The Coronavirus is straining the world’s economy. In addition to constituting a national health emergency (for mental health help, consider reaching out to BetterHelp), and marking a significant change in the behavior of all of us, this invisible enemy is also infecting all Shopify stores, which are in serious difficulty.
Industries have stopped production, closed non-essential commercial activities, demand for goods and services unrelated to food and pharmaceuticals are falling sharply. No sector seems excluded from this health and economic pandemic.
Yet, there are some Shopify stores that, despite COVID 19 and the limitations imposed by the various governments to contain the pandemic, manage to resist this situation and, in some cases, even to grow.
Until a few years ago, having e-commerce was an alternative to selling at a physical store; in an increasingly digitalized and interconnected world, it becomes an obligation to have your own product catalog available and purchasable online. And these days, it would seem to be the only way to allow companies to continue growing their business. And also with a good profit.
Shopify store owners must, therefore, take advantage of this opportunity that has arisen with this emergency. We, therefore, decided to publish various methods in which Shopify store owners have been able to adapt to COVID-19.
Please note: these activities are always valid, even in normal situations. Therefore if you are reading this article and the Covid-19 emergency is over (and we hope soon), you can always take a cue from it. However, they will help you increase your online sales.
1. Improve Performance and Speed
The first thing they do is to increase the number of orders on their Shopify is to dedicate their time to improving the performance of the site itself. And specifically, we refer to its loading speed.
Why is it important for e-commerce to load its pages as fast as possible?
Because it is one of the reasons why you buy online, together with convenience. A Shopify store too slow to load the pages, which does not complete all the requests on the server-side or which completes them partially, constitutes a loss of money for the owner. If people wait too long for a page to load, they will abandon the store before they even see the first contents: over 50% of visitors to e-commerce do not complete the purchase if the site is too slow.
So take some time to understand how to improve e-commerce performance and speed. Use some online tools that, analyzing your e-commerce, will provide you with a series of indications on what to do to reduce the page loading time. Use high-quality Shopify store themes that load quickly.
And with the overtaking of mobile connections compared to desktop ones, today it is even more fundamental to have a responsive theme that can be easily loaded from any device.
2. Optimize the User Experience
This is the second step most Shopify store owners take. A bad browsing experience, in the same way as a bad loading performance, means a high rate of abandonment of e-commerce and therefore, a lower economic return. Visitors will get tired of browsing a site that does not meet their expectations and will prefer to order the same products from competitors. Shopify store themes are great at improving user experience.
So take some time (and during the quarantine period you will have enough) to study how your visitors behave within your e-commerce. With web analytics tools, identify the pages that show the highest abandonment rates and investigate why. Optimize the conversion steps, the various steps that the customer must do to complete an order; consider reducing steps or adding new features, such as new payment methods.
Test the buttons that lead to the sale, from the addition to the cart to the one to conclude the order: analyze their conversion performance by testing in turn color, text or position (for tests using a tool like Google Optimize). It also analyzes the cart abandonment rate to find out if there is a particular reason.
More generally, search for anything that doesn’t work, like pages or product sheets that return a 404 error (not found). In the case of product sheets that no longer exist, redirect them (with an instruction of the “redirect 301″ type) to similar products or to the category they belong to: in this way you would not lose the customer who would still be directed to something he is looking for.
However, customize page 404 for all those that cannot be redirected by inserting links inside it to other sections of the e-commerce. Doing this will decrease the percentage of people who abandon your Shopify store.
3. Do SEO for SERPs
Another very important activity most Shopify store owners dedicate their time to is optimizing their content to obtain visibility on search engines.
SEO is a fundamental web marketing activity for the growth of e-commerce, not only because we get traffic from people looking for products related to our online catalog; by positioning our Shopify store in the top positions of Google we ensure a continuous flow of visits without having to invest in new advertising campaigns to acquire new customers (necessary, however, but which in Coronavirus times can constitute a huge investment). By doing SEO we get a constant return on investment in the long run.
The search engine optimization of e-commerce mainly focuses on product datasheets: we must work to ensure that they are present and visible on all the relevant keywords that users use to search for products.
Therefore provide descriptions of complete, exhaustive, and original products; do not copy and paste those provided by the producers, but give them value by enriching the text with as much information as possible. Insert as many images of each product as possible and if available, publish a video showing their use.
Enrich the product sheet with other contents, such as a pdf of the specifications, and a link to related and complementary products. Optimize the URL of the cards with the terms that identify the product and enter the structured data to communicate important information to Google such as prices, availability, and rating of the product that will preview for its users in the search results.
And don’t stop collecting reviews, even by contacting old customers: in such a moment of high online competition, providing as many purchase testimonials as possible can be the decisive variable that eliminates any doubt about the purchase of the product.
Therefore, create a product sheet complete with contextualized information and content, in order to position it as high as possible on Google and convince more potential customers from the search engine to place the product order.
4. Continue to Assist the Customers
All successful Shopify store owners all have this in common. The period is hard, and your customers should not be left alone. Pretending that nothing is happening, or not keeping in touch with them, can also have major repercussions on store sales results. Maintaining communication with customers allows you to strengthen the relationship with them and consolidate their trust in you. All this will pay off when the health emergency is over.
So answer all the requests made by your customers, both as regards the problems on orders and shipments (which at the moment could be slowed down), and more generally on the Covid-19 situation and on the repercussions on your business. Try to solve any problem related to the use of the platform and fulfill all their requests, as far as possible.
Be proactive: communicate any important decisions regarding your business and the health emergency and anticipate what could be the changes decided by the authorities or other external sources. Make these communications and those of service using not only the channels made available on Shopify (contact form, live chat, or a section created ad hoc on the service center) but send everything via email and use Social Networks .
On these channels, do not stop posting, review and adapt the content editorial plan adapting it to the latest news, keep the conversation alive with your followers by publishing relevant posts, without being too heavy but at the same time not completely downplaying the matter, so as not to hurt the sensitivity of others.
5. Offer a Discount or Freebies
All stores are working towards this. Given the particular situation, and considering the socio-economic impact that the virus is having on the population, meeting their needs by offering products and services for free is a way to make their contribution as well as keeping their order flow active.
A Shopify store can, therefore, offer some promotion for the period or give a related service. But be careful: we don’t necessarily have to give something just because all the other store owners do it or because you want to take advantage of the moment. The risk is that this type of operation will be recognized as a way to get noticed at all costs. The fine line between spontaneity and exploitation is very subtle, it is true, but if we do it selflessly the operation will be truly appreciated.
You don’t have to do things big, you can leave something more immediate, like free delivery or an extra discount on particular product categories. Also, consider whether it makes sense to propose related charity initiatives. And in case of free services, try submitting it to the Digital Solidarity Government initiative or take inspiration from those already proposed. Think about how your e-commerce can make its contribution by maintaining and consolidating the relationship with your customers.
As you can see, the possibilities of increasing the sales of emergency e-commerce from Coronavirus are different. We can carry out technical, Web Marketing activities, study customer behavior, and their needs and needs to improve your online product offer. We have many possibilities and we recommend taking advantage of this period in which all the activities seem to have stopped to investigate these issues.