You already know how to sell on your Shopify store, and your shop is starting to build traction. But you just know, like deep in your soul, that it could be better.
If that sounds about right, then this article is for you.
There are tons of short-term and long-term strategies to boost sales on your Shopify store, and we’ll look at a bit of both.
But we want to encourage you to think long-term. What we’ll cover in this article are actions you can take to grow brand awareness and build stronger relationships with customers — strategies with long-lasting results that lead to sales.
Here’s what we’ll cover in the post:
- Five vital strategies to help your Shopify store generate sales
- Real-life examples to spark your inspiration
- Final tips to promote your Shopify store
5 Strategies to generate more sales on Shopify
1. Automate Post-Purchase Email Campaigns
Each sale creates multiple opportunities to build a stronger relationship with your customer and encourage future sales.
Create a unique email funnel that gets triggered by a purchase, each with its own purpose.
For instance, you might send a thank you message, then an introduction to your brand, and personalized product recommendations.
Curious which type of email to start first?
Then we suggest a thank you message. One study found that thank you emails had twice the engagement as general marketing emails.
After a purchase, customers will feel a connection to the brand, and it’s the perfect time to turn this fledgling connection into a more solid, long-lasting relationship.
In a thank-you email, include a little about your company, like your mission or brand story, for the subscriber to get to know you.
And consider offering a discount on a future purchase. If you’d like to see some examples of emails covering this, be sure to read up on our post-purchase email examples blog.
As an additional note, make sure to remember your take steps now to ensure your post-purchase email campaigns are personalized. 36% of shoppers believe that retailers ought to offer more personalized shopping experiences.
So start with personalized emails.
Here are three personalized emails you can try for your email list.
Recommend products related to the one they just purchased. Depending on the product, this could be accessories or other items in the same collection. Think of this as adding ways to get more value and/or use out of their purchase.
Show what other people bought who purchased the same thing. Offer recommendations based on individuals who have similar tastes or needs.
Highlight the most popular products in their area or for shoppers like them. This email depends on what data you have to work with and what would be the most relevant.
For instance, if your store sells shoes, you can send customized messages based on what kinds of shoes the shopper has purchased: women’s dress shoes, kid’s shoes, etc. This message is demographic-driven rather than product-driven. Get more actionable tips on what to include in these post-purchase emails.
- Create post-purchase email funnels to drive traffic back to your product pages and maximize each purchase.
- Start with a thank you email to strengthen your relationship with the customer.
- Stay relevant in a customer’s email box by keeping things personal and offering value with each email.
2. Incorporate Automated Remarketing into Your Strategy
Remarketing strategies, like retargeting ads and abandoned cart emails, can significantly increase sales and not necessarily how you think!
One study found that retargeting ads led to a 1046% increase in searches related to a brand. So even people aren’t clicking on the ad to return to the site for a purchase, they’re building up brand recognition which can later lead to more purchases.
Retargeting ads can quickly go from helpful to annoying, so best practices need to be followed, such as a cap on the number of ads a user will see and excluding people who’ve recently made a purchase.
When you add remarketing ads to a social media site like Facebook, you’re also encouraging consumers to follow you in a place where they’re already accustomed to keeping tabs on brands they like. (In this article, we’ll show you five easy retargeting strategies using Sendlane’s Facebook Custom Audience integration.)
- Incorporate remarketing ads and cart abandonment email into your Shopify store strategy. Automated remarketing (ads and cart abandonment emails) can be a short-term or long-term play by encouraging a quick sale and building brand recognition. To learn how to set up retargeting ads for your Shopify store, be sure to see our tutorial here.
- Don’t overdo it when it comes to your remarketing. While you should be retargeting customers who visit your store, don’t throw every ad at them. Instead, keep it personalized and “lightly-seasoned” after they’ve visited a page. Only show them the product of the page they visited or show them the items left in their cart. The same goes for retargeting emails. Have a few ready to do but don’t send ten cart reminder emails. That’s a no-no.
3. Use Social Proof, Reviews, and User-Generated Content Through Out Your Branded Channels
There’s no better way to prove the quality of your products than showing proof of happy, loyal customers. User-generated trust builds brand credibility and trust.
And it increases sales… a lot.
A massive study from Bazaarvoice showed utilizing user-generated content resulted in a 137% lift in conversions and a 157% increase in revenue per visitor.
That sounds great, right?
Get the most out of social proof by using user-generated content throughout your website and your other channels.
Let’s start with your website.
Make sure your users can add pictures and videos to their reviews
Consumers want an engaging shopping experience, such as videos explaining how the product works or the ability to compare products. And your customer’s shopping experience can be significantly better when some of that engagement happens with other shoppers.
Photos and videos show your products in action. And when used in reviews, they tell a visual story that you can’t on your own.
Use customer pictures (also called user-generated content) on social media
Bazaarvoice also found that two-thirds of consumers prefer customer photos over professional shots on social media.
So give your customers a reason to submit them and be a part of your brand! For instance, run a hashtag campaign and give customers a chance to show off their dogs, or style, or pups!
Best of all, these tactics can build community or at least help your customers feel like they’re part of one.
- Add the ability to include photos and videos on reviews
- Give customers a reason to submit photos you can use on your branded channels, such as hashtag campaigns or contests.
- Add user-generated content (UGC)across your site and social media platforms to build trust with customers and encourage community. If you're not sure how to find them, ask people to use a certain hashtag when posting and then utilize marketing tools to automatically find UGC for you to use. For more information on how to get your social media more aligned with your email marketing so they work together to drive sales, be sure to read this blog post.
4. Implement Rewards and Referral Programs
There’s more and more competition out there for eCommerce stores. Shopify alone powers more than 1.7 million businesses.
How do you stand out?
Ideally, you’re looking for ways to do more than just encourage a customer to make a one-time purchase. Long-term growth depends on increasing the lifetime value of each customer.
We’ve already covered some strategies to do just that, like building community through user-generated content.
But the best way to encourage brand loyalty is by offering increased value to those who return again and again.
We’re talking about rewards programs.
Be creative with your loyalty programs
Brands are getting smarter about the value they offer to encourage loyalty. For instance, there’s more you can do than offer a discount after so much money spent on the site. That kind of reward is old news.
What kind of rewards program will work for your store depends on your products. A monthly or annual membership will work great if your average customer is shopping at least once a month.
Alternatively, you can gamify your rewards program, so your customers know what they’re working towards, as Cleancult does in this example below!
Get advice from your VIP shoppers before publicly launching a new program. You can do this by soft-launching your program to only those who have spent the most money over the last six months to a year, bought the most items, or have the highest CLTV.
Invite them to join, see which benefits they’re most drawn to, and get their feedback using a feedback request email.
Even when it comes to rewards, it would be good to incentivize these ones in exchange for their feedback here.
Launch a referral program
You can reward your customers for more than just purchases, such as the timeless referral reward.
Give folks a good reason to tell their friends and family (AKA your potential customers) about your brand by offering something juicy in exchange.
The better the reward, the more likely folks will take the time to send that email or create that Facebook post.
- The right rewards program will depend on your products and customers.
- Offer something of real value in exchange for a referral, like a hefty discount or free stuff.
- Make sure to tag your rewards members so you can segment them correctly. If you’re unsure how to do that, here’s our Ultimate Tagging Guide to help you through.
5. Build Out an Omni-Channel Marketing Plan for the Long Haul
Everything we’ve covered so far can be part of a full-fledged omnichannel marketing strategy. And there’s so much more you can do!
Omni-channel marketing refers to cultivating a seamless brand presence across multiple channels. You want one strong brand image and one smooth user experience across your website, social media platforms, and .email and text campaigns.
A good starting place is a cross-channel brand campaign that delivers the same core message wherever people find you.
Bajio Sunglasses has built its brand around eco-friendly products. And you’ll find that same message across their website, their social media posts and ads, and in their emails.
The stronger your messaging, the more people will remember and relate to your brand.
Next, don’t forget about communication! An omnichannel strategy is all about creating a consistent user experience, and this includes customer support.
To start things off on the right foot, you should set the goal of showing up and being responsive wherever your customers go searching for answers.
This could include messenger apps, website chat, email support, and social media channels where people are most likely to go for support.
Bonus points for including branded messaging in your automated messages or customer service scripts.
These little details seem small, but they make a huge difference in the long run for gaining momentum that leads to trust and, thus, sales.
- Find 3-5 marketing channels you’ll dedicate your time and energy to.
- Create a solid brand message you use across platforms. This will help you nail your voice and tone across every channel you’re on. It seems small, but your brand is a persona, and it should be consistent.
- Get everyone on the same page. Train any customer service reps on company values and brand messaging to provide a consistent experience. Have an easy-to-follow brand messaging guide put together for marketing teams like social media managers, ad managers, and content creators as a resource they can go to when they’re curious about the tone of how to write or relate something.
How to Get Your First Sale on Shopify
If you’re just getting started, we recommend checking out our article outlining five strategies to get your first sales on your new Shopify store. (Don’t worry. You can always come back and add these advanced strategies when you’re ready.)
How to Promote and Drive More Traffic to Your Shopify Store
We covered a lot of ground in this article. As you start to implement more advanced strategies (like creating omnichannel marketing campaigns), we wanted to close this piece with a few final tips on how to increase website traffic that — you guessed it — drive online sales.
Run paid ads to expand your reach
As you’re creating your brand campaigns, expand your reach with paid social media ads. We recommend starting with Instagram stories which tend to be affordable and effective.
According to Hootsuite, 58% of people polled became more interested in a brand or a product after seeing it in a story.
Not too shabby!
Once you’ve mastered Instagram ads, consider testing Pinterest ads as well. (And if you haven’t yet, start by linking your Pinterest and Shopify accounts.
Use all branded channels to push email sign-ups
Encouraging email sign-ups may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re creating Facebook or Instagram posts. But think about it this way: once you’ve got someone’s email, it’s so much easier to stay in touch and create a lasting relationship.
Find influencers to partner with
Influencers are becoming more and more important to promoting brands. Even smaller and younger businesses can utilize this important strategy to increase brand reach and build trust with new customers.
Find influencers in your market and reach out about what their rates are to promote your products. You’d be surprised at how effective a simple shout-out in an Instagram post can be or sponsoring their next YouTube video. We recommend choosing influencers that only work with products they truly stand behind. These are the folks that shoppers pull their faith in and trust their opinions.
Don’t forget that growing a brand takes time, but there are tons of ways to do it. So if any one of these strategies doesn’t seem to be working, just move on to the next! You’ll find what works best for your store and your customers.
Increasing your sales on Shopify: Aim for both long-term and short term gains
Increasing revenue doesn’t happen overnight or by accident. A strategy using an omnichannel marketing approach that utilizes long-term and short-term marketing gains is valuable.
But it also takes planning and a willingness to test things out. With that said, one of the best ways to continually bring in new and return customers is email marketing.