Emerging Shopify development trends, part 2

Jaryd Sage 16 May 2023

Shopify store owners and developers are always looking for the next big thing in order to stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends, and stay ahead of the competition. While many of these trends are opportunities in and of themselves, there are so many ways to improve an eCommerce store, it may make more sense to dip your toe in a few Shopify development trends and see what works for your store in particular.

In this article, we’ll be looking at a few more trends thay may be of interest to Shopify store owners: progressive web apps, multichannel selling and marketing, user-generated content, data analytics, and subscription-based models.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a cutting-edge technology that combines the best features of both mobile applications and websites. They offer the responsiveness and user experience of a mobile app, while being accessible through a web browser like a traditional website. PWAs provide a seamless browsing experience, even in areas with poor network connectivity, by utilising advanced caching techniques and offline functionality. They have quickly gained traction among developers and businesses for their ability to enhance user engagement and improve conversion rates.

Progressive web apps can significantly improve the user experience and performance of Shopify stores by enabling faster loading times and providing smoother navigation, reducing customer frustration and bounce rates. Additionally, PWAs offer a unique feature that allows them to be installed directly on users’ devices without requiring them to be downloaded and installed through app stores such as Google Play or the Apple App Store. This functionality increases brand visibility and ensures that the store is readily accessible to customers. 

When the popular UK fashion brand, Debenhams, successfully converted their online store to a PWA, they experienced a 40% increase in mobile revenue and a 20% increase in conversions. The enhanced user experience provided by the PWA allowed customers to browse and shop more efficiently, leading to higher customer satisfaction and improved sales performance. The Debenhams case study demonstrates the immense potential PWAs hold for enhancing the performance and user experience of Shopify stores.

Multichannel selling and marketing

Multichannel selling and marketing refers to the strategy of offering products and services across multiple platforms to reach a wider audience and increase sales opportunities. This approach enables businesses to engage with customers wherever they prefer to shop, whether it’s through an eCommerce website, social media or online marketplaces. By leveraging multiple channels, businesses can provide a consistent brand experience, cater to different customer preferences, and ultimately, drive higher revenue.

Incorporating multichannel selling and marketing into your Shopify store strategy can lead to significant improvements in performance. Shopify provides seamless integration with various sales channels, such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram, making it easier for businesses to manage inventory, orders, and customer data across all platforms. By offering products and services across multiple channels, Shopify store owners can attract a more diverse customer base, improve brand visibility, and maximise their revenue potential.

European clothing brand, Gymshark, started as an eCommerce store primarily based on Shopify. Through successful multichannel selling and marketing they quickly leveraged various social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, and other online marketplaces to reach a broader audience. Additionally, Gymshark has collaborated with influential fitness personalities to further boost brand visibility and credibility. The company relies heavily on this strategy during Black Friday, where they tailor content for specific platforms, which has resulted in a remarkable 9.3 times return on investment during the two-week holiday period.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created by customers, fans, or users of a brand, product, or service, rather than by the company itself. UGC can include a wide range of content types, such as reviews, testimonials, photos, videos, social media posts, and blog articles. In the context of eCommerce, UGC has become an increasingly valuable marketing tool, as it helps build trust, authenticity, and social proof, leading to higher customer engagement and improved sales. UGC also helps create a sense of community and brand loyalty, as customers feel more connected to the brand when they see content from other users like themselves. Moreover, utilising UGC in marketing campaigns can increase their effectiveness, as customers often find user-generated content more relatable and trustworthy than traditional advertisements.

There are a few different ways to encourage your customers to create and share user-generated content, although it is most effective to combine a few strategies together. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews and ratings on your product pages, or incentivise them by offering discount codes or loyalty points in return for their valuable feedback. Client testimonials in the form of written statements, video clips or audio recordings can also be valuable to use in your marketing material. Hosting contests or giveaways, where users are asked to share a photo or video using your product, can be a great way to generate UGC. Make sure participants tag your brand or use a specific hashtag to link the content to your brand. Some stores collaborate with influencers who share it with their audience, which can be highly effective but may come at a higher price. Regularly feature any UGC on your website, social media channels, and email newsletters, because when customers see that their content can get featured, they are more likely to participate.

Leveraging Data Analytics for Optimised Store Performance

Data analytics, analysing raw data to draw insights and conclusions, is a powerful tool that can provide valuable information related to customer behavior, sales trends, marketing effectiveness, and your overall store performance. Data analytics can help Shopify store owners understand their customers’ needs, preferences, and purchasing habits, allowing them to make better informed decisions to enhance their store’s performance and drive business growth.

By tracking and analysing key performance indicators (KPIs), such as website traffic, conversion rates, average order value, and customer lifetime value, store owners can gain a better understanding of their business’ performance and identify areas for improvement. Analytics can also help identify top-performing products and categories, allowing store owners to manage their product offerings more effectively, and improve inventory management. Understanding customer behavior and preferences enables store owners to personalise the shopping experience, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales. Moreover, data analytics can provide insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, allowing store owners to optimise their marketing strategies and maximise return on investment.

Additionally, through predictive analytics, store owners can use statistical algorithms, machine learning techniques, and historical data to predict future outcomes. This can provide the ability to predict future demand for products, forecast sales trends and identify potential high-value customers. These insights enable businesses to make proactive, data-driven decisions, adjust marketing strategies, enhance operational efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately, increasing profitability. By leveraging predictive analysis, businesses can stay ahead of the curve, capitalising on opportunities and addressing challenges before they become problematic.

Subscription-Based Models

Subscription-based models refer to a business strategy where a customer pays a recurring price at regular intervals to access a product or service. This model has gained significant traction in the eCommerce landscape, with businesses offering everything from monthly beauty boxes to weekly meal kits, and even access to exclusive content or services.

Implementing a subscription-based model in Shopify stores can offer numerous benefits. For store owners, it provides a predictable and recurring revenue stream, which can improve cash flow and financial forecasting. It also fosters customer loyalty and increases customer lifetime value, as subscribers are more likely to make repeat purchases. For customers, subscription models offer convenience, as they can receive their favorite products or services automatically without having to place individual orders. They can also offer cost savings, as subscriptions often come with a discount compared to once-off purchases.

An example of a successful subscription-based Shopify store is Dollar Shave Club, a company that provides razors and grooming products. Customers subscribe to receive a monthly delivery of razor blades and other grooming products, removing the need to remember to purchase these items regularly. In its first 72 hours, over 12,000 people subscribed, and the subscription model has allowed Dollar Shave Club to build a strong and loyal customer base, resulting in predictable and steady revenue. They continually engage their subscribers with new product offerings and exclusive content, further enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The Shopify platform continues to evolve and adapt to emerging trends in the eCommerce landscape. The trends we’ve explored in this series all offer exciting opportunities for Shopify store owners, however, it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to eCommerce. It’s crucial to understand your specific business needs, customer behavior, and market trends, and then choose the strategies that best align with these factors. Stay curious, keep testing, and continue to innovate.

If you missed part 1 of our emerging Shopify trends series, read it HERE.

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