How to Make Sales on Shopify Without Paying for Ads?

February 25, 2024

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The ultimate goal of any online retail business is obviously to make sales; the only problem is, it can sometimes prove difficult to publicize your products in the early days without investing money in measures like Facebook ads or Google ads.

Even if you have a genuinely stellar product to sell and a relatable mission statement to back it up, you simply won’t achieve success if you can’t figure out how to drive traffic to your Shopify store. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to strain your budget in the fledgeling days of your business in order to earn more website visitors and improve your conversion rate.

Plenty of Shopify success stories have been born out of nothing more than hard work, determination, inspiration, and creativity, so if you’re looking to make sales without investing in advertising, you’re in luck—it’s certainly possible, it will just take some ingenuity.

Is It Really Possible to Make Sales on Shopify Without Ads?

It is absolutely possible to make sales on Shopify without investing your resources in ads; with so many online retailers turning to advertising, taking an alternative approach may actually prove preferable.The reality is that as eCommerce has become a more crowded space, Shopify has expanded considerably. Today, there are more than 500,000 stores running on Shopify, and there’s no doubt that a large portion of those are investing in advertising on popular digital platforms like Facebook and Google.

This means that even if you were interested in running ads for your store, there’s a good chance that all of the keywords related to the products you’re attempting to sell online would be highly competitive. More competitive keywords are more expensive, and generally more difficult to rank for, so even if you wanted to invest your resources in ads, they may not garner you much traffic.
This is not to say that advertisements aren’t worth exploring, it’s simply to state that you shouldn’t count yourself out of the eCommerce game if you can’t afford to make a major ad push right away. Instead, you can invest your energy in creating an organic presence that engages potential customers and sets your store up for long term success.

Ways to Make Sales on Shopify Without Paying for Ads

Recent studies show that shopping ads have become increasingly popular in the last year, so if you want to stand apart from the competition (who’s likely paying for their position at the top of the search results), then these methods are your best options for ensuring that you will still make sales on Shopify.

Bulk Up Your Search Engine Optimisation Efforts

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The single most effective thing you can do to ensure that more sales occur on your store is lean into SEO. One of the very first, most fundamental steps of any SEO strategy is keyword research; this is a somewhat lengthy process, but if you take the time to complete it diligently, then you’ll be left with a list of terms that will help to organically drive traffic to your store.

With your keyword strategy on hand, you can naturally incorporate relevant terms into your product pages and landing pages. Another great way to maximize the effectiveness of your keyword research is to write a dedicated blog post focusing on some of the most high traffic keywords you identify. If you haven’t already started a blog on your site, then you should consider beginning one immediately—sites with blogs can enjoy indexation rates more than 400% higher than sites without them.

One of the reasons that Shopify has become such a widely adopted online shopping platform is that it is incredibly user friendly, but it’s still not a bad idea to check that your site’s navigation and load times aren’t encumbered in any way. Sites with confusing pathways will suffer hugely when it comes to SEO, and the majority of users will navigate away from a site if it takes more than a few seconds to load, particularly if they’re on a mobile device.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your site is satisfying users’ needs and abiding by the rules of Google’s algorithm, simply check with your Google analytics and Google search engine console. Your site’s analytics will provide details about which pages your audience is engaging with and which ones they are navigating away from quickly; your search engine console account will give you details about your site’s coverage in the Google index, and any issues in terms of things like mobile usability.
Obviously, a truly fleshed out SEO strategy is far more involved than this, but these are good jumping-off points for organically optimising the reach of your Shopify store so you can earn more attention and attract sales for free.

Collect An Email List and Build An Email Marketing Strategy

Shopify considers email marketing a critical component of eCommerce success, and it’s easy to see why: online stores lend themselves perfectly to email marketing as a medium, because shoppers willingly contribute their email address when they complete a purchase. This allows you to amass an email list and build brand awareness while publicising calls to action.

More than 60% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that they have interacted with in the past; this means that once you have made a sale and gained access into a buyer’s life, they’re more likely to patronise your business again. You can capitalise on this level of trust by marketing to your email list and encouraging them to share your brand with friends and family.

Promotions that offer discounts to your store and loyalty reward programs give buyers the sense that interacting with your shop is worthwhile; users are far more likely to stay opted in to your email list if you’re offering them something of value.

Generate A Strong Social Following

Social media has transcended its original status as a mere tool for chatting with friends and entered a unique space where it is now used as a means of completing research. Today, more than 50% of consumers say they use social media to research products that they’re interested in buying.

The great thing about platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that they’re free—even for businesses. There’s no requirement that you invest in advertising in order to utilise these sites for your brand. You can integrate store functions (like shoppable posts) on both of these networks, grow your following based around your target audience, interact with potential customers, and earn more sales without having to spend a single dollar on advertising.

Naturally, it’s going to take significantly more time and effort to generate a robust social media presence from scratch without paying for ads, but if you are willing to dedicate the energy to it and you have a strong vision for your brand, then you’ll find that these platforms can be an incredibly powerful tool for driving sales to Shopify, particularly if you’re targeting younger shoppers.

Make More Sales with The Right Team Behind You

At Australian Internet Advertising, we know that you’ve dedicated countless hours to pursuing your online store because you’re selling a product that you genuinely believe in. We want to help bring your dreams to life by enhancing your efforts with a customized strategy that will drive more traffic to your site and boost your conversion rate.

To learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals and earn more sales, contact our team of Shopify Website Development experts today.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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