In our latest ecommerce monthly roundup, summer kicked off with
a lot of new and interesting updates throughout the month of
May. With each of our monthly roundups we continue to focus on
bringing you news you can use, helpful resources and guides,
and hopefully some interesting topics to think about in the
coming summer days!

Big updates from Shopify include making KIT (the virtual
assistant app) completely free, new channels including
Buzzfeed, and a whole new look and feel. On the advertising
front, we saw updates from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat
that open opportunities for merchants.

Finally, we leave you with a video to watch that we’re thinking
about: “The Rise of the Machines” and how it’s affecting us,
the world around us as automation starts impacting our jobs,
and the way we work.

Let’s jump into our roundup of the best ecommerce resources for
the month of June!
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Ecommerce News

Kit is Now Free for All Shopify Store Owners

Date: June 7, 2017 Author:
Kit

KIT is now free! This handy virtual assistant on the Shopify
platform use to cost $10-25 a month to help you with marketing
your website. Among the many things KIT can do, a few examples
include helping you create and run Instagram and Facebook ads,
help you win over customers who abandoned their checkout carts,
retargeting ads, and it can help you set goals for your
business. In addition to all of that, KIT has a whole slew of
skills that connect with some of the more popular apps on
Shopify to help you with additional capabilities.

Read More

Instagram Creates a Feature to Make Sponsored Posts
More Clear

Date: June 14, 2017 Author:
Thomas Hobbs

There has always been two ways to reach your customers on
Instagram – use Instagram ads, or find influencers to sponsor a
paid post. In the latter method, an influencer’s post is shown
to their audience mixed in with their organic posts – which
sometimes make it hard to know if a post was paid. Instagram is
instituting new rules to make it more clear to consumers that a
paid post is sponsored. The benefit to the advertiser is you
now get shared access to the data behind that post including
reach and engagement. Although this is rolling out slowly, you
should start seeing this in your Instagram feeds starting with
the most popular influencers. Take advantage of this
functionality when it becomes available to stay out of legal
trouble and to get more insights when you work with your
influencers!

Read More

Facebook Adds “Family Targeting” to Ad
Products

Date: June 28, 2017 Author:
Andrew Hutchinson

Facebook is constantly adding new ways to target your audience
on their platform. In this newest release, you can now use the
new targeting option as a way to target a whole household at
once which would expand the reach of an ad to everyone in the
family. This is a good option to use for some product
categories where a product can benefit the household – say for
example a new couch or a new leash for the family pet. If
you’re doing Facebook advertising and have a product that helps
a whole household, this could be an interesting experiment to
try!

Read More

Amazon’s Launches “My Mix,” a Personalized Shop Filled
With Your Favorite Things

Date: June 9, 2017 Author:
Sarah Perez

Amazon quietly announced “My Mix” as a new way for consumers to
discover and find interesting products to buy. Aside from a new
user experience that is almost Pinterest-like, they introduced
the concepts of “My Hearts” which are ways to (heart) and
revisit products as consumers explore the stream. Based on what
you (heart), Amazon will suggest and recommend products as
well. If you sell on Amazon, or use the Shopify or Bigcommerce
Amazon syndication, you may want to learn more about this
feature to see how it may expand exposure to your product
listings on Amazon.

Read More

Announcing Exchange: Shopify’s Marketplace to Buy
Ecommerce Websites

Date: June 28, 2017 Author:
Fabien Mouvet

Shopify recently announced “Exchange” as a way for merchants to
sell or buy fully built-out ecommerce sites. If you’re looking
to get started in ecommerce, or want an additional ecommerce
site to to run, look at the listings on Exchange as a way to
find merchants looking to sell a site they no longer want to
run. Many of these sites have existing traffic, customers, and
even inventory that can get you started in ecommerce faster.
Shopify even discloses the verifiable revenue and traffic
behind these sites and gives you a way to contact the owner to
work out a price and terms of sale.

Read More

Barclays Strategist: We Could Lose Another 1 Million
Jobs in Retail

Date: June 16, 2017 Author:
Jacqui Frank and Kari Chin

If you’ve been following the news, you may know that the retail
sector has been becoming significantly impacted as shoppers
move from brick and mortar shopping to online shopping. With
more and more services this “stay at home” economy is expanding
at the expense of retail stores and with it, retail jobs are
being reduced as many traditional retailers close their stores
or reduce their employee headcount. According to Barclays, they
anticipate that the number of retail jobs may shrink 10-15%, or
almost a 1 million jobs, as the industry resizes. For online
merchants, this should be an opportunity – not only to expand
in the changing behavior of shoppers, but also to have access
to a large talent pool of former employees who have retail
experience. If you’re a retail employee, this is the time to
think about participating as an online merchant!

Read More

Snapchat Makes Buying Ads Easier Than Ever

Date: June 12, 2017 Author:
Villy Devlioti

With Facebook chasing and copying every one of Snapchat’s
moves, Snapchat is also rapidly expanding their self-serve ad
manager that we first discussed last month. Now that the
platform is completely open with no restrictions and bevy of
new features, you can start your Snapchat advertising right
now. Snapchat offers a more simplistic way to target audiences
(age, gender, country) and offers new types of ad formats you
can’t find on Facebook such as Sponsored Geofilters and
Sponsored Lenses. Furthermore, you can also build audiences
based on custom audiences, or “partner audiences” based on
PlaceIQ (location database platform) locations. If you haven’t
tried Snapchat advertising, this is a good time to get started
at the ground floor where there’s less competition and plenty
of opportunities to be first.

Read More

Behind the Scenes of the Buzzfeed Channel: An Interview
with Ben Kaufman

Date: June 20, 2017 Author:
Anshuman Iddamsetty

As they announced during Shopify Unite conference, Shopify is
spending more and more effort on developing their channels. One
new channel that was recently unveiled is the Buzzfeed channel
that is unlike the other channels available so far. This
channel allows a merchant to showcase their products directly
to the editors and writers of Buzzfeed. You pick the commission
amount you are willing to offer and, if your product is
selected, it gets included in a story-like post on Buzzfeed.
Read the post to understand how the Buzzfeed channel
works, listen to the podcast to get the backstory on why Buzzfeed has
partnered with Shopify, and then go enable the channel if
you’re on Shopify!

Read More

App of the Month

Rebel Shop

Date: June 7, 2017 Author:
Joe Teplow

Every so often we want to feature new apps that are interesting
and unique, so this month we wanted to showcase “Rebel Shop,”
an app that recently launched to help you get sales directly
from emails. Instead of sending the standard emails where a
user has to click back to the site to checkout, this app turns
your email into the a checkout interface directly. With
one-click purchase form email your users can quickly act and
buy straight from their inbox, reducing the friction to
complete a sale.

Read More

Resources

We Analyzed 100 Million Headlines: Here’s What We
Learned

Date: June 26, 2017 Author:
Steve Rayson

If your store has a blog and content marketing is an important
part of your growth strategy, then this resource is a must
read. If you haven’t heard of BuzzSumo before, it’s a tool that
helps marketers find content that’s popular based on social
shares or engagement. Since they have access to hundreds of
millions of different posts online, this post is a culmination
of their findings to learn what makes a good headline for a
piece of content. See what you can learn from this post, but I
promise you that the #1 headline format will make you feel more
confident to reach more users!

Read More

How to Find Customer Lifetime Value

Date: June 9, 2017 Author:
Jon Loomer

The customer lifetime value of a user is one of the most
important metrics to understand on your site. It impacts not
only just how much revenue you generate, but it can also impact
how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer. On
Facebook, they now let you target users based on their lifetime
value when you upload their value into Facebook. You can then
create a custom audience based on these users, and like all
custom audiences, you can then create lookalike audiences based
on your most valuable customers. Jon Loomer walks through an
example using Infusionsoft, but you can replicate his efforts
using your own email service provider.

Read More

For Sale

PrimaryGoods.com

Date: June, 2017 Seller:
Marshall Hass

When Shopify’s Exchange launched, we were curious to see what
kind of stores would be immediately listed for sale. To our
surprise one of the featured stores was Primary Goods. From
their website and store description, Primary Goods is over 4
years old and operates in the “Home Essentials” category – a
growing and popular vertical for online shopping (according to
ComScore’s State of the U.S. Online Retail economy in Q1/17).
Primary Goods is listed at $195K and has a revenue of $196K
with over 240,000 sessions in the last 12 months. Take a look
at this store, and others on the new Shopify Exchange!

Find Out More

What We’re Thinking About This Month

The Rise of the Machines: Why Automation is Different
this Time

Date: June 8, 2017 Creator:
Kurzgesagt

This last resource comes from the team behind Kurzgesagt (which
means “In a Nutshell” in German). They’ve created this animated
and beautifully illustrated video about the role of automation
and how it might impact our future. As merchants, we straddle
both sides of the shift towards automation – we both benefit
from and are challenged by its rapid growth. On one side, we
have amazing tools like KIT and other tools we use to make our
jobs as merchants possible. On the other side, our customers
and audiences as a whole are suffering from lower wages and the
lack of job opportunities. There’s no immediate takeaways from
this video, it’s simply a thought exercise to ponder and
consider, but we encourage everyone to watch the video to see
the ways that automation might affect your future, whichever
side of the coin you’re on.

Watch The Video

Conclusion

This concludes our round-up of the relevant news, tools and
resources for the month of June. Take the time to explore some
of these highlights and share them with your friends or
colleagues in the ecommerce community. We’re constantly looking
for new updates and topics of conversation in this
ever-changing industry so make sure to stay tuned for next
month’s roundup.