Why 90% of Shopify Stores Fail: Key Strategies for eCommerce Growth

Jun 6, 2024

The world of eCommerce is booming, with a market value of $6.3 trillion. Yet, over 95% of Shopify stores fail. It’s not about the products; it’s about the strategy. Let’s dive into the main reasons behind these failures and uncover the strategies to help your online store thrive.

Over 90 percent of Shopify stores fail, not because there’s no demand for their products, but because they lack the right strategy. If you’re wondering if something’s wrong with your product, think again. The eCommerce industry is massive, so there’s undoubtedly a market for what you’re selling. However, the success of an online store hinges on strategic planning. Let’s explore the key mistakes and how to avoid them.

Key Mistakes Leading to Shopify Store Failures

1. Low Average Order Value (AOV)

One of the most common pitfalls is not maximizing the Average Order Value (AOV). In simple terms, AOV refers to the average amount spent each time a customer places an order. Many stores fail because customers aren’t purchasing enough items in one transaction.

To boost your AOV, offer complementary products that incentivize customers to buy more. For instance, if you sell skincare products, bundle items together or suggest related products that enhance the primary purchase.

Think about how many times you’ve shopped at a mall and ended up buying more than you intended because items were paired together attractively. Apply the same principle to your online store to increase sales.

Practical Tips:

  • Bundle complementary products: If a customer is buying a laptop, offer a bundle that includes a laptop case and a mouse.
  • Suggest related items: Use AI-driven recommendations to suggest related products that enhance the main purchase.
  • Create special offers: Offer discounts on related items when purchased together to encourage bulk buying.

2. Low Conversion Rates

Another critical issue is low conversion rates. This refers to the percentage of visitors who make a purchase. If your conversion rate is around 1-2%, it’s challenging to make a profit and reinvest in your business.

Identify and target your ideal customer. Your store should cater to a specific audience, making them feel seen and understood. A general store might attract a wider audience, but a specialized store converts more effectively.

Imagine you run a store selling women’s clothing. Instead of targeting all women, focus on a niche, like professional women seeking stylish office wear. This approach helps create a loyal customer base that sees your store as a go-to for specific needs.

Practical Tips:

  • Use targeted ads: Utilize social media and search engine ads to reach your specific audience.
  • Personalize the shopping experience: Use customer data to provide personalized product recommendations.
  • Optimize product pages: Ensure your product descriptions are clear, detailed, and highlight the benefits for your target audience.

3. Lack of Repeat Customers

A successful eCommerce business relies on repeat customers. If customers don’t return, your store struggles to maintain steady revenue. Repeat customers are more likely to make multiple purchases, boosting your overall profit.

Build a brand that resonates with your target audience. Offer exceptional customer service, engage with customers post-purchase, and create loyalty programs to encourage repeat business.

Consider brands like Apple or Starbucks. They’ve built strong customer loyalty by consistently delivering quality and engaging with their customers. Aim to create a similar connection with your audience.

Practical Tips:

  • Create a loyalty program: Reward repeat customers with points, discounts, or exclusive offers.
  • Follow up with customers: Send personalized follow-up emails thanking them for their purchase and suggesting related products.
  • Provide excellent customer service: Respond promptly to inquiries and resolve issues efficiently to build trust and loyalty.

Implementing a Successful eCommerce Growth Strategy

Now that we’ve identified the common pitfalls, let’s discuss how to implement a successful eCommerce growth strategy for your Shopify store.

1. Enhance Product Offerings

Ensure your store offers a variety of products that complement each other. This encourages customers to add more items to their cart, increasing your AOV.

Use upselling and cross-selling techniques. For example, if a customer buys a phone, suggest purchasing a case and screen protector.

Practical Tips:

  • Highlight related products: Display related items on product pages to encourage additional purchases.
  • Offer product bundles: Create bundles of complementary products at a discounted price.
  • Use customer data: Analyze purchasing behavior to identify popular product combinations.

2. Optimize Your Website for Conversions

Your website should be user-friendly and designed to convert visitors into customers. Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs), high-quality images, and detailed product descriptions.

A/B test different elements of your site to see what works best. This could be your CTA buttons, product page layouts, or even the checkout process.

Practical Tips:

  • Simplify navigation: Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for.
  • Improve load times: Ensure your site loads quickly to reduce bounce rates.
  • Enhance mobile experience: Optimize your site for mobile devices to cater to the growing number of mobile shoppers.

3. Target Your Ideal Customer

Focus on a specific niche and tailor your marketing efforts to attract and retain this audience. This helps improve your conversion rate and build a loyal customer base.

Create detailed buyer personas to understand your ideal customer’s needs, preferences, and shopping behaviors.

Practical Tips:

  • Segment your audience: Use customer data to create targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Personalize your messaging: Tailor your marketing messages to resonate with your target audience.
  • Engage on social media: Connect with your audience on social media platforms they use most.

4. Foster Customer Loyalty

Encourage repeat business by offering loyalty programs, personalized discounts, and excellent customer service. Happy customers are more likely to return and recommend your store to others.

Send follow-up emails post-purchase, offering a discount on their next order or suggesting related products.

Practical Tips:

  • Develop a loyalty program: Offer points, discounts, or exclusive deals to repeat customers.
  • Communicate regularly: Send personalized emails to keep customers engaged and informed about new products or promotions.
  • Gather feedback: Ask for customer feedback to improve your products and services and show that you value their input.

Wrapping Up

By addressing these common mistakes and implementing the right eCommerce growth strategies, you can turn your Shopify store into a successful, sustainable business. Focus on increasing your AOV, optimizing your website for conversions, targeting your ideal customer, and fostering customer loyalty. Remember, the riches are in the niches, so find your specific market and cater to their needs.

For those wanting to dive deeper into these strategies, check out our masterclass where we go in-depth on building a million-dollar brand. Was this helpful? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to give this post a thumbs up if you found it valuable!

Silvia Myers

Silvia Myers

Traffic Ninja & eCommerce Coach

Silvia is co-founder of Traffic Ninjas, teaching product makers and brand builders how to sell their incredible products online without having to discount or spend their hard-earned cash on things that don’t work.

Together with her husband and co-founder, Kristen, Traffic Ninjas equip eCommerce stores with an underground Ninja method specifically designed for small business owners, teaching them how to be profitable and sustainable and actually earn an income from selling their products online.

The Traffic Ninjas community has grown from Sydney, Australia to 35+ countries around the world with small business owners achieving amazing results.


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