Shopify is one of the world’s most popular ways to sell online, with over 1 million vendors on the platform. The ecommerce selling giant allows merchants to set up their perfect store, with unrivaled amounts of customization.
However, when using Shopify to sell online, sellers have to market their brand and products by themselves. This means it can often be difficult to generate sales, especially for those who are new to the game. So, what are the best ways to reach your store’s target market? And how can you optimize your feed and store to increase your sales on Shopify?
How long does it take to make sales on Shopify?
Making sales on Shopify can initially be challenging for those who are new to selling online. For some sellers, it may take longer to start making significant sales than it would for others. This is because there are a few variables that can affect the time it takes you to start making sales on the platform, these include:
- Your DA (domain authority) – If you have a completely new domain, you will have to build up your domain authority from scratch. The higher your domain authority, the more likely you are to appear on search engines for relevant searches. Therefore, you are more likely to be noticed and to make sales.
- Whether you already have an existing network of customers – If you have an existing network of customers, you can reach out to them via email and promote your new website. This will give you a great start to selling on Shopify, increase customer engagement, and therefore take less time for you to make consistent sales.
- The level of product listing optimization you currently have – If you put a lot of effort into your product listings, and they are well optimized, you will probably start to get organic traffic fairly quickly. Optimizing your listings, from their titles and descriptions to their photos, can be massively beneficial when it comes to drawing in traffic.
- Whether you offer incentives to potential buyers – If you are a new brand on the scene, many buyers may not immediately trust you. However, an incentive such as free shipping or sales prices may draw them into making that all-important first purchase. Without incentives, it will take longer to build up that level of trust, and therefore longer to make sales.
- Whether your products are in demand and are well priced for their market – If you have done plenty of research, you should manage to get your prices in the right area for what you are selling. If the prices are fair, and the product is good, customers will inevitably come. If there is less demand, or your product is on the pricier side, it may take longer for you to make sales.
In most cases, Shopify sales will eventually come naturally. It may take a few weeks, but if your store is sufficiently optimized and you have done a good degree of research on what it is you are selling, buyers will be drawn in.
Source: Orbit Media
Why targeted traffic is essential for new stores
On many occasions, new sellers will rush to drive traffic to their stores, even using PPC advertising to draw potential customers in. However, a lot of the time, this traffic isn’t targeted. This means many people reaching the store bounce straight out.
At this stage, many store owners panic. They perceive their store as poor, or that the products that they offer to people are not good enough. But this is rarely the case. The issue stems from the wrong demographic of customers reaching their store. By targeting a specific type of traffic, stores can avoid this issue.
It will take time and effort to research your perfect demographic for targeted traffic. You may even have to use trial and error with free resources. But once you know your demographic, you can prioritize reaching out to that audience, rather than a wider range of people that are more likely to leave your store without buying.
In essence, targeted traffic will help to reduce your advertising costs, whilst also boosting your sales.
8 practical tips to optimize your Shopify store for increased sales
Make use of Shopify’s extensive range of apps
If you want to get the most from your Shopify store and push your sales to the next level, the platform’s apps are a great place to start. Shopify offers apps that are either free or paid. The apps offer merchants a wide variety of additional features to add to their stores, such as data monitoring, price management, or marketing tools.
By adding these apps to your store, you can assist yourself in optimizing every area to ensure you attract as many customers as possible.
Here are just some of the best Shopify apps to help you along your way:
- OptinMonster – For conversion optimization
- Candy Rack – For perfecting your marketing
- Yotpo – For optimizing your sales channels
- Catalog Maker – For organizing and refining your sales channels
- Spocket – for optimizing your inventory
- Printful – for optimizing your inventory
- Price Watch by Datafeedwatch – For keeping your pricing competitive
- Partial.ly – for perfecting your payment plans
Source: Shopify App Store
Make use of free traffic sources
Free traffic sources have many benefits when it comes to your Shopify store. Firstly, they can help you to reach out to a wide audience. This helps to generate leads through analytics for your store and can help you to refine who is interested in what you are selling.
Secondly, once you have that data, you can continue to utilize free traffic sources as an economical alternative that still draws your exact target market in.
Examples of free traffic sources include:
- Word of mouth
- Creating a social media presence through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other accounts
- Using free Google Shopping listings
- Referrals from current customers (incentives such as future discounts will still cost you)
- Organic SEO
- Creating blog content to draw customers in
Drive more traffic to your store with paid ads
Another great way to drive traffic to your Shopify store is to use paid advertising. Paid advertising is ideal when you already know your target audience, and where they are searching for the type of products you sell.
There are a number of options available when it comes to paid advertising. Therefore, it is best to evaluate your budget, and where your target audience is most likely to be searching.
This will take a degree of research, as you will have to find out both which channels your preferable customers prefer, and if there is any preference based on their geographic location. You may also notice that certain platforms are much more cost-effective for your business. If you are just starting out with selling online, then budget-friendly options are still out there.
You should also try to ensure that any paid advertising you do run is targeted effectively. This means running the campaign in the right place, at the right time. You will need to do keyword research as well, otherwise, you risk running an ad that doesn’t appeal or relate to the potential buyers you are targeting.
If you are unsure what the most popular method of paid advertising is, here are a few examples:
- Facebook sponsored posts
- Facebook ads
- Google text ads
- Google Shopping ads
- Instagram story and post ads
- Instagram shop ads
- Amazon sponsored products
- eBay promoted listings
Source: Amazon UK
Perfect your titles and descriptions on listings
Your titles and descriptions are the first things many customers look for when visiting your store. They are also one of the main organic factors for driving relevant traffic to your store in the first place. Those two elements make them a very significant part of your listing.
By doing keyword research, you can ensure you find the most relevant keywords for your products. That way, they will be more likely to show in organic search results for related queries. You will also make sure that any customer that does end up on your product page sees titles and descriptions that are relevant to their search. By doing so, you will increase the amount of relevant traffic to your product pages, and increase your conversion rate.
Make the most of email marketing
Email marketing can be a great way to increase your sales, especially if you already have a pre-existing customer base from another platform. However, if you don’t have a pre-existing customer base, you can always build up your email list by using incentives, such as a discount for signing up for a newsletter.
Once you have a decent amount of people on your email list, you can generate regular content with offers that may draw customers into making a purchase. You can also use your email list to target those who have abandoned their carts, haven’t shopped in a while, or send out email sequences for each stage of a purchasing process.
In addition, you can track the number of emails that were opened, and whether the links were clicked. This allows you to optimize your email marketing strategy and improve how you reach out to your customer base in the future.
Show price comparisons when you offer sales prices
Sales prices are a great way to increase your sales on any platform. However, many customers don’t always know or like to calculate for themselves exactly how much they are saving.
By offering price comparisons (which show the percentage of the total price a customer is saving when buying a product on offer) alongside a sales price, it makes it easier for customers to recognize just how good an offer is. This makes them more likely to complete the purchase.
Setting up a price comparison on Shopify is surprisingly easy too. All you need to do is:
- Go to Shopify Admin, and then select ‘All products’
- Click the product of your choice
- Under ‘pricing’ set the ‘compare at price’ to the original price
- Next, set the ‘price’ to your new sale price
- Click save
Create a loyalty program
Loyalty programs are a great way to generate return customers. By offering customers rewards for making regular purchases, they are more likely to shop with you again to earn discounts or other rewards. This helps to turn sporadic buyers into brand regulars.
You can also consider using referral schemes within loyalty schemes, to reward loyal customers further after they bring in new customers to your business. These schemes can also be a great way to drive up average order spend per customer, as you can set a minimum amount (of spend or referrals) for a customer to qualify for the schemes.
Test your product listings frequently
Optimized product listings are a great way to draw in customers to your store. Keywords in titles and descriptions help to draw customers to your product listing. The order of those keywords also matters, as well as other factors such as image clarity, and page layout.
However, it isn’t always easy to spot the most effective way to do all these things immediately. Furthermore, keywords can change as the market and your competitors adapt. That is where A/B testing comes in.
The most effective product listings are always those that are frequently tested, even if the listing is performing well. By testing regularly, you can stay on top of any adaptations to the market. You may also find new ways to attract more customers to your listing.
When you first open a Shopify store, you may feel like you’ve been dropped in the deep end. Unlike on marketplaces, you have to do all your own marketing, which often means sales take a few weeks to materialize.
However, if you are willing to take your time researching for Shopify hacks and optimizing your store, you will quickly gain a loyal and ever-growing customer base. This will see your Shopify sales gradually increase, and your business flourish.