E-commerce Onsite Marketing

10 Brilliant Shopify Success Stories [+Tips for Entrepreneurs]

“Are there any Shopify success stories?”

“Can you really make money with a Shopify store?”

Many entrepreneurs are asking these questions. Indeed, it’s okay to be skeptical: ecommerce is hard, and most online stores fail.

But here’s the truth:

Many people have succeeded on Shopify. Their stores are generating tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenues every month.

And guess what—

There’s a lot we can learn from these Shopify success stories. It might help you start and grow your business faster. So get comfy, we’re about to share with you lots of valuable insights and practical tips.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • Facts about Shopify stores
  • Shopify success stories
  • Takeaways for entrepreneurs

Shopify Success: Facts

Have you come across Shopify success stories claiming to make millions in a couple of months? Many are legit, but they often create the impression that making millions is a piece of cake.

While you might be lucky and strike gold quickly, let’s be real: many people fail because they expect fast results with minimal effort.

So, let’s do a quick reality check.

  • Success rate of Shopify stores is around 10%
  • Average revenue per customer for Shopify is $87
  • Shopify’s monthly recurring revenue is $82.6 million
  • Over 690,000 small businesses sell on Shopify internationally
  • Direct is the largest source of traffic and orders (83.5%) for Shopify stores
  • Average conversion rate for Shopify is 1.6% (20% of stores have a 4% rate or higher)
  • Most Shopify stores fail due to a lack of conversion tactics and not increasing their sales

[Sources: Shopify, Deloitte, and Littledata studies on Shopify conversion, traffic, and revenue]

These numbers tell us one thing:

Many Shopify shops fail, often due to a lack of targeted strategy and planning. But the revenue is there for people willing to put in hard work.

Speaking of such people, let’s now look at 10 inspiring Shopify success stories. We’ll break down their secrets of success and give you practical tips to build and/or improve your online business.

Shopify Success Stories

Note: these Shopify success stories should serve as inspiration, not templates to follow. Their tactics and tools, however, could work for your business, so look for useful takeaways in each section.

1. Asphalte

Asphalte shopify store

Source: Asphalte

Brand Story

When Asphalte was founded in 2016, the brand chose an unusual business model: pre-order. Asphalte’s team decided to make clothes solely based on the preferences of customers, without charging them upfront.

To collect feedback, Asphalte uses non-stop website surveys providing valuable info along with leads’ emails. The strategy works well, as the company has an annual turnover of €25 million and 100,000+ customers.

Recipe for Success

Excellent product quality and a customer-centric culture.

The brand’s products are long-lasting, which improves customer satisfaction and reduces environmental impact. To ensure the highest quality, Asphalte collaborates with the best manufacturers and cuts out the middlemen.

Also, Asphalte relies on customer feedback to create products. So, people become collaborators and contribute to creating high-quality clothing they actually want to buy. Website surveys ensure that the flow of feedback stays consistent.

Takeaway

Use customer feedback to create or change your products or services. Asphalte’s founders focused on getting people products they wanted instead of chasing the highest margins.

As for the Shopify contribution, it allowed Asphalte to create a good-looking website with a visitor survey section powered by Typeform. To drive visitors to the surveys, the brand uses gorgeous popups on the homepage and product pages.

Asphalte designed elegant popups with conversation-like messages to drive visitors to surveys. This strategy generates 15,000+ popup clicks, 4,000+ conversions, and tons of feedback every month (see below). More details: Asphalte Case Study

Asphalte performance
Performance of popup campaigns, Asphalte, October 2020 – April 2021

2. Partake Foods

Partake Foods photo

Source: Partake Foods

Brand Story

Denise Woodard had a hard time finding healthy snacks for her daughter who was diagnosed with severe food allergies. Frustrated by the lack of options, she decided to start her own packaged goods company, but was rejected by 86 investors.

After finally securing the investment and building a Shopify store, Woodard saw her business take off. Her website has a range of delicious snacks, which she made herself along with a product developer. The performance: $4M+ in revenues (10-fold revenue increase in 2020 alone).

Recipe for Success

Woodard advises focusing on two things: 1) building a quality product and 2) creating and nurturing an email list.

After Woodard created a great range of allergen-free cookies, she focused on marketing her Shopify store online with Google ads, social media ads, and email.

In a recent interview with Shopify, Woodard mentioned that she underestimated email as a channel for business growth. Building and nurturing an email list is key to continuous business growth, says Woodard, as it helps educate customers and to keep in touch with them.

Takeaway

Have a plan to build and nurture your email list. Online advertising is good for product and brand awareness, but onsite email capture tools are a must to achieve this goal. Email popups are excellent tools, especially when they contain discounts.

Partake Foods follows this strategy. To encourage visitors to subscribe, the brand offers 15% off plus useful content. Here’s one website popup campaign that’s currently running.

Partake Foods popup
Source: Partake Foods
Shopify stores in all niches use popups to build email lists. These articles will be useful if you’d like to try this lead generation method:
40 Amazing Email Popup Examples
How to Create Shopify Email Popups (Steps)
The Ultimate Guide to Email Popups (Designs, Copy, Targeting, etc.)

3. Chubbies

Chubbies storefront
Source: Chubbies

Brand Story

Chubbies is a premium apparel brand founded with a simple goal: spread the love for men’s retro shorts. The founders of Chubbies associate them with the traditional lazy weekends of their youth, which inspired them to “sell this lifestyle.”

Before starting a Shopify store, Chubbies created a brand communication strategy focused on a fun, laid-back and informal style. The strategy struck a chord with target customers, as Chubbies collected 1.5 million emails, 1.6 million Facebook likes, and a 50% YoY growth.

Recipe for Success

Active social media marketing, constant engagement with fans, and an awesome brand voice make Chubbies a Shopify success story.

The brand uses quirky social media campaigns that also promote user-generated content. Their campaigns target male college students who like a laid back lifestyle, and actively engage with their posts.

The positive, playful, and youthful brand image is also brilliantly reflected through the website. Eventually, the brand started calling their followers Chubsters and Chubster Nation, which promotes a fun sense of community.

“We wanted to sell our lifestyle to people,” Tom Montgomery, one of the brand’s founders, said. “When we decided to start this business, we wanted to sell the notion of fun and embody that in every pair of shorts we sold.”

Takeaway

Creative social media marketing can build communities around a brand. Chubbies created campaigns featuring pop culture references, influencers, and contests, and were able to get 1.6M Facebook likes, 576K Instagram followers, and 94K Twitter followers.

Combined with excellent customer service, Chubbies has created a truly loyal following and sense of community. This strategy is crucial, as loyal customers are likely to recommend brands to others (68%) and spend more (57%).

Chubbies social posts

Source: Facebook, Chubbies
Useful reads for effective social media promotion:
How to Get Emails with Social Media Marketing
How Ecommerce Brands Are Using Social Media to Sell
How to Use Social Media Retargeting to Boost Your Conversions Among Millennials

4. Holo Taco

Holo Taco image

Source: Holo Taco

Brand Story

Holo Taco is a two-year-old nail polish brand. Started by a YouTuber Cristine Rotenberg (aka Simply Nailogical), it was inspired by her love for holographic nail polish. That’s why most Holo Taco products are colorful holographic polishes.

Rotenberg used her YouTube channel to spread brand awareness, so the launch was an anticipated event. She sold out the first collection (and many subsequent ones) within an hour, scoring high reviews for each product.

Recipe for Success

Commitment to brand values and strong brand identity.

Being a known YouTuber, Rotenberg was offered partnerships by big nail polish companies, which, according to her, prioritized profits over quality. So, she refused and took her time developing Holo Taco and launching the store.

The results were vegan, cruelty-free, produced in the US, and affordable (priced at $13) products – just what Rotenberg promised her followers. They in turn appreciated the strong commitment and responded with unbelievable social media engagement.

Shopify’s role in this success story is also prominent. The platform allowed Rotenberg to realize her vision of a vibrant, sleek, playful and colorful online store (see the screenshot below).

Takeaway

Focus on quality instead of quantity. Although Rotenberg could have had the financial backing of large companies, she turned them down because it would have interfered with her brand vision and values.

Staying true to what she promised her YouTube followers was the right choice. Now, Holo Taco is successful despite being a small brand with a very limited product range.

Holo Taco storefront
Source: Holotaco.com

5. Maison Balzac

Maison Balzac storefront
Source: maisonbalzac.com

Brand Story

Maison Balzac started out with five scented candles. The small range didn’t bother Elise Pioch, who wanted to explore product designs after working in fashion for 12 years. Run as a one-woman operation, the brand gradually expanded to homeware products, which are made in collaboration with craftspeople.

Now, Maison Balzac is a team of five. Pioch stays true to her original vision: products are created together with creatives from all over the world. The company continues its steady growth in the luxury homeware niche, selling candles, perfumes, and furniture.

Recipe for Success

Do something you love. Pioch left her job to explore product design, which was something she truly loved. This interest allowed her to be extremely personal with her products and always get inspiration for work.

Pioch approaches business growth the same way. In The Grace Tales interview, she said she follows her instinct and demand from customers. Taking big jumps or investments isn’t her priority, because it would impact her human, genuine approach to growth.

Takeaway

Be personal with your customers. Pioch says that being personal with her products, website, and social media helped her attract like-minded people. Those individuals were truly interested in her brand, so they supported her business.

“Our consumer list grows organically and by no means are we trying to attract more than what we can cope with,” says Pioch. “It’s best to be prudent and steady.”

Maison Balzac popup
Source: maisonbalzac.com
Maison Balzac has been growing the email list with our popups, which are a great way to generate leads. But don’t take our word for it – Shopify users rate Wisepops 4.9 stars.

Get Wisepops for Shopify for free and start building a campaign in minutes.

6. Allbirds

Allbirds storefront
Source: Allbirds.com

Brand Story

Allbirds began with one purpose: create a running shoe that’s both comfortable and has a small carbon footprint. To achieve this goal, the company uses planet-friendly materials such as eucalyptus tree fibers and merino wool.

Now, Allbirds is a $1.4 billion sneaker company while only selling about half a dozen of products. Despite the limited range, the brand’s products are super popular, especially among environmentally conscious customers.

Recipe for Success

Strong brand differentiation and direct-to-consumer business model.

The founders of Allbirds studied the market and understood how to differentiate their new brand. From the very early days as a crowdfunded project, the startup prioritized sustainability as the main difference from the rest of the market players.

The direct-to-consumer model allowed the business to control manufacturing and reduce prices by avoiding middlemen. Also, it enabled Allbirds to move faster and have a closer relationship with customers.

Takeaway

Allbirds used sustainability to differentiate itself in a highly competitive and crowded market. This strategy helped the brand to appeal to an emerging group of customers who were environmentally conscious.

Indeed, sustainability has reached a tipping point. IBM research found that 80% of shoppers value environmental responsibility and sustainability. Over 70% also claim to be willing to pay extra for environmentally responsible brands.

Faguo, another environmentally-conscious brand, plants a tree for every item sold. The brand’s business strategy combines strong branding and lead nurturing, and is a great example for entrepreneurs to get inspiration from.  

Faguo business and growth strategy: Faguo Case Study

7. Madsen Cycles

Brand Story

After visiting relatives in Denmark, Jared Madsen was impressed by the country’s bike culture. He decided to design a bike to make cycling more accessible for families in the US, too. That’s how the “Bucket Bike” was born in 2008.

Fast forward to 2021, Madsen Cycles is a top US cargo bike manufacturer with a Shopify store. Thousands of families now enjoy delightful experiences with Bucket Bikes, thanks to their practical design.

Recipe for Success

Having a unique product, the brand prioritized social media marketing as a way to grow. Besides creating quality, engaging content, Madsen Cycles also promoted customer-generated content to increase credibility.

Now, the brand uses the Instafeed app to showcase social media content on the Shopify store. Visitors can see the latest user-generated content, which creates greater trust between them and the brand.

Takeaway

Promote user-generated content in your social media marketing. Over 90% of marketers say that customers trust this content more than brand-generated content. So, this strategy can provide much-needed social proof and increase your brand’s credibility.

Madsen Cycle’s social media profiles are an excellent example of this strategy. More than one-third of content published on the brand’s Instagram page is user-generated. Here’s one as an example. Just look at those comments!

Madsen Cycles social post

Source: Instagram, Madsencycles

8. Beardbrand

Beardbrand storefront
Source: beardbrand.com

Brand Story

What to do when your employer prohibits you from growing a beard? Well, Eric Bandholz decided to quit. After giving up his job as a financial advisor, he started creating articles and videos about beard care, with a plan to start a business.

After visiting beard and mustache championships, Bandholz realized there was an underserved group of customers who didn’t have any care products available. Fast forward to today, Beardbrand is a Shopify success story with $100K+ monthly revenue.

Recipe for Success

Bandholz saw an opportunity for business after spending time engaging with the target audience. He knew they needed proper tools to care for their beards and end the negative stereotypes about beardsmen being lazy or unkempt.

Since he had no money for large-scale production at the beginning, Bandholz started creating Shopify blogs and videos himself. Later, he even created a Beardsman Quiz to help men choose care products for their type of beard.

Takeaway

Don’t just assume something about your target customers, ask them. Bandholz did an amazing job visiting beard and mustache championships and learning more about his target group. The visits helped him discover a need for specific products that no brand fulfilled.

A genuine desire to help men take better care of their beards helped Beardbrand become a go-to source of information for the “beaded” community (direct is the main traffic source for Shopify stores, remember?).

You can do the same: learn about your target market, survey them with quizzes, and recommend products that fit their needs. Check out Beardbrand’s blog for great content examples, too.

Beardbrand blog
Source: beardbrand.com
Popups can act as website surveys. They can be embedded into a website’s content or appear as non-intrusive windows. These reads will help get you started:

How to Add a Survey Popup to a Website
20 Popup Survey Questions to Ask Visitors
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Website Surveys  

9. WP Standard

WP Standard storefront
Source: wpstandard.com

Brand Story

This Shopify success story started in 2009 when Ryan Burr founded WP Standard. Despite having just a few hundred dollars in his pocket, he wanted to sell leather guitar cases. As a guitar player himself, he knew many others would appreciate this product, too.

Fast forward to 2021, WP Standard is a seven-figure ecommerce business selling backpacks, totes, wallets, and accessories. The brand’s products are also available in popular clothing apps and retail stores.

Recipe for Success

“Email is the only channel you really own.” Burr said in an interview. “Facebook, Instagram, and Google search are all very fickle and those companies will make you pay for access to the people on those platforms.”

Burr’s advice for fellow business owners is to use lead generation tools to build a successful Shopify store. He himself uses Klaviyo and popups to build an email list.

Takeaway

Find a small profitable niche for your Shopify business. Burr found one because he played guitar, so tap into your hobbies and interests, too. Your unique knowledge of those hobbies might give you ideas to find a profitable niche.

Similar to other Shopify success stories, WP Standard grows because of a thriving email list. Indeed, building one as soon as possible is a must, so use email capture tools as soon as you have your store up and running.

WP Standard uses popups to get emails with contests. In this one below, visitors can win a $268 cargo tote bag in exchange for an email. Try contest popups to build your email list, too – they can score you hundreds of leads quickly.

Try Wisepops for free to make a stunning popup for your contest (Wisepops integrates with Klaviyo, by the way ;))  

WP Standard popup

10. Blume

Blume storefront

Source: Blume

Brand Story

Blume sells skin, body, and period care products made from renewable sources. It was started in 2018 by two sisters, Taran and Bunny Ghatrora, who sought to provide girls with access to quality care and education about their bodies.

The sisters originally called their brand Ellebox, and they sold third-party products. But then they decided to rebrand and focus on specific products and reach Gen Z customers. The business model changed, too, as the founders chose to make their own products.

Recipe for Success

The brand’s founders discovered that Gen Z customers (aged 16 to 24 in 2021) wanted to switch to cruelty-free, clean, and vegan wellness and beauty products.

“There are brands like P&G, but they’re not what girls relate to,” Taran said in an interview. “Blume is the only brand approaching the Gen Z consumers’ needs in this cohesive way across both commerce and content.”

According to Taran, Blume switched to Shopify to get access to great analytics tools and increase customer engagement and lifetime value. She recommends a loyalty program, a social proof, a referral program, and a customer review app for all Shopify store owners.

Takeaway

Focus on solving the problems of your target customers. Blume began as a subscription service that served various customer groups, but Taran and Bunny realized they could help Gen Z with specific solutions.

So, they switched to vegan, eco-friendly skincare, and went on a mission to de-stigmatize female health topics. Result? A website with 142K+ visits and thousands of dollars in monthly revenue.

Blume uses Wisepops to generate leads. Here’s an exit-intent campaign the brand is running to build their email list.

Make an exit-intent popup and convert up to 4% of visitors.  


Blume popup example

Shopify Success Stories: Final Thoughts

Can you be successful on Shopify?

Absolutely.

After all, Shopify success stories are everywhere.

Besides showing that Shopify is worth it, the stories tell us another thing: There’s a lot more to becoming a successful Shopify store than just building a site.

Creating an ecommerce store is just the first step. These Shopify success stories point out several success predictors:

  • Building and nurturing an email list
  • Using conversion and growth tools
  • Staying true to brand values and mission
  • Putting customer experience above everything
  • Having a strong presence on social media platforms

Let me give you a recommendation –

Try Wisepops for free and take care of the first two success predictors right away. We helped many Shopify stores (including Asphalte, Blume, and Maison Balzac) achieve marketing and sales goals, and we’d love for you to join them.

Here’s to you becoming a Shopify success story!

Caro Cooper

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