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Community is the Future of Shopify

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The convergence of social media and commerce has never been more exciting than now. Accelerated by the pandemic, direct to consumer ecommerce has become a top priority for creators, small businesses and legacy players looking to diversify their revenue streams.

Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and more will continue to create more ways for businesses to acquire customers, but what happens when these attention models get too expensive? How will ecommerce merchants acquire their first sales? Their first 100 or 1,000? How will merchants create a reproducible sales model? The answer is community. Community is the unique untapped advantage and potential moat that exists for every ecommerce merchant. Shopify is your ecommerce back office, and community is your defensibility. This is a helpful framework that we’ll discuss throughout this article, and we’ll assume you have an understanding of Shopify.

Let’s start with ‘day 1’ merchants. Explicitly, entrepreneurs that have just published their ecommerce website and don’t have any sales yet. As a Shopify merchant, your first sale usually comes from friends and family, but thereafter it can be difficult to acquire new customers. Logically, for years, founders have paid ‘rent’ to social networks to capture the attention of thousands of potential customers. It’s an effective way to acquire customers, especially if you know who your buyer personas are. Companies like Facebook are so good at finding you customers that you can literally put your credit card in and their machine learning will find and........

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