August 1, 2023

Superco: On Brand #3

Barbie's Pink Revolution: Masterclass in Marketing!
Hi Barbie! (from the Toms),

A big welcome to all of our new Bread & Jam Fest subscribers — we hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did. If you happened to miss Tom, Sam and Igor’s talk about how F&B brands can power growth through Shopify, we’ll be releasing a blog later this week, so watch out for the link on our socials. 

Another important event happened last week too, the first ever in-country meet up for our team in the Philippines! As a global, remote-first agency, we do everything we can to encourage collaboration and support amongst our colleagues and it really brings us a lot of pride and joy to know that these meetups are happening. 

See you all soon,
Tom & Tom

Barbify 💕

Forget Barbenheimer, last week was all about Barbify. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what we’re talking about, Mattel has just successfully pulled off an absolute masterclass in marketing and brand partnerships — and Shopify also had their special launch last week.

We are of course going to cover Shopify Editions, but we have to admit even our attention was a little distracted from Glenn Coate’s announcement, because let’s be honest, the world has just turned pink! 

From the inception of the Barbie Movie concept, Mattel demonstrated an unparalleled understanding of branding. If you hadn’t figured it out before, you surely understand now — Barbie is not a product, Barbie is a way of life. 

With their reported $150 million marketing budget, the Barbie team has spectacularly intertwined nostalgia with modern day appeal, and one of the most remarkable aspects of the campaign is the strategic brand deals that have popped up around every corner of the internet. 

Fashion, furniture, oral care, luggage, F&B, cosmetics, and beauty — there are pink partnerships taking ecommerce by storm, and honestly we’re not mad about it. This is an exemplary case study in how the right partnerships can elevate a brand’s presence, engage diverse audiences, and drive growth by increasing conversions. 

We also couldn’t help but notice Mattel’s choice to utilise Shop Pay as a checkout option when purchasing Barbie dolls. But we’re not surprised, this has been well thought through. The toy manufacture can expect an uplift in sales as a result of all the hype, so the world’s best converting checkout was an obvious choice — a seamless shopping experience to compliment a seamless marketing strategy 🎀

Shop Pay & Enterprise

We touched on it in the last newsletter but think it’s definitely worth paying close attention to Shopify’s latest strategic move. 

Shop Pay, recently proven to be the world's best-converting checkout, is now available to enterprise retailers beyond the platform, unlocking a world of possibility for large-scale brands. 

The roll-out is made possible through Commerce Components by Shopify (CCS) which they launched earlier in 2023 to give enterprise retailers access to the same Shopify components that power 10% of U.S. ecommerce.

Kaz Nejatian, VP Product and Chief Operating Officer at Shopify, explained some of the thinking behind the announcement:

“This is critical optionality in a hyper competitive retail environment. In an economy where big brands are competing more fiercely than ever to acquire customers, they need to pick and choose what they need to boost the top-line, without the compromise of a complete platform overhaul.”

Shop Pay has long been a gamechanger for Shopify merchants, significantly enhancing conversion rates and customer satisfaction. For brands exploring the B2B landscape, this development holds immense promise as Shop Pay’s streamlined checkout process can simplify complex transactions, and ensure a smoother purchasing experience for corporate clients, facilitating bulk orders with ease. 

If large B2C retailers on competitor ecom platforms - the likes of Ralph Lauren who are on SFCC for example - add Shop Pay to their checkouts, this could be a catalyst for full platform migrations to follow - watch this space.

As an agency dedicated to being the leading Shopify Plus partner for DTC and B2B brands, we can’t ignore the significance of this expansion. Shopify is further cementing its position as a driving force in the ecommerce industry, advancing the landscape and offering state of the art solutions for brands of all sizes.

Shopify Editions

If you haven’t read it yet, we released a blog last week outlining the latest updates and innovations from Shopify Editions: Summer ‘23. As expected, the 100+ product updates will continue to empower brands, and our team is already excited to get going with many of the AI powered tools and features. Here are some favourites:

Sidekick: A beta version of the commerce assistant is now available to merchants. Sidekick combines AI technology with Shopify’s data to support entrepreneurs with their business. You can ask Sidekick for support with just about anything, from small tasks to setting up your store – this is going to be a real gamechanger.

Platform Conversion Study: We know we keep going on about it, but it’s great to finally have proof that Shopify’s checkout is the world’s best. You can now read the published study, which details that Shopify’s overall conversion rate outpaces the competition by up to 36% and by an average of 15%. Additionally, Shop Pay lifts conversion by as much as 50% and outpaces other accelerated checkouts by at least 10%.

B2B - exclusive to Shopify Plus: A series of new features have been released to make it easier for wholesalers to place orders and merchants to manage their trade business. Features include an online store editor, automations with Shopify Flow, wholesale migration, volume pricing, store personalisation, quick order lists, Paypal payments and vaulted credit cards. These improvements will offer an advanced customer experience which in turn should result in bigger orders and improved customer relationships — LTV and AOV up!

Full Service by TikTok

Tiktok is gearing up to unveil an ecommerce platform in the United States. Expected to launch in the near future, the platform - which they are calling ‘Full Service’ -  will showcase a wide range of goods that are exclusively made in China. Brands on TikTok Shop needn’t worry, as the platform has specified that local vendors will continue to be prioritised over sellers overseas. 

According to insider information, Full Service will go beyond a simple marketplace and offer a comprehensive suite of solutions to merchants based in China. These services are set to encompass everything from storage to shipping, providing a seamless end-to-end experience for Chinese sellers seeking to expand their reach in the US. By leveraging TikTok’s extensive resources and advanced logistics capabilities, Chinese brands can look forward to a smoother and more efficient cross-border selling experience. 

So, this means TikTok is poised to bridge the gap between the Chinese manufacturing sector and American consumers, fostering new opportunities for economic growth and global trade. For Chinese brands, this presents an exciting opportunity. The platform's digitally savvy user base are famously trend-conscious, and merchants will be hoping to tap into that super engaged, diverse community. Those that are successful will leverage the platform's interactive and immersive nature to build deep connections with potential customers.

It’s said that Tiktok does intend to launch Full Service in other countries too, we’re definitely interested to see how the plans unfold.

Stuff we’re talking about

Threads vs Twitter. The launch of Threads no doubt sent social media managers across the globe into overdrive, but we have to say the platform is a welcome breath of fresh air. Although it entirely replicates what has been done before with simple communication and the sharing of memes, the experience does seem to be elevated. Is this the death of Twitter (now X)? It’s hard to say. Musk fans are likely to stay loyal but we expect others will decide it’s finally time to fly the nest. And of course, Threads has cleverly cemented itself into the lives of users — if you should even try deleting the platform your Insta account will disappear too! Although Meta’s new platform got off to a strong start with plenty of praise, reports show usage is down, time will tell if it’s to become a major player in the social space.

VanMoof the ebike startup has declared bankruptcy and it’s not clear what this means for their community. The bikes cost up to $4000 and a custom-design means you can’t go to your standard bike shop if something goes wrong. Cowboy, one of the brands biggest competitors has quickly built an app that can unlock VanMoof cycles, and the ease in which they’ve done it leaves many wondering whether the startup has any chance at being saved.

The luxury goods sector is thriving as premium brands shift their focus to in-store experiences, bypassing retailers to increase margins. The ‘digitisation of luxury’ is also playing a huge role in the success of designer brands, as influencers and celebrities act as ambassadors and successfully persuade their audiences to buy high-ticket items.

Brands we’re watching

🎤Drake Related The popstar’s team wasted no time with the recent Shopify updates, leveraging Shopify Collective to introduce several new and exciting collaborations. The new merch has been integrated into an artistic online replica of the singer’s Toronto house and the user experience is a welcome invitation to video game nostalgia. Scrollers can roam through the RnB star’s mansion in search of merch — we love it.

Hellstar No one likes a site crash but very occasionally it can be something to brag about. The fashion retailer’s most recent drop sold $2m in just one hour! They’re also having a pink moment and we’re here for it. 

👗Magda Budrym These PDPs 🔥Video content is seamlessly blended into the page design, transporting you to a live catwalk. The premium experience encourages users to keep clicking, we stayed on site for ages.

Rains Not only are we big fans of the bags (there’s usually a few in sight when the team get together) but their new site has introduced a tonne of fresh content and it’s the type you can’t keep your eyes off.

Partner Updates

Loyalty Lion truly understood this month’s assignment by releasing a Barbie themed blog for brands that want to know 5 loyalty lessons from the Barbie movie’s marketing

Loop Returns has entered into a strategic partnership with Affirm, the parent company of Returnly — Loop will now welcome all current Returnly merchants. This collaboration brings together the expertise of two industry leaders and will fuel the development of their merchant-empowering, customer-centric solution.

Recharge CEO, Oisin O’Connor recently announced that the platform will be rolling out a new product called Flows — a low/no-code solution that will help take the strain off digital teams by reducing the resources needed to increase lifetime value.

Events 🪩

🍞🍓Bread & Jam was a fun couple of days, it was great to connect with so many exciting brands and the team really enjoyed talking through the benefits of Shopify for F&B merchants. If you spoke to us during the festival and you’re ready for a follow up chat, please hit reply and we’ll be in touch.

Last week was another Gamechangers event at Bolt Digital. Thanks to the team for having us, it’s always so great to see so many DTC brands come together and learn from each other. 

Saturday marked the first Superco social in the Philippines, it sounded like a lot of fun and is sure to be a regular occurance much like our monthly London outings — excited to see where our next international meetup might be.

Meet Superco:

How did you end up with Superco?

My journey started as a Shopify Guru guiding online merchants. Due to the pandemic, I shifted to freelance website building, specialising in dropshipping sites. Three years ago, I joined Superco, captivated by its innovative approach. This pivotal decision opened unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth. Working here has expanded my horizons, revealing hidden talents that were inspired by such a passionate team.

What work are you most proud of?

I am most proud of our unwavering commitment to excellence and continuous growth. Our culture is centred around nurturing talent and empowering our team members. Witnessing the growth of our team is truly inspiring. This aspect of our culture is what sets Superco apart, and it fills me with immense pride to be part of a company that genuinely invests in its people's growth and success.

Favourite current project?

Selecting a favourite project is a challenging task as each one presents distinct and interesting challenges. Currently, I find particular enjoyment in working on projects related to Shopify B2B and new checkout extensibility. These ventures involve cutting-edge features that bring a higher level of complexity, which I find invigorating. Embracing novel concepts and mastering new skills has been an enriching experience. Engaging with these projects has allowed me to contribute meaningfully to the company's success and fostered a deep sense of professional fulfilment.

Words to live by?

My best advice is to embrace a mindset of constant improvement by challenging the status quo. Avoid settling for conventional approaches and always strive to think outside the box. Embrace the opportunities to challenge yourself and pursue innovative solutions.

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