Shopify loves to share success stories with its audience. Who wouldn't - its important for Shopify to show potential store owners how incredible their platform is and what better way they through success stories.
I have taken a look at some of the latest success stories and pulled out some key learnings for you. Hopefully these key learnings will help you to fast track your success.
1. Know how you plan to acquire your customers before you start
This is awesome advice. Don't invest all your time, effort and money in your product and website if you don't know how you plan to market to and acquire your customers. Business success involves much more than a great product and a great looking website.
Investing time in working out how you plan to get traction with your new business is vital. Your traction plan needs to be closely aligned to your ideal customer. You need to know who your ideal customer is and where you can reach them.
Its important to set aside budget for your traction plans. It will cost money to reach your target customer. In the case of Teaglad - the most successful customer acquisition channel for them was Facebook and Google Display ads.
I always advise my clients to start building an audience before your even launch your site. Launching to an active and engaged audience rapidly increases your likelihood for success. The owner of Devon Maryn, worked to build their presence on social media and gain followers in their target audience. They shared in-process product designs, asked for opinions, and even ran contests for people to name the products. This all contributed to an engaged fanbase who were ready to buy by the time they had inventory to sell in August 2014.
2. You can do everything yourself
The owner of Comfortable Boxes Co recently share his success story with Shopify. One of the key points he shared was that he is doing everything in his business. He is a brand new start up and he is handling all of these things himself - purchasing, procurement, graphics design, video editing, marketing, social media, systems, accounting, banking, payments, sales, quotes, wholesale, and customer service. He believes that you can do everything yourself.
I tend to agree with him. Here is why. Unlike when I started my online business over 7 years ago there are so many tools now that can help novices doing things well. If need graphic design for your business - then use Canva. If you need a video for your business - take it yourself with your iPhone. Your accounting system is now fully integrated with your website. Customer service is made easier with live chat and other customer service apps.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't want you spend ridiculously amounts of time trying to figure things out. But I do want you to invest time to empower yourself with knowledge. Then go and seek the advice or help from an expert.
I also believe that when you are starting out - you should play every role in your business. This gives you an unbelievable insight into what is required to make that function of your business successful. If you have a can do, growth mindset - you can take on anything. What you learn will be invaluable.
3. Customers are everything
Absolutely! We don't exist without customers. Your business's whole reason for existing is to help your customers solve a problem or fulfill a desire. You need to have your customer at the centre of absolutely everything you do in your business. You need to love your customer. You need to want them the best for them in sense. In very aspect of your business think about how you can make your customers lives easier, more rewarding, more joyful or more insightful. Seek to delight your customer at every point they touch your business. Try to impress them each time they interact with you.
4. Connect with your customers
Knowing your customer intimately allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level. Forming a true human connection where you are able to speak in a way that resonates with your customer is vital. Do you know the language your customers use to talk about their problems and desires? Do you only talk about your products and the not the benefits of your products on your website. Do you demonstrate clearly to your customer how your offering will help change their lives?
It is important to give your most loyal customers everything they need to share your story for you. Building a fan base of loyal customers who can't stop talking about your company, will quickly turn to 100 customers and take off from there. There are a few thing you can do to make this happen. Do you have effective share tools on your website? What do you do to reward customers who support you?
5. Word of Mouth
Two of Five the success stories cited Word of Mouth as insanely important for their business. And I couldn't agree more. The cheapest customers you can acquire in your business are ones referred by their friends (assuming you are not paying for the referrals). My family business has relied on word of mouth almost exclusively for the last 30 years.
Working hard on your customer experience - every single touch point you have with a customer will help to ensure that your customer has an incredible experience that they want to talk about and share with their friends. Your website has a part to play in this customer experience but its not everything. Too many Shopify store owners focus almost exclusively on the website. They forget about the before and after experience with their brand. What can you do before some purchases and after some purchases to create a lasting and unique experience that people will want to share with their friends?
Have you been in business for a while?
If so I would love to hear what you have learned. What are your 5 insights into success?
An on side note:
If you are a Shopify store owner - do you have a success story to share? Then make sure you submit it. Getting on the Shopify blog and in their success story email is great exposure for your business. Here is the link to submit your story.