Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Desiree Shank of Shopify about how business owners can make more money from their eCommerce stores. Use this blog as a guide to learn how you can make more money from your eCommerce store. You’ll see be seeing your revenue skyrocket!
- What is Shopify?
- How Did Covid Affect Ecommerce Sales?
- Top Tips and Strategies to Increase Ecommerce Sales
- How to Grow Your Email List (and Sales) Through Website Pop-ups
- Can Reviews Increase Website Sales?
- The Top Mistakes Ecommerce Businesses Make When They Are First Starting Out
- What’s the Difference Between Successful Ecommerce Businesses and Unsuccessful Ones?
- What Is Considered A Good Ecommerce Website Conversion Rate?
- Why Not Make Money While You Sleep?
How To Make More Money From Your Ecommerce Store
What is Shopify?
Shopify was created in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake after they struggled to set up an online store for snowboarding equipment on a different eCommerce platform. They developed Shopify to be an eCommerce platform that is easy and affordable to use.
Shopify allows anyone anywhere to start selling in just a matter of hours with plans starting as low as $29 per month. Shopify specializes in serving businesses that sell products, but you can also get creative with it and sell services and digital courses on there as well. They have over 2 million stores and serve 175 countries worldwide, so it’s safe to say they are one of the biggest leaders in the eCommerce platform space.
Image © Statista – Pandemic Accelerates Shift to Online Retail
Ecommerce skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021 due to the “Covid Effect”, the result of people spending more time on social media and shopping online due to pandemic-related restrictions that lead to them spending more time at home.
There was also built-up consumer demand after supply chain and pandemic-related issues delayed products from hitting the market and services from being run. Finally, really savvy business owners decided to make a quick pivot to shifting their business models to online sales, which meant there was an influx of eCommerce stores and sales during the height of the pandemic.
As a result, eCommerce sales skyrocketed. So a user-friendly platform like Shopify made it very simple for new online business owners to set up their stores very quickly. As Desiree said in our interview,
“Shopify grew in one year, ten years…”
A lot of restaurants also pivoted to offering curbside pickup, so Shopify developers were able to build out that functionality quickly to meet the ever changing market’s needs.
Top Tips and Strategies to Increase Ecommerce Sales
Business owners always want to know how to make more money from their ecommerce business. Desiree says businesses should focus on the following frameworks:
This is how companies acquire new customers. This can include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, SEO, content marketing, video marketing, being a guest on a podcast, starting a podcast, affiliate marketing, blogging, and influencer marketing can help skyrocket online sales.
Influencer marketing has grown tremendously over the past few years. As long as you do your research and make sure the influencer you are working with actually has an engaged following and true influence over their audience, it is worth testing.
Website Conversion Rate
This measures how many of your website visitors take an action you want them to take. For example, your purchase conversion rate would be the number of purchases divided by the number of website visitors you had.
One of the most important factors when it comes to website conversion is the User Experience (often referred to as UX). When people land on your website, what does that customer journey look like? Is it easy for them to checkout and make a purchase on your website or do they get stuck and fall off?
This also includes promotions. What types of offers can you highlight on your website to entice people to complete their purchase or provide their email address to sign up for your email marketing list.
Another conversion tip is to focus on upsells and cross-sells on your website. This can easily be done using popups from either Klaviyo or Privy. The key here is to make sure you put “guardrails” on your upsell and cross-sell pop-ups so that they don’t negatively impact the user experience on your website. This can easily be done during the setup process so a website visitor only sees one offer per session.
© Toccara Karizma – Product Upsell Example
The best way to promote an upsell offer would be through something like a 3-pack vs. a single product. So if someone adds a single t-shirt to their shopping cart, for example, you can automate a pop-up that offers them a 3-pack of t-shirts instead for a discounted price per shirt.
© Toccara Karizma – Product Cross-sell Example
A great strategy for cross-selling is to suggest a complimentary product to the one a website visitor just added to their cart. As an example, if someone adds a single t-shirt to their cart, you can automate a pop-up that offers them the matching pair of shorts to complete their outfit.
An additional important factor you want to consider when it comes to website conversion optimization that can have dramatic results is to focus on your website speed. Shopify provides a free website speed score in the Admin area, so if you have a Shopify store, you have access to that. There are other free tools to test your website speed as well, including Pingdom, GTmetrix, and Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Finally, retention marketing is when you focus your remarketing efforts on your previous customers by nurturing them after they have purchased. The goal with retention marketing is to get your customers to place repeat orders, thereby increasing your customer lifetime value.
You can encourage customers to come back and purchase from you again through strategies such as loyalty programs, reward point systems, refer-a-friend programs, and special VIP offers for your most loyal customers.
The most affordable customer you can get is an existing customer, so it’s really important that you are transforming them into a loyal fan and advocate for your brand. This requires a lot of nurturing through a value-added customer journey.
At Karizma Marketing, we encourage our clients to continue to launch new products on a regular basis. Frequent product launches help give your previous customers a reason to engage with and purchase from your business again. A well thought out product launch strategy is a great retention marketing tool you can use to invite your customers to come back again and again.
How to Grow Your Email List (and Sales) Through Website Pop-ups
By now you know list building is an important strategy to make more money from your eCommerce store and increase your website conversion rates. You definitely want to make sure your website has a pop-up of some sort to help you grow your email list. My personal favorite pop-up tools are Klaviyo and Privy.
On your website pop-up, you’ll want to offer something of value in exchange for your website visitor’s contact information. Common value exchanges are discounts, lead magnets, and exclusive content.
Desiree shared a great analogy when it comes to list building on your eCommerce store. When you are building an online store, she said you can think of it like “building a mouse trip”. You want to build the best mouse trap you can build before you invite the mice, meaning your traffic, to the trap (your website).
So make sure you have a website pop-up to capture emails or SMS phone numbers on your website. A pro tip is to delay the pop-up from opening up immediately and instead set it to load once a website visitor is on your site for a minimum amount of time or has scrolled a certain percentage down your page.
Can Reviews Increase Website Sales?
Yes, reviews can definitely increase website conversion rates and sales. A classic eCommerce website conversion rate optimization strategy is to add reviews to both your collection pages and product pages.
Seeing reviews from other customers works as a kind of social proof that helps confirm to potential customers that they are making a good choice in a product that other people really like. It also reinstates that people are purchasing from your brand. Finally, reviews can be added to additional marketing platforms, such as ads and emails, as well as be featured as rich snippets in SERPs.
The Top Mistakes Ecommerce Businesses Make When They Are First Starting Out
We’ve all had to start from somewhere and as we’ve gotten more experience under our belts, we have learned a lesson or two along the way. According to Desiree, the top mistakes she sees new eCommerce business owners making are:
Having Unrealistic Expectations
This can lead to a feeling of defeat which can cause a lot of new businesses to fail in their first year; and
Not Asking For More Help
When first starting out, it can feel intimidating to ask for help, but Desiree encourages all business owners to seek out mentors who can help guide them through their entrepreneurial journey.
Not Focusing on Building a Community
Building a genuinely invested following on social media can definitely help a startup grow quickly. It has never been easier to get your brand out there for free thanks to social media apps, so make sure to take advantage of building a warm audience around your brand. They are much easier to convert to customers than top-of-funnel cold audiences.
Not Surveying Customers
A brand can learn so much more about their customers, what they want, what they don’t like, and so much more through surveys and polls. You can use free polls on social media, exit surveys on your website, and email surveys to get better insights into your customers, how you could convert better, what products they want to see from your brand, what improvements you need to make on your products, and more.
If I could go back in time and do things differently, here are the mistakes I would avoid when first starting my business:
Not Conducting Market Research
One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting a new business was failing to ask my potential customer base if they would actually be interested in what I wanted to sell. That lead to me wasting a good six months of time and thousands of dollars on a business concept that didn’t have a good product-to-market fit or demand. I definitely would recommend conducting market research before investing a lot of time or money into a new business idea.
Not Focusing on List Building Earlier
It took me years to focus my efforts on growing my email list, even though I had heard time and again that it was the one thing that massively grew other businesses in my industry. Years later, as my agency started to manage multi-million dollar email lists for clients, I saw first-hand how important email marketing and list-building was to not only increasing sales each month, but having a reliable revenue stream each and every month.
What’s the Difference Between Successful Ecommerce Businesses and Unsuccessful Ones?
Brands that are able to scale quickly truly do have passion and grit. They try everything, listen to feedback from mentors and experts and make the suggested changes, and jump at every opportunity that comes their way.
Another great way to scale quickly is to focus on email marketing early on in the business. Really tuning into your email marketing flows and lead generation strategies can help increase your revenue by 30% or more over another business that doesn’t implement email marketing.
Many more eCommerce stores are also including payment plans, such as AfterPay, to help their customers make installment payments over several months vs. paying for their entire order at once. This can help increase conversions since customers can make purchases with installment payments.
Finally, implementing a subscription model (if it makes sense for your business) can really help skyrocket your sales quickly and lead to higher customer lifetime values and return rates.
Image © Unbounce – Conversion Rates by Industry
Shopify actually has a great Conversion Rate Calculator by industry that you can check out to know if your website conversion rates are on par with your business size, location, and industry.
Conversion rates truly do depend on the industry you’re in, your average order value, and whether or not your running paid ads. As a rough guide, I like to see at least 3% or more as an organic conversion rate. If you are running paid traffic, I like to see a conversion rate that is at least 2% or more. But again, conversion rates (the percentage of people who visit your website and place an order) are very unique to every business.
Why Not Make Money While You Sleep?
Years ago when I first started my eCommerce business, I learned the power of making money while I slept. And that’s when I fell in love with eCommerce. I would wake up in the morning and have $500 worth of orders. So why would I pound the pavement trying to make small sales when I had access to the entire world through my website and was making money while I slept?
That is when I realized the sheer magnitude and potential for success through owning an e-commerce business. Back then, Shopify didn’t even exist, but now that such an easy-to-use eCommerce platform is available to millions of people worldwide, it couldn’t be easier to make money from your eCommerce store.