“It’s the most wonderful stressful time of the year” I’m pretty sure that if Andy Williams had been working in ecommerce, and had released that song in 2020, thats what the lyrics would have been changed too. The period from Black Friday through to Christmas is typically the busiest, and most lucrative, for all online retailers. This, coupled with the current global climate and a big surge in ecommerce due to covid-19, means that the holiday season of 2020 is set to be the biggest, and busiest, yet.
That means that automation, scheduling, and an extra pair of hands (albeit virtual) is all the more valuable for any online merchants, or those working in ecommerce. Enter, Shopify’s Launchpad tool.
Available exclusively on Shopify Plus, Launchpad is like putting your store on autopilot, and essentially works as your own personal assistant to organise and coordinate your online events.
These events such as Black Friday / Cyber Monday and Christmas encompass so many ecommerce activities, including flash sales, new campaigns, and product releases, all of which can be incredibly time consuming in regards to setup and publishing changes to your live store. That said, these are some of the most important online events you as an online retailer can plan for, therefore by utilizing Launchpad's scheduling capabilities, you have the ability to make a big impact on store revenue and growth throughout the holiday season, without the headaches and lengthy to-do lists.
With this inbuilt Shopify Plus tool, you can easily schedule product visibility, Shopify Scripts, themes, discounts and more, all with a clear and defined start and end time, taking the hassle out of organising ecommerce events.
Launchpad can be broadly utilized in three key areas - Merchandising, Themes and Scripts.
Product merchandising is perhaps the most important pre launch task for any ecommerce event. If the correct products are not visible to customers, if your pricing is incorrect, or if your inventory has not been calculated properly, you could be severely hampering the effectiveness of your campaign and damage your revenue in this peak selling period.
With Launchpad, you can automate ticking these important merchandising tasks off your list. Products can be scheduled for release at specific times, prices can be changed for a predetermined time frame, and inventory levels can be adjusted prior to the start of an event. You could even set Launchpad to activate a collection discount for the start of your sale.
Scheduling such crucial, but time consuming, merchandising tasks enables you to focus on the other responsibilities of running your event. That not only means that everything can run much more smoothly, but also, by ensuring that these important tasks are taken care of, you can be sure that you are making the most effective use of your time during the holiday season rush to make the most impact on your store growth and overall revenue.
Your store theme is, arguably, the riskiest area to manage when making changes for the holiday season. To your customers, the theme dictates their whole store experience, and a well designed theme can make a big impact on conversions by making the sales process seamless.
In the past, that has meant many stressful, coffee-powered, hours for merchants, publishing and testing theme changes in the dead of night to ensure any issues are resolved before customers come online. But that doesn't have to be the case anymore for those on Shopify Plus who utilize Launchpad.
Whether it is as drastic as a complete visual overhaul, adding new content blocks, updating messaging throughout your store in line with campaigns, or just simply changing your hero banner, your theme can be set up and tested well in advance of when it needs to go live on your store. Then, when you’re ready, the release itself can be simply scheduled to automatically publish at a set time, so you really can power your online sales in your sleep!
The holiday season is the peak of discounting and sales for many online retailers. Customer incentives can range wildly across pricing discounts, product bundles and shipping offers. Popular offers include gift with purchase, free shipping when a customer spends over a set amount, or tiered discounts based on spending thresholds. But it's not only what these incentives are that is important; what is much more critical to success, is the way in which they are delivered.
Reducing friction during the purchase process and automatically applying these promotions and discounts makes Shopify Scripts another incredibly powerful Plus tool for merchants to drive conversions and increase sales as much as possible during the lucrative holiday period. Not only that, but since scripts scale with Shopify’s servers, you also don’t have to worry about support or maintenance during high traffic events.
So, you’ve developed and tested your script and are ready for holiday season success, but what if you want to publish your customer incentives at a set time in line with your holiday campaign? That’s where Launchpad comes in.
Using Launchpad, you can schedule scripts to start running, and end, at set times in line with your other campaign changes such as theme updates and product merchandising changes. By using these two Shopify Plus tools in tandem, you can therefore deliver a much more powerful overall customer experience, rather than simply running promotions in isolation, thereby increasing effectiveness and maximising your chances of success!
2020 has been a bumpy ride for us all so far, so let Launchpad at least take some of the stress out of your holiday season, and get back to singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
Please feel free to contact the By Association Only Growth Team on 01480 467 916 / firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on Shopify Plus, Launchpad, or to discuss your online store growth opportunities in more detail.
Also, if you missed the first in our Shopify Plus feature series you can check it out here!