterate strategies using platforms like Rebuy to discover what resonates with their audience.
“Don’t just install another app for some little edge-case. Figure out how you can harness the power of what you already have to reduce some of the conflicts, some of the missed opportunities, and I think Rebuy’s a perfect partner for that… It sounds a little bit cavalier but go throw some noodles against the wall.”
Integration: Integrating different tools within the Shopify ecosystem to create a holistic shopping experience. Some top performers are: Klaviyo, Attentive, Tapcart, and Malomo.
Optimized Checkout: Focus on the foundations. Best practices, innovative technology integration, and proactive pursuit of customer satisfaction for success in e-commerce builds great experiences.
“I think it all boils down into really doing the basics well. So, having great product pages, working with agencies like Ambaum, and building these great experiences and leveraging tools like Rebuy to really help optimize traffic so you’re helping folks to find the products that they want or need.”
Shopify is upgrading the checkout experience and giving merchants more control. Here are the big developments you need to know about:
Shopify Checkout Extensibility – Checkout.liquid will be fully deprecated for the Information, Shipping, and Payment pages in your checkout on August 13, 2024. Shopify Plus merchants can now use checkout extensibility to customize these pages instead (Shopify has created a handy upgrade guide if you are interested). Shopify Plus stores can use checkout extensibility to add apps and advanced branding customizations right now.
One Page Checkout – On September 25, Shopify launched a new one-page checkout to all Shopify merchants who have upgraded to checkout extensibility. It’s a redesigned experience that’s shorter, faster, and more intuitive for buyers. We are seeing a lot of Shopify Plus merchants interested in testing out one page checkout and it is important to reiterate that your store has to be upgraded to checkout extensibility first.
Shopify Functions – As of August 28, 2025 Shopify Scripts will be fully deprecated and replaced by Shopify Functions. Merchants that leverage Shopify Scripts will need to migrate to apps powered by Shopify Functions before this date. For example, you will be able to use Shopify Functions to create cart and checkout validations to ensure that purchases meet certain criteria before checking out, or completing an order.
There is a lot happening in the checkout space and it’s fantastic for Shopify merchants that want more control over their purchase funnel. In the short term it can be confusing with all the different feature updates and upgrades required, but long term this will give more functionality to Shopify merchants.
Is now the time to take your eCommerce business to the next level? Let’s talk today.
Bundling (packaging related products or services together at a discounted price) in e-commerce is proven to increase average order value (AOV), customer lifetime value (CLV), and overall sales for merchants. In addition, bundling provides added value, convenience and potentially bulk savings for your customers. In fact, according to Shopify, “First-time buyers are 27% likely to return, but after their second or third purchase, this grows to 54%.” Bundling for e-commerce brands has evolved over the years continuing to prove its efficacy, with more upselling and cross-selling data fueling elements like dynamic and AI-powered bundling systems.
Why are Merchants so Keen on Bundling?
Fundamentally, bundling is about boosting your AOV, but it’s so much more than that. We’ve compiled a list of additional benefits for bundling, check it out:
Greater Product Selection: Customers can see products that complement each other or are frequently purchased together and are incentivized to add more to their cart with a bundle discount.
Unique Discounts: Offering discounts for a unique group of products gives your customer the impression they are getting a deal designed just for them. Create a discounted bundle that is attractive enough to encourage purchases, but be careful not to cut too deep into your margins so you’re losing money on each sale. Make sure the discount the customer receives is prominently displayed and show the regular prices alongside the bundled deal to really highlight the value!
Optimize Sales with Lesser Known Products: Strategically combine underperforming items with high-demand ones, such as new or lesser-known products or overstocked inventory. This approach motivates customers to buy both the popular and lesser-known items, benefiting the merchant (moving inventory) and the customer (ensuring they get what they need!)
Incentivized Conversion: Create a sense of urgency by making the bundle deal a limited time offer, nudging customers to hit that buy button sooner rather than later. In addition, consider offering different tiers of bundles with increasing value. This way, you cater to all sorts of shoppers and increase that AOV.
Personalization: Use customer data and purchase history to create personalized bundles just for them. Personalizing your product offerings will help increase loyalty, email and SMS open rates, and conversions.
Cross-selling: Bundle related or supporting add-on products together that enhance the customers experience with the main product to encourage a higher AOV and a better purchasing experience.
Free Shipping Thresholds: Test out the pricing on some of your bundles to ensure the overall purchase qualifies for free shipping. For example, Ambaum helped an alcohol brand create a bundle using Shopify’s native bundling feature of 4 products that was priced just north of $50 so the overall bundle qualified for free shipping.
Testing, testing, testing: Regularly analyze the performance of your bundled offer, mix up the products, tweak the discounts, and change how you display them to determine what works best for your particular customer.
Challenges with Bundling on Shopify
Bundling can really supercharge your AOV and add to your top line revenue, but you need to consider some of the potential issues when you first get started. Many merchants are unaware that when you create a new bundle you could also unintentionally create downstream issues that cause incorrect product counts in both your store and your warehouse. Also many out of the box bundle apps don’t offer custom functionality or may be incompatible with customizations you built into your Shopify theme.
Here’s some common challenges that merchants face when implementing bundling:
Inventory Management Issues: Depending on how you create your bundles you might find it tricky to break them apart in Shopify checkout into discrete products post purchase. For example, if you have an inventory management system or ERP that connects to Shopify, it’s important that each product in a bundle accurately gets updated in your inventory counts. In addition, if you set up bundles in your store you will want to work closely with your 3PL or warehouse employees so they know which SKUs go into each bundle for shipping.
Dynamic Bundles won’t work with Shopify Scripts: Dynamic bundles allow customers to select individual products and create a personalized bundle. Creating a dynamic bundle can be a home run for AOV, but merchants need to be careful using out of the box bundle apps. Shopify’s native bundling feature doesn’t work with Shopify scripts and if you publish a script, the bundles are moved to a draft status. Dynamic bundles are a big win for merchants, but often a more custom solution is required to set it up correctly.
Customized Checkout Difficulties: If you have customized checkout.liquid on your Shopify store, it’s important to know that checkout.liquid customizations aren’t compatible with Shopify’s native bundle functionality.
Point of Sale and Payment Processing Problems: If you are using Shopify POS for in store sales, you can’t create and sell bundles using native bundle functionality. In addition, some apps and payment gateways aren’t fully compatible with bundles.
Bundles and Subscription Orders, What to Watch for: Brands want the flexibility to offer bundles both as one-time purchases and as subscription options. At Ambaum this might be one of the most common feature requests we get from Shopify Plus merchants. Recharge is the most common subscription application on Shopify and they allow you to add bundles to subscriptions, but you must be on Recharge Pro or have access to the bundles SDK.
Track Bundle Metrics so you don’t Lose Money: Merchants need to track the performance of different bundle offerings and understand which bundles are most popular and profitable. Over time the cost inputs that go into your products will change and if you’re not careful you might be losing money selling your bundles. Customers might get wise to your mistakes and only purchase bundles that give heavy discounts on certain products.
Shopify Bundle Apps
Let’s dive into a few tech partner’s solutions, the pricing, and the advantages (and disadvantages) of each. Then, we’ll take you through a detailed bundling solution we built for one of our clients.
Description: Rebuy utilizes personalized customization by blending exclusive AI/ML technology with various software approaches (no-code, low-code, and custom code), top-tier integrations, flexible merchandising rules, and methodical A/B/n testing. This comprehensive solution empowers brands to create data-guided shopping experiences across the entire customer journey, spanning from the initial homepage visit, through the checkout process, and even after the purchase is completed.
Rebuy has many different widgets you can use to add functionality to your Shopify store. These widgets allow you to do upsells, cross-sells, gift with purchase, and even upgrade to offer subscriptions. One thing to note is that it requires 2 widgets to fully setup subscription products & bundles on Rebuy, so plan to invest some time fully understanding their widget landscape.
For one-time purchases or subscriptions, the current Rebuy backend takes some time to learn as it uses the “data source” as the bundle creator.
Description: Recharge stands as a reliable solution for managing subscriptions. With Recharge, you can expand your subscription-based enterprise and empower your customers to oversee their subscriptions seamlessly from your store. There are plenty of customization options to craft the subscription journey you have in mind. Furthermore, they offer integrated solutions that effortlessly connect with your existing technology toolkit.
Description: With Shopify Bundles, you gain the capability to effortlessly craft bundled packages and multipacks directly within your Shopify administrative panel. Your customers can easily pick from different product variations linked to the bundles. Moreover, Shopify Bundles ensures that inventory is constantly updated in real-time, eliminating concerns about overextending stock.
Free on Shopify and Shopify Plus
If not on Shopify: Subscriptions range from $39 – $2,000 per month, with annual options shaving off 25%
Features and advantages:
Easy to set up in Shopify admin.
Ability to create fixed and multipack bundles.
Inventory is updating in real-time to protect from overselling product.
To use the Shopify Bundles App, your store must meet the following requirements:
Your store must be using the Online Store sales channel. Other sales channels aren’t yet supported.
Case Study: Custom Bundling Solution for Premier Catch
Choosing a bundling solution for the premium seafood brand Premier Catch was a no-brainer to increase customer retention, loyalty, and lead generation. With the need to move forward with bundling, we chose to implement Rebuy’s dynamic bundling product as many additional services Rebuy offered suited the current and ongoing needs of the brand:
In order to implement the bundling strategy for the brand, we built and implemented the following step-by-step guide:
Step 2: Click the “New Widget” button in the top right. Or Duplicate an existing widget to copy the settings needed to keep styles and format consistent. Click the 3 vertical dots on the far right or the widget you wish to duplicate to expand the menu and then click the “Duplicate” button.
Step 3: If Creating a New Widget, scroll down to the “Dynamic Bundle” option and click “Create New”.
For compatibility with the custom widget toggle block in the Shopify theme, it will be very important to set and differentiate between the two widgets needed per bundle. Name each bundle widget according to its bundle relation and purchase type (ex: Salmon Lovers Bundle – One TimeorSalmon Lovers Bundle – Subscription)
Widgets can be renamed in the “General” settings accordion menu on the right side as well as setting the product type between “One Time Only” or “Subscription Only”.
The “Data Source” menu on the right side will be used to select which endpoint to use with the widget. The data source endpoint manages which products show in the widget. A “One Time Only” and “Subscription Only” widget can share the same “Data Source” endpoint.
Step 4: For custom bundles widgets a custom endpoint will need to be created for each bundle. When a widget is duplicated it will continue to use the same data source. To create a new data source, click on the “Data Sources” menu item on the left and click “New Ruleset”.
Step 5: Editing the data source will only require one rule since it applies to only one bundle. Name the data source and check “filter input product” Set the first IF to “Anything” so that the widget isn’t expecting a data check. The RETURN should be set to “Specific Products”, which can be selected from the search field next to the dropdown.
Step 6: Go back to the widgets and make sure the review is showing the expected products. Keep note of the widgets’ ID as they will be needed from adding to the PDP section.
Step 7: Go to Shopify Admin.
Step 1: In the Shopify customizer, create a new template for the new bundle.
NOTE: if this will not work if bundles share the same product template. Each bundle should have its own template.
Click “Online Store”.
Step 2: Click Customize on the live theme.
Step 3: From the top middle drop down select Products.
Step 4: Select Create Template.
Step 5: Name it specific to the Bundle being created- no spaces.
Step 6: Select an already created bundle template like “salmon-lovers-bundle” under “Based on”.
And select Create Template.
Step 7: Select or add the “Rebuy Widget Toggle” block in the Product pages (assume images below are on your new “bundle-name” template).
Step 8: FIll in the appropriate widget IDs to their corresponding fields and hit save. The page should reload with the rebuy widgets ready to use.
Connect the new template to the new bundle product in the Shopify admin.
Step 9: Create a new product with the bundle name, or select the already existing product in Shopify.
Step 10: On the product change the Theme template to the new template created above.
Step 11: ALL DONE
At the end of the day, the data makes the decisions, and building these foundations into your strategy will provide the pillars for long term success.
The last option we’ll float here is, rather than setting it and forgetting about it, consider looping in an experienced leader in the e-commerce industry, who has Shopify experts and seasoned merchants to uplift your business. If you’re looking to increase your average order value, customer lifetime value, and customer loyalty through bundling, contact us and let’s talk. Our initial conversations are always free and informal, so let’s sit down for a chat.
Created in 1990, RAM® Mounts is the manufacturing leader for mounting solutions that are reliable and adaptable for almost any application or device. RAM® Mounts is the most cutting-edge product line of its kind, including almost 5,000 modular parts. These parts, built on an interchangeable ball and socket system and built around an elastomeric rubber ball, include anti-slip properties as well as shock and vibration absorption. The innovative RAM® Mounts system’s patent-protected design offers easy installation, adaptability, and durability at a reasonable cost.
Ambaum helped RAM® Mounts create a plan to replatform from their own custom ecommerce site to Shopify Plus. The project broke out into 3 phases: create a custom theme for RAM® Mounts, assist the merchant with data migration, and help them create custom functionality on their new site by building a custom application. The final outcome of the project was a new Shopify Plus site with functionality similar to their old site plus UI updates and the ability for customers to build their own RAM® Mounts.
RAM® Mounts Custom Theme
To create the new theme, Ambaum worked closely with RAM® Mounts to make sure all of the functionality on the old site was recreated on the new Shopify Plus site. We worked with RAM® Mounts to build a more robust mega nav and developed templated landing pages that were reusable for many of the brands that RAM® Mounts supports.
Ambaum created a custom theme for RAM® Mounts and made sure to incorporate all of the latest Shopify infrastructure updates that rolled out in the summer of 2022. There were a number of important features added, the first one was we created the custom theme with sections everywhere which allows RAM® Mounts to use the Shopify UI to drag and drop sections on the site without having to get into the code. In addition, Ambaum used metafields in multiple places on the site, one example is on the product detail page where we were able to create a “complete your solution” section which is effectively a recommended products section, as seen here. The product template uses variant metafields to easily swap product data based on the variant selected, for example: images, tabbed data, pricing, title, description, etc.
About Us Page Customization
The about us page template is a custom page we created within the theme that allows the merchant to easily manage the content of the page. The about us page has multiple tabs, and each tab is a unique page that can be edited within the Shopify Editor. The benefit of this is the ease of use for the merchant going forward as opposed to requiring custom development to update and maintain.
Collection Page Functionality
RAM® Mounts products all had “facet data” aka metadata on them which allowed for very custom filtering. There are “tiles” on the existing collection pages and some of them have size data that is needed for extra filtering. Ambaum helped RAM® Mounts think through a couple paths for their collection filtering; path 1 was for us to create custom filtering logic and path 2 was to utilize a Shopify app to give them the required functionality. We eventually settled on using Product Filter and Search, a powerful app that gave RAM® Mounts the ability to leverage the metadata on all of their products and give them the custom filtering they needed.
RAM® Mounts Custom Builder
RAM® Mounts requested that Ambaum help them create a brand new feature on their site that allows customers to select the optimal mount based on vehicle, device and mounting location. With this custom builder, the user is prompted to go through a set of questions to determine which products are most applicable for the customer’s situation. If you take a look at the images below you can get an idea of what it looks like from the customer’s perspective to use this custom mount builder.
RAM® Mounts had their own internal IT team and was very hands on with us as we created their new Shopify Plus site. One example of how we worked very closely together was around the API feed needed for the custom product builder. RAM® Mounts provided the API feed that sent the data to the product builder to enable a customer to make their selections from the drop-down menus. Ambaum then built this functionality by utilizing Shopify’s Section Rendering API. This alters page content without reloading the entire page based on the user’s selections.
One final thing Ambaum did was develop this custom RAM® Mounts builder with Shopify reusable components that will allow us to create this same builder functionality for many other product lines in the RAM® Mounts catalog. The client indicated to us that it was important that our code was reusable as they had big plans to roll this feature out to other lines in the future.
At Ambaum we have been fortunate to work with a number of parts companies and help them replatform to Shopify Plus. RAM® Mounts was an intense project with a lot of theme customizations, API work and data management. We didn’t want to just build a custom site for the merchant, we needed to implement reusable code to help them manage their site internally without having to rely solely on developers for future updates. As you can see from the quote above, the client was very happy with their new site and can see the benefit of a platform like Shopify to help drive their companies growth.
Have questions about how Ambaum can help your organization in the next step toward scalable success? Reach out to us today and let’s hop on a call to go over your needs.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
“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.”