How do you build a stronger Shopify business?
Is your income sitting on a weak foundation?
“As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.”
The strength of a Shopify store isn't just about making sales right now.
Strong businesses are built with a focus on sticking around and making money for a long time. Stories about banking 6 figures in your first month are nice to read, but they are usually embellishments or outright lies.
What is much more real is the idea of starting as small as you need to start, and then growing. One-step-at-a-time, intelligent, informed action that leads to growth. That’s how you build a deep foundation that will let you build a business that reaches high.
A strong business is like a strong body: There is no secret sauce that you can buy. It is a matter of combing intelligent and intentional work, consistently improving over time.
Focus on the work habits that lead to a stronger business
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Will Durant (Not Aristotle)
You can get fired up and motivated to make your store grow, but there is no amount of enthusiasm that will replace what you can do with discipline and intelligence over time.
Habits are the things we do on a consistent basis, and they are the most important part of our behavior when it comes to getting results. The exact actions you take might vary from someone else, but the foundational habits of how you do it will be much the same.
- Collect and use accurate data
- Cultivate a deep understanding of your customer's needs and wants
- Explore all possible ways to capture more revenue
- Set attainable goals
- Base your actions on a strategic plan that move the business forward instead of succumbing to shiny object syndrome
- Focus on high-impact action that moves in the direction of your goals
- Build solid relationships with customers on a foundation of communication, trust, and service
- Work consistently, don’t move fast and break things
- Judge results based on intentionally chosen metrics that matter to the business
- View problems and weaknesses as opportunities for improvement and growth
- Make small, iterative improvements whenever possible
What does store strengthening look like in practice?
Here are a few examples of high-level goals you might want to achieve and some of the ways tactics you would use to make them happen.
You want to build a strategy that will move you from the goal you have set, to the actions you should take, and carry you on to seeing the goal achieved.
Let’s say that you have a high-level goal of increasing your revenue by 25% in the next year. There are several things you can do to help you achieve that goal. We'll break them down into 4 different areas.
Use customer research to find out:
- What triggers purchases and what your customers need from you.
- Find out what language on your site doesn’t resonate with your buyers.
- Learn what you could create content about to draw more wallet-out traffic to the site.
Get more of the right people to your site by:
- Creating content that brings repeat visitors to your site and establishes you as a source of help, knowledge, or entertainment.
- Building an effective email list so that you have permission to continually market to those who don’t immediately buy.
- Using analytics to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and traffic sources.
Turn more of your traffic into buyers by:
- Using analytics and user research to continually optimize your site for conversions.
- Identifying the problems in your conversion funnel and working to optimize each step along the way.
- Building trust with your audience so that they are comfortable buying from you.
Find more ways to capture or increase revenue by:
- Building relationships that lead to high customer retention rates, repeat purchases, and higher lifetime values
- Creating specific plans to raise specific metrics concerning revenue:
- Conversion rate
- Average order value
- Order frequency
- Customer lifetime value
- Revenue generated by email
- Answer questions with content and front-load customer service to increase customer satisfaction and reduce returns.
You now have a better understanding of who your best customers are. You are getting more wallet-out traffic to the site. More visitors are either purchasing or signing up for marketing materials. When people do buy, you are making more money from each customer and each individual order. You are losing fewer abandoned carts, and dealing with fewer customer service issues. Your revenue is up, and your business is stronger because of the work you have done.
Who should worry about this?
If all you care about is making quick right-now money, you shouldn't bother with any of this. If you want your business to be thriving and paying for a nice lifestyle in 5 or 10 years, you should think about how you are going to make that happen.
If you are expecting to be a millionaire by Christmas, you will probably face a let-down. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a hell of a Black Friday, though.
Quick solutions like turning up the dial on traffic volume will only go so far, and only last so long. By putting in this kind of work, you are setting up a much higher ROI on all of your future traffic flow.
You can make changes and decisions with more assurance that you are doing the right thing. At the very least you'll be measuring your results, so that if you do make the wrong move, you can see the effects and adjust course quickly.
How do you start building a stronger Shopify store?
Set your goals. Make a plan. Execute your plan. Measure your progress. Repeat.
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Ben Froedge Wrote This
I'm Ben, and for the last 3 years, I've helped people build strong, sustainably profitable online stores that thrive and grow. I want to see the people who create awesome products get paid more, so they can keep on making the world a better place.