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We were delighted to sponsor and speak at the first Bristol Shopify meetup last week. Attracting an audience of Shopify partners, retailers and web developers, it was a great evening with a wealth of tips, insights and advice on best practices, all designed to help retailers achieve growth.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended, we hope you found the evening as exciting and informative as we did. For those who were unable to attend, we’ve recapped on some of our top takeaways below.

Automation in Ecommerce 
- David Phillips, Brightpearl

The evening kicked off with our very own David Phillips, sharing insights of the future of automation within the retail industry. Our two top takeaways include:

  • Smart retailers automate and integrate their processes

With the rising cost of labor, change in consumer demands and the growing capability of technology, more and more retailers are choosing to automate their business processes.  As the image below shows, the cost of labour has increased significantly over the past 15 years. More and more retailers are now saving costs by using technology to manage and automate time consuming tasks.

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(Source: Office for National Statistics 2015)

  • What happens when you automate

Retailers who automate reduce the risk of errors and mistakes, speed up their operations and provide a better experience and service for their customers. It also enables retailers to spend less time focused on admin overheads and more time focusing on selling. The graph below shows what happens when you automate, automation processes enable you and your staff to spend more time focused on marketing and sales and less time on time consuming back office tasks.

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Learn from your mistakes 
- Dan McIvor, Swanky Apple

Next up we had Dan from Swanky Apple discussing how to turn disappointment and complacency into opportunities and growth. Top takeaways:

  • Motivation and resources are vital for increasing idea flow and maintaining momentum and creativity within your business. We all know that bright ideas can so easily be lost, whether it’s through workload demand and balancing priorities or fatigue and other pressures. With the resources and insight behind you a your team you can get better at recognising the great ideas and making them real.
  • Business growth, means risk. Without taking risks in your business there can never be any growth. It is crucial to understand your relationship with risk as it’s not always clear, risk aversion can take many shapes. Always remember that you took a great risk by choosing to start your business. Sit back and ask yourself - are you taking the same risks to keep it growing?
  • Find experts and trust them. You most likely started your business due to a particular passion, not because you wanted to spend your time implementing processes and managing admin overheads. Outsource things, find experts and trust them, this could be external consultants or agencies - find someone with the right skillset to offset your growth.
  • Data is wonderful, make the most of it. There are lots of great tools out there, readily available and the key to a lot of potential. Tools including, google analytics, hotjar, crazy egg and the Shopify insights and reports tool. Combining some of these tools can provide great insights into your business, enabling you to understand what is working, what isn’t and start to shape how you can improve. Some of the questions the right data can answer include: Which main link do people click most often? Do you know why visitors can leave at checkout? Do you know what product visitors most search for?  The answer to each of these questions, is another lightbulb waiting to be switched on.

Shopify Success Story: Crankhouse Coffee

Finally, we finished the evening with a great customer story from Dave Stanton, the owner of Crankhouse Coffee. He shared his story of his highs and lows of building a successful business from the ground up. Based in Exeter, Dave uses Shopify to manage his website where he sells a mixture of coffee from around the world along with his home roasted coffee. You can find out more about Crankhouse Coffee here.


So there you have it, three great presentations packed full of great insights and top tips to help you expand your business. Keep your eyes peeled for details of the next Bristol meetup in the near future. Don’t worry if you were unable to attend this meetup, we will also be part of a panel at the upcoming Shopify meetup in Leeds on March 8th. You can find out more and register here.

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About the Author

Beth is our Events Coordinator at Brightpearl where you’ll find her planning and running customer meetups, trade show events, webinars and anything in-between.