How to Get Sales on Shopify & Boost Your Conversion Rates Quickly

October 21, 2021
Sean Flannigan

How to Get Sales on Shopify & Boost Your Conversion Rates Quickly

October 21, 2021
Sean Flannigan
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Creating a Shopify store is only the first step to building a successful ecommerce business. 

The challenge lies in really getting it off the ground—developing a stellar product line, finding the right apps to support your work, and driving traffic to your brand new thing.

For many small businesses, the biggest reason for failing to hit their goals is that they step out of line with their strategy. Or, they never developed a strategy to begin with.

The top Shopify stores out there have many things in common—the apps they use, the quality of their designs, their dedication to the customer experience—but the main thing they all do is focus on a winning strategy and execute it.

The ecommerce market is only getting more crowded and competitive, so new stores have to utilize the best strategies to stand out and grow. 

Ecommerce revenue is predicted to grow to $5.4 trillion USD by 2022. The only question is, how do you get some of that? 

In this post, we’ll dig into how you can get some Shopify sales for your store. But first, let’s talk about why your store might not be turning traffic into sales.

Why you have traffic but no sales in your Shopify store

Some existing stores may be attracting traffic just fine but the sales aren’t forthcoming. 

In that case, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your shoppers. You’ve gotten people to hang out in your store, but they aren’t feeling it. Why is that?

Here are a few reasons why your traffic isn’t converting:

  • Lack of trust. Shoppers have become smart about avoiding scams, so they look for reasons to trust the brands they shop with. Create trust by showcasing your customer reviews and other social proof as well as by making your dedication to their security clear.
  • Poor navigation. You want to make it as easy as possible for your shoppers to find exactly what they are looking for, so your navigation must be on point. Add your Shopify collections in your navigation menu and throughout your homepage to get them to the product they want faster.
  • Not mobile-friendly. Increasingly, people are using their mobile devices to shop and buy. Don’t miss out on that valuable traffic by not optimizing your store pages for the mobile experience.
  • Product descriptions. The reason they are shopping is the products, so if you haven’t put in the work to describe them fully and evocatively, they have no reason to stick around. 
  • Low-quality images. Your images, just like your descriptions, are the final piece of product marketing for the amazing wares you want to sell. Ensure you have high-quality images that follow the best practices so that your shoppers can really get a feel for what you sell.
  • Store design. If your store looks just like everyone else’s, it’ll just get forgotten. Or worse, it looks worse. You want to create custom store pages that are super on-brand so that nobody forgets who you are. Make it look good and make it look like you.
  • Wrong audience. You could be attracting the wrong crowd. Whether it’s because your SEO is misleading searchers or your paid ad strategy is going after the wrong demographics, you need to fix it so that the right shoppers can find and buy your product.
  • Wrong messaging. If you are sending all your traffic to your homepage, you could be doing yourself a disservice. Knowing your different audiences is a gift because it means you can send them to landing pages with more specific messaging that will ensure conversions.

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Send the right message to the right audience with custom landing pages<cta-title>Start building for free with Shogun Page Builder to create truly custom landing pages that really convert.Get started now

Tips for increasing sales and conversions in your Shopify store

Whether you are an existing brand hoping to scale your Shopify store or new to the ecommerce game, building a powerful strategy for increasing sales on Shopify is required.

If you are like Kevin Costner, you may have heard a disembodied voice whispering, “If you build it, they will come.” 

But, this isn’t Field of Dreams and you aren’t building a baseball diamond. 

When building a Shopify store, you’ll have to do a bit more than just waiting for your customers to come through.

Here are 15 proven strategies for driving traffic to your store and converting that into revenue.

1. Get customer opt-ins to nurture future sales

For the traffic you already have, you want to pull as much value from it as possible. 

You can’t count on all that traffic turning into sales. And, that’s OK. 

But you can give those visitors the opportunity to convert in various other ways and it will only cost them their contact info. Once you have their email address and/or phone number, you can start marketing to them to drive future sales.

These opt-in forms come in all shapes and sizes—popups, flyouts, chat windows, and on-page fields. Offering downloadables and discounts, these tools are powerful tools for driving conversions.

On average, popups have a conversion rate of about 3.1% and the highest performing ones have a conversion rate of 9.28%. Not too shabby!

rebecca minkoff popup discount
Rebecca Minkoff presents a popup for 15% off on a collection page

That said, you need to be careful what pages you add popups to. 

When there is obvious intent to purchase—say like on the checkout page—you are only hurting your sales potential. Don’t ruin the buying experience.

You can include opt-ins on your homepage, product pages, About Us page, collection pages, the blog, and other educational pages.

#cta-paragraph-pb#To create a powerful and repeatable strategy for optimizing for conversions, check out our roundup of the best conversion optimization apps on Shopify

2. Develop email marketing campaigns that convert

With your lead capture strategy in place, you can start creating email marketing campaigns that keep your brand on their minds and drive new sales. 

For every dollar spent on email marketing in ecommerce, the return on investment is $45. Spending a buck and getting a 45x return is really a no-brainer, so don’t skimp on your email marketing efforts!

To utilize that email list effectively, you’ll want to develop a strategy that relies on segmentation and drip email sequences. Start your strategy with these buckets:

  • Audience: first-time users, regular customers, browse abandonment users, cart abandonment users, etc.
  • Email workflows: transactional (like order and shipping confirmations), promotional (big sales and special offers), and lifecycle marketing emails (cart abandonment, re-engagement, welcome series)

Segmentation allows you to speak more directly to customers with different needs to increase the likelihood of conversion. 

Email drip campaigns you can develop for your Shopify store include:

nomad abandoned cart email
Nomad does a great job of following up here; Image: Really Good Emails

Just don’t send too many emails, as you will quickly find your emails in their spam folders. If you use the right email marketing tool, you can set rules to ensure you aren’t bugging people.

#cta-paragraph-pb#To find a truly great email marketing service for your store, check out our guide to the best Shopify apps for email and SMS marketing.

3. Utilize SMS and push notifications for better engagement

Becoming just as important as email marketing these days is SMS marketing. You can send marketing messages straight to the pockets and purses of your customers.

With proper opt-in, shoppers are more than happy to receive special offers via text and may even prefer SMS to other communication methods.

Where the average open rate for email marketing is 18% across all industries, SMS open rates can be as high as 98%. And, those messages are, on average, opened within the first 90 seconds of receiving. 

You can also go the anonymous route with web push notifications, which gets browser opt-in and gives users important nudges right where they shop without having to use customer information.

#cta-paragraph-pb#You can start using push notifications with the help of an app like PushOwl and our friends at PostScript can cover your SMS marketing needs.

4. Invest in your social media marketing strategy

A great ecommerce marketing strategy wouldn’t be complete without a strong social media game. 

A major takeaway from some of the top Shopify stores we’ve studied is that social media has been essential to their success. 

For ecommerce brands, Instagram has proven a powerful marketing tool with its focus on images and the ability to tag products for easy shoppability. In 2020, its global user base ballooned to over a billion, and it’s only growing. 

pangaia instagram account
PANGAIA has a lively and super popular Instagram account

While Facebook isn’t as visual a medium, many brands find great success there as well interacting with busy Facebook Groups to drive interest in their brands.

Pinterest is another shoppable visual platform where shoppers congregate to find great new products (like yours) and develop relationships with brands.

With consistent posting, you can start building followers and with it new traffic and brand awareness. You’ve already warmed these leads with great content, so when they land on your store, they are more ready to purchase.

#cta-paragraph-pb#To help you in your social media marketing efforts, you can enlist the help of Shopify tools that enable you to post more efficiently, pull your social feeds onto store pages, and offer live chat through social messaging. 

5. Build organic traffic with great SEO

Free traffic is the dream. With search engine optimization, that dream is a reality. You just need to put in the initial effort to make your store SEO-friendly to reap the benefits.

Shopify has great built-in settings to create SEO-friendly pages, giving you updatable meta fields (title, description, URL slug), automatically generating sitemaps, 301 redirects, and canonical URLs.

This all ensures that your homepage, product pages, collections pages, and more are indexed and findable on the biggest search engines. 

Where it comes up short, there are powerful Shopify apps that can pick up the slack, calling out issues as they arise and making suggestions for updates.

Outside of the traditional ecommerce store pages, you can also build out a content marketing strategy by creating a blog and targeting the most relevant keywords in your industry.

Blog posts are more likely to rank well on Google and you can directly answer the questions your ideal customers are asking on that massive search engine.

#cta-mini-pb#Build SEO-friendly Shopify store pages with Shogun Page Builder. Get started for free

6. Target your ideal customers with paid advertising

The last step to gathering that all-important store traffic is to create paid advertising campaigns that are capable of targeting just the right people.

You can do your best to take the top organic spots in Google, but it remains that paid ads always top the search results. Luckily, you can get up there too with paid search ads and Google Shopping ads (to show off particular products). 

Bid for search keywords you want to show up for and just pay for the clicks you get.

For some brands, they have more success with paid social ads on platforms like Instagram and Facebook (both manageable through the Facebook ad dashboard). 

Instead of targeting keywords, you target particular audiences on those social media platforms. With their overwhelming repository of personal information (likes, locations, brand associations, politics, etc), they can show your ads to the people most likely to purchase your products.

You can continue to tweak your ad copy, visuals, and targeting as you go to get it just right. As long as you are making more than you are spending, it’s a good way to drive traffic.

#cta-paragraph-pb#If you need a little help with your paid advertising strategy, there are Shopify apps that do just that.

7. Create dedicated and high-converting landing pages

OK, you’ve established a solid strategy for getting traffic to your Shopify store. 

By way of SEO, email and SMS marketing, push notifications, and paid ads, your store now has a ton of curious shoppers milling around. Amazing!

Now, you could just do nothing and let them all figure it out from your homepage. That’s fine and you will certainly get a fair number of purchases that way.

But, given that you’ve already got multiple unique sources of traffic (and at least some that is well-segmented), you can build landing pages designed for conversion

Paid traffic is a great example. You know exactly who the audience is that would click on your link. So, would you choose to send them to your homepage or would you rather send them to a page specifically designed to sell to them?

That’s a landing page

A great landing page has a few features that make it successful:

  • An engaging headline
  • A compelling call to action (CTA)
  • Powerful images and design
  • Clear features and benefits
  • Social proof

Create an amazing landing page, then replicate it for your unique audiences. To get inspired, you can check out our roundup of the best ecommerce landing pages, as well as our Shopify Landing Page Showcase.

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Start building high-converting landing pages today<cta-title>Shogun Page Builder allows you to create stunning landing pages in no time, without messing with code.Get started now

8. Optimize your marketing with A/B testing

Once you have your first landing page in place, you might be thinking of the parallel world where you had a different headline and wondering how much better it would do.

We don’t need to bother with the multiverse to see whether slight tweaks would make a difference in conversion. Instead, you can start A/B testing your pages and choosing the winningest version every time.

You can do A/B testing on your Shopify store with external tools, such as Google Optimize, a free tool that actually draws over your site with a new version. 

Alternatively, you can use the built-in A/B testing functionality on Shogun Page Builder for any Shopify landing pages you build. 

With Page Builder, you will be able to test changes in a multitude of page elements to see what works best, then save the winning templates for use on other campaigns.

#cta-mini-pb#Start A/B testing today to create the best possible Shopify landing page. Start for free now.

9. Showcase your products with powerful text, images, and video

Your products are the most important thing in your Shopify store.

So, it’s obvious that you want to do as much as you can to highlight what’s so great about them. Beyond that, even as shoppers are flocking online to do business, it doesn’t mean they don’t miss the in-store experience.

In lieu of being able to turn products over in their hands and inspect the particularities of your wares in person, you need to create a product page experience that does as much as it can to get close to that.

That means taking incredible photos from various angles that show the smallest details, as well as creating an atmosphere for your product to shine, be it on a model in the forest or set against a solid background.

rumpl product page puffy blanket stunning product images
Rumpl uses great lifestyle photos to capture the utility of their product

Video is also a powerful visual tool for communicating the details of your product.

To accompany these visual explainers, your product description should be detailed and evocative. Include vital product specifications as well as a powerful story about the product. Commerce is built on great storytelling.

10. Build trust with great social proof

While you’d love to think that shoppers make their purchasing decisions based on your great marketing alone, the fact is that they most trust their fellow consumers.

Adding the sentiments of your happy customers to your store can do a lot to convince prospective buyers to take a chance on you. Social proof is powerful and you want to put in real effort to encourage the creation of it and to display it prominently on your store pages.

#cta-paragraph-pb#You can get more customer reviews quickly and show them off on your Shopify store by adding an app that automates the process. Just check out our roundup of the best social proof apps.

If you’ve been featured in publications—like gift guides or great reviews—or you’ve been given an award, that’s a great opportunity to add those logos and quotes to your store to gain the carryover trust from those organizations.

mvmt brand social proof
With powerful social proof like this, no wonder MVMT is so popular

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Quickly drag and drop social proof to your store with Shogun<cta-title>Add logos, quotes, and reviews that earn customer trust to any store page in mere minutes.Start building for free

11. Make your customers into brand ambassadors

Loyalty and referral programs are powerful engines of word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. 

Rewarding your best customers is a no-brainer, especially when it means even more business coming your way. Seventy-seven percent of consumers say a good customer loyalty program is more likely to make them stay with a brand.

These programs not only boost your customer retention, but they also make those loyal customers into brand ambassadors—a valuable addition to your marketing team.

#cta-paragraph-pb#Build powerful referral and loyalty programs with one of these highly-rated Shopify apps.

12. Personalize the shopping experience

Increasingly, consumers are willing to not only tolerate personalization in their online shopping but expect it. One study found that 71% of shoppers are frustrated when shopping experiences are impersonal.

Ecommerce marketers love when customers share their data. And, consumers are more than willing to do so, with 83% saying they’d share data for a more personalized experience.

But, what do you do to personalize their experiences?

One powerful way to use personalization is through product recommendations. Amazon uses this to great success, showing shoppers products that relate to other items they’ve viewed and recommending product bundles to increase average order value.

You can also leverage email marketing sequences based on customer behavior, like browse abandonment, cart abandonment, and products added to wishlists.

This targeting can easily extend out to one of the cheapest forms of paid advertising—retargeting. Follow visitors across the internet with visuals of the product they were looking at in your store.

There are so many ways to create a great personalized experience for your shoppers, so it’s great to know they are game for it too.

13. Deliver a super quick and responsive shopping experience

When a store takes forever to load, shoppers don’t bother to wait around to see what the fuss is about. There are so many stores out there and no reason to deal with a slow one.

Nearly half of online shoppers expect a load time of two seconds or less for webpages and mobile users expect pages to load in four seconds or less.

Further, it’s been shown that a delay of one second in load time equates to an overall 7% loss in conversions

All that to say, speed up your store pages!

Speed is just one dimension of the experience though. Given that so many people are now shopping from their mobile devices (and that Google specifically looks at your store’s mobile version), it’s no longer an option to ignore the mobile experience.

The best ecommerce stores out there also have the best mobile landing pages for good reason—it means increased sales and conversions.

To understand where you stand with regard to speed and mobile responsiveness, just plug your URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights portal. 

There you will find how quickly your page loads on both mobile and desktop, as well as your Core Web Vitals scores. It will then give recommendations on how to improve your stats.

#cta-paragraph-pb#Shogun Page Builder makes it easy to create a great mobile experience, allowing you to adapt store pages for various screen sizes.

shogun page builder mobile responsiveness screen sizes

14. Add chatbots and live chat to keep them shopping

No matter how well-designed your store is, shoppers will have questions. If they can’t find the answers they need (despite having a really great FAQ page), they may just go elsewhere. 

Live chat is a great way to reduce the friction of lingering questions during the shopping experience and offer customers timely support. With immediate answers, they can complete their purchase worry-free.

But, even with a powerful support team, it can be difficult to provide live chat support all the time. 

Luckily, chatbots have gotten incredibly sophisticated, allowing you to create complex Q&A workflows that cover the most common questions (more interactively than a FAQ page ever could).

#cta-paragraph-pb#Live chat and chatbots help give your visitors the right answers when they need them. If you are on Shopify, read up on the best apps to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

15. Use wishlists to drive future purchases

Visitors to your store may not be ready to buy right at that very moment. 

But if they like something you sell and they were reminded of it at some point in the future—say, when they are ready to buy—you would want to create a way to keep them updated.

Enter wishlists. 

Giving customers the option to add products to their wishlists gets them to subscribe for email updates and allows you to develop a relationship with them going forward. 

You can create a segment of these potential customers and create specialized email marketing campaigns to get them to convert later on. 

Also, you can gain insights on inventory demand and plan your purchasing with that data in mind.

#cta-paragraph-pb#Featured in our roundup of the best Shopify apps, Growave not only helps you create powerful loyalty and referral campaigns, but you can also enable wishlists for you store.

The little things can make a big difference

You don’t need to do everything in this post to start seeing big impacts to your sales numbers. Start with low-hanging fruit and go from there. 

Every business is different and the returns from any particular implementation are going to vary. The biggest thing you can do to make positive changes to your business is to listen to your customers and learn what will work for them.

A lot of these suggestions are easily implemented through the use of apps or tools, so you just need to determine what works best for your store and your customers.

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Start increasing sales with compelling landing pages<cta-title>Try Shogun for free and start building out custom Shopify landing pages that really convert.Start building for free

Sean Flannigan

Sean is one of Shogun's tireless content marketers. When he isn't creating exciting ecommerce content, he's probably biking or at the park.