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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Top Email Marketing Services For eCommerce

When it comes to online marketing, email is on top.

Delivering higher rates of interest than any other marketing type, email is your key to building a dedicated database of faithful customers.

Jumping into the world of email marketing, the pure amount of options available can be extremely overwhelming, with each platform promising something new and extraordinary.

Let us guide you through the very best options available on the market right now, looking at features and functionalities that differentiate each from the next.

In order to elevate your online business, these email marketing services have to be at the top of your list:


#1 AWeber

AWeber is a cornerstone in the world of email marketing, known for being reliable and very affordable. AWeber has existed for more than 20 years, and it is believed to be one of the first email marketing solutions.

The main selling point for AWeber is the affordable prices for companies with smaller email lists. AWeber promises professionally designed email templates, guaranteed to impress clients and start nurturing an ever-growing clientele.

Another key feature AWeber is sought after for, are their high rates of email delivery. In the world of email marketing, this is arguably the most important factor; what use are emails that don’t end up in your client’s inbox? AWeber is known for its unprecedented delivery rates, claiming to be the best in the business in this aspect. With a dedicated deliverability team, AWeber’s claims are more than just hot air; they ensure all your emails are delivered.

With a total of six plans, AWeber offers many solutions that change in features and price depending on your number of subscribers. Unless you’re looking to go with the most expensive plan, prices will range between $19 and $149 billed monthly. Annual and quarterly billing options are also available if monthly payments won’t work for you.

Offering a total of six plans, AWeber is extremely flexible, allowing you to pick the package that perfectly suits your business. The plans’ prices grow as you go from the bottom to the top packages, ranging between $19 and $149.

We have written an extremely detailed review of AWeber. Check it out to see if this option is the one for you.

#2 MailChimp

Originally exclusively an email marketing service, MailChimp has also spread its roots in recent times, offering services such as landing page creating and other advertisement options.

Even though MailChimp has started to spread its wings, its email marketing service is still grounded as one of the best.

MailChimp is one of the email marketing giants, with millions of users worldwide. MailChimp makes use of this by collecting data to provide beneficial insights to keep refining all their clients’ email strategy.

The key features that define MailChimp’s strengths are its huge amount of third-party application integrations. These integrations allow you to shape MailChimp to fit your email strategy perfectly.

A few of the most powerful integrations include Shopify, Facebook, and WordPress. For example, MailChimp’s Shopify integration prompts store visitors to subscribe to your email marketing directly from your E-commerce site. 

Slightly less flexible than AWeber, MailChimp gives users the option of four different pricing plans to choose from. Ranging from a free option to around $300, each option’s price scales with the number of email contacts you plan on using.

If you’re torn on deciding between MailChimp or AWeber, check out this article where we compare the strength and weaknesses of the two in detail.

#3 SendInBlue

A straightforward email marketing service, SendInBlue is the go-to choice for beginners. 

Using an intuitive drag-and-drop email editor, less technologically experienced users will have an easy time creating and customizing their email campaigns. This simplicity should not be viewed as restrictive for experienced users, as the editor can still produce professional-quality campaigns.

Even outside of designing, SendinBlue also uses beginner-friendly automation tools that allow users to send emails, construct workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment email recipients. Using artificial intelligence, SendInBlue can also determine the best time to send bulk emails, ensuring the highest possible deliverability rates.

SendInBlue offers arguably the best free option of email marketing services, as it allows you to make use of most of their features, only being restricted by an email cap of 300 per day. This allows you to rigorously test every aspect of the software to see if it is worth paying for. The basic premium plan starts at $25 per month. Recently, they also added features like a landing page builder, CRM, live chat, and Facebook ad integration, giving you even more bang for your buck.

#4 Constant Contact

A lesser-known option, Constant Contact, is fastly growing as a potential pick for businesses. Following SendInBlue, Constant Contact also focuses on a beginner-friendly experience.

This service has a super intuitive interface, allowing you to easily manage your email templates, contacts, marketing calendar, and much more.

Taking inspiration from MailChimp, Constant Contact also provides incredibly useful third party integration. Key integrations include powerful eCommerce integrations for platforms like eCommerce and WordPress. 

Providing one of the longest free trials, a full 60 days, you have more than enough time to test the waters before you invest.

#5 HubSpot

HubSpot is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in email marketing. With a large list of useful features, HubSpot aims to breach the gap between beginner and intermediate users, with optional but advantageous features.

Catering to newer users, HubSpot also makes use of a drag and drop editor, adding on to their large library of beautiful pre-made templates (which you can also customize.)

The key to boosting conversion through email marketing is creating enticing and alluring emails, leading recipients to click through to your website.

The email editor allows you to use any of your email subscriber’s contact information to automatically display personalized information in email content, subject lines, and links.

HubSpot also utilizes A/B testing (also known as split testing.)

These insights given to you by split testing are very beneficial to see which of your campaigns perform the best and tell you why.

HubSpot offers an amazing free option, allowing you to send up to 2000 emails for free monthly. After that, upgrading your plan starts at $50 per month.

#6 ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the best email marketing option if you are promoting an eCommerce website.

ConvertKit makes use of pre-made templates, which you can use to customize to fill in your campaign’s information. This is ConvertKit’s weakest aspect, as these pre-made designs tend to be quite lackluster, although they could still get the job done. 

The reason why ConvertKit is the best solution for promoting eCommerce websites is their focus on building campaigns with integrations for landing pages, eCommerce platforms, and other membership sites.

If you are focused on selling products and don’t mind simple emails without distracting elements, this is the solution for you.

As with other email marketing solutions, your subscription price is based on the number of emails you send.

#7 GetResponse

This marketing platform places heavy emphasis on its user-friendly interface. This makes the whole process, from importing your email contact list to finally sending your campaigns, silky smooth.

Their email editor also allows the insertion of custom HTML code, allowing you to customize your campaigns pixel-perfectly. The editor also has mobile optimization, ensuring that your newsletters will look just as good on both phones and desktops alike.

GetResponse is also known for having handy 24/7 support over live chat and email. This is very reassuring; if you ever have any questions, they are there for you.

As with most other email marketing services, the subscription price of GetResponse is determined by the number of clients you will be sending emails to.

#8 Drip

Drip is an email marketing service designed to be used for eCommerce businesses. Drip prides itself in its seamless integration with top eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.

This email marketing service makes use of CRM data to craft personalized marketing experiences to boost engagement and build customer loyalty greatly. 

Drip gives you profound insights into customer habits. You’ll have the ability to tag each action a user performs to get the complete story for every customer. 

This makes it plausible for you to segment your email list based on clicks, previous purchases, opened emails, and much more. Drip specializes in exceptional personalization for each eCommerce customer. These personalized operations will help you develop trust and generate long-term customer devotion.

Drip offers a free 14-day trial before investing in a subscription, the cheapest being $49 per month. This price increases with the number of clients on your email list.

Conclusion

To get the most out of email marketing, you will need to pick a service that provides contemporary features. These features are crucial if you seek success via email marketing in any way, and not using them will put you at a clear disadvantage over your competitors.

Key features are:

  • Automation Sequences
  • Email List Segmentation
  • Specifically targeted email strategies

These features also exist to boost your revenue and save you the precious time of manually scheduling these emails. Reading through the list above, you can determine which platform is the best fit for you.

We trust that this list will guide you as you embark on your email marketing journey to elevate your business above your competitors.

Have any questions regarding email marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Mailchimp Continues Its Transformation By Launching New AI Tools

White cyborg finger about to touch human finger on dark background 3D rendering

Mailchimp may have started out as an easy to use newsletter tool, but that was almost 20 years ago. Today’s company still does email, but at its core, it is now a marketing automation platform for small businesses that also offers a website builder, basic online stores, digital ad support, and analytics to make sense of it all. Like before, though, the company’s main goal is to make all these features easy to use for small business users. “

Mailchimp continues setting its transformation in motion, launching a number of AI-powered tools to help their customers. These tools are claimed to give small businesses access to the same capabilities their large competitors use.

These tools include forecasting tools to aid behavioral targeting, allowing business owners to see what products are most likely to be bought by different groups of prospects. As well as an AI-backed designer, to help business owners design personalized visual assets.

Click here to read the full article: Mailchimp Launches New AI Tools as It Continues Its Transformation to Marketing Platform

The Current and Future State of E-commerce

the current and future state of ecommerce

Where are we now and where are we heading

The e-Commerce timeline has moved up significantly in just a few months by the Covid-19 epidemic. Online store development is the new gold rush with every company now having to look at ways to get online and fast. From your normal mom and pop store selling 1 or 5 products, to your favorite restaurant now having to pivot to online sales and food delivery. To retail giants scrambling to shift from physical locations to moving their merchandise online in record time. Many are struggling to understand this new world we live in but one thing is clear. No business has a choice anymore. You will either make the shift or struggle to keep up long after the effects of the epidemic have worn off. 

“One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”

Jeff Bezos

Those that have already made the shift online are far ahead of the competition but it is not too late for those only starting out. The tools available today make it possible to move online in record time. Platforms such as Shopify & BigCommerce make it feasible to start selling within a very short time. Gone are the days of building online stores from scratch with code that only the developer understood. Anyone can launch a basic store. For more advanced setups a developer is still required or if you need a more custom-designed look at feel. Traversing the more technical issues such as payment gateways and shipping can still be difficult for some.

Necessity Drives Innovation

Drone Deliveries in ecommerce
Drone Deliveries

Everyone knew it was coming, they just thought we had more time. Yet like all shifts of significance, this one came out of necessity. 

Necessity has always driven innovation throughout history. The pandemic of 1918 brought on a new understanding of the benefits of hygiene. World War 1 and 2 changed production forever with the ramping up of streamlined factories, especially in wartime America and post-war Japan. 

This new shift will be equal in its severity yet no less life-changing. 

Current sales figures are reaching black Friday levels, yet over a much longer period, as the rush to buy online continues to gain momentum. The latest data suggests that a large number of new users are buying online, and most importantly, returning for repeat purchases. This shows that these new users are becoming more comfortable with the process and forming new spending habits. Online grocery sales have seen the biggest shift in numbers with no letting up. This is the time to capture the hearts and minds of these new online customers. 

How customers continue to shop and how the e-commerce industry responds, will bring about a sea change in the world of online, and the offline retail landscape. 

What does the future of commerce and e-commerce hold?

Automation and AI

Warehouse Automation ecommerce
Warehouse Automation

Automation and AI will be at the forefront of this new world. This current epidemic has shown the fault lines in our global supply chain. It has placed a strain on the economies of the world by first threatening the manufacturing heartland of mainland China. Next, it threatened our freight and backed up our ports. This might point to commerce moving more localized in the near term. Long term the giants of the industry will have to look at ways to secure the things that keep our economies ticking. 

Automation will play a large part in this with robots moving more and more into the factories, ships, fulfillment centers, and stores. Amazon’s Cashierless stores promise more convenience with less human interaction. 

Evolving Fulfillment

Online stores are using the term contactless shipping to attract customers wary of COVID-19. Contactless curbside pickup and home delivery are becoming the new normal and a popular option with safety-conscious consumers.

Drone deliveries are already a reality in some countries, and this will only increase in the next year. Some see a future where drone ships cross the oceans powered by solar and wind, and steered by satellites and AI. Automated Harbors that run by digital harbormasters that keep goods flowing at an unmatched efficiency, constantly learning and adapting. Solar, driverless trucks shipping the goods to fulfillment centers where no humans are needed or present. And onto the cashier-less stores or home delivery bots that bring the goods to the consumers. Where we will all find jobs during this next evolution is another matter. Universal income might become a right, together with access to the internet. 

This new revolution will bring forth new jobs yet unimagined, the same way all big shifts have done throughout history. The agricultural revolution made it possible for craftsmen and artists to appear as people had more time away from subsistence farming. 

Fulfillment is the next battleground for giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify. Shopify is working aggressively expanding its footprint in the US against the well-established market leaders. Customers want products fast and efficiently and they are willing to pay. Retailers are looking for one-stop solutions that include warehousing and shipping that seamlessly integrates with their online stores.

Courier companies across the globe will have to keep offering better services and pricing to help merchants take on the big boys. 

“My belief is that eCommerce is the future, and [that] eCommerce is going to replace a lot of traditional ways of doing business,”

JACK MA

AI

e-Commerce search engines will begin to think more like humans. This will ensure that search results become more relevant to customers, instead of based on outdated algorithms.

Some of these AI tools are already available to us today in image recognition features in Pinterest, Automatic searching of videos, and other media. 

AI will change many areas of e-commerce including:

  • optimizing the sales process, 
  • prospecting new products, 
  • improved personalization, 
  • chatbots and virtual shopping assistants.

The Gamification of e-Commerce

social media shopping

This is one area garnering the most interest. Bringing together social media, interactive games, and e-commerce is the dream for many online retailers. Shopping is becoming more about the experience for the customers than a straight buy and pay model. It has become another form of entertainment where people shop for fun. eBay was one of the original drivers of making shopping fun with its bid and pay system, where you have to beat out other customers for the privilege of buying the item you desire. 

Loyalty programs and other points systems further extend Gamification into the online shopping experience.

Social Shopping

Facebook recently made a significant investment in India’s Reliance Jio. JioMart went live in Whatsapp days after the accusation in Mumbai, thereby dipping their toes in a potential userbase of 400 million Indians currently under lockdown. This will be a powerful tool for small businesses to get their products in front of potential customers. 

Did you know: The first-ever online transaction occurred in 1994 when a 21-year-old entrepreneur, Dan Kohn, sold a Sting Album, Ten Summoner’s Tales, to a friend in Philadelphia. The transaction of $12.48 was the first-ever protected by encryption technology.

New kid on the Social Media block, TikTok, recently launched a new initiative called Small Gestures where users can send virtual gifts from well-known brands to each other. This gives brands exposure to the millions of users flooding the platform as well as giving users the ability to “reward” content creators. This is just the start of TitTok’s evolution into online sales and advertising.

Screen time on Social Media has seen big increases in recent months as people try to stay connected during COVID 19. 87% of people claim that they use social platforms to help them decide to buy a product. This has given rise to Social Shopping where users can purchase directly through the social media platform. 

Pinterest’s recent update to its Shopify App, which includes shoppable pins, is a great example of how platforms are looking to profit from this. 

Yet it goes beyond a single channel. Consumers want to be able to interact through multiple channels be it email, social media, WhatsApp, or the online store. Research shows that they spent on average 80% more than single-channel shoppers. Retailers need to make sure that their brand is consistent and reachable across all platforms. 

Final Thoughts

e-Commerce cannot be ignored any longer by any business serious about its future. Things will not return to normal once the infection rates begin to fall. Users are becoming more comfortable with shopping from the comfort of their own homes. Getting your weekly groceries delivered to your door is now the norm and plays towards our inherent laziness. It is also more efficient than looking for parking & standing in guess at checkout. This will not change. It is time to look for the gaps in this new reality and see where one can innovate and expand to fill those gaps. 

The focus should be on the customer journey, the efficiency of production & fulfillment, and fine-tuning your marketing for the multi-channel reality.

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”

OPRAH WINFREY

e-Commerce Statistics

  • The Global eCommerce market is predicted to grow to $6.5 trillion in 2022
  • Currently the largest e-commerce market in the world is China
  • The US eCommerce market is set to grow from $365 Billion in 2020 to $600 Billion by 2024
  • The 3rd Biggest eCommerce market in the world is the UK with 586 Billion Pounds(31% through Amazon UK)
  • The biggest increase in e-commerce growth is expected in India
  • 95% of all purchases will be made through e-commerce by 2040
  • Men tend to outspend women online
  • E-commerce is estimated to grow to 17.5% by 2021
  • The average abandoned cart rate is 2.5% across categories
  • The category with the best conversion rate is gifts at 5% with the lowest being electronics at 1.4%
  • The highest conversion rate goes to food and drink at 7%
  • 70% of shoppers state free shipping is the reason they buy online
  • On average 30% of products are returned with clothing and shoes returned the most

Tips for anyone selling online or for those planning to

  • Decide on the platform best suited for your business.
  • Focus on quality Product Photos and include lifestyle images.
  • Create Videos and include it on product pages
  • Offer honest and open information to your clients to build trust
  • Respond to Customer Concerns and Recommendations
  • Focus on reducing abandoned cart rates
  • Design for mobile commerce and test, test and test
  • Improved Delivery Options in eCommerce
  • Have an SEO, Content & Social Media Strategy
  • Talk to your customers the way they want to. Provide live chat, WhatsApp, email, phone, Messenger, etc.
  • Understand your customer’s needs. Talk to your existing customers to find out what they need. 

Pinterest Launches New App With Shopify

Pinterest Launches New App With Shopify 2020

Turning your Shopify products into shoppable pins is going to be a lot easier going forward. Pinterest released info on the new app on 7 May 2020 where it listed exciting features that will be great news for merchants. Shopify store owners and marketers will now be able to upload their complete catalog into Pinterest, as shoppable Pins. No more messing about with code or extra development. This app is the only connection you need between your Shopify Store and your Pinterest profile. This will help expose the products to a gigantic potential new audience.

Shopify Product Pins
Shopify Product Pins

The old version of the app allowed shop owners to create ads but the new app simplifies the integration and also includes organic listings. This is great news for the over 1 million merchants on Shopify as it provides an easier way to reach over 360 million Pinterest users.

The App also adds a Shop tab in the merchant’s Pinterest profile, which increases the chances of customers discovering products when visiting their profile.

Pinterest Shopify App features

  • Seamless Tag Installation
  • Catalog Ingestion
  • Daily Product Data Updates
  • Ad Buying Dashboard
  • Shop Tab In Pinterest Profile
  • Advanced Reporting

“By uploading their catalog feed, merchants make it possible for people to discover and save their products and buy directly from their website. People come to Pinterest with an intent to plan and purchase. The number of Pinners who have engaged with shoppable Product Pins has increased by 44% year-over-year, and total traffic to retailers has increased by 2.3x year-over-year. And, due in part to early beta testing with Shopify, catalog feed uploads increased 144% in the first quarter of the year.” Full article: Pinterest launches Shopify partnership

Pinterest as an Online Mall

Pinterest Shopping Guides
Pinterest Shopping Guides

This new partnership continues to show the company’s drive to become an online shopping destination of choice. This should also have a positive effect on their ad revenue long term as shop owners increase ad spend. Pinterest has seen a significant increase in traffic since the start of the pandemic and this partnership will help boost engagement with shoppable pins even further.

Pinterest launched its verified merchants in late March 2020 and added more features such as Shop from a Board, Shop From Search, and Shop from pins and Style guides which appears when a user searches generic terms.

The app itself is free and you will be able to get organic exposure but you’ll have to pay per click for ads that drive users directly to your store. Setup is easy and once installed you’ll be able to access the new dashboard where you can begin pushing your listings through to Pinterest.

Up to Date product data will be pushed through to Pinterest so any pricing or product updates you make in-store, will be live on your social media profile.

Installation Steps

  • Install Pinterest App from the App store
  • Add Tag to your Shopify store
  • Upload Product Catalog incl Price, Availability & Product Description
  • Publish In stock products to Pinterest

Shopify is continuing to innovate and this together with many new initiatives (such as the Shopify App) is welcome news for merchants as it provides an extra channel to reach new customers. The Pinterest App will help to drive more traffic to store owners, which needs all the help they can get in these trying times.

The app is currently available in the US & Canada. Other regions such as France, UK, Australia to follow shortly.

Merchants are adapting to new realities and looking ahead to the future of retail, which is why we’re focused on making both our ads and organic features available and impactful to businesses of all sizes.

Jeremy King, SVP of Technology, Pinterest

More on Pinterest:

“Pinterest is an American image sharing and social media service designed to enable saving and discovery of information (specifically “ideas”) on the World Wide Web using images and, on a smaller scale, GIFs and videos, in the form of pinboards. The site was created by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp and had 300 million monthly active users as of August 2019. Pinterest, Inc. is based in San Francisco and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched the prototype as a closed beta in March 2010. Nine months after the launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site’s first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users. The launch of an iPhone app in early March 2011, brought in more downloads than expected. This was followed by an iPad app and Pinterest Mobile, a version of the website for non-iPhone users. Silbermann and a few programmers operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011.” Source: Wikipedia


Top Online Store Optimization Tips That Will Increase Sales

Top Online Store Optimization Tips That Will Increase Sales

How to improve your conversion & abandoned cart rate, SEO ranking, sell more products and build the best online store possible

1. Experiment Constantly. You can also learn more tweak more and make your online shop better. 

2. Put money back in your business.

3. Collect email addresses from day one and start the conversion with your audience through newsletter app such as Aweber.

4. Nurture relationships with influencers in your niche.

5. Clearly display shipping & return information so your customers are left with no surprises. Unknown costs kill conversion rates so be transparent. 

6. Write quality product descriptions that describe the product in detail. The customer cannot pick up and touch your products so make sure that your description gives them a clear picture.

7. Design a website that is visually appealing but does not take away from your products. 

8. Find online shops that inspire you, study them, improve on what they are already doing right or not so right.

9. Ask for feedback from your customers regarding your store & products. Use focus groups and heatmaps to constantly get feedback and test and tweak using this information. 

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

10. Make sure your product categories make sense to customers, not just you. Don’t make them think and make sure it is clear and easy to navigate.

11. Set up your social media platforms from Day 1 and actively post to each platform on the schedule that you can maintain. Find your voice with these posts and remember to stick to 80% informative and only 20% selling. 

12. Create valuable content that inspires & educates your customers through multiple forms of media; video, articles, how-to guides, infographics, etc 

13. Video is king in online content. It drives the most engagement and must be part of your marketing strategy. Online video editing tools have made it easy for anyone to create unique content for their brand. 

14. Offer free shipping if possible. Calculated shipping at checkout hurts abandoned cart rates

15. Make sure you have a budget for advertising. When you first launch no one will come to your site if you don’t advertise. Adwords, Facebook Ads, Social Media Ads is a good start but don’t throw money at it blindly. Set specific targeting goals for your campaigns, do A/B testing, and keep refining. 

16. Study your abandoned cart rates, find potential issues, and keep improving the fall-off rate.

17. As the owner, you should talk to your customers. Check-in by email, phone, or WhatsApp. Use Live Chat to find out what they need in real-time on your site. 

online store customer review tips
Listen to your customers

18. Build quality links through guest blogging or by creating sharable content.

19. Use Upsell and Cross-sell apps such as Bold Upsell to boost shopping cart size.

20. Use free trials for Shopify apps to test which ones work for your store. Make sure to back up your theme before installation.

21. Test everything in your store before you go live. Test mobile responsiveness, do test orders with a real credit card, shipping rates, all links, anything that might hurt the customer experience.

22. Do SEO Optimization on your site. Check for broken links, do SEO optimization on images, product pages, H1 & H2 Headers.

23. Use Retargeting Ads to expand your reach.

24. Ask your customers for photos of them enjoying your products and share that on your website, blog, product pages, and social media

25. Ask for testimonials. This can be set up automatically with Shopify Apps such as Judgeme.

26. Use Flash Sales, countdown clocks and limited stock counts to drive urgency. 

Shopify Email Launched Globally

shopify email service launched

Shopify has announced the launch of its new email service, Shopify Email. It is free of charge for all their merchants until the 1st of October 2020.

This is good news for all shop owners, as up to this point one had to use other 3rd party email service providers. No respectable store owner can run a professional website using a Gmail or yahoo address. It lacks professionalism and does not build trust in the brand. Shopify is plugging a big gap in its product offering for merchants with this new feature. It is much easier launching your email within your store, than using another hosting company and having to struggle with DNS settings, etc.

There have often been issues with bad integrations with 3rd party apps that have frustrated many users. This also removes the fear of contacts being copied by unscrupulous App developers.

At this time it is still not known if it will be including important features such as DKIM and DMARC alignment into this new service.

No Setup Required, Fewer Hassles

It does not require any setup and works in your dashboard under the Marketing tab. This is a big plus for users who might not be tech-savvy or those frustrated by constantly struggling with email issues. Who among us has not had issues with constant requests for our passwords or having to call tech support every time your mailing program updates?

Shopify takes on Newsletters Giants

The new services also come with a host of extra benefits in direct competition with newsletter services providers.

One of the most exciting features is templates, which make it easy for users to setup up stunning email campaigns in seconds. The designs look clean and simple as well as easy to update. I’m not sure how much customization is allowed but that might be a good thing when it comes to responsiveness and compatibility.

Built-in Templates

Another compelling feature is that the templates will automatically pull in your company logo, colors, and fonts. This will ensure that your brand identity in your marketing emails is aligned with your store

Shopify already offers powerful analytics data and this is now brought through to the Email section. You will be able to track insightful info about your email campaigns. This is is a must if you want to understand what is working and what needs improvement.

Shopify is taking on the big guns in email marketing by including attributes that used to be the sole domain of the likes of Mailchimp and Active Campaign. Tools such as the ability to segment your users by spending habits in your store will be a fan favorite with merchants. Shopify Emails might be one of the reasons for the split in 2019 between Shopify and Mailchimp as the latter must have seen this as direct competition for their core business.

Extra features, such as the ability to schedule emails and more advanced templates, will be rolled out in the future.

What is the cost of Shopify Emails?

Pricing at first glance looks affordable. Your first 2500 emails are free (although it is not clear if this is per month or lifetime). After that, it will cost you $1 per 1000 emails. This is very generous considering that for now there seems to be no limit to the number of subscribers.

This is certainly an exciting addition to Shopify’s product offering. It also comes in a time when merchants need all the tools they can get to help retain customers and reach new ones. Shopify Emails will also make it a much more attractive offer for new customers who prefer a one-stop solution.

What this means for all the Newsletter Apps in the Shopify ecosystems is another question altogether.

Competitors like Bigcommerce will be keeping a close eye on developments such as this. Up to know they have only offered email forwarding but this might change if the new feature becomes more popular.

This is, however, a positive move from Shopify as they continue to expand on the list of services that come with their e-Commerce solution. It is exciting to see that the Ottawa based e-Commerce giant continues to update and improve its product offering.

Click here for the full article on the Shopify Blog: Shopify Email Is Rolling Out Now and Completely Free Until October 1, 2020

Top Trending Products in the Coronavirus Pandemic

working-from-home-covid-19-crisis-ecommerce

Physical stores are closing their doors across the world due to the global crisis caused by COVID-19. Restaurants, bars, and clubs are suffering due to this global pandemic as people shy away from crowded public spaces. Malls are closing or forced to put in place social distancing procedures to help reduce the number of customers in the store at any one time. The effects on the economy, jobs, and oil prices have been devastating.
A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the final week of March 2020; the highest previous record being 695,000 in 1982. This increased to over 6.6 million one week later.

47 million workers are being laid off in the world’s largest economy. A devasting number that will have a ripple effect on other regions as US consumers decrease spending.

Online Retailers to the Rescue


online shopping google trends
Online shopping trend over the past 12 months

In all this carnage one would think that the e-Commerce industry’s hour has arrived. And in most cases that is true. There has been a large spike in sales for what is seen as essential items, as worried consumers prepare for the worst. People have been infamously stockpiling toilet paper since the early days of the outbreak. Staples such a bread, eggs, milk and toiletries have helped boost essentials retailers’ sales by as much as 120% compared to the same period in 2019. Amazon & Wallmart has seen impressive sales with the supply chain buckling at times.

increase in home fitness equipment covid 19
Increased demand for home fitness equipment due to COVID-19

Sellars of home fitness equipment such as weights, home exercise bikes, yoga mats saw record sales as gyms shut down due to safety concerns.
The effects of forced social distancing have meant that people are looking at more ways to stay fit and fight boredom at home.

Products in demand for the home

Many parents are coming to terms with the new reality of having kids at home fulltime. The challenges of working from home and looking after one’s children have driven many parents up the wall. The sales of indoor and outdoor goods have seen an impressive spike in numbers with table tennis & pool tables being some of the popular items. Xboxes and Playstations have also been flying off the shelves.

Fears of a recession, or even the possibility of depression, are sparking an increase in sales for home and garden items. Especially the sale of seedlings and seeds such as tomatoes, spinach, and carrots has been popular with consumers. Two of the world’s largest producers of seeds has stopped taking new orders as demand spiked.

There has been a marked increase in sales of electric goods as shoppers rushed to buy laptops, printers, and desks to help improve their home office.
Interest and sales of remote working tools are up 150% YoY. Meeting tools such as Zoom burst onto the scene, eclipsing well-known industry favorites such as Skype and Microsoft Teams

Zoom vs Skype Search Trend 2020
Zoom vs Skype Search Trend 2020

The Biggest e-Commerce Losers

The fashion industry has taken a big knock in sales with a 51% decline compared to the same period last year. Luxury goods have experienced a similar slump in sales and many brands are canceling events and launches.

Online search volume for flights, hotels and accommodation bookings has been hardest hit. With the lockdown affecting over half the planet, the sector saw a decrease of 37% YOY. Omnichannel retailers(with both physical and online stores), has also seen a drop in sales with many forced to close.

The current environment will impact the world of offline and online sales for years to come. Many industries have been devasted that looked invisible a few months ago. For others more suited for social distancing, lockdowns and working from, it has become a boom time.

An Opportunity in the Disruption

There will be more economic shocks to come in the months ahead yet there will also be opportunities in the chaos. From the Choas comes new birth

Just take a look at the industries born out of the last economic crisis of 2008:

  • WhatsApp,
  • Groupon
  • Instagram
  • Uber
  • Pinterest
  • Slack
  • Venmo
  • Square

It makes one wonder what new innovative services or products will become “essential” in the years to come.

The Robot industry will potentially be one of the biggest winners. There has been an increase in demand for Service Robots in particular as companies look for contactless solutions. Delivery drones, autonomous guide robots, and cars even food preparation robots that will allow the food industry to operate 24/7. Flippy the Fast Food Restaurant Robot is one good example.

The e-Commerce world will have to adapt and get stronger but it will almost certainly play a significant part for the foreseeable future

What do you think will be the next big service or product in the e-Commerce space? Who will be the companies that take the initiative in the next decade? Tell us in the comments section below.

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