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Control Your Online Shop and Kick Amazon To the Curb

PostedOctober 14, 2020

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Here’s a crunchy hypothetical. Your entire adult life, you’ve obsessed over granola. Different brands, flavors, textures, recipes, you name it. 


One day, after tearing into a $12 raw, sprouted, organic, super-food bag of the stuff you look down at your spoon and think, “what the hell, I could bake this in 20 minutes with double the flavor.”


In your fit of clean-burning cluster-fueled rage, you whip up a batch so delicious, you quit your job on the spot, contact an industrial kitchen, pick up the phone and yell something along the lines of, “I need 45 pounds of rolled oats shipped ASAP!”


Flashforward a couple months. You now run a meager but rapidly scaling granola shop with a cult-like local following. Let’s call it Refined Oats.


And while you adore Glenda, the pigeon-toed lady on the 1st floor of your building, who has munched through her third bag this week, Glenda isn’t paying your rent.


So what do you do? You bring Refined Oats online, of course. Only question is: are you going to join Amazon or sell it DTC (direct-to-consumer) yourself? 


This decision will not only affect your revenue for years to come, it will affect the entire scope and operation of your business. 


Control Your Shop, Control Your Relationships


One powerful method for keeping the doors open longer is acquiring lifelong customers.


The issue with selling on Amazon is that you don’t get access to customer data at the point-of-sale. You might see some purchases through Amazon, if your product listing is competitively placed and low enough in price to get clicked on.


But you won’t get your customer’s profiles, emails, or phone numbers. This creates tremendous difficulty in building customer loyalty. In this case, an impersonal transaction takes place and it's over.


Using Shopify, you can not only market to customers and sell your product directly, but also follow up with them in a variety of fashions. And if you’re savvy, you can build a legitimate relationship and add new customers to your audience. 


In short, using Amazon is like having your girlfriend approach the guy across the bar and say, “hey, my friend over there thinks you’re cute.” Using Shopify is like you nervously ambling over to say hello yourself. 


It might make you shake in your boots, but it’s going to give you better results in the long run and build better relationships.


There’s New Muscle in Ecommerce 


Shopify has recently surpassed EBay to become the second-largest ecommerce company in North America. Take a look at the graph below displaying Shopify’s merchant growth year-by-year. 


Explosive growth in the number of Shopify stores.

Graph by sumo.com


While this graph ends in 2018, by 2019, Shopify had tripled their number of active merchants in three years to over 1 million.


Quoted in a 2pml.com article, Tobi Lutke, the founder and CEO of Shopify, sums up the goal for his ambitious and disruptive company in two sentences quite pointedly: “Shopify exists to basically arm the rebels. We want a lot of people to go out and compete against Amazon.”


The repertoire of tools available to Shopify’s army of rebels has expanded. As expressed in the same article, “Shopify now services financial processing loans, fulfillment, hardware, and an ecosystem of developers at the beck and call of merchants who can afford their services.”


Who Are the Rebels?


Yes, we love fictitious tales of granola shop owners. But not nearly as much as we love real shop owners. So, here are some real life Simplistic App partners who are using Shopify to succeed online.


Smile.io (can we steal your name?) is a customer acquisition company creating rewards programs for the world’s largest brands. They work directly with Shopify and list them as an integration on their site. This means current Shopify shops can install the smile.io app and easily start building rewards programs for their customers based on simple to understand concepts like points, referrals, and VIP status.


Now that’s how you keep customers around. Not only is their site uncluttered and user-friendly, but it offers a free account and clearly laid out pricing guidelines and benefits. 


Rare Logic is a predictive email marketing software designed specifically for ecommerce vendors. Their site comes equipped with an enticing free trial, direct download links of their apps on Shopify’s app store, and a straightforward interface.


VideoPeel is a one-stop-shop for managing and leveraging customer videos, a niche but highly valuable service to online shops. You guessed it, they are a Shopify partner as well offering an automated method for requesting video testimonials from people who purchase your products.


With All These Tools…


Why let someone else take a whopping slice of your pie? Without doubt, Amazon has an almighty catalogue, reach, and distribution. There are profits to be made there for the select few products in each category.


But if your business and your customers mean the world to you, why not foster an authentic relationship yourself? This leads to better iterations in the future and more consistent business.


Of course, we would love to help you build those customer relationships. So, holler at us anytime!

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