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#12 – Shopify’s Biggest 15 Brands, Putting Canada On The Map, and Class Action Lawsuits

by | Apr 12, 2021 | Recent Newsletters

I appreciate those of you who responded to my e-mail survey last week. If you missed that message, check your Inbox for an e-mail from me with the subject, “Question about this newsletter's future”. The single question survey which asks, “Which parts of the Shopifreaks newsletter do you like best?” is helping me determine which aspects of our Shopifreaks newsletter to continue, retire, and put the most energy into. So please find that e-mail and let me know your thoughts, or you can also reply to this e-mail as well.

And now, onto the 12th edition of Shopifreaks newsletter….

Stock News

Mon, April 5th – Open: $1,175.08 – Close: $1,145.95

Fri, Apr 9th – Open: $1,212.00 – Close: $1,227.30

Today (Apr 12th) – Open: $1,220.00

1) BULLISH: Bruce Kamich of Real Money reports, “Aggressive traders could go long SHOP at current levels only if they can afford to risk to $1,050 for now.” After surviving a test of the rising 40-week moving average line, Kamich predicts a potential price target of $1,486-$1,613 for investors willing to hold.

2) BEARISH: Brian Madden of Goodreid Investment Counsel says it's too late to buy into SHOP now, since neither the multiples nor the technical chart are looking too good for Shopify. Madden says, “The stock is certainly more expensive and certainly has higher expectations, and now on top of that it’s going to face very, very difficult comparisons if, as we expect, a return to normalcy unfolds at some point during 2021 and in fact there’s good evidence that that’s already starting to occur in the United States where they do a lot of their business,”

E-commerce News

1) A grand jury indicted California resident, Tassilo Heinrich, accused of stealing Shopify customer data on over a hundred merchants. He was allegedly working with two Shopify customer support agents to steal merchant and customer data from particular stores to gain a competitive edge over their business. One of the victim stores was Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics. Shopify became aware of the issue in September 2020 and fired the employees, and Heinrich was arrested by the FBI at LAX Airport in February. 

2) A class action lawsuit was filed against Shopify and the crypto wallet firm Ledger over a 2020 customer data breach that exposed hundreds of thousands of customers' personal data. The Ledger wallets themselves were not compromised, however, leaked Shopify data revealed who bought the wallets, which resulted in phishing attempts, threats of home invasion, and other scareware tactics. The breach was orchestrated by a “rogue Shopify employee” and the case will focus on how quickly Shopify and Ledger communicated the breach to their customers.

3) A new Boston-based startup, Wonderment, is looking to bring transparency and personalization to shipping. Their Shopify app consolidates shipping updates from carriers, displays them on their dashboard, and allows merchants to send personalized communication with shipping updates to their customers. What separates Wonderment from current alternatives on the market is their API integrations with Hubspot, Klaviyo, Zapier, and other services, which allows merchants to send personalized and engaging shipping updates instead of humdrum notifications. 

4) Insider Monkey revealed the top 15 brands on Shopify by market cap starting with KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics at the #15 and #14 spots down to Sephora and Tesla at #2 and #1 respectively. The list includes some big brand names like Gymshark, Fitbit, Hyatt Hotels, Penguin Books, Redbull, and even Whole Foods — which is a shock given that they're owned by Amazon who has continued to use Shopify after their acquisition. 

5) Shopify CEO, Tobi Lutke, continues to explore a conversation around DeFi integration. We reported last week that he asked Twitter what role they'd like Shopify to play in DeFi. This week he responded to folks who criticized Shopify's centralized platform as not being a fit for DeFi by saying, “Shopify is a product of pre-crypto times and spiritually aligned with decentralizing opportunity. Over a million businesses use us around the world.”

6) A bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general raised concerns about the public health risks of fake vaccination cards and urged Shopify, eBay, Twitter, and other tech companies to act immediately to prevent merchants from selling them on their platforms. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong wrote in a letter to CEOs, “Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, but it’s also an open door for scammers… These cards pose a threat to the health and safety of people in Connecticut and unchecked could extend the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

7) Chris Albinson, a Canadian venture capitalist, was named the next head of Communitech, the Waterloo-based incubator that has more than 1,600 member companies, and feels that the moment is ripe to put Canada on the map as a tech leader. Albinson wants to focus on investing in “really great companies, with great technology that’s doing tech for good.” He continued, “Let’s build another 15 Shopifys and I think we’ll have a really strong ecosystem that will sustain and build a lot of value for Canada for a long time.”

8) Will Shopify ever build a marketplace? Joe Kaziukenas of Marketplace Pulse says it's not in the cards. He writes, “The bigger Shopify gets, the less likely it becomes that it will introduce a marketplace. It would struggle to compete against discovery leaders like Instagram and TikTok. There is also no gap in the market a Shopify marketplace would fill. It wouldn’t be able to replace Amazon or other retailers because its selection is spotty.” The idea of a marketplace also fundamentally goes against Shopify's decentralization ethos. 

? 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 customer navigation — or rather, a customer's LACK of it. 

There are a number of things that need to be communicated to your website visitors in order to convert them into customers including your product's value, features, & benefits, your company's story, mission, credibility & ethos… as well as your price, shipping rates, turnaround time, refund policy, & guarantee. 

A big mistake that a lot of companies make is requiring their customers to click on multiple pages of their website to discover all the information above.

For example, their company story, mission, and ethos (ie: the reasons you should shop with their brand) is hidden away on the About page. Shipping, returns, and guarantee policies are tucked away into separate pages accessible via tiny links in the footer. Credibility is often limited to an “As Featured In” section of the homepage. 

Stores are essentially saying to customers, “You need to click on these 6 pages before you can make a decision about whether to purchase this product.” And that, my friends, requires a very dedicated customer! 

Realistically (and based on visitor flow data), your customers are NOT going to navigate themselves through 6+ pages of your website before finding their way back to the product page they landed on and making a purchase. So it's up to you to communicate ALL the above on EVERY product page of your website — albeit a condensed version. 

Ask yourself this question, “If someone new arrived to our website via this product page, would they have all the information they need to make a buying decision without having to navigate to other pages of our website?”

If the answer is NO, then it's time to revisit your product and website templates and find ways to communicate that information on every product page. You might find some of it repetitive, but remember, your customers aren't visiting every page of your website — so for them it may be the first, only, and last touchpoint into your brand.

Therefore it's up to you to do the work for them when it comes to learning WHY they should love, trust, and appreciate shopping with you at every step of the visitor journey without requiring them to navigate your entire site and do the work for you.

Doing so will greatly reduce the buying friction that new customers experience with your site, which will lead to MORE SALES!

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 45 new apps to the Shopify App store. Here are a few that look promising. 

1) Ultimate Bullet Points – A simple code-free way to add bullet points to highlight your products most important features and benefits. $7.99/month.

2) GTLayers – Allow your customers to customize your products with a drag and drop image overlay system. $9/month – $39/month.

3) Benticon: Send Gift By E-mail – Accept gift orders from customers who may not know the shipping address of the gift recipient. Benticon takes care of receiving the gift recipient's mailing address. 2.9% of total price per transaction plus $0.30 additional fee.

4) Packify – Sell your products in cases or multi-packs and promote them to customers at a discount. The inventory is kept in sync between packs and single unit products automatically. $50/month.

5) ConsignCloud – A back of house management system for consignment businesses that offers automatic inventory control, bulk payouts, advanced reporting, and a cosignor portal. $89/month – $118/month.

6) Blocky: Simple Country Blocker – Prevent visitors from certain countries from accessing your store and performing actions in it to help stop chargeback disputes based on shipping issues and reduce fraudulent orders. Free.

7) MapIt – Create shipping methods based on areas you draw on the map. Great for local shops that have unique shipping or delivery areas. $15/month.

8) Multiple Login Lockdown – Detect and prevent people from sharing their login credentials to have others access your paid content for free by limiting the number of active logins allowed at a time. Free – $34.99/month.

9) Parvenu – Add a button to your store to encourage users to add a donation to charity to their orders via Network For Good. Free.

10) Streamstyle – Create a personalized shopping experience for your customers through early bird experiences, live events, and streaming videos. Free – $10/month + 5% transaction fee per sale.

? 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 – an eco-conscious fashion company based out of San Francisco, California that creates organic clothing made to fit the way women really live. 

Laurie Dunlap began Blue Canoe in 1994 on a mission to create a line of organic clothing that's good for the world. Their lingerie and apparel are made from 100% natural organic bamboo and cotton fibers that are grown without harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers and followed by a gentle, non-toxic dye process. 

Blue Canoe believes that you will feel good and look good wearing their organic eco-friendly fashionline. Check out their shop and show them some love on Instagram & Facebook

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: Did you hear about the two antennas that got married? The wedding was terrible… but the reception was great!