Shopify and Visiture have some history and for a good reason.
Shopify’s platform is one of the best eCommerce solutions available on the market today. And while the company’s Basic and Advanced packages offer retailers tons of flexibility, scalability and customization features, Shopify Plus elevates these elements to new heights.
Shopify Plus provides high-volume enterprise organizations with a robust platform on which operations can be scaled to new levels of productivity and prosperity. Shopify Plus is an industry leader in providing noteworthy brands with an intuitive, secure, efficient and flexible eCommerce solution, hence why the platform supports over 5,300 businesses like Nestle and MVMT and its users achieve 126 percent year-over-year growth, on average.
Therefore, when it’s time to upgrade eCommerce platforms, many opt to partner with Shopify Plus. But, even with all of the platform’s simplicity and flexibility, retailers must understand how to navigate the upgrade process to come out ahead of the game.
For that reason, today we will be exploring four pre-migration tactics and four post-migration tips for making the most of Shopify Plus.
Let’s dig in.
Shopify Plus Pre-Migration Moves
Before moving over to Shopify Plus, there are several steps that retailers can take to make the migration as smooth, simple and beneficial as possible. These steps include:
Part of why customers remain loyal to a brand is that they find the shopping experience enjoyable and familiar. Ardent fans know how to navigate the store, find the products they want and move through the checkout experience quickly. If a sudden change occurs unbeknownst to the user, they are likely to find themselves disoriented and displeased. If the alterations are stark enough, they may even move to a competing website that feels more recognizable.
Retailers can sidestep this pitfall by simply communicating with their audiences early and throughout the migration process. By ensuring that marketing teams are reaching out to customers via email, social media and through other channels, merchants make certain that customers know to expect a change.
In the outreach materials, the benefits the customers will receive from the migration should be highlighted. These points could include an engaging new interface, a streamlined checkout process, more payment options and similar additions. An ideal way to achieve this is through video presentations that show off how the customers benefit while also stealthily teaching them how the new elements work.
By giving customers a heads up about what is changing, when it is changing and how to navigate the changes, retailers minimize the potential frustrations that buyers might experience from a sudden flip.
Audit Existing Content
A complete content audit is a necessary part of any migration strategy. During this step, it is vital to create a full list of product and category pages, landing pages, blog posts, navigational pages and other essential URLs. The purpose of this step is to provide business owners with a compendium of pages and associated content to avoid creating broken links during the migration process.
Once the audit is complete, sellers can utilize apps like Traffic Control to bulk import 301 redirects and avoid a dip in traffic, revenue and search rankings that may come as a result of broken redirects.
Establish the Right Applications
When transitioning to Shopify Plus, it is wise for retailers to pinpoint the apps they will require for the transition. While many apps will likely carry over from the original platform (assuming one is moving from standard Shopify), merchants should select the appropriate apps for upgraded functionality, the migration process itself (such as the aforementioned Traffic Control) and other needs within the Shopify Plus framework.
This point is especially important for those coming from other platforms like Magento or BigCommerce.
Additionally, at this juncture, sellers will want to inventory the current applications in use on their store as there may be outdated apps that can be replaced or ones that are no longer needed at all and are only dragging down the site’s performance.
Furthermore, many apps may become redundant, given that Shopify Plus offers far more native functionality when compared to its conventional counterpart. Examples include retargeting integration options, automated order responses, merchandising elements and many other features.
However, given the extent to which Shopify Plus can be customized, there may not be an application for the functionality that retailers desire. In which case, merchants should reach out to one of Shopify Plus’s Technology Partners who can develop the exact components and performance that are sought.
Thwart SEO Ramifications
Migrating to a new platform always comes with dangers for a brand’s SEO performance and rankings. Because of this, it is advisable to go through the process with an eCommerce migration guide for SEO issues, such as one of the previously mentioned technology partners for Shopify Plus. Such professionals can help to guard a business against negative impacts in SEO.
However, if brand owners choose to go their own path, it is necessary to assemble a checklist of tasks and procedures that must be completed, implemented and followed to minimize the potential harm that could befall a brand’s site. Some of these tasks include applying the correct redirects and tracking 404 errors, monitoring and fixing duplicate content issues, optimizing site speeds, ensuring a high-degree of mobile-friendliness and optimization, application of favorable URL structures and an array of other vital tasks.
Additionally, for merchants who go this route, Shopify Plus also features a plethora of SEO-oriented applications that can help to remedy issues and enhance SEO performance. Some examples include SEO Manager, Plug in SEO and Ultra SEO.
Shopify Plus Post-Migration Tips
After successfully migrating to Shopify Plus, it’s time to get started enhancing the website through the expanded features and functionality offered by the enterprise-level platform. Some of the most meaningful changes that retailers can institute include:
In today’s age of automation, most retailers must establish ways to alleviate their teams from burdensome, repetitive, trite tasks to compete effectively.
Fortunately, Shopify Plus provides its sellers with Shopify Flow, a robust and dynamic automation application that enables retailers to build automated, template-based or customized visual workflows to manage an array of backend processes as well as customer-facing initiatives.
Much like many automation tools, Shopify Flow works by implementing a series of conditions, triggers and actions to inform the system on when to execute a given activity. Best of all, Shopify Flow requires zero coding knowledge.
With Shopify Flow, eCommerce merchants can automate a variety of tasks. These tasks include creating support tickets for managing negative reviews, tagging customers based on purchasing behavior, displaying and removing products based on inventory levels, halting promotions based on specific parameters, fraud prevention, customer service, inventory management, email marketing sequences and virtually anything else that retailers can dream up workflows for managing.
Shopify Flow allows sellers to free themselves from the more mundane and tedious aspects of business management and get to work on the tasks that help to expand businesses and increase productivity.
However, this isn’t the only means of automation that Shopify Plus has to offer.
The scheduling tool Launchpad enables Shopify Plus merchants to schedule and automate an array of occurrences such as “product visibility, Shopify Scripts, themes, discounts…a sales campaign, product release, or flash sale” and many other types of events.
Through this application, retailers can launch and run promotional events in a more efficient manner, thereby freeing up employees to focus on more critical tasks than changing over a theme or banner.
By merely defining the start and end times of a given task, Launchpad enables retailers to pre-plan a laundry list of affairs throughout the year.
Broaden the Multichannel Experience
Merchants have more channels than ever through which to reach their audiences. Purveyors can sell products on Amazon and eBay, leverage the unparalleled power of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and conduct business through messaging portals like WhatsApp and Messenger, alongside the numerous unnamed avenues.
With Shopify Plus, retailers can integrate their offerings with over 20 different sales channels, thereby broadening the scope of a brand’s reach while simultaneously simplifying the management process.
Shopify Plus enables eCommerce merchants to expand their efforts to audiences across the globe, serve the necessary content in local languages and conduct transactions in a multitude of currencies.
This ability to cater to local and foreign markets across a wide variety of channels is essential given that, as noted by a Harvard Business Review study, a whopping 73 percent of digital consumers “…used multiple channels during their shopping journey.”
Moreover, as the article goes on to reveal, multichannel users are more valuable given that “with every additional channel [buyers] used, the shoppers spent more money.”
Thanks to Shopify Plus’s myriad of integration options, retailers have the opportunity to reach more shoppers–and increasingly valuable ones at that.
Reduce Shopping Cart Friction
Shopping cart abandonment rates are disconcertingly high, topping out at nearly 70 percent across verticals. Naturally, these missed opportunities are a massive issue for eCommerce retailers. While ad retargeting is an excellent tactic for reducing cart abandonment, the first place a business owner should look is to improve the checkout experience.
Shopify Plus helps to streamline the purchase process as much as possible through allowing users to create accounts and pay for orders using their Amazon information or social media login info. Each option aids in reducing friction and speeding up a customer’s ability to buy.
However, what may be even more compelling is that retailers need not require account information at all through the implementation of guest checkout features that maximize sales potential.
With Shopify Plus’s robust checkout customization features, retailers can create a smooth and streamlined path to purchase.
Implement Automatic Discounts
Standard Shopify users have plenty of tools at their disposal. However, one that is unique to the Plus platform is the capacity to craft dynamic sales and provide customers with special discounts.
While there are certainly apps that standard Shopify users can deploy to achieve the same effect, Shopify Plus touts a dedicated app with enhanced functionalities.
With the Script Editor app, Shopify Plus users are free to enable logic to automate shopping cart discounts. As the app’s description notes, “Using line item, shipping, and payment scripts [sellers] can implement custom logic and tailor the user experience during a customer’s checkout journey.”
This app is essential given that customization is at the heart of a great customer experience.
Shopify Plus is an outstanding platform that helps enterprise organizations expand their efforts, reach new audiences and maximize their potential.
However, unlike the standard platform, sellers can’t just select a theme and get to work. Given the level of customization that Plus enables, retailers require a skilled Shopify technology partner to ensure peak performance, UX optimization and robust omnichannel integration to get the most out of what the platform offers.
If your brand is ready to migrate to Shopify Plus, reach out to Visiture and we can make the transition smooth, seamless and all-around successful.