It’s a bit of knowledge I gained along with the rest of the team at Congruity Hub working with Shopify e-commerce platform and creating themes. Being in e-commerce development for almost two years already, I’ve listed a wisdom we gained so far in terms of helping people getting everything set up not only technically but from marketing perspective as well. So get ready to marketing foundation of online undertaking 😉
E-commerce success is a continuous process that requires meticulous work every day. However, if you know the basic principles it might be easier to achieve the goal of being successful.
There are two things that assemble a backbone of online sales. They are a web traffic and a conversion rate. However, there are more elements to consider for your marketing strategy. Some basics on where to start your marketing is covered in Shopify article ‘Ecommerce Marketing: The Big Picture — Part 1’.
Back to the background of internet marketing, we are going to talk about web traffic and why it determines you being successful online. You have four ways how to get customers to come to a store either as a direct traffic or a referral traffic, or an organic traffic, or a social traffic. Each of these types has its own pros and cons and requires different approaches to bring people to your online store. If you are not familiar with peculiarities of various sorts of traffic you may be interested in this post with brief overview of each of four.
Nevertheless, no matter if visitors come from Google or Facebook, or from the referral link in someones blog, the only thing that matters for them is a content you’re offering. So be nice and invest some time and efforts into uniqueness, quality, length, and optimization of your content in the first place for your own good. More in-depth recommendations on that are listed below 👇
1. Content. Key to more sales & profit
There are lots of arguments why great content is a key to more sales and profit for online store. However, we are 100% sure that fondness with great content is just a reflection of already established axiom that quality goes over quantity. So as adherents of this statement, we granted our Shopify theme Foodly with a real content as an example for clients how they can build own content strategy as organic food producers or grocery shop owners. For us it was crucial to provide not only visual template but a template of a copy as well to keep everything consistent.
To keep the design and content it is wrapping we recommend to read a bunch of hacks on content strategy before you start making up your own plan of actions in this field. More thorough study of this domain is revealed in the book from A Book Apart “The Elements of Content Strategy”. Highly recommended to read.
Good looking photos with claim for being aesthetically appealing and a proper voice of conveying the message are what helps you to establish the personality of your business — the thing that makes you unique from your competitors in the eyes of your customers. Decent content doesn’t happen overnight.
It might take you a while to find your unique voice that resonates best with your specific audience but don’t give up. Keep experimenting until you hit your stride.
On this occasion, we recommend to check these resources to get more information how fulfill your store with top-notch content.
Tips on how affordably make high quality photos for your shop:
Tips on how to write engaging content that make people buy your product:
- product description that sells
- about page that build trust and credibility — it’s extremely important page as our user testing has shown 40% of visitors goes next to About Us page after homepage or after Collections page. Some of those users commented that they need to get know the brand before considering a purchase. Since trust is such an important part of selling online, it’s a good idea to give people a fair amount of information about yourself and a shop. This is when it’s needed to be as honest and open as possible.
- copywriting basics: time-tested tactics that prompt action (skillshare video course, if you are a new user of Skillshare this link gives you a free month of Skillshare subscribtion)
- mastering microcopy: writing tiny words for huge UX impact (skillshare video course, if you are a new user of Skillshare this link gives you a free month of Skillshare subscribtion)
We are not alone in focusing on content as a foundation of successful online business. Searchenginewatch.com ranked content the first thing you need to pay attention to for efficient marketing in their resolution for 2016. If you didn’t considered content as a priority it’s just time to do so since it’s already 2017 😉 And to accomplish this task some clues on audience you’re gonna create content might be at handy 👇
2. Audience. Backbone of personalized shopping experience
So many experts advise knowing the audience whom you are selling your products for so we are forced to join them. If being serious, we utterly agree with this opinion. No doubt it is better to know your clients since you can provide them with exceptional communication that both of you can win from. This attitude brings us to e-commerce personalization that gives each customer the personal shopper treatment simultaneously. The “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work online anymore. The audience and market have grown and evolved into the more mature entity. Don’t worry if you are unprepared for this shift. We got you covered with laser focused article on this matter from Shopify blog.
It super valuable insight when it comes to Shopify themes for online stores. One theme can be used by lots of people but personalization and adjustment to your own audience makes it unique and stand out among others.
We recommend to think about perfect accomplishment to the personalization toolkit — a live chat feature. This is how you can engage with your customers essentially on personal level, similar to that of a retail store and in real time offering truly personalized recommendations based on customer’s needs. This feature we have included into our Shopify theme Foodly as Shopify app to help shop owners stay in touch with their clients. Moreover, it is not an average live chat widget. It is a social integration into an online store. We highly recommend use it as a part of a communication toolkit using the advantage of Facebook brand being friendly and trustworthy.
Today, stores need to do more than just set up an online shop and wait for the customers to roll in: they need to engage with potential customers over email and on social.
Facebook chat helps to succeed in this challenge. Moreover, it will help grow a fan base in social media letting people know that you are a social brand that is open to conversation.
One more social media shouldn’t be ignored — Instagram. Now it’s becoming a big deal with 150 million users that has as much influence as Facebook or Twitter. It is a winning platform in days of visual web when you need to communicate not only with words but with visual messages as well. That’s why we recommend using Instagram widgets built-in in Shopify stores so owners of online shop can benefit from this massive online audience. We also would like you to pay attention to this Shopify blog post covering perks of being active on Instagram. Another aspect that makes Instagram so valuable is ability to include its user-generated content (UGC) into a shop. There is a massive shift to UGC that is covered in media a lot and we would like you to check this post of recent researches to be aware of UGC advantages, especially when Millennial generation becomes the largest generation since the baby boom and is about to enter its prime purchasing years. It’s highly recommended not to stand behind and not to ignore this fact, but embrace the upcoming changes in customer’s behavior and this Shopify blog post will provide you with a hint how to do that (Spoiler alert! user-generated content is on the list).
However, Instagram is not the only or the primary source of UGC. Reviews and comments from beloved customers are the core of UGC for online store.
What clients think of products, what they feel about them and service have a huge value in online business because this is what is called a social proof.
Recently we have both functionalities implemented into Shopify theme and people loved it. Because they got another bunch of tools that gain profit for their online store. For example, comments are inevitable part of the blog and articles. Reviews functionality might be a laser sward on the battlefield for customer’s affection. Recent studies reveal 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews and you can dive deeper into this analyses at Moz blog post. Now let’s look at numbers. 70% of potential buyers rely on reviews before making a purchase as PeopleClaim research says. 63% of customers are more likely to buy something in vendor’s shop that has reviews, chances are higher if this store has more than six reviews as MarketingProfs says.
Based on these arguments and more from Shopify blog post, we are recommending to use SEO-friendly Product Reviews — review app from Shopify, for the first time. You can install this app from the Shopify App Store. It’s absolutely free.
Using comments and reviews you enrich your marketing arsenal without extra hassle. However, this is not all we have, there are more ways how you can gain user-generated content and you may find extra tips in this Shopify blog post. Try them out and experience positive influence on your conversion rate.
3. Conversion rate. Foundation to estimation of success
The main idea behind all this hassle is that more people more likely someone will make a purchase in your online shop. Conversion rate helps measure how effective marketing campaigns are and how many people make desired action. In terms of conversion you need count not only conversion rate but other constituents as well such as conversion event. Both of them depend on user expectations.
Are users receiving what they were looking for? Do your service and product meet customer’s exceptions and are equal to what you have stated in your marketing messages?
To have a ‘yes’ answer to these questions you need to be consistent and aware of tools that are at your disposal. That’s why we recommend to learn more about conversion from trustworthy source in UX world — Nielsen Norman Group rigorous study. It is a post that explains intelligible examples what conversion rate is and how it works for e-commerce; what type of conversion events exists except purchase action (yes, there are more ways to interact with your clients); how evaluate conversion rate and how it intersects with user experience.
One of the most obvious but still efficient way to measure conversions is Google Analytics. It accompanies and fills the gaps of the inner analytics that Shopify offers itself through admin panel. More data more it’s possible to keep abreast with sales and user’s behavior. Being a quite complicated tool from first sight, Google analytics still can be managed quite nicely just go through this an alternative resource that provides a beginner’s guide to setting up Google Analytics for an online store.
Google Analytics is one of the many that can help you track what’s going on the site and improve UX afterwards. Other options are Hotjar, CrazyEgg, Zarget and others. We’ve been using Hotjar intensively since amount of features it offers compare to pricing plans. For starters, it is amazing tool to start with examine heatmaps and studies video recordings how clients interacts with the store.
Having all that said, hope each Shopify folk find these recommendations useful and give them at least a try 😉 to prove themselves worthy in the marketing battle of today’s e-commerce world. Thank you for reading!
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