After successfully holding three previous Shopify Meetups in Leeds, we decided to go on a mini-tour of the North and hold our fourth and fifth Shopify Meetups in two cities in two consecutive days this July. We once again invited Shopify merchants, developers and enthusiasts for two evenings of insights, networking and, of course, free food.
We were delighted to once again bring Shopify Meetup Leeds back to The Adelphi for the third time, where we were joined by Space Squirrel, Dexters Workwear and Lo-Dough for the first of our two events.
For our very first Manchester meetup, we were excited to co-host the event with Shopify app developers and Manchester’s own Space Squirrel, the company behind some fast growing apps on the Shopify App Store. Both Space Squirrel and Lo-Dough joined us again at Manchester for another night and we were also joined by Brightpearl, all at our Manchester venue, LEAF.
We had a fantastic time at both events, meeting some inspirational store owners and taking in some great insight from our speakers. If you weren’t able to attend one of our meetups, we’ve put together this roundup of some key insights and talking points from what were two exciting nights.
Statement Managing Director Dan Conboy kicked off both events with an overview of the Shopify platform and some recent updates from Unite along with some general trends we’ve seen.
Of particular note was the recent growth of Shopify Plus as a platform for high volume merchants. Dan talked about how Shopify Plus is gaining momentum both in the UK and around the world, attracting great brands like GymShark, Matalan Direct and Skinny Dip London.
After Dan’s intro at the Manchester event, David Phillips from retail management solution Brightpearl took to the stage to talk about automation in retail.
David talked about how automation can help create a better experience for retailers, as well as helping to speed up the operations of merchants and allowing them to focus more resources on sales and marketing.
David also looked at how retailers can decide what to automate, and shared some key stats on automation with attendees. If you only managed to come along to our Leeds meetup, we recommend you taking a look at their site to find out a bit more about how they can add value to your online store.
Djuro from Shopify app developers and Manchester co-hosts Space Squirrel took to the stage at both events, talking to attendees about their apps and how they can really power up a merchant’s store.
The Space Squirrel team have been very busy over the past few months and were even given a shoutout by Shopify at Unite back in April.
It was really interesting to see how Space Squirrel had taken care to create apps that would both improve the shopping experience on Shopify stores, and help merchants to really focus on driving up their sales.
Djuro talked us through how store owners could compress images and improve site speed with Crush.pics, create shoppable Instagram galleries with Covet.pics, match competitors’ prices with Price Beater and encourage social sharing with Checkout Share.
At our Leeds meetup, Dan returned to the stage to share the story of new workwear brand and Statement client, Dexters Workwear.
Dan talked about how Dexters went from an idea to a fully developed brand, and how Dexters was built with their Shopify eCommerce store as the main sales channel.
Dan also shared how important it was for Dexters to stand out from the competition, educate visitors about their brand’s unique concept and build an online community.
Dexters founder Lawrence Sheppard then joined Dan to take some questions from the audience. If you didn’t manage to speak to Lawrence but have any questions about the workwear or how they’ve grown their brand, feel free to get in touch on their Twitter or Facebook.
Both of our meetups were closed by Ben from Lo-Dough, an exciting new low calorie, low carb bread alternative product. Ben talked about how Lo-Dough is disrupting the bakery industry using influencer marketing and Shopify.
He shared with us how Lo-Dough tested the market through targeted Facebook advertising to prove there was a market for their brand new product concept. It was really exciting to see how Lo-Dough used Facebook ads, a prototype storefront and surveys to gather data on their product, while collecting a valuable database of email addresses at the same time.
Ben also shared the incredible initial response to their launch, and how they used scarcity marketing and an influencer strategy to create hype around the product.
We closed both events by posing a question to everyone in attendance. Asking them what they’d do differently after listening to the insight and inspirational Shopify stories from the Meetup.
We’re really interested to hear what store owners take away from our meetups, so feel free to get in touch with us and tell us what one thing you’re doing differently to grow your store.
Thanks to everyone who attended and spoke at either of our meetups. We hope you had a great time and look forward to seeing you at the next event. Keep an eye out for another Shopify Meetup event in October to help you prepare for Christmas trading!