The e-commerce landscape is always moving. Successful stores move with it. Ask Phill build websites with frontline technologies and use data-driven insights to optimise for continued growth. Specialising in E-commerce strategy, Design, Development and Data For Growth, Ask Phill believe in technological innovation and always push the limits of possibility.
We caught up with Martijn Wijsmuller, Co-founder of Ask Phill to find out what sets them apart from other agencies, advice they would give to those looking to migrate to Shopify and why product discovery is so important to Ask Phill clients.
Tell us about Ask Phill
We’re Ask Phill, Europe’s leading Shopify Plus partner. Shopify fans since day one, we’ve been revolutionizing ecommerce right from the start. We were the first agency in the EMEA to launch a platform with Shopify Hydrogen, setting a new standard in headless development.
And we haven’t stopped there. The world of ecommerce is ever-changing, and so are we. Shopify’s recent innovations have led us to put a renewed focus on its native functionalities. This way, we’re equipping our merchants with a tailored approach that adapts to their needs—headless or not.
Located in the heart of Amsterdam, our diverse team of over 60 digital natives represents more than 15 countries and serves as the beating heart of Ask Phill. Within our ranks, you’ll find specialized Shopify consultants, Klaviyo experts, and a broad spectrum of talents, all focused on delivering data-driven, scalable solutions for the most inspiring fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
What sets you apart from other agencies?
After years of specializing in lifestyle, fashion, and beauty brands, we’ve reached a level of expertise where we can confidently say we know Shopify inside out. Our expert team is proficient in both headless and native Shopify, providing flexible, data-driven solutions that scale with any global strategy.
We also go beyond the typical client relationship by adopting a product ownership model. A designated product owner guarantees a streamlined, end-to-end project experience, maintaining clear and open lines of communication at all times.
Last but not least, community isn’t just policy; it’s in our DNA. We connect clients, partners, and our team via diverse live events, podcasts, and newsletters. This commitment to community cultivates a collaborative culture everyone benefits from.
Do you have advice for retailers looking to migrate to Shopify?
When it comes to migrating to Shopify, we have a piece of advice that can make a significant difference: Embrace Shopify’s out-of-the-box solutions and keep it simple. Over the years, we’ve seen Shopify continuously improve its native features, such as Filter & Search, Bundles, Discounts, and more, which are the future and will only get better. However, it’s essential to assess your unique business needs. Consider a headless approach if you require highly customized features or complex integrations, but that’s not for sure. This is where partnering with an agency that follows a strategic approach can be invaluable. We can guide you in determining the most suitable migration path based on your specific requirements.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
We’ve achieved significant milestones during this journey. We’ve received multiple Awwwards recognizing our excellence. We are also proud of our track record in migrating top-tier ecommerce brands to Shopify Plus. Consider Denham, the first-ever migration from Salesforce Commerce Cloud to Shopify Plus, or the innovative Patta x Tommy case on Shopify Hydrogen, the first in Europe.
However, what truly fuels our passion is our ability to drive company growth while ensuring our team’s satisfaction and promoting diversity. We’ve witnessed significant growth since our beginning, but what truly fulfils us is seeing the synergy between our team and the fantastic brands we’ve partnered with. It’s not just about business growth; it’s about cultivating an environment where both people and partnerships thrive.
Why is product discovery important to your client base?
Product discovery plays a vital role in our clients’ success. It elevates the online shopping experience, effortlessly guiding customers to their desired products—especially crucial in the dynamic worlds of lifestyle, beauty, and fashion.
The use of Klevu’s AI-powered product discovery tool enhances personalization, aligning perfectly with today’s consumer expectations.
Plus, the insights gained from AI-driven product discovery are great for tweaking marketing strategies and managing inventory, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and better operational efficiency for our clients.
Why did you decide to partner with Klevu?
We decided to partner with Klevu due to its developer-friendly tech solution that significantly improves product discovery. Klevu’s advanced technology not only tackles crucial aspects of product discovery but also offers full flexibility in site design and development. Plus, the seamless integration of Klevu on Shopify platforms positions it as an unrivalled partner, boosting the user experience and revenue for our clients.
What are some of the things you are most excited about for the future of e-commerce?
We sense a promising future for ecommerce brands. Shopify’s strategic expansion into the enterprise market reflects its growing dominance in the industry, outpacing competitors. This trend is attracting more prominent brands to the Shopify platform. For us, it opens doors to exciting opportunities. We’re now entering partnerships with new types of clients, each presenting unique challenges. This will reshape the ecommerce landscape!
Can you share some recent projects that your agency is particularly proud of?
Two recent projects that stand out for us are FEST Amsterdam and No Label.
With FEST Amsterdam, we initially chose a headless approach to meet their customization needs. However, as Shopify’s native capabilities evolved, we seamlessly transitioned them back to a native Shopify setup. This shift allowed FEST to maintain a high-quality user experience while streamlining backend operations.
Similarly, we worked with No Label to migrate from a headless setup to native Shopify. This move leveraged Shopify’s advancements, making their ecommerce platform more cost-effective overall.
These projects exemplify our commitment to adapting and optimizing our clients’ online strategies as Shopify continues to innovate.
If your agency was an animal, what would it be?
If our agency was an animal, we would be a Dragon. Our story began in China, where, due to language barriers, Paul and I turned to Phill, our English-speaking hotel manager, for just about everything. The phrase ‘Ask Phill’ quickly became our daily mantra! Just like a dragon in Chinese stories symbolizes conquering challenges, ‘Ask Phill’ became our guide through the unknown. Now, with a refreshed vision, we’ve set a goal to collaborate with the 100 most inspiring brands, according to us. This objective is like our dragon’s ambitious spirit, driving us forward with firm determination.