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Generally expect mobile conversion rates to be half of the desktop conversion rate.

Across our top five biggest clients the desktop conversion rate is averaged at 5.5% and the mobile conversion rate is 2%. Tablets were right in the middle at 3.6%. The number one type of traffic for all stores is mobile traffic, it blows desktop traffic out of the water every time. The problem is that mobile traffic is also the worst at converting. Why?

The psychology of the consumer:

Consumers are generally less willing to go through the purchase process on their phones, especially for larger purchases. Buyer intent is not as high. They’ll create drive by traffic and maybe purchase on their desktop later. Think about your own shopping habits, you are scrolling and something catches your eye, but you are out doing something else. You aren’t looking with an intent to purchase at that moment. Even if your store’s checkout is optimized for Apple Pay, Google Pay or Paypal the consumer might not have that set up. The trust of using your phone to make a purchase just isn’t quite there yet like sitting focused on your computer. Overall, don’t sweat it too much.

What you can control:

Understand your data. What are your conversion rates? Where are they coming from? Which browsers? Within Shopify there are Behavior Reports under “analytics” labeled “sales traffic by device type”. You can use these tools to know exactly where your customers are coming from.

Build a sales funnel with as many touch points as possible. You want a pop up to try and grab an email at welcome and exit. Get remarketing in place and then ideally, you’ve got email marketing automation behind all of that. An automated welcome series is a powerful converter. So, if I capture their attention on mobile and they don't buy that is completely fine and expected.

I get this question a lot.

After attending the SEMA conference in Las Vegas, one niche became very clear to me. First, SEMA is the largest convention in Las Vegas and hosts car manufacturers and after-market parts for various vehicles. I didn’t see any electric vehicles represented or after-market parts for them. This is a huge opportunity and a wide blue ocean that no one is doing right now.

I would buy myself an electric car, drive it around and start figuring out what the pains or problems are. I would start designing and manufacturing my own simple products, probably accessories around the interior. First look for issues to fix and then start looking for little annoyances that you discover when you first buy a car. Fix that stuff and then turn around and start making cool accessory items for the car.

A word of caution within this space

Product Information Systems, aka PIM Systems, around automotive and Shopify are tricky. You run into a data problem with all the various combinations of options, year, make model and vehicle selector. This is an industry wide problem that no one has solved in a great way yet. Of the YMM selector apps, the one I've had the best luck with is EasySearch.

There are many key holidays throughout the year which usually require a different ad strategy. These community Q&A’s will dig into some practical solutions with a holiday focus. This is just the tip of the iceberg and my Holiday Email Guide gives more in-depth blueprints.

What are some practical ideas to build up your email list?

  1. An early bird sale sign up teaser: When people land on your website, offer early access to the holiday sale by giving your email. Use this as your email opt-in and run the holiday sale specifically for those people as a way to test it. This is a great strategy to get multiple purchases from a single customer. Maybe they’ll purchase during the early bird preview and then again on the actual holiday sale.
  2. Offer a 5% discount
  3. Offer free shipping on your first order
  4. A content upgrade: Do you have any current content like blog posts or videos that provide a little expertise on the product you are selling? Turn that into a short educational piece as an incentive to email opt in.

When should I release my social media posts for the holidays?

Constantly and scheduled.

Unlike email, social media doesn't have the same organic reach. If I post on Facebook, I'm lucky if 10% of my people see that post. You could post every hour throughout the day and be fine, as long as it's valuable in some way. Make it funny, engaging, dynamic and helpful. For example, "Hey, this sale item is about to sell out." Look for those excuses and reasons to post. At a minimum for social media, I would match it up to your email and do 7:00 AM, 5:00 PM, 10:00 PM, so that you've got it running throughout the day, maybe another in the afternoon.

My advice for your social media posts during these holiday sales is just spam it. On holidays, it's just another drop in the rainstorm. All of your customers are getting spammed by 20 other stores. It's not like they're going to specifically remember you as being a bad guy if you're worried about overdoing it.

What should I budget for one day holiday ads on social media?

Take your Facebook ad numbers that are already segmented into cold, warm and hot audiences. Kill the cold audience ad-spend and reallocate that, because that's the one that's going to be really expensive and have low ROAS (return on ad spend). Reallocate the cold audience ad-spend into the warm and hot audiences. Then add an additional 10%.

For an overall budget, use last year’s performance numbers. A conservative number is 10% of sales on last year’s holiday.

What type of ads should I run for Black Friday? How can the ads be aligned with emails?

It’s a great idea to align your ads to email campaigns. It creates uniform branding and messaging. You can take content from the email such as the subject, the headline, the call to action and use it as text in the ad. You probably have a hero image or graphic you used in the email. Use that image in the ad as well. If you're using Klaviyo and you have these emails segmented to people, you could sync those to Facebook as custom audiences, to ensure that the very same people see that exact same thing. Basically, once you build out your email campaign, turn around and recreate that as Facebook ads.

Reminder: Schedule and plan content in advance to run on the holiday. There is lead time on approval for ads on Facebook during big holidays.

Picture this, your product sales are high and coming 95% via a marketplace (Amazon, eBay, Etsy etc..), things are good and you are building your revenue. Next thing you know the marketplace says that you violated one of their policies or knocks you off. You’re done!

This is a common scary problem for businesses just starting out. How do I diversify my income streams? The upside is that you sell your product on a marketplace and validate the idea. The downside is that you don’t own your customer or brand.

A great strategy is to incorporate both income streams. Use a marketplace, but also build your own brand via a Shopify store.

The first step is to figure out what data points you have on your customers via the marketplace. If you ship your items, utilize their addresses.

  • Ship your product with a coupon that directs them to your Shopify store
  • Include a pack in card with instructions or a warranty that needs to be registered on your website
  • Figure out what keywords people are using to search for your product on a marketplace and start using that information to form a SEO strategy

Pro tip: When the customer is registering their warranty, give them the option to add their email and get on your newsletter list. Boom! Now you have their email and can start retargeting them with ads.

What is a sensitive niche product? Basically anything that comes with a purchase age restriction.

In this case, assume you won’t be able to do any sort of pay per click advertising. Also assume that you are going to need to make double the effort on content strategy to make up for this.

These strategies can apply across the board, but might specifically help certain merchants more if you are at an ad disadvantage.

1. Creating an educational article about your product with some SEO can drive a lot of traffic.

If people Google a problem, find your article with reliable expertise, that automatically ups your credibility. You can then take those people and retarget them with products referenced in the ad (possibly based on your product). You could send your cold traffic to the article, people who visited your website homepage or Instagram profile.

2. Having a strong social media presence.

Certain types of content are more successful depending on the platform.

What type of content do you excel at creating and where could it live best? If you love creating videos, YouTube might be the place for you. If you like writing, maybe you try Facebook or have really great website content.

If you encounter saturation about a certain topic, how can you zig when everyone else zags?

Think about the community of people you are trying to target, find out where they go to educate themselves and applicable content. What’s great is that you can experiment and try different strategies until you find your crew.

Yes! You acquired the customer and made the sale. The hard work is over right? Unless you find odd joy in spending lots of money acquiring new customers, the answer is no. Giving a good customer experience pre and post-sale is what keeps them coming back and remembering you.

Let’s review some top post-purchase email strategies to help you increase your customer lifetime value. The timing of all this would happen in what I like to call, “the lull”. The in-between time that occurs after the initial purchase excitement and the final product arrival. This window gives you a lot of opportunities to provide good service.

Education

Here you would give information around the story of the product or brand, a thing it can do, how to take care of it, how to clean it, how to maintain it, etc… These pair nicely with a thank you, offering resources to answer questions and an expectation of product arrival.

Cause marketing

This one applies only to brands that have a cause at their core. You want that story baked into everything you do. You can thank the customer for their purchase, acknowledge the good it did and explain what the purchase is doing for the cause.

Procedures

Giving the customer directions upfront is a perfect service opportunity. For example, pretend you are a clothing brand, you will want your customer to try the item on right away. Give them the directions to return the item if it doesn’t fit. Maybe there are special care instructions for maintaining the material.

Cross-sell with a discount offer

What other products or services do you offer that the customer might be interested in? Highlight one with a 10% off or free shipping offer if they order within ten days.

My personal favorite… the combo

Offer the coupon or discount right away, sandwich it with any of the customer service feel-good emails mentioned above and close with a reminder to use the discount before it expires.

Pro tip: Klaviyo has a lot of these email automations built-in, just rework the flows for the specific messages you want to send. Get 15% off Klaviyo for 16 months with my affiliate link: klaviyo.com.

When considering migrating from Shopify to Shopify Plus, ask yourself one question:
What is the problem I’m trying to solve?

Some stores can sell millions of dollars a year, be totally fine and not on Plus. Others can solve a specific problem utilizing the tool box of resources available with Plus. It all depends on what you are trying to fix and having a plan in place.

Let’s go over what some of these extra tools are that come with Plus to help you figure out if it is the right solution for you.

1. Customizing the checkout experience and receive access to Plus exclusive apps

The checkout experience is one of Shopify’s key benefits. There are a lot of editable features that can help maintain your brand and improve the customer experience. These customizations could help you see a lift in conversion rates and average order values.

Use cases:

  • Change shipping payment methods
  • Update pricing on products, discounts and coupon codes
  • Sell in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments and get paid in your local currency
  • Utilize the ap Launchpad to schedule sales…..think of holidays like Black Friday for example
  • Utilize Shopify Scripts to automatically create discounts and sales without coupon codes

Alternatives: If you don’t want to migrate to Shopify Plus, there are some 3rd party check out aps such as, Bold Cashier and One Click Upsell. The potential problem is that optimizing checkout is one of Shopify’s core benefits, if you swap it out, you might hobble through the process and not see desired results. Again, make sure you have a good understanding of the problem you want to solve.

Resources:

  1. Shopify Multi Currency
  2. Shipping Profiles

2. Lower credit card processing fee
If you are big enough, the lower processing fee could pay for Plus itself.

3. VIP support
You get additional and priority support to help with regular and more technical questions.

4. Create up to 9 clone stores and have a multi-store dashboard

Cloning stores could be beneficial if you are in any type of wholesale or multi-market business. You can have different stores for different languages, prices, currencies and manage them all on your multi store dashboard.

For more information check out my guide to Shopify Plus.

Merchants tend to worry about annoying customers, but people's tolerance for pain with emails is very high, especially if you deliver any kind of value or entertainment in the slightest.

My general rule of thumb is weekly.

Certainly don't spam people, but you can get into an issue where if you don't email them enough, they forget. They're like, who is this? When did I sign up for this? And you'll get more unsubscribes by sending too few emails. Some people might want to buy right away, others will need more contact. It all depends. The key is giving informative and entertaining content, with a PS of “hey you could buy this now here.”

The other approach to get comfortable with sending more email is through segmentation. That way you are optimizing your communication and not just spamming your entire list.

It’s no secret that new customer acquisition costs are high, so it’s important to focus on customer retention. These are some of my favorite short and sweet ways to keep those customers coming back.

Have a good product and give the customer a good experience

Providing good service and quality can be what separates you from the pack. Think of all the times you have had a great customer service experience, it sticks with you and creates loyalty. Ask the key follow up questions. “Did everything work out with your purchase?” “Let us know if you have any questions.” Take any feedback, iterate and listen to your customers.

Add value and stay top of mind

Emailing here is the key without being salesy. Is there a story behind your product you can share? Any instructions, tips or tricks that apply specifically to the item they bought? Can you tell them about different accessories that compliment their purchase?

For an example of a Shopify merchant that does this well, listen to my podcast interview with Jake Starr from Recycled Firefighter. After every purchase he emails the customer the story behind that specific product, with a sale offer to a related item.

Pro tip: Leverage follow up segmentation opportunities. Dive into your product or service

An easy way to start is by considering the same language countries that your product is originally sold in and website is written in. So if your product sells well in North America, what are the other English speaking countries you target? Start with some top performing Facebook ads, duplicate those, target them to that country and go. See what happens.

When you are working with a same language market, the best solution is to use a currency converter on your site. When you are a Shopify Plus member part of your monthly cost is cloning up to 10 stores. Creating a new store would be beneficial when you are then moving into different languages. Using a Java Script to translate a site can get messy.