We know that every business is unique and has different needs. In the post, we going to have a look at popular tools and apps for your Ocean e-commerce brand.
Loyalty programs, sponsored by retailers and other businesses, offer rewards, discounts, and other special incentives as a way to attract and retain customers. They are designed to encourage repeat business, offering people a reward for store/brand loyalty. Increasing customer loyalty and repeater customer is crucial for long-term survival for your business. Good loyalty apps should have the following features:
- Possibility to increase repeat purchase with points for on-site activities
- Acquire new customers via inbuilt refer-a-friend/ referral functionality and review to referrer emails
- Grow social audiences by rewarding points for social follows, likes and shares
- Capability to use points to incentivize reviews from happy customers
- Provide loyalty program’s customer insights and data
- Loyalty tiers for your most loyal customers
- Customize to match your brand with a widget or a fully integrated page
- Ability to encourage customers to return with loyalty emails or other integrated communication apps.
- Reward subscriptions
- Fully integrated with your POS (If you sell on a physical store).
- Available in your audience’s language.
Let’s have a look at different loyalty programs for your Ocean brand.
Rise is a gift card and Store credit program. It has a multi-channel capability that allows your brand to offer Gift Cards usable across multiple stores (Online, Shopify POS / Point of Sale). Is definitely a powerful tool, especially for brands that need a powerful point system, store credit solution. Their rules are flexible so it makes it easy to rewards your customers as you wish. It integrates with other recommended communication apps such Klaviyo and Push Owl and reviews apps like Loox and Yotpo. Their pricing comes a little bit expensive if you have more than 100 orders per month and your average order value is under $30.
Yotpo is definitely one of the most popular apps for rewarding customers & get new referrals. It works seamlessly with its’s sister app for reviews, also developed by Yotpo. The app has a loyalty and referral system and a VIR tier rewards program. It integrates with Klaviyo for email communications with your customer. Pricing is also sensitive if you have more than 200 orders per month.
Growave is one of the most complete apps out there and they are growing fast. Is all in-one-marketing platform that offers Loyalty, referral, wishlist, reviews, shop Instagram feed all in one app. Their customer supports is fast and top-notch. their prices are still reasonable especially if you pay annually. Their app integrates very well with other recommend apps such Pushowl and Klaviyo. Their app is translatable and email communications are customizable although it might take you a while to get everything set up. Growave also integrates with Shopify POS.
Smile is the most popular rewards app in the market today. They offer is similar to other referral apps list above with rewarding systems, points and VIP tiers program. Is easily customizable and it integrates easily with most apps out there, such Klaviyo, Mail Chimp, Loox, Push Owl and many more. Their pricing is still very friendly if you have hundreds of orders per month. The only con I had in the past it was that it was only available in English at the time which was a deal-breaker for one of my clients. Today they have added other language settings to their front face widget. Smile also integrates with Shopify POS.
LoyaltyLion is an award-winning Shopify loyalty provider that also increases customer retention and engagement. Integrates with other apps like Klaviyo and Loox. Their capabilities are very similar to others. They offer a free plan of up to 800 orders a month which makes it very appealing if you already started but you don’t have the budget yet.
Email marketing is probably one of the most efficient tools in your ocean brand, if not the most. Marketing investment on return is $40 for every dollar spent. No other platforms can beat that yet. Maintaining communications with a customer is so important, especially if they have purchased from you already. Possibilities that they become your customer again are very high if you maintain a close relationship with them. Features needed for your email e-commerce platform are the following:
- Integrates with many other apps
- Free and flexible account options
- Has Personalization and targeting
- Ability to do automation sequence.
- Dynamic forms
- Great segmentation
- Outstanding reporting
- Ability to send SMS (optional)
- Social advertising (possibility to connect to other social media platforms)
- Good Insights and guidance
- GDPR compliant
Communication is king. Let’s have a look at Email communication options.
Klaviyo is the leading e-commerce marketing platform in the Shopify ecosystem. with over 50,000 stores around the world use Klaviyo to send personalized email, SMS messages, signup forms, and more. Is also the most well-integrated app in the Shopify market. They have templates, automation already built-in that offer a very easy setup. Their app connects to your Shopify store within minutes and tracks every movement on your store. Their segmentation is a very powerful feature and you can laser-target customers by interests, location, or their different levels at the funnel. Truth is that their tracking codes will slow down your shop a little bit but it will be worth it. Their price is very friendly when starting as is offers 500 customers profiles for free at the beginning.
Active Campaign is also one of the most competitive email marketing tools out there. They are mostly focused on businesses and consultants and probably e-commerce is not their core business. Still, they offer great automation, tracking codes, templates etc. Probably their integration is a bit more complicated to set up and their audiences are not as segmented as Klaviyo. Still is a great marketing tool and highly recommended. Active Campaign can easily integrate with other eCommerce apps as well, but probably not as many as Klaviyo.
Mailchimp is another giant of email marketing. Using the app Mailmunch will provide you the tools you need to grow your email subscribers and convert them into customers. Add variety of MailChimp forms to your Shopify store. Popups, coupons, scroll Boxes, embedded and Top Bars will help you increase your subscribers.
Reviews are probably the first source of social proof for your clients, business partners and investors. If you want to build good PR, is better that your start receiving reviews from the beginning. When potential customers are considering making a decision, they look to others for an opinion. Social proof, specifically photo reviews & UGC, relieve customer anxiety. High-growth brands are leveraging social proof in every stage of the customer funnel;
Reviews that include a message and pictures are your best ambassadors when doing paid ads, especially retargeting ads. Your reviews apps should offer:
- Schedule by delivery time or order status
- Offer a discount for photo reviews
- Review request reminders
- Send review requests
- Integrate with other apps
- Works and integrates with Shopify theme
- Available in your audience’s language
- Be able to reply to reviews
- GDPR Compliant
Loox is a fully-featured product review app that enables small and large brands to automatically collect customer reviews with photos and beautifully display happy customer content. Is by large, the most popular Shopify review app, with over 7000 reviews. Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants use our easy setup reviews plugin to boost trust, drive word of mouth and referrals, and increase customer retention and sales. Loox verified reviews and photo reviews are your greatest assets for increasing brand awareness and improving conversion rates.
Growave, an app featured above on the loyalty section also offers reviews in their all-in-one marketing platform. Their reviews include messaging and pictures as well. They can be easily translated or customized.
Yotpo, another app featured above on the loyalty section also offers reviews as a separate app, yet the same developer. Their reviews include messaging and pictures as well.
Shopify inventory management is limited. It does some basic features like stock transfer, inventory tracking etc. But when running a multiple warehouse or large inventory in different locations you are going to need more powerful features. You need inventory management that acts as the master of your inventory and that can connect to your store platform (most cases Shopify or Woocommerce). These are some of the important features when looking for a software:
- Purchase orders
- Demand forecasting
- Receiving with barcode scanner
- Stock transfers
- Stocktakes and adjustments
- Analytics and insights
- low stock and best seller reports
- stock on hand
- ABC analysis
- SKU/variant reports
Note that not every business is the same. Some businesses has different needs and you might be more particularly interested in some feature more than other. First, you need to understand well what you need. Not app is perfect and you will find out its limitations at some stage. Have a deep exploration and see which one is the most accurate to fit your needs, find deal-breakers soon and move on to the next one. You might see that the other has good strengths but it lacks on something else. As mentioned, is a long process, take your time.
Stocky has been bought by Shopify and is now included in their Shopify POS pro package. Stocky lets you optimize your inventory decisions spending less time worrying about what products to purchase and more time maximizing your profits with the best product mix for your business. It offers very smart reports about what you need for your next purchase orders. Is also well integrated with Shopify of course.
It lacks lots of features and their support is usually run by regular Shopify employees who probably don’t have much knowledge about the software. Some of them do, try to speak to their Shopify retail team or send them an email directly. Their auto sync is not the fastest but you can always do manual sync if you need quick synchronization.
Katana is the perfect tool if you are a business that manufactures or moves inventory throughout the different processes. Is the perfect tool for makers. Their dashboard is very friendly, with colors and very brief instructions. Their support is sometimes slow but they are growing fast. It lacks reports and insights. It integrates well with other account apps such as Xero or Quickbooks
Post-purchase positive impact on the environment apps
When building an Ocean e-commerce startup you will be targeting conscious consumers that are looking forward to leaving a positive mark on the planet. There are different ways to create a positive impact on the planet and one of them is a post-purchase positive impact on the environment. This could be planting trees, compensating for the carbon footprint, or pulling plastic or trash out of the ocean. Let’s have a look to different alternatives:
EcoCart gives your Ocean brand customers the option to offset the environmental impact of their orders at checkout with a single click. It’s a simple and free way to show your customers you care about the environment as much as they do. The process is simple and transparent. They will automatically calculate the exact cost of offsetting each order’s carbon emissions and fund verified sustainability projects.
You can track your impact using easily digestible sustainability metrics and data visualizations within your personalized analytics dashboard. Also, you will have the ability to share your brand’s impact using our content marketing templates, carbon offsetting project stories, and certified sustainability badge.
With Climate-friendly cart Customers can choose to make a contribution that goes towards trusted carbon offsetting projects, like tree planting and renewable energy projects. These trusted projects reduce carbon and drive meaningful impact in communities around the world. Connecting Climate Friendly Cart with your Shopify store is easy. Regarding transparency, Climate friendly cart claims that their carbon offsets are of the highest standard, supporting only projects that provide full traceability.
Up to date, there are no apps but this one about cleaning trash out of the ocean. OceanHub is the only partner offering this as a solution for your e-commerce store to date. They lack reviews but it might be worth giving a go. Every month, Cleanhub calculates the total plastic collection volume by your shipped orders, and that number becomes your monthly ocean protection cost. Decide flexibly how many kilograms you would like to collect with each order. From your Cleanhub Impact Report, you can see the total amount of plastic waste you’ve arranged to collect. You can share the live-tracking link of collection progress with your customers.
When building a Shopify store you might need to add languages to reach different audiences worldwide. Adding languages is tricky but a necessary thing if you want to conquer hearts across borders. You will reach new customers from all around the world by translating your shop into any number of languages. It will also boost your traffic to your store. These are some of the most important features when you choosing an app for your Shopify store:
- Automatic language detection (customers will be redirected to their preferred language automatically)
- Customizable language switcher (customers can choose their preferred language manually)
- Multiple domains per language (translated storefronts can be hosted on specific domains)
- Full SEO support including the translation of Meta Tags (when using multiple domains per language)
- Image translation support
Langify is one of the most popular apps for translation out there. Their setup is quite easy and the pricing is fair. They support automatic translations that will be helpful when you have to translate a big chunk of texts. Their translations are also SEO friendly. Just be aware of translating your website again when you do any updates or edits.
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