As a Shopify business scales and generates millions in revenue, it's easy to feel like things are running smoothly and that there's no need for change. But complacency can be a dangerous trap in the fast-moving world of ecommerce. To keep growing and thriving, Shopify brands need to evaluate their strategies. This is where a skilled ecommerce agency can help.

Nathan Lomax of Quickfire Digital explores ways ecommerce agencies can help even the most successful Shopify brands continue to scale and meet their business goals.

Key points covered

  • Why it's essential to focus on targeted metrics to help maximize CRO
  • Refining website and app management to meet the needs of the users
  • How to build stronger relationships with customers and partners for growth and profitability

Meet Nathan Lomax

Nathan Lomax is the director and co-founder of Quickfire Digital, an ecommerce web development agency. His journey starts at 18 years old, when he decided to start his first agency instead of pursuing higher education. He deferred his university admission for two years and dedicated his time to growing the business.

Despite early success, Nathan recognized that his agency had room for growth. He understood the need to revamp his branding and assemble a competent team to support him in taking his business to the next level. In 2017, Nathan rebranded his agency to Quickfire Digital and partnered with two other co-founders to boost their ecommerce strategy, systems process, and finance.

About Quickfire Digital

Quickfire Digital is a top Shopify Plus ecommerce agency based in the UK that partners with Shopify and Shopify Plus brands to build strategies for growth. The agency was founded with the goal of helping clients maximize their potential, and prides itself on delivering tailored solutions that cater to each brand’s unique needs.

Unpacking episode #030

In today's episode, Nathan Lomax delves into enhancing business performance and growth by optimizing user experience and fostering solid relationships. Here are the highlights:

Focus on targeted CRO metrics

  • Come on the journey with a growth mindset. Having the revenue is pointless if you don't have the appetite and focus on scaling.
  • Businesses should anticipate reviewing conversion rate metrics regularly to identify marginal gains and areas for improvement in their customer journey.
  • Targeted CRO metrics to track:
    Repeat purchases: How are these being edged up? They can be increased by introducing subscription programs or loyalty schemes to incentivize customers to return and purchase more often.
    New Sessions: How do we ensure people get the best possible experience when visiting the site? How are we partnering with an SEO or PPC agency to drive quality traffic to the site?
    Average Order Value: Can be improved through effective upselling techniques on checkout, such as offering complementary or higher-priced items and using email marketing flows to encourage customers to add more items to their cart.
"We can scale any ecommerce store if we focus on four key metrics: new sessions, average order value, repeat purchase, and conversion rate." - Nathan Lomax

Using an ecommerce agency as an extension of the team

  • Utilizing an ecommerce agency as an extension of the team can be an efficient way to streamline operations and optimize business performance.
  • Teams can handle what they're comfortable with in-house and then can lean on the ecommerce agency to consult them for specific pieces of the business.
  • Ecommerce agencies can provide valuable insights and recommendations on different service areas, such as post-purchase upsell, subscriptions, or loyalty, that brands can double down on to enhance their revenue streams and customer retention.
  • Leveraging an ecommerce agency with a network of contacts can help brands access direct introductions to recommended agencies or partners based on their budget and specific needs, saving them time and effort in the selection process.

Choosing between custom builds or off-the-shelf solutions

  • "In terms of integrating a loyalty system, there's no business case unless a client tells me they want to do custom."
  • Seek to add value, not reinvent the wheel.
  • Balance between using a boilerplate to scale quickly and not overloading the site with too many apps.
  • Going with a theme is suggested. To get started, build a proof of concept or MVP.
  • Brands should be mindful of spending less money on custom builds immediately and prioritize off-the-shelf solutions until they clearly understand their needs.
  • New brands can be particularly vulnerable and should avoid spending all their money on custom builds simply because they have it or want to follow a trend.

Going headless isn't mandatory

  • Going headless can limit the number of apps able to be leveraged since many apps rely on front-end code to function correctly.
  • Headless can also limit admin controls and require more development expertise. Back-end and front-end developers may need to work separately to build and maintain the website or app.
  • "Unless you're dealing with an enormous amount of traffic, try implementing a lightweight theme if performance is a concern. It costs less than having to maintain a headless infrastructure."
  • Headless is not always the best solution for every business, and it's necessary to consider the trade-offs before switching.
"Just because you're a big brand, it doesn't mean you need to go headless." - Nathan Lomax

Maximize impact of marketing with product collaborations & co-marketing

  • Collaboration has become a popular strategy for ecommerce businesses, especially in the agency and tech space. Co-marketing is one of the primary ways companies collaborate, where they bundle products together to create a unique offering that benefits both parties.
  • It's up to retailers to play around and see what fits when partnering on design, branding, and manufacturing.
  • Rather than spend thousands on marketing to create brand awareness, collaborate with someone who already has market penetration. The key is to identify how you’ll create value in exchange.
  • Collaboration offers a variety of advantages beyond marketing, including enhanced credibility, access to fresh resources and expertise, and the opportunity to learn from different businesses and industries.
  • Collaborations can go south when one side reaps most of the rewards. To make sure a collaboration works, it's crucial to find a win-win situation right from the start. This way, you can avoid collabs that flop or never even lift off.
"Collaborations give you a great opportunity to test new markets without necessarily having to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds." - Nathan Lomax

Implementing a subscription program

  • Subscription programs and loyalty schemes are important tactics for brands looking to scale.
  • As more brands offer subscriptions, people are getting increasingly selective in what they consider necessary.
  • Brands can capitalize on the benefit of the potential positive impact on the environment. With subscriptions, customers only receive the amount they need and avoid waste.
  • Getting the cadence right is crucial to avoiding overstock and excess product since this is one of the leading causes of churn.
  • "70% of DTC brands projected to offer a subscription product this year. So the market is still ripe for it. It's just about convenience and ensuring it's the right subscription."
    (Source: State of U.S. DTC Subs Report by Rodeo & PipeCandy)
  • To stand out from the competition, brands can consider offering exclusive membership features, such as:
    ◦ Access to events.
    Forming a community or tribe.
    Loyalty programs.
    Personalized recommendations.