9 Big Ecommerce Lessons From Shogun in 2022: A Blog Retrospective
December 6, 2022
Whew! Another year (almost) in the books.
When you’re up to your eyeballs in to-do lists, campaign launches, and ROI-tracking—especially during EOY planning mode—it’s hard to see and appreciate how much you’ve grown, adapted, and changed.
But reflection is key for improvement.
Our team has been hard at work all year covering topics you care most about as you scale your ecommerce brand.
As we reviewed our content log for 2022, several lessons stood out that you can apply to your brand next year—whether you’re a year or two into building your business or looking for advanced ecommerce practices to level up.
Grab your holiday beverage of choice, and let’s unpack the biggest lessons of the year. ☕
Or, you can skip ahead to the takeaways that interest you most:
Once you’ve got your footing, great email templates and sequences are a handy way to show up consistently in your customers’ inboxes. We’ve got an ebook packed with free ecommerce email templates to get you going.
In the world of headless commerce, we rounded up the best headless sites we could find into one stunning post. Be sure to bookmark that one if you’re considering exploring a headless solution next year.
Now that your store looks cool, you want to turn your attention to how your products are represented across all those lovely pages. Let’s talk about the power of merchandising…
Merchandising: Differentiate your site experience with intentional product and visual displays
Designing an online shopping experience that is aesthetically pleasing and high-converting is the name of the game.
Lastly, this post from Nomad’s creative director may inspire you to prioritize merchandising next year and beyond. Here’s a taste:
“We want every touchpoint our customers have with the Nomad brand to be the best possible because we know the care brands take with these touchpoints signals quality. We do this through thoughtful design without compromise. It’s built into all the micro-moments.”
— Nick Walden, Creative Director, Nomad
You are cooking with fire now. Your merchandising game is on point, your store looks amazing, you’ve learned a lot about your customers, and they love your emails.
What’s next? That’s right—page speed.
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Site performance: Improving your speed and user experience to boost sales
Site performance can be a tricky thing.
As you make changes to your site—swapping images, adding video, running a new campaign, loading up on apps—your site speed fluctuates, too.
For BigCommerce merchants specifically, we’ve got a dedicated post to help you improve your site speed and maintain a fast shopping experience for your customers.
If you find your site is still clocking in slower than you’d like, this article on advanced page speed fixes will help diagnose and fix your site issues.
At a certain point, brands need an ecommerce solution that balances great UX and speed. Headless commerce (more on that below!) allows you to build the dynamic, engaging site you envision without the speed tradeoffs.
Delivering awesome and speedy online experiences is great. The customers love you and they placed their order, so now you have to deliver their products—and fast. Let’s talk logistics.
Fulfillment and logistics: Doubling down on fast shipping and a positive post-purchase experience
The last few years have been nothing short of overwhelming for the shipping and logistics arms of ecommerce businesses.
From the seemingly endless delays and materials shortages and everything in between, the supply chain has been feeling the heat. And, by extension, so have ecommerce brands.
Brands are turning to sourcing channels like wholesale marketplaces to find quality suppliers and increase profit margins.
For brands looking to ease inventory issues completely, many wholesale suppliers offer dropshipping (products are shipped directly to customers from a third-party warehouse).
Just be sure to do your supplier research; by surrendering inventory control, you want to ensure the final product is up to par and delivered as promised.
For example, if you decide to outsource your fulfillment, they may have a different returns and shipping process for customers. To ensure a seamless transition for both you and your customers, update your policiy page—and perhaps leverage the butter bar on your homepage to call out any updates for good measure.
Now, let’s talk the cost of returns. For many brands, returns are becoming pricy.
Adjusting how you approach returns could mean a huge break in your overhead costs, but be careful; you don’t want to scare customers away.
If you can expertly handle sourcing, shipping, and reverse logistics, you will impress your customers and earn their loyalty (and their repeat purchases).
But, can you manage this feat on several interconnected channels? That’s the customer-centric challenge of omnichannel commerce, which is next up on the docket.
Omnichannel selling: Expanding into multiple sales channels to grow your reach
They say that change is the only constant. The saying definitely applies to the ecommerce world—especially after the last few years.
The adoption of live shopping and an increase in mobile usage have solidified behaviors like buying through social media like Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shops, and, lest we forget, TikTok.
Ecommerce brands have also turned to online marketplaces—including Amazon, Walmart, and other online selling sites—as alternative selling channels to accompany their owned online store.
For brands who’ve reached a certain level in their growth, omnichannel commerce has landed on the radar of many. Omnichannel commerce connects a brand’s shopping and marketing channels so they can offer customers a unified experience—no matter if they’re offline or online.
It can be challenging to wrangle various channels into a seamless experience—both from a logistics, retail, and marketing perspective.
Omnichannel often gets confused with multichannel commerce, which offers separate experiences (while maintaining brand consistency, of course) across the disparate channels.
Multichannel ensures your brand meets your customers where they are and provides value unique to that channel.
Whether you go multichannel or omnichannel, the repeated (and successful) effort of juggling many things means that you are on your way to scaling your operations.
As you scale your brand, you are likely to grow beyond multiple channels into multiple countries. This is my segue into internationalization…
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Internationalization: Expanding into different ecommerce markets
As your brand grows, you may want to step into different ecommerce markets outside your home country.
We wish we could say global expansion is as easy as converting CAD to EUR, but there’s much more to it.
Compliance, localization, and platform capabilities—oh my!
For Shopify brands, setting up multi-store on your site allows you to expand into different markets or manage sub-brands with different store instances.
Headless commerce has long been a developer-centric tech packed with jargon.
To break through the jargon, we wrote an article explaining the technical world of headless architecture (i.e., how brands can build incredibly fast, memorable shopping experiences).
Perhaps the biggest double-edged sword of headless commerce is that there’s no one way to achieve headlessness for your site. It’s complex and it’s all up to you.
The more traditional route, often referred to as composable commerce, is a popular method for going headless.
In a nutshell, this is where you handpick (and subsequently manage) every technology used to power your store’s frontend—from the CMS and CDN to the SSR and middleware.
However, composable commerce isn’t the best avenue for many brands.
Depending on your company size, developer/tech resources, and budget, opting for an alternative route to headless—like an all-in-one ecommerce Frontend Platform, like Shogun Frontend—may make more sense.
What’s in store for next year in ecommerce?
2022 brought back a lot of in-person shopping, but that didn’t stop digital experiences from thriving. Ecommerce continues to grow.
Next year, the lines of in-store and online shopping will only blur further—making it all the more important for brands to figure out how to maximize both.
The strategies you use to get in front of potential customers and retain existing ones will decide how you weather the possibly uncertain times ahead.
No matter where you are in your ecommerce journey, there are valuable learnings you can implement to find success.
How will you use this year’s lessons to plan for the next?
#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Ring in the new year with a conversion-driving storefront<cta-title>Next year is for building memorable, performant shopping experiences. See how you can do just that with Shogun Page Builder Advanced. Learn more