Becoming successful with your Shopify store depends on just a few simple factors. Access to an audience that is interested in your products, and a way to get them continually coming back to your store again and again.
There is a misconception that it's all about product and finding some hidden keyword that is under served elsewhere. But this is coming at building out your Shopify store like it's a direct competitor to Amazon.
This article will show you what I've found to be the fundamental reasons why some stores work well and others simply fail.
Who and What is Your Audience?
One of the fundamental differences with Shopify vs Amazon e-commerce is with Shopify (or any other independent e-commerce platform), you'll need to drive traffic (people) to your store.
If you've been on Amazon FBA before, if you give Amazon the right stuff and you've done your research, Amazon will give you customers ready to buy your widget. And you'll pay Amazon a handsome fee for the privilege. And in 2019/20 you'll be paying them even more for Sponsored Products placements to make a sale!
Off Amazon you have to do the work to drive folk to your products. And for some folk this step is one step too far.
If you're not willing to do that extra step, then you're probably going to fail with a Shopify store.
This is where building an audience comes in to play.
An audience is a group of people that you can reach easily and cost effectively who might be interested in your products. Eg. If you sell camping gear, you'll want to access people who are interested in outdoor lifestyle.
Ideally the audience would be an email list, a facebook group or page, a Youtube channel, or visitors to a BLOG. You can also PAY for access to an audience through adverts on Google or Facebook, or any other advertising platform where your target audience may congregate.
For me I've been growing a Facebook Page, along with a BLOG, and paying for access to an audience on Facebook and Google. I do what I can to get folk to opt in to an email list and build a relationship with that audience to build know, like and trust.
The Importance of The Offer
It's all well and good growing an audience, you do need to sell them something. And that's where the offer comes in.
The Offer is NOT the price of your product, or the up sells, or the BONUS additions to the product (but they can make up part of the offer)
The Offer IS the way in which you present your products to your audience that encourages them to buy. This is everything from what the ownership benefit is for the buyer, how it will make them feel, how it will make them look, and ultimately if they feel they've paid a good price for a good product.
You do this with good sales copy, imagery, and video. And most importantly ONLY selling to people who should buy your product.
If you sell to people who shouldn't buy your product the 2nd part of this will NEVER work and you'll struggle to make your Shopify store work.
“You Can't Sell Dog Crap In A Can Twice”
A previous business partner of mine had this great phrase. It's a reminder to not sell bad products, because people will ONLY be duped once, and they'll never come back to you ever again.
If you can only sell once to a customer, it is practically impossible to have a successful Shopify store. It's why I'll not sell Fidget Spinners and everlasting gobstoppers. That kind of crap is future landfill and really poor for repeat customers.
My main business is a supplement brand based in the UK. We've been operating since 2012 and if it weren't for the repeat business we get, we'd have gone out of business within 18 months.
The subscriptions side of our Shopify store accounts for 40% of our monthly revenue. And with the help of the Recharge app we use, running this type of business is made crazy simple.
I'm not suggesting you only sell consumables, or naturally recurring products, it is possible to have a successful store without these types of products, but it certainly helps if a customer has a reason to return on a regular basis.
Apple does an amazing job of getting people to come back each year to buy the latest iPhone or Macbook.
Here's the key. If you have a great relationship with your audience, and they have a great experience buying from you the first time, getting them back for repeat purchases gets a lot easier.
Building an audience where you have some level of control over reaching them is vital. Without it you'll likely struggle to make any sales.
Make the experience of buying from you incredible (hint. it's not hard to stand out and do it better than most).
Sell ONLY to people who should buy your products.
Sell products that are naturally recurring OR you have equally amazing follow up products that your customers want to buy.