It’s easy to start selling online with Shopify, but growing your business doesn’t always go as smoothly. Selling online is competitive. It requires time and energy to build a brand, expand your reach, and win more customers.
Whether you’re just starting out or not, there’s always ways to improve your online business. For some inspiration, here’s our top nine ways to grow your Shopify store.
Turn Social Followers into Customers
While the power of social media influencers might be waning, that doesn’t mean social media shouldn’t be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Instead, focus on your brand’s account to nurture strong relationships with your customers. Don’t be afraid to showcase your own staff, customers, and what it’s like behind the scenes. You should be fostering trust through an ongoing dialogue with customers through content that can be educational, inspirational, or just relatable.
Once you have a captivated audience, you can use Shopify’s built-in social media tools to turn posts into buying opportunities. This makes it simple and convenient for customers to complete purchases without leaving their social media account.
Sell Wholesale Products
You can find wholesale products to sell on Shopify in all types of categories like apparel, electronics, shoes, handbags, and jewelry. As the merchant, you can purchase the products from a wholesaler in a large quantity at a discount and then mark up the retail price to your customers. Sourcing wholesale products can be a great way to expand your product catalog or try something new before fully committing to it.
You can research wholesalers in places like Oberlo’s wholesale directory that connects directly with your Shopify store, directories like Worldwide Brands, trade shows, or go directly to manufacturers themselves.
Just be aware that some retailers pretend to be wholesalers and rip merchants off by selling their “wholesale” products at full retail price, meaning you don’t get a discount. Two warning signs to watch for are 1) if the wholesaler asks for some sort of “membership fee” or 2) seems to be offering all their products to all buyers (even consumers) at the same price. A real wholesaler should make you apply for a member account and prove you’re a legal business before you place orders.
Finance Your Growth
For many eCommerce sellers, access to capital is your main growth hurdle. You need capital to invest in anything from marketing campaigns, new employees, or bulk inventory. Going to the bank to finance it isn’t always your best option either. Fortunately, you have options like Shopify Capital and Payability Instant Advance for Shopify to secure the capital you need.
For Shopify Capital, your eligibility is based on your history on Shopify and will show up in your Admin if you meet their requirements. Eligible merchants can receive either a cash advance or a business loan. Funding can be anywhere between $200 and $1,000,000.
If you don’t meet Shopify’s requirements or need access to more funding, Shopify sellers can also turn to Payability, where you could get up to $250,000 as soon as tomorrow to invest into your online business. Approval and actual funding are based on your account health and sales performance across Shopify and all sales channels.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing has been around for years, but small businesses are still reluctant to try it. This strategy could be your path to connect with more customers and have your brand stand out among tough competition online.
Content marketing is the process of creating relevant and valuable content that attracts and retains a clearly defined audience to ultimately drive profitable customer actions like purchases. It requires you to ask questions like:
- Who is your target audience for your Shopify store?
- How does that target audience want to shop online?
- What content can I provide (and when) to remove any friction in their buying process?
When thinking about it in this context, content marketing allows you to anticipate questions that your customers might ask and then provide answers they need. It’s more than just about creating a blog of educational information. Instead, it encompasses all content related to your Shopify store like your site navigation, product listings, FAQs, return policy, email marketing, social media posts, and more. You must consider how your customers use this information to search, find, and buy your products. When executed well, a content marketing strategy can increase your sales.
Try Text Messaging Marketing
It’s table stakes now to build an email list to engage with customers. The next progression of email marketing is text messaging as a way to turn casual browsers on your site into repeat customers. Your shoppers can opt in to receive texts from you, so you can send shoppers back to the abandoned cart or send coupon codes. It’s a new channel that can compliment your email marketing efforts. If you want to learn more, check out Privy’s new SMS texting capability that already works with Shopify.
Use 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) Product Pages
Product pages are crucial to the online shopping experience as most of the purchasing decision is based on them. They help customers judge the quality of your products and what size or color to order. While clean photography is the standard, leading Shopify sellers are now trying out product pages with built-in support for 3D models and video.
Since introducing this capability in 2018, Shopify has reported 3D models in AR can increase your conversion rates by up to 250% on product pages! Learn more about Shopify AR.
Run a Flash Sale
Online flash sales can be a great revenue generator. They can increase sales from 50 orders a day to over 10,000 in a single 24-hour period. They can be used around holiday seasons or even a way to spur sales during slow months.
Setting up a flash sale in Shopify is relatively easy too. You can select your products, set your date and time, and then promote it via email, text or social media. The challenge is to make sure you’re set up on the backend to handle the surge in site traffic and order processing. You don’t want to run a flash sale that crashes your site or causes severe delays in shipping. That’s not a good way to impress your customers.
Read more in this guide to online flash sales to understand what it takes to run a flash sale and avoid common failures.
Make Returns a Positive Experience
Returns are an inevitable aspect of retail. Analysts estimate that one-third of all online purchases are returned. Product categories like apparel, soft goods, and luxury items report even higher numbers. When left unchecked, returns can ruin your bottom line and be a negative aspect of the customer experience.
- Return policy – Have a clear and easy-to-find return policy that builds trusts with shoppers.
- Pre-print return labels – This saves customers an extra step, while also preventing fraudulent returns.
- Automate – Use software like Loop or Returnly to make the whole process seamless and ensure timely refunds for customers.
- Return In-Store – If you have physical stores, enable customers to return online purchases there.
Automate Your Fulfillment Process
84% of consumers say that they won’t return to a brand after just one poor delivery experience. Yikes!
A growing pain for many Shopify sellers is corralling their fulfillment processes. Long delivery times, costly shipping rates, shipping to the wrong address, and shipping the wrong product are all part of a poor delivery experience. Thanks to marketplaces like Amazon, all shoppers expect fast, accurate, and free shipping for online orders.
This is a tall order for Shopify sellers, especially when you’re not a logistics expert. Improving your fulfillment processes can lead to higher conversion rates, positive customer reviews, and repeat purchases from customers. To do just that, consider the following:
- Invest in a backend system like an ERP – This allows you to track sales, manage inventory, and fulfill items all from a single place.
- Use shipping software – Software like ShipStation can help you print shipping labels, compare shipping rates, and track your packages.
- Outsource to a 3PL – A third-party logistics company (3PL) can take care of warehouse management, transportation of goods, reporting, and forecasting for you. 3PLs can leverage their relationships and volume discounts for affordable, fast shipping for your customers.
- Integrate Shopify and your ERP/3PL – Connect Shopify with your ERP/3PL/shipping software to automate your shipping processes. Automation accelerates your processes and avoids costly mistakes like shipping to the wrong address.
There you have it! What growth tip do you want to try out first?
nChannel empowers retailers, wholesalers and technologists with integration tools to sync data and automate processes between their eCommerce, ERP, POS and 3PL systems from inventory synchronization and order fulfillment to supply chain management.