ECommerce has changed the way marketing works and these days, brands prefer opening up eCommerce stores over physical ones when they first start out. Shopify was born when its founder wanted to try selling snowboards online but found it incredibly challenging to do so, which is when he created Shopify himself.
Since then, budding entrepreneurs from over 175 countries have used the platform to sell a variety of products. If you don’t know How to set up a Shopify store? and how it benefits eCommerce businesses, we’ll shed some light on the subject.
What Is Shopify?
Simply put, Shopify is an eCommerce platform that lets merchants open up a store online. The setup is simple and when your store goes live, you’re able to sell the products and services you want. Some examples of products you can sell online are handcrafted artworks, confectionaries, frozen goods, jewelry, accessories, technology, etc.
Rental services are also allowed on Shopify and entrepreneurs sell experience-based services too like hands-on wine tasting workshops, traveling tours, dance classes and lessons, subscription-based services, and more. There’s no limit to what you can sell on Shopify! (as long as it isn’t something that’s illegal)
Benefits of Shopify for eCommerce Businesses
Businesses nowadays prefer using Shopify over other eCommerce platforms when it comes to launching online stores. There are a few good reasons for that and they’re mostly because of its benefits.
Here’s what Shopify offers:
- An intuitive user interface, easy setup, and no technical jargon involved.
- Features amazing app integrations and simple maintenance.
- Reliable security and data protection.
- Excellent loading times and cutting-edge in-built marketing tools.
- Mobile-responsive themes and 24X7 customer support.
- A variety of payment modes and SEO optimization Methods are included.
What makes Shopify appealing to entrepreneurs is that you don’t have to pay for web hosting separately. The minute you sign up for their plans, you get everything you need to get your store running. Shopify aimed to make launching an eCommerce store easy for those who didn’t know how to code. The themes and website elements can be coded, however, for those who have some programming experience.
Top 9 Ways to Drive Shopify Sales
If you’ve just launched your eCommerce store through Shopify, you will be having questions. We will be covering some ways you can drive sales and build your business using this platform below.
1. Use Referral marketing
Referral marketing tactics involve giving your customers incentives for referring their friends to your store. Incentives could be in the form of bonuses, store credit, exclusive discounts, and coupons, or anything they find valuable.
There are referral marketing tools that embed widgets onto your website and run automatically when you launch your sales. Referrals end up becoming loyal customers in the long run and since they feel invested in your brand, they’re more likely to return and shop more from your store later.
Take a look at Love with Food’s referral program. Whenever a new customer signs up and uses their friend’s referral code, the friend gets rewarded with a free box and gets to redeem 1000 points of goodies (which is worth $10) from the store. That’s referral marketing in action.
And this repeats every time a new friend signs up for the first time, which encourages the visitor to keep making more referrals, thus allowing the brand to make more sales.
2. Upsell & Cross-sell to Your Buyers
You’ve likely come across the words: “Would you like to supersize your order?” when you’re going dining at McDonald’s. Upselling is an eCommerce variant of that where sellers offer a premium version of the product to customers.
Cross-selling is when you display products that complement the item the customers have added to the cart. Sometimes customers aren’t aware that there are upgrades or premium options of the product available. The higher price tag is justified when the product you’re upselling delivers more benefits than the original and meets the buyer’s expectations.
There’s a fine line when it comes to upselling and cross-selling. You want to make personalized recommendations based on their order history. Take care not to bombard your visitors with too many suggestions since that could turn them away.
Be honest and transparent about what you’re upselling or cross-selling to your buyers and mention how it benefits them. You can leverage product reviews and testimonials to back up the products you’re recommending them. A good example of this would be recommending a camera lens to go with a camera or a kit for carrying accessories. Upselling has been proven to be 20x more effective than cross-selling, however, when you look at the numbers online.
3. Use social proof
Over 70% of visitors look at customer reviews and testimonials online before deciding to make a purchase. Social proof is powerful and it’s more than just ‘word-of-mouth.’ It builds credibility for your brand and leaves a trail of results.
There are different ways to show social proof on your eCommerce website. Displaying trusted Google ratings and reviews by visitors on product pages is a classic example.
Here’s another example: Kickers creates a sense of urgency by displaying how many visitors have viewed their product, thus creating a ‘fear of missing out (FOMO)’
You can also display limited stock items to encourage visitors to buy quickly and boost sales.
Serenata Flowers shows similar products other customers have bought whenever a user browses their website. That’s a good example of how to use social proof since it shows people are buying from them online.
4. Send abandoned cart emails
There are reports that suggest that abandoned cart emails account for 15% of a store’s revenue loss. That’s a whopping number but there’s a way to increase profit and reduce that loss margin.
Abandoned cart emails are gentle reminders to your customers that they’ve left something behind in the cart. Visitors go through the phases of adding the item to the cart but forget to check out or get interrupted. Sending an abandoned cart email will regain those leads and convert them to sales. Use interesting content like highlighting the star-rating of your products or showing testimonials when designing your abandoned cart emails.
5. Simplify your checkout process
The checkout process is what finalizes your sales. There’s nothing more frustrating when a customer has to go through the hassle when checking out. You can get up to a 28% growth when you’re able to close your deals successfully by using checkout optimization strategies.
You want to keep your checkout process simple and linear. Take a look at Amazon, the eCommerce king. They ask for 3 details only – address, payment method, and delivery.
You can also visually show how convenient the checkout process is to your visitors by highlighting it like how J. Crew does it. This encourages more sales since customers know it doesn’t take too much effort or time to checkout.
6. Introduce a rewards program
A good customer rewards program retains your clients, encourages more purchases, and thus, leads to an increase in sales. These programs introduce VIP benefits and exclusive offers to repeat customers and give them access to exclusive deals when they shop more often. Every time a customer buys something from your store, you can reward them with points that they can redeem on their next purchase.
You could also introduce a paid program where a customer gets access to VIP deals and benefits available only to those programs. For a restaurant, this could mean displaying an exclusive menu in the app to those signed up for the loyalty program.
7. Use Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads has the potential to blow up your products and drive more organic sales. In fact, most of your visitors use Google as their search engine and the ads displayed by Google Shopping Ads appear on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Unlike search and display networks, the way Google shopping ads works is it displays products with search-related terms at the top or front of SERPs depending on their relevance. Product data is drawn from the Google Merchant Center and you have to link your merchant account to your Google Adwords account.
We won’t get into much detail on this but you can find several guides online showing you how to optimize your Google Shopping campaigns for better results. If there’s one takeaway from these guides, it’s treating your product titles just like your SEO strategy.
Research thoroughly the keywords you use, the volume/search demand for them and integrate them naturally into your titles and descriptions. If you’re unsure what keywords to use for your product content copy and titles, you can use the Google Keyword Planner.
Your product descriptions shouldn’t be more than 500 to 1000 characters each.
For the visuals, you use on your product feed, make sure the product photos are high-resolution and have a white background. Avoid using stock photos or visuals with watermarks since Google won’t approve of them. You can show how the product works in action by using models in these photos (showcasing different angles is recommended).
Take note of the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). This helps make cataloging your products a lot easier and increases the chances of showing up in your visitors’ search queries even more. An optimized product feed also makes your brand appear professional when the ads are displayed on the Google Network. Finally, don’t forget to complete your feed.
Since you’re hosting your store using Shopify, you can install the Google Shopping Feed App which is free, and set up your shopping Feeds quickly. The setup is simple and the app will help you out.
8. Use retargeting ads
Retargeting ads are ads shown to visitors who have previously visited your website. This could be in the form of products showing up on their Facebook feed, pop-up ads, or ads related to your brand for search engine queries, or simply displaying your ads on other Ad Networks and websites.
The best retargeting ads give personalized offers to the viewers and feature creative call-to-action. For new visitors, retargeted ads give them a chance to acquire an overview of your products and get acquainted with your brand. Using colorful visuals with creative descriptions is what makes retargeted ads stand out.
You can display the same products from your inventory in different ways by changing the visuals, placements, and designs. Pay careful attention to the presentation of these ads and use coupon codes to encourage customers to sign up or avail of promotional offers. Statistically speaking, retargeted ads have been shown to boost conversions.
Still not sure how retargeting works? Let’s break it down for you.
Take a look at this ad by Jasper’s Market.
Now imagine you’re the visitor seeing this ad pop up on your Facebook newsfeed.
You’re probably browsing through their Facebook page and looking at their pie crusts and any content related to it. A cookie is placed in your web browser that logs this data and shows where you’re spending the most time on their page.
Using this data, ads relevant to what you’re browsing for show up on your feed. This adds value to what you’re searching for and lets you discover your desired products. This is how retargeted ads work or at least, the reasoning behind how they’re published.
Neil Patel has explained this subject well and mentioned what not to do when it comes to retargeting. If you read his guide, you’ll be saving a lot of time and budget on your retargeting ads (which we highly recommend).
Market smarter, not harder.
9. Use Live Chat
Before the days of eCommerce, if you traveled back in time to the age of the barter system, you’d remember that business transactions happened through conversations. Customers are social creatures and building strong (but trusting) relationships with them is key to making more sales.
Live chat is one way to do that.
If a customer lands on your website and has questions about your products/services, you can reply to them instantly. Some visitors may just be curious while others are simply window-shopping on your portal. By interacting and engaging with your customers through live chat, you can get insights on your products and services.
You can get feedback from old customers and ask new visitors what they think about your catalog or if there’s anything they’re curious about. If you’re a brand that sells technology or non-food related products and your customers run into problems, live chat support is a good way to help them out with that. Customers are more willing to return to businesses they have a personal connection to. Live chat enables customers to have a direct line of conversation with the brand which is what makes it so effective.
According to Shopify reports, customers who have conversations with a brand have a higher conversion rate of up to 3x than regular ones, with higher cart values during checkouts.
Shopify also has a native app that lets you take advantage of the Live Chat feature. You can have real-time conversations with your customers using Shopify Chat and it displays incoming messages from channels like Apple Business Chat and Facebook Messenger.
It’s free to use and gets running in moments.
A bonus tip is to integrate your Instagram feed with your website and Facebook pages. Instagram has a growing base of over 500 million daily followers out of which over 300 million are active. For eCommerce brands, this translates to more opportunities for sales. If you can tell a story with visuals and have a flair for using hashtags creatively at the right moments, you can be well on your way to building a huge following with your brand on the platform.
You could also feature direct checkout options by adding links to your Instagram posts and stories. Visitors are able to check out products directly from these posts, thus boosting your sales. GoPro’s shoppable Instagram feed is a terrific example of this. It works!
These tactics have been proven to work when it comes to boosting organic traffic to your website. You can use A/B split testing when running campaigns to see what works for you during product launches.
Our final tip (not a tactic) is to write guest posts in your niche on influencer blogs or websites. You can build backlinks and domain authority by doing this, which in turn, will lead to more sales in your store. Getting an influencer to recommend your brand is another proven way to boost your sales. You could do this through paid promotions or by simply giving them a sample of your product in exchange for a genuine review.
Guest Post by AdNabu
AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for eCommerce companies. If you are running the search, google shopping, or display campaigns in Google Ads, This software will be able to increase your sales.