In 2016, we hosted two key Shopify meetups under our Shopify Meetup North umbrella - to great success. We invited retailers, agencies, app developers and general eCommerce enthusiasts from Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester and beyond to join us for an evening of free food and talks on online retail.
We were delighted to host a third meetup in Leeds, once again at The Adelphi, and we were joined by Brightpearl, Recharge Payments and Conversio on an app panel and then we were also joined by SushiSushi who came to talk about their journey of growing their brand online.
Our managing director, Dan, began the event with an overview of our meetups, shared some insights into the recent growth of Shopify and then handed the event over to our special guests!
We were kindly joined by Stuart Pick from Brightpearl, Rob Barr at Recharge Payments and Becs Rivett-Kimm at Conversio who were on our app panel - to discuss apps, add-ons and extensions and why it’s important for retailers to use them to grow their business.
They all introduced themselves and then, facilitated by Dan, began to discuss the importance of apps.
One of the key insights was that, whilst Shopify is a great platform with many secure features, there are many limitations that can often be a barrier for what some retailers want to do. Hence where apps come in!
Another discussion point was that often, there are five different apps that do the same thing - so how can retailers choose which one is best for them? Becs said that this is where reviews are crucially important. Taking the time to read reviews and ask other users of apps can be really beneficial at finding the right app for you.
Dan also wanted to find out that, whilst we think apps are great, there can be some downsides - such as load times, bugs etc. So how can merchants find their way around these disadvantages? It was agreed by all that taking the time to try new apps is a good way of figuring out which apps have less bugs or quicker speeds etc. Don’t feel like you should be tied down to just one app…
We always love inviting over a retailer - and Stuart at SushiSushi had such an engaging story, we’re glad he could come along to share his insights of running a business on Shopify.
SushiSushi is a Japanese food distributor for high-end restaurants and sushi bars and, alongside Shopify, also sells through eBay and Amazon.
They have many notable customers including Michael O’Hare, British Airways and the BBC. They are also the largest supplier of Japanese food to Amazon!
Stuart walked through his journey of working from a kitchen in a 2-bed terraced house in Barnsley, through to working with Brightpearl, through trying out Magento and then up to replatforming to Shopify and working from a 5000 sq ft industrial unit.
We were really interested in Stuart’s motivations for moving from Magento to Shopify. He said that it wasn’t beneficial to have all of the different areas of his business in different places (whilst Shopify and Brightpearl could keep it all in one place) and it was even sometimes harmful every time the platform needed to be updated. Whilst Shopify had a slightly bigger investment in hosting, development and maintenance, he realised that it was well worth it - for both time and also long-term financial investment.
If you came along, thank you for coming and we hope you found it useful (or at least enjoyed the free pie and peas!). If you have any more questions about using Shopify or need some help with your existing store, please feel free to get in touch.
Start your planning now with our free, comprehensive 2019 eCommerce Calendar.