The Ultimate Retention & Customer Experience Stack for Shopify Plus

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by: John Surdakowski03/08/2022

Quick Summary With our fictitious brand as an example, we’ll dive into actionable advice and show you how to utilize certain SaaS products to get the most out of what they offer and drive sales for your eCommerce site.


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Introduction

Here at Avex, we put a strong emphasis on utilizing data to inform our design and customer experience decisions. We always leverage our team of knowledgeable and seasoned eCommerce experts to help our clients navigate the landscape of commerce. However, we still want to test, automate and optimize to improve conversions, retention and average order value. 

In this article, we discuss some of the best eCommerce SaaS products that work in conjunction with Shopify Plus to help brands improve their customer experience and overall sales performance. We also spoke with each of our SaaS tech partners to provide you with advice on getting the most out of their products. Using this approach and technology stack, you’re guaranteed to see a lift in sales as well as save time and money. Some SaaS products included in this article are:

Why use this customer experience & retention stack?

Today, more and more customers expect a tailored and seamless customer experience when buying online. What we have realized is that not every customer is the same, nor do they have the same needs. That is why brands need to create personalized, optimized, and synchronized digital customer experiences. Not only on their website, but across all channels. The approach we take considers how your customer will interact with your content, products, reviews, email communications and even subscriptions. 

How can you use this tech stack for your Shopify Plus store?

Before we break down the individual steps, let’s list out what some of our goals are for this approach. In this example, we’ll use a supplement brand that has a store with around 300 SKUs and doing about $10M in yearly revenue. 

About our example brand:

  • Name: Sunny Day Supplements

  • SKUS: 300+

  • Revenue $10M

  • Products: Vitamins / Health / Wellness

  • Platform: Shopify Plus

The brand has been growing on Shopify Plus and currently has a few well converting landing pages. Most customers are served the same content and product recommendations are based on previous viewed products or bestsellers. Sunny Day Supplements merchandises their homepage based on what they think customers want to buy. The promotions they run are featured on the homepage or at the top alert banner, and all customers see the same deals. 

Sunny Day uses Klaviyo and has a few flows setup, such as Welcome Series, Abandoned Cart and Winback. For customer service, the brand has a chatbot and email form. Response times are slow and customers have made it known in the reviews. When a bad review is left by a customer, Sunny Day does not have the resources to sort through comments and winback the customer. 

In short: Sunny Day is leaving a lot of money on the table. 

With our retention & CX tech stack, we aim to:

  1. Personalize the onsite shopping experience

  2. Automate customer service tasks

  3. Reduce customer churn

  4. Increase subscriptions 

  5. Increase revenue from email 

Step 1: On-site Personalization & Product Recommendations with Dynamic Yield for Shopify Plus

Dynamic Yield helps to power personalized customer experiences for hundreds of global brands. The platform uses predictive algorithms and machine learning to build customer segments, allowing brands to leverage personalization, A/B testing and optimization.

Dynamic Yield offers an impressive amount of capabilities. The two that stand out and the capabilities we will cover today are: Product Recommendations and Personalization. 

Personalization allows you to transform static content and pages, into personalized experiences. Hero banners, product listings, layouts, call-to-actions, buttons and more, can be dynamically served to customers based on browsing history, location, 3rd party data and previous purchases. Utilizing Dynamic Yield to tailor an experience for each individual customer allows brands to create a personalized experience, leading to higher conversions and a better overall customer experience. 

Example: Personalizing the customer’s experience

Utilizing Dynamic Yield's AI-powered personalization engine, we’re going to tailor some content based on certain criteria. When a customer visits the website and is browsing for products related to immunity, we’re going to use dynamic yield to serve content and products based on this customer's browsing history. We already know the type of products they're looking for, let's leverage AI to make purchasing easier for them.

Perhaps the customer is returning after making a few past purchases. We can leverage Dynamic Yield to serve a promotion around subscribing to the exact type of products the customer has purchased before. This promotion can be tailored to this specific customer’s history, rather than store wide promotions. 

Results: By personalizing the experience, product listings and promotions to the customer's needs, we not only allowed them to find what they were looking for, but we also drastically increased the chance that the customer will subscribe, improving retention and overall customer experience. 

Step 2: Email Marketing Automation & Personalization with Klaviyo

Klaviyo allows brands to deliver amazing experiences across email and other owned channels. It’s also the most popular email marketing platform for Shopify Plus brands. Their automations and personalization tools are great for increasing sales and segmenting customers. 

Now that we have some on-site personalization, let’s see how we can continue that custom experience for our email communications. Klaviyo integrates with Dynamic Yield and is extremely easy to set up. Brands are able to leverage Dynamic Yield’s capabilities to create targeted email campaigns based on customer’s on-site actions, affinity, location, purchase history, and more. 

Example: Personalizing email and creating a loyal customer

Using the example above, our customer has made some purchases for immunity products. We’re going to create a custom flow that will remind the customer to replenish their supplements after a specific time has passed. Rather than blasting out an email to the entire list, our customer receives a personalized email about products we know they love. 

Helping to increase subscriptions, we can put our customer into a certain segment if they are not a subscriber, and create tailored promotions to entice them to subscribe to the products they've previously purchased. These flows will be completely automated within Klaviyo after the trigger and flow has been created. 

Let’s take our personalization one step further. By integrating Dynamic Yield, we can provide product recommendations based on the customer’s on-site behavior. Using the costumes affinity profile, we can populate campaign emails and flows with product recommendations that are suggested based on machine learning. 

Results: With a tailored email experience, customers are more likely to purchase and become loyal customers. Recommending the products they love and providing value will decrease unsubscribe rates & churn, as well as increase revenue from email. 

Are you seeing 30% of revenue from Email & SMS Marketing? See how we can help.

Expert Tip from Klaviyo

“Encourage retention by delivering relevant content that’s personalized based on what you know about the customer, their product preferences and behaviors. Additionally, consider the importance of timing on repeat purchases.

A customer’s birthday gives you an opportunity to send a special offer, right when they’re looking for ways to treat themselves. Knowing past browsing and purchase behavior, you can suggest an item they’ve been eyeing and avoid suggesting items they already own.

If a product can be replenished, make an educated guess about the time it takes to reach empty. Then, create an automation that sends a reminder to restock based on their purchase or delivery date. Your customer receives a convenient reminder that helps them avoid unfortunate situations, like running out of coffee or soap, and you gain a stronger and longer relationship.”

Step 3: Customer Experience & UGC with Okendo & Gorgias

So far, we’ve covered how to personalize the shopping experience and tailor email communications to your customers. As mentioned earlier, Sunny Day Supplements also has some problems with bad reviews and customer service. Two of our favorite products for CX and UGC are Okendo and Gorgias. 

Okendo is utilized by over 3000+ merchants. Brands can capture high-impact customer reviews and showcase them on their eCommerce store, building trust and increased conversions. 

Gorgias is not a “chatbot”, it is a customer service platform that helps with automation and customer engagement. The platform easily integrates into Shopify Plus and also has integrations into Okendo and Klaviyo. 

We got help from Okendo to explain how these two tools can work together and help our example brand, Sunny Days Supplements. 

Expert Tip from Okendo: Zero-Party Data and Automation

“The larger your audience grows, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of what each person wants to hear. If you don’t change up the way to engage with each person, they’ll tune right out. So how can you make sure your message personalization is spot-on? 

That’s where zero-party data from reviews come in. For example, Sunny Day can use Okendo’s Attributes feature to gather information about their buyers—info like buyer age range, gender, product benefits, or effectiveness. When coupled with Klaviyo, this zero-party data can be used to create hyper-specific audience segments, ensuring you hit the right people at the right time, every time.

With Okendo and Klaviyo, you can create a flow that automatically sends “thank you” emails to 4 and 5-star reviewers, while sending emails focused on improving the customer experience to those who left lower ratings. 

For even more CX automation, Okendo also integrates with the helpdesk app, Gorgias. Continuing with our negative review from above, as soon as the 1-star review is left on a product, Okendo creates a support ticket within Gorgias to alert customer service team members that there’s an opportunity to assist an unhappy customer.”

Results: Injecting automation into your customer marketing vastly improves CX. It provides chances to interact with consumers immediately after they take an action on your site, good or bad. When happy customers leave positive feedback, you can thank them for their support, building an increased sense of loyalty and community. For negative reviews, automation gives you the chance to quickly respond and remedy the situation, turning nay-sayers into brand advocates.

Expert Tip from Gorgias: Customer service just got an upgrade 

“Okendo optimizes customer service workflows, giving teams the tools they need to moderate and respond to reviews directly from Gorgias tickets. The deeper integration means your systems work better together. By using the expanded Okendo integration, not only will you provide faster response times to customer inquiries, you’ll equip your team to work more efficiently - its customer service, evolved. No need to duplicate data entry, Okendo and Gorgias allows for more productivity with your existing staff, and provide better service. 

Additionally, when customer service teams can moderate and reply to reviews right from Gorgias tickets, they no longer need to jump between apps to respond to customer concerns and inquiries—saving time for customer service reps, and providing faster resolutions for customers.”

Uplevel Customer Service with Review Management

This integration is available now for all Okendo plans. Use Okendo’s setup guide to get started with Gorgias, and take your customer service operations to the next level by adding the power of Okendo reviews. For more information on the integration, head over to our feature page, or schedule a demo and enjoy two months of Gorgias for free.

Conclusion

After completing three steps that use a handful of tools, our example brand saw an increase in conversions, subscriptions, and revenue from email marketing. Sunny Day also improved their customer experience and customer loyalty. All it took was a specific focus on personalization, email marketing, customer support, and reviews.

You may be thinking, “That’s much easier said than done.” Yes, these elements of your store won’t automatically improve overnight. But the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see results. 

This tech stack works hard to simplify these sometimes overwhelming processes. They also offer integrations within each other, making the tools work even harder, so you don’t have to. At Avex, we work strategically to ensure these Shopify Plus SaaS products do the most they can for our clients. If you’re interested in hearing more about how we can grow your business and improve customer retention for your brand, chat with us here.

See how we launch & scale brands on Shopify Plus with a data-backed approach