If you’ve opened up an eCommerce store on Shopify recently, you’re probably aware that competition is stiff. The platform is supporting at least 600,000 businesses across the world so there’s a good chance you’ll find someone already doing what you want to do there.

Don’t worry though, there are a number of ways you can grow your Shopify store and compete consistently with those already there. Let’s go through some easy tips that will keep you in the game and see you rise steadily:

1. Diversify Your Product Listings

One sure way to grow your store is to offer a variety of products. There’s always a new product that is enjoying a lot of hype in the market. The idea is to tap into the advertising efforts of those producers. But it’s not as easy as just adding every new product you hear about.

Start by grouping your products in the most basic way. The mainstream products, and the unique/niche products. Try to have some products listed for each of these groups. With the mainstream ones, you may not sell too many units but you could be assured of repeated sales.

This is because nearly everyone else will be selling them too. A niche product could help you gain an advantage in a smaller share of the market and possibly dominate it. It is important to look at a niche as more of a concept.

This means that even when it comes to common products, find the least common subtype and make it available. For example, if most stores are selling oil, enamel, and emulsion paints, consider offering synthetic rubber too.

Always make sure these decisions are preceded by thorough research. When you find out about a new product that’s coming into the market, look for the suppliers with the friendliest terms. 

Check to see how many competitors have it listed, at how much they are selling it, etc.

2. Optimize Your Store For Appearance In Search Engine Results

The major importance of a solid SEO strategy is that it can help you get a lot of organic traffic. This is important when creating a foundation of core customers. They are the people who are most likely to buy from you with minimal persuasion, primarily because they see the value.

Core customers are also the one who usually spread the word about your business without payment. One of the largest sources of these people is search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

Your ultimate SEO goal should be to appear on the first page of results related to the products you sell. Even more preferably, at the top of the page. Start by doing some keyword research. Go beyond Google Trends and use tools like Ahrefs.

Once you’ve found out the most commonly used words for searches relating to your store’s products, conduct a test search. See how high up you appear on the list of results of search results. Revisit your site and look for all areas where these keywords can be infused.

These usually include page copy, page links, product names and descriptions, image metadata and more. Keep carrying out test searches until your store appears higher up on the first page.

3. Get Social Media Influencers On Board

While influencers will most likely cost you some money, they can get something fairly close to natural support.

This is because a lot of the people who follow them try to copy everything about their lifestyles. If your store products become part of their way of life, the same happens for their following.

Identify those social media personalities that usually post about topics relating to your store’s products. Find out how large their followings are then shifting to the more important indicator, their engagement levels. Where possible, record the number of replies, retweets, and likes.

Once you’ve zeroed in on those you feel can do a good job, approach them, and let them know your goals. Find out what they would like in return. Negotiate a deal that is comfortable and sustainable for either side.

Ensure that you check up on their work frequently and compare it with the data generated through your store’s site. This will help you determine the extent to which their influence is helping you or not.

4. Set Up A Referral Program

It can be hard to track traditional word-of-mouth so you can’t just confidently say you went from 10 customers to 50 because of it. You don’t know whether each of the 10 told 4 more people or if 2 of the 10 told 20 new people each, and so on.

Fortunately, eCommerce technology has a solution for that in the form of a referral program. Put simply, it’s a program in which you reward existing customers for bringing in new ones. In some cases, though (like with Hunter), even the new ones brought in get some sort of reward.

The first step is to provide good customer experience, one that is clearly worth talking about. Proceed to carry out more customer research, particularly to find out what customers feel is a good reward. Create a budget for the program, along with some goals to hit.

For instance, you can say that you want to spend $500 worth of free products to get a minimum of 200 new customers. Your incentive can also be a discount or additional points in a loyalty scheme. Promote the program on every available medium/platform.

There are plenty of good Shopify apps for this purpose. From your social media pages to order confirmation emails, spare no avenue. With a good Shopify theme, you can add referral apps like TapMango, ReferralCandy, or Ambassador to help you manage the program better.

If you’re just starting out and wondering what some of the best free Shopify themes are, you can find one here.

5. Get More Reviews And Ratings

To grow your store, you need to do more than just being known. Establish an idea of how good you are at what you do, and how or what makes you that good. A good way to build a narrative is by soliciting the opinions of customers.

Place compelling call-to-action ( CTAs) on your site that request visitors to rate the products and services offered. To gain even more credibility, give away some free samples to members of online review communities. These may include Honest Society, Yelp, TrustPilot, etc.

Some people tend to trust ratings from these sites more than those from the brand itself. They don’t expect you to put that much bad press about yourself out there. Never-the-less, offer some rewards for those submitting testimonials on your site.

The goal is to get more participants and make the results more trustworthy. Display this social proof in the right areas on your store’s site where it’s easy to digest and more likely to push someone to buy. Remember to post on social media about ratings milestones and more.

6. Expand Your Content Marketing Plan

First things first, your content marketing shouldn’t be all about getting link clicks leading back to your store. It’s a chance for you to build a voice/become an authority on topics related to your products. But none-the-less, you should try and be everywhere that matters.

This means going beyond blog posts and guest articles on other respected sites. Adopt a multimedia approach where you incorporate visual artwork like infographics. Go further by producing podcasts and vlog episodes.

Livestream sessions are one of the best ways to tap into FOMO, making sure that people don’t just save your content for later. Endeavour to always have a clear call-to-action within this content. Come up with a content calendar to help you plan ahead and offer variety.

Ensure that what you’re talking about is relevant to the audience, leans on story formats where possible, and shows how your products serve as a solution to a problem.

7. Retarget Existing Customers

Set up a robust email marketing automation tool to work hand-in-hand with your store. Collect emails from visitors using persuasive CTAs, like delivering updates on new listings and restocking, or discounts. 

Craft emails for different groups of people on that list.

Some may be hoppers who found products out of stock. Others might be wanting to keep tabs on particular product categories. Have some other general messages relating to subjects like new user experience features that benefit everyone.

Send these out in a timely and recurring manner. Attach them to specific actions and behavior where required. Retarget your existing customers or visit and try out different features that are closer to a sale. 

You can execute similar campaigns with social media ads.

8. Join Forces With Recognized Brands

Seek out curators and tastemakers in fields where your products lie. An example is a nutritional advice website if you sell health supplements. Have them try out your products and push for a mention where possible.

Also, reach out to the manufacturers of products you sell and find out the requirements to be labeled as an authorized dealer. Submit any relevant performance data that enables you to qualify. Once on the list, you can tap into their traffic.

As you can see, growing your Shopify store happens both on and off your store’s website. You have to offer the best experience possible to visitors and wherever you try to present, you have to give value.

Whether it is knowledge, free products, discounts, proof of growing sales volume, or a hard payment, there has to be a benefit for the other parties. 

If there are any site changes required while trying to grow your store, you can always benefit from dynamic Shopify themes free of charge.

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