Shopify Meetups are Back! Here’s What We Learned

Shopify, Gorgias, Klaviyo, and Wave Commerce presented expert insights on how to scale your business globally

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Wow, it was great to have Shopify Meetups back in action - at least virtually! With a 200% explosion of Shopify Merchants in the past 2 years, it was no surprise that about 70% of the guests were at their first-ever… Shopify Meetup!

Hosted on June 16, 2022, with over 100 in attendance, the theme was; Scaling your Direct-to-Consumer Business Across Borders. Wave Commerce was proud to bring together the leading Shopify ecosystem partners to enable new and experienced Shopify Merchants to learn and grow with the latest updates, trends, and tools shaping DTC, ecommerce, and Shopify.

Many merchants have been noticing paid ad performance declining, with costs increasing, due to privacy changes affecting data access. To better support merchants in growing their business, Shopify, Klaviyo, Gorgias, and Wave Commerce all delivered incredible sessions with useful insights on how to collect and utilize their own data they currently have to improve customer acquisition and scale their business.

In case you missed it, we put together a brief recap of the Meetup below.

Guests networking and joining Q&A breakout sessions for different topics

Guests could learn more about new products and services for Shopify merchants and join a live video call to learn more after the main sessions

Shopify: Updates & Market Insights

Leo Jin from Shopify spoke about the key trends shaping ecommerce and how that connects to the latest developments at Shopify. He also showed us the key highlights from Shopify and Forrester Consulting’s major study - the Future of Ecommerce, to help merchants get ahead of the trends. He wrapped up with a deep dive into some of Shopify’s pioneering new features.

“The only constant in commerce is change” was the opening statement from Leo, who then shared how the advantage of Shopify is an ecosystem approach - innovation and scale at the speed of commerce with its integrated ecosystem. He said Shopify had thousands of engineers advancing Shopify’s capabilities to keep Shopify merchants ahead of trends with 600 new products and services (since January 2020), and that 600 million shoppers had spent 175 billion USD on Shopify stores in 2021.

One of the features Leo presented was Shopify Audiences, a new feature for Shopify Plus merchants to find relevant US and Canadian consumers, target social media ads, and lower customer acquisition costs.

According to Leo and Shopify, here is how the future of ecommerce looks:

  • 41% of people are fine with brands they like using their personal data to deliver relevant content
  • 77% are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy
  • 47% of the consumers surveyed in Asia Pacific said a local presence was a significant factor influencing which brands they shop from

Top tips for success to ride the new wave of commerce:

  • Focus on customer loyalty and omnichannel enablement in 2022-23
  • Clearly define your values as a competitive advantage, instead of competing with price
  • Get in early to adopt new Shopify tools and features like Audiences

Klaviyo: Customer-centric Marketing

Robert Gibson is the APAC partnerships lead at Klaviyo, a unified customer platform that specializes in ecommerce, retail, and DTC. Klaviyo is one of the top marketing tools for Shopify, so we knew they would have top-tier insights for merchants to grow traffic to their stores.

Rob instantly connected with the audience by sharing how most brands struggle to deliver personalized experiences. The reason why, he said, was that they underutilize their current solutions and don’t consider a strong foundation for customer data. It doesn't help the situation given most tools only gather basic data which is scattered across various channels and tools that don’t talk to each other.

Rob took us through how Klaviyo solves this. As a unified customer data platform, it helps Shopify merchants personalize communications to their customers at scale, easily acquire new ones, and use their own data to drive revenue. Klaviyo delivers strong, personalized customer experiences with one continuous loop of improvement through email, SMS, customer segmentation, sign-up forms, and analytics.

Looking at the most successful marketing strategies merchants can use today, Rob said the data is very clear that email is king.

  • Email driven revenue is up 86% compared to pre-COVID
  • Email open rates are up 22%, and click-through rates are up 43%
  • Most notably there is a 60% increase in revenue per recipient

Touching on SMS, Rob highlighted that 3 out of 4 people prefer to receive an SMS message, then being targeted with social ads, and 85% of people prefer to communicate with a brand via SMS.

How personalized connections are crucial for DTC

  • Only DTC brands can truly own the customer experience and delivery; they can create an end-to-end customer experience that is better than any marketplace or a traditional retailer can offer
  • You can understand the behaviors of your VIP customers, and then find more people like them
  • Sync your VIP target segments to Facebook and Instagram and use them to create lookalike audiences

Gorgias: How Customer Support is a Ticket to Growth

Jasper Koolen is the Senior Partner Manager APAC at Gorgias, an ecommerce helpdesk that turns customer service into a profit center. As a centralized hub for all customer service engagements, Gorgias is top of mind for Shopify merchants wanting to convert online traffic into paying customers.

Jasper shared some stats that we are probably all too familiar with: that shoppers are frustrated with long wait times, even longer resolution times, and having to repeat themselves over and over again to the same brand. This is increasing customer service costs for brands, losing sales opportunities, and decreasing efficiency and CSAT.

Jasper highlighted how customer engagement is so important, yet often overlooked.

  • 73% say CX is an important factor in a customer’s purchasing decisions
  • 90% rate an “immediate” response as important or very important
  • 43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience

A “cookie apocalypse” - Jasper said brands are struggling to collect customer data. Gorgias is a solution to address these common challenges. This is because customer service is the only point in the customer journey where you have the full and undivided attention of your customer. So don’t be afraid to ask for information that may be valuable to you, like new products they are looking for, or their honest feedback.

How to leverage first-party data with Gorgias

  • Gorgias and Shopify have an unmatched integration
  • Gain a birds-eye overview of your customer, instantly, such as customer identity, order and delivery information, purchase history, and past communications (integrated from 65+ apps) - all of which allows support agents to provide the highest quality of support right away
  • Increase efficiency with templates, intelligent automation rules, integrated refunds and coupons

Wave Commerce: Selling Globally with Shopify

Rolland Yip from Wave Commerce, the featured Shopify Plus partner in Hong Kong for global brands and enterprises, and leading Shopify experts, wrapped up our last session of the day. Rolland shared our experience Wave Commerce helping clients scale out their international business and introduced the new Shopify Markets feature designed to help Shopify merchants sell globally.

Many merchants are looking to scale their business across borders. Rolland highlighted that cross-border ecommerce is projected to grow at 15% CAGR in the coming years and is outpacing overall total ecommerce sales growth.

To start, Rolland looked at the basic foundation for selling globally, with 4 key considerations from a storefront to CX and customer support.

The biggest question people ask him is whether they should have a single global store, or multiple stores with one for each international market. Rolland presented some interesting pros for each, and reinforced the need to align your Shopify setup with marketing, operations, and CX strategy.

Single Store:

  • Simplicity - one single Shopify store to manage
  • Time to market - Fastest to get started selling in multiple regions

Multiple Stores:

  • Compartmentalize - teams can manage local instances without impacting others
  • Localize - Full controls to customize and localize the Shopify experience

For Startups and fast-growing DTC merchants looking at a single-store strategy, Shopify Markets is an option to localize globally to boost growth. Enterprises, however, tend to favor a multi-store approach.

Key features and benefits of Shopify Markets:

  • Group regions into markets
  • Map markets to subdomains & folders
  • Custom product pricing
  • Local currencies and checkout

While Shopify Markets offers a quick and simple framework for basic localization into different regions, it may not be for every Shopify merchant. For larger businesses looking to add more advanced customization to international rollouts, these businesses can look towards implementing multi-instance Shopify models for more localization features and enhanced commerce experiences.

Next Meetup

The next Shopify Meetup is coming in September, 2022! Stay tuned for updates by joining our mailing list and following us on LinkedIn.

A big thanks to Shopify, Klaviyo, Gorgias, and Wave Commerce for making this Meetup happen!