Whether you are an eCommerce newbie or a seasoned professional, it’s imperative for business owners to connect with other professionals, experts, and potential partners. These connections and opportunities to network are invaluable when it comes to learning more about the industry, seeking or sharing advice, and growing your business.
However, reaching the right people can be challenging. Social networking apps like LinkedIn make it easier to meet and connect with new people. However, these platforms don’t always make instant messaging easy and it’s more difficult to communicate at scale. Then, there are in-person networking events, workshops, and conferences, although these can be costly and time-consuming endeavors. Fortunately, in today’s ever-digital world, there are platforms like Slack available to help you get better connected.
If you aren’t currently using Slack, here’s what you need to know along with 6 eCommerce Slack Communities to join.
What is Slack?
Slack is a messaging app for businesses that connects professionals to the information they need. It’s faster, think instant messaging, better organized, and even more secure than email. This makes it perfect for communicating with your team, vendors, or like-minded business professionals.
At its core, Slack is a tool for collaboration and conversation. This enables people to exchange instant messages privately, in group settings or “channels”. Similar to email, you can attach files, share photos, and, perhaps best of all, you can communicate entirely with GIFs. What more could you ask for?
Unlike social media and social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Slack is designed with communication in mind. Think of it like ICQ, but for professionals. When Slack first came onto the scene, it was used exclusively by teams as an intra-office communications platform, but the technology has evolved in recent years. Now, Slack can be used for both intra-office communications and for external communications, such as Slack Communities.
What are Slack Communities?
Remember the old-school forums? Slack Communities are similar, except better and more engaging.
Slack Communities are digital congregations, similar to Facebook Groups but with an instant messaging component. Unlike Facebook Groups, Slack enables file transfers and direct peer-peer calling (which, of course, you can do with Facebook friends via Messenger). There are hundreds of Slack Communities dedicated to every topic under the sun.
Within Slack Communities, you’ll find #Channels which are group discussions with dedicated topics (like General, Marketing, Advice, Water cooler/random chats, and more). When you join a Community, you have the option to join all or some of the channels available. Most communities will request that you not add new channels without prior consent from Community Managers. These managers are usually available to help you find the channels best suited for your needs.
Why join Slack Communities?
Slack’s eCommerce communities are perfect for gaining practical knowledge and connecting and networking with other eCommerce professionals. Through these communities, eCommerce merchants and developers can engage with one another to learn, share, and celebrate successes.
In many Slack communities, events like Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions are held featuring experts who can answer questions, share experiences, and offer up useful advice. These events provide an up-close-and-personal look into the lives of industry experts and leading eCommerce professionals to help you expand your knowledge and grow your business.
If it’s advice and opinions you’re seeking, Slack communities are a great place to poll your peers.
Reasons to use Slack Communities include:
Slack Communities can be a great way to find new hires for your growing eCommerce business or to find companies or individuals, with whom you can partner for specific business needs like marketing, logistics, or even HR.
Give a little, take a little. Slack Communities are a gold mine for eCommerce professionals seeking advice for all manners of things related to running an online business. In fact, there are Slack Communities designed solely for sharing best practices and advice on everything you need to know about eCommerce!
From peer-to-peer marketing amongst community members to staying on top of current marketing trends, content creation, or learning more about marketing in general, Slack Communities are a great place for all of the above and more.
Finding new ways to add value to your existing customers can be a full-time job. Fortunately, collaboration is made much easier with Slack Communities. From joining forces for unique digital shopping experiences to co-hosting pop-up shops in local communities, Slack Community networking can lead to an abundance of collaboration opportunities.
When you’re considering expanding into new markets, either geographically or in terms of products for sale, it can be daunting to determine your next steps. Slack Communities can be a wealth of information about different markets and can help you find support in new areas too.
Suppliers/Vendors or Partners Discovery
If you’re looking for new partners, Slack Communities might be the ticket. Connect with suppliers, vendors, third-party logistics partners, marketing firms, and even influencers through the myriad of Slack communities specific to eCommerce.
6 eCommerce Slack Communities to join
Now that you know why you should consider joining a Slack Community, you might be wondering where to begin. If you don’t already have a Slack account, that will be your first step! Get signed up for Slack by signing up with your business email (or use their Single Sign-On with Google or Apple).
There are a lot of Slack Communities out there and deciding which ones to join can be overwhelming. Here are a few of our favorites:
Drip is a marketing platform that enables eCommerce brands to run multi-channel marketing campaigns quickly and easily by gathering and organizing customer data. The product allows brands to make personalized, omnichannel customer journeys at scale to improve conversions, boost sales, and grow revenue.
The Drip Ecomm-unity is a curated community of Drip experts, eCommerce industry professionals, founders, and international operators from some of the coolest eCommerce brands, email, SMS marketers, and creative thinkers. The Ecomm-unity features several useful channels including:
- #EcommEssentials: everything eCommerce-related
- #Troubleshooting: the place for Q&A, support, and more
- #ChitChat: a space for conversation – casual or otherwise!
- #EmailMarketing: a space to discuss email workflows, bounce rates, abandoned carts, and more
- #SMS: a place to talk text marketing
Arguably no one knows eCommerce quite like Shopify. If you aren’t familiar with Shopify, it’s an eCommerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. It’s cloud-based and hosted and provides a seamless, all-in-one platform to support eCommerce businesses from the creation of an online store, right through to the close of a sale.
The Shopify Partners Slack Community is for app developers, theme developers, Shopify agencies, and other ecosystem partners who work towards enabling merchants. This is a huge community that’s very active and includes members from all over the world. It’s also the official channel for Shopify Partner Townhalls. To join the Partner Community, you must have an email registered with an official Shopify Partner.
Not a Shopify Partner? Don’t sweat it. There’s the Shopify Community too! The Slack Community brings together fellow Shopify store owners, partners, Shopify team members, mentors, and educators. It’s a space to share ideas, learn from one another, brainstorm, and just connect. You can apply to join the Shopify Community using your personal or business email, with business being preferred. There are no anonymous members, so be sure to include your business name and your full name when you request. It’s also important to include all of this information on Slack when you join.
The Slack eCommerce Academy is a global community of founders, entrepreneurs, and eCommerce professionals that learn how to build, grow, and scale eCommerce businesses together.
The most popular channels include:
- #General: The Marketplace Academy, where founders, entrepreneurs, and fans of marketplaces get together and discuss everything there is to talk about when it comes to online marketplaces.
- #Founders: A channel dedicated to learning, teaching, discovering, and sharing tips, articles, and experiences as it relates to founders’ experiences.
- #Hiring: If you’re looking to build or expand your team, learn about hiring, or simply network, this is the eCommerce Academy channel for you.
- #Pains: We’ve all got them! This is the channel for airing your woes and troubleshooting solutions.
- #GrowthHacking: The channel for anyone seeking to grow their business.
eComm Talk is a Shopify lovers’ community where Shopify users and enthusiasts can connect, ask and answer questions, and make lasting relationships with colleagues.
Some of the channels you’ll find include:
- #AMA: The Ask Me Anything space where AMAs are held periodically, featuring Shopify experts.
- #Development: A general chat channel dedicated to the topic of development. Expect to see questions and discussions related to dev work and get answers to your dev questions here.
- #Marketing: If you want to discuss your marketing efforts and how to level them up, this is the channel for you. Learn how to better market your stores/apps, share your best tips, and boost your sales.
- #Themes: Shopify themes deserve their own channel! Join this channel if you want to talk about theme creation, selling themes, or troubleshooting theme development.
- #Jobs: Hiring? Looking for a new role? This is the channel for you!
OMetrics is a leader in affordable AI chatbots and conversion rate optimization tools and services specializing. The company specializes in chatbots, lead bots, business lead generation, and A/B conversion optimization testing for eCommerce sites. In short: they’re in the business of helping you grow.
It’s no surprise, that the OMetrics CRO Growth Hacks is a Slack community dedicated to all things growth via CRO, SEM, SEO, email, business strategy, and everything in between.
You’ll find channels like:
- #General: The everyday, general conversation space for team-wide communication and announcements.
- #CRO_hacks: Conversion Rate Optimization is the name of the game here. Learn about CRO hacks to level up your landing pages, email campaigns, and website.
- #SEO_hacks: Ready to take your search engine optimization even higher? This channel is for discussing SEO best practices and hacks, sharing wins, and asking questions.
- #Business_hacks: From business strategy to pivoting your company, questions about employee management, and even more, this is the channel for all of your overall business needs.
- #Site_Critique: Want some constructive criticism? You can drop your website’s URL in this channel to request insights and feedback from peers and experts.
If you’re unfamiliar with Online Geniuses, they’re one of the biggest SEO and digital marketing Slack communities out there! This community is dedicated to helping members improve their SEO and digital marketing to realize a greater return on those investments and grow their businesses through sharing and connection.
Online Geniuses has more than 35,000 vetted members of its global community including VPs, CMOs, freelancers, consultants, and agency owners from every corner of the digital marketing ecosystem. They regularly host Q&A sessions with industry experts to deliver valuable information to members on topics of interest running the full gamut of digital marketing.
Slack Communities are an effective way for eCommerce professionals to connect with and learn from their merchant counterparts, industry experts, developers, and other professionals involved in the various areas of the eCommerce ecosystem. You can join as many or as few Slack Communities as you choose, based on your unique interests and business needs.
By joining Slack Communities, you can build your skills, grow your business, and even make some friends along the way.