Updated: Jan 11
All eCommerce stores have one particular goal in common - growth. In the current scenario, online retail shopping has become the new normal, creating multiple opportunities for the growth of eCommerce stores. Your Shopify store should tap into this phenomenon, scale appropriately, and increase revenues. However, several bottlenecks may hinder the conversion of incoming traffic to actual sales. Let us inspect these challenges and look at tactics to overcome them so that you can unleash the growth potential of your online business.
Common Challenges Hampering Growth of Your Shopify Store
Lack of adequate website maintenance to smoothly manage incoming traffic
Suboptimal product pages, frequent cart abandonment, and related issues
High cost per acquisition due to ad-hoc campaigns and poor marketing strategy
Lack of awareness regarding Shopify apps and plug-ins and their role in scaling the business
Lack of cross-platform automated insights and recommendations
Not adopting automated inventory management can make order fulfillment and demand forecasting more difficult
Tactics to Overcome Challenges and Grow Your Shopify Store
If these issues are not addressed properly and in time, they may even hamper the status quo and drive existing traffic away from your online store to those of your competitors. Following tips and tactics can help you retain and scale traffic and revenues:
1. Focus on Website Maintenance and Performance: Your website should be able to deliver an effortless navigation and shopping experience. Any delay in loading pages, images of products, or frequent crashes of the site due to high traffic can frustrate customers and prompt them to leave the store. This can be disastrous during the festive season. Besides, eCommerce stores often have to float themes, flash sales, or deal with purchase surges when any product goes viral thanks to social media, and the website should be able to handle it all.
Needless to say, it is important to allocate enough resources for website maintenance to avoid any glitches the customer might face during crucial steps such as adding items to the cart and during check-out. Upgrading the website plan when necessary, constant monitoring for technical and performance issues, and periodic review of the website can keep your online store running seamlessly every day.
Pro-tip: Choose a website theme that is responsive and adaptive to mobile platforms since a significant number of users, close to 54%, use mobile phones to make online purchases.
2. Prioritize Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): CRO is the process to increase the number of customers visiting your online store to make desired actions such as purchasing a product. This requires working on two major aspects, namely, removing barriers to ease actions such as check-outs and nudging the customers towards preferred actions such as increasing Average Order Value (AOV).
Barriers to desired actions can include cumbersome navigation, lack of sufficient product details, and total costs not being displayed upfront when items are added to the cart. These can be addressed by making Call to Action (CTA) buttons stand out, updating product detail pages regularly, and highlighting all costs upfront. In addition, widely used payment options and shipping methods should be included to avoid check-out abandonment.
Nudging customers can be meaningful when it is done in a subtle manner and in a way that genuinely benefits them. Personalized and dynamic messaging and recommendations using pop chatboxes improves customer satisfaction and make the shopping experience more delightful and convenient for the users. Discounts and limited-time deals can also be highlighted using personalized messaging. At the same time, repeated pop-ups on every page and forced sign-ups can annoy the user and lead to cart abandonment.
Pro-tip: Conduct A/B testing from time to time when trying out new methods for CRO. It would provide an accurate analysis of what is working and what is not. Heat mapping is another way to realize how customers are interacting with the online store. Insights from these tools can help devise a nuanced and comprehensive approach to CRO.
3. Strategize Cost per Acquisition (CPA): CPA is the combined cost for gaining a paying customer through a marketing channel. This metric measures the success of marketing campaigns running on various channels. One reason as to why traffic on the eCommerce store does not translate to conversion could be poor targeting of customers. The customers who visit the store may not necessarily be interested in the products offered.
To strategize CPA, run a profitability analysis by factoring in AOV and invest in channels that generate more revenue per traffic source. At the same time, understand that CPA increases beyond a threshold as it becomes difficult to tap into the market of late majority and laggards. Marketing strategies must be tailor-made for each of these buying groups to maximize efficiency. For example, marketing through social proofing can be used to target early majority buyers. Further, optimizing your marketing campaigns on a regular basis will keep your CPA in check. The Shoptimize Growth Platform gives you regular insights into how your campaigns are performing and gives you notifications on actionable recommendations to get the most out of your campaigns.
Pro-tip: Around 60-70% of revenue comes from existing customers. Boost customer retention through loyalty programs, special benefits, and exclusive deals. This will contribute to an increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and in turn increase revenues generated from each customer.
4. Utilize Existing Solutions in Shopify: Shopify platform has made it easy to set up an online store, however, it has certain limitations in terms of functionality. These limitations can be addressed by incorporating apps from the Shopify app store, where both free and paid apps for all necessary functionalities such as SEO and inventory management exist. You can also tap Shopify marketing automation features for social media marketing referral marketing, email campaigns, paid media retargeting, and such. Small businesses are often unaware of these readily available solutions within Shopify that can simplify their workflows, increase efficiency and help scale their businesses. There are apps available that work in alignment with your Shopify store database to make the process smooth and allow for customizability.
Wishlist functionality can be added to drive in more sales. Invoices can be automatically generated for purchases. Email campaigns can be sent for order confirmation and cart abandonment. The options are many.
Pro-tip: Avoid going overboard with functionalities and choose only those apps which directly enhance customer experience and aid in the management of your eCommerce store.
5. Leverage Automated Insights and Recommendations: It is possible that even after implementing the above tactics, traffic could be stagnant and conversion rates low. In this scenario, you would need to act on highly specific measures to see results.
Deploying solutions such as the Growth Platform of Shoptimize can highlight patterns not just on your Shopify store but across various channels in your online business ecosystem. Such platforms integrate with your Shopify store and marketing channels. They analyze large streams of data from various sources and give continuous and automated insights and recommendations. This would reduce manual oversight issues while providing unbiased inputs. At the same time, growth opportunities can be realized by acting quickly on readily available inputs. For example, specific insights can highlight user cohorts with high AOV buyers coming from certain geographies. Recommendations can include the preferable base price for free shipping along with the monetary impact of implementing such recommendations. Social media insights can recommend a change in ad campaigns when revenue from the same keeps decreasing rapidly. At the same time, they can gauge demand coming from social media channels and reduce Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
Pro-tip: Automated insights can help manage inventories better and situations such as avoiding running out of popular items during sales season. They can also give accurate recommendations for upselling and creating product bundles for each significant user cohort engaging with your online store.
Evidence-based, data-driven strategies can thus transform your Shopify store, unclogging any constrictions to the growth of your online business. At the same time, they also furnish you with insights for rapid course correction in case of exigencies. In this way, your online business can manage and mitigate risks better, enhance customer experience and expand product lines growing sustainably, season on season and year on year.