Start, Grow and Scale Your Business on the Shopify Platform
Hello everyone Welcome to start grow and scale your business on Shopify. This special Brett, this special event I can talk is brought to you by Shopify and Creative Live and all of the free back to biz classes available at back to dot biz. I'm your host, Tara Mcmullen. I'm a writer, podcaster, producer and business strategist as well as the founder of what works the co founder of Yellow House Media and a best selling business instructor on Creative Live. And today I am joined by an all star panel to answer your questions about starting growing and scaling your business with Shopify. If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to visit back to dot biz for 48 free classes on starting and growing your small business back to biz is a free online learning program developed to support, educate and inspire small business owners like you as they navigate the seismic shifts to the economy and consumer behavior caused by the covid 19 pandemic. And it is brought to you by Creative Live, Shopify, C...
hase Starbucks and many more incredible partners Plus if you're looking for more on building a business and following your passion, creativelive.com has over 400 individual video lessons, articles and tools, courses and interviews led by a diverse set of innovative entrepreneurs and world class experts. A wide range of topics including hiring, selling brand building business models, revenue streams and more. And it is all available at creativelive dot com. And we also want to let you know that Shopify is offering a 60 day free trial for everyone here so you can start your business or try out the platform with no risk. Now, if you know you already have a question for the panel, whether it's specifically about Shopify or about business in general, you can pop those questions in the chat and my helpful compatriot kate will send them my way. Otherwise strap in. I want to tell you a little bit more about or I want to introduce you to our panelists today joining me today are Ashley johnson from Mahala eyewear chad fisher from Am Bomb and Cynthia Lewis. Oh see I did it. Lois L Seguin from Shopify. Cynthia. Let's go ahead and start with you since I butchered your last name. Tell us a bit more about you about Shopify and how Shopify support small business owners. No problem, thank you. Terra, I don't blame you. My name has been butchered for years. I thought mary when I got married when maybe when I got married I'd get an easier name to pronounce in gazelle that I married a second being Canadian, it's a francophone bilingual country. So it is, it was else again, but in english, we both Lois, L. Seguin. So whatever, you know what, as long as you say, don't call me late for lunch with what Courtney's dad jokes, you never say. Uh yeah, my name is Cynthia. I have been a shock five for five years. I have a history. Uh Working with small to medium businesses in the 20 years before coming to Shopify as the right hand to the owner most of the time. So we have these, you know, your ceo would be like I want to do a thing and then Cynthia would have to figure out how to do a thing and that's how I learned a lot of what I've learned to come here and now work through Shopify with small to medium businesses every day. My role here is now I started in our support team uh answering questions and talking to merchants like those who are listening every day all day and what an incredible experience to meet amazing people with amazing ideas and help them take their their businesses and their ideas to the next level. So now I get to work on it in a bit more of a larger scale at three events like this. And working with organizations like Creative live to bring programming to merchants and try to kind of close that gap between those of us a stoplight that do a thing and the folks who kind of need some information. So that's why we put on events like this. So you basically can talk to a human being and get some perspective around what we do a little bit quickly about Shopify. Usually know this once you've come but I always like to kind of give a quick spiel we are a cloud based multi channel commerce platform designed to help you run the business in english, you can basically sell things through Shopify pretty much anywhere where a person is shopping. So you can sell through an online store, you can sell in person through retail. You can also sell through facebook through instagram, through sc, through amazon walmart, go and go and go and go, but all of it is managed out of one central space, which makes things like managing inventory and seeing what your actual sales are a heck of a lot easier. So that's us in a nutshell, I look forward to answering any other questions that might come up awesome. Thanks Cynthia chad. I would love to hear more about you and am bomb and how you work with Shopify and small business owners. Yeah, thank you. I'm chad obviously I'm the ceo founder of AMB all we are a Shopify plus partner. We've been in a sharp fight community for over seven years. We started off with Shopify experts and what that means is there's a whole partner network that Shopify has created designers, developers, all sorts of different skills that can help small business owners as they scale up their business. As Cynthia said, like starting your business on Shopify is super easy. But eventually as you grow, you're going to encounter areas where you need help. Like for us for example, we decided and I, it's a little bit of a side note, I was actually emergent myself and so solving some of the pain points, I realized like, hey there's there's actually a market here for a lot of people that need this and so where we, where we shine is really focusing on the development side of the hardcore building new themes, uh doing integration, work for companies that are merchants that need to connect to like an mrp system, we do migration, so moving from other platforms to Shopify and then we, we can actually build custom apps on the Shopify space. So if you're familiar with Shopify enough to know there's a whole public ecosystem, but some of our clients want something a little bit above and beyond, like for example, furniture manufacturer who wanted a product configuration where you can build yourself on the fly and change things. So for us, you know, that's really weird team of project managers, developers and we get in and help the merchant build because they got so many things that are going on in their life in terms of like coming up with new products and just running the business on a day to day hiring or working with a fractionalized development team has been a real, real great space for us, awesome. Well, every small business owner needs a partner, it sounds like that is exactly what you do. Ashley, can you tell us more about Mahala eyewear and maybe a little bit about your journey as a business owner and how you've used online selling to make a splash. Yes, I'm Ashley. I founded Mahala eyewear and we design inclusive. Um I wear and every pair sends a girl to school and basically most eyewear in north America and europe is once I fits all, it's made to fit a standard of beauty face shape and so millions of women are being left out of product design and fit. And so we have three different nose bridges, various with And adjustable frames to create a perfect fit for every woman. And um we've donated over 80 years of school to room to read um as every purchase sends to go to school. Um thanks Cynthia and my journey with Shopify is um I I was mostly wholesale prior and I'm a new business, I'm like almost four years. Um but I was mostly wholesale before the pandemic hit and then the pandemic hit and and so as an example in january 2020 I had done $300 on um e commerce and if I lost on my whole sale, that was going to be like devastating and I didn't get any wholesale orders for probably like a year and a half because I was in hotel boutiques, women's boutiques and they were closed or they were not selling much. And so I just was like, okay, I gotta figure I gotta figure e commerce out. So I dug into Shopify joined Shopify for startups, which is a similar um organization to the um back to business and so I, I got into this network of other entrepreneurs, but also Shopify has videos and, and sessions where I could learn um, email marketing and not only that, but connect to people like chad and experts and, and start to understand what I didn't know. I think that's the biggest thing as a new entrepreneur, you don't, I don't, I was new to e commerce. I came from like grocery retail and so I didn't know what I didn't know and that's for you. You, you need these communities to connect with the experts and I did 10,000. So I was $300. I did 10,000 in May. So that was like four months later and then I got to 23, month in july of that year. And so e commerce completely saved my business because I would have had nothing. Um, without that. And, and then we got into Nordstrom recently so I am, I am gonna keep um, both channels going, but I think you, you need to have a strong e commerce program and if I can share the few things that I did where I hired someone like chad to redesign my website and and optimize my website. That was huge. I added a find your fit quiz so people could, because my huge thing is fit and helping women understand what they're fit is. And then I also added a try before you buy program. So that's the biggest turtle for fashion brands against brick and mortar people can go and try something on and not pay for it. So I added a um, you can try three pairs for $10 and then keep what you want, send back what you don't. Um, so yeah, those are some of the things I implemented that helped me um, get to those sales numbers. They must, I have to go back to your, your fit. It was at the quiz to find the right, the right glasses. I messaged Ashley, I'm like, I just did it and it was like perfect. Actually recommended the same style of glasses that I've been wearing for 20 years. So I said, Hey, thankfully I'm in the right ones but be it literally narrated exactly and what my, my choices in my, my tastes were. So I thought that was really, really cool. Thanks Cynthia. Yes. Well I can't wait to try this myself as a fellow glasses lover, that is very exciting. Um All right, so it is time for listener questions if you have questions for any of our panelists, whether it's about Shopify, specifically e commerce specifically or more about small business in general, the kinds of hurdles, uh, that we've overcome the kinds of um, trends that might be out in the marketplace right now, pop those questions in the chat and kate will shoot them over to me so that I can ask our panelists. Um, but first I've got a question for our panelists and it kind of piggybacks on exactly what Ashley was just talking about. So actually I think I'll start with you um I'd love to know what kind of trends you've seen emerge over the course of the pandemic in terms of marketing or e commerce, what's working for you right now that you wouldn't have expected maybe um or yeah, what have you just discovered about what the market is really looking for right now? One trend in marketing that I found help me in the pandemic were instagram live. So um because it was a way, I think during the pandemic people were home, they weren't going to the malls, but they still wanted to shop and it almost was more community to like a group of your altogether and you're hanging out and making it like a hangout. But then I could do product launches through instagram lives, I would partner with other brands that maybe had a bigger audience than me, we would do styling together or makeup or hair with this with the glasses and then I would drive everybody to my Shopify site, like a collection and I could give you could hold up numbers, you know, you can give codes in the thing so anybody only people were watching can get that discount code to go to the site, but I have found that has worked, that helped my, my e commerce. Um sales always go up when I do alive, those are like my best sales days of the month often and I think it's just an opportunity that you're connecting directly with your customer and um, and you don't have to like set up a huge pop up and drag everything there, it's so much easier. I love that. I have a good friend who started doing crystal parties during the pandemic on, I think she does them on Youtube live. Maybe she, she might broadcast them also on instagram. Um, but I love hearing that. I think the idea of that pop up shopping experience is so fun, especially if it means I don't have to get out of my PJS chad, what kind of uh trends have you seen emerge over the last year and a half herself. Yeah, I think just to sort of piggyback on what Ashley said, the uh, if you look at, you know the, all the different marketing channels that kind of come into your site, I think of it like a hub and spoke like your site is the hub, there's always spoke. So that's instagram live facebook SEO content marketing, you know, in every, every merchant in every brand is unique, like what, what we've seen and we support more than 30 Shopify merchants. 20 of 20 of those are on Shopify plus they all have slightly different um, channels that work for them. Like some connect really well, like you said actually with instagram lives, some have found that facebook ads are doing really well, Some have paid ads on google or shopping ads through the google merchant center. But either way what they figured out their channels and then when they get on their site, it's thinking through the functionality of like what do you want that customer experience to be? So if you step back it could be like, hey, what's just the raw aesthetics of my site? Like if I, if I match my side up with one of the leading brands in my space and I really get like specific, like what, what do I look like from a navigation standpoint? What's my collection page looks like? What's my product detail page look like what extra functionality and maybe I'm missing that I could add that could drive more revenue. Like do I have a landing page set up for this new marketing campaign? Do I have what actually mentioned about having a really robust wholesale program. What we've seen is a lot of merchants set up wholesale so that they can handle it through their site because the old days of like taking phone calls and doing it over email, you can still do it that way. But what we've seen is that when brands automate their wholesale program there, they'll have reps or people who order at like 11:00 at night because they're busy and they just want to put, they as opposed to like they would call, but then that might get delayed for a week or because they just don't have time to do it. So that adding that making a frictionless, it just really ramps the volume. So I think that for, just to summarize, it's a lot of, you know, thinking about your site critically and this hasn't changed since the pandemic, but it's really, there's a hyper focus on it because you could kind of has actually story illuminated. You can rely on other channels. It's really hard to rely on other channels now when everybody's just sort of de facto looking at e commerce as the main source, um, for, for, for purchasing. And so yeah, I think it's really just thinking through like all the functions and features from product quizzes to configurations to landing pages to wholesale and thinking about like, hey, if I just keep chipping away at that, I can incrementally add revenue and continually test because it's, it's really an iterative process. It's not like you just build your site like, oh, I'm good. It's something that the really strong merchants are like every day they wake up, like, hey, what do I, what can I do to add a little more revenue because you may not, you may unlock something that you never really thought would be a big deal. Mm Yeah, I love your point about really honing in on what your particular channels are and what's going to work for you because I think part of what emerged unhelpfully with the pandemic is sort of like the thought that you could be everywhere and do everything all the time, and I don't think it's helpful and it's also just super overwhelming, especially with someone just starting off. So I really appreciate that point. Um Cynthia any trends that you've spotted in the last year and a half, well the world exploded about a year and a half ago. Um and so with Covid, so it really turned e commerce completely on its ear. I mean, if it literally set e commerce and selling online, probably a good five years in the future right away and some say 10 years without a day in a, in a week, you know, even with the stuff that we were releasing, like local pickup and our marketing tools and um uh local delivery, these kinds of things that curbside pickup in local delivery, all of those features that were coming down the road sometime in 2020 21 we just had to jump on and get those things rushed out immediately, recognizing that important need and everything was very reactive now that we've had kind of a year and a half into it now and um we know that there's a new normal when it comes to commerce and selling and moving forward, it's going to always be, have this kind of hybrid feeling like Ashley said, selling online and having alive and having a pop up and having all those things is happening while you also might have retail things happening at the same time. And I think uh embracing it all in that kind of omni channel way of selling um like chad was referring to as well, like, you know, but for me, what I have found when I started sharing with different merchants, was applying old school marketing ideals to this new kind of e commerce space. I make a joke a lot that I studied marketing back in the 19 hundreds before the internet was really a thing. So um and I'm gonna teach because I think there's probably a few other people on this call who are also alive in the 1900s to remember what things were like in the before, but with that like we really focused in on who your target market was. So who that customer is, who's that ideal customer? Where are they, where do they spend their day? So when it comes to social media, like was said, it's easy to just kind of go, I'm gonna sell everywhere. But is that really effective for your business? It is that the best use of your time? So going and pulling back to those old school ideals of whose my target customer, where are they? How are they spending their day? How am I different from my competition? You know, it was my unique selling proposition, these kinds of things and bringing it back to the basics makes it a lot easier to then go out and embrace our technology. So that kind of from the marketing and the business owner perspective, and then from the customer perspective, we have never seen a bigger movement and shop local than we have been over the last year and a half now. Shop local doesn't always mean I'm gonna shop from the shop across the street. Uh, customers are looking to support small business, They want to help small business and in a lot of cases now they're actually willing to pay a little bit more to support a small business than a big box store. So that's why it's more important now than ever for our small businesses to get themselves in front of those customers. What I've been saying to a lot of people like, well should I bother getting online now that people can shop in my store now? I said, but if you get online it opens up your doors past just your little town of, we say good Wid in Ontario of 650 people, um you know those folks there could be selling all kinds of ships creek things, quote unquote, you know, but like that idea that you can go beyond just your neighborhood. Um I talked to a lot now, I obviously worked at Shopify where we are all about championing small business, but a lot of folks, I talked to her like I want to support small business this year, where can I buy my christmas gifts, what can I do? So, um that's really cool to see because after the last 20 years have been about the big box, the bigger the box, the bigger better it is to see that kind of return to wanting to shop local and support small businesses. Really cool. Yeah, awesome. Uh Cynthia, let's stick with you. The first question that came in is also something that I was personally curious about, so that's exciting. Um but it's how to Shopify work with social selling. You mentioned that Shopify can help you sell on instagram on facebook, on all these other platforms. In addition to your e commerce site, can you tell us more about that? How does that work? Absolutely. Uh that's one of the things I think that's really cool about the platform is that if you're looking at a picture on instagram or a picture on facebook, that often will be a little white dot, you can click on and that will take you directly to be able to buy that product from their store. And so that's like a complete integration with Shopify where you connect to your facebook or your instagram to your Shopify store. And you can actually tag a product in your post. And as I'm at 11 o'clock shopper late at night, who's on social media? Oh my God, I need to own that right now, click boom, I don't wanna have to go look for it. I don't want to go find your, your website and make that purchase. If I can click on, it takes me right to your store, I go check up, up comes my shop pay and I can, all my information is stored and I clicked by its bought before I even realized that I made a purchasing decisions. So that's kind of the basic how it works. You basically connected in your, in your Shopify admin, log into your account and bob's your uncle. You can start tagging products in your individual posts now, are we going to evolve it? Absolutely. Um, I giggled because right, right before we went on air chad made a joke about not calling Shopify Spotify. Well, which honest to God, I have a button here that was on here, but I think it fell off and it says no, I work for Shopify, not Spotify. My dad asked me all the time, you know, how is that a little music place to work for? No doubt. That's not what I do. But we have partnered with Spotify uh, so that when you're listening to different artists, you can actually tap in your Spotify app and be taken to their merch store and buy their merch, we've partnered with Tiktok that was just announced that through your thick talks, you can actually tag Yes. Actually, I, I didn't know that in the last few weeks. So constantly evolving constantly as a new platform is opened up, we're usually opening up conversations with them, I don't know if they're selling on, they're not soiling on clubhouse yet, but I know we were really quick to jump on the clubhouse bandwagon which is a all audio type um social platforms. So basically the more things that are out there, the more we try to give you that that space to be able to sell on it and it really is as simple as tagging uh your product in your post if I can just turn into anyone. It's funny how I think there's so many people on Shopify and with instagram accounts that don't do that stuff and I think that is so huge for driving sales and so it will increase your online conversions, it'll increase your sales if you just had your product because you're just making it so much easier for shoppers um and everyone's on social media all the time, so it's such a wonderful integration, it's super easy to use and set up and like I highly rec everyone needs to have that. Yeah, awesome. Uh let's see. Next question is about reselling and vintage goods. The question ask er asked or says I'm a reseller vintage goods rather than new products. Does Shopify have any plans to work with drop shipping companies like you ship or other platforms rather than just ups DHL etcetera. Cynthia we share do, so there's a couple of ways that we work with drop shippers. One is we have a function called third party third party fulfillment which allows you to basically uh send an email to whoever your third party fulfillment of our warehouses and they will generate the order and fill it for you. So that's one really quick down and dirty way. The other way is we have a number of shipping apps like shiho like ship station which you can then connect other shipping companies to whichever your favorite is. You connect your account too and you can ship directly through that app. So those are available at across they are over and above the USPS and that kind of thing are just within the Shopify platform. Got it. Anyone else wanna chime in on that one? I don't do drop shipping. I wouldn't be able to help. Yeah. Yeah. No I mean I'll just reiterate what Cynthia said that that's actually one of the stores that I had was I knew a local furniture manufacturer. They knew nothing about the web and I set up the front end. And so when orders would come in I would just push them an email and then we worked out a deal. So it was a very local kind of drop shipping arrangement where we only had a geographical area of the greater Seattle area but it's it's really just as just as simply described, it's super easy to set up and in fact that initial um implementation of just like pushing the email to your um fulfillment company or manufacturer, I guess the easiest way to do it. And if you start scaling with volume then using apps like, so we're a ship station partner and we, we will help companies that need to have a really custom integration with ship station, but even ship station, frankly is just like Shopify and it's super easy to use. And so if you think about those, those tools that are at work or shop find that and that's really, if I were, if I could like kind of diverge from the question a little bit, it's the Shopify is fantastic vanilla platform that the smartest thing they decide and I'd say it in the best way like they decided to make this entirely open ecosystem where these best of breed app companies can live and work. And so shipping is one of the areas you've got email where you've got like clay vo is a great in which I'm sure Ashley probably uses or something similar to that and then you've got, you know, subscriptions where you get recharged bold and you have, hey, I want to get a wholesale app or I want, you know on and on each of these deep function or inventory. For example, each of these deep functional areas, it would be really hard for Shopify to try to cover off all the use cases because they take like a lot of inherent product or specific knowledge, but because these app companies can come on and Shopify has played nice with them. It really gives you that. It's fantastic opportunity to build. It's kind of like legos, right? If you think about it, like Shopify is built that base layer and you stack these legos on top of them with apps and then with you know custom, if you need it custom development with a company like us, but frankly you don't even need a company like us to get to like a million or two million in sales like that. Like Ashley's story, I mean you can do all this stuff yourself by just stacking this stuff and that's really what Shopify secret sauces because if you go back even 78 years ago you couldn't do this because the opportunity whether like whether it's magenta or commerce, you had to have a developer and yes, they have plug ins and extensions which kind of function like that, but it's not super easy for a merchant to do by themselves. So sorry, I kind of took it in a slightly different direction, but I love that a lot. I'm glad that you brought that up because I originally built my website from my business on a different platform. You may or may not have mentioned that platform as as you were talking um and I remember the Facebook memories still come up from like 10, 12 years ago with me, like swearing like Oh my gosh, I went to business school. I know my product. Why do I now need to no code? I married a software developer so I wouldn't have to think about code. Uh, and he didn't do html. So he was no good to me. So, um, but that's one of the things we hear time and time again. And I'm gonna say this and I'm gonna say it with a caveat, Shopify is by far the easiest platform for a non technical person to use. And I say that as a person who's used platforms, not as, I don't actually sell Shopify. I'm just here to help people. But um, what uh, it can be really daunting when you first look at it. Well we're here. Oh, it's so easy. It's so wonderful. We also recognize that it can be very overwhelming when you come to it. And that's why we've partnered with organizations like Creative live to provide courses on things through back tube is, and why we have Youtube to watch and learn how to do things and why we have 24 hour support as well to help with those things. But that's, we've really focused on that. Like chad said that core vanilla, which are still going to use from now on. Like now it's like are absolutely sundae toppings to put on it and really make it even better. Right. And, and with that, but why what we've, the benefit of us having, having kind of focused on that core product is that our security is second to none are check out is, you know, touching I've got a wooden desk in front of me. You know, we have I haven't had any security issues yet, but there's there's a reason for that. We put a lot of work in a lot of time into that infrastructure uh and that core product so that it's solid and if we hadn't done that, if we focused all that other kind of stuff that's happening, then that core product would be as solid as it is. Yeah. I wanna loop it back to something that chad had mentioned earlier, which is this idea of really understanding who your customer is and well actually, Cynthia, I think you mentioned that part chad mentioned, you know, what do they want to be able to do on your site? What do you want them to be able to do on your site? I think some of that overwhelm of like getting started from the ground up. It can be really um if not eliminated. It can be very eased if we're actually just focused on like what does this actually need to do right now and what maybe what I like it to do six months from now a year from now. Um and and chat, I love the way you talked about, you know, stacking the different apps. I mean that's how I talk about marketing strategy with people too. It's like we can stack these things, you don't have to do them all at once so I think that's really helpful. Um Let's see, next question is about managing inventory online and Ashley, I'd actually like to go to you first to get sort of like a boots on the ground perspective and then we'll kind of zoom out from there. So the question uh as it was asked is managing inventory online and in real life has been complex with pos systems and online inventories. Oh no that just disappeared. I question disappeared. I got it. How does Shopify make inventory management easier? Um Actually can you kind of talk about, you know, I am honestly just completely baffled by the idea of managing inventory with all the specializations that your product is you know sort of makes its USP. Um So how do you manage inventory and how do you use the platform to be able to make that easier? Yeah that's a really good question. Inventory is such a huge struggle or I don't know that that's not a positive word to use but it's a very um it's an important part of the business and it's your cash flow right because you don't want to order too much and you don't want to have excess but you also want to run out of your best sellers. So it is really important and I've done it different ways. Um And what I am doing what I have found, Shopify works really good at is tracking inventory for all your e commerce sales, so that works pretty perfectly. It's going to um give you perpetual inventory as we call it, so you can have, you know at any given time exactly how many units you have on hand and um and then you can take counts and update your inventory very easily. Um The thing, the thing that gets a little more complex, maybe I want to throw it to chad is when you start integrating wholesale any commerce. Um that's where it gets a little more complicated and I know people have used trade gecko which got bought by Quickbooks commerce. Um but maybe there's another thing in Shopify that helps with wholesale and e commerce, but I found Shopify works really good for checking e commerce inventory I think when it comes to the point of sale and and the e commerce sales in particular, uh that's one of the reasons why we have our integrated point of sale available with Shopify. I've done the whole, I'm using almost to the name of another point of sale for my retail. And then I had still had my inventory management system over here and then I had my e commerce over here and we were trying to export and import inventory on a daily basis and it was an absolute horrible experience for life. I almost said a bad word, but it was, it was really did not work at all and we had so many inventory errors and it was an absolute nightmare. So what Shopify has done with uh, the integrated pos is you can actually sell online and in person out of the same inventory because a lot of our merchants are actually selling directly out of the retail stores, so that way they're not accidentally selling something in the store that's actually already been sold online. Um, and then you mentioned as well, things like Trade gecko and stitch Labs, which our inventory management tools that are available that if you need something more complex than just carrying one inventory and you've got multiple locations or anything like that. These are the types of, again, when we get into specialization, there's an app for that. Yeah, yeah. Just just to add on, actually had a sort of a question there, and I think you guys answered in terms of like the app side of things, so philosophically, here's how we approach it from a development perspective, when we partner with the merchant, what we tell them is, look, we've got so much to do from the development side of things. We're not going to try to over engineer a solution for you because we could build some sort of something similar to a trade gecko, but it would take thousands of hours and it's silly right to do that for one off. So the philosophical approaches a merchant is number one look to see if there's an app because you want to, whether it's trade deca stitch labs, there's lots of inventory solutions in the shop by space. And if you can find when they get you like 80% or 90% of the way there. That's fantastic because ultimately like you may end up with an E. R. P solution if you have like your manufacturer and you need to do like pim management and really intense like, you know, manufacturing and tracking of parts and materials. Now, that's probably a, you know, like above five million or 10 million years. So it's not something you need to worry about initially. But like that first step is, hey, can I manually do it? And then I kind of actually sounds like kind of bumping up against like, hey, there's gonna be some issues. So what we tell customers is like try to find an app if you can't find an app or maybe an apple and get you half of the way there. Then we can talk about maybe bolting something on top of it to give you a little bit more of a custom solution. And then alternatively, like if you were to move up to Shopify plus, shop five plus has a wholesale channel that's baked into it now, even that like there's some things you may that may not be 100% perfect for everybody because that's another way to look at. And then also plus has a lot of other features where you can do like Shopify scripts, where it gives us more control from programming standpoint. So we can add a lot more features or even Shopify flow, which is for a merchant would allow you to set up some automated rules without having to be a programmer on the back end. Awesome. Thanks for that context. Uh, Cynthia quickly back to you you had mentioned, um, I think you called an integrated point of sale. One of the questions that came in is to shop if I have a card reader, you can take to pop up locations. We sure do available in our Shopify hardware store and you can actually quite frankly from your ad men go go into your point of sale kind of sales channel and you can click on a link and order a card reader right through there, awesome. And they work really well. I have three and I use them all the time and you can get, you can sync them to your iphone like it works really seamlessly and and exactly what Cynthia said I use, it works with inventory tracking so you can integrate all your pop ups with your e commerce. But yeah, I think if you're going to start doing wholesale, you're going to probably need an app like trade Gecko or another that's like the, you're adding the sprinkles to your vanilla ice cream. I'm killing all these kinds of sunday's. Yeah, I'm going to be very hungry by the end of the session. I can tell. Um Let's see a question that came in earlier in response to. Another answer from chad is uh do you Shopify merchants? And sellers have access to Shopify account managers? To help sellers build out the third party tools that chad mentioned? Or is this only accessible for high level sellers? So are you our core merchants? Uh We don't have account managers at the core level. We do only have account managers because the merchants success managers at the plus enterprise level that said um for I don't wanna say basic help. We have our support advisors which is our support team that's available 24 7. You can chat with them through live chat or you can do emails back and forth, but they act like your account manager in that you can you can message a support advisor and say I need an app for this or I need a solution for managing my inventory or for um you know managing my shipping or or any of some of the things we've talked about and they will look at your individual store and work with you to figure out what the best solution is for your store. Um They can tell you walk you through how to do a thing whether it's how to add a product or how to set up your social channel but they're also available to help us in business coaching as well with every chat. They should be actually asking you where do you want to go with your business next? So they can actually kind of help point you in the direction of the next thing as well too. So that's our adviser team. Now, if you're looking for something more specific, like a custom solution, uh there are companies like what chad's company does that can be hired to do those custom solutions and you can find them on our Shopify dot com slash experts. Uh and that's where you'll find a company like Embalm or many, many others. Some of them like Carson specializes in small little tasks, which helps a lot of our smaller businesses. Um but there are Shopify experts all over the world who can you can hire to do some of these things for you. But I would always always start with our our support team because they can actually let you know if there's a solution available without having to go to the customer. Yeah, I am always telling people who are frustrated building anything, did you talk to support? Like they're there to help you. But I'm not gonna lie. I'm a little spoiled working here at Shopify because when I reach out to any other, pretty much any other company to their customer support, the rage is strong I'm like why is there not a human being? Why can't they just answer my question, Get this at one point. I'm like, can someone turn off this boat and get me a human please? Like it's, it's those kinds of things. So we, I feel we're a little spoiled that you can talk to a human being. Uh any time 24, I have been back when I was in support, I was accused of being a boat and I was very sad because I think I'm pretty friendly. Um but yeah, so tech support is one thing, but I think that again, I might be Tooting our own horn because I worked in that department for a year. But the support that we offer a Shopify is next level and it's definitely worth taking advantage of. I can't, I'm in and I do not work for Shopify and not paid at all and they have a really, really good support system and I probably contact them once a week honestly. And because you're just always running into issues or small things. But yeah, if you're going to do, like major stuff, you need to hire someone like chad if you can't, I can't do that myself. So, but for like the little things that you need a quick answer on their support is excellent. You don't have to go through a bot a bunch of questions, you can just email them directly and they get back. I want it within 24 hours. They get back really fast. Yeah, I think the one thing I'd add to that is if you are testing or trying out apps don't be afraid to email the out providers as well because they all have their own support system and you've probably done that plenty of times actually where if you get stuck with an app functionality, you're not sure if it's going to work or not just fire off an email there very much. It's an invested interest to get back to you and help you because they want you to have that app installed on, on the platform. So, and I would take it even a step further that if you've reached out to one of our Shopify developers and they're not responding, then let Shopify no as well too because it's also in our best interest that they're responding, we hold them to a level of customer service similar to what we have. Just again, to ensure that you have a wonderful experience. I love that. How does Shopify work with retargeting advertisements for cart abandonment? Cynthia chad? I mean, I, I think, well, let me start and then um, you know the question I'm going to give a yeah right, there's a lot that's going to go into this and I'm going to talk about a sort of a high level. I mean really like there's a plus answer here because like cart abandonment, like if you're on plus for example, but I'm gonna take it down a level in a second, you get back to the, you get a lot more functionality like with Shopify scripts, like we can get in and see what happens after a car has been abandoned. And we could theoretically write something, something very specific for a merchant that if there's, if they want to use case that doesn't exist in an app, but it's back to the other answer. It's like they're our cart abandonment apps that you're gonna want to look at. Most of those inherently are gonna push via email because that's the most obviously effective way to get somebody back. But then in terms of, you know, retargeting and thinking through in this, I don't know if Ashley's tried this, you actually may have a real life example, but then what I would do is try to figure out like whether it's facebook or instagram or whatever platform it's, can we tie in our abandonments to the platform and then set up an ad because creating a new ad campaign on whether it's facebook instagram that's no problem. And you can make it specific to um to retargeting for, you know, abandonment of a cart, what you're gonna have to pass is the idea of the product and the skew that that's, you know, actually that the person abandoned, so you're going to kind of think through how that's going to happen, but it's totally doable, but I don't know Ashley or Cynthia Yeah, from, so from, I'm definitely not as technical as chad is, which is why it's always lovely to have someone like chad in a panel like this um, from a very, very base um, thing to think about cart abandonment is an amazingly hot lead to follow up on and I don't think people do it enough to be very honest with you. Um, something like If you just have a basic car, demand card abandonment, this is really hard to say cart abandonment email ready to go, which you can do just within Shopify is a check to turn it on. So even without making it fancy or really getting into kind of judging it up will increase your sales by 10% right there. I will tell you I am that I am your sucker friends because if I get cute email reminding me I left something in my cart, I'm going to click on it again, I'm gonna double check it. It just, it brings it top of mind. A lot of us leave our carts lying there after we've added $500 to it and recognize you probably shouldn't spend that money. Um that's huge and that's really simple. That's even without retargeting, there are things like the facebook pixel that you can add and um, this is where I go, the magic google fairies, you know, when you're looking at one thing on one site and all of a sudden boom is showing up everywhere. Some of that is automatic, but a lot of it also has to do with these types of retargeting campaigns, which again, like Chaz said, you either need to work with someone to write a script or use an app for retargeting. And there are a ton of retargeting apps out there right now, awesome. And let me just really quick cart abandonment, we should probably define that term. Um I know what it means, you all know what it means, but maybe we have some viewers who don't Cynthia. So when I shop online at three o'clock in the morning when I can't sleep, I add all of the things to my cart because I think I'm gonna like spend and save the world, I get to the end of it and I go to, I enter my information thinking yeah sure I can spend all this and then I get my total, it's like Cynthia, you're gonna spend $1000 and all the night. And I got uh no, I'm not really to buy right now and I'll close it out. But as soon as your cart has captured your contact information, your email, um you have the opportunity to then come back around and reach out to that customer. So an abandoned cart is when someone added a bunch of things to a cart and they close the window. Now obviously we can't reach out to them if they haven't entered their information. So they do have to get to that stage where they entered an email or they've signed into an account before it will actually give you the option to recapture it. But that's basically what it means when someone's done some windows, I call it online window shopping. Absolutely. Actually I did mean to cut you off. No, no, thank you. I'm glad you to find that. That was smart. I think my experience, this is a very good question. And there's also browse abandonment. So that's where they've looked at your site. They haven't added to cart but you're also if they put their email address in any of that, you know, expo what is that flow then you can also re target them. And I would say when I was doing that 300 a month I had none of that set up and when Covid hit and I needed to get my act together, I got on Clay Vo chad mentioned, I highly recommend clay vo it works great with Shopify and then I set up abandoned cart flows, browse abandonment where you can write, you know, several emails from teaching them like oh did you take our find your fit quiz, you know, all these other things to try to get them to add that to purchase that item. And the other thing I have, I am not a technical so I don't know the details of this, but I did work with the ad agency and you, you know, they can track all the people that you know, look at your site added to cart and retarget them with instagram or facebook ad. So that and that's a strong lead, right? That's like a very warm hot lead. So you do want to be retargeting them and getting them to convert. So I think all of that is a good idea. Yeah. Yeah. And just to sort of summarize here, we're kind of talking about two different ways to retarget cart abandonments. There's the email marketing for cart abandonment abandonment and then there's retargeting ads for cart abandonment and there is beginner levels for both and there are advanced levels for both. And I think that that's probably helpful to point out just because again it can be so overwhelming and just knowing that even the most basic step you can take with kind of re engaging, those super hot leads can add a lot of money to your bottom line, which is wonderful. Um Next we've got a question about marketing opportunities during the holiday season, are there any marketing opportunities or tools that Shopify is offering for merchants during the holiday season. Cynthia love that. That question came out because I work with the education team very, very closely and we've got an amazing site and Shopify dot com uh slash B. F C. M. So for those who aren't in the industry, black friday cyber monday BF cm. Uh and that basically encompasses, we spent our basically our holiday season starts right, Is that, you know, weekend of thanksgiving or after thanksgiving when everything just goes, everyone decides they need to get ready for christmas. So if you check out there, we usually post there's all kinds of educational um materials, they'll be webinars and courses about how to increase traffic, how to increase conversions and any tools that we've released specifically for the holidays fall under there, you'll often find as well in our marketing module directly within your admission. So if you look on the left hand side, we've got home and orders and products, you'll see marketing if you click on that. I know last year we loaded in pre template id emails and posts. So you could actually create a social media post right out of your admitted with some holiday kind of um seeming to it. Uh so definitely check out that website, that's where you're gonna find the bulk of those tools and they're putting out new things all the time, awesome. Ashley, do you want to give us a hint of what you have planned for holiday marketing this year or? Yeah, um I'm trying something new that I'm really excited to try with more segmentation and um which, which what what that means is in clay vo which is my email marketing provider. I can really dig into like who are my top spenders and top spenders by different dollar amounts. And so I'm giving like my highest tier early access to our black friday sale and a special offer like a free gift with purchase the next year. I'm giving a different early at a later early access and then the others here um last early access. And then I'm also going to do an instagram live on thanksgiving and anybody who watches that also gets early access to the sale. And then um the other big lesson that I've learned in the past is you don't want to go like you know 20% off and then cyber monday 30% off and then giving Tuesday something else off because you just piss off your buyers. And I learned that the hard way. So and and there is this desire to be like okay what do I do for cyber monday or with small business saturday how do I keep it exciting. What I learned is you want to offer like a different offer. So I'm doing like I wear first and then I'm gonna do I also sell coach and I. Word chains and so I'm gonna have a different offers on cyber monday. Small business saturday. So someone who buys the sunglasses is not going to be mad if I put a bag on sale because they're totally different products. So I think finding a way to keep your offers exciting and new every day but not pissing off people who already bought with you. Um And then the other thing I think really helps is if you just on Shopify make it off. Don't always do a code and doing the code from my V. I. P. S. But it's visually people shot better if they visually see the price discounts rather than the hassle of having to enter a code. So I'm going to just run that for like the bulk of our black friday sale. Got it chad have you seen anything interesting coming down the line? Uh In terms of holiday marketing? Yeah the only thing I'll add is that from just to kind of dovetail. What Cynthia said that from? Uh the other thing that you can do is a Shopify merchant is you can set up additional themes in Shopify. So you could actually have a completely black BF cm theme. You know where it's kind of you can have totally different landing page and or you know homepage where you've got like different images and different products that you want to highlight. So to actually point like you could theoretically if you want to go this far you could have like three or four themes where it's like saturday. I got my small business one and then cyber monday I've got one. And so it gives you it's still your store but it's got a totally different look and feel so that it gets a little more energy behind any marketing campaigns that you do to push that. So when your client, your merchants I'm sorry your customers land on it and they're like oh look, you've put all this energy into, you know, to your store and highlights it, that that, that's amazing. Um on a smaller scale, I've seen people put together a different product collection, so similar to like Ashley's different offers, having a different page featuring a different product collection for each day is also an option. Um but one holiday tip that I think uh we talked about a lot, but people don't always think of off the top of their heads uh with all of this covid stuff and with shipping delays and the big ship that got caught in, you know, across the ocean there blanked on what it was called, beyond what I'm talking about, you know, we, we know that all of our things we ordered from overseas were all on that boat um with all of that happening, gift cards are really important thing to have on your website and what I've actually suggested to a lot of people in your product descriptions to actually have a link to buy a gift card. So, you know, yes, I'm going on this and my kid needs this sweatshirt by taylor swift because she's a wicked, crazy, Taylor Swift fan needs to have this one, but it sells out, which happens to me every year. Um If they have, if you put a link in your product description to sold out, no problem. Buy a gift card and then that kind of reminds people that they can, if it's something to clarify if it's something you're going to refill, If it's not something you're going to refill, then don't after a gift card to replace it after it's sold out. But um a lot of times it's just a matter of supply chain and we just ran out. Um so that's a quick and down and dirty way to kind of do, it's almost like a christmas gift I owe you. Yeah, it's super smart. I actually have um this is just, it's a two part suggestion. But the first is if you have a way to integrate subscriptions into your business, absolutely try to do it. One of the highest like correlated factors to success that we've seen in our merchants is they've got some sort of recurring revenue base because it's as you know, any merchant knows like selling one offs. It's hard, it's a lot of work and it's like you have to constantly go back and learn that new customer support loyalty. But if you can sell something whether it's monthly, quarterly or whatever cadence that's huge. And the second thing related to that is if you do figure out subscription part of your business, figure out a way to gift the subscriptions because what a better time to do that, right and black friday cyber monday and then it's a double whammy of like, okay, yes you have subscriptions that are sort of ingrained into your business, but then you've also figured out a way for customers to buy and gift those subscriptions to their friends and family. My favorite gift I gave last year, it was a Shopify store had a scrunchie um subscriptions. So I subscribed to it for my daughter and every month she gets a new scrunchie in the mail. So it's like the gift that kept on giving. So like again thinking outside the box, that's awesome. I gave a bunch of subscriptions last year as well. Um This the gift subscription made me think of corporate giving. Is there anything that Shopify does or that you all would recommend in terms of helping people get those bulk uh corporate giving orders in. I'll go first. Um I think that this actually plays into what Ashley was talking about earlier with wholesale. You know you can get wholesale like you can set it up so that you have a gating mechanism right where they can fill out a form and apply and be like a legitimate reseller of your product. So that's one way you can also try to figure out which sounds like Ashley is also doing the V. I. P. Customers like you could have tears of customers, they may not technically be a wholesaler but you may allow them to buy and bolt. So it's thinking through like that's to the point of like corporate gifting like that they're gonna be wanting larger volumes and potentially quantity discounts. So what you may want to do is advertise a wholesale side of your site but make it like a little more flexible. So where it's not necessarily a technically a reseller, but it's like, hey, if you're also looking for a bulk discount or corporate, you know, volume or gifting or whatever, like you can message it that way and it's nice to give people an avenue to ask you those questions because sometimes you know, they're looking for that discount and I'm sure, you know, if somebody comes to, you know, share stories, she's like, I'd like to buy 100 of these classes for you. You're going to figure out a way to make it work. Absolutely yes. I'll make that happen and then figure it out later. Well I'm looking at the time and I want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to tell people where to find them and why they might get in touch with them. Actually. You want to start with you. Thank you. You can find us at Mahala eyewear dot com. It's M O H A L A I wear dot com also on instagram at Mahala eyewear and yeah, and Nordstrom dot com as well. Thank you for asking. Yeah, absolutely chad. Yeah. And we're am bomb dot com. A M B A U M dot com and you can, if you have questions after watching this or just want to know a little more shot five, feel free, it's, you know, this, this kind of event I enjoy doing, even if it's to point you in the right direction of like, hey, there's an app that you may want to look at or there's a theme that you may want to pic, it's totally fine. Doesn't mean that we have to necessarily be your services provider, we can point you in the direction of some options, awesome. And Cynthia know Shopify has a deal for us. We do. So if you sign up through back to busy dot com, but back to dot biz and I just gave that to you, c b a c k T O dot biz. You'll see over 400 different courses that are put together by partners. We have four courses on their, on e commerce and on each of our e commerce courses. Once you sign in, you'll see a link to actually start a Shopify store and anyone who starts a Shopify store through the back tube is uh, initiative gets exclusive 60 day free trials. You could almost actually at this point you could sell through christmas without paying a subscription yet. So that's pretty cool. Um, and I really want to thank Ashley and chad because we did reach out to you folks to come in and chat with us today. So I want to thank you very much for representing and Tara, thank you so much for being here too. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I want to put another plug in for back to dot biz. That's kind of hard to say for e Z U R L I heard you say. Yeah. Uh, it's tons of free training um, from the folks at Creative Live and lots of other people, there are four different learning paths that you can choose. One of them has four courses or for lessons from me as well. So, if you're interested in hearing more about marketing or kind of getting your business and brand built from the ground up, you can check those courses out as well. Uh, and then of course, lots and lots of other courses on business and creativity and photography and illustration all on creativelive dot com. So, check those out as well. I want to thank Chad Ashley and Cynthia for joining me today and a huge thank you to both Creative Live and Shopify for partnering on this event as well as our producers, john adam kate and Christy, thank you all so much. Thank you for being here with us and for your great questions and we will hopefully see you soon. Amazing! Thank you