10 Steps to Shopify Growth
You have made the bold step to create your own online store using Shopify, but how do you get people to your store and encourage them to buy from you? In this post, we share with you our top 10 tips for growing your Shopify Store.
- Add Social Proof
- Build Reviews
- Build an Email List
- Update your products
- Set up referral programme
- Partner with Influencers
- Run Competitions
- Communicate with previous Customers
- Paid Advertising
- Create unique engaging Content
Let’s imagine you have just launched your online Shopify store and you are waiting for the first sale to come pinging from the App. You might be waiting for a while if you haven’t put any consideration into why people will buy from you and how they will find you. The expression, “Build it and they will come” doesn’t hold much traction in eCommerce unless you are very well known to start with.
Your customers will still want to know more about you and your products, trust you and know you are reliable. You can do this by creating communications strategies to talk to your customers and build reviews from happy customers. Luckily Shopify lets you do most of this from within the platform and if it doesn’t then there is an app for each one.
Add Social Proof to Your Shopify Store
Your branding may be snappy and your advertising stimulating but does it give a potential customer that warm fuzzy feeling of being able to trust you? Social Networks and Reviews are the quickest way to build this trust and create what is known in marketing parlance as Social Proof.
As soon as you get your first customers, you need to ask them for reviews and get them talking on social media about your brand. Happy customers are the most powerful asset any company can have, now you own a Shopify store you need to be able to use them as quickly as possible.
Add your own social channels to your store in the header and footer sections so they are easy to find. You can also add visual feeds to your homepage which display the latest Instagram posts from your channel. Don’t forget to share your reviews whenever you can on Facebook, Insta and any other channels you can think of. Potential customers will search for this information and take it on board when deciding to buy from you or not.
Shopify has a lot of review options you can use. There are a number of very good plug ins that help you to collect and share them. Some of the more obvious candidates are well know but should be avoided because of the cost involved and their behaviour towards you. These include:
Feefo and TrustPilot
Both of these will collect reviews without your knowledge and then use them to sell their services to you. To be frank, their selling service is quite forceful.
Top 5 review apps for Shopify:
It is important to be able to control your reviews and answer them as quickly as possible. A few bad reviews can make a big impact on your sales, so treat them carefully, but above all never take it personally.
The problem with reviews is that you may get some from customers that haven’t even purchased anything and it can be time consuming to get these removed. Luckily most of the apps we suggest above will require proof of purchase.
We recommend Loox reviews and use it on our own shops. You can set up automation, so that customers will receive a discount offer for adding a photograph. This adds a lot of weight to the review and people really do love sharing their proud purchases. There are also a lot of SEO benefits to reviews, especially with Google, it has to be seen as a positive sign.
Build an email marketing list
You are starting from scratch, but there is no reason not to start building your email list. Email is still one of the most powerful marketing tools, even more so than Social Media a lot of the time. Imagine being able to send out an email and guarantee xx sales off the back of it. You can read more about building an email marketing list in out previous blog here…
You can build your email list using pop ups when visitors land on your website, you can also collect their information at events and on social media. One of the fastest ways to build an email list is to run a competition, in exchange for email addresses you offer the chance to win a prize.
When building an email list, you need to be aware of GDPR and ensure you stay within the rules or you could get a fine. Use an email app where possible to ensure that customers have ticked the subscribe button or better, yet a double opt in method to ensure you have their permission.
Top 5 email marketing apps for Shopify:
Update your products
Hopefully you have some unique products to sell. If not you may have downloaded a product feed from a manufacturer or other shop. Whilst an easy solution, this doesn’t mean your products will be found on Google, especially if the product description and images are all the same.
Our customer is looking something unique, not just the run of the mill products. They may also want to know everything about that product. Make sure your store stands out from the rest, by ensuring that your product descriptions are unique and above all useful.
When we think about how to make a product stand out, we often think what would be the most useful thing a customer needs to know. We then work out how to create some content around that subject. This may be in the format of a video. How to clean the product video example. We use this with our dog beds and it works a treat.
Not only will you keep your customers happy, you will also be having a positive effect on your SEO.
Set up a referral scheme
As we have discussed earlier in this blog, a happy customer is the most powerful tool you can have as a business owner. The obvious next step once you have a happy customer is asking them to refer you to their friends. Some loyal people will do this for free, but what about giving them a bit of an incentive to tell their friends.
Luckily Shopify comes with a lot of tools to help you reward referrals. You can use the in built discount app and create codes for your customers to share. You can also share these codes using your email network and on social media.
On the app front, there are new apps being developed all the time, because this is such an important part of marketing to online store users. We have used a few of these apps and have had success with:
Referal Apps for Shopify
Partner with Influencers
If you have watched Love Island you will know what an influencer is. It is someone who promotes your products and services to their audience. Normally an influencer will have thousands if not millions of followers and be able to guarantee a return on investment for product placement.
Beware of false promises though, there are a of people who think they are influencers and before you part with your cash you should ask them to prove themselves first. Shopify has a couple of apps geared towards finding the right influencer for your brand so it might be worth checking this out.
You can of course try it yourself if you have any personal contacts. Influencers can also be attracted by signing up to Affiliate marketing schemes, these will be much more reliable because you only pay for when a sale is converted. As opposed to paying for a load of traffic that doesn’t do anything.
Competitions are a sure-fire way to boost your growth in a number of ways. You may want to increase the number of social media followers, grow your email list or just reward your followers.
In the first instance be clear about your goals and work out how to achieve them. You can also go out and search for partner companies to double the size of your competitions reach. Organising a competition is easy and can be as simple as offering a prize for likes and shares. You should also ask entries to share your post with their friends which increases the reach. You can then select a winner manually when the time is up.
If you are in the mood for something a little more structured you could go down the app route and use something that has been built with competitions in mind. At the start of your business journey this may be a little expensive but when the competition gets bigger it may be useful to manage all the contacts.
Communicate with your Customers
This may sound like a no brainer, but a lot of companies do not do this simplest of marketing outreach techniques. Following on from the build your email list above, we suggest using these apps to keep in touch with your customers and subscribers. You can send them news on the latest products, discount codes, company news and more.
Once you have built a decent sized list you can begin to segment it and target according to the goals you set. You may want to reward repeat customers, so send a special discount only to people who have brought more then 1 purchase from you. Options to segment your audience are available with most email marketing systems listed above.
In order to get things moving quickly and not have to rely on SEO which is a long game you should consider paid advertising. This could be on a number of platforms including Google, Facebook, Insta, Pinterest and YouTube. In the first instance work out a sensible budget of money you can afford to lose if no results came in. You need this while your advertising takes hold. The majority of platforms are automated and will take a week or two to start working the way you want.
Unless you have amazing influencers or a huge following, paid advertising may be the only way to get cracking with online sales. As long as you are careful or ask an expert. Always be wary, experts are not always what they seem. As per our advice about finding word of mouth referrers for your business, find someone you know and trust who recommends an agency to help you and has success to boast about.
Paid advertising is an easy way to lose money, but it also a good way to make money and done right can guarantee a certain amount of sales for a set amount of money.
Create Unique Engaging Content
Content is King, as the saying goes. It still stands the test of time, that without content you can expect your store to dive. Not just any content mind. You have to try and create content that resonates with the correct audience and pushes them towards making a sale.
Content is a big part of the SEO game and how to ensure your website gets found in Google and Bing among other places. This blog for instance is a piece of content, created to resonate and help business owners who are starting out on their Shopify journey.
What you have to ensure is that the content you create is in the right format. This could mean how to video guides, infographics explaining some stats or just plain old text. Put in some searches on Google around the terms you think people use to search for your products. Make a note of what comes up in the results, not just the title but the format. Is it a video, image or copy?
This content can then be used on your website as part of you blog, in product descriptions or as social media posts. Never forget that content can be reused and can be shared over and over again. You may also want guests to help create your content. Guest blogging is a great way to build influence and share your story to a wider audience. Find some reliable partners that are not competitors and share ideas for content.
Don;t forget we can help you to achieve your goals by sharing our own experience with everything mentioned above. Get in touch to find out more.