How to increase sales on Shopify: 22 Proven strategies with examples and illustrations
Shopify houses over 4 million online stores and records 2 million active users per day. Such staggering numbers are why the company registered revenue of $1.7 billion in Q2 of 2023.
Still, millions of merchants struggle to increase their sales on Shopify over the long term.
It all points to the flawed assumption that the success of Shopify (as a brand) translates to success for e-commerce merchants who sell on Shopify.
The fact is, driving consistent sales on Shopify requires the use of a winning strategy — or better still, a combination of proven strategies. You’re about to see them all in this blog.
Your strategies for Shopify are important because they ultimately help you achieve your business goals, viz making more sales.
Now let’s delve deeply into strategies that work on Shopify for sales and the tactics required to implement them.
22 Proven strategies to increase sales on Shopify
Strategy #1. Content Marketing
Content marketing leverages all kinds of content to bring your business to the forefront of your audience while providing value for the consumer.
Without excellent content, your Shopify store will struggle to attract customers and your sales will be badly affected.
On the one hand, quality content around your niche will help you engage your audience and build solid relationships that will ultimately reflect positively on your sales.
Here’s an infographic (by Neil Patel) that aptly depicts how content marketing moves your audience down the sales funnel.
Now that you understand how important content marketing is to your Shopify success, let’s talk about how to do it right.
Blogging: Create content that suits your audience
Your Shopify online store features a built-in blogging engine that allows you to share articles about your niche. Use it to create awareness for your brand while educating your target audience.
Use all kinds of content to create that awareness
Your content marketing strategy shouldn’t be text blogs only. Include videos, high-quality pictures, infographics and even podcasts to deliver smashing content for your Shopify website.
In this example, Kirrin Finch uses top-quality pictures to make their blog content even more appealing.
Leverage content marketing channels
Use content marketing channels like social media and email newsletters to broadcast your content.
Your content must be optimized for search engines using keywords. We’re going to discuss that strategy next.
Strategy #2. Search Engine Optimization
Search engines can organically drive potential customers to your Shopify site. But you have to first optimize your store for search engines to rank high in Search Engines Result Pages (SERPs). Here’s how to do it.
Conduct keyword research
Keywords are search terms that users enter into search engines to discover relevant content. They’re immensely important because they help search engines satisfy the user’s search intent.
To find the right keywords you must conduct keyword research around your business niche. This can be done using Google auto-suggest.
For example, if your business sells dog food, you can type the search term “dog food” on Google and take note of the keywords that pop up.
Use the keywords you found to create content for your blog.
Also include those relevant keywords in your meta description, page URL, image description and blog content. But be careful to avoid keyword stuffing. Google will penalize you for that.
P.S. Shopify allows you to edit website SEO on your product page.
Navigate to the Product page and click on Edit. Include your title and add text that best describes the product — including your keyword in the description and title.
Make your website easy to navigate
Google ranks websites based on how easy they are for users and crawlers to navigate. It’s the same for Shopify stores.
Making your website easy to navigate also improves user engagement and lowers your bounce rate. The idea is to make sure a user doesn’t have to click more than three times to reach a particular product on your site.
Your customers should be able to reach your product page in three clicks: Homepage > Product category > Product
You can do that by editing your store navigation menu structure. Head over to Online Store > Navigation and readjust your menu items.
Publishing insightful blog posts around your target keyword on your website can attract organic traffic from search engines.
Besides helping you build brand trust, educative articles also serve as a dragnet for backlinks which massively impacts your search ranking positively.
Finally, several SEO Apps on Shopify can help you level up your site for search engines.
Strategy #3. User Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is created by loyal and satisfied customers about the business. UGC can be in the form of positive reviews, testimonials, social media posts, videos and podcasts.
UGC, if used correctly, will impact your business’ ability to increase revenue through sales while retaining and adding new customers. Plus they improve your site’s visibility for search engines.
How to get user-generated content
Ask your customers for reviews after every sale. You can ask customers to share unboxing and usage videos on their Instagram and TikTok pages with your hashtags.
Not long ago, a video shared by TikTok user Trinidad Sandoval about the effect of an eye cream by Peter Thomas Roth went viral and caused the product to sell out in weeks.
Offer incentives to customers for leaving a review or posting about their purchase on social media. For example, you can offer discounts on future purchases and reward points.
How to use user-generated content on your Shopify
Share customer reviews on your social media pages and website.
Use the Product Reviews app on Shopify to allow customers to leave reviews on your products.
We also love Yotpo reviews for Shopify for enhanced review capabilities like allowing customers to leave reviews with videos or photos!
Strategy #4. Paid Advertising
Paid advertising strategy can quickly take your Shopify sales to new heights if your organic strategy is proving slow.
Using paid advertising, you can have your business in front of your target audience faster than through other organic strategies.
Here are some types of paid advertising
Search engine advertising. This strategy allows your business to reach customers who are searching for your products on Google, YouTube and other search engines.
Social media advertising. Platforms like Google, Instagram, Twitter (X), and Facebook will promote your business to people based on their behavioural preferences like comments, likes and search history.
Programmatic Advertising. Programmatic advertising automates the buying and selling of online ads using advanced algorithms and real-time bidding. It allows advertisers to target specific audiences with precision and efficiency. By leveraging data, it optimizes ad placements to reach potential customers more effectively on platforms like Shopify. We utilize third-party platforms like StackAdapt for our programmatic media buying.
Google Ads is a good place to start your paid advertising campaign. But first, you need to be clear about your target audience and your budget.
Shopify lists some paid advertising apps that are popular among merchants on the platform as seen in this screenshot:
Strategy #5. Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a powerful force for driving Shopify sales as almost everyone uses email nowadays – stats put the number at 4.5 billion email users in 2023.
A successful email marketing campaign will not just help your business make sales, it will also improve your brand awareness, customer loyalty and acquisition.
Here are a few ways to improve your email marketing strategy
Personalize emails. Beyond addressing your customers by their first name, your email campaign must understand your customers’ needs and send them timely and relevant emails. A tool like Drip can help.
Use a compelling CTA. Your Call To Action (CTA) is how your customers engage with your email. It has to be bold, concise and different from the body of the email. Here’s an example of a good CTA from Netflix.
Use convincing subject lines. The first thing your customers see when you send your email is your subject line. That’s why you need to make it clickable and compelling.
Segment your list. Your email campaign will convert better if you segment your audience based on various criteria like their interests, preferences, or demographics.
Automation with a tool like Klaviyo can also help your campaign perform better.
Strategy #6. SMS marketing
SMS marketing will improve your brand awareness and help you reach your customers and potential customers faster. This strategy also keeps your audience engaged and that will often translate to sales.
Here are a few ways to go about using an SMS marketing strategy
Send welcome messages to new customers
Welcome text messages can help you turn first-time visitors who subscribe to your list into customers. In this example, the brand offers a discount to a new store visitor.
Inform customers of sales and promotions.
Keep your messages concise. This ensures you don’t bore your audience.
Educate your audience with each message. Your campaign should inform your audience before selling. This improves brand trust and customer loyalty.
Try out one of the several SMS marketing apps on Shopify to take advantage of this strategy.
Strategy #7. Personalization
Research shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalized shopping experience.
Creating a personalized shopping experience for your audience will lower the bounce rate from your site and improve your customer loyalty.
How to personalize your shopping experience on Shopify
Use email marketing. To reach out to your customers based on their behaviour on your site.
Use hyper-personalized search plugins. Shopify features plugins like Searchanise that can offer products based on the customer’s relevant shopping experience.
Strategy #8. Social Media Marketing
To succeed on Shopify with social media you need a Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy. Your social media marketing strategy will help you plan what content you’ll post, what social media channels you’ll use and how best to achieve your business goals through social media.
Your SMM strategy will leverage sales channels on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to improve sales. You can do this easily by adding the Facebook and Instagram app on Shopify.
For example, Blueland uses Instagram to sell its products with a direct checkout linked with Shopify.
Here’s how to create a successful social media marketing strategy
Define your sales goals. Your business goals for using social media to improve sales should be clearly defined.
Identify your target audience. You should be clear on your audience and how to reach them.
Pick a Shopify SMM app to use for your strategy. We already highlighted Facebook and Instagram. But there are others.
Strategy #9. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a strategy that will require you to partner with people who have a large following and audience on social media to advertise your brand.
Influencer marketing is a brilliant method for skyrocketing sales on Shopify because you can leverage experts and influential people to drive purchasing decisions in favour of your business.
How to get influencers to market your business
Gift your product for a review. An influencer in your niche will likely be open to reviewing your product if you gift it to them for free.
As seen in this pic, Fatima reviews affordable laptops on YouTube. Brands reach out to her to get her to review their products.
Offer discounts. You can offer influencers discounts on your product for a review.
Live interviews and podcasts. You can ask an influencer for an interview or podcast from their social media pages.
Strategy #10. Checkout optimization
Your checkout optimization strategy can directly impact your conversion rate. The idea is to minimize all distractions for the shopper and drive them toward completing the checkout process.
Checkout optimization makes the checkout process convenient, streamlined and pleasant for the customer. This reduces dissatisfaction and cart abandonment.
A few checklists for checkout optimization
- Keep it simple. In this example, the checkout on Rothys footwear store is simple and uncluttered.
- Make your CTA clear. In the example above, the checkout button is clear and impossible to miss.
- Allow for guest checkout. Your site should allow people to checkout as guests to reduce the hassle involved in making a purchase. This option can be set in the Shopify admin panel.
- Use an exit pop-up. Your pop-up can ask customers why they’re not completing the purchase and if you can do anything differently.
- Optimize your checkout process for speed and mobile
- Only ask for credit card information at the last checkout stage.
Strategy #11. Promotions and Discounts
Shoppers are often drawn to discounts and promotions on items they’re interested in buying. Shopify makes it easy to implement this strategy directly from the Discounts tab in your admin panel.
However, there are ways to set discounts and promotions to drive sales for your Shopify business
Offer percentage discounts. Say from 5% to 50%
Free offers. Get customers to buy more by offering free products for a certain purchase. For example, “Buy three, get one free.”
Use a discount pop-up template. This tells your visitors about your discount immediately when they arrive on your site.
You can also offer discounts to get customers to sign up for your email newsletter. Here’s an example.
Offer holiday discount sales, particularly for returning customers.
It all depends on how best you want to approach this strategy.
Strategy #12. Use Wishlists
Some customers may be unwilling to pay for a product right away. That’s why your site should allow visitors to save items on their wishlist. This will help remind the customer of what they were previously browsing whenever they return to the store.
Using wishlists and Save For Later, you can grow your email list which can be segmented for personalized email campaigns.
Simple ways to improve Shopify sales using Wishlists
Use powerful wishlist apps that convert. An app like Wishlist Club serves this purpose effectively. Others like Wishlist Hero and Wishlist King also work.
Remind visitors to save on wishlists. While customers browse your products, your app should remind them to save on their wishlist.
Strategically place your wishlists. This makes it easy for customers to save items in just one click. Here’s an example:
Now let’s talk about some strategies that stop customers from abandoning your cart altogether.
Strategy #13. Reducing Cart Abandonment
Research shows that nearly 70% of users who add an item to an online shopping cart will abandon it before checkout. You need to have a strategy to stem this tide for your Shopify store.
To change this narrative for your Shopify store and improve your sales here are a few things you can do.
Use a retargeting marketing campaign. You can set up a remarketing campaign using Google Ads that advertise your products to visitors who abandon your checkout process.
Set up exit pop-ups. An exit popup will try to get the customer to rethink abandoning the cart. It also works to get their email and re-market to them via your email campaign.
Look at this example by PushLiving:
Again, Shopify has several apps you can use to create an exit pop-up for your site such as Privy, Popup Upsell and others.
Follow up on social media and chat. You can use your list to market the same product to your visitors on social media. It’s also important to chat with your shoppers to find out why they’re not completing the checkout process.
Strategy #14. Collaboration — Shopify Collabs
Your sales could move to the next level if you leverage the power of collaboration with content creators. This strategy has been made ever so easy with the Shopify Collabs program.
Here’s how to get this strategy up and running for your brand
Sign up for Shopify Collabs. Head over to Shopify and sign up for the Shopify Collabs program as a brand.
Find creators. There are thousands of creators on Shopify Collabs who will be open to collaborating with your brand.
Create a collab program. After finding a creator that suits your brand, the next step is to create a collab. Creators are paid based on commission.
Track sales. Shopify collabs allow you to track your sales through the system.
Strategy #15. Improving Customer Satisfaction
The lifetime value of a customer cannot be gauged on their first purchase but on how satisfied they are after every purchase.
Excellent customer service is crucial for every brand that wants to improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
Here are 5 ways to improve your customer satisfaction
Offer multiple communication channels. Your customer should easily reach you across multiple channels – like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email.
Stay in touch. You have to connect with your customers through various communication channels. For example, you can send messages to individual customers using the Shopify admin panel. Personalizing your conversations with customers fosters lasting relationships.
Improve product quality. The quality of your product/service goes a long way to determine how satisfied your customers are. A high-quality product meets the expected need, lasts over time and works without adverse effects.
Meet expectations. Every customer has an expectation they want your product to meet. Achieve this and you have a loyal customer.
Respond to complaints and feedback. When it comes to customer service your handling of complaints and feedback is what matters most to your customers. If they feel you don’t take their concerns seriously, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Customer satisfaction rests on your product quality and your ability to resolve issues efficiently to meet the expectations of your clients.
Strategy #16. Payment options
Your sales could be suffering because your business doesn’t offer a convenient payment method for your customers.
The good news is, that Shopify offers numerous payment options for merchants besides credit and debit card payments.
For example, Ketnipz offers their customers an express checkout using Amazon Pay and Shop Pay.
But that’s not all. There are other payment options on Shopify like PayPal, Mobile Wallet, PayLater and even Crypto.
Here are some checklists for choosing a payment option that ultimately increases your Shopify sales:
- Understand what works for your audience.
- Transaction fees. Customers will prefer an option with the lowest transaction fee and chargebacks. This also affects your profit margin.
- Availability. The best payment option will allow customers to pay from anywhere in the world.
- Security. Your payment option should be risk-free for the customer with efficient anti-fraud measures.
Strategy #17. Mobile Optimization
More than 79% of Shopify traffic comes from mobile devices like mobile phones and tablets. The figure continues to increase year on year. And it’s why your Shopify store must be optimized to work on all kinds of devices.
Your strategy should have a plan for mobile because it improves your search engine ranking, lowers your site’s bounce rate, and ultimately improves sales.
Here’s what you have to optimize your site for mobile
Improve page load speed. Stats show that a delay of one second reduces your conversion rate by 7%.
Easy navigation. We talked about this in Strategy #1. Your users should be able to browse through your website with minimum effort.
Visuals. Your mobile strategy shouldn’t sacrifice quality product images for speed. For example, the mobile page of Tenthousand’s Shopify store is irresistible as it features quality images, placed at the centre of the screen.
Improve your mobile landing page. This is the first impression users will have when they land on your site.
Strategy #18. Optimizing Landing Page Content
Mobile aside, the overall landing page of your Shopify store has to be optimized to convert your visitors into paying customers. As mentioned earlier, your landing page is the first impression your visitors will have of your site. And you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. A visitor typically makes a decision about your business after 0.05 seconds on your landing page.
Note: Your landing page is not the same as your home page. You need a strategy for optimizing your landing page.
The first things to look at are the page speed, the quality of images (remove oversized, distracting images), your CTA and social poof.
Best tips for optimizing landing page content
Write a smashing headline. The first 10 words of your landing page headline are the most important. Think it through.
Include social proof. Feel free to add user-generated content like reviews, testimonials and social media posts on your landing page.
Use quality images. And video too if it doesn’t reduce your site’s speed.
A powerful CTA. Your call to action has to be clear, compelling and visible.
Optimize it for mobile. This is a powerful strategy for driving conversion as already discussed.
Now here’s a great example of a landing page that converts, by Huppy:
As you can see, the landing page above features powerful social proof, a persuasive copy and a clear call to action.
Strategy #19. Upselling and Cross-selling
Upselling and cross-selling is an easy-to-implement strategy that can skyrocket your Shopify sales this year. It simply involves encouraging your customers to purchase more products on your site that add extra value and complement what they initially bought.
For example, a fashion store can offer a customer who bought a pair of jeans a matching T-shirt and belt for half the price.
Doing this effectively on your Shopify store can take your sales to new heights while providing massive value for your customers. Why wouldn’t they want to do business with you now?
Shopify apps like Visually All‑In‑1 Optimization are excellent for cross-selling and upselling.
Strategy #20. Using Referrals
A strong referral strategy is efficient for increasing sales on Shopify and reaching new customers. This strategy turns your customers into your marketers.
You can implement this strategy using the Shopify Affiliate Program. This program allows merchants to offer incentives to customers for referring a new customer to their store. This strategy works perfectly because customers are usually more trusting of fellow customers.
How to create a Shopify referral program
Identify your audience. Their demographics, location, preferences etc.
Decide on software. This will allow you to track your progress and offer rewards.
Decide on your incentives. This will be based on your budget and your business goals.
Invite customers to join the program. Broadcast your referral program using various communication channels like social media and email marketing.
Strategy #21. Live Chat and Automated Responses
The best Shopify brands have a live chat feature on their website to keep shoppers engaged with fast answers to questions. This ensures that the customer is never confused or frustrated to the point of abandoning their intended purchase.
But it’s almost impossible to be readily available to respond to shoppers, even for a growing brand. That’s where automated responses using chatbots can help.
Shopify apps allow you to use chatbots that can respond to customer queries 24/7 with the best answers from your FAQ database.
Chatbots are also important for designing Shopify landing pages that convert.
Strategy #22. Free Shipping
Customers are drawn to online stores that offer free shipping because it takes away the ‘annoying’ extra cost of buying a product. Free shipping has proven to nudge customers into spending more than they initially intended.
Research has shown that customers expect free shipping from online stores when they spend above a certain limit.
Ecommerce brands have gone with the trend and now offer free shipping to high-spending customers.
For example, the Naja store offers free shipping for orders that are above $150. They make it clear from their landing page.
Various strategies can be implemented around free shipping to improve your Shopify sales.
Brands can use free shipping offers to:
- Drive sales for a particular product
- For clearout sales
- Gain new customers around a geographical location.
Bonus strategy. Selling on Marketplaces
If you’re still hungry to reach more customers and improve your sales, one more strategy to try is selling on different marketplaces. Shopify encourages both small and big brands to leverage the power of other large marketplaces to improve their sales.
Here are some marketplaces you can consider selling on:
Choosing the right marketplace for your brand requires some research on your part to find out what works best for your target audience and the fees involved.
Make more sales on Shopify today!
As you’ve already seen, multiple strategies can be combined to increase sales for your Shopify store. Now there’s no more excuse why you shouldn’t be seeing positive results going forward.
But if you’re still at a loss on what strategy to use and how best to use it, you can contact us at Forge and we’d be glad to help.
Remember — the smallest changes can sometimes make the biggest difference for your Shopify sales. To start seeing instant results you must take action immediately using the information already at your fingertips.