Chances are when you started searching for ways to make money on Shopify, you already had an idea for a plan. You weren’t looking for a listicle saying you could “rent out your shoes”, “start a dropshipping business” or “sell your brother-in-law’s paintings”.
An upcoming entrepreneur such as yourself generally knows what they want to sell online, at least broadly. You’re looking for techniques, best practices and things you should keep in mind as you set up shop, right?
Well, you’ve found the right blog post. Let’s dive in!
1. Stick With What You Know
I’m willing to bet you’re passionate about something, yeah? You have a product or service you want to share with the world. It could be macaroni art, homemade candles, or artisanal furniture. Whatever it is, it’s your powerhouse and no one does it better than you.
What I’m trying to say is that you don’t want to dive into a market that you don’t understand. Just because thousands of other people are making bank on homemade Twizzlers, doesn’t mean it’s the gig for you.
Stick to your guns and build an online store with a mission you’ll be passionate about. This will assure your customers that you know what you’re talking about, and in a way, know them.
An online business relies on its digital face in a world filled with human consumers. Showing passion is human. It attracts customers in a way that a bland, clearly bottomline-driven company cannot.An online business relies on its digital face in a world filled with human consumers. Showing passion is human. It attracts customers in a way that a bland, clearly bottomline-driven company cannot. Click To Tweet
Picture the faceless corporations that run high in dystopian literature. Do they seem like a company you want to support? Definitely not. People like the human touch that knowledge, expertise and spirit foster.
In fact, it’s arguably best to differentiate yourself from the masses and stay true to yourself. After all, that may be why you’re thinking about starting your own business.
2. Be Niche, Not General
Sometimes it feels like what you know is too weird or quirky to really catch any traction. That’s a real fear, but it shouldn’t be. You are not the only person fascinated with fruit bicycles, I promise.
If my words don’t convince you, just turn to Jeff Bezos’ quote, “It’s hard to find things that won’t sell online.” As the founder of Amazon.com, he probably knows a thing or two here. 😉
Remember the line in the previous section about ensuring your customers know you understand them? This is really where it comes into play.
Brand advocates start as customers and grow to become sponsors for your company. They will drive more leads to your site and push for their peers to join them as customers, as well. In fact, brand advocacy is a pillar to a successful inbound marketing strategy.
This awesome type of patron comes from exceptional communication and customer relationship management. Once you find what specifically attracted them to your site, pay attention to their behavior when on it. Figure out what they like and don’t like as they dive deeper and add to your page views.
3. Learn Your Audience and Monitor KPIs
Building off of the previous section, you want to keep defining your target audience. What started out as people who like the same thing as you, will definitely grow and segment itself into subcategories of interests.
Pay attention to what people purchase, but also to what people search for and leave if they don’t find — this works for physical goods and digital downloads. Pay attention to what sells best, but also to what causes traffic to leave.
You can also learn about your audience via social media interactions and newsletter email lists. Engagement and communication play a strong role in customer retention. Talk and listen online, advertise events such as sales, free trials for certain products and always study what gets the best results.
For most successful online stores, the best results are optimized key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:
Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
1 – (Completed Transactions ÷ Shopping Carts Created) x 100
(Completed Transactions ÷ Visitors) x 100
Going further, bounce rate and pageviews are your best metrics if you’re looking to gauge interest in the site and offerings as a whole.
Knowing the right KPIs and metrics will guide you on your journey to making money on Shopify.
4. Provide the Right Payment Gateways
If you want to build revenue from an eCommerce platform, you should take note of what payment methods your target audience prefers. Keep in mind that Shopify’s supported payment gateways will differ depending on your country.
In the United States, Shopify supports the traditional credit card gateways (Visa, American Express, and Mastercard), but also handles cryptocurrency, Paypal and many more!
Support for commonly accepted gateways also builds trust and comfort for your brand. Online stores that aren’t powered by Shopify may offer illegitimate goods. These sites often get their payment privileges stripped away.
When this happens, they are forced to use very obscure and often sketchy gateways. An example of this would be mailing cash or checks to an odd address such as a P.O. box. Poor payment methods such as that will lead to less sales due to customers’ expectations on legitimacy.
5. Provide an Intuitive User Experience
When building a successful website or application, eCommerce or not, user experience needs to be on point for its audience. This incorporates the payment gateways, but honestly, there’s a lot more to it that is design based.
Find color schemes and design aspects that guide users through adding items to their shopping cart and clicking that “Purchase” button, lowering your shopping cart abandonment rate. This can involve using bold colors for buttons that lead to desired actions and faded colors for those that aren’t.
Alerting users that their shopping carts are full before they exit the site with pop ups is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Using cookies to make it easier to find products that are well fit for returning customers is another.
Offering the ability to purchase as a guest is always helpful too. There’s nothing worse than a time-consuming registration process after an otherwise amazing experience on a website. Keep the user experience intuitive and guided for a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers.
6. Stay Focused and Put in the Hours
When running an online business, it’s easy to foster a set-and-forget mentality. While an online store can be a source of passive income, it takes a little elbow grease to make money on Shopify (or any platform for that matter) start to add up. Treating your online storefront just as a brick and mortar store will lead to a better entrepreneurial and customer experience.
Marketing and optimizing are crucial aspects to getting an online business up and running. As mentioned before, learn from your audience.
Turning your first couple of customers into loyal brand advocates is a full-time job and often runs into overtime.
Patience, persistence and determination are all required to create new revenue streams. This is true regardless if you’re trying to become the next online tycoon or simply trying to increase your discretionary income.
Quit Talking About It and Do It
I’m going to wrap up this article by stating the obvious. You’ll only make money by starting an online store on Shopify if you go out and get it done. You have the willpower and knowledge to do so.
- Sell what you understand.
- Sell to who you understand.
- Differentiate yourself and segment your audience.
- Monitor and study customer behavior.
- Adjust the user experience.
- Stick with it.
If you follow the above points, you will make money on Shopify. It’s only a matter of time.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out our articles on “Creating the Most Profitable WordPress eCommerce Website” and “Growth Hacking and How It Plays into Inbound Marketing”. When starting an online business it may also behoove you to browse our post “Tips and Tricks for Working Remotely”!
If you’d like to continue the conversation, please reach out to us on Twitter at @dcdevshop. Be sure to follow us for the latest on our content and offerings. See you online!