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Shopify is undoubtedly one of the top players in e-commerce today. With more than one million merchants on the platform, Shopify made $1.578 billion in total revenue in 2019, a 47 percent increase over 2018.
This is expected to rise to the range of $2.130 billion to $2.160 billion by the end of 2020.
The platform is sophisticated enough to satisfy the needs of experienced retailers and at the same time simple enough for e-commerce beginners to use for quickly launching their online business idea.
However, creating the Shopify store is the easy part. Thanks to the low barrier to entry, there’s plenty of competition to deal with. It’s often difficult to stand out of the crowd and start generating sales.
To properly grow your Shopify store, you need a theme that easily integrates with other marketing tools and directs traffic to the right store points. Download the free Debutify theme to attract customers and keep them on the path to the checkout.
Here are the top five tips to keep in mind on how to grow your Shopify e-commerce store in 2020:
1. Sell More Products
This is a simple but extremely powerful tip on how to grow your Shopify store. You should offer a wider range of products in order to attract a wider range of customers and hence make more sales.
Start with your main product – something unique, solving your own problem, or selling well worldwide. Once you gain traction, start figuring out which complementary products you can offer along with it.
You can get ideas by checking out the top sellers in your category on sites like Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress.
The key thing is to carefully research and test your options to make sure your product range is flexible but with everything you offer staying highly relevant to your brand.
For example, if you start out selling makeup, you can organically add skincare products since they appeal to the same kind of customer. Eventually, you can branch into hair products and fashion accessories such as earrings and necklaces.
This is known as the long-tail strategy and Amazon is the most famous example of how to succeed with it. This e-commerce giant started out in the book's niche but now retails just about everything.
2. Focus On Retaining Your Existing Customers
Studies have found that on average, 65 percent of sales come from previous customers and that improving customer retention by just 5 percent can increase profitability by 75 percent.
This is why it makes sense to spend more time retaining your existing customers than chasing new ones. The more existing customers your Shopify store is losing, the more new customers you have to reel in to cover the gap and maintain your revenue levels.
And yet attracting new customers requires way more hard work than retaining existing ones. Just consider how much more likely you are, even in the brick and mortar world, to buy from a store you have shopped from before than you are to try out a new one.
Consistent communication is one of the most effective ways to improve your retention of customer retention. Send out regular e-mails to keep them engaged such that your Shopify e-commerce store is their mind’s first stop as soon as they think of shopping online.
These emails can be:
- Store alerts such as new product notifications and special sale offers
- Personal messages such as birthday wishes and holiday greetings
- Loyalty offers such as repeat buyer discounts and referral coupons
- Helpful tips such as curated product reviews and advice blog posts
However, communication can’t be a one-way street because customers don’t like to be ignored. You should be very responsive to your customers’ questions and/or complaints via email and social media.
You should also try and go above and beyond in personalizing your packaging for every single customer. A great way to do this is to send unique, funny, sweet or quirky handwritten notes with each order.
A little thoughtfulness goes a long way in e-commerce where face-to-face interaction is impossible.
Read our guide on "How To Grow Your Ecommerce Business Through Customer Retention" to find that which customer retention strategies can work for your store and help to grow your ecommerce business.
3. Create A Compelling Cart Abandonment Email
This is closely related to the previous point because automating emails to shoppers who left your store after filling up a cart is crucial to streamlining your customer retention and sales recovery strategy.
The best part is that it’s an almost entirely hands-off marketing tactic that delivers remarkable results.
Although roughly 60 to 80 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale, nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site.
This is especially true if this reminder email comes with a discount coupon. If the shopper simply got distracted, a cart abandonment email can help build brand loyalty by showing them how much you care about them completing their purchase.
If they are a bargain hunter, the discount coupon (or even free shipping offer) makes completing their purchase much more attractive. There are a few vital elements an abandoned cart email should include the following:
A Clear Call To Action (CTA) That Leads Them Back To Exactly Where They Stopped.
Your call-to-action should be prominent, compelling (for example, “Complete my order” or “Resume shopping”), and contain a direct link to the checkout page so that they can complete the purchase right away.
A Catchy, Compelling Subject Line That Will Stand Out In A Crowded Inbox.
It should include the customer’s name (if you already have it in your records) and a clear hint of the special offer e.g. “Karen, your items are still waiting. Complete your order now and get 10% off!
Great Copy That Gets The Customer Fired Up Again About Their Abandoned Cart.
Your copy should remind them why they liked the items enough to put them in the cart. This is where you also include the discount you have to offer them as well as high-quality images of what they chose.
An Opportunity For Feedback On Why They Abandoned The Sale In The First Place.
This a valuable opportunity to hear from your (potential) customers. This can help you uncover technical issues in your checkout process that you were unaware of or even highlight issues with your pricing.
To establish strong relationships with customers and gather valuable feedback, get a theme that combines well with your email automation tools. Download the free Debutify theme to enable you to send out effective emails in a well-timed manner.
4. Embrace Social Media Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing became one of the most popular forms of marketing in the last half of the last decade and is still going strong in 2020.
The key is to identify influencers who have engaged audiences that represent your target market and share the same values with your brand.
You should also ask about what other brands they have worked with and proof of the results they managed to achieve for them.
Bringing out the best in influencer marketing stratergy requires creativity or else it can come off as tacky and too obvious. This is where interactive content such as quizzes, contests and challenges come in handy.
For example, musicians these days pay influencers to start dance challenges to promote their songs. You should sit down with your influencer of choice to figure out which option best fits your target audience.
5. Sharpen Your Content Marketing With Storytelling
Well-written, SEO-friendly blog posts have been a content marketing must-have for a while now but in 2020, videos and podcasts are very important to have too, in order to supplement text-based content.
Infographics have also become quite popular as they blend both visual and text elements in one format.
Keep in mind that the purpose of content marketing isn’t to explicitly promote your Shopify store, but rather to generate interest in your brand as a problem solver and position it as a thought leader.
High-quality content marketing isn’t just writing about the products you sell. It’s about figuring out how to add value to the customer experience at different stages in their journey.
For example, if you sell swimwear, you could publish an article or produce a video about the best beaches to visit in the world. Whatever format you choose, you should make sure that the content:
- Is relevant to your target audience’s interests such that they are inspired to share it, and;
- Shows how your products can help solve their problems so that they are inspired to buy.
Furthermore, all your content marketing efforts should be infused with the power of storytelling.
Studies have found that consumers seek personal connections with the brands they buy from and that the human brain is a lot more engaged by storytelling than by facts and numbers.
In short, people want to buy from someone they know and trust. In the absence of physical interaction, telling a story is the best way to achieve this in e-commerce.
The StoryBrand brand script is one of the best ways to go about infusing storytelling in all the content for your Shopify ecommerce store. Be it blog posts, vlog posts, explainer videos, podcasts, customer success stories, or informative product descriptions.
You should also prepare a content calendar to ensure consistency because, without it, you will lose your audience. Also, producing fresh content twice or thrice a week has been found to raise search engine ranking.
A well-planned content calendar is a crucial part of an effective email marketing strategy.
6. Optimize Your Shopify Store To Appear Higher In Searches
It goes without saying that when thinking about how to market Shopify store products, SEO is a crucial part of the strategy. This is true for many other kinds of websites too. You might have built some good back-linking with content marketing.
Maybe you even did keyword research with tools like Ahrefs and revisited your site. Change headings, product and category names, page copy, and even adopted a flat site architecture. Just remember, SEO is not a one-time thing.
A customer may search for the most highly rated Shopify store according to TrustPilot. You may then end up lower in the results with these new shades in searches. Make sure that all this data has been added to your sitemap.
The same goes for things like product availability and even standards certifications. These are the extra bits of information that make you wonder how all those sites still beat you to the top page.
It’s a continuous game and you have to keep optimizing with each new product listing. Voice search and visual search are steadily taking off. Make sure you optimize your store for them too. Whether it’s Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc.
You may start out with most of your customers shopping via desktop. But if more and more people start searching for the kind of products you sell via mobile, make sure your store is optimized for that too.
Always take time off to do some little research on new trends and behavior in the way people shop online. Update your SEO efforts so that you don’t get left behind.
7. Partner With Established Brands
As a new and growing site, it can be very helpful to be associated with already successful brands. There are a number of ways you can go about this. One is to look for other websites that are authorities in fields related to the products you sell.
It could be a website that curates lists of the best health supplements for example. Reach out to them and let them know that you have some of the products they talk about listed in your store.
Find out if they can mention you as a place to source those products. Another common option is to look for the manufacturers themselves. If they display a list of authorized/trusted retailers, ask about the requirements to get on that list.
Where necessary, share the performance of their products on your store and any other related reviews from buyers. If you have a unique selling point such as having a physical store in a region they are trying to penetrate, make it known.
It may also be that you have a suitable arrangement with a storage and shipping service provider who can supply your area better than other stores. If you partner with the right brand, your Shopify marketing strategy will benefit from their own marketing efforts too.
You won’t just receive traffic from their store. It will most likely be traffic made up of people who are interested in the product and want to buy.
8. Run A Referral Program
Your Shopify marketing strategy is incomplete without involving the customers themselves. Just like with most physical business, customers are more likely to buy from stores that others recommend.
A referral program is a suitable word-of-mouth equivalent for Shopify online stores. While it can take on many different forms, it’s better to organize and incorporate it into your site.
The starting point is to offer a wonderful customer experience on your Shopify store. People aren’t going to talk about you if they had a horrible time shopping in your store. Unless it’s to complain, which isn’t good for you.
Once you’re sure that the few you’re attracting are satisfied, the next step is to do some more research. This is particularly to find out what customers consider to be a good reward/incentive.
Incentives come in different forms, it could be discounts on future purchases, free gifts, and merchandise or bonus points in a customer loyalty program. The goal is to find the perfect middle-ground between something people want, and something not too expensive.
The third step is to promote it in every way possible. When it comes to getting eyes on it, think beyond your store’s website. A good place to start is to order confirmation emails.
Here, you know that you’re more likely to be dealing with someone who likes you on some level, or at least enough to buy. Get it on your social media pages too. There are a couple of referral tools you can use to analyze your progress.
These include ReferralCandy, TapMango, Ambassador, Referral Rock, and Rocket Referrals. Read more about some of these examples of successful referral programs, and maybe copy a thing or two.
Achieve better management of your referral programs by using a theme that works smoothly with Shopify referral apps. Download the free Debutify theme so that you can run a successful referral program with these apps.
9. Add Social Proof To Your Shopify Marketing Plan
Your Shopify store won’t grow just because people know that it exists. Just think about the number of ads you see. You probably can’t because you forgot most of them in a second.
Once people know that you’re out there, they want to know what others think about you. They also most probably won’t do that work for you. Set up a two-pronged approach to collect reviews, testimonials and get rated both on and off your site
Remember that people saying good things about you isn’t enough either. Some people see this all the time and want more details. They want to know how many people participated in rating you. Whether there were questions involved.
Some shoppers also trust particular sites when it comes to reviews. Set aside a small budget to get more people reviewing your products. This may take the form of free products to review communities.
It may also come in the form of discounts on future purchases for those who have already bought from your Shopify store. Once you rack up lots of reviews, find a way to display them properly across different pages of your website.
A theme like Debutify offers add-ons like Sales Pop that will enable you to place your social proof strategically.
Download the powerful Debutify theme for free and get a visual layout that produces a high converting Shopify store. Follow the above practical tips and you can grow your store to the next level. All in all, it takes hard work and dedication to succeed in e-commerce.
Written by Ricky Hayes
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.
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