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9 Easy Ways to Drive Shopify Sales

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that anybody can use to build their store both online and offline. Whether you are running a multi-million dollar business with stores in upscale shopping districts, or you are a modest outfit selling out of a garage, Shopify’s platform has you covered.

Their easy-to-use platform has customizable features that allow you to build your online store with a unique touchpoint. It also lays heavy emphasis on giving you the freedom of how you interact with your customers.

With the COVID-19 crisis sending the global economy into a dive, the E-commerce growth in the United States shot up from 16% towards the end of 2019 to 27% by the end of April 2020. Shopify has been busy rolling out new features and product updates that make it more attractive to the small and medium-sized businesses that are the worst-hit during the crisis. Along with its user-friend feature, the eCommerce platform is also starting to offer its own shipping, emailing, and even financial services.

With their goal to become a one-stop-shop for all things eCommerce, Shopify is winning hearts across their user base. If you are considering building your own store with them, we’ve put together 9 essential ways on how you can sell better on Shopify.

1. Use Referral marketing

How often have you listened to a new band or tried a new product and ended up loving it? That’s the power of referral marketing. Its effect is a lot bigger than we imagine and gives credit for.

One person likes a product and recommends it to maybe two or three friends and they recommend it to their friends, and before you know it, it would have reached hundreds if not thousands. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise when 92% of customers trust referrals that come from friends and people they know. Here are more stats:

  • 81% of U.S. online customers are influenced by their friends on social media
  • 78% of online shoppers are influenced by the brands they follow on social media
  • 84% of buyers say they somewhat or completely trust the recommendations of friends or family

If you don’t have a referral program already, it’s worth it to get started on one for your Shopify store. You can try and keep it simple. Allow the users to drop reviews and recommendations that others can see. Encourage them to recommend your brand to their friends and family- as a referral customer brings in a lifetime value greater than 25% over others.

2. Upsell & Cross-sell to your buyers

Most of us would have had the experience of being offered something bigger than what we asked for. “Would you like to order something extra large? It only costs a little more”. This is upselling, where you offer a product that is slightly more premium than what the customer originally wanted. Small businesses often ignore the increase in sales that comes with upselling. The average estimate is around a 4% increase in sales; however, this can be significant when considering your entire revenue. Considering Amazon, in the very first year that they tested upselling, their sales went up by 35%.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, is the sale of products that are related to what has already been purchased. A fine example is retailers offering memory cards after a customer has purchased a digital camera.

Since your real estate is limited it is better to focus on upselling on the product pages as it performs 20 times better according to research by Predictive Intent. It’s best to push cross-selling to the check out pages as they only drive about 3% of the sales.

3. Use social proof

Social proof is a powerful tool to increase conversion rates. When potential customers see that a big portion of the population trusts the brand or the product enough to buy, it has a powerful psychological effect of being the right choice. Consider the fact that 92% of online shoppers go through product reviews before making a purchase. Therefore a little effort to having one of the many types of social proof pays off. Consider these powerful ones:

  • Real-Time Stats that show how many people are viewing or making a purchase
  • Customer Testimonials
  • Celebrity endorsements, even from social media influencers work
  • Social Media Takeovers
  • Hosting popular experts
  • Case studies

4. Send abandoned cart emails

It can be frustrating when an online visitor gets to the final step of the purchase and vanishes for no apparent reason. It’s estimated that about 60-80% of online shopping carts get abandoned before a sale. While not all customers intend to finish a sale, most of them drop out due to various factors ranging from shipping costs to transaction failures. This is where you leverage the power of email marketing. An abandoned cart email sent to customers works as a remarkable recovery tactic.

Going by stats from SaleCycle , close to 50% of abandoned cart emails are opened with more than a third of them ending up in purchases back on the site. This happens because the shopping carts are often abandoned unintentionally; maybe the process was complicated or the site crashed or timed out. Whatever may have been the reason, you can get them to reconsider with a compelling/quirky abandoned cart email.

5. Simplify your checkout process

Everyone who shops online has been at a point where they’ve abandoned the cart because the check out process was frustrating. The average online customer can be quite impatient and reluctant to give up too much personal information. Hence it is essential to keep the check out process simple.

Most of the top 100 eCommerce companies have a 5 step check out process from the cart to the time the order is placed. Surprisingly, according to a study in Smashing Magazine , the number of steps didn’t matter; it is what the customers did at each stage that was important.

Here are some ideas to simplify your check out process:

  1. Make it easy by providing them with a smooth experience. They should be able to add or remove the products without refreshing the page.
  2. Keep is simple and eliminates unnecessary buttons, texts, navigation or other design elements
  3. Include a visual progress indicator that tells them what to expect in the next stage

6. Introduce a rewards program

Retaining existing customers is a highly cost-effective strategy to increase sales than the acquisition of new ones. The Pareto principle applies here as it does everywhere else; 80% of your sales will come from just 20% of your customers.

Therefore it’s imperative that you invest in retaining your existing customers. Introduce a rewards program to your loyal customers to offer them an incentive to keep coming back. Put together a program where you can pick how to reward your customers, for what actions, and how frequently.

Through your reward program you could offer them:

  • Discounts and rebates
  • Free merchandise
  • Rewards
  • Coupons
  • Exclusive access to unreleased products

Consider Amazon Prime’s Program; the prime members derive plenty of value such as free two-day shipping, instant streaming of movies and TV shows, and access to thousands of kindle books.

7. Use Google shopping ads

Google shopping ads can be one of the most powerful tools you can add to your arsenal when you are specifically dealing with keyword-level bidding. These product-centric ads pop up on Google product searches and help you reach specific search queries that show as clickable images on the very top of the results page.

While the product listing ads using google shopping feeds costs vary on how much visibility a merchant wants, the “Surfaces across Google” program makes it free for merchants across the United States.

Consider these tips to generate leads through your Google shopping strategy:

  • Your product description needs to be spot-on, incorporating keywords and popular search terms
  • Create concise titles that offer the most clarity on what you are selling
  • Stand out from the crowd by compelling titles or catchy images
  • Competitive pricing; offer a bargain that garners the first click
  • Get your timing right. Research on customer shopping habits and time your bids with peak times to increase the click-through rates

8. Use retargeting ads

Retargeting is an effective way to bring back visitors to your site by leveraging the data you have collected on them. It is a second opportunity for you to reclaim what could have been a closed sale by visitors who showed high interest in your product or service before they vanished. It is also a strategy to sell more to your existing customers by upselling or cross-selling.

Here is how to make retargeting ads work for you:

  • Reduces cart abandonment. Maybe they abandoned a full cart just before check out for unknown reasons. Bring them back with a reminder and even offer other products they may be interested in.
  • Re-engage your top customers by offering them other products they might like based on previous purchases.
  • Include product reviews in the re-targeted ads to build their confidence in a product they abandoned earlier
  • If they viewed a product but did not purchase, use a dynamic product ad on Facebook to remind them to get back to it

9. Use Live chat

Communication has been at the heart of commerce throughout history, conversations and personal connections have always had a powerful effect on gaining the trust of customers. The same holds true for your online store. While replying to emails is one way to win them over, a live chat option has the potential to boost that higher. Even if you don’t have a team of support staff dedicated to customer conversations, adding a live chat just where it is necessary can make all the difference.

You need not be available for a chat all the time, being selective about where and when you need to chat on your site will improve efficiency and reduce wasted time. With that being said, identify key areas of customer support where a live chat can resolve a lengthy back and forth email later on.

These are places where a chat option is the most helpful:

  • The returns page where a customer might be confused about products and need more information to make their final decision.
  • The VIP pages where you cater to your long-standing customers based on their history of the order. This need not be available to all.
  • The shipping FAQ pages where your customers can have a sigh of relief knowing their order is on its way safe and sound.


While the solution to drive sales can differ based on the type of businesses, there is a bit of everything from the list above that goes into it. It takes a while before you figure out the right combination that works for your brand.

In the meantime, keep your model customer-centric and check the status of how well your strategy is working. Although sticking to the tried and tested ways yields results, you may never know what experimenting with something new might bring.

Additional resources

Guest Post by AdNabu

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