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Shopify theme developer Paul Reda is a collector of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) t-shirts, and has for years hoped MiLB would move to Shopify. And then they did, but they didn't consult him, and now he has mixed feelings about it. Anyway, let's try to buy some Isotopes shirts together. (Paul accidentally filmed his side with a potato. Accidents happen. Sorry!)

A spicy website teardown of Chicago condiment institution Marconi Foods

Watch an ecommerce expert spend $50 on socks in this exciting screencast.

Founded in 2013, Bombas is an apparel brand that originally sold socks and began selling T-shirts in 2019. For every item purchased, a clothing item is donated to a homeless shelter or homelessness-related charity.

Shopify Re-Unite keynote wrapped up this morning. In it, Shopify's leadership team revealed new and upcoming features. I took notes.

Here are the big announcements:

  • Installment payments coming to Shopify Pay later this year. (works like Affirm/Klarna/Sezzle.)
  • Product States: Instead of just published/unpublished, there are now Draft and Archive status.
  • Sounded like Sections Everywhere just got reannounced. Independent sections in all templates. Sections Everywhere is currently in Partner Beta
  • Shopify Fulfillment Network no longer in beta. Also, its staffed by robot utility carts.
  • Shopify Email has been used to send 30 million emails since its surprise launch two months ago.
  • SHOPIFY BALANCE will let you pay bills, track expenses, and get funding from your Shopify admin. Shopify is your new bank. No fees, no minimums, and you get a Shopify ATM card.
  • Several new features coming to Shopify and POS to support curbside delivery, tipping, etc.
  • New Order Index page makes managing orders easier. Rolling out now.
  • Performance Dashboard will show you how fast (or slow) your store is over time so that you can identify issues detrimental to performance.
  • Product pages now support "Page activity," you can see who else is working on the same product as you and avoid losing work. Coming to other areas later.
  • New storefront renderer decrease time to first byte, making your site more performant with no extra effort
  • Cross-Border Domains, coming later this year, will allow currency and language switching based using multiple domain for a single store

This is a partial list, and timelines are subject change. Some features are rolling out now, others we won't see until next year. Keep an eye out in your Shopify dashboard, the Shopify newsletter, and the Shopify blog for announcements as new features roll out.

Not sure what all this means? We discussed it in-depth on The Unofficial Shopify Podcast.

An entirely unsolicited website teardown of Allbirds.com

Allbirds is a DTC ecommerce darling. Let's poke around their website and see what we can learn.

"Allbirds is a New Zealand-American footwear company that uses a direct-to-consumer approach and is aimed at designing environment-friendly footwear."

Logistics and Audience

Retargeting

A good place to start is remarketing. Focus on the warm traffic that’s already visited the site but hasn’t bought, because it is dramatically easier than trying to get cold traffic to convert. The dynamic ads make content a lot easier.

Prospecting

Make a conversion campaign optimized for purchase, and if it’s a new ad account, start by targeting interests. You can track which interests are working well and which ones aren’t. Take one interest per ad set. So, if you want to test three different interests against each other, then you would have three ad sets.

A/B Testing

To keep things simple, start with the same two ads in each of those interest based ad sets. Then, keep the copy the same in both ads and just change the image in each of them, so that you’re limiting the number of variables. Square images show up across Facebook and Instagram really well and fits in pretty much all placements. Run those ads for five days and choose the winning ad.

Budget

A good rule of thumb here is 1 - 1.5X your average order value and run it for 5-7 days to see how it does. If you increase your spend, you can run it for a shorter amount of time.

Selecting Images

Select images with pretty different concepts, not just a color change. This will really give you insight and learnings as to what works better.

This particular topic came from someone running a mattress store. This is an extremely competitive space and tight market. Despite being in a difficult market, there are still some tips that can apply to everyone.

  • strong>Analyze the quality of your traffic. Where are they being directed from? If it’s all cold, you’re going to have problems with conversion.
  • Is your store set up ideally for your target audience? If you are an international store, make sure your currency converters are functioning and that your product descriptions are welcoming to those different markets. Clean graphics and overall brand guidelines give a more polished professional feel as well.
  • Talk to those who aren’t purchasing. Set up a live chat widget on your site that’s manned by someone. This way you can address objections in real time. After 30 days analyze the data and see if any common questions came up to address.
  • Utilize an exit intent pop up. The free Hotjar plan is my favorite for this. The way it works is when the person’s mouse goes up out of the browser viewport, a window pops open. You ask them one question, “If you didn’t make a purchase today, why not?”

First, an affiliate program is a scenario where a website that reviews the best tech gadgets, recommends their favorites, then tells you where to buy them.

On the plus side you are letting others sell for you and it’s another advertising channel. On the down side, you usually need to seek out these opportunities and do the work to find partners. There are apps that will help you facilitate this process, but they won’t do the work for you.

Affiliate partners always get a portion of the sale through their website.The percentage will depend on the product, the niche and the industry. Use common sense here and figure out what makes sense for you. My personal affiliate links on Amazon range between 2-8%.

Pro tip: My personal preference for affiliate program apps is Refersion. I’ve set this app up for several stores, big and small. I’ve also been an affiliate on the receiving end. I know it does exactly what it says it’ll do. It’s really easy to set up and will give you a couple options for promotions. For example, someone can use a coupon code to promote your site.

This all depends on your financial position as an entrepreneur and as a company. In a perfect world, you can find a phenomenal SEO consultant who will probably use some SEO apps in order to best implement their SEO strategy, right? But, a good SEO consultant costs a lot of money and if they don’t cost a lot of money, they’re not that good. That’s where I think it’s important to realize a lot of SEO can be learned and then you can implement your DIY strategy through use of a good app.

An important thing to remember is that an app is the tool, it doesn’t do the work for you.

If you’re on a budget, the best option is to hire a consultant to do a strategy plan for you and then you implement the plan yourself. That way you’re not hiring the consultant and paying for every hour that they’re working on your store and you’re just hiring for that initial action plan.

Now, if you’re a major brand, Plus store, you’re selling $10 million, and you’re trying to rank up against Nike for example, that’s a whole different story.