10 Simple Tips to Grow Your Shopify Store
With over 375,000 online stores now using Shopify, eCommerce is officially the most effective and democratic way of getting your product on the market
As of 2017, around 87% of all U.K. consumers bought at least one online product within a 12 month period. And with over half of all sale traffic coming from mobile devices, the evidence is there that online shopping is more ubiquitous than ever.
That’s why it’s important to find the right platform to market your product, and Shopify offers the quickest and easiest way of competing with the big boys to make yourself a profit. But with so many users, what’s the best way to get your product noticed in the first place? And once you’ve started to gather steam, how do you continue to grow?
Here are 10 ways to get noticed and keep your brand relevant.
1. Sell a range of different products
OK, so it’s obvious you aren’t going to be able to sell everything. Amazon seems to have pretty much cornered the market on that, and hiring a bookkeeper good enough to keep on top of $178 billion worth of annual net sales might be tricky.
There is evidence to suggest, however, that learning a bit about how Amazon works might be beneficial. They employ what’s known in the trade as the ‘long-tail strategy’, which is basically management speak for ‘give the people what they want’.
This isn’t to say that if you specialise in selling print-on-demand reproductions of Impressionist paintings, for example, that you should turn your hand to electronics. It just means that you might want to consider researching what your competitors offer and adjust your brand according to what your customers want.
Branch out from reproductions of Impressionist paintings into poster art. Or if your niche is selling picture books for coffee tables, how about branching out into general book sales or introduce a complimentary range of cushions?
Know your market. If you’re going to stick to your niche then try to increase your range of products within that niche. Diversify!
2. Try print-on-demand (you won’t look back)
The key to any successful business is standing out from the crowd, and the best way to make sure that you get noticed quickly is to brand yourself.
What most people don’t realise about print-on-demand is that it’s actually a pretty cost-effective way to build up your brand aesthetic. You just choose a product, upload your design, customise how it looks, and when your customer has fulfilled their order, you hand it over to the print-on-demand service and they handle the rest.
You don’t hold any stock. You don’t have to deal with the headache of orders or quantities. You just find your audience, let them make their order, and when it’s been fulfilled you take a cut of the profit without handling or printing any of the stock. Beautiful, right?
Here’s a bit more about how it works.
3. Market your merchandise using Facebook
You’ve read the statistics before. 2 billion active users (a third of whom regularly engage with promoted brands). Almost half of all Millennials who can’t keep away from social media for more than 5 hours. You’re on the cusp of a potentially limitless market, and you don’t know where to start.
What you should be aware of is that if you decide to share your merchandising content the traditional way, “organic reach” on Facebook is only around 2% of your follower base. That’s why it’s important to keep your posts short and sweet, and post content from other interesting sources where you think there might be a quid pro quo in order.
If you have a better idea of who your ideal demographic might be, then there are custom options which you can use to better target your audience. This is called ‘retro-targeting’ and it can increase your ad clicks by up to 300%.
Check out our comprehensive Facebook Marketing Guide for more helpful hints and tips!
4. Be old-fashioned (use email marketing)
In terms of eCommerce, email marketing can sometimes seem a bit… 2004. But the reason it remains so effective is because it’s essentially the one guaranteed constant about the internet. Facebook, Twitter and (especially) Instagram are only useful if you’re trying to target certain demographics. Google traffic is too heavily weighted on SEO and if you don’t have the technical know-how, it can be daunting.
But email remains an ever-faithful and effective way for getting your message across to a large number of people at any given time. And a good way of building a database is by capturing details through targeted opt-in forms.
Of course, the content you send out thereafter has to be pithy and colourful enough to grab the attention of whoever thought it might be a good idea to hand over their email address!
5. Optimize your store for people buying on-the-go
So, we know that in the UK mobile devices like tablets and smartphones account for around 51% of all online sale traffic. And we also know that they’re responsible for around 60% of the general population’s total internet use.
The question is how to capitalise on this. With an easy-to-use app like Shopify, the answer is, of course, that you make your store as easily accessible, colourful and user-friendly as possible. And Shopify has the right template tools at your disposal to make this an easy transition.
Some advantages: 1) With only 15% of all eCommerce revenue coming from mobile apps, the market is less competitive for small start-ups. 2) Your store will appear more easily in Google rankings without any specific pandering to that pesky SEO problem.
This super-helpful Shopify article lays out 5 hacks to help you optimise your store for mobile – it’s well worth a read!
6. Keep your regulars happy
You’ve diversified your product range, you’ve developed a coherent brand aesthetic, you’ve even mastered the fine art of finding your demographic. But how do you keep all these new customers loyal? If you get it right, up to 65% of all continuing sales can come from customers who have bought from you before.
That’s why it’s important to stay in regular contact with your base, and a good way to do this is to engage in regular e-mail communication. These make the customer feel valued, and can take the form of everything from new offers, personalized messages based on marketing information, seasonal offers and announcements about new products.
7. Make sure your content is attention grabbing
It should be obvious by now that in today’s online market, the most effective way to encourage people to purchase your product is to frame your brand with engaging content.
But knowing what kind of content to produce in an always evolving eCommerce market can be tricky. That’s why you should be focused on the four key areas which have been proven to bolster a product’s ROI by up to 700%
2) Image Content
3) Reviews and Recommendations
4) Product Description
According to Forbes, nearly 2/3 of all online buyers are more likely to purchase your product after watching a well-crafted information video, image content has been proven to effectively shape customer perceptions about a given brand, and product descriptions and reviews? Well, that should be obvious…
8. Make it personal
Everyone likes the feeling of opening a personally addressed letter. The primary thing to remember about your customers is that they’re human beings, and as humans that little touch of well-thought-through sentimentality goes a long way.
Ever purchase anything off an indie designer on Etsy and they send you one of those cutesy little postcards? Doesn’t that make you feel special? Now imagine combining that personal touch with the kind of slick packaging offered by some larger corporate competitors. Wouldn’t that make you think that the brand behind your purchase is somehow both caring and professional?
That’s the image you need to harness.
9. Don’t be afraid to invest in paid ads (where appropriate)
Ah. That old chestnut. Listen, nobody hates shelling unnecessary money out more than the big industry players do, but they didn’t get to where they are today without investing a little along the way. Sometimes paying out early can reap dividends later.
Case in point, by buying traffic from the likes of Google and assuming the top sponsored spot on any given search term, you’re guaranteed to have your link clicked on by around 20% of users. That’s massive. And depending on how popular your industry is, that could mean a lot more customers and a lot fewer headaches.
10. Get interactive
We live in the age of interactivity, and interactive content can be a great way to engage your audience. But, you’re probably thinking, isn’t that expensive? Well, it CAN be. But Gleam.io shared an example of interactive content which could really work, even if you’re on a shoestring budget.
They wrote about an opticians company called Zenni Optical, in which users can take an interactive quiz (9 simple questions) to identify their perfect frame. They reckon this helped them generate over a million dollars in revenue – not bad!
A final word. Now that you’re up and running and (hopefully!) bringing in some revenue, consider giveaways. Consider being as responsive as you can on social media. Consider giving loyal customers discounts on certain products and engaging with your audience in a way which makes them feel welcome.
All of this pays off.