Consumers are empowered, connected, and faced with even more choices than ever before. Consumers are increasingly more willing to experiment with brands and products, especially with brands that have a narrowly defined product fit. As a result of this experimentation, brands must own their own destinies more than ever before to adapt to rapidly evolving consumer expectations.
No channel exerts more influence over other sales channels than digital. This has made a strong digital commerce strategy a critical component of business success. And within the broader digital commerce strategy the owned commerce experience has become ever more important as more brands build-out direct-to-consumer models. Quite simply, the owned commerce channel is one of the few places where a brand controls every aspect of the customer experience.
The paths to a viable commerce solution are almost as many as the business use cases that necesitate them, so enterprise organizations need to carefully assess where they are and where they want (or need) to be. As speed to market, functionality, ease of use, and TCO are often determining factors, Shopify Plus has proven to be a highly viable enterprise solution for brands looking to take their DTC channels forward.
The Scale to Scale
With over 10,000 merchants using Shopify Plus, many generating sales in excess of 9 figures online annually, the platform has proven it gives businesses unlimited room to grow.
For less than the cost and the time it takes to build-out a single brick-and-mortar location, brands can go live nationwide 24/7/365. And if their ambition and customer demand takes them there, they can expand to any of over 170 countries just as quickly.
Site performance can make or break the customer experience, so it is a major consideration for every brand. The cloud-based infrastructure that underpins Shopify Plus has taken those concerns out of the equation. With documented overall uptime of 99.99%, and a framework that can flex to handle thousands of transactions per minute, brands can ambitiously market their next flash sale or exclusive product drop.
Capture First-Party Data
For many CPG, food & beverage, and lifestyle brands, retail and third-party marketplace partners comprise the bulk of sales, with DTC ecommerce playing a complementary role. These same channel partners seldom share customer data.
That’s not to say a DTC ecommerce site can’t be independently profitable and successful within a broader omnichannel mix. The point is that first-party customer data is priceless, and should be accounted for in the KPIs that calculate the channel’s overall success, in addition to data privacy compliance and brand trust
A well-crafted DTC commerce channel can be the gateway to truly connecting with a brand’s customers, and using that data to attract and grow that customer base. This is where brand’s engage with and reward their super-fans and loyalists through Marketing Automation and Loyalty platform. It’s a sandbox to refine subscription and replenishment models. It’s a testing ground for new product launches, and to build a case for retail distribution. It’s a home for channel-only exclusives. It’s a place for compelling branded content to connect with consumers in the intervals between shopping.
The collected data can then be used to create highly accurate customer journeys for revenue optimization opportunities and creating even deeper personalized experiences that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
Don’t Sacrifice Experience for Speed-to-Market
Historically, in order to get an experience aligned to your brand you needed to go through lengthy discovery and design phases to get to pixel perfect experiences. In many sectors, the market is moving too quickly for brands to wait for these experiences to be developed. So, they have pushed software providers and agencies to become more nimble in how they deliver those experiences.
Based on those demands, Gorilla Group has developed Gorilla IQ (G.IQ) for Shopify Plus which delivers essential launch functionality, key ecosystem integrations, mobile-first, accessible and scalable frontend frameworks to build brand-specific experiences. Those frameworks need to be agile enough to curate the right experiences for the right brands whether they are focused on conversion, product storytelling, or brand focused experiences. G.IQ let’s each brand select it’s appropriate launch focus and use that as a basis for continuous iteration and innovation. With the ability to move from go to go-live in around 6 weeks, G.IQ for Shopify Plus provides a compelling enterprise DTC ecommerce solution for brands looking to move fast.