Over the past few years, we've seen a dramatic rise in Shopify merchants looking to increase their revenue by adding a service offering to their existing Shopify site. It's a trend that goes across all industries and seems to be growing by the day.
Whether you're a kitchen shop looking to add cooking classes to your site, or an equipment provider adding a training element to your existing operation, adding a service offering can be a profitable way for you to increase revenue from your Shopify store.
So....how exactly do you get started? I recommend beginning with a trial to gauge the interest of your clients. Many of our merchants started off holding a one-off event as a bit of a lark and found that their customers were eager to hearabout their expertise. What they thought would be a one time event quickly built into a profitable revenue stream for their Shopify store.
If you plan to run a class for example, reach out on social to your existing customers and mention the event. Promote it in store and talk to your customers about it when they visit. Encourage them to bring a friend or offer discounted event pricing for group bookings (see our previous blog post about how to set up pricing to support this).
Hold the event in your current premises, or, if health restrictions are in place,do an online streaming event. We are finding that virtual events have been particularly popular over the last 12 months as people appreciate the convenience of not having to leave their house (even if they can). They love being able to learn and participate without having to travel across the city, leave work early, find childcare, etc. We think you'll be surprised by the interest you will receive!
Next, hold the event! Don’t worry about it being perfect. Create a #hashtag specific for the event and share it with your attendees at the start of the event. Encourage them to use it to tag things as they post. During the event, make sure you have someone allocated to capture the event via video or photos. It doesn’t have to be a staff member. One of your loyal customers is more than likely happy to play this role. Use these assets to post on your social channels after the event and share the experience with customers who may not have been able to attend.
After the event, take time to learn from your initial experience. What about the event went well and what could you do better? I recommend you do this directly after the event and write down your initial thoughts to reflect upon at a later time. Don’t get discouraged if the event didn’t meet all of your expectations. Building a service offering is no different to building any other business and it may take time to build up your clientele.
Make sure you also get direct feedback from customers who attended the event. Did the session meet their expectations? Did they receive value from attending? Don’t forget to ask them about what future events or experiences they would like to attend. Your customers are your best source of feedback and ideas and can be a valuable sounding board for your next event.
Once you have established that the idea has traction, and, more importantly, that it is something can invest time on, you will need to create a plan. How much time can you spend on this part of your business? How will you resource this new income stream? How do you incorporate it into your existing marketing plan? How often will you hold events? My recommendation would be to create a plan for at least the next 6 months. Decide on the topics, create an event calendar and give your customers plenty of notice for what’s coming in the future.
And finally, you don’t have to do this alone. Partner with another business to offer a joint session or within your community to hold a larger event. We’ve seen some great partnerships when merchants bring in experts in from a parallel industry or in similar areas of expertise to extend the knowledge they can share with their customers. Another great option is to trade time being an expert at their event in return for them adding their expertise to yours. There is no end to the possibilities available to create a service revenue stream in your Shopify store.
Good luck as you start your new adventure! If you’ve been successful adding a service offering to your business, we’d love it if you would share in the comments and hopefully encourage another Shopify merchant to take the leap!
BookThatApp is built and lovingly maintained by Zetya, the Shopify experts.
If you’d rather speak directly to a person, we’d love to hear from you! We always appreciate learning your
ideas, questions, and challenges. Our customers make BookThatApp Shopify’s top booking engine.