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2020 E-commerce & Shopify Marketing Playbook

December 03, 2019

2020 E-commerce & Shopify Marketing Playbook
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In this episode of the Radical Company podcast, Ryan breaks down the definitive playbook for E-commerce success in 2020. It's way more than "build it and they will come". Tons of tips, apps, and short cuts to getting your store selling in 2020 and beyond.
Links to suggestions in this episode:
Klayviyo - https://www.klaviyo.com/
Neil Patel Ubersuggest - https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
SMS Bump - https://apps.shopify.com/smsbump
If you enjoy this episode please check out the rest of our episodes on our channel. Please share, review, and subscribe!
Radical Podcast is always looking forward to meeting both aspiring, and grounded professionals across the country! Feel like you have something to say? Slide us a Dm on Instagram and let's make it happen!
@radical_results
@ryanalford
www.radical.company


In this episode of the Radical Company podcast, Ryan breaks down the definitive playbook for E-commerce success in 2020. It's way more than "build it and they will come". Tons of tips, apps, and short cuts to getting your store selling in 2020 and beyond.

Links to suggestions in this episode:

Klayviyo - https://www.klaviyo.com/

Neil Patel Ubersuggest - https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/

SMS Bump - https://apps.shopify.com/smsbump

If you enjoy this episode please check out the rest of our episodes on our channel. Please share, review, and subscribe!

Radical Podcast is always looking forward to meeting both aspiring, and grounded professionals across the country! Feel like you have something to say? Slide us a Dm on Instagram and let's make it happen!

@radical_results

@ryanalford

www.radical.company

Transcript

Ryan Alford [00:00:00] I am excited about today's podcast. I will be breaking down the 2020 e-commerce playbook. There will be a lot of suggestions for Shopify. If you're thinking about building an e-commerce store or transitioning one this is a great podcast for you. There's a lot of content in a hurry on the playbook that you will need to consider for really being successful with your e-commerce store in 2020. Hope you enjoy it. 

Hey guys! This is Ryan Alford, the host of the Radical Company Podcast. Welcome to today's episode! It's just me today and I will be doing a few more of these, at least for a couple of months trying to get into the habit as we make it by doing both guests and overall marketing tips. We are going to get a little bit bored down to the ground with specific recommendations that we have for companies and brands of all sizes.

There are going to be takeaways from today across the gamut, probably more in the small to the medium business realm and for someone just getting started, perhaps in the e-commerce space. Today we'll be talking about the 2020 definitive e-commerce playbook and specifically looking at Shopify. We are a Shopify partner here at Radical and it's the platform that we recommend unless you're getting into a ton of product variation. I'll talk about that more in future podcasts for where you might need an e-commerce solution that's more technical based or just more robust in the number and variations if you're talking hundreds of variations of your products or thousands of products. But Shopify fills the void for both small, medium, and large businesses. And some of the largest and fastest-growing make-up brands, highly ginner, all that stuff is all built on Shopify Plus. There's a lot of capability there and so many integrations. 

But today it's really about having the playbook for 2020 if you're starting a Shopify store, e-commerce, or moving from one platform to the next. This is that definitive guide for things that you have to do. And don't get me wrong, whenever you do this playbook, especially in the podcast format, I could do three hours on this topic. I want to cover the big hitters. 

I'm breaking this down into what I call the basics. Then we get into the brand. Then we get into the secret sauce and then we finish with the gasoline. Those will all make sense as we get into it. So let's get started. Number one- Shopify is really about picking out a really good-looking theme. When you go into Shopify they have a wonderful App Store as well as a theme store. There you can pick out both free and paid-for themes. There's also a little side secret here, something called whatstoretheme.com. If you find a Shopify store that you like the look and the flow, you can find out what theme that is, by going to that website and entering the URL and you'll be able to see what theme it is. You can go buy it or it might be free. 

It probably is a purchase one if it looks as good as it is making you want it. But again, it's a low cost, and don't skimp on the theme. It gives your brand, gives your visibility, and gives your whole product lineup. This is going to be setting the foundation of your company. Don't skimp here and start with that theme as this is the starting block for your brand and your company. So you start there. I am going to shortcut it a little bit. The next key thing in that playbook is setting up everything so you can be found on Google. I just said Google or we can say SEO. 

Yes, a lot of Windows computers still have Bing and you've got others. Internet Explorer isn't completely dead though practically. But let's focus from a Google perspective, and that's making sure that your site is indexed properly and that you're showing up in those search results. It's all about setting your metadata, your titles, and your keywords up. So I have a couple of little, again, shortcuts here. Neil Patel, a trusted source for marketing information and an SEO guru, if not a marketing guru, has a software online that you can use or just a website I should say. I think everything is software, but web-based now. It's called Uber suggests, U-B-E-R like the ridesharing service. It is free and has amazing capability. It will tell you the monthly searches that terms get and it will give you a lot of keyword research and suggestions that have a lot of other things.  I don't want to be a commercial for them, but it is a great place to start when filling out your metadata, making sure that you're differentiated, and showing up in search results. Also, we want to make sure you manually Google indexed. You can Google that. Again, we want this to be brief. 

I want this to be the shortcut. I want to get you started. You just Google "Google indexing" and it will give you all the instructions you will need, their search console, and a couple of other places you can do that. You want to get your site scraped so that you show up in those search results. But first on your store, get all your metadata, all the keywords that you want to use for all your pages. You can do all of that within the backend of Shopify’s third-product photography, something called a softbox. 

If you have products;  clothes, supplements, T-shirts, items, and merchandise that is, we will call it 2- feet overall size or smaller, then you use something called a softbox. You can use your iPhone which allows you to take photos on a white backdrop. These are inexpensive. Google softbox on Amazon cost less than 50 bucks. You can shoot all your stuff on a white background. You can pull out renders from those products. You have to have beautiful photography on your e-commerce site as photography and video sell. Another key tip here: You can embed videos in your product description photos. 

So when you go to a product, you click on it and you'll find images for each one. You want to have beautiful images. You want to have user-generated content. And you can also put videos in the images that can be played there. You go to the App Store, video embed in products, and the Shopify App Store, and several services are there. You will want to do that because it drives engagement. It drives sales, great product photography, and great videos all within each product feed. This is uber important. 

Now, moving on to what I call the brand and building trust. So you've got your theme picked out. You've got all your products loaded, you got beautiful photography. You have videos that you've taken even with your smartphone. Take a great 4k smartphone video, put it on a tripod, and talk about your products. And or if you're a small to medium business, then hire an agency and get some great video content. It is 2020, videos sell. 

Content is king. This brings me to trust in building a brand. There are a lot of ways to do this. It starts with a great blog, a podcast, and user-generated content. We need to build trust. This is not a set it and forget it. We have people that come and see us here at Radical, solo-prenuers, as I would call them. We have medium-sized companies that are wanting to get into selling their products online. Maybe they've been brick and mortar. Maybe they have a larger product footprint and want to sell more. Everyone thinks set it and forget it. I built an eCommerce store. I put it out there. I get my metadata to understand. 

Most people understand the site and the Google side. We're going to start selling products, wrong! Thousands of stores, unless you're selling something that no one else is. A lot of things are commodities. Supplements are commoditized. T-shirts are commoditized. A million people are selling a million things but that doesn't mean you can't be successful. You have to build trust and you have to build your brand. We tell companies of all sizes this every day. 

Everyone thinks again, no matter the business, if you start selling something, people will come. You've got to build trust. You've got to make people think, feel and act a certain way. And that is what branding is and it is the key to it. So what does that look like? Blog content? Yes. Blogs are not dead in 2020. You'd need to do weekly content. This helps with SEO and also establishes trust and credibility that you know what you're talking about and you know the category that you're selling in - uber important. And speaking of Uber, if you're looking for blog content ideas, go back to Ubersuggest. Look up keywords in your category, whether that's clothing, whether that's cologne, whether that's jewelry, household items, whatever it is, go to Ubersuggest and do keyword research. Look for the most searched item or words in your category and do blog content accordingly. 

 

Make sure that you have a lot of those keywords in the blog. When you've done a blog, do a podcast. Start one. We did it at Radical. Everyone's doing it. It is one of the fastest-growing mediums now. You can build credibility this way. Talk about your products, talk about suggestions, talk about the category. You can level up in a lot of different ways to build credibility and trust in your brand for why someone should do business with you. Also, if you start with a podcast, it would allow you to then transcribe it into a blog, which then you can take and use for copy and other places. I call this atomization of content. 

You're building this book of content. You've got the written word, you've got the listened word sound. You've got a video. Make a video of your podcast and you can atomize all of that content across your mediums. Post it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Post the blog, post links to the blog, and backlink on others. Do research, so that you can talk about it in the blog content or the podcast and then post it as well so you get those really important backlinks to your site. Atomize the content, look for ways to take one piece of content and make it ten or twenty or thirty. This is a great way to get and build trust while also doing it in a reasonably efficient way, no matter if you're a team of one to 1, 2 10, 20, or 100. All of these tactics are important in building brand trust and giving people a reason to want to do business with you. 

 

Now it's time for the secret sauce. There are a few apps, and I am going t0 name them and get a link to them as well within the blog post that we'll have for this. SMS bump. So everyone, when you check out you're used to getting email confirmations and all the built-in stuff. But SMS Bump is one of many SMS platforms that's built into Shopify within the App Store. And yes, these have costs, but they will pay for themselves over time. 

This will allow all of your customer communication to happen over SMS. Orders, confirmations flows, marketing flows, reminders, up-sells.  SMS is growing. It's a big trend. It's happening. People are getting more comfortable with sharing their number, sharing their content, and allowing people to step into that text message box and it has been around, it is not new 

SMS messaging is not new and it's becoming more accepted and a more common way as another communication channel where you can give that contact and keep that flow and communication with your customers in a format that they're always getting. And that's right in the text inbox. You do not have to worry about different email platforms or different social media platforms. The text inbox is a very powerful way. SMS bump. Second- is Clavio, one of my favorite software and another online Web-Based platform. It is customer relationship management on steroids. It links well with Shopify. 

It allows you to send shipping confirmations. There is templated stuff through Shopify, but if you turn on Clavio you can have them do this automation, and these flow with your customers. It allows for shopping cart abandonment emails. When someone's gone on your side it adds a step to the cart. You'll send them a reminder. You also give them other suggestions. Just a really powerful way. You can also just send your general newsletter content through this platform. Everything from discount codes to just the entire platform. And all of your products integrate well with the platform. Highly recommended. Again, I could talk for an hour about Clavio, but it was very important. 

Another thing I love for repeat purchase type things is renewal products, be it vitamins, be it things that you ultimately have usage that's going to be repeated either month to month or quarter to quarter is Bold subscriptions. This allows you to add a check-out box for someone to subscribe to your product. It is super powerful and super great for repeat revenue. So bold subscriptions, Clavio, and SMS Bump are three of my favorite secret sauce apps for Shopify. I highly recommend you look up those and do more research. 

So finally, the gasoline.  You've got a great store, you're doing branding, you've got a great product, great photography, you've set up all these apps, and you’ve got the motor work in the engine running. Now how do we pour gas on it? 

It is leveraging ambassadors and what it's been known as the quote-unquote, ''affiliate marketing''. This is how you get other people selling. It's hiring a sales force without having to hire them. There are a lot of apps and one of my favorites is Refersion, R-E-F-E-R-S-I-O-N.  Its turnkey allows you to set up individual discounts on each product. It allows you to set up commission structures for your ambassadors. So, you hear me say supplements a lot. We're helping a lot of those brands with content that we do, as well as beauty products.  

So if you found a group of influencers or ambassadors that you want to work with, it gives them a turnkey way to sign up. To manage their commission structure, manage their discount codes, and you can manage all of that through one platform. Super turnkey, super great for community management and ambassador management. And this is gasoline on the fire. Again, you've got the store, you've got the product, and you’ve got all of these things turned on. And how do we, again, spread this out? And that's a sales force. And that's really what we're talking about with ambassadors.

There are a lot of ways to create community with them. A lot of them are through content. I love using the ambassador community to create user-generated content that you use and share across channels. It gets them engaged. It gets them pumped up about your brand and selling your product and getting behind you as a company. And it's just a great way to pour gasoline on the fire of the e-commerce store. 

Those are the main playbook items for Shopify and e-commerce in general. A lot of this is Shopify specific, but a lot of these tactics and recommendations relate to e-commerce in general. And so as you get started, if you're thinking about a transfer from one platform to another or you're just trying to wade into the e-commerce waters, so to speak, this should be a great start. We're going to have this as a blog post at Radical company on our website. And it's also going to be a video that we'll share around. 

This is your 2020 e-commerce playbook. We'll talk soon.