How to get more sales on Shopify

Lizzie Davey
minute read
Written By
Lizzie Davey
August 23, 2022

You’ve got a decent amount of traffic coming to your store, but why aren’t you making sales? If your sales are more a trickly fountain than a gushing waterfall, you’re not alone.

The competition is fierce among ecommerce brands. There seems to be a new darling of the industry that pops up every day and has no problem stealing the limelight from stores tirelessly working away behind the scenes.

When you’re working in a business day in, day out, it can be tricky to identify the weak spots. But if you want to stand out you need to understand where there’s room for improvement.

We’ve got ya!

Why you’re not getting Shopify sales 📉

Got a goal in mind that you thought was within reach but it turns out it’s loftier than anticipated?

If there’s demand for your products and a market that’s waiting to snap them up (you’ve done your research, right?!), there’s a reason you’re not getting the sales results you want.

Take a step back (and a deep breath while you’re at it, this is difficult work) and assess your current ecommerce marketing strategy.

Is it working? Or is your store not reaching the heady heights you’d hoped for?

Poor-quality product pics 📸

A picture is worth 1,000 words.

This age-old saying was made for the ecommerce industry. A whopping 75% of shoppers rely on product photos when making a purchase – a no-brainer, really, when they can’t touch, taste, or see a product IRL before they buy.

If your photos are subpar – that is, they are low-res, inconsistent, and not relevant to your brand or target customer – you’re going to struggle to compete against brands with crystal clear 360-degree shots and a library of highly-relevant product videos.

Psst… there’s an easy way to manage your product photos with a DAM like Dash. Say goodbye to lengthy email threads, duplicate snaps, and 1,203,329 images with file names like IMG1231212. Keep all your photos in one searchable place so you can upload them to your site in just a few clicks.

Clashing Shopify plugins and apps 🤯

Shopify websites often thrive on a bed of apps and plugins that make each store unique. Sure, the thousands of apps that help with email marketing, inventory checks, pricing, remarketing, and everything in between are super handy, but if you get the mix wrong, you can end up with a broken site. If there’s any friction at all, you’re going to lose customer trust and reduce the number of sales you could be getting – nightmare!

There’s a simple solution: make sure the apps you use integrate seamlessly with Shopify and the other apps in your arsenal. Take a look at our top Shopify apps for inspo. 💡

Confusing content for your buyer personas 🤦‍♀️

Have you done your due diligence on the peeps you’re targeting? Who are they and what do they actually need from a brand like yours?

This is crucial information to have on hand if you want to turn traffic into sales. Without knowing the type of shoppers you want to attract, you’re going to find it difficult to serve them content that resonates.

If you’re targeting busy mums with young babies but your product pics and blog posts talk about staying up til 2am knocking back tequila shots, you’re not going to get the results you want.

A lot of the time, brands know who their customers are, but their content misses the mark. If you’re scrambling for sales, check you’re putting relevant content out there for your audience. Most Shopify themes come equipped with a “blog” section that makes it easy to plug and play posts and other useful content geared towards your audience.

Outdated branding 🐢

If you’re still running clunky old banner ads in Comic Sans, stop. Please, just stop! Just like you should check your content is hitting the mark, you should also make sure your marketing strategy and branding are on top form and a good representation of who you are. Shopify has thousands of highly-customisable themes that you can drag and drop your own brand elements into, so there’s no excuse to be hanging around in the 90s with cringe-y fonts and clashing colour combos.

Remember: your marketing strategy is going to help you reach the right people on the right platforms at the right time and your branding is going to resonate with the people who matter. If you’re not getting in front of the right people, you’re not going to get many conversions… simple.

Frustrating user experience 😤

Shoppers should be able to glide seamlessly (like a gazelle on ice) through your website. Navigation should be intuitive and it should be second nature for shoppers to find what they’re looking for, put it in their basket, and hand over their cash.

If your user experience has even one friction point, you’ll find shoppers dropping off at record speed. You might not even know where the sticking points are, so if you think this might be the case take some time to dig a little deeper.

For example, is there a pop-up email form that interrupts someone in the middle of buying a product? Are there a gazillion form fields shoppers need to fill out to get to the final stage of the checkout?

Scandle checkout process

Scandle’s checkout process is made up of three steps that are clearly highlighted on the checkout page.

Subpar product pages 👎

Your product pages are the digital shelves of your ecommerce store. If they’re not compelling enough or, worse, are confusing, you’re going to be in trouble.

Lots of brands find that the product page is the most crucial moment in the buying journey because it marks the point where a shopper adds an item to their cart (a.k.a. the biggest hurdle).

Your product page should be a visual representation of your product, a virtual sales assistant, and an FAQs page all wrapped into one lovely, irresistible page.

Bad mobile optimisation 📵

Mobile sales make up the lion’s share of ecommerce sales (72.9%). If your site doesn’t translate well on little, handheld devices, you can kiss goodbye to a huge chunk of sales.

An increasing number of people have turned to mobile shopping since the pandemic – scrolling and shopping now go hand-in-hand with Netflix – and denying them the chance to buy from you wherever they are at any given moment in time will limit the number of sales you can get.

How to get more sales on Shopify 📈

Now we’ve got the uncomfortable bit out of the way, let’s lighten the load. If you’ve been grimacing and reluctantly nodding along to the issues above, we’ve got some good news coming your way.

You can doll up your Shopify product pages, make your user experience a slip-n-slide of sales, and get jaw-dropping pics on the reg.

Here are some very actionable ways you can do this (ready to watch the sales soar?!).

1. Optimise your product pages for search engine optimisation

There are two things every product page should be and do:

  • Easily findable
  • Generate quick conversions

The first part requires a little SEO-loving – that is, keyword research to find out the exact terms your ideal shoppers are using, on-page optimisation to incorporate those words into all the important bits, and technical tweaking to make sure the page loads refreshingly fast.

Let’s break these down a bit.

Keyword research and on-page optimisation

Keywords help customers find your products. Using the phrase “red ballet pumps” on a product page that sells red ballet pumps tells Google that the page is about red ballet pumps.

Ideally, you should be using the keywords your customers are using.

Do they use the words ballet pumps or ballet flats? 🧐

Use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to discover high-volume, relevant keywords and sprinkle them throughout your product pages:

  • Product name
  • Product description
  • Image alt descriptions
  • Meta title
  • Meta description

There are a couple of other cool ways you can make sure you’re using the right words on your product pages.

Check out Google’s People Also Asked section, the additional search terms at the bottom of the search results, and the keywords your competitors are using. If the next brand is getting a ton of custom and uses the word “flats” instead of “pumps”, there’s a good chance that’s what shoppers are using too.

Red ballet pumps Google search

Technical tweaking

Page load speed is an important part of Google’s search algorithm. Ain't nobody gonna hang around for two minutes while your page loads.

The most important thing you can do to make sure your product pages are super speedy is compress your product photos so the files aren’t huge. Use TinyPNG to reduce image size without affecting the quality of your shots. There are some other techy things you can do too, like reducing the number of redirects and caching your web pages, but we can’t stress enough how important small image files are.

Did we mention Dash is a great place to store your images and keep an inventory of all your pics?

Top Shopify apps for product page optimisation:

2 Push your social proof

92% of shoppers read customer reviews before they make a purchase.

Mic drop 🎤

That’s almost every single shopper.

Adding social proof to your product pages and your site in general builds trust and provides reassurance to on-the-fence shoppers. It shows potential customers that people have already bought from you and, more importantly, they ENJOYED IT.

Social proof is an umbrella term for customer-created photos, videos, testimonials, and reviews – basically, anything your lovely customers have made about your products. Brain care brand Heights doubled down on the amount of social proof on their website which led to a whopping 87.50% lift in conversions!

Heights social proof

Here are some ways you can collect social proof for your site:

  • Request reviews: Send out review request emails (or text messages, push notifications, or carrier pigeons - why not!) to recent shoppers and encourage them to leave a review of their experience.
  • Create a hashtag: Come up with a branded hashtag for social media and ask your followers to share user-generated content (UGC) under that hashtag. Not only does this ensure you have it all in one handy place, but it also acts as a compelling library of reasons potential shoppers should buy from you.
  • Run a contest: Everyone likes to win something. Host a contest where customers have to submit UGC for the chance to win a freebie or a fun prize. The added incentive will ramp up the number of entries you get.
Camera Ready review requests

Camera Ready Cosmetics invites its customers to leave a star rating and review.

Once you’ve got your hands on some soul food (ahem, we mean social proof), you can start to sprinkle it around your store and marketing channels for an added conversion boost. Consider adding it to:

  • Product pages
  • Homepage
  • Dedicated reviews pages
  • Social media channels
  • Emails

Top Shopify apps for collecting and displaying social proof:


3. Build your newsletter and email lists

Ah, the sacred inbox.

Getting the chance to land directly in your audience’s inbox is an absolute honour. They’re basically inviting you to share your wisdom, your woes, and your wonderful products with them in a place that’s mostly reserved for friends, family, and follow-up emails from Sue from accounts.

58% of respondents in one study said that emails have influenced their purchasing decisions, while 1 in 3 have actively purchased from a brand they’ve received emails from.

If you’re not already getting in on the email action, what are you waiting for?

Here are some ways you maximise Shopify sales with an email list or newsletter.

Capture not-ready shoppers: Not everyone is ready to buy as soon as they land on your site. Grab their contact details so you can nurture them and stay in touch until they are ready to buy.

Segment customers: Busy mums and teenage girls have different needs. Segment your different audiences so you can send relevant messages via email.

Offer an incentive: You see it everywhere – brands offering a juicy percentage discount for shoppers who sign up for their newsletter. It’s a tactic for a reason.

Keep shoppers in the loop: 7 out of 10 customers will buy more from brands they trust. Stay on shoppers’ radars by dropping into their inboxes on the regular with engaging content, company updates, and new product launches.

Italic newsletter screenshot

Candle brand Italic shares new products and content with its email subscribers.

Top Shopify apps for building your email list:

4. Get the best product shots

We harp on a lot about having good product shots, but there’s a reason we’re so riled up about it – product photos matter a lot. Like, a lot a lot. The majority of shoppers seek out product photos before they buy and often want to see a variety of angles, photos, and videos.

There are two ways you can improve your product pics:

  1. DIY: You don’t need a hefty budget and pricey equipment to get a good shot. You have everything you need in your pocket. In fact, mobiles today have incredible cameras that can take sharp snaps in seconds. Check out our guide to DIY product photography to get started.
  2. Hire a photographer: Don’t want to do it yourself? Bring a professional on board to make sure your snaps are slick. Use our handy “how to brief a photographer” post to make sure you're maximising the time you have with a professional.

Whichever method you choose, use Dash to store your images in an easy-to-search, manageable way.

Far and Away product shots

Far & Away uses crisp, clear product photos to show its products in a variety of different real-life settings.

Top Shopify apps for getting the best product shots:

5. Reduce shopping cart abandonment rate

One of the biggest pet peeves of ecommerce brands on Shopify is customers adding items to their cart and then disappearing into the ether (in fact, a whopping 69.7% of carts are left to gather dust).

Obviously, consumers had an interest in the product at some point, but they could have bounced for any number of reasons. Maybe they got distracted, found a cheaper price, or simply couldn’t make a decision right then and there. Some of the most common reasons for cart abandonment include:

  • Extra costs too high (55%)
  • Account is required (34%)
  • Checkout is too long (26%)
  • Unclear pricing (21%)
  • Don’t trust the site (17%)

Most of these require simple fixes to capture low-hanging fruit. You just need to nudge shoppers over the finish line – how hard can it be?

As well as being clear about extra costs, allowing shoppers to checkout as a guest, and making sure the checkout process is as concise as poss, you can also secure more sales by sending cart abandonment emails or text messages to remind shoppers about their forgotten carts.

Increase the chances of a conversion by:

  • Offering a discount in your cart abandonment emails
  • Sharing social proof
  • Recommending similar or complementary products to those already in the cart

Pipcorn 10% discount

Snack brand Pipcorn entices shoppers back with a 10% discount to sweeten the deal.

Top Shopify apps for recovering abandoned carts:

6. Don’t forget existing customers

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to a measly 5-20% probability of selling to a new customer. Sure, it’s a buzz to get shiny new customers, but don’t forget about your old faithfuls 👩‍❤️‍👨

Customer retention means securing sales from people who’ve already bought from your Shopify store – that is, people who know your brand and like it enough to come back for more.

Not only that, but these are the people who are going to shout about your products from the rooftops and recommend them to their friends and family at Sunday dinner or at the pub on a Friday night.

Take the time to nurture relationships with existing customers to secure trust and remind them why they love you so much. There are a couple of ways you can show your customers how much you value them.

  1. Rewards programs: Reward customers who keep coming back with exclusive deals, discounts, and freebies. Maybe they can collect points with every purchase and claim a freebie after a while, or maybe they get a sweet little discount every time they make a purchase with you.
  2. Affiliate programs: Let your most valuable customers become your most valuable marketers. Provide them with an affiliate link they can share with their friends, family, and followers to claim a commission every time someone buys through their link.
Bloom & Wild rewards customers

Bloom & Wild rewards customers who share the brand with their friends.

Top Shopify apps to increase customer retention:

7. Answer customer questions quickly

One of the biggest hurdles to a sale is customer objections. Maybe a shopper can’t find the right size or they have a niggling question or two they want answering before they take the plunge.

Five words: give them what they want.

The quicker you answer customer questions and tackle objections, the quicker the path is to a sale. When a customer is in buy mode, they’re ready to buy. Nothing – we repeat, nothing! – should disrupt that journey.

And no, we don’t mean a 48-hour wait for a reply from customer support. We mean instant answers, pre-emptive objection tackling, and allll the reassurance.

There are a couple of ways you can action this:

  1. Automated chatbot: Load up a chatbot with commonly asked questions and their answers. When a customer is on a product page, hovering over that buy button, give them the chance to ask the bot their query and get it answered without disrupting the buying flow.
  2. FAQs: Dump all the commonly asked questions and their answers onto a dedicated page on your site and make sure you link to it from your product pages.
  3. Content library: Blog posts, user-generated content, and reviews all have a part to play in sales. The more information you have available, the fewer objections shoppers will have and the slicker the path to purchase will be.
Oddbox FAQs and Chatbox

Oddbox has an FAQs page and a chatbot that customers can use to get answers quickly.

Top Shopify apps for answering customer questions:

8. Offer an incentive

Land on almost any Shopify ecommerce site today and, after a few seconds, you’ll be greeted with a cheeky little popup that offers a discount on your first purchase.

It’s pretty much expected now – but there’s a reason it works so well.

Giving new customers a good deal helps them make a decision (spending £10 on a £20 item feels like a great deal and is an easy investment), but it’s also the gateway to turning shoppers into lifelong customers.

Once you’ve secured that first sale with a sweet little deal, you can nurture shoppers, send them relevant content, and turn them into raving fans with your rewards program and affiliate programs (are you starting to see all of this clicking into place?).

The incentives you offer may vary depending on the products you sell, their price point, and the type of customers you’re targeting.

Here are some examples:

  • Free shipping (or free shipping on orders over X amount)
  • Discounts for new customers
  • Discounts or deals for shoppers who share your brand with a friend
  • A freebie with every first purchase
Surreal offer 10% off

Cereal brand Surreal offers shoppers 10% off when they sign up.

Top Shopify apps for offering an incentive:

9. Personalise product recommendations

Every shopper is unique, so treat ‘em that way!

Instead of serving generic product suggestions based on the products you’d quite like to shift, personalise each recommendation using customer data, like demographic info, browsing behavior, and previous purchasing habits.

The more personalised the customer experience is, the more likely someone is to buy.

Think about it: If I’ve bought several pieces of women’s clothing and precisely zero items of men’s clothing, there’s a good chance I’m not interested in men’s clothing. So, if a brand serves me product suggestions for men’s shoes, ties, or shirts, it’s highly unlikely I’m going to purchase.

On the flip side, if they see that I’ve recently bought several wide-leg trousers in bright colours and they use that information to send me more wide-leg trousers in bright colours, I’m probably going to be interested 👀

Dig into customer data, segment shoppers, and deliver them highly-targeted product recommendations to increase sales and secure loyal customers.

Brooklinen personalised product recommendations

Brooklinen shares personalised product recommendations alongside a nice little incentive.

Top Shopify apps for personalising product recommendations:

  • Product Recommendation Quiz
  • Personalized Recommendations
  • Siggy Product Recommender

Oh hey… before you dart off to implement all of this juicy goodness, we’ve got one more piece of good news.

If this all seems a little overwhelming and like it’s going to take up a ton of time, there’s a solution. There are Shopify apps for every one of these actionable tips that will help you automate the process and optimise your site for sales without having to manually figure out how to do everything yourself. Bonus 🎉

Turn traffic into sales: time to get started

Phew, that was a lot to take in, right?!

Here’s a reminder of how you can start making more sales on Shopify:

  1. Optimise your product pages with keyword research
  2. Generate social proof (and display it on your site)
  3. Grow your email list and send newsletters
  4. Get better product photos
  5. Reduce cart abandonment rate with emails and incentives
  6. Remember to sell to existing customers
  7. Answer customer questions quickly with a chatbot or FAQs page
  8. Offer an incentive when people sign up or take a specific action
  9. Personalise product recommendations using customer data

Start by identifying what you think your biggest barrier is to sales (use our handy guide to why you’re not getting enough sales at the top of this post) and then begin implementing a solution that tackles that issue.

Here’s one thing we will say before we over-n-out: Stay organised!

Making sure all your product photos and content is kept in order and well-organised will help you move forward quickly and easily.

How can you work on your Shopify store if your assets are all over the place?! What a mess!

Use Dash to manage your visual files and keep everything in check so you can be smug and generate more sales. Let’s do this 🔥

Lizzie Davey

Lizzie Davey writes for ecommerce and marketing SaaS brands. She helps create B2B content strategies and is the Founder of Copy Revival and Freelance Magic.

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Lizzie Davey

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