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#13 – Shopify Exec Departures, Robot Chick-fil-A Deliveries, and Crypto Payments

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Recent Newsletters

Just curious, who are you? Who's reading this newsletter? If you're a store owner, what's your store? Hit reply to this e-mail and introduce yourself so that I can get a better idea of who's on the other end of this e-mail. 

And now, onto the 13th edition of Shopifreaks newsletter….

Stock News

Mon, April 12th – Open: $1,220.00 – Close: $1,202.00

Fri, Apr 16th – Open: $1,211.00 – Close: $1,207.80

Today (Apr 19th) – Open: $1,192.00

1) Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of Ark Investment, thinks Shopify could be the next Amazon. She told BNN Bloomberg in an interview that Shopify remains one of the top 10 investments in the firm's flagship fund and is poised to be the social e-commerce leader in an “explosive space”.

E-commerce News

1) Three of Shopify's top execs will be leaving the company soon including their Chief Talent Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and Chief Technology Officer. This is following last September's departure of their Chief Product Officer — a position that CEO Tobi Lutke took over himself. It has not been announced who will be replacing these members. 

2) Chick-fil-A and Shopify are now delivering spicy chicken sandwiches via robots in Santa Monica. The pilot program will extend across Los Angeles, San Jose, Miami, Pittsburg, and Detroit in May 2021. But do the robots say “my pleasure” if you thank them?

3) Techsemble, a London based Shopify competitor, has raised £1 million and has its eyes set on European and Asian markets. CEO Amy Read spoke to their localization strategy, “We want to encourage greater appreciation and knowledge of the cultural differences and similarities across the world, so brands can better connect with local audiences and compete with local incumbents.” As we reported in previous editions of Shopifreaks, e-commerce tech companies all over the world are gearing up to become the Shopifys of their territories. 

4) Upper90, an investment firm that provide growth capital to tech companies, raised a $55 million equity fund dedicated to e-commerce businesses. The fund will primarily focus on helping early stage, capital-intensive tech businesses get off the ground. They are looking to initially invest in 15 businesses. 

5) Shopify execs will be speaking at this year's Percona Live Online Conference on May 12-13. This year's focus is on how organizations successfully managed the last 12 months of the pandemic and will feature speakers from Groupon, HubSpot, LinkedIn, PayPal, Shopify, and Uber. The online event is free to register and virtually attend. 

6) TCC, an Ottawa-based coworking company that provide flex office space to companies, struck a deal to take over six floors of Shopify's offices. This is following Shopify's announcement last year that its 7000+ employees would be permanently working remotely going forward from the pandemic. 

7) NOWPayments launched a Shopify App that allows merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments on Shopify using 70+ coins including BTC, ETH, VET, and XRP. The app is not publicly available in the Shopify App Store right now, but can be installed as a “private app” via instructions on their site. 

8) Shopify published a list of 25 free and low-cost ways to promote your store. The list includes ideas from guest posting and SEO to press coverage and influencer marketing. They also published a detailed guide to TikTok Marketing and a cold traffic case study about the apparel brand Threadheads. 

9) Last week Shopify removed 1.5% of apps from their marketplace for not meeting their standards of trust and integrity. Shopify works with app developers throughout their entire process of developing and listing apps in their marketplace, but their quality checks don't end once the app is published, which is great for merchants. 

10) Last week we featured an article by Joe Kaziukenas at MarketplacePulse that showcased some of the shortcomings of Shopify's Shop App through the eyes of shoppers. In a Reddit thread from a few days ago, merchants also shared their discontent with the app. Several merchants mentioned that they disabled the app because it confused their customers. What are your thoughts about Shop App? Hit reply to this e-mail and let me know. 

? Tip of the Week

Each week we offer Shopify merchants a Tip of the Week to help them maximize the sales potential of their stores. If you've got a tip you'd like to share, shoot me an e-mail to [email protected] and I'll include it in an upcoming newsletter. 

This week's tip is about e-mail list building.

How are you currently building your e-mail list? What incentive are you offering shoppers to sign up? In marketing lingo, this is called your “Call To Action”. 

Common examples include: 

  • Get 10% off your first order. Enter your e-mail below.
  • Download our Engagement Ring Guide To Choosing The Perfect Ring.
  • Learn how Chelsea lost 25 lbs in 60 days with our protein shakes. 
  • Join our e-mail list for exclusive discounts on seasonal items. 

While all those call to actions are different and specific to that particular store, what they all have in common is that they either offer a financial incentive (such as an immediate discount or future discount) or an educational incentive (to learn how to make better buying decisions through a guide or case study). 

Their intention is to capture the e-mail address of visitors BEFORE they leave the site, so that the store has a way to follow-up with visitors who don't immediately buy. From there they can continue to build the relationship with the shopper via e-mail and offer additional incentives to become a customer. Whereas you wouldn't have these additional customer touch points if they left the store without providing their e-mail address. 

This is why in marketing you often hear the expression — the money is in the list!

Marketers are of course referring to your E-MAIL LIST, which most companies consider to be their most valuable asset, because unlike their social media following, they actually own their e-mail list — which is why it's so important to build it. 

A mistake many online stores make is that they provide either no incentive or a very lackluster incentive to join their e-mail list. “Join our newsletter for updates” — or some other boring out-of-box call to action that may have been the default verbiage in their store theme.

Are you making the mistake of assuming that people care enough about the updates of a store they've never done business with to sign up for them?

If so, it's time to revisit your e-mail newsletter call to action and start providing some actual incentive to join your list. Your store's call to action doesn't have to be financial or educational like the examples I gave above — but it does have to be EXCITING and INCENTIVIZING! Use your creativity to come up with a reason to join that's unique to your business. And if it doesn't work — try other ideas! Just make sure you're not letting what could be your store's best asset go to waste with a boring call to action. 

What'd you think of our Tip of the Week? Would you like more tips like this or should we focus on other kinds of tips? Hit ‘Reply' to this e-mail and let me know. 

Shopify Apps

Last week Shopify added 26 new apps to the Shopify App store. Here are a few that look promising. 

1) Puppy – Reach thousands of new customers who are ready to purchase your products together with other shoppers for a discount via the Puppy group buying marketplace. 20% transaction fee on sales made through the marketplace.

2) Sortimize – Make your collection display more valuable to your customers by algorithmically sorting products using statistics from your Google Analytics and Shopify product data. $9/month.

3) Glance – Track sales and inventory across all of your selling platforms via an iOS mobile app. Currently integrates with Amazon, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. $6.99/month

4) Customs Buddy – Automatically create printable commercial invoices to send your products abroad using customer and product data from your orders. $0.10/order w/ $5.00/month minimum. 

5) Manual Related Products – Manually select and re-order just the related products you want via a simple interface. No 3rd party databases involved, meaning your product connections are saved only in your Shopify store. Free

6) IzyDeal: Automatic Discounts – Run deals of the day, week, or month and auto-apply fixed or random percentages off selected products. Free – $9.99/month.

7) Etsify – One click import all of your Etsy products to your Shopify store and update the information before publishing to your store. Free

8) Multi Custom Authors – Add your own custom authors to blog posts above your staff account limit without needing to upgrade your Shopify account. $4.99/month – $9.99/month.

9) Login to See Price B2B – Hide prices and disable purchasing for visitors until they login or create an account on your site. Ideal for B2B stores that do not want to display public pricing. $6/month.

10) Shipping Delivery Deadline – Let your customers know how much time they have left to place an order before final call for same day dispatching. ie: “Order within 3 hours and 4 minutes for delivery between Thurs, April 15 – Sat, April 17”. $2.99/month.

? Community Talk

Shoutout to one of our readers Jaime over at Filkers – an app that connects your Shopify with CANVA in real time to help you create customized graphics for your store using your product images. They offer a very generous free plan for a single user that includes templates and automation tools to help you quickly spit out some great graphics for your store. Good luck with your app Jaime!

If you've got news or a project to share with the community, shoot me an e-mail to [email protected] and I'll include it in an upcoming newsletter. 

? Shop of the Week

Every week in the Shopifreaks newsletter, I feature a Shopify store with a positive mission. If you'd like to nominate a store, e-mail [email protected] or hit Reply to any of my newsletters and share their website and story. 

This week's Shop of the Week award goes to – a nature inspired lifestyle apparel brand that gives back to the Earth by planting trees with every purchase. So far they've planted 400,000 trees across 12 countries — and counting!

Founders Joe and Sharif set out to create a company that has a tangible positive impact on the world. Their goals are to spread positive energy within their community, inspire more businesses to give back to social causes, and of course to plant a lot of trees!

Tree Tribe believes trees are the lungs of the Earth and the key to a healthy planet. Check out their shop and show them some love on Instagram & Facebook

You can also read my interview with Joe and Sharif on Travel is Life. 

Thanks for being a Shopifreak!

If you have any Shopify or e-commerce related news that's worthy of sharing in our next newsletter, e-mail [email protected] or hit ‘Reply' to this e-mail.

If you found this newsletter valuable, please share it with your favorite Shopify & e-commerce communities and help us grow.

See you next Monday!


Paul E. Drecksler
[email protected]

PS: A frog decided to trace his genealogy one day. He discovered he was a tad Polish.

Shopifreaks | PO Box 25014, Asheville
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