Shopify has officially released their latest Shopify Plus app, Launchpad. Their goal is to help merchants automate ecommerce campaigns and flash sales, particularly during critical promotional events throughout the year. Great examples of these events include flash sales, product launches, Black Friday / Cyber Monday and any other instance where many changes across your store need to happen at the same time. There are a few essential elements to using Launchpad and managing these types of events. Below is a walk-through of the app, along with some critical things to keep in mind getting ready for your promotion:
Aside from naming your event, the first area to pay attention to is the 'schedule' of your event. Launchpad allows you to set both a start date and an end date for your event, down to the minute. This setting is straightforward but one to ensure you don't miss when getting your event prepped.
Merchants looking to schedule the launch of a new product can take advantage of the 'Product Release' option within Launchpad. You'll have the ability to select individual products including the ability to manage inventory levels at the variant level. Control will even extend to the sales channel in case you wanted only to launch a new product in your online store and not through your social media channels.
Often a critical component to any promotion is an associated discount. Launchpad supports the ability to automatically discount select products or collections for the duration of your event. The benefit here is that you don't need to adjust product prices or require the use of discount codes for this to take effect. Just select which collections or products should be included and add your discount percent. When choosing specific products for discount, you'll also have the ability to adjust the flat-rate price at the variant level in case you didn't want a generalized percentage discount to be applied.
If you're looking to update content, styling options or settings managed by your theme, Launchpad provides the ability to have a specific theme published and unpublished during your event. This ability can be particularly useful when homepage content should swap out that features information or products related to your event.
Shopify Scripts is a Shopify Plus feature that has been available to merchants for some time. It provides the ability to create Ruby scripts that can change the prices and properties of line items in your online store's cart. Use cases of Shopify Scripts include adding discounts that will be applied automatically based on the items and properties of a cart such as cart value or products with a specific tag. Shopify Scripts can interact with line items properties, shipping methods/rates and payment methods/gateways. Launchpad allows you to schedule the publishing of specific scripts, which can be a great way to ensure a promotional script is applied only during your event.
High profile merchants that run product drops with limited inventory are often the subject of bots making automated purchases, usually with the intent for resale. Launchpad allows you to active a captcha form to prevent bots from flooding your website and spiking traffic or making an automated purchase.
A marketing tactic to consider when planning a major event is activating your store's password page for just a short amount of time leading up to the event. This tactic can potentially build up hype around a promotion launch, particularly for merchants with smaller SKU counts or limited inventory. Launchpad allows you to optionally have your password page activated and for a set amount of time leading up to your event.
One helpful feature included in Launchpad is an analytics dashboard that can highlight critical performance data for your event, including:
- Total sales, orders placed, and average order values
- Data about the products sold, such as the best selling products and their inventory levels
- Customer conversion data
Before using Launchpad, it's worth reviewing Shopify's documentation on the impact of making changes to a scheduled event. Overall, we're very excited about Launchpad's potential and the ever-increasing toolkit Shopify is releasing for their Shopify Plus clients. In case you missed it, take a look at our review of Shopify Flow, a platform aimed at building 'conditional rules' into your store that makes automation and day-to-day management even easier.