So you’ve got your Shopify store up and running and you may even be getting some sales but how do you grow your sales and take your online store to the next level?
Well there are a few things you can do which we are going to look at in this post, with a strong focus on two main areas, which are:
- Getting More Traffic
- Increasing Your Conversion Rate
There are also a couple of best practices that can also help get a few more sales, which will be covered at the end of the post.
BUT before we start, you want to take an analytical approach when implementing changes, especially on the conversion rate optimization, so that you can really begin to understand what has worked and what hasn’t as just throwing the kitchen sink at it and hoping for the best isn’t going to be helpful.
So when you implement a change, run it for a period, say 2 – 4 weeks and compare it to the previous to the same time period before you implemented the change to see if it made any difference to your sales.
- 1. Run Targeted Ad Campaigns
- 2. Expand Your Social Media Presence
- 3. Improve Your Stores SEO
- 4. Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
- 5. Use High Quality Images
- 6. Add Product Videos
- 7. Write a Good Description
- 8. Add Product Reviews
- 9. Optimize Your Checkout
- 10. Offer Free Delivery
- 11. Offer Multiple Payment Options
- 12. Contact Options
- 13. Have Clear Policies
- 14. Build an Email List
1. Run Targeted Ad Campaigns
The first step is to start refining your paid ads strategy so that you are putting your ads in front of your target audience as these are going to be the people who are more likely to click through to your site and become a paying customer.
But how do you find this target customer? Well there are a few different methods you can use, such as:
Basically, you want to find as much information as you can about your target audience such as gender, age, location etc to help you run more targeted ad campaigns, which should result in a better ROI on your ad spend.
2. Expand Your Social Media Presence
There is kind of a blueprint for social media marketing when it comes to ecommerce and it generally stops at Facebook and Instagram but there are a whole host of social media platforms out there that could work really well for your business, so consider:
You need to experiment with different outlets as you may find it easier to reach your audience with one of these, plus you could potentially create an additional income stream with YouTube and TikTok.
It is important to not rule any social media platform out until you have given them a good try and one of the good things about some of these platforms are that it is much easier to build up an organic following as long as you post good content as opposed to the pay to play model that Facebook and Instagram operate on.
3. Improve Your Stores SEO
Now SEO is the long game when it comes to ecommerce marketing but it can also be a very profitable one when done correctly as SEO allows you to drive organic traffic to your site, which has a higher conversion rate (4%) than social media (2%).
Now there are lot of things you can do to improve your Shopify stores SEO, such as:
When doing SEO, you want it to be a site-wide process, so you want to optimize your product, collection and blogs pages as this will increase the chances of your pages ranking and more importantly you getting traffic.
4. Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
Now it is time to start looking at improving your conversion rates and one of the first things that you want to do is to make sure that your site loads quickly and people don’t like waiting.
Even though it is slightly old data, Google found that an increase in load time from 1-3 seconds caused bounce rates to increase by 32% and this jumps to 90% when the load time increases to 5 seconds but as we have grown to expect sites to load quickly, I wouldn’t be surprised if these figures have grown even further.
But as Shopify is a fully hosted ecommerce platform, you are limited as to the amount of optimization you can do when it comes to performance but you can:
- Optimize Your Images – so that they are the right size and in a web optimized format
- Minimize The Amount of Apps – apps are great on Shopify but the more you have, especially ones that load elements on the front end of your site can slow it down, so keep them to a minimum
- Use a Fast Theme – not all themes are built the same, so where possible, use a theme which has proven performance credentials
By improving your sites performance, you will improve your customers user experience, which generally leads to better conversion rate.
Also, don’t just focus on your desktop performance as an average of 55% of traffic in 2021 came from mobile devices, so it would actually be better to focus on your mobile performance and you can use tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and Uptrends Speed tool to test your sites performance.
5. Use High Quality Images
Humans are very visual creatures and by having high quality images on your product page, you can increase sales and there is also a large proportion of your customers who will buy just from looking at your images, so you want to make sure they are good!
One of the best things to do is to take your own product images and avoid generic manufacturer images, this is because you can truly show the product off from multiple angles, include size references and even show measurements.
This helps people understand the size of the product is as I’m sure we have all thought that something would be bigger or smaller than what it actually is based off the product images.
Your product pictures are part of your sales funnel and they can help provide information that you may struggle to get across in your description, which can help people make a decision as to whether they want to buy the product or not.
6. Add Product Videos
This can take the visual aspect of your product pages to a whole different level and you may have noticed that many businesses are starting to include these on their product pages.
And there is good reason for this as seeing people using or interacting with a product gives a much better visual and can be enough to convince someone to buy!
Obviously, there is much more work that goes into creating a product video but you don’t need to make a Hollywood blockbuster, a short video up to showing off the product, how it works and features will be more than enough.
There are a couple of ways you can add videos to your Shopify listing, the first is to upload it directly in the media section of the product page or you can embed a video in the product description but the video will need to hosted elsewhere such as YouTube.
7. Write a Good Description
While there are some people who won’t read your description, there are also those who will and you want to write a good one!
Writing a good product description that doesn’t come across as a sales pitch is a skill in itself but it is something that is worthwhile doing and there are some general tips, such as:
One big thing to avoid is just copying and pasting the manufacturers or suppliers description as there are going to be numerous other sites doing that, instead take the important information from that description and then craft your own unique one.
Not only can this improve your conversion rate but it can also have a positive impact on your sites SEO.
8. Add Product Reviews
User generated product reviews can be great for improving your conversion rates as people trust other peoples opinions.
It is known as social proofing and recent research found that 98% of online shoppers saying reviews are an essential part of making a purchasing decision, 98%!!
So having product reviews can make a big impact on your conversion rate and you should also be prepared to embrace negative reviews as people are less trusting of products that have perfect 5 star reviews, instead preferring products with a 4.2-4.5 rating.
To add user generated product reviews to Shopify, you will need to install an app but there are some really good options available.
9. Optimize Your Checkout
When it comes to your checkout, you want to Keep It Simple so that you can get the customer from clicking the add to cart button to the order confirmation page as quickly as possible by removing distractions.
Now there are differing theories as to whether you should try upsells in the checkout but my preference is to follow the Amazon model (they kind of know what they are doing!) and their focus is on getting the order completed efficiently.
This involves keeping the amount of pages you need to go through to a minimum and really you want no more than three stages:
- Cart Page
- Checkout Page
- Payment Page
This is a checkout flow that most people are accustomed too and it just works, it can also be worthwhile removing things like discount codes boxes if you don’t offer them on your store to help streamline the process.
10. Offer Free Delivery
One of the main reasons for abandoned carts is unexpected costs, with shipping being one that is most commonly mentioned and many online shoppers now expect free shipping as part of their shopping experience.
You can avoid this by offering free shipping for your products as it removes another obstacle from your checkout process and is something that you can promote across your site to encourage visitors to become paying customers.
But don’t worry about losing money, most online retailers factor shipping costs into the sale price of the item and can potentially lead to a better bottom line when people purchase multiple products.
If you do need to charge for your shipping, then make sure this information is easily accessible on your site in the form of shipping policy or even include this information on your product page, basically you are trying to stop people having a nasty surprise when the get to the checkout page.
11. Offer Multiple Payment Options
Every customer has their preferred way to pay and you want to try and accommodate for this by offering multiple payment options, such as:
You may also want to consider a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option which allows customers to pay at a later date or split payments over a chosen period.
You don’t want to go overboard though and offer 10+ different payment options as this will be off-putting for customers but by offering the main options, you are providing enough choice to accommodate a large percentage of your potential customer base.
12. Contact Options
Trust is a hugely important component when it comes to selling online, which is why people rely so heavily on reviews but there are some things you can do that increases the level of trust people have with your site.
And one of the biggest is to offer a good selection of contact options, such as:
- Contact Phone Number
- Contact Form
- Email Address
- Live Chat
- Social Accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc)
They may never need to contact you but knowing that they can contact you in a variety of different ways can help build trust.
With your contact phone number, avoid using a mobile or cell phone number as these don’t look very professional, instead, get a dedicated business number. Using a VoIP service is great for this as most offer apps, which allows you to turn your personal phone into your business one as long as you are connected to the internet.
A similar thing with your email address, us a domain linked email such as email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org as it looks more professional and once again increases trust.
13. Have Clear Policies
Having clear and easily accessible policies on your site can also help get your more sales and it provides potential customers with important information, which all help build trust as your customers know exactly where they stand when it comes to dealing your business.
But what kind of policies are helpful?
Mostly ones to do with the transaction, so Payment, Shipping and Returns policies can be very helpful and you will probably be surprised at how many views these pages get.
And as you are looking to build trust, clearly lay out your policies, explain what you offer and what the processes are for things like returns and avoid burying important information in your T&C’s as most people won’t read through them.
14. Build an Email List
The final step for getting more sales is to make the most of the customers that you have already acquired by building an email list, which can be a gold mine for Shopify stores!
Now not every customer is going to turn into a repeat customer but some of them will and it is also a very cost effective marketing strategy as you are going after cold or lukewarm traffic as these people already know and trust you (hopefully!).
Send regular emails with new products, sales, special offers etc to encourage them to come back to your store but don’t spam peoples inboxes as this will give them a reason to unsubscribe, instead provide them with value and you may see more sales.
Getting more sales on Shopify can be challenging but it is not impossible and there are many new stores who are doing really well by having a clear strategy around their marketing and conversion rate optimization.
And you can too by implementing some or potentially all of the steps that we covered in this post and it is very much a case of getting the right people to visit your store and then make the user experience as good as it can be, so that they become a paying customer.
But as I said at the start, take a methodical approach to implementing changes so that you find out what works for your Shopify store as they are all different and there isn’t a one size fits all approach.