Conversion rate optimization E-commerce List-building

​​How to Get Sales on Shopify: 12 Proven Ways

Getting sales on Shopify can be as simple as sharing a post on Facebook, or as complicated as running an Instagram ad campaign.

In any case, we need to start somewhere.

To help you get sales on Shopify, we have compiled a list of widely applicable marketing techniques. They are designed to generate that important first sale and establish a foundation for more orders.

So, let’s get you started.

In this post:

  • Why you’re not getting Shopify sales
  • How to get sales on Shopify: 12 ways

Why a Shopify store is not getting sales

To understand how to get sales on Shopify, we need to first understand the reasons why those sales are not happening in the first place. 

Common reasons for a lack of sales include:

  • No traffic. Launching a store is just the beginning—building traffic is an ongoing process. No traffic means no sales.
  • Lack of trust. About 18% of customers leave even after adding products to their cart if they think an online store is untrustworthy.
  • No blog content. Blogging is a way to show customers how your products solve their problems and earn sales as a result.
  • No promotional offers. Promos like free shipping and discounts are enough to convince up to 50% of customers to make a purchase.
  • Generic product pages. Shopping should be fun, but stock images and boring product descriptions are the opposite of that.
  • No brand mission or values. Customers are four times more likely to buy from a business if they think it has a meaningful mission and values.
  • Lack of traffic conversion strategy. The money is in the email list—but if your store has no popups, signup forms, etc. to build that list, you’re missing out.
  • No lead nurturing tactics. Not engaging the email list with promos and sales also means missing out on opportunities to develop regular customers and grow your business.

Do these issues resonate with you? Even a single reason from this list is enough to hurt your Shopify store’s performance.

But—

We can fix them, some even within minutes. Let’s get started.

How to get sales on Shopify

To give you the best chance to generate sales on Shopify, I’ve collected some of the most effective techniques below. Don’t worry, you don’t need a marketing degree, just a desire to change your store for the better.   

1. Convert traffic with popups

Ecommerce stores shouldn’t just let visitors look around and leave. Here’s where popups come in: they offer incentives that make buying easier. Think of them like the sales people in your store.

Popups can convert up to 16% of visitors. For a Shopify store with 500 monthly visitors, it means getting 80 emails.

Here’s an example from Kitchen Warehouse. This store offers visitors $10 off in a discount popup 👇

popup discount example

Besides discounts, you can also increase your Shopify sales with popups by offering free shipping, loyalty points, and other incentives.

💡 Use these 18 discount code ideas for inspiration

Free shipping in particular is a strong incentive: as mentioned, 50% of customers will consider buying if presented with this bonus. AESOP Wines is one of the brands using free shipping.

free shipping popup

Visitors will happily exchange their emails for discounted shipping. Simple as that. For you, this is an opportunity to make a Shopify sale and receive leads you can “nurture” with marketing emails.

Last thing—

Let me address the common “popups-are-intrusive-and-useless” misconception. The truth is, popups are effective when used correctly. I mean “double-your-growth,” “skyrocket-your-email-list” effective.

Here’s how I know:

  • Faguo, a clothing store, uses a spin-to-win popup to host an onsite giveaway and promises a top-selling product. The result: 5,000+ quality leads every month
  • OverstockArt, an art print retailer, gets 1,000 new leads monthly thanks to a discount popup

If you’d like to try creating a popup campaign, check out the video tutorial below. You’ll learn how to make a welcome popup with free shipping. But if you prefer to learn by doing—Use our popup builder to try.

2. Build an email marketing strategy

An email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. But it is important. Email strategies get leads and sales for 77% of businesses, so if you want to generate sales on Shopify, it helps to have one.

Let’s break a basic email marketing strategy down:

  • Step I: Collect emails from visitors
  • Step II: Add an email marketing app to your Shopify store
  • Step III: Create email messages and send them to subscribers

Let’s start with the first step.

Popups, bars, and signup forms are the most popular tools for collecting emails on websites. Taylor Stitch, a big Shopify success story, uses this email popup form to get leads in exchange for a 20% discount:

popup with discount

You can add a similar popup to your store with Wisepops (5-star Shopify rating)—this is our own app that includes popups, bars and signup forms.

As the popups run and collect emails, let’s go to the next step—

Adding an email app to your store.

You have many choices: Klaviyo, Omnisend, Mailchimp, etc. The choice is yours, but let me suggest you consider Omnisend and Klaviyo: each app has 1,100+ 5-star reviews. But whatever your choice is, add an app to your Shopify store to collect emails.

Next, connect Wisepops with your email app (here’s how to connect: Wisepops and Klaviyo and Wisepops and Omnisend).

Now, we have popups “feeding” your email app with leads. Time to start creating email campaigns and get sales on Shopify.

Here’s my list of must-have email marketing campaigns:

  • Welcome emails. Introduce your brand and tell visitors why they should care and return. If you have a strong mission, now’s a good time to share it. Don’t forget to mention your great products, too.
  • Cart abandonment emails. These automatic messages remind customers about products they left in their shopping cart. 
  • Promotional emails. These campaigns include messages about sales, new arrivals, discounts, special offers, loyalty programs, etc.

Every email marketing app has campaign templates, so all you have to do is customize them.

With this basic strategy in place, your Shopify store could start getting sales within a few days. There’s much more to email marketing, of course. This is just the very tip of a large and vital marketing pillar. If you’re interested in learning more, we prepared this guide to ecommerce email marketing for you.

3. Ask friends and family to share with social networks

Have you told your friends and colleagues about your business?

If not, then you should. 

A little story: When Jackie and Evan started their Shopify store, they didn’t have money for marketing. Yet, their brand Highway Robery made its first sales fast.

The couple announced the launch on social media and encouraged people to spread the word. Here’s one post, featuring a photo made with a guerilla-style photoshoot around their neighborhood.

facebook post promotion

The couple later said they made a few sales once they published on social media.

And there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that posting on social media will help you grow. Here’s one more example from Reddit.

reddit example facebook growth

So—

Consider sharing the info about the launch of your business.

Create social media posts with these important points:

  • Name of the business
  • Link to the Shopify store
  • Ask people to spread the word
  • Introduction to your business and products

Tip: Consider mentioning a welcome discount in your social media posts. Say, 10% or $10 off the first purchase. This strategy can help get Shopify sales quicker.

Make social media a great source of leads: How to Build an Email List with Social Media Marketing

4. Add trust signals

A trust signal is a badge, logo, or seal containing proof that a website is trustworthy. 

Must-have signals include the following:

  • Internet security badges
  • Safe payment badges
  • Money-back guarantee signs
  • Free shipping badges

For example, a “secure payment” badge shows that customers’ financial information is protected during payment:

security badge

Adding trust signals to your store is a big step towards making Shopify sales. They give customers a sense of security and confidence to buy from you.

But the best part is that you can get trust signals within minutes.

Try Free Trust Badge—this app has a 4.8 rating and a free plan for 145 payment badges. But, of course, the app store has more options, so browse around.

5. Reach out to bloggers

Bloggers are on the lookout for good products. They can help you get sales on Shopify and exposure by reviewing or mentioning your products in content. Plus, they often don’t need huge rewards the way influencers do.

Many Shopify stores are making sales this way. Soxfords is one of them—Shopify even featured them as a success story.

Soxfords’ founder said this about bloggers as a way to get Shopify sales:

To get coverage from bloggers:

  • Find blogs. Google your product category and add “review” or “reviews,” e.g. “mountain bike reviews.”
  • Get bloggers’ names. They are usually listed as authors of articles along with social media profiles or other contact information.
  • Write pitches to bloggers. Compose a short and sweet message telling them why you contacted them and ask if they’d be interested. Knowing about the size of their audience might be helpful, too.

When bloggers respond, send them some products for free. If they like your products, they could write a post or review about them. You can then get traffic from those posts, which could convert into Shopify sales. (You’ll also get brand awareness, which is a topic for another day but an important one!)

6. Run a paid ads campaign

Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads are some of the quickest ways to get sales on Shopify. Even one campaign can bring a few hundred visitors to your store in 24 hours.

And it’s more than that—

Ads can even sell a product with a $2,000 price tag.

facebook ads success example

Ads are powerful for so many reasons, including the following:

  • They give you access to huge audiences
  • Ads allow you to target customers who are likely to buy
  • They generate a lot of traffic to your Shopify store quickly

So, consider using paid ads to get sales on Shopify.

You have many ways to attract customers to your store and generate Shopify sales. For example, you can list all the bonuses and social proof like The Ridge does here.

Don’t have any customer reviews and a lifetime guarantee for your products? No problem. Focus on the best benefits of your products and add perks like free shipping.

Also, I suggest you link your ads to menu pages to give potential customers more choices. For example, if you click the ad by The Ridge, you’ll land on this page with all products in the category.

ridge product page

Creating and running paid campaigns is a topic that’s too vast to cover here. But the most important thing to do is research keywords and audiences carefully—the advertising platform of your choice will provide these options.

Here are helpful links to get you started:

7. Engage visitors with onsite notifications

Most visitors never go past the homepage, so you must engage them right away. But there’s only so much you can squeeze onto a homepage.

This is where onsite notifications come in.

Onsite notifications are website messages that resemble a social media feed. Here’s how they look.

asphalte notifications example

Onsite notifications will help you focus visitors’ attention on any info you’d like them to see when they land on your site.

Here’s some ideas of what you could include:

  • New arrivals
  • Product launch
  • Sale announcements
  • Promo offers
  • New blog post
  • Discount codes
  • Pre-order announcements

For example, you can get sales on Shopify by driving traffic to a “new arrivals” page with a notification that serves as a sales promotion.

We recommend Wisp for Shopify onsite notifications. This app displays elegant notifications without interrupting the customer experience. 

Sure, I’m biased because Wisp is our own tool. But it’s rated 4.9/5 stars by users, and we know that visitors who interact with Wisp convert up to 3.5 times more often (this case study from Asphalte has proof).

8. Optimize your product pages

Some elements on product pages sell better than others.

Over 80% of online shoppers say product images and descriptions influence their decision to buy. So, to get Shopify sales, we need to impress customers by taking care of these two critical factors.

Let’s start with product descriptions. We need to make them engaging, benefit-focused, and easy to read.

This example from Allbirds, a footwear retailer, passes the test.

product description example

Here’s why this description is great:

  • Small paragraphs make it easy to read
  • “Walking” and “everyday wear” help customers define use cases
  • Benefit-packed power words (“breathable,” “silky-smooth,” etc.) engage shoppers 

You can apply this formula to almost any product.

Example:

Pipcorn, a Shopify store selling snacks, uses this well-structured product description that focuses on benefits for customers and uses power words (“salty,” “great,” “leading.”)

product description pipcorn

Last thing before we move on to product visuals: if you’re wondering what “power words” are, this guide on power words will answer all your questions.

Next up—

Visuals on product pages.

It might sound obvious but quality, high-resolution images (including those showing products in action if possible) are a must. On this product page, Taylor Stitch displays a great example of a gorgeous product image gallery.

product gallery example

As you can see, they have traditional product images, detailed close-ups, and pics showing the product in action. Try this approach, and you’ll have a better chance to win over customers and get Shopify sales.

Videos are another huge sales magnet to consider. They can showcase your products in action in a way static images just can’t.

Here’s a good example from Allbirds (click to play):

This video is just four seconds long. Yet, it manages to show the product tested in rainy weather—something that would be interesting to customers.

Want to write engaging product descriptions?

This Guide to Ecommerce Copywriting has plenty of examples and professional tips, in simple language.

9. Start a loyalty program

A customer loyalty program reduces the cost per purchase, increases sales, and creates loyal customers. If done right, it can earn you Shopify sales, as 60% of members of customer loyalty programs spend more.Most Shopify stores have loyalty programs. The one from Chubbies called “Chubbies Rewards” is a great example.

rewards program

To start creating a loyalty program, add a loyalty program app to your Shopify store. The app will automate rewarding customers and save you tons of time. 

Need app recommendations?

See Smile.io and Yotpo are both top-rated options with free features.

Chubbies gives customers $20 in bonuses for signing up to the rewards program. Check out these 10 Examples of Loyalty Programs If you want to know the best practices of leading brands.

10. Build social proof

Starting with zero customer reviews is difficult but with a little effort you can start earning reviews.

Holo Taco requests reviews from customers after they have made a purchase…

email with review

…and then they proudly display the reviews on product pages like this.

product review

If you think your store could benefit from a process like this then you will need an app dedicated to managing reviews.

Review apps do the following:

  • Ask for reviews automatically
  • Give you multiple options to display reviews on your store
  • Allow adding photos and videos to reviews for increased credibility

If you need recommendations, consider Judge.me (Shopify users rate it 5 stars) and Fera (4.9 stars). Both apps have free plans, so you’ll be able to test them without spending any money.

11. Write blog content

Shopify has a built-in blog feature, and for a good reason:

Content gets traffic. Traffic gets Shopify sales.

Most successful Shopify stores have blogs with tons of fantastic content. Example: Nutriseed, a seller of healthy food, features recipes, cooking tips, health benefits of specific products and more on its blog.

blog example

By sharing information Nutriseed’s customers are interested in, the brand grows organically and builds a reputation.

When it comes to creating content, you can do it in two ways:

Write it yourself or outsource. 

Outsourcing can work, sure, but you should give it a try, too: no one knows your brand and products better than you.

Consider these blog content ideas:

  • How-to guides, e.g. “How to choose a mountain bike”
  • Gift guides for special occasions, e.g. “Eco-friendly gift ideas to try this Christmas”
  • Product reviews and comparisons, “10 top-rated sneakers you’ll want to try”

12. Add a live chat to your store

Adding a live chat to a Shopify store typically results in an 8% to 20% increase in conversion. Customers want answers to questions they have while shopping, so having a quick way to help them is a big advantage.

If you’re not using live chat on your Shopify store, it’s time to get started.

Once you add the chat, your store will have a special button. Clicking that button will open a chat window. PRESS store shows us how it looks.

live chat

Adding a live chat means investing more effort into customer support. But this tool is one of the best ways to generate sales on Shopify, so it’s worth considering.

Be sure to choose a live chat plugin with a mobile app, too. This way, you’ll be able to get customers’ messages even when you’re on the go.

How to get sales on Shopify: final thoughts

The competition in ecommerce is unbelievable. Often, the thing differentiating a failed and a successful store is the perseverance of its founders. Getting sales on Shopify—especially the first ones—is difficult, but you’ll get there if you’re willing to experiment and you have the knowledge to support your ideas. I hope this post gave you plenty of ideas and knowledge.

Fingers crossed for your success!

Oleksii Kovalenko Oleksii Kovalenko is a digital marketing specialist with a degree in international marketing. He has 6 years of experience helping ecommerce store owners to promote their businesses.

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