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Shopify (re)unite & the Two Ecommerce Stats Every Brand Has to Know

The logo for Shopify x (re)unite.

This week, Shopify hosted their first-ever virtual conference, Shopify (re)Unite, where their leadership team revealed new and upcoming features and provided insights about the future of commerce.  In a world where almost every tech company has pivoted to virtual events (Zaius included), a bit of virtual-event fatigue has certainly set in.  But as I commented to Shopify after the event, they delivered a truly world-class experience that had the right level of polish and practice without losing its personality and authenticity.  You still felt like you were sitting in that large theater with Tobi & Harley – from the convenience of your home filled with crying children and barking dogs.  

Two eye-popping Ecommerce Stats you should know about:

Shopify merchants have lost 71% of their retail (in-person) sales as a result of COVID-19.  But astonishingly, they have recovered 94% of those same sales online.  

If there was ever a question about the importance of taking an omnichannel approach that is centered around the customer, no matter where they interact with your brand, this stat puts that debate to rest.  Brands who focus on collecting customer data and actioning their marketing around it are clearly more adaptable and are in a much better position to increase LTV. 

Over this same time period, Shopify stores are seeing a 45% increase in shoppers who have never bought from them before.  

If I was advising any brand who runs their business on Shopify, I’d say that there are two different ways that they should frame their thinking about this: 

There are going to be more and more anonymous shoppers landing on your store every single day.  Right now, you are seeing an unprecedented surge of new opportunities for driving revenue from new shoppers and you should prioritize growing your subscriber list from this new traffic.  Roll out a welcome discount through web modals or activate on-site personalization to tailor their experience.  If you’re using an Activated CDP, you can personalize your first newsletter and all your other campaigns based on their browsing activity to close the first sale.  Bottom line:  if you’re set up with an integration between Shopify and your CDP, there is a real opportunity for you to convert more shoppers than ever before. 

The other side of that coin is right there in the statistic:  45% of shoppers are choosing to buy at stores they’ve never bought from before.  Some of those shoppers are your existing customers and they are looking at new brands to shop from that aren’t yours.  Brands are all in competition for these eyeballs plus the growing number of ecommerce shoppers and the brands who win are the brands who are the most customer-centric.  Focus on your loyalty campaigns right now.  Activate loyalty data and a dynamic product grid in your next email:  show your loyal customers exactly how many points they have left right alongside the products they’ve shown intent around.  

Shopify Announcements:

The content presented in the event did not disappoint, as the team made several exciting announcements that will definitely have an impact on the state of commerce in 2020 and beyond.  We’ve curated a few of the major announcements that caught our eye, but you can check out the full recording here.   

Express Theme.  Shopify unveiled a brand new store theme called “Express.”  As it’s name would imply, it’s intended for restaurants, coffee shops, and other service based locations who need to make the transition from physical service to ecommerce-led service.  It’s centered around a mobile experience and is, in essence, a 1-page store.  They’ve also included a new tipping feature that makes it simple to add gratuity to your orders.  

New Editing Experience.  The unveiling of a new editor fits in perfectly with Shopify’s consistent focus on enabling entrepreneurs to get online fast and be able to easily make changes and updates to their stores.   It offers much more flexibility that past versions, with drag and drop editing across every single type of page.  The goal is to ensure that everything is easily customizable, even previously predefined sections within templates.

Curbside Pickup & Local Delivery.  I can only imagine the excitement this feature created for service-based Shopify users.  The curbside pickup feature is self-explanatory and is available for everyone.  In the coming weeks, Shopify merchants will be able to create a range for how far they are willing to deliver their goods and fulfill those orders through their own delivery services. 

Point-of-Sale Pro Upgrades.  In their own words, “it’s extensible for the future of retail, today.”  The advancements that Shopify made to their POS capabilities were very, very cool.  The realities of connecting the brick and mortar experience to the Ecommerce experience will be much simpler for retailers with some of their feature announcements.  For example, when checking out, a merchant can easily reference a shoppers loyalty program status or remind users of products they may have left in their carts.  And it’s free to all merchants until October of this year.  

Final thoughts:

Shopify isn’t holding anything back from their merchants – they’re pulling their product roadmap forward and releasing important new features at a staggering pace.  They’re an example of a mission-driven organization and it was on full display this week.  

Even in the face of quickly changing buyer behavior and an uncertain economy, the future is still bright for Shopify brands who can pivot and adapt quickly.  The brands that can provide a world-class customer experience will start to take leaps and bounds over their competition and those who can’t.  

If you want to accelerate your revenue and retain your most loyal customers, an Activated CDP is the place to start.  And Zaius is the only CDP certified in the Shopify Plus App Marketplace – so you can start for free today.  

This article originally appeared in the Zaius blog and has been published here with permission.

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