Scott and Ivana are with Social Lite, a Shopify partner sales and marketing agency. They’re also the creators of Merchant Mastery, which offers courses and coaching for Shopify businesses. In this episode of Content Callout, they share WHY your business should be on a Shopify platform. They also cover how to find success with email marketing and what its Merchant Mastery course is all about.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:03] The impact of the pandemic on online shopping
- [4:55] Why you need to get started with Shopify
- [7:31] Navigating the Shopify platform
- [9:10] The buyer’s journey
- [12:35] Email marketing still makes bank
- [18:04] Offer strategies for email marketing
- [19:35] Do they experience creation fatigue?
- [22:23] How they keep course materials up-to-date
- [26:31] How they got started with a Shopify business
- [33:35] What the Shopify Community is like
- [44:09] Tips for hosting webinars or recording courses
- [47:42] How to connect with Scott and Ivana
The impact of the pandemic on online shopping
Scott notes they saw a massive spike in clients when the pandemic hit. Why? Because Shopify makes it easy for smaller businesses to get into the online shopping game without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not only that—but everyone was forced to shop online. It radically changed buyer behavior and also forced older generations to become comfortable shopping online. People already selling online saw significant spikes in sales, with numbers they’d never seen in their lifetime.
After the first few months of the pandemic, things dipped and began to level until Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But in 2021, things are still higher than they were pre-pandemic. People have really embraced shopping online. Online shopping is a permanent backup plan to brick-and-mortar and wholesale businesses. But why Shopify in particular?
Why you need to get started with Shopify
An omnichannel approach is a safety net—using wholesale, Amazon, Shopify, etc. He notes that people love Shopify because businesses get the highest margin on their sales. If you wholesale, you cut your prices for a middle person to resell. Amazon takes a massive cut and owns all the customer data. There’s also a lot of overhead with brick-and-mortar. But if you have an online store, it means direct-to-consumer sales, which means—you guessed it—higher profits.
You do have to build a platform, an initial following, email list, customer base, etc. That is the largest uphill battle that new online businesses have to face. Those things aren’t free. And it takes your time. But it is well worth it in the long run.
Navigating the Shopify platform
Ivana points out that she isn’t a developer and doesn’t write code. Despite that, she’s found Shopify to be user-friendly. Building your site is a step-by-step process that is easy to follow. She believes that it’s accessible and scalable. Once you develop it, you get the customer data which is key—and people don’t always think about it. That data allows you to see trends. It allows you to see what offers resonated with your customers. You don’t get that if you’re simply selling on Amazon.
The buyer’s journey
Clients want revenue and customers. But you have to start somewhere else first, right? Scott points out that you need to think about the customer journey when you build an online store. Part of the customer journey is blood, sweat, and tears—and ad spend. They think about the eight stages of the customer journey. The first four are:
- Awareness: The first time someone hears about your product. It resonates with them. They might see an ad and move to the engaged stage.
- Engaged: The potential customer may navigate to your product page or watch a video. You’re building trust and likability.
- Subscribed: If you’re investing time, resources, and ad spend to get people to your website, you need to build deeper relationships to follow up. To do that, you need to collect email addresses.
- Convert: This is when you finally make a sale. Amazon doesn’t have to go through these stages. But when you build your own platform, you have to do the work to find our buyers and get them into the sales cycle.
Customer acquisition is the most expensive part of running a store. Once you can convert them as close to breakeven as possible, you’re offsetting your marketing investment. But it doesn’t end there. Your customers need to buy from you repeatedly. The second time they buy, there’s no acquisition cost.
If you get enough people on your Shopify platform, you can make enough sales by sending out emails. Listen to the whole episode to learn more about the revenue that email marketing brings in and ways to implement a campaign.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Sign up for the Merchant Mastery Newsletter and get “54 Powerful Offers For Your Online Store!”
Connect with Scott Cunningham and Ivana Radojevic
- Connect with Scott on LinkedIn
- Connect with Ivana on LinkedIn
- Merchant Mastery on YouTube
- The Merchant Mastery Podcast
- Merchant Mastery Courses
- Social Lite