Shopify Meetup success!

We hope you have enjoyed our Shopify Meetup as much as we did! It was a great night – we hope you had some fun and were able to pick up something new and useful about e-commerce or Shopify.

We loved sharing our top tips for SEO and content marketing success with you. Let us know what you took from the evening and how you’ll be implementing some of our advice by tweeting us at @eastsideco_

Check out some pictures from the evening below.

 

Kind regards

The team at Eastside Co

 

Shopify Meetup Event 2017

We are excited to announce that after two successful Shopify Meetups over the last year, Eastside Co will be hosting our third event this summer! If you own an online business, be it small or large, or if you are considering starting up your own company, then you’ll benefit from attending our FREE event. If this sounds of interest to you then keep Thursday 29th June 2017 free to meet us at the Mockingbird Theatre and Bar from 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

What is the event about?

We understand that setting up and running an online e-commerce business can be difficult, and to maintain this can seem an impossible task. This meetup is to help business owners get more from their online stores.

Guest Speakers

We have a series of guest speakers who are experts in the field of Shopify and e-commerce. Ready to answer your questions and give insights to help you and your store, our experts will cover a range of useful topics. Not only is this Meetup a fantastic opportunity to gain a wealth of Shopify knowledge, our event will provide all guests with the chance to network with other businesses and experts.

Networking

Come along and meet others making their way in the world of e-commerce. There’ll be guests looking to start a business soon, some who are already running successful e-commerce stores and people who are looking to move their business to Shopify. Whatever your situation, there’ll be someone you can chat to and learn from – or perhaps give some advice to about your own experience. Free drink and food will also be provided to fill your bellies as well as your minds!

Join Now

We would love for you to come and join us for what will be a fun and enlightening evening of Shopify-based antics. Please note that you need to register in advance in order to attend our free event.

 

Where?

The Mockingbird Theatre and Bar
Mockingbird House
The Custard Factory
Gibb Street
Birmingham
B9 4AA

When?

29th June, 6.30pm-8.30pm

How to register?

Stay tuned for more information…event registration coming soon!

 

SEO terms and definitions

Having recently started my new job with Shopify experts Eastside Co. as an SEO professional, I soon found myself sending out SEO proposals and suggestions to our clients. The common issue with preparing technical proposals for new clients is that you never know how familiar are they with SEO and web design terms and jargon.

On one hand, as a digital agency we need to ensure that each client understands what we are going to do with their website, the benefits and how our actions may influence his website and traffic. On the other hand, we don’t want to overload proposals with potentially unnecessary explanations and neither we want to appear patronising.

So my solution to the problem was to create this glossary of SEO terms and link to it whenever it’s needed. This helps us to keep our proposals brief and to the point while still providing clarification where necessary.

Continue reading “SEO terms and definitions”

Top loyalty schemes for online and Shopify stores

In today’s commercial landscape, if you’re a retailer who’s not running a loyalty program you’re in the minority. That’s because it’s the most popular and universal way to increase customer retention by giving back to your most loyal customers. When 8% of your customers are generating 41% of your revenue, it’s important to make sure their contributions are noticed!

The key is to ask yourself what differentiates those 8% from the 92%. Loyalty is an emotion. A great loyalty program instills that emotion in customers by going beyond transactional rewards. Those 8% of people are getting more value from your brand than the remaining 92%, and your challenge is to create ways for the remaining 92% to get to the same mindset.

That being said, just because you’re running a loyalty program doesn’t mean that it’s effective.  However, there are more than enough examples of successful programs to get you excited about the possibilities of improved customer retention.

The following three rewards programs are excellent examples of what it means to hit the mark with customer loyalty.

1. My Starbucks Rewards

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My Starbucks Rewards is often regarded as one of the best loyalty programs in the world. When the program launched in 2001, executives were quick to point out that the increased participation in the program was a main driver in hitting their outstanding $2.65 billion annual revenue. Numbers don’t lie, and these indicate that their customer retention scheme is extremely valuable.

So, why is Starbucks Rewards so good?

Outstanding mobile experience. About 22% of all Starbucks sales in the US were made on the mobile app. They Starbucks Rewards mobile customer experience is exceptionally well-designed, and therefore its adoption rather seamless.

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Exclusive Gold Card. Letting customers unlock new benefits as they progressively engage with your brand is a great way to reward them for being an exceptionally good customer. The Gold Card provides exclusivity with new benefits, as well as social status.  With these perks, who wouldn’t want to be a Gold Card member?

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Rewarding for grocery product purchases. Because Starbucks hosts a lot of their products in other retail stores, being able to continue rewarding customers outside of their own establishment is a huge deal. They’ve done this by providing redemptive codes on their out-of-house products, and it allows customers to continue engaging with the brand no matter where they go.

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Want to know more about My Starbucks Rewards? Read an in-depth case study by one of the leading e-commerce loyalty platforms here.

2. Baes With Benefits

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Online apparel and accessories is expected to grow up to 17.2% over the next year, and Public Desire is definitely a brand leading the charge. Based in the UK, Public Desire has become an industry leader in young women’s footwear. Millennials are one of the most loyal consumer demographics, so it’s no surprise that Public Desire took advantage of this with their rewards program launch earlier this year.

Without further ado, let’s find out what Baes With Benefits is doing right:

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Visible call-to-action. Creating a stunning loyalty program is only half the battle, and getting customers to participate is the other half. Public Desire has included a highly visible and attention grabbing CTA on their homepage (shown above), ensuring their loyalty program is top-of-mind and easy to access.

Social sharing. Public Desire has taken advantage of their already strong social community by giving rewards back for interacting with them on social.

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Incredible branding. A loyalty program is an extension of a brand. Therefore it’s incredibly important that it’s branding is on-point and aligns with the company’s voice and character. From the name to the youthful presentation, Baes with Benefits is on-point.

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The functionality is basic so far, but this is great to get people on board with the program to start. No doubt we’ll see more from Baes With Benefits in months to come!

3. Beauty Squad

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One of North America’s largest cosmetics retailers, e.l.f. Cosmetics also launched their loyalty program earlier this year. They focus on delivering luxury products with a non-luxury price-tag.

As far as we’re concerned, Beauty Squad has nailed their loyalty program for these reasons:

Status bar. Logging into the program gives a personalized window that shows customers which VIP level they’re at, and how many points they need to get to the next tier! It’s a motivational and personalised approach to encourage customers to continue engaging by showing them how far they’ve already come.

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Motivating VIP levels. They’ve done a great job of creating achievable tiers with attractive benefits and experiential rewards that focus on further brand engagement.

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Emphasis on experiential rewards. Rewarding customers with experiences is a great way to extend the buyer’s journey beyond the point-of-sale. Getting early access to sales, or being able to vote on new colours are just two awesome examples of what e.l.f. Cosmetics is doing to go above-and-beyond to engage with their customers.

e.l.f. Cosmetic’s Beauty Squad is a robust loyalty program with diverse benefits that is incredibly easy to understand. Their tiered program is one of the best we’ve seen! If you’re looking for more examples of amazing VIP programs, check out this blog post.

Recipe for Success

After reviewing these programs, there are a few common themes we can see as the main contributors to a successful loyalty program:

  •      Awareness
  •      Accessibility
  •      Branding
  •      Exclusivity
  •      Experiential rewarding

All of these companies run exceptional loyalty programs. They’ve increased retention rates, repeat purchase value, repeat purchase frequency, extended their customer’s lifetime value and created communities of brand advocacy.

With these programs and values in mind, we’ve also been able to identify some of the best loyalty programs on Shopify:

4. Glam Seamless

Much like e.l.f. Cosmetics, they’ve done a great job building out a tiered VIP program that focuses on experiential rewards.

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5. Glow Recipe

Like the clever name “Baes with Benefits”, Glow Recipe has coined the the term “Glow Miles” as the name of their points. It’s on-brand and well presented.

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6. One Love Organics 

Not every program has to have tiers. Something we love about One Love Organics is its simplicity, while staying incredibly on-brand and on-point.

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There are many great loyalty programs out there that provide a ton of value for their customers and merchants alike. While it would be impossible to include them all, we feel like we’ve been able to highlight those programs which best represent the current e-commerce and Shopify landscape.

Don’t forget – the holidays may be approaching, but loyalty is always in season!

Is there a loyalty program you’re in love with? Send it our way! We love checking out new and exciting things, and are always excited to discover more amazing examples of customer loyalty.

A Customer Is for Life, Not Just for Christmas

Five Ways to Build Lifetime Customer Loyalty

It’s nearing that time of year again and your inbox is no doubt filling up with advice on getting your store ready for the Black Friday and Christmas rushes.

But sprucing up your store to maximise seasonal sales is only half the picture. You want to entice your Christmas shopper back for more – again and again. Increasing customer loyalty means less time and money spent getting your products out there, and less reliance on the year’s busiest periods to meet your sales targets.

Here are our top five ways to convert your casual shoppers into regulars. In the coming months, we’ll be writing in more detail about some of these strategies to help you engage with your customers and do more business with them, more often.

1. Segment customer data

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Create email lists based on customer buying behaviour profiles: for example demographic, frequency of purchase, average spend, products purchased, passive vs active customers.

Use Mailchimp or a similar service to enable you to send targeted emails.

There are many tools available to help you segment, for example Retention Grid and Nosto. Alternatively, the Shopify reporting dashboard can be configured to help you understand this data.

Target customers with personalised recommendations, discount codes and thank yous.

Use your segmented lists to send customers emails with relevant and valuable content, for example:

  • Customers with high intent (likely to purchase): send product-focused communications (specific products and ranges)
  • Customers with medium intent (need some persuasion): send product and brand-focused communications (product ranges, latest blog posts, social channels or competitions)
  • Customers with low intent (passive customers, need re-engaging): send brand-focused communications (competitions, blog posts, social channels)

All of this work means you’re targeting the right people at the right time, about the right things. The end result? You’re more likely to be communicating relevant and valuable information, which in turn will keep people coming back for more, all of which directly impacts on the level of your customer loyalty.

Check out this case study for more great insights into the power of email segmentation.

2. Curate a newsletter or blog that your customers will want to read (for a great example…well, look no further 🙂 )

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In any industry, as a store owner you have huge potential to be a thought-leader. If people are browsing your website and actively engaging, they respect you as a source of information in the areas they are most passionate about.

With great power comes great responsibility: this is your opportunity to provide engaging, original and exciting content to an avid readership. Simply using this to hard-sell your products will turn your readers off and add your newsletter to growing piles of spam and junk mail. If you stuff your newsletters full of genuinely valuable content, industry news, thought-leadership, humour and insight, they will soon be looking forward to it dropping into their inbox. Get excited about your industry: what’s new; what’s upcoming; why is it great? Sales will follow naturally!

3. Make use of a customer loyalty scheme

The benefits of a loyalty scheme cannot be understated – they don’t only encourage customers to repeat-buy (although that is an excellent reason to use one). Here are just some of the other key ways you can use a loyalty scheme to engage your customers, and the benefits to your business:

  • Reward customers for making referrals – what easier way is there to acquire new customers than to have your existing ones bring them to you?
  • Reward customers who leave product reviews: 61% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision. They help build trust and drive sales – and if you’re worried about negative reviews, even they can be helpful when dealt with in the right way.
  • Spread the word: get some free advertising by rewarding customers who share your details on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Increase spend: if you grade rewards (for example, extra points are earned if a customer exceeds a certain spend threshold) you can increase overall customer spend while making them happy to boot!
  • Win-back ex-customers: the success rate in approaching ex-customers can be up to four times higher than prospecting for brand new ones. Tempt them back to you with an attractive loyalty scheme!

Sweet Tooth is a great example of a rewards package that ticks all the right boxes and allows you to configure your own loyalty scheme.

It’s absolutely key to make your loyalty scheme effective – you need to give people a reason to sign up, subtly remind them it’s there and constantly connect them to it: tie it in throughout the purchase process and make it fun! We’ll be covering the best ways to implement loyalty schemes in an upcoming blog piece so keep your eyes peeled!

4. Build an active community in real life (i.e. not just in cyberspace)

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These days, we’re so used to interacting on the internet that we forget the power of ‘IRL’ (in real life) relationships. While the power of connecting people online has changed our entire world forever, it’s worth remembering that people do business with people they like. Meeting customers, and potential customers, can have a huge impact on their buy-in to your brand, and their loyalty to you.

We followed our own advice earlier this year and organised our first meetup for online store owners and people looking to take their first steps into the world of e-commerce. It was a huge success and a perfect opportunity for people to network, gain insights and exchange ideas about the industry – in person. Temporary pop-up stores and networking events are great way to engage with people and build customer loyalty.

5. Involve customers in your business decisions

A basic tenet of human nature is that if you involve people in the decision-making process they will feel more engaged and supportive of the process. Carry this over to your customers: give them a hand in your brand and they’ll want to be an active part of it!

More insights, perspectives and problem solving is all provided free of charge if done correctly – be careful, however, not to have too many cooks spoil the broth and make sure you retain control of the process!

If customers feel that they’re involved with your business decisions (by having the opportunity to comment on and steer potential new products or services etc.) they’ll feel like a stakeholder and will be more engaged with your products and services. Instant customer loyalty – plus their insights can help improve your products, so everyone wins.

And finally, remember:

  • Measure, Learn Fast, Iterate
  • Customers may move between different segments over time, based on their buying behaviour.
  • Data will drive insights from previous activity and inform future activity.
  • Not everything you do will work as well each time, but you can learn, refine and iterate accordingly
  • You need to ensure that your data is refreshed periodically in order to deliver relevant and timely communication. Relevance is key over volume.

So there you have it – five great ways to engage with your client base and increase customer loyalty – not just at Christmas, or throughout the year, but for a lifetime!

If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to receive more helpful advice on all things e-commerce, subscribe here and we’ll keep you updated with our insights and tips. (We promise not to spam you!)

We’ve been nominated for the New Business of the Year award!

Great news! We are delighted to announce that Eastside Co. has been shortlisted in this year’s prestigious Birmingham Post Business Awards, one of the most important events in the area’s professional calendar.  With entries from over 100 businesses, it’s a celebration of the region’s best companies and we’re immensely happy to be part of that.

2016 has been a year of huge development for our company: with a name change, rapid growth through client acquisition and employee recruitment, the opening of our New York office, and most recently an office move and refurb at our Digbeth HQ to accommodate our growing team! We continue to go from strength to strength and the nomination for ‘New Business of the Year’ helps cement our reputation as the number one Shopify and e-commerce experts.

Eastside Co. New Business Award

What are the Birmingham Post Business Awards all about?

In the words of the event organisers, ‘The Birmingham Post Business Awards celebrate success, recognise achievement and highlight the innovative people and companies in Birmingham who are putting our region on the map by boosting the economy while making a positive contribution to the local community. We believe that the passion, determination, tireless energy and skill that goes into running a top-performing company deserves recognition and our 14 award categories are designed to celebrate businesses from across a range of sectors.’

The BPBA gala ceremony, where the overall winners will be announced, will be held at The ICC on Broad St in Birmingham on Wednesday, 26th October, and will be attended by hundreds representing Birmingham’s business elite.

Being shortlisted in the final 3 for the award is a tremendous achievement for Eastside Co., and the team here are really proud of how far we’ve come in such a short time. Every day we aim to deliver service excellence to our clients and love seeing one of our beautifully designed websites go live, or a client’s conversion rate rocketing thanks to our SEO support – there is a real satisfaction in these successes. Getting a nod of approval from our peers is extra special and makes all the hard work even more worthwhile!

If you’re a business in need of website or digital marketing support, why not drop us a line and see if we can help?

Eastside Co Partnership with NEW Shopify Plus

We’re proud to announce that due to our Shopify knowledge and status as being the best rated and most reviewed Shopify experts in the UK, we’ve been invited by Shopify to become one of the few official Shopify Plus partners in the world. Our track record of beautiful Shopify Plus sites such as our latest launch, Flatspot, has made us eligible for this prestigious partnership and we’re excited to get cracking on more Shopify Plus sites.

Continue reading “Eastside Co Partnership with NEW Shopify Plus”

Hindsight; it’s a Wonderful Thing!

New App Launch!

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that we have launched a new app: Hindsight.

Ever wondered exactly what the visitors to your site do when they’re on your website? Where their cursor hangs around the longest, which pages they hop back and forth between, what the exact moment is when they decide to buy? All the things you simply can’t get from statistical and data analysis. Previously, this incredibly in-depth examination of user experience has been somewhat of a mystery for online store owners – until now!

We’ve created an app which works almost like CCTV for your website, recording every move from when a user clicks onto the landing page to when they leave the site.

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What’s the Theory Behind Hindsight?
We spotted a gap in the market for a new way to track users’ journeys through a Shopify website. There is already so much focus on analysis and statistics of user experience but this level of data scrutiny can only take you so far, so we thought we’d go a step further and create a new kind of heatmapping technology. What makes us different from other heatmapping apps is that Hindsight can record every user journey; that’s right – every single one.

How Does it Work?
With instant set up, this a no fuss app that gets straight down to the job. Once installed, you will have immediate access to a set of heatmaps for every page in your store.

– You are able to switch between viewing mapping clicks, mouse movements and scrolls as well as see total amounts of clicks and hover time.
– Along with this unique heatmapping process, Hindsight also offers you key statistics too
– You can record and play back users’ visits and set which part of a journey is recorded
– Visitor’s location and visit duration are easily accessible
– You can change playback speed
– Recordings can be kept up to a month
– There is intuitive dashboard which means that you don’t even have to leave your Shopify admin panel to see all the app’s statistics, latest recordings and update your plan

How Does this Help Shopify Store Owners?
The more information you have about your customers, the more you can improve your site and therefore, increase your conversions – it’s simple: better user experience = better conversions. By truly understanding your customer’s journey, you can see where you’re going wrong by deducing where customers are dropping off and why. This macro level of user experience analysis is something that has never been used on Shopify before and boasts the unique ability to help owners see exactly how users interact with every element of their site.

The ultimate aim of Hindsight is to infuse our customers with the idea of constantly improving their sites through this constant, incredibly genuine and unique customer response tracker.

What Benefit Does it Give to Us?
Not only did we create this app exclusively for Shopify owners, but for ourselves too. By giving our clients the chance to use Hindsight, we are able to work with them to identify where any issues are and then get on to fixing them. Every recording we view at this incredibly intricate level of analysis, helps us learn; each time our understanding of user experience becomes deeper.

Where Can I Get it?
Head to the Shopify App Store to get your hands on our pretty impressive (if we do say so ourselves) Hindsight app which offers unlimited possibilities to improving your user experience and conversion rates.

If you would like any changes made to your site as a result of using Hindsight, we would love to hear from you! Please drop our small changes man, Ian an email at: [email protected]