283 search results for “Shopify Plus”

How 3,633 Businesses Offloaded 1.1B Decisions and 9.2M Hours with Automated Commerce

How 3,633 Businesses Offloaded 1.1B Decisions and 9.2M Hours with Automated Commerce

Automated Commerce

Interested in building automated ecommerce workflows but aren’t sure where to start? 

Over 3,000 online stores have used automation tools like Shopify Flow to collectively offload 600 million decisions in less than two years. 

Let’s explore how some of those high-growth businesses are benefitting from ecommerce automation, and what workflows they’ve set up to save their teams time while shrinking business costs and growing faster … so you can too. 

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Ecommerce Data Analysis for Optimizing Your Online Funnel

Ecommerce Data Analysis for Optimizing Your Online Funnel

Ecommerce Data Analysis for Optimizing Your Online Funnel

Conversion funnels for ecommerce are a tricky thing … 

They’re amazing at mimicking onsite buying behavior but awful at unearthing the big picture from multiple offsite channels.

Understanding user behavior requires a full-scale dive into ecommerce data analysis.

In this extended article — courtesy of our Merchant Acceleration team’s Data Analysis Course — we’ll show you exactly how to improve your marketing and sell more.

Oh, and we’ve even included custom Google Data Studio dashboards for each step …

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Food and Beverage Industry Trends 2020

Food and Beverage Industry Trends 2020

This post was written by Paul Gray, a partner marketing lead at Shopify Plus.

Turning up the heat on food makers and sellers

Restaurants, grocers, and boutique food and beverage companies have all felt the impacts of COVID-19. Wholesale channels suffered, as the demand from restaurants, bars, cafes, and other out-of-home dining businesses cratered. This led to issues in supply chains and distribution, but interestingly it did not see a major decrease in consumer demand.

Instead, consumers were looking at how they could continue to enjoy prepared, packaged or fresh foods from their own homes. Google search data shows that queries for “take out” are up 285% since the beginning of March, and queries related to cooking, like “dinner ideas for 2” are up 30%. This has presented a unique opportunity for food and beverage retailers able to adapt. Indeed, once consumers had stocked up on basics such as toilet paper, food quickly rose to the highest purchase intent category. This was problematic, as much of food purchasing had been through retail.

Getting online fast

Food businesses had to hustle to get their product to consumers, and only a limited number of them already had an online presence. A research report from Digital Commerce 360 Internet Retailer showed that in 2019, leading Food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) makers such as Nestle, PepsiCo, and Mars generated less than 10% of total revenues through direct-to-consumer offerings.

In many cases, food makers and retailers had no online commerce at all. Lindt was celebrating its 175th anniversary when COVID-19 forced the closure of its 56 stores in Canada, right before Easter, their second-biggest sales period of the year. Although the company had been exploring ecommerce, at the time, it had no online shopping capabilities.

“Going into this was a major hit. Easter is our second-largest season, and although we had planned to launch ecommerce in 2021, we suddenly had to get online—fast," says Kairen Wu, Vice President of Marketing at Lindt Canada.

Lindt worked with the Shopify Plus team to move fast, getting their online store up and running in just five days and finding a way to get seasonal Easter chocolate to their loyal customers. 

Serving up new business models

Direct-to-consumer works well for food makers, providing a simple and cost-effective way to create an online store, conduct marketing, and build an audience of shoppers. The challenge lies in scaling with growth, finding ways to reach new shoppers, and getting them to make a purchase.

Consumers are looking locally, searching for stores that can meet their needs quickly. They’re more open to buying from new places because their usual stores are closed. A study from Ipsos revealed that in one week in April, more than 25% of consumers tried a new brand or product due to the unavailability of their usual brand.

With the impact of COVID-19, many larger food makers are testing new business models. British healthy fast food chain Leon was founded in 2005 and has since grown to more than 70 restaurants and over a thousand team members across the UK, Europe, and the U.S.

As Leon saw restaurants and small food stores being shuttered, they launched Feed Britain, an initiative that lets shoppers buy produce or ready-made meals for home delivery. Leon launched in two weeks, and is using their online store as a foundation for future growth.

“It’s a credit to the Shopify platform for being so easy to set up an ecommerce site on. I’m not sure we could have done it in that time without Shopify. We want to carry on this principle of being able to give customers direct access to food from the restaurant supply chain and, therefore, restaurant-quality food. And, you know, I think the idea of being able to take the restaurants into people's houses is one which is going to delight customers beyond the crisis,” says Hugo Engel, Digital Executive of Leon Restaurants.

Expediting direct to consumer

The concept of selling direct to consumer (DTC) is not new, and has been most prevalent in industries such as fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. In our current climate, it’s become more difficult for emerging food brands to get their products into grocery stores. Even larger companies are looking at new ways to bring their products to shoppers.

For over 150 years, Heinz has been a globally trusted producer of delicious foods, including the iconic baked “Beanz”. As the impact of COVID-19 became clear, the team at Heinz UK decided to get cooking and launch their very first direct-to-consumer channel.

Working closely with ecommerce consultants Good Growth, Heinz set an ambitious goal of launching from scratch within three weeks. Shopify Plus emerged as the clear frontrunner to enable this offering, providing a secure, scalable, GDPR-compliant platform that could be developed and deployed quickly. Heinz to Home launched in April, at first offering a limited selection of beans, soup,and spaghetti hoops. To demonstrate its support for the community, Heinz worked with the U.K.’s Blue Light Card program to enable free and speedy delivery for frontline workers.

The response was incredible, with the company celebrated in trade and consumer media. Heinz listened carefully to their customers, asking what other products they would like to buy directly, and since launch, have now added sauces and baby foods.

Sarah Znideric, Client Success Director for Good Growth points out that the shift by global brand owners such as Kraft Heinz into direct sales to their consumers has been unfolding for some time. “While retail partnerships are key routes to market for brand owners and will remain so for the foreseeable future, expect to see more brands engaging shoppers directly as the value of the shopper insight from these activities becomes clear,” she says.

“We clearly see this channel as an amazing insight platform for the future where we can get closer to our consumers by testing new concepts, getting the data, learning from our consumers and leveraging those learnings for the rest of our business,” says Jean-Phillipe Nier, Head of Ecommerce UK&I at Kraft-Heinz.

Catering to new and existing customers via omnichannel

According to a study from Accosta, more than half of respondents reported buying groceries online, with 33% of those making their first ever online grocery purchases. Google has seen “food delivery” queries spike over 100%. Grocers have seen pressure to increase staffing at warehouses and local stores in order to keep up with the spike in demand. Local delivery companies such as Uber Eats, Doordash, and Instacart are on a hiring spree to meet demand, and established food suppliers are exploring new ways to meet consumer appetites.

The future belongs to brands taking an omnichannel approach built on personalization, flexibility, and speed. For more than 35 years, The Chefs’ Warehouse has been supplying the highest quality ingredients to the finest restaurants, hotels, caterers, and gourmet stores in North America. As COVID-19 forced the closures of its customers, The Chef’s Warehouse had to adapt quickly.

The company already served the majority of the U.S. via regional hubs, sourcing local produce and leveraging its own delivery network to bring food to clients. But it had limited experience with consumer-facing services.

“As consumers were being confined to their homes, we looked at how we [could] make our range of meat, seafood, and specialty products available for home delivery. With Shopify Plus, we launched our online store, Shop Like a Chef in a matter of days. We really hustled, and we have big plans to expand our offering, but I didn’t want to let perfect get in the way of fast,” says Tom McCurley, Chief Information Officer of The Chefs’ Warehouse.

The Chefs’ Warehouse will be donating 10% of retail sales profits to their frontline furloughed employees and other impacted members of the foodservice industry, who are financially suffering while all restaurants around the country are mostly closed. The company plans to continue its consumer offering alongside its B2B business, expanding the range of products, exploring new options for curbside and restaurant pick up, and growing a community of loyal consumer shoppers.

Savoring the next normal

Boutique food makers, multinational brands, restaurants and food retailers are setting the foundation for new direct-to-consumer and digital models, combining online and offline, attracting new customers, and finding new ways to serve existing customers.

“We had fantastic feedback from our customers, many of them telling us that we helped save Easter. In this crisis, every day can seem to run into the next. But our customers told us that we gave them a way to come together and celebrate, and feel a bit special and closer to normal. We’re now working with the team at Shopify Plus to build on this foundation,” says Wu of Lindt Canada.

Even when the response to COVID-19 sees a reopening of retail, it’s clear that consumer behavior will have changed permanently. Shoppers that never bought online before will have experienced the convenience of choosing and ordering their items for delivery or pickup. Retailers will have learned how to serve up outstanding new customer experiences and will help drive the industry forward to new growth.

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Back-to-School Marketing: Ideas, Stats & How to Automate the “Other” Black Friday

Back-to-School Marketing: Ideas, Stats & How to Automate the “Other” Black Friday

Back to School Online Shopping (B2S): How to Automate the “Other” Black Friday

To help you make the second biggest shopping season of the year an A+, we’ve put together cheat sheets on the trends, data, and promotions. 

Plus, we’ve enlisted the help of a business that’s already increased their pre-B2S sales 99% and conversion 64%. 

How? Through automation. 

Read on to gain insights into how your business can stay one step ahead of your competitors this B2S season. 

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The Decision That Made Raging Mammoth Grow 1,300% in Just Six Months

The Decision That Made Raging Mammoth Grow 1,300% in Just Six Months

Depressed and drinking early …

That’s how Scotty Arellano and Wyatt Thurston describe a dismal moment at their University of Arizona fraternity house three years ago after an entrepreneurial dream of theirs was crushed by the harsh reality of steep startup costs.

“It was going to take more than $100,000 in development costs,” Arellano recalls. “We spent six months sketching out this tutoring business, but it was going to be too expensive to make happen.”

The two shotgunned a beer.

And then another.

That’s when a light went off.

“We shotgun beer all the time, but we always use a key to open the cans which is really gross,” Arellano says. “No one has ever made a beer shotgun tool.”

Turns out drinking and depression can result in epiphanies…

That is until the entrepreneurial hangover hits.

A Better Way to Shotgun Beer

“The first products were terrible,” Arellano admits. “They were huge and could barely even open a bottle.”

Still, Arellano and Thurston threw up a website they say was just as terrible and pronounced themselves in business as Raging Mammoth; seller of what would ultimately become the Sabertooth.

 

The founders soon got confirmation they were on the right track as a crowdfunding campaign resulted in more than 1,400 backers and $23,000. “It just blew up,” Arellano says. “We beat our goals and decided we should take this serious.”

They ditched the old site for Shopify and relaunched their online beer shotgunning store. “The old site was garbage,” Thurston says a bit sheepishly. “My buddy actually designed it, but it was the ugliest site I had ever seen.”

Raging Mammoth did $4,000 in revenue right off the bat but wasn’t throwing off enough cash to grow quickly and sustain two college seniors who were about to graduate. “We were really bummed thinking we’d have to get jobs,” Arellano says.

But that’s what they did.

They quit the business they started to take a shot at getting rich with a Silicon Valley tech startup. The two moved to California, took an equity stake, and adopted the frenetic pace expected of hot tech prospects.

Raging Mammoth was no longer the rage.

Reviving the Mammoth

“We lost track of Raging Mammoth,” Thurston says. “We were partners with two other people at the tech startup and had a lot of responsibility.”

It didn’t take long though for the two to understand the ten percent equity stakes they received in the tech startup paled in comparison to their partners. Thurston says he and Arellano were working days, nights, and weekends and seeing little payback.

Then one day there was a blow up at the office.

“We had to take a walk and vent,” Thurston recalls.

On the way to lunch, Thurston began thinking about Raging Mammoth and learned Arellano had been having similar thoughts. “What if we just quit and focus one hundred percent on Raging Mammoth,” Thurston remembers asking Arellano.

 

A couple of phone calls to their fathers later for approval and the duo had a plan; they’d save all of their money, pledge not to take a salary, and take a stab at reviving the Mammoth.

There was one big problem though.

The two didn’t have enough money for rent in California let alone any left over to grow an ecommerce business.

Relocating the Rage

“It’s not just about drinking,” Arellano says of the Raging Mammoth brand. “It’s about making the fun times we have even better.”

But if fun times were in the cards for Arellano and Thurston they wouldn’t be in California. To avoid winding up homeless, the two packed up and headed for Texas and found the only place they could afford in Austin. Needless to say, the first global headquarters for Raging Mammoth was a mess.

“There were holes in the walls, and it was moldy,” Thurston says. “The floor was about a foot and a half higher on one side, but we were there to grind it out and we did.”

The change of scenery, mold and all, seemed to work. The pair learned all they could, ramped their marketing, and the orders began coming in. “The first month that we brought in ten thousand dollars blew us away,” Arellano says. “That was a lot of money to us at the time, and we couldn’t believe it.”

The revenue record soon doubled.

Then it doubled again.

 

In January 2016, Raging Mammoth generated $52,000 and was growing so quickly it could no longer keep pace. “We were like, woah,” Arellano says. “We sold out of everything and had no inventory left to sell in February.”

Besides fraternity brothers, the Sabertooth can and bottle openers caught fire among tailgaters and others interested in downing a brew quickly:

  • Golfers
  • Campers
  • Wedding parties

“We were blown away,” Arellano says.

The company was shotgunning growth and setting its sights even higher...

Scaling With Shopify Plus

“It was a nightmare when we were outsourcing our development,” Arellano says. “It was a chore just to get the developer on the phone to fix a typo in a product description.”

Raging Mammoth ditched its old site for Shopify long before it began its hyper-growth phase but recently upgraded to Shopify Plus, an enterprise-level ecommerce solution for high volume merchants.

 

Besides saving time and money on development, Arellano and Thurston say Shopify’s robust app store provides them the flexibility to add custom functionality that improves margins and the user the experience. The ability to quickly implement features frees him to focus on what really matters; the product.

For example, of the ten applications Raging Mammoth uses on its site Thurston suggests Notify, an app that boosts sales using social proof, has been particularly impressive. The app can improve conversion rates by highlighting items other customers have purchased and creating a sense of urgency.

 

“Shopify Plus is 100% the best platform for ecommerce,” Thurston says. “We have loved our experience with Shopify and will never leave.”

Raging Mammoth is also leveraging the ease with which Shopify Plus integrates with agency partners to boost sales. The company depends on its email service partner, Klaviyo, to send targeted email based on user behavior. “We have an entire pipeline of email sequences ready to go,” Thurston says. “We automatically send an email to customers who spend a certain amount or who we haven’t heard from in a hundred days. We’re also split testing messages to see which convert at higher rates.”

The company also has plans to customize and make improvements to the checkout experience to improve its off and online marketing efforts:

  • Influencer marketing on Instagram
  • Facebook ads comprised of user-generated content
  • An ambassador program that partners with college students to promote the brand on campuses

“We went from four thousand dollars a month to $52,000 in just a few months,” Arellano says with a hint of disbelief in his voice. “We’re proof you can scale really quickly with the right partner.”

The Talk Future Millionaires Must Have

Compared to its 1,300% revenue growth this next statistic might seem a bit modest; Raging Mammoth’s average order value has increased 52% from $21 to $32. Sure, you can attribute the success, in part, to driving more traffic to the site and the addition of new products like apparel, branded merchandise, and beer sleeves.

 

But what if there’s something more?

The “bro” speak on the company’s website is perfect for its target audience. The company has also mastered the potentially tricky transition of its customers from beer guzzling frat brothers to responsible and employed college graduates by positioning the Sabertooth as a must have for tailgating and other life events that involve alcohol.

But the real reason behind the company’s jaw-dropping growth isn’t something that can be hacked, purchased, or even stolen.

It’s discipline.

Arellano and Thurston recently had the talk- the one entrepreneurs often have when they’re on their way to becoming millionaires and are confronted with whether to take big salaries now, later, or hold out for a sale and an even bigger payday.

“Our margins are really healthy,” Arellano points out. “Should we start paying ourselves lots of money?”

It’s certainly tempting.

But the choice between putting piles of cash in your pocket or back into a business that, like any, is one bad break away from being gone isn’t black and white though it may seem like it when you hear the decision Raging Mammoth’s young founders made.

“If we paid ourselves now we’d be cheating the business in the future,” Arellano suggests. “We decided to put everything we have into this so that in ten years we won’t even be able to regret buying a bunch of dinners and cars now.”

So this company, born in a frat house, will soon do some hiring.

It’ll also spend big in an effort to never run out of inventory again.

It’s a far cry from Arellano’s job of just two years ago as a pizza server in desperate need of a few extra bucks to make ends meet. Especially when you consider the two people who created Raging Mammoth, which one day hopes to become a lifestyle brand on par with Red Bull, almost gave up on it.

“The coolest thing about this is we were going to quit this company nine months ago when it wasn’t working,” Arellano says.

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How Bohemia 4X’d Sales After Migrating & Supports the Survival of Artisan Crafts

How Bohemia 4X’d Sales After Migrating & Supports the Survival of Artisan Crafts

Your site crashes the day it’s launched...

That’s what happened to the merchant being featured in today’s post. And that was just the first of many technical fails that distracted founder Jenny Lockton from her mission: saving artisans and their dying crafts by selling their goods all over the world.

Besides not wishing her old platform on her worst enemy, Lockton is revealing the tool she used to optimize her new site and the one move she made that quadrupled sales so you can do the same ...

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After Ecommerce Sales Surged 72%, Thermacell Turns its Eye to Wholesale

After Ecommerce Sales Surged 72%, Thermacell Turns its Eye to Wholesale

After Ecommerce Sales Surged 72%, Thermacell Turns its Eye to Wholesale

In 20 years of business, Thermacell has established itself as a legacy brand, its mosquito repellants featured on the shelves of every big-box store you could want: Home Depot, Walmart, Target, CVS, etc. 

But this legacy company wanted more from its ecommerce experience. 

Alongside nChannel, a Shopify Plus Technology Partner, Thermacell’s new Shopify Plus site boosted sales 72% in its first month alone after replatforming.  

And now comes the big-boy move. 

With a revamped B2B portal, tailored for vendors’ ease of use and designed to feel like a B2C site, Thermacell’s wholesale division is off and running like never before ... 

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The Secret Holiday Ecommerce Strategy to More Campaigns & Sales in 2018

The Secret Holiday Ecommerce Strategy to More Campaigns & Sales in 2018

The Secret Holiday Ecommerce Strategy to More Campaigns & Sales (on Autopilot)

Over one million dollars a minute in sales … 

That’s the goal an exclusive club of high-growth brands is aiming for this Black Friday Cyber Monday. 

It’s ambitious, but they’re taking an approach that’s radically different from how most brands prepare for the holidays. 

Even better, they’re giving us access to their strategies, results, and tools right here … 

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