The past year made a lot of business owners digitize their stores sooner than they’d planned. Still more people started fully online shops. The selling platform those retailers use is almost certainly Shopify. That’s why we’re giving you these eight Shopify tips that will help your store stand out from the competition.
Over 1.7 million online businesses use Shopify globally, and for good reason. They offer sellers a way to get their store up and running quickly so they can start moving their product. But that simplicity comes with increased competition.
Ease of access to online selling makes it difficult to separate yourself from the pack. Getting customers’ attention through the noise is hard. Luckily, there are some ways to do just that, and we’ll get into them here.
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8 Shopify tips you need to be successful
First, you will need to put work into your store. It isn’t enough to just make it and expect people to flock to it for your products; it’s an ongoing effort.
But you can increase your chances of attracting people by taking a few practical steps.
1. Make your website mobile-focused
As of 2019, there were 3.5 billion smartphone users globally. In the same year, the average U.S. adult spent about 3 hours and 43 minutes on their phones per day. In 2020, that number jumped due to the pandemic.
Because so many of us browse on our mobile devices, even to look up customer reviews before buying something in-store, it’s quite likely the first time someone sees your site will be on a smartphone. If it isn’t optimized for mobile and glitches out, they’re going to leave.
It’s easy to make sure that doesn’t happen. For starters, check the Shopify theme you’re using and see what it looks like on mobile. Shopify will usually change your page to make it look better on a mobile device, but double-check to be safe.
Redesigning your page will also help it display easier on a mobile device. Consider:
- Larger CTA (call to action) buttons
- A fixed header
- Using images sparingly to draw focus
- Using minimal text
- Few to no popups
- Optimizing for different screen ratios (phone, tablet, etc.)
Designing your page this way will help it load faster and read easier, helping people get to its information more quickly.
If you don’t have one already, consider a mobile app. It can help draw in new customers who only use apps and can make your store more likely to rank in mobile-specific searches on Google. It even gives people the opportunity to begin a purchase on mobile and end on their desktop, if they want.
One more benefit: if you’re running paid ads, you can measure how many people your ads convert on mobile. This can give you a better idea of where to put your ad dollars later.
2. If you can, offer more products
Selling a wider variety of products will make you more money. That’s not to say you should sell absolutely everything (it’s unlikely you can compete with Amazon), just that it’s worth looking into more products within your niche.
Selling complementary products will help you stay on brand and be flexible at the same time. The brand THE 5TH, for example, primarily sells watches but also offers other accessory items like sunglasses.
The complementary items you sell should be:
- Selling well globally, but not a passing fad
- Something you really want to sell
If you need ideas, they’re easy to research. Suggestions on Amazon and Google can show you similar products that people search for or have bought, giving you an excellent idea of what to offer. You can also try making a personal, non-business, social media account, visiting a similar online store to yours, and seeing what targeted ads you get shown.
3. Use Shopify for hosting and invest in a domain
Shopify’s hosting service is great for sellers. It uses a content distribution network, a system of servers that host site content in different locations around the world, so it can be delivered to local users faster. This higher speed increases customer retention.
Shopify does provide users with a free domain, but it isn’t customizable. The brand name, Shopify, will always be in the URL, which can affect your SEO. Instead of searches going to Shopify’s page, with a custom domain they’ll come to you.
A domain will cost at least $11 a year, although it may be higher. Once you invest in one, you’ll get all the search traffic to your store, and get to keep the authority your domain builds over time, which boosts its rank even more.
4. Try using whole price numbers
Stores have a time-honored tradition of ending prices with a cent amount like .99 or .97 to make items seem cheaper. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it might not be necessary for your product to try to beat everyone else’s price.
Instead of ending with a cent amount, consider using whole-number prices. Companies like Nike do it with continued success. If you want to try it yourself, it’s easy to configure it in your site settings without manually going in to change each price.
Just go to:
- Store Currency
- Change Formatting
You can choose to format prices with or without a decimal.
5. Use plugins and integrations
Shopify is highly customizable due to the number of plugins and integrations it gives sellers to work with. Dive in, find the ones that amplify your store or help solve a problem and try them. Then, keep the ones that work for you.
Shopify plugins and integrations can help with anything from payments to marketing efforts. For example, you can integrate Constant Contact with your store to make email marketing a lot easier. Add it to your store and get:
- Targeted emails
- Automated cart abandonment emails
- Drag-and-drop capability (add things right from your store to an email just by dragging and dropping them)
- Sales analytics
And that’s just one integration. Others allow people to log into your store with a social account, leave reviews, and much more.
Pro tip: Definitely let customers leave reviews! They’re critical in gaining people’s trust and getting them to consider your store. Would you buy from someone with no reviews? Didn’t think so.
6. Invest in good images
Never underestimate the importance of good imagery to your website. The better your images look, the better your product looks and the more professional your brand seems to the customer.
There are several options you can choose from when building your store, with sites like Unsplash offering beautiful images for free. That kind of image can be great as a header or background but, when it comes to your actual product shots, invest in a good photographer. It’ll pay off in spades.
You can use good product shots in places besides your store. Think about social media posts, especially on Instagram. You can even pair them with customer testimonials to show what the product looks like, or shoot high-end portraits of brand ambassadors with your gear.
7. Be clear about the legal stuff
Always include policy information on your website. That includes returns, exchanges, and refunds. People want to know what they’re getting into when they’re buying from your store, and not having anything listed can make you seem like a less legitimate brand.
Shopify provides sellers a boilerplate set of policies to list on their stores. You can modify them or take them as they are. Go over them, know them, and make sure you can abide by them. You can find them in the settings menu under Legal.
8. Try interactive content
Interactive content is a fun, easy way for people to connect with your brand — and it can really help with conversions. Quizzes are particularly good at this.
Say you’re an eyeglasses retailer. Make a quiz for people to figure out their ideal pair. The data shows that, more often than not, people will finish the quiz. They might even share it. And it makes them more likely to buy the product they’re matched with.
Some quick stats on quizzes from LeadQuizzes.com:
- The average quiz is shared almost 2,000 times
- 82% of people engaged with quizzes in their newsfeed
- 96% of people finish Buzzfeed-sponsored quizzes
Interactive content also differentiates you from other brands that don’t use it. Test out a few ideas and see what works.
The bottom line
Boosting engagement with your online store is easier than you think. Try a few of the tips listed here and track the results. You might be surprised by what you find. Keep in mind:
- You should be optimizing for mobile
- Interactive content can be a big winner
- Invest in quality images and keep your layout simple
- Be upfront about your policies
- Plugins and integrations are your friends