Updated: Apr 25
“I’d need to understand the USP of your products on a ground level as well as the founder journey before you start selling your products.”
The other day, one of my friends approached me to help him with some marketing suggestions for his online business.
As someone who’d been into corporate sales for almost 6 years and fitness, he wanted to use a blend of this experience to sell organic, healthy products like honey, lotus seeds etc.
“How much budget should I put for ads?” was the first question he asked when we began to discuss all the ways he could market his products to which I replied the first line you read.
Because while he was letting his excitement and online selling norms speak for him, I was thinking of how I could break the herd mentality.
It wasn’t his fault after all because we humans tend to have a herd mentality. I myself for example studied engineering because that was trending back then.
The first thing I thought of after launching my dropshipping store on Shopify in 2018 was running ads and this is a mistake many Shopify store owners often make.
But guess what? Running ads to sell products isn’t the only way to grow your Shopify business traffic, customers and sales.
For instance, when I asked my friend why I’d want to understand his products’ USP and his journey as a founder, that’s because the first thing I wanted him to strengthen was content.
I wanted him to sell an experience, a story that will make him stand out from the other healthy product players in the market.
You see, content is just one of the many powerful ways to grow e-commerce sales and I’m going to tell you the top 4 proven Shopify sales growth hacks.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
1. Get Your Website Content Right the First Time
When I say getting content right the first time, I mean optimising your website content as per SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Most of you may already have a fair knowledge of SEO but for the sake of simplicity, let’s consider a scenario.
Say my friend was selling healthy products and wanted to rank for his product, organic honey.
Rank as in when people search for organic honey, he wants to ensure that his product appears amongst top ranking pages on SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
To achieve this, he ensures that he sets up SEO-driven product pages. Here’s how.
With the help of competitor analysis and keyword research tools, he finds the right keywords related to his products such as best organic honey, pure honey, natural honey etc.
Then he writes the content for the page by updating the product page title, meta description, image alt tags, product description etc, covering all related keywords.
Post this, he also makes sure that his content is informative and focuses on unique features such as why it's natural and healthy.
Next, he goes ahead to focus on content marketing by creating pieces of content based on his organic honey such as how they extract it and distribute it on various channels.
He even optimises his website structure in such a way that products are tagged as per relevant keywords
While these SEO practices are basic, they are effective in ways to increase organic traffic and sales and Heating Style is proof.
Heating Style 350% Increase in Organic Sales in 7 Months
As a UK-based Shopify brand that sells high-end radiators, heating elements and towel rails, Heating Style achieved a 500% increase in organic traffic and 3x ROI by fixing their website SEO.
As a brand that was too reliant on paid marketing and wanted to scale, they turned to focus on their SEO efforts and the results turned out to be amazing.
What did they do?
Updated title tags of collection and category pages for the target keywords
Helped search engines understand which pages they wanted to rank for by adding canonical code for duplicate content
Focussed on long tail keywords like space-saving radiators
Added heating industry FAQs to the Heating Style blog
2. Automate End-to-End Ecommerce Emails
Let’s face it. Just optimising your website right away, adding content beauty and listing your cool products isn’t enough.
If people could just buy products all by themselves, we’d be living in a superficial world, wouldn’t we?
This calls for ensuring that you nurture your website, visitors, till they become your repeat customers and email marketing automation plays an important role in that.
To understand this, how about we go back to my friend’s Shopify store and explore all the user journeys, triggers or stages he could send emails at?
A Simple Hello Makes a Difference
Say his SEO for organic honey works and a person signs up on his website. As soon as a user subscribes, they receive a welcome email and here’s where the founder story comes in.
Remember I’d asked him to share the founder's story? This was not only for his website’s ‘Our Story’ section but also to add a personal touch to welcome emails.
He could also add a CTA button asking users to explore his products, blog etc.
It’s fantastic how so much can be promoted as part of welcome emails as they generate 320% more sales compared to other marketing communications.
Vitrazza, a Shopify brand that sells glass office chair mats saw a 51% open rate and 10% order rate with AOV being $360 by offering a 15% discount in their welcome email.
Abandon Self-Criticism, Not Carts
Now let’s assume that one of the users receives a welcome email, visits his organic honey product page, adds it to the cart and bam!
The user gets a phone call and forgets to complete his purchase. Or maybe the product price or some other factor like trust doesn’t work for the user.
70% of users abandon their carts as per studies and cart abandonment emails can help.
With a cart abandonment email, my friend can have a personalised email sent sometime after a user abandons their cart, specifying benefits, positive reviews, limited-time discounts etc.
Boot Barns for instance ran a cart abandonment email campaign consisting of 3 emails scheduled to be sent after 20 minutes, 23 hours and 1 week after the abandoned cart.
In the last email, they created a FOMO effect along with offering free shipping which got them close to a 30% email open rate and a 12% increase in revenue through the campaign.
That Purchase Is Way More Worthy
Post-sales emails are only the beginning. There are so many ways you can leverage them such as upselling relevant products, promoting your referral and loyalty programs, asking for reviews and feedback etc.
So say a user finally purchases organic honey from my friends’ Shopify store.
In this case, my friend can ask them to refer a friend, try a relevant product like natural tea leaves, leave a review, follow on social media etc.
Since post-purchase emails have 17% higher open rates than average email automation, it’s a great way to promote other business goals.
Here’s how Maude, a sexual wellness Shopify brand promotes their referral program post-purchase.
3. Get Social on Instagram
Over 2 million businesses connect with people on Instagram and it is the best channel to build your social presence, especially as a brand that’s starting up.
For example, my friend could post everything about his organic products such as customer reviews, reels on how he sources them, share videos by fitness influencers promoting his products etc.
In addition, he could also turn his brand’s Instagram account into a shop where visitors can browse products and visit websites to purchase them.
This can be easily done by
Adding inventory to Facebook
Tagging those products on Instagram once the Shopping toggle is enabled in 2 weeks
Speaking of Instagram shop success, Natori is a designer lingerie and clothing brand that
Added 61 posts with tagged products on Instagram
Saw a 1,416% increase in website traffic WoW
Got a 100% increase in revenue from Instagram WoW
4. Build a Referral Program for Shopify
Referrals are the best ways to increase brand trust and acquire customers for eCommerce and I’m speaking from my personal experience.
Aadhi for example from team Flyy is very fond of buying from small businesses on Instagram.
Once we saw that she was wearing this beautiful earring and when we asked where she got it from, she told us all about how she came across A Little Extra, a quirky jewellery brand.
And that’s how word of mouth works for eCommerce!
But then, how does one scale it and turn it into a sales engine? By setting up a refer and earn program for their Shopify business where they reward existing customers for referrals.
So if A Little Extra had a referral program, Aadhi wouldn’t have waited for us to ask her where she got her earrings from.
She’d be motivated to tell us all about it and use her referral link to purchase it because in this case, she’d be getting rewarded and that’s the power of eCommerce referral programs.
The referral program for Shopify businesses is one the most economical and best ways to acquire new and quality customers and boost sales and ROI.
Pura Vida Bracelets, a Shopify store that sells handmade bracelets and accessories ran a referral program and drove 12% of total sales revenue from referrals.
The best part is that they focussed on two-way rewards where the advocate (referrer) gets $10 off on future purchases and the friend (referee) got 50% off on the first purchase.
What a lovely combination of dual referral rewards, right?
Keep an Open Mind for Shopify Marketing
When it comes to marketing your products, it’s only natural to feel tangled among various marketing channel threads.
But don’t forget that paid marketing is only a part of the various ways you could grow your Shopify business. Of course, I’m not saying that ditch paid marketing.
What I’m saying is that instead of relying on a handful of channels where cost is high and conversion likelihood is low, switch to combined marketing channels.
Yes, ensure that you use all the above ways too to promote your Shopify business.
PS - If you need help setting up a refer and earn program, leave all the hassle of rewards, layouts and payouts to Flyy’s referral app for Shopify.