by Fatema Mulla
With the approach of the busiest holiday season of the year, the event was full of insight, actionable tips and advice on how to prepare your eCommerce store for the peak trading period.
Sponsored by partners Klarna and Torque, the event covered everything from appealing to Gen Z customers, to sticking to your morals during stressful trading times.
Welcome and Shopify Updates: Dan Conboy @ Statement
We kicked off Shopify Meetup Leeds with a warm welcome from Statement MD Dan Conboy, who gave a brief overview on the recent Shopify updates from this year’s Shopify Unite conference.
Dan talked through the key announcements, such as order editing features, checkout app extensions, AR and video features, the new Shopify Fulfilment Network and much more.
Dan also covered how these new features give merchants more power and allow them to effectively prepare for the peak trading season.
Preparing for Peak Trading: Oliver Winstanley @ Torque Logistics
Oliver Winstanley from Torque - a specialist supply chain management solution - was up next. Torque are a specialist supply chain fulfilment provider, working with high growth brands such as I Saw It First, Trespass, Bluebella and many more.
Oliver kicked off his presentation with a short intro to the Torque brand, talking about the impressive scale of their operation.
Oliver discussed the importance of preparing early for peak trading season, running through a checklist of what to consider before the busy season kicks in. This covered everything from stock supply to increased shipping rates.
Preparing for Peak - How Gen Z will be your most important customer: Cormac Cahill @ Klarna
Cormac Cahill from high growth payment solution Klarna presented next. Cormac focused on how to target the fruitful Gen Z customer base, and how effectively marketing to them can then help you to easily target all other customer segments.
Cormac discussed the demands Gen Z presents to eCommerce merchants, particularly at busy times of the year. He mentioned how they are the hardest customer segment to market to - as they are the first generation to be born digitally native, therefore if you win Gen Z over, you can win anyone over.
Cormac discussed how Gen Z customers tend to care about sustainability and ethics more than any other generation, opting to pay more for products they know are sustainable.
He finished by encouraging brands to either make Gen Z their best customer, as meeting their requirements would ensure you can easily meet those of all other age groups, OR target millenials as the customer segment that has reached the height of their disposable income.
Selling lots without selling out: Oonagh Simms @ The Marshmallowist
Oonagh Simms from gourmet marshmallow brand The Marshmallowist was our retailer speaker of the night. Having started her brand after training as a chocolatier in Paris, Oonagh talked about the journey she’s had and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Oonagh expressed the importance of preparing as early as possible for peak trading season, encouraging merchants to begin planning for Christmas as early as July so as not to compromise on customer service and engagement when the hectic months arrive.
“Expect the unexpected” was Oonagh’s main motto, due to her own experience of stock completely selling out after Philip Schofield mentioned her products on a segment on This Morning. The brands sales exploded - so much that they completely sold out.
To rectify this issue, the brand sent out a personalised email to every single customer to apologise for the situation, reinforcing their brand integrity and ensuring they didn’t compromise on their customer service morals.
Oonagh finished by talking about how sticking to her morals has allowed her to manage busy peaks without cutting corners on the important things, from sourcing ingredients to managing suppliers.
Read more about Oonagh’s story in her roundup blog post from the night here.
We ended the night with a Q&A session with all our speakers, taking questions from merchants within the room and sharing ideas, tips and advice on topics that were covered throughout the evening, such as sustainable packaging materials, meeting the requirements of the Gen Z customer base and more.
We’d just like to say a huge thanks to our partners and sponsors, and everyone who came along to Shopify Meetup Leeds at Duke Studios. Keep an eye out on our events page - and our socials! - to be the first to hear any future event announcements.