If you’ve been wondering how to get sales on Shopify, you’re not alone.
See, starting a Shopify store is easy. But knowing how to get people to hand over their hard-earned cash? Well, that’s another story.
Thankfully, there are lots of brands out there that we can learn from. One such company is D2C shoe retailer Allbirds.
Allbirds is one of the most successful Shopify stores in the world. Seriously, they racked up $150 million dollars in sales just two short years after starting. And nowadays, Allbirds is valued at a whopping $1.7Bn dollars.
So, I guess you could say they know a thing or two about making sales on Shopify.
In this post, I’ll break down the core tactics Allbirds used to generate their impressive revenue figures.
By the end, you’ll be brimming with ideas about how to apply these strategies to your own store and make serious money.
Sounds good? Let’s jump in to a few of the most common questions first.
Is it Hard to Get Your First 100 Sales on Shopify?
If you’re just starting out and decide to wing it, yes, it will be hard to make 100 sales.
But seeing as you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you won’t be winging it.
In fact, following some of the top tips from brands like Allbirds can make your first 100 Shopify sales significantly easier.
How Long Does it Take to Get Sales on a Shopify Store?
It can take anywhere from days to weeks to see your first Shopify sales. That’s because it’s dependent on a whole list of variables.
If you’re just starting fresh with no leads, no email list, and no network- It’s going to take you a bit longer to build up that momentum. But don’t sweat it, once you’ve built up a customer base it’ll be smooth sailing.
On the other hand, if you have an email list or network to marketing to, you can expedite that process quite a bit.
Our recommendation for ecommerce stores to get quicker sales?
Start your marketing now rather than later. Even if your store isn’t up yet, there’s no better time to start building your list and network than right now.
If you’ve already started your store, there’s no time to waste.
And if you haven’t started your store yet, starting soon means you can launch with an audience ready to buy.
How to Get Sales on Shopify 101: The Prerequisites
Ok, before we get to specific strategies, there are two prerequisites you’ll need to be able to make sales on Shopify.
1. Have an Awesome Product
The first ingredient to making sales is to have an awesome product. Now, this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of eCommerce businesses that neglect product quality.
Seriously, a humongous part of Allbirds sales comes from word-of-mouth marketing. Customers who buy from them are so impressed with their shoes that they can’t help but tell their friends about them.
In the early days, Allbirds committed to gathering customer and product feedback and using it to guide their product development. In other words, they molded their product around the needs and wants of their customers.
Now obviously, if you’re dropshipping, you don’t have the same level of control over product quality. But you still need to seek out high-quality goods. You simply can’t sell low-quality products. At least not for long. Your customers will not come back or spread the word about you.
Although this point seems basic, you can’t underestimate how much a great product sells itself. When you start with a remarkable product, your job as a marketer is made infinitely easier.
2. Ensure There’s Market Demand
After a brilliant product, the next thing you need to make sales is people who want to buy it. In Allbirds’ case, they created a product that piggybacked on two trends: running shoes and sustainability.
See, the best way to make sales on Shopify is not to come up with a fantastic product and then try and market it. Instead, it’s to find a market that wants a product and bring your product to them.
So, instead of trying to come up with the next big product idea, just look for growing trends and markets where customers are underserved. Then step in and give them what they want!
Pro Tip: To get product ideas, sign-up for trends.co. They leverage data to predict trends and business opportunities months before they explode in popularity.
How to Get Sales on Shopify: Set Yourself Up for Success
Before you market your store, you need to have the basics in place. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting time and energy driving traffic that doesn’t convert.
Of course, there’s a lot more you could do with your store than what we’ve outlined below. But the following groundwork is the minimum you need to launch quickly.
1. Optimize Your Product Pages
In eCommerce, product pages are where the magic happens. If your pages aren’t up to scratch, your customers won’t be seduced to buy.
So let’s look at Allbirds product pages and see what we can learn:
Right off the bat, there’s a couple of key ingredients you’ll need to make a tasty conversion soup:
- Stunning product imagery (both lifestyle and regular)
- Ample product reviews (if you’re just starting, this isn’t an option, so just add a review widget)
- A clear Call to Action (CTA)
- A quick product video
- All the information customers need to buy (description, features, sizing, shipping info, etc.)
Notice also how Allbirds use loads of white space and minimize the number of different colors at play. This is not only easy on the eye, but it keeps the customer from getting distracted.
For bonus points, you can also include a customer benefits section beneath the fold. As users scroll down the page, the benefits of the product are driven home alongside more eye-catching photos.
2. Add Upsells & Cross Sells
Getting sales on Shopify is one thing. But getting profitable sales in another. With the cost of paid ads on the rise, maximizing your average order value is key.
Upsells and cross-sells encourage customers to add more items to cart and bump up your AOV. Allbirds implement pre-purchase upsell strategy really well by using cart drawer offers. Here’s what it looks like on their store:
The reason this kind of cross-selling is effective is that:
- It’s a product that’s inexpensive and does not need much consideration to buy
- The cross-sell item compliments the original order
- The offer is presented after the customer has converted on the product page
- It’s not pushy (customers can easily skip it, so it won’t hinder the original sale)
Another easy way to implement this kind of cross-sell is to use post-purchase offers. One click-upsells and thank you page offers convert really well and don’t interfere with the buyer’s journey.
3. Add Live Support
With a new store, customers are likely going to have a whole bunch of questions. If you’re there to put their concerns at ease, you’ll find it’s much easier to make those first few sales.
While functional processes like setting up your Shopify purchase order flow are key, the human element of retail also can’t be underestimated.
4. Create Your Basic Pages & Policies
Every store needs some basic pages to lend legitimacy and build trust between you and the customer.
At a bare minimum, you should add the following pages:
- Shipping and returns policy
- Contact page
- A basic ‘about us’ page
- FAQ page
If you need help creating these pages, the folks at DoDropshipping have a nice guide on how to get it done.
Once you’ve created your pages, you should link to these pages in the footer of your store so that customers can easily find the info they need.
Pro Tip: Don’t have a legal team to churn out documents? No worries. Shopify has several page generators on their site that’ll get you up and running in no time.
5. Offer Free Shipping & Returns
In terms of specifics for your policies, it’s always worth thinking about offering free shipping and returns.
People hate paying shipping costs, and so charging them adds friction to the conversion process and reduces the odds you’ll make a sale.
Moreover, if you’ve ever had to pay to return an item, you know how bad it makes you feel. Seriously, one of the biggest objections online shoppers have is, ‘what if I don’t like it?’
Allbirds offer both free shipping and free 30-day returns, which reduces the risk on the buyer’s side of the equation. Allbirds build the shipping costs into their product cost. They’re also not afraid to highlight this policy as a major benefit in their marketing efforts.
So, if free shipping and returns make financial sense for you, it’s definitely worth doing. You’ll find it much easier to make sales when you remove friction-creating barriers.
6. Design A Strategy to Collect Reviews
Both adding live support and basic pages aim to build trust. However, reviews are the granddaddy of trust-building in eCommerce.
We’re immensely influenced by reviews online. Even if they’re from total strangers, they still powerfully influence our purchasing decisions. Here’s how Allbirds does it:
Now obviously, if you’re starting, you don’t have any customers to leave reviews. So, the best you can do is to set up a system for capturing reviews from your first few customers.
For this, I’d recommend installing an app called Loox. You can configure Loox to automatically collect customer reviews via email and import them to your store. It’s a great hands-off solution that’ll build real social proof over time.
How to Get Sales on Shopify: 6 Proven Marketing Tactics
Ok, by now, you’ve got a great product, an eager audience to sell it to, and a basic store built. The next step to get sales on Shopify is to effectively market your products.
Here are six methods that’ll help you drive traffic and convert visitors into paying customers.
1. Nail Your Unique Selling Points
A unique selling point is a factor that differentiates your products or brand from your competitors. Common USPs are things like the lowest cost, highest quality, or the first-ever product of its kind.
In Allbirds’ case, they have three primary USPs that permeate throughout the rest of their marketing efforts; simplicity, comfort, and sustainability.
In a crowded eCommerce marketplace where consumers are spoiled for choice, emphasizing what sets you apart is key to getting sales.
For example, Nike would be one of Allbirds biggest competitors. Nike makes great shoes, but when you think of Nike, what do you see and feel?
Whatever you think about Nike, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel like you’re saving the planet by wearing their shoes, right?
And that’s a core reason why people would choose Allbirds over Nike. That’s one of Allbird’s USPs.
So, think about ways you can occupy a unique piece of mental real estate in the minds of your loyal customers. When you do that, making sales becomes a heck of a lot easier.
2. Leverage Email Marketing
With all the new marketing techniques on the block, Email marketing might seem a bit passe.
But ignore email at your own expense. According to Litmus, the average ROI for email marketing is $42 for every $1 dollar spent. (Insane, right?)
This is certainly something Allbirds understands. They’ve built out an impressive range of email marketing automations.
One of the most critical email automations that Allbirds leverage is their abandoned cart series.
Abandoned cart emails recapture revenue from customers who were on the cusp of buying your product but didn’t.
Setting up effective abandoned cart campaigns is super easy. We won’t cover the ins and outs here, but check out this guide if you’d like to know more.
It’s also critical to nail your transactional emails. All birds build their branding into their order confirmation emails and shipping updates to provide an on-brand experience that customers love.
Lastly, when it comes to email marketing, one of the keys is to build your list by making it easy (and enticing) for customers to sign up. Allbirds does this with a simple sign-up bar on their homepage:
For list building, you can also experiment with non-intrusive trigger-based pop-ups. Try offering customers 10% off their first order, and you’ll encourage them to punch in their email address (and hopefully buy something too!)
3. Experiment With Partnership Marketing
Partnerships can be an incredible way to introduce your products to new audiences. If you can create strategic partnerships with somewhat established brands, you’ll get great exposure to a wealth of customers.
The key to partnerships is that they have to be mutually beneficial. Both sides need to stand to gain something. Allbirds has created a number of partnerships throughout the years with other brands.
For example, their collaboration with Staple Pigeon created limited edition products that appealed to both audiences.
Now you might be wondering, ‘how the heck do I get in touch with somebody like Staple Pigeon?’. Well, you don’t.
If you’re an emerging business, your best bet is to form partnerships with other small businesses.
For example, if you’re selling yoga mats or athleisure, why not contact your local gym to discuss getting a special discount for their membership base?
Or, if you’re selling barware, why not host an event at the newest cocktail bar in your town and promote it to both of your audiences.
When it comes to partnerships, it’s essential to get creative and work with brands that have an audience that’s likely interested in your product.
4. Try Influencer & Affiliate Marketing
Influencer marketing is a brilliant strategy that can generate a lot of sales quickly. However, you need to approach it the right way.
Allbirds primarily leverages a micro-influencer strategy, and as a new brand, you should too. When I say micro-influencers, I mean accounts with less than 10-20k followers.
Teaming up with micro-influencers is a good idea because:
- They’re typically way more affordable than accounts with giant followings
- Micro-influences tend to have a better relationship with their audience
- Very often, micro-influencers are open to long-term collaboration
You can work with influencers in several ways. Some examples are:
- Sending them a free product for review
- Paying them to shout out your product
- Offering them equity or a profit-share in your business
- Giving them an affiliate link
The last point is something that Allbirds use. They have a great affiliate program that offers bloggers, social influencers, and media outlets commissions for referring customers to them.
There are several Shopify apps that can help you build an affiliate program in a matter of minutes. Just search them on the App store and pick the one that looks best.
5. Experiment With Facebook Ads
Facebook ads have the power to rapidly scale your eCommerce brand. Allbirds use an extensive selection of ads to both capture new business and retarget existing customers.
When it comes to Allbirds’ Facebook ads, they consistently highlight their USPs. Cleverly they frequently incorporate a couple of elements (that you can copy) to power up their ads:
- Reviews from media outlets or individual customers (adds social proof)
- Their generous shipping and returns policy (removes risk)
- Sustainable materials (appeals to their ideal buyer’s motives)
Another key thing to notice is how visually appealing their ads are. Seriously, pop over to the Facebook Ad Library and examine their creatives and copywriting.
You’ll get a whole bunch of advertising ideas just from looking at their best-performing ads.
6. Run Google Ads
Up to 10% of Allbird’s website traffic comes from PPC search engine ads. PPC ads are awesome because you only get charged when someone clicks on your ad.
And while it is possible to burn money with PPC ads, you don’t need a fortune to get started. Google even offers new advertisers $75 in credit to help you get accustomed to the platform.
You can use Google ads to:
- Appear at the top of the search page in Google’s results
- Advertise on YouTube
- Run ads in Google products like Gmail
- Test shopping ads that’ll show your products at the top of the search results
For example, check out how Allbirds uses Google ads to bid on keywords potential customers may use, such as ‘merino wool runners’:
Here you can see how Allbirds use ads to appear above a competitor site, even though their competitor outranks them from an organic SEO perspective.
Google’s ad platform is quite intuitive. However, it can take a little while to become competent at creating ads that generate a positive ROI for your business.
If you’re wondering where to start, Google has its own educational course to help you get started and optimize your first (and future) PPC ad campaigns. It’s free, and every merchant should check it out.
Stop Thinking About How to Get Sales On Shopify and Take Action!
Launching a successful online business can be challenging in many respects.
But the biggest problem most budding entrepreneurs run into is paralysis by analysis.
Seriously, overthinking things is the enemy of action and progress. Instead of spending weeks weighing the best strategy, just jump in and try stuff.
You’ll never find the perfect way to make sales without testing multiple approaches and failing many times over.
Take inspiration from the success of Allbirds. Apply the strategies we highlighted to your business. See what works, and discard what doesn’t.
Building a successful ecommerce business involves a lot of throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
From all of us here at ReConvert, best of luck!