2017 served up another banner year for e-commerce and Shopify, with new records broken on a wide range of parameters. Just consider the various record-breaking numbers that were proclaimed for the month of November, which may hold a new record for one-month overall e-commerce sales. Some initial analyst observations and reports regarding e-commerce during the month of November include:
- Thanksgiving Day e-commerce sales of almost $2.9 billion for an 18.3% year-over-year gain.
- Black Friday e-commerce sales topped $5 billion for a 16.9% year-over-year gain.
- Cyber Monday e-commerce sales were estimated at $6.59 billion. This represents a 16.8% increase over 2016, and believed to be the best U.S.-based e-commerce shopping day in history.
- About $2 billion in Cyber-Monday mobile device sales, a one-day record for “mobile commerce.”
- Shopify determined that mobile commerce accounted for 64% of all orders between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 10% jump from 2016.
- Overall, U.S. e-commerce sales topped $19 billion over the five-day Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday long weekend. This was $2,6 billion and 15 percent more than recorded during the same period in 2016.
- Shopify merchants realized more than $1 billion in e-commerce sales during the four-day Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. Shopify merchants processed more than $1 million in transactions per minute during peak times.
- Well, we could go on, but believe you get the point: e-commerce is going gangbusters.
With most e-commerce merchants undoubtedly celebrating their best year ever, it’s time to consider what’s now in store for e-commerce. What can e-commerce merchants and our favorite e-commerce platform—Shopify—expect to see in 2018. And we’re not talking about financial prognostication, though we do assume that e-commerce sales will be better than ever. Instead, we will consider what trends will help shape the look of e-commerce during the coming year.
Mobile E-Commerce Continues Its Rise
E-commerce shopping from mobile devices has been increasing for several years. And 2017 numbers suggest that mobile devices are emerging as the top vehicle for accessing online merchants. While Adobe Analytics estimated that mobile commerce set several new e-commerce records in November, Shopify determined that mobile purchases surpassed desktop purchases for the first time during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday time period. In fact, Shopify determined that mobile sales accounted for 64% of its merchants’ orders overall, a much larger percentage than numbers offered by Adobe Analytics.
As part of the rise of mobile commerce, though, it should be noted that smartphones lead the growth and mobile shopping via tablets is in decline. According to Adobe Analytics, mobile device purchases accounted for a record 36.9% of all Black Friday online sales and 54.3% of site visits. However, tablets only accounted for about 20% of all mobile visits and even less of combined mobile device sales.
Going forward, e-commerce platforms need to continue to ensure that their online content works effectively with smart phones and other mobile devices. They will also need to account for the needs of both both merchants and shoppers. Not only will e-commerce platforms like Shopify have to fostor the ease and convenience of the mobile shopping experience, but make it easy for merchants to conduct mobile online store management tasks.
Social Media’s Role With E-Commerce, Shopify to Increase
While e-commerce analysts did not focus on the impact of social media on holiday season online sales, little doubt that those merchants with a strong social media presence and effective social media integration gained sales from their efforts. As with mobile e-commerce, social media integration has been expanding for several years. This expansion is perhaps more evolutionary than that of mobile e-commerce, as e-commerce platforms and merchants continuously seek out the best means of using social media.
The primary focus of social media integration began with marketing, but direct sales from social media are rising. Facebook appears to be leading social media in generating e-commerce sales, but integration with other social media is accelerating. Shopify offers its merchants a fully integrated Facebook store, with page views optimized for mobile devices. Shopify also offers social media sales through “Pinterest Buyable Pins,” and currently testing an Instagram “product tagging” buying feature. Little doubt that Shopify and other e-commerce platforms will continue to expand social media sales channels in 2018.
E-Commerce Sales Via Email
E-commerce marketing via email has also been around for quite a few years. In fact, analysts have long touted email as a primary revenue driver for both brick & mortar and online stores. E-commerce’s relationship with email is expected to evolve, with email serving as an actual sales portal rather than just a marketing vehicle.
Numerous apps already integrate various email marketing tools with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms. “Interactive email” that allows customers to securely buy products directly from their inboxes will drive the trend in 2018. Thus, not only can a merchant send tailored coupons to their customers, but also provide direct sales via the email.
May 2018 Prove a Banner Year for Your E-Commerce Store
No doubt that other factors and ongoing trends will also help drive the evolution and efficiency of e-commerce going forward. We expect that Shopify will be on top of these and other trends in 2018. And we encourage you to keep abreast of them as a means of boosting your online sales. No matter what trends you follow, and which tools you adopt, we trust that you will have a profitable year.
In this article we’ll go through the processes of creating a sale on our Shopify store with our Bulk Product Editor app. We’ll be working on a sample store where we want to offer a 10% discount for all products with the ‘Desk & Chair’ product type We’ll cover:
- Tagging the products we want to include in the sale
- Setting the ‘compare at’ price on our products
- Reducing the product prices by 10%
- Removing the product tags once the sale is complete
You can follow along on your own store by installing the free version of Bulk Product Editor for Shopify.
Tagging products in bulk
The first thing we want to do is add a tag named ‘Last Chance!‘ to products with the product type equals ‘Desk & Chair’. Depending on your theme settings this should be visible to customer and it will also help us identify the products in the future. We’ll do this by adding a filter to our edit:
Once we see the products we want to add click on the Modify Products button.
On this page we tell the app how we want to edit the products we just filtered for. Here we’ll say to add the ‘Last Chance!’ tag to all the products:
Once we’ve added the tag we’ll preview the edit to make sure that everything looks good and then we’ll run it:
Depending on the number of products you have this may take several minutes. Fortunately the edits run in background and you can navigate away from the page without loosing your progress.
Setting the ‘compare at’ price of products
Before we decrease the price of our products we want to set the ‘compare at’ price to current price of the product. When we’re all done, this will ensure that the ‘compare at’ price is higher than the sale price and it will show up correctly on your site.
In technical terms, we’ll use the Bulk Product editor to set the “Compare at Price” field to be 100% (or equal) to the ‘Price field’. We can quickly do this with the app:
Bulk editing product prices
Now that we have the ‘compare at’ price set up let’s reduce the prices by 10%. We’ll filter for the ‘Last Chance!’ tag again and then run an edit on the price, choosing to round the price to the nearest 95 cents:
At this point the sale is ready to go, we’ve updated the tags, compare at price, and price and now it’s time to spread the word!
Removing tags from multiple products
Once the sale is finished you might want to remove the ‘Last Chance!’ tags that we added in step one. We have two ways to do this:
- Undo, or revert, the previous edit that we created
- Create a new edit to remove the tags
For this example we’ll just undo the previous tag edit to put things back to how they were before. To undo an edit, we’ll click on Edit History on the top right of the app, choose the edit and then click Undo
In this article we covered the basic of the Bulk Product Editor app and showed how you can easily launch a sale on a custom selection of products. There’s still lots of other features this blog post didn’t cover (including editing products via CSV/Excel) but now you know the basics.
And as always, if you have any questions feel reach to reach out.
One of the nice things about Shopify is its powerful admin section. You can manage your store, see reports and even use keyboard shortcuts all within a single, well-designed, interface. Unfortunately sometimes there’s tasks that can still take too long to do. One of these is bulk editing products in Shopify.
If you just have a couple products on your store, it’s not much of a problem. You, or an assistant, can go through edit them one-by-one. This gets harder though as you add more products or variants. In this post, we’ll cover three different ways where you can save time by editing multiple products in one go:
- Shopify’s Bulk Editor
- Shopify’s Product CSV Export/Import
- Bulk Product Editor by 2can Apps
Shopify’s Bulk Editor
Shopify has tried to address this problem by adding a limited bulk product editor to the admin section. To access the edit, select all your products and then click on the Edit Products button:
Once you’ve opened up the editor you’ll see what looks like a spreadsheet with all your products. You can then go down row-by-row and edit the values you need:
This method is faster than going to individual product pages but it can still be slow if you have lots of products you need to update.
Shopify’s Product CSV Export/Import
Another alternative in the Shopify admin is to use the CSV export and import tool. This will give you a spreadsheet of all the data in your Shopify store. To create a CSV export click on the Export button on the Product admin page:
You can then open it up in Excel or Google Drive and make the edits you need. Once you’ve saved the output CSV file, you can re-import it and Shopify will update your products.
This method is useful if you have a lot of products to update but there’s also some drawbacks:
- Any changes to products that occur while your editing the spreadsheet will be overwritten. This can easily happen someone buys you product and the stock level changes. Then, when you re-import the products the old stock level will be re-added.
- You can’t update just a single field, you need to reimport the entire product data
Bulk Product Editor by 2can Apps
In light of these problems with the admin section we built the Bulk Product Editor app for Shopify. It was designed from the ground up to save store owners time by allowing you to edit multiple products at once.
The Bulk Product Editor app lets you create a rules for an edit that get applied to your products. For example, instead of going through each product and setting the price, you can use the app to increase all price by 10% and then round the final value to 95 cents.
This is just scratching surface, you can edit almost every aspect of a product including:
- Doing a search/replace in product descriptions
- Adding or removing tags
- Adjusting inventory levels
Additionally can also perform edits by uploading a CSV file with the just the field you want to change. This is especially helpful for store owners who need to keep data synchronized between Shopify and some other inventory or drop shipping system. Check out our knowledge base for more information on editing Shopify products with a CSV file.
Finally, we’re always looking for ways to improve our app to save Shopify users more time. We’ve already added multiple suggestions and if you have any ideas please let us know.
If you’re going to sell widgets on your e-commerce store, you might as well pull out all the stops to convince your customers to buy the finest widgets on the market. And while you’re at it, get those same customers to purchase those ancillary fidgets as well. Because, really, if you need that widget there’s nothing like a good fidget to maximize its overall effectiveness. Right?
Astute marketers will know that I am referencing the art of upselling and cross-selling, and that my reference to “widgets” is not related to the control elements in a graphical user interface or a generic software application. Of course, if your online sales platform happens to sell such, then I guess I’m giving you a twofer here.
No matter what you happen to be selling, upselling and cross-selling have long been considered key add-on drivers of success in retail, with both sales strategies serving as big potential boosters to the bottom line in what is generally a narrow margin field.
Difference Between Upselling and Cross-Selling
While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference in that one represents an upgrade and the other represents the additional purchase of an accessory item. In short, the difference between “Supersize?” and “Would you like fries with that?”
Both of those oft-asked questions, you will note, have become so ensconced within popular culture that most North Americans likely know what they refer to and where these questions originated. And while these questions may now be cliche, both have proven immeasurably valuable to their originators and subsequent copiers.
Adding Fries and Super-Sizing With E-Commerce
Many e-commerce merchants feel like they have enough on their management plate without having to worry about super sizing soft drinks or adding french fries. Besides, most aren’t even offering food items, but instead offering various types of widgets. But those can be “super-ized” and you should certainly ask your customers if they’d like fidgets with their order.
If you don’t ask, you’re likely missing out. Consider that depending upon the researcher (and e-tailed product), e-commerce upsells and cross-sales are responsible for anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of revenues. The question is, should an emerging e-commerce business devote their initial energies to upselling, cross-selling or both?
Focus on What Value You’re Providing to the Customer
While this question depends in part upon the sales items(s) offered, perhaps the best way to consider this question is by first asking what additional value is provided to the customer by either the cross-sale or up-sale. Is the higher-end widget going to make a positive difference in your customer’s life, and/or does that fidget represent an ancillary item that the customer didn’t even realize he or she needed? If the answer to either or both is “yes,” then you’re halfway to answering the question. And the next step, among many, might consist of weighing any mark-up with the benefits gained by potential customer satisfaction.
Shopify Sees Benefits With Both Upselling and Cross-Selling
Leading e-commerce platform Shopify also recommends focusing on the customer experience first, rather than increased sales, when considering upselling and cross-selling strategies. Shopify Content Strategist Richard Lazazzera suggests always considering the upselling and cross-selling “experience from a customer perspective.” He also says that that offering customers random or un-related products “wont cut it and can just leave customers more confused.” While Lazazzera points to research suggesting that upselling is the better strategy for driving increased sales, he also notes the same research indicates that cross-selling is more effective when used on checkout pages. And, as he previously noted, you should focus on customer satisfaction first, as this is an ultimate driver of increased sales.
Whether Upselling or Cross-Selling….
Finally, there are certain nuances (rules) applicable to both upselling and cross-selling. A general rule of thumb with either strategy is to refrain from boosting an initial order cost by more than 25 percent, as this has proven to lead to order abandonment. Also, don’t overuse either strategy, as this can quickly lead to customer annoyance and the resultant order abandonment.
And to repeat, carefully consider the items being cross-sold or up-sold. For example, realize that a person buying a cell phone is much more likely to consider buying a cell phone case than vice versa. Or, that the person preparing to check-out with an Xbox probably isn’t interested in a side order of TurboTax. With upselling, consider that if someone arrives with a Big Mac budget, convincing them that they need Boucherie Polmard’s cote de boeuf (the most expensive steak in the world at a recent plus-$3,000 price point) may be a tall order.