Hammering together a storefront and throwing up a few products isn’t going to win you the internet acclaim you’re looking for with your Shopify store – but you already know that. What many people don’t know is that even the most carefully tailored, thoughtfully themed, socially promoted shop may fall flat if you don’t take the right steps.
Now, it’s true that statistics show cart abandonment is a normal part of the shopping process. The average cart abandonment rate is higher than 70 percent, studies show, with almost 59 percent of those because the person simply wasn’t ready to buy. You can’t control that.
However, if you dig deeper into the factors you can control, you’ll find some interesting information. For instance, according to the same source, 48 percent of people didn’t like the extra costs (shipping, taxes, and fees) while 24 percent of people dropped off because they had to create an account. Complicated checkout processes, mistrust of the site, and limited payment methods also made the list.
Optimization matters too, says Hubspot: “47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Even a one-second delay (or three seconds of waiting) decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.”
These realities are harsh. Making them even more harsh is the fact that many people don’t know how to fix them, or even that these factors are working against store owners in the first place.
The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself from site bounce and cart abandonment, and therefore increase your sales significantly. It is critical to learn how to improve your Shopify store, and the earlier the better. By optimizing your product pages, investing in proven marketing techniques, and using the right social media approach, you can stop missing out on sales and start bringing the right people to your door.
If you want to see more ecommerce sales today, we’ve got eight handy tips to help you do just that. Read on!
Considering what a penchant the world has for online shopping, it can feel puzzling when you don’t succeed in the internet sphere. You have a great product, you ship quickly, you package nicely … and so on. Why aren’t you doing better?
The truth is, most online businesses fail, and that includes Shopify stores.
“Up to 90% of e-commerce start-up businesses fail,” says Zippia. Most of the time, it happens within the first 120 days of starting up. “This is because online businesses can’t expect to make a profit within their first few months of inception. During this time, businesses need to prioritize marketing and improve SEO so potential customers are able to find their website.”
Yet many online store owners don’t know to expect this. If you believed in the oft-repeated adage If you build it, they will come, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy and they will not come just because you build it. You have to put in the work to learn how to improve your Shopify store, day by day, week by week, month by month.
There are steps you can take to increase your sales quickly, of course, such as improving your user experience and allowing shoppers to customize your offerings right on the product page. Those aren’t the only ways to improve your Shopify store to increase sales, though.
Today, let’s take a look at eight of the most powerful ways to drive traffic, boost engagement, cut down on cart abandonment, and make the most of your available resources on a budget.
Although media outlets and successful entrepreneurs would have you believe that it’s possible to launch a thriving business and start pulling in profits overnight, that’s unlikely to be the case. But not all is lost.
For strong, steady growth results, we recommend implementing each of the following strategies one at a time. As you master each strategy, take on the next, until eventually all of these techniques will feel like second nature to you.
Optimizing for the dual challenges of a great user experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO) is no small feat for an ecommerce business. You need high-quality product pages that tell search engines how valuable your products are so that it will drive organic traffic to your site via web searches.
Once they arrive, you need to keep potential customers there with product pages that make them want to stay and play a while. Let’s break this down.
If you want customers to hang out in your store, you need a few things. First, a clear path to your products, so that your shoppers don’t have to hunt around to find what they’re looking for. Second, a high page speed, so that the customer experience isn’t hampered by a ponderous load time (including on mobile devices!). And third, customizable products.
This last is very important in the matter of how to improve your Shopify store. Not only do customizable products tell people you’re there to help them get exactly what they need, but they also give customers something to do on your site. This in turn is important, because the longer you keep them there, the likelier they are to engage with you in the future and buy.
It also tells Google “Hey! People really like this site and it matches those keywords well! Keep serving this up.” In other words, the more you optimize user experience, the better your SEO. The better your SEO, the more people will come to your page and discover a great user experience.
Rinse. Repeat. Cha-ching.
Leveraging email marketing campaigns makes it easier to target specific buyers, reduce abandoned carts, engage people in the checkout process through coupons, and drive sales.
While many people are afraid of email, it’s nothing more than a form of content marketing. Give people the option to sign up for your email list through pop-up notifications or SMS messages, if they’ve signed up for that. Make your emails newsy and to the point. Put your discount codes and offers front and center, and use a clear CTA to maximize conversion rate.
If your emails match your Shopify theme, so much the better for your branding!
The best bet is to create a few templates. Start with one you can email to customers right after a purchase, one when you haven’t heard from them in a while and want to motivate a new purchase, and one when they abandon a cart. As you grow your email campaigns, add in nurturing segments for new customers, or shoppers who haven’t made a purchase in a while. Create win-back campaigns. And customize each email segment with the look, feel, and voice that matches its target audience.
Improving a Shopify site’s navigation helps your buyers find relevant products, resulting in increased sales. Think about why you love Amazon: it’s a known quantity, easy to use, with flawless navigation. You don’t want to be Amazon, of course, but you want your shoppers to feel like it’s that easy.
Think about when you visit a homepage and can’t figure out how to get to the products, or when you hit a landing page but don’t see how to get to the main store. Don’t let that be you, because it sends shoppers away and hurts your rankings.
Instead, use clear website navigation, often found at the top of a webpage on desktop. Limit your product listings to the core product only by using customization to combine multiple options – think color, size, material, font, images, and so on. This allows customers to easily navigate between a few distinct products, while still being able to customize each one to match their desired final look and feel.
Not all online shopping and purchasing decisions are created alike, so you have to know exactly who you’re selling to. Using audience personas can help you do this.
If your target customer is a certain gender or age range; has certain hobbies; or brings in a certain household income, note this down. Develop an outline of your ideal customer, and note the tone of voice that your brand should use when speaking to them. This will help make sure that each element within your overall marketing strategy stays on point, and that each ad campaign hits the mark every time.
Sell multiple types of products, suited to different audiences? Create multiple personas to match.
A cross-selling strategy helps encourage customers to buy related products on your Shopify store. Let’s say the customer puts a cotton scarf in their cart. You could then point them toward a matching pair of gloves they could add to their purchase, so they have two things in their cart.
This is distinct from an upsell strategy, in which you try to convince a shopper to buy an upgraded version of the same product. In this case, you might use a dropdown box to allow users to select the scarf material. Cotton may be the top-listed choice at no additional cost, but wool may be available for an additional $6. The customer selects the wool option and places the scarf in their online cart. They still only have one item in their cart, but it’s more expensive than the original (cotton) product.
Loyalty programs and personalized discounts help increase customer retention and improve sales in your ecommerce store. Offering referral incentives can help encourage customer loyalty, whether that happens right in the shopping cart or over email later.
Need ideas for where to start? Consider any of the following:
Tracking and monitoring your Shopify site’s analytics gives you insight into customer behavior so you can optimize your marketing efforts, and it’s a major component in how to improve your Shopify store.
Gather metrics on the functionality of your site through A/B testing, where you compare two options and see which works best. Determine which listings are most popular, and make note of what the better-performing listings give shoppers that the others don’t. Put this data to work improving your other product pages stat.
Social media increases the organic reach of a Shopify store and helps attract new customers. In addition to their marketing power, social media platforms can help you create a more trustworthy brand.
Cultivate an intentional social media presence by posting alluring product images, short videos or reels showing your product in use, and behind-the-scenes posts. Log every positive customer review, as testimonials are a powerful form of social proof that can help your business succeed. Use your platforms to answer common questions associated with your product or service, and engage in conversations across a series of forums. This is how you become known, respected, and trusted on social media.
When learning how to improve your Shopify store, product customization is truly one of the easiest elements to add with the highest return value. It takes your store to the next level, improves your UX, and increases conversions site-wide.
Note that the benefits of product customization extend beyond individual product pages. Google is looking for e-commerce platforms that are simple, clearly defined in navigation, and on which people want to spend time. If your site accomplishes these tasks, then search engines will regard it as trustworthy and relevant, and will show your site more frequently in organic user search.
As such, customization is a virtuous cycle that makes people more likely both to get there and stay there. Here’s how to win at product optimization.
Anyone who’s ever loved a particular sweater will know the feeling of wishing they could see it in another color. With a color swatch app, customers don’t have to wonder … they can see exactly what hues a product is available in, right there on the page. This both makes the product more appealing to them and saves you from putting up separate listings for each color.
Maybe your shoppers have product images or logos that they’d like to have printed, engraved, stitched, or otherwise, directly on your products. Offer file uploads so that they can add the exact file right at the time of purchase, thus increasing the chances of conversion.
Fonts have incredible power to invoke a mood, so giving your customers the option of a custom font is a major win. When you work with Google fonts through a font picker app, your customers get an incredible range of options with which to play.
Inserting a dropdown menu can help customers easily select between multiple product options. Radio buttons and checkboxes offer additional options. The former allows the customer to choose one option from a list, while the latter lets them choose as many options as apply to them. All three functionalities work together seamlessly to create in-depth customization.
Learning how to improve your Shopify store means learning how to pass on charges to a customer when you have to pay more for a material. Per-option upcharging can also help you upsell products while making the maximum profit.
Our advice is to go through your site and implement these options on all your existing listings. Then, when you upload new products, just use the old ones as a template to preserve the same structure. Do so and you’ll increase both brand awareness and Shopify sales!
Now that you know how to improve your Shopify store, it’s time to put these new skills into action. Improve your UX and SEO, market to the right people, experiment with what works, use social proof, and – above all – make sure your Shopify product products are easy to use, with products are effortlessly customizable. Taken together, these tips can do wonders to increase sales and improve your Shopify store.
If there’s one thing you take away with you today, though, it’s that offering customization for your products is the best way to optimize your product pages for conversions. Not only does it help people get the most out of your products – decreasing cart abandonment and increasing your chances of successfully upselling and cross-selling – it turns them into loyal shoppers.
Moreover, it tells search engines that you have something great to offer people, so it will send an increasingly robust stream of traffic your way.
If you’re looking to easily update your pages with customized content, Product Options and Customizer is the Shopify app you’re looking for. It allows you to swatch colors, change font styles, and use checkboxes for even greater choice. It also enables people to upload their own files, giving them the ultimate in flexibility.
Ready to learn more about how Product Options and Customizer can work for you? Start your free trial today!