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Why is My Shopify Store Not Making Sales?

Discover why your Shopify store is not making sales with our 4-P’s to ecommerce success.

Hey guys, thanks for tuning in, for those of you that have not seen any of my videos or read any of my articles before; I’m Kristin Atkinson and I’m the owner and founder of a international, multi-award winning Shopify agency called Integrity Commerce® which was established in 2010. So if you want to keep up to date with my videos, my training, my masterclasses, feel free to do so by subscribing to the Integrity Commerce® YouTube Channel and hopefully, you’ll find some useful information in there to help you scale your Shopify store. 

In this particular article, I’m gonna be talking about one of the biggest questions that I see across the internet when it comes to Shopify. And that question is, ‘Why is my Shopify store not making sales?’. It’s the most common question I see when it comes to Shopify and believe it or not, 99% plus of all e-commerce businesses fail, not just Shopify stores.

Shopify is particularly known for the ‘dropshipping’ model, and in this article, I’m going to be telling you about the fundamental reasons why e-commerce businesses fail, the most common reason that we’ve come across over the years. We’ve helped over a thousand retailers start, grow and scale since 2010, so we’ve got some great insights as to why so many do.

why is my Shopify store making no sales?

4 P’s To E-commerce Success

In my agency, we talk about what’s called the ‘4 P’s to e-commerce success’ and that’s what I’m gonna give you some insights into. We like to simplify the whole ecommerce dropshipping model, in particular, whilst using Shopify. So this particular article is aimed at Shopify stores and dropshippers, although the basic, key principles could be applied to any ecommerce business.

In my other articles and videos, I talk about the technical SEO issues with Shopify and why existing retailers fail to scale organically with Shopify, but this article is all about the typical dropshipping model and why so many people fail and why they’re not getting sales. 


1 – Products People Don’t Want

The biggest mistake people make with dropshipping is selling products people don’t want. If you are a ‘start-up’ with a single or multiple product store, and you’re launching with poor quality, unapproved, unverified products from the likes of Alibaba, AliExpress shipped from China with 30-40 days delivery times, then you might as well give up now. Selling products in the US, UK, CA or Europe from these sites will get you banned from advertising on Facebook and Google. If you do some research, neither of them like the dropshipping model. They like to work with established professional brands and retailers in a given niche. Simply put, if you are selling products from a non-trending niche that people simply don’t want, with long delivery times [you can use tools out there like Google Trends to find trending], you’re simply not going to survive.

If you’re based in the US for example, you need high quality, reliable, trustworthy, ‘native’ suppliers with fast delivery times [3-7 days max]. Before you choose the products that you want to sell, they must be trending. We typically help ‘start-ups’ with 1000+ SKUs in a particular, drilled down niche. The idea is to become a professional retailer in a particular niche, or at least look like one to start with. And, you know, you ain’t gonna achieve that with low quality products from China with ridiculously long delivery times. 

2- Prices People Are Willing To Pay

The next reason why 99% of Shopify stores are not making sales is because they are selling products that people want [hopefully] at a price people are not willing to pay. What do I mean by that? Well, there’s no point in selling products much higher than your competitors is there? If you’ve got products people want then great, but if you have to have them at a price people are willing to pay and that usually means that you are priced competitively – matched to the lowest priced competitor selling the exact same product online.

A ‘competitor pricing analysis’ should be completed right at the beginning when you’re doing your business planning. There’s no point trying to sell products at $120 if everyone else is selling them for $100 is there? It just makes no sense does it? Price sentiment on the internet [in particular Google], whether it’s organic and paid is enormous. People go to the internet when they know what they want. They’ve already made a decision to purchase – intent is huge on Google, they just need to know where to buy it from [trust sentiment] with the fastest delivery time at the best possible price. So if you are launching with a 1000 SKUs, or however many you choose, you need to make sure that the SKUs that you are selling can compete.

Competing online means you are priced at the lowest price point of your competitors, whilst still having enough money for marketing your products and services, and still having enough money for a profit. This is a key, fundamental part of business planning. You need to know, how much is it gonna cost me to market my products and services? Can you afford to market them at the price everyone else is selling them at and still have enough money for marketing and for profit? 

You’d be amazed at how many people don’t know if their competitors are selling products at a much lower price. The whole wholesale model has changed over the years and I’ve seen it happen since 2010 – what you’ll find is that a lot of wholesalers these days have started to go direct to consumers [B2C].

So before you choose a supplier, you definitely need to know if you can compete online with the products you wish to sell. If you can’t, you’ve got the wrong product set and you need to go back and start again. It’s as simple as that. 

3 – The Right People Coming To your Store

The third reason why your Shopify store is not generating sales is because you’re not driving the right people to your store. You must be driving the right types of traffic to your store. The two typical ways you can do that are through organic traffic and paid traffic, whether it’s in the search engines or whether it’s on social media platforms. 

why is my Shopify store making no sales 2

Aprproximately 95% of all searches online start with a Google search when someone’s looking to purchase a product. So organically, every single page of your website needs to be targeting a search term that people are using to find the products that you’re selling.

Optimizing your store for the most appropriate search terms isn’t rocket science, but knowing how to do so properly, is.  Optimizing every single page in your store isn’t an easy process. You must ensure you are tapped into the traffic that people are searching for your products you are selling.  If you are not optimized, you are not going to be driving the right traffic. So organically, you need to have an optimized website which is aligned with Google’s algorithms, quality guidelines and 200 plus known ranking factors. Organic traffic is by far the most profitable channel for conversions,  as it’s always the highest converting one. It is harder, and it does take longer, it does take time but you do need to optimize your store with SEO.

When it comes to paid search, or paid traffic far too many people make the very expensive mistake of trying to launch a product before they have done any of the aforementioned. They also make the mistake of purchasing expensive traffic on platforms like Facebook. Yes, it can be a very profitable channel if you’re an expert on Facebook ads, and until you know your products do convert, you should not invest or waste budget on Facebook ads unless you’ve got between and 50 and a $100 per day to test and build data for a number weeks, and in some cases, months. Since the iOs 14 update, Facebook is not typically the place to launch with ads and paid traffic. Until you find out who your exact target audiences are, at the price point that they are prepared to pay, that’s only the time to scale with Facebook ads.

There are however other ‘paid’ channels where you can start much more cost effectively to start building and buying data about your products, your audience, and who is more likely to convert before you start scaling on Facebook. And our advice is to start with the Google Shopping Comparison Service [GSCS].

Google Shopping
Image source: Google Shopping

Over the years, it has been for us, by far the most profitable channel for paid conversions for ANY type of ecommerce store, not just Shopify. You can start off with the service from Google from as little as $20 per day to start driving traffic and sales. The more money you have initially to invest at the beginning to buy user data about your own particular products and services, the better. If you know your products can compete online at a price people are willing to pay then it is the best channel to start with.

Again, how much is it gonna cost to market your products and services? One of the fundamental elements of business planning. Financial forecasting, based on how much it is going to cost you to sell your products online and put them in front of the right people, is essential. The only way you can do that is through paid traffic to start with. Organic will build up over time yes, but Google only has a major refresh of its index every 60 to 90 days. So you can start doing the right things for SEO and give yourself the perfect foundations. But in the end, you need to drive traffic quicker because you need an ROI from your investment. And you’ll need to drive people to your store initially and you’ll need to spend money doing so.

4 – Problems With your Website

The other key reason your Shopify store is not generating sales is because of problems with your website. And what do I mean by that? If you are trying to become a professional retailer in a particular niche, have a look at the top of Google and see who’s already there. You need to look like a professional retailer in a particular niche in order to compete. If you are investing money to be at the top of Google, and if you are using an unprofessional, low quality Shopify theme store design, with low quality imagery that looks awful compared to the market leaders, visitors will soon bounce off your site. Trust sentiment is key to conversions. Potential buyers must believe they are buying from an established, professional retailer.

Unless you’ve got awesome web and graphic design and you’ve got a professional looking theme which is aligned with Google’s algorithms, quality guidelines, your store will never perform on Google and won’t make sales. You’ve got to ask yourself the question, why would someone buy from your store instead someone else’s at the top of Google. You’ve got to have unique selling points and reasons why someone should.

You’ve got to look professional. You’ve got to look as if you know what you’re doing, even if you’re starting with dropshipping, that’s our whole ethos and methodology. Take a look at some of the stores that are already out there selling the same as what you do, will your store compete with theirs? If you put your store next to someone else who’s already at the top of Google, why will they purchase from your store? Do you really think you can compete with major retailers with a free Shopify theme?

We did a comparison of our themes and our technology compared to the most expensive and free Shopify themes out there. And this is a great way of having to look to see what’s actually missing from a free theme that typical shoppers would expect. They don’t have all the things you would typically expect from a professional e-commerce retailing store, even the premium ones don’t have what we have. But, you know, we designed it to specifically have more than that. Our themes are designed to have everything that you’d expect as standard, out of the box.  Our themes have over 60 additional features and functionality as standard, a page load speed under 1 second, filter tech that unleashes 100’s if not 1000’s more pages in the search engines, AND will save you nearly $3000 per year on SEO and conversion boosting apps [selfless plug].

We’ve been running the ULTIMATE Retail Growth Program for nearly 18 months and I bet you couldn’t tell me which of our store designs are dropshipping companies or which ones are actually brands selling their own products? Take a peak halfway down the page on this image link below:

Why is my shopify store not making sales?

Having a professional looking store gives you an enormous competitive advantage when you’re just starting out as well as having the right tools, technology, training, coaching and support to be able to launch effectively and giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

In Summary

You need products people want, at a price people are prepared to pay. You need to be driving the right types of traffic. You may not have the skills to optimize your store or to launch paid marketing campaigns, but they are essential if you want to make sales. You need to make sure you’ve got no problems with your website and it needs to be professionally designed. Hopefully that’s given you some great insights as to why your Shopify store is not making sales so you can go and look at your own store now and apply the four key principles of ecommerce success. 

Have you got products people want, at a price they are willing to pay. Are they from a reputable supplier? Have you got fast delivery times and what were other people selling them at? Can you compete with the existing product range that you’ve got at the price that you are selling while still making a margin and having enough money to market those products and services. In terms of driving the right people, have you optimized your store from top to bottom? Do you know how to optimize it? Have you launched a paid search campaign to drive the right traffic? You know, if you are spending money on the likes of Facebook advertising and you’ve spent $100, $200, $500 and you’re not getting sales, switch it off, just switch it off and stop throwing your money away and start afresh!

Thanks for reading! If you’d like more useful content please visit our blog or YouTube channel videos for more free training and insights!

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