Are you overwhelmed to figure out how to get more sales on Shopify?
Running an online business can be tough, especially when you're not seeing the results you want. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Almost all Shopify store developers and owners have the same questions, they struggle to find the right practices to increase sales among so many options and strategies out there.
That's why we've compiled a list of 7 techniques to skyrocket sales in your Shopify store, complete with step-by-step guidelines and real-life examples. Let's dive in!
1. Define your business value proposition
Defining a business value proposition is the very first and most crucial step in building a successful eCommerce business. A business value proposition is a comprehensive statement that clearly communicates the product or service benefit that your business offers to customers. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors and tells customers why they should buy from you instead of from someone else.
Having a clear value proposition will help you to spread your unique value and to stand out in an extremely competitive industry like eCommerce, which eventually boosts your sales higher and higher.
To define an excellent value proposition, you may follow these steps:
Step 1: Identify Unique Selling Point (USP) and Customers’ Need
USP states how you can stand out in the market - it could be your product or service, customer support, and pricing. If your business is running with low sales performance, it’s likely that you don’t have a well-established USP. You can identify them better by researching your own customers with some methods, including surveys, interviews, group discussions, etc. Moreover, you should make sure that there are some links between your USP and customers’ need.
For example, let’s say your business sells clothing. You can conduct surveys and interviews to identify the reasons why customers buy your products: competitive price, creative style, or excellent customer service, etc. If most results say that they buy because of the creative style, the creative style should be your USP. Then, if they care about the creative style because they feel unique whenever wearing those clothes, this is the connection between your USP and customers’ needs that you have identified.
Step 2: Define Value Proposition
By pairing USP with related customers’ needs, you can easily write a completed value proposition. However, there are a few things you need to have in mind: emphasizing clarity before creativity and focusing on benefits, not hype.
In the clothing business example, you have 2 things: your creativity and customers’ feelings of being unique, now you can develop an excellent value proposition by linking them together. A possible value proposition could be: Showing your uniqueness creatively.
Step 3: Communicate Your Value Proposition Effectively
Value Proposition could help you the most if you present it perfectly to your audience. Therefore, be smart and aggressive with your marketing, both online and offline.
Continuing the example above, you may want to set your value proposition as a key message of marketing activities to execute. In detail, you should develop social media content around the value proposition, put it on website pages (both the home page and product page), etc. to impress your audience.
For instance, Novo Watch shows the value proposition as “Timepieces handmade in Alberta from repurposed pieces of history”. Then, its value proposition is spread throughout the entire website, including Home page, Product pages, About us page, etc, to fill it in customers’ minds. While other watch brands normally define their values as convenience, technology, or luxury. Novo Watch’ value proposition shows the nearly opposite values of handmade, traditional, and history. It instantly sets Novo Watch’s products apart from other competitors and leaves a remarkable point in customers’ minds, which definitely drives more sales.
2. Plan a promotional campaign
Promotion is always a key factor to drive sales, especially for eCommerce businesses. A good promotional campaign will create buzz around your brand, boost customer engagement, and usually lead to increased revenue.
A promotional campaign consists of programming incentives with which the audience can engage, then contributing to the aim of the overall marketing campaign, such as product launch, service expansion, brand awareness, etc. You can start to plan a promotional campaign by following the steps below.
Identify target audience: Find out the best-returning and most compatible audience for your campaign, or what we usually call an “Ideal Customer Profile” (ICP). There are many techniques you can do, such as using Google Analytics to learn about your customers, looking at social media analytics, creating customer personas to target marketing activities, etc.
Coming back to the above clothing business example, you can use analytical tools to figure out customers’ characteristics, including demographics, behaviors, preferences, etc. Then a detailed customer persona could be established as: people who are students or fresher-level employees (from 18 to 24 years old), they live in big cities, they have low middle income and will spend most of their money entertaining and shopping, they want to show off their lifestyle and be unique, their digital preferences are social media, etc. Remember that the more details you add to your target audience, the higher your marketing efforts’ effectiveness possibly reach.
Define measurable goals: Here, you need to remember 2 things: goals and how to measure them. To evaluate a successful promotional campaign, first, determine what you mean by “success.” Write down objectives that will help you gauge whether you achieved a satisfactory outcome. Then, identify any relevant metrics (like revenue, conversion rates, or social mentions) that will let you know when and where you reached these objectives.
Here, the clothing business’s promotional campaign objective could be set as significantly increasing revenue. From that, some possible metrics may be increases in sales, conversion rates, add-to-cart rate, and decreased cart abandonment rate, etc.
Determine a budget: Depending on your audience demographics, you’ll need to devote resources to different channels and strategies. For instance, acquiring a new customer can cost 5 to 7 times more than retaining an old one, so a campaign that targets acquiring new customers requires a bigger budget. Once the budget is set, it will be a benchmark for upcoming steps, such as choosing channels and ways of crafting content.
The clothing business can determine the campaign budget by combining target audiences, goals, and company budget. Reading reports about the cost of promotional activities toward the target audience and researching case studies about achieving similar goals could be useful tips here.
Establish effective channels: Different groups will respond to different touchpoints. It’s essential to decide on several discrete marketing communication methods your audience may actually engage with. For example, a senior group of audience isn't likely to be receptive to a social media campaign. Another factor you should consider is the budget. Distinctive channels have a wide range of pricing, so you should consider carefully the cost of channels besides their effectiveness.
Because the target audience of the above clothing business frequently uses social media, the promotional campaign should focus mainly on social media. In case that the budget is generous, other effective channels could be influencer marketing, TV, Out-Of-Home, etc.
Craft compelling content: Firstly, you must define the overall promotion tactics by answering basic questions: Which incentive do you give the target audience? When will you give them? How and for how long will you deliver to them? Secondly, you should craft a key promotional message that expresses the main activities of the campaign. Then, detailed content should communicate the product’s appeal and strategically lay out CTAs to convert shoppers. Last but not least, keep in mind that different channels fit with different types of content: while a website is normally suitable for long-form content, social media is perfect for short-form content.
The clothing business can have answers to the above questions like: Providing a 10% discount code for 3 orders if customers engage with the business’s social media. Then, the promotional message must be crafted attractively, such as “Engage to be Unique”. After that, content should be developed with this message inside. And given that social media is preferred, short-form content like carousels and short videos should be conducted properly.
For a real-life example, Sephora practiced a promotional campaign named “Weekly Wow Deals”. It offers weekly deals on select beauty products, with discounts of up to 50% off. The brand crafted content around the key message of “Weekly Wow Deals” to impress shoppers through various channels, including website and social media. These deals are available for a limited time only and help to drive sales and increase customer engagement.
Execute, track, and improve: Once all the pieces are in place, it’s time to strategically deploy the campaign, assess the results using the metrics established at the outset, and continuously enhance actionable parts that align with the ultimate goal. Given that marketers who have data-driven initiatives normally achieve significant results, you definitely need to practice tracking and improving regularly. Some tools could help you, including Google Analytics, Meta Business Suite, etc.
The clothing business can track its social media posts’ performance through platforms’ analytics tools and make decisions based on those data. For example, if the performance metrics (engagement rate, bounce rate, etc) of short-formed videos are better than carousels, focusing more on crafting videos will be a suitable decision.
3. Boost SEO performance
Do you know that 60% of marketers say that SEO is their highest quality source of leads? In fact, SEO is a crucial part of promoting a strong online presence, attracting more customers (through website traffic), and converting to sales performance.
If you have not practiced SEO, or you have executed but are not sure about whether it goes on the right way or not, this basic checklist is for you.
Keyword: This is the most important factor because Google’s algorithm will scan, check, and rank throughout your website content. You want to have high ranks for keywords that are relevant to your business. To achieve this, you first need to conduct keyword research to identify keywords based on 2 factors: Domain Authority and Keyword Difficulty. Then, you can start optimizing your website's content, blogs, landing pages, tags, and metadata to include those keywords.
Backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your site, and search engines consider them a signal of your website's authority and relevance. To build backlinks, you can reach out to other websites and request a link, or you can create high-quality content that other websites are likely to link to naturally.
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX): It's crucial to create a good interface and experience for site visitors. It often costs lots of resources to optimize those points, but Shopify businesses are empowered by many themes and apps to make them easier. Among solutions out there, Zest is a Shopify theme that focuses on modern design, smooth experience, and conversion. So if you are looking for a modern and clean theme, you could give Zest a try!
The importance of SEO in driving sales is illustrated deeply in the following case study about Bargains Group.
Bargains Group is an eCommerce business that wholesale supplies to non-profit organizations. It was a low-performing business, but it has grown exponentially by boosting SEO performance. In short, it has optimized SEO content and technical issues to achieve the results of 490% Year-on-Year (YoY) growth of organic sessions and 5400% YoY growth of inquiries per day.
To gain such tremendous numbers, the SEO agency hired by Bargains Group generally follows the above checklist. In which, they firstly audited and optimized keywords in many places, including title, content, URL, etc. Secondly, they also put efforts into crafting blogs to acquire more traffic and backlinks. Lastly, they have upgraded their website design to be more attractive and effective for shoppers to make purchases.
4. Involve customers proactively
Do you serve customers how you want it or how they want it? Do you consider customers a crucial factor in advance or just a consequent factor of your business?
Be careful with your answer, because bad customer service kills conversions, and a wrong mindset about customer concentration could disrupt your entire business.
To avoid getting into those negative scenarios in the eCommerce industry, you need to involve your customers proactively, and you can do that by applying the following 2 criteria to your business.
Customer centricity: That means putting the customers first and at the center of everything that you do. It requires truly understanding the customers, so you can anticipate their needs to deliver meaningful experiences and build lasting relationships with them. Specifically, you need to research and analyze your customers first, then involve customers’ perspectives in every single business decision.
Proactive customer service: If regular customer service is serving when customers need it, proactive customer service is preparing in advance to give them support as quickly, precisely, and effectively as possible. There are many ways you can practice, including: conducting ready support materials for common cases of customers, actively listening to their feedback, etc.
Let’s take Amazon as an example of excellent involving customers, ForeSee ranked Amazon highest in overall customer satisfaction in its survey with a score of 90, the highest ever recorded by the firm, which comes from Amazon’s customer-obsessed philosophy.
“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.” - Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.
And the business practices exactly what its CEO said. In fact, Amazon has 6 customer service tenets. The company always consider customers first and ensures their roles in making business decisions at the highest level. As a result, Amazon has become one of the most successful companies in both business performance and customer satisfaction.
The ultimate reward of involving customers proactively is loyalty and retention. It is easier and more cost-effective to keep a customer than acquire a new one. In 2014, Harvard Business Review underlined the fact that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. So are there any obstacles preventing you from practicing this technique anymore?
5. Get insights from sales data
Ecommerce businesses always deal with a large amount of data related to customer information and behaviors, transaction details, etc. A data-driven approach will help eCommerce businesses engage with customers, improve operational efficiency, make better-informed decisions, forecast, and boost future sales.
If you are questioning how to get more sales on Shopify, getting insights from sales data will definitely help you out!
Understanding this importance, Shopify has provided merchants with the Analytics feature, which can answer your questions about your business, customers, and marketing efforts.
You can find the comprehensive guide to using Shopify Analytics here, with some key takeaways summarized below:
Firstly, by logging into your Shopify store, you will see Analytics on the left-hand menu. This is where you will find the overall dashboard with many crucial metrics such as total sales, conversion rate, average order value, etc.
Secondly, hitting Reports will take you to a list-view table where you can see different reports that are organized and can be accessed for more details.
Last but not least, by clicking on Live View, you will be directed to a real-time view of the activity on your store. You can utilize Live View to monitor the activity on your online store and your sales from all channels. It's especially useful during high-traffic periods, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and when you want to see the immediate results of your recent marketing activity, discounts, or other promotions.
By using Analytics, you can have raw data. Now you can use them to analyze your business performance and learn about how customers interact. One tip here is that Analysis often works best when you’re comparing two things, such as total sales in two successive quarters or the total sales volume of two similarly priced products.
6. Enhance website responsive designs
A responsive design allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes and devices, providing a seamless experience. Given that 56% of all eCommerce transactions are completed on mobile devices, it is undisputed that eCommerce businesses should not only care about the traditional desktop view but also need to optimize their mobile devices’ presence.
Although Shopify has powered merchants with many customization options, such as the ability to auto-resize elements to fit with different screen views, they have limitations. Fortunately, Shopify themes and apps can give support in enhancing responsive design for your store. There are a few things you should notice carefully.
Header: It is one of the most important elements of any site, which creates the first impression for users and guides them through the rest of their website experience. Some tips to boost your header will include: emphasizing the logo and important information, using clear and readable font, adding some delicate effects, etc.
Furthermore, you need a responsive header to ensure user experience is always at the highest level no matter which device customers are using. For desktop devices, you should extend the header to impress shoppers. But for mobile devices, let’s make sure that your header should be minimal and effortless to navigate.
Navigation menu: Clear and easy-to-use website navigation can also improve the user experience and increase sales. An optimized solution here is to create a specific navigation menu designed to promote desired actions of customers. It helps customers browse mobile websites smoothly and boost conversion rates for online store owners at the same time.
Mobile layout: It is crucial to arrange website elements, including content (text), images, slideshow, etc., that fit each device's differentiated spaces and structures. Modifying the mobile layout can be a challenging task, but it will benefit your store by improving the transparency of the whole website and indirectly attract more traffic and boost sales.
Among a wide variety of Shopify themes and apps that could power you in enhancing the above things, Zest theme is one of the best options that help you enhance those things effortlessly. You can learn how Zest helps you optimize responsive design here.
7. Speed up the checkout process
The checkout process typically involves multiple steps like selecting products, entering shipping and payment information, and confirming the purchase. The checkout process is a critical component of the eCommerce experience, as it can have a significant impact on conversion rates and overall sales. A streamlined and user-friendly checkout process can reduce cart abandonment rates and increase customer satisfaction.
There are several factors to consider when improving the checkout process:
Clarify the checkout process: It's important to provide clear and concise instructions at each stage of the checkout process to help customers understand what they need to do to complete their purchase. You can do it by breaking down the checkout process into smaller steps with concise instructions, showing checkout flow, and limiting cross-sell and upsell options.
Reduce the time requirement: You have to avoid time-consuming checkout processes to reduce the customers’ bounce rate. This can be achieved by minimizing the amount of information required from the customer and by offering quick and easy payment options such as PayPal or Apple Pay.
Enhance checkout page: A clean and simple design can improve the user experience and reduce confusion, leading to a higher likelihood of completing the purchase. Normally, an effective checkout page should be minimal in both content and design style to deliver as little distraction to customers as possible. Some tips here are using less than 3 main colors on your checkout page, eliminating unnecessary visual elements, and emphasizing the checkout button, etc.
Taking Shop Pay as a case study, the platform powered Shopify merchants with a 70% faster checkout rate compared to the traditional checkout process, which leads to 1.72 times higher conversion rate. To do that, Shop Pay creates a lean checkout experience, including breakdown steps, only essential information, and a minimalist design.
After all, you may want to turn the check-out process on your website into a quick, simple, and easy process for acquiring sales better, and this point is where Zest works well. As a conversion-focused theme, Zest offers a one-click checkout option and streamlined checkout page design, which make it easier for customers to complete their purchases efficiently.
In conclusion, these 7 techniques are actionable steps that can help you increase sales in your Shopify store. Whether you are a business owner or store developer, you can all learn from these strategies to build an effective Shopify store and leverage the eCommerce business to the next level.
So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing these techniques today!
Zest could be an effective solution for your sales-boosting problem, you can learn more about how Zest can power your Shopify business here.
Or just give it a try, you are free to explore the full possibilities of Zest!