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Organizing local Shopify meetups - Learning new things and finding like minded partners

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Shopify meetups are a series of meetups organized by Shopify partners and supported by Shopify. Just only a week ago one of the meetups happened in Hanoi, Vietnam. The core topics were related to building Shopify themes and apps. The meetup gathered around 100 attendees including designers, developers, and marketers from Hanoi and Thai Nguyen cities. For now, let me wrap up some key things that happened at the meetup.

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The “inception” of the Shopify Meetup Hanoi

Let’s go back to November 2018, Bangalore, India. I had been invited by Namra Deka (Shopify, Market Development  Manager APAC) to participate in the event Shopify Pursuit Bangalore. I was one of the speakers at the event and shared lessons learned when finding Shopify as the new direction for our company.

At the event, I met local Shopify Partners including Tri and Triet from BoostCommerce, Felix from PushOwl, and other partners. Pursuit Bangalore was a great insightful event, gathering like-minded solution providers and merchants.

We were inspired by Namra and his support to push the events further. So, we came up with the idea to start the 1st Shopify meetup in Vietnam!

When the Boostcommerce Team returned to Vietnam they connected with the FireApps Team. Three of us sat down together and after a few bottles of beer, we decided to make it happen. Later on other co - organizers joined the team including Judge.Me, VTC Academy. For the location of the meetup, WeWork did the sponsorship.

The 1st Shopify meetup in Vietnam happened on March 14 in Ho Chi Minh City at WeWork. With the support of local partners and sellers, the topics were chosen around Making Money Online with Shopify and focused on the drop shipping business model. The event gathered around 150 participants from different business fields. Right after the event, we had a great Shopify mastermind organized by Felix from PushOwl to connect people.

So what's next, guys? Well, there has to be another meetup, and what better place than Hanoi? This time Shopify partners PageFly and VTC Academy take care of the organizational part. PushOwl Team has contributed a very insightful Shopify Mastermind session.

What about topics at the meetup?

  • ShopiLaunch Team contributed the subject “Shopify theme topic - 10 Tips for Creating the Best Shopify Theme” by Phuc Nguyen
  • SecomApp Team presented the topic “How to build a Shopify app” by Dung Do.

We, the PageFly Team in addition to co - activities share our case study “Growing with Shopify: how we failed with making themes and made the PageFly app” by Richard and me (Tony).

Just scroll down to see slides of speakers, but before you find insights from the Mastermind at the day before an event.

Mastermind by Felix and Namra - A great opportunity to connect with like-minded partners.

A day before the event, Friday afternoon at 2pm, 18 people gathered to discuss expectations from Shopify and what Shopify expects from its partners. In addition to the main topic, we discussed marketing Shopify Apps best practices lead by Felix. He shared the best techniques to market Shopify apps on the App Store.

Key things from the event

At the mastermind event, I met with the guys from GrowthGig, EcomFit, Nitro Apps, Omega Theme, Mageplaza, and other decision makers.

Namra from Shopify gave us valuable insights from the market and how Shopify is planning to grow, so we can clearly understand their mission and vision. With information shared, the local community can clearly understand the position of Shopify in the market and adjust their business direction to build the market together.

Shopify mastermind

Photo by Felix, PushOwl

Marketing Shopify Apps- best practice to note

There are definitely some basics and some more advanced things, so I believe either way it will bring value to Shopify App developers.

Name your app with the “targeted keyword” and optimize the App Listing tagline with a description. How do you find hot keywords relevant to your app? Use Google Keyword Planner or The Shopify App Store has great authority ranking and relevant to users content. So choose a High or Average competitive keyword to use for the app listing.

Install Google Analytics tracking code with Goals setup. With Google Analytics you can easily understand what channels drive the most app installs. Another notable thing is that you understand which keyword the customer found your app with. For more details about Google Analytics setup and other great tips read this Shopify Help Doc.

Shopify Community Forum. If you’re looking for a Shopify app idea or verification of your app idea, the best place to start is Shopify Community Forum. You can find a lot of insights from sellers and their problems. With problems from the community, you can provide a solution with your app.

shopify community forum

Make your app “Partner Friendly”. The main benefit of this is your app can be installed on Development Store for free, normally without a trial days limitation. It gives Shopify partners and merchants a chance to fully give it a try. So when a partner finishes the merchant’s project he can transfer the store with your app without unnecessary charge.

Additionally, Shopify also has a Partner Friendly app listing page. You can see yourself listed there when your app officially matches this condition.

partner friendly shopify apps

Shopify App Ranking. When your app is on the App Store, follow so you can see your “ranking” in the marketplace. This gives you insight into understanding your position compared with other developers.

Another thing developers have to NOT follow Prohibited Actions on the Shopify App Store. The marketplace keeps high standards with clear rules and requirements. Bringing true value to merchants is a priority, and if your app can provide this you will definitely win and stay on the market.

Other Insights from the event.

  • More partners are coming from open source platforms like WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento, PrestaShop and other.
  • New Shopify service players are coming to the market. The main problem merchants request mostly is the optimization of the Shopify store.
  • Content Inbound Marketing might be a good way to acquire the rights leads and convert them to customers.

By the way… Felix wrote a great article about insights from the local community. You can read it here

Shopify Meetup marketing activities

Shopify partners and users in Vietnam are very engaged with Facebook. The main challenge is how to reach the right target audience through this channel. So we created an official Facebook Event’s page.

shopify hanoi meetup event page

The audience acquisition was divided into two parts. About 2 weeks before the National Holiday in Vietnam and 1 week before the meetup. The challenge was raising awareness in the community and keeping interested people in the event to come and participate. You can see below the Ti.To analytics dashboard with the traffic coming to Shopify Hanoi meetup landing page.

tito registration page

The last 3 days we asked for help from GrowthGig Shopify partner and they launched a Facebook Ads campaign. This allowed us to keep the audience awareness high and registration at 20 users per day.

Some local Shopify partners like Upinus shared this event as well on their personal wall.

sharing the event on personal wall

From the Facebook community group “Cộng đồng Shopify Việt Nam" participated in the campaign.

sharing shopify meetup in facebook group

When we reached the desired number of registrations, the next challenge was keeping the participation rate high. To solve this problem we decided to run SMS Marketing from a global and local company. They are and

The first badge came 1 day before the meetup, and the second badge went in the morning since the meetup was planned for the afternoon. Email Marketing is not the first choice in Vietnam since people are mostly on mobile devices and don’t check emails frequently.

sms marketing for users retention

Topics at the Meetup. Slides presentation.

Now, let’s take a look at the slides of speakers. We put all the topics in one Google Slide file and made it public. So you can easily take a look at it and learn new things from speakers.

Shopify Hanoi Meetup photo gallery

Wrapping up.

The Shopify Hanoi meetup was the 2nd official Shopify meetup in Vietnam. The 3rd one is returning to the sweltering summer heat and the location has been chosen - Ho Chi Minh City. The topics will be focused on merchants who want to sell globally.

From this meetup, we all learned valuable lessons from each other that we can apply to our businesses to thrive.

For all questions feel free to reach me at We want to build a Shopify Community locally and globally to support more merchants to find their success with this platform of opportunity.

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