Essential Shopify Store Checklist for 2016 January 07, 2016 03:00

As sales grow slower after the holidays, the beginning of the year can be a great time to beef up your Shopify for the coming year. In this post, we’ll give you a Shopify store checklist of essential things that can enhance your eCommerce business.

Here is a list of things you can work on to improve your store functionality and design, tap different channels for marketing, and create great customer experiences.

Shopify Store Checklist: Store enhancements

Let’s start with a list of things that can help improve your Shopify store.

Mobile-friendly site
More than 50% of all eCommerce traffic on Shopify comes from mobile devices. If your store is not responsive, it can put you at a disadvantage from a customer experience and sales standpoint. Make sure your store is using a responsive theme as this also helps your store rank higher in search rankings.
Learn more about creating a responsive and mobile-ready Shopify store.

Search engine optimization
Shopify has a number of built-in features to improve search engine optimization (or SEO) for your store. Make sure you are using these features. This includes filling the meta description fields, creating alt tags for images, and including a sitemap on your page. All these things form the building blocks for better search ranking of your store, which can ultimately lead to more sales.
Learn more about search optimization for Shopify stores.

Shopify blog
Your Shopify blog is not only a great way to tell your brand story, but it can be a tool to improve customer experience, and rank higher in searches by focusing on specific keywords in each post. Your blog lets you create a voice for your brand and products, and to create a community of loyal customers.
Learn how you can utilize your Shopify blog and some blogging tips.

International selling
eCommerce activity is on the rise as payment processing, shipping capabilities, device availability, and online infrastructure improves globally. If your sales are plateauing within your country, you may be able to boost sales and increase your brand recognition by selling globally.
Learn more about how you can create a multilingual Shopify store, and use some tools to sell internationally.

Digital products
You can expand your store catalog by selling digital products that complement the physical products you sell. You can sell or give away eBooks, PDFs, songs, movies, images, and tutorial videos. Once you produce these, there is no inventory you need to manage, low or no cost of selling at scale, and these open you up to new audiences.
Learn how you can sell digital products on your Shopify store.

Shopify Store Checklist: Marketing

Increase the reach and efficiency of your marketing efforts through the tips below:

Email marketing
Emails are still one of the best ways to acquire new customers and garner actions from recipients. Emails are about 40 times more effective at acquiring customers compared to social media channels. There are a number of apps and email platforms (like MailChimp) that you can use for your Shopify store to automate and manage email marketing campaigns.
Learn more about email marketing for Shopify.

Referral sales
People trust word-of-mouth recommendations and customer-created testimonials more than traditional advertising methods. You can reward people in exchange of providing referrals to their friends and followers about your products. Shopify has a number of apps to make it easy for customers to share their purchase, and gain from others purchasing your products based on the referral.

See how referral marketing works in this video by ReferralCandy:

Learn more about increasing sales through referrals.

Social selling
Shopify is one of the most integrated platforms when it comes to leading social media sites. You can configure your Shopify products to be sold directly on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Your products are shared on these platforms in posts, tweets or pins along with a buy button. When people purchase your products through the social platforms, your inventory and orders list on your Shopify store automatically get updated.
Learn more about social selling on Shopify.

Contests
Contests allow you to reward customers for taking specific actions – whether that is sharing your products on social sites, emailing their friends about a promotion, or submitting feedback to you. You can have different rewards for different actions, or different sets of actions, depending on what you want to achieve from the contest.
Learn more about running contests on Shopify to get more leads.

Coupons and discounts
Coupons and discounts are one of the most important factors for making purchases. Shopify allows you to create discount codes for different promotions on your store. These can help increase your sales, get rid of excess inventory, and provide value to customers. Make sure you maximize the return you get from discounts through these tips for more effective Shopify coupons.

Upselling and cross-selling
Upselling and cross-selling let you recommend enhancements or complementary products to your customers. This not only reduces the effort people have to spend to look for items they would typically purchase together, but also increase sales by improving visibility of other or less popular products on your store.
Learn more about how to upsell and cross-sell on your Shopify store.

Bundling products
You can take the upsell and cross-sell value-proposition even further by offering a discount for people to purchase a package of different products on your store. You can bundle together related items and offer the package at a lower price than the sum of individual products in the package. Learn more about how to bundle products on your Shopify store to get more sales.

Shopify Store Checklist: Customer experience

Lastly, here are a number of things to keep in mind for creating great customer experiences:

Customer service tips
Customer service is one of main pillars of a successful eCommerce business. Since customers can’t physically come to your store to try or take a look at your products, it is your customer service that plays a key role when things don’t go according to customer expectations. Take a look at our tips to improve customer service through email, phone and chat options, and feedback.

Build customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is one of the best ways to grow and sustain your eCommerce business. This is because loyal customers come back to purchase your products and provide a higher lifetime value. These customers are also the most likely people to recommend your products to others. You can build customer loyalty by improving your customer service, actively following up with existing customers, personalizing products and interactions, and giving customers incentives.
Learn more about building customer loyalty for your Shopify store.

Phone service for your store
A phone service for your eCommerce business can strengthen trust in your customers and humanize the otherwise digital interaction with your brand. But, if phone support is done wrong, it can also reduce customer satisfaction and create a negative impact on your store. See the pros and cons of offering a phone service for your store.

Shopify Store Checklist: Summary

Now that the holiday shopping season has finished, you can think about improving your Shopify store for the coming year. In this checklist, we list a number of things you can do to enhance the functionality of your store, tools to market your products, and ways to create better customer experiences.

You can follow this Shopify store checklist of things to consider for 2016. Take a look at apps by ShopStorm to recover abandoned carts, sync other blogs with your Shopify blog, customize products, and build a better confirmation page.

What do you want to change or enhance on your Shopify store in 2016? And why is it a priority? Tell us in the comments below.

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