How to get sales on Shopify without ads: 12 tips to make more money

How to get sales on Shopify without ads: 12 tips to make more money
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While ads are an important part of any Shopify business, it’s not for everyone’s budget. In reality, there are many other practices you can adopt to convert visitors into customers.

From optimizing product pages and starting a blog to using email marketing and pop-ups – there are many ways you can increase your sales.

In this article, we’re going to cover 12 tips on how to get sales on Shopify without ads. We’ll also provide you with guides on how to apply each of them for your own business as well as practical tools to help you out.

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Why is your Shopify store not getting sales

If you want to encourage customers to buy more, you need to first identify the reasons behind a low-converting website. Here are the main culprits of low Shopify store sales:

  • Not enough Shopify traffic. The fewer visitors your site gets, the fewer sales you can expect.
  • No set brand voice. Retail TouchPoints found that 82% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand with similar values.
  • Non-optimized product pages. Product pages are the most important part of your website when looking to sell. If your product descriptions are low-quality and your images aren’t optimized, don’t expect to turn traffic into sales.
  • Not using social proof. According to a survey by Canvas8, 89% of consumers claim they read reviews of other customers before purchasing products.
  • No promotions or blog content. According to Vericast, 57% of users claim that promo deals influence their purchasing decisions.
  • Flawed marketing strategies. If you’re not trying out different marketing strategies, such as targeted pop-ups or email marketing, you’re much less likely to convert visitors into loyal customers.
  • Low brand trust. 81% of users say they need to trust brands to buy from it, according to Edelman. If your website doesn’t have trust badges in place, like an SSL certificate, this may be the reason for low traffic and sales.

How to get sales on Shopify without ads

There are many practical methods you can use to get sales on Shopify without paying for ads. Here are all of our practical tips and examples on how to gain new customers and influence visitor purchasing decisions:

1. Create an email marketing strategy

Email marketing is a cost-effective method to get and retain new customers. Yet, it’s important to develop a strategy that is clear and non-frequent or invasive. Excess emails could hurt your business rather than help it.

According to Constant Contact, 69% of consumers unsubscribe from newsletters because they receive too many emails, and 51% because the content is irrelevant.

So how do you get into email marketing exactly? Here’s a quick step-by-step guide with the main points:

  1. Find your target audience and set goals you want to achieve, like getting more sales.
  2. Pick an email marketing app for Shopify, like Omnisend or Klaviyo.
  3. Create an email list by requesting visitors to subscribe to your newsletter using targeted pop-ups, on-site notifications, or social media.
  4. Segment your list to customize your emails and make relevant content based on demographics.
  5. Write an email and make sure you include a call-to-action button, relevant images, and an engaging subject line. You can even test it with a free email subject line tester.
  6. Test your email with an A/B test and compare results – apps like Omnised allow easy campaign testing in just a few clicks.

If you’re just starting out, creating a welcome email with an offer for first-time customers is a great way to get newsletter subscribers. Here’s an example of the Chamberlain Coffee shop welcome email:

Welcome email example of Chamberlain Coffee

If you give the email address on the website, the customer gets a code with 15% off their first purchase at the shop. This urges new visitors to check out your assortment and get something cheaper.

2. Use pop-ups

There are many types of pop-ups that can be used in your store, from welcome and discount to exit intent, cart abandonment, upsell, and more.

According to Getsitecontrol, pop-ups have an average 7.09% click-through rate on desktop and 10% on mobile.

For example, here’s how The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf company uses a pop-up:

Welcome discount pop-up example

New site users get 20% off their first purchase if they provide their email address. Not only does this help the company to get more customers, but it also makes more new visitors subscribe to their newsletter.

However, keep in mind that pop-ups disrupt the user experience. So make sure you prioritize your visitors and test your strategies to see if they work.

You can add pop-ups to your store by using a third-party Shopify app like Pop Convert or Smile. All you have to do is:

  1. Install the app of your choice.
  2. Choose a template and customize the pop-up design.
  3. Activate the pop-up.

3. Add on-site notifications

On-site notifications are a valuable addition to your sales strategy because they can be used to promote products and give out discounts. The difference between pop-ups and on-site notifications is that the latter isn’t triggered by the user’s action.

There are many types of notifications you can utilize, from welcome messages and discounts to promotional offers and new product additions.

You can see an example of on-site notifications on the Fresh skincare website below:

On-site notification example on Fresh website

Here, there are two types of notifications – a discount based on how much you spend and an extra gift if you purchase a particular product.

To implement on-site notifications into your store, you can use a Shopify app like Proof Bear or SalesPush.

4. Create a loyalty program

Loyalty programs help turn one-time buyers into loyal customers by offering rewards.

One of the most popular examples of a successful loyalty program is Starbucks. With over 32.8 million active Starbucks Rewards members in the 2nd quarter of 2024 (up by 6% year-over-year), the company’s program continues to increase in popularity.

The way it works is that customers who buy using the app collect stars which can be used to redeem free items.

Starbucks reward system rules

Each time you get something using the app, you get 1 star per dollar or 2 stars per dollar if you add funds to the app’s digital card.

Then, you can exchange them for freebies. For example, collecting 50 stars can get you a customized drink for free, while 400 stars can get you any Starbucks merchandise that’s worth up to $20.

Starbucks reward system rules

So, creating a similar program adapted to your business may help increase your sales in the long run. You can easily do this with a third-party Shopify app. At the moment, the top-rated apps that we tested are Smile, Rivo, and Yotpo.

5. Promote your business on social media

Effective social media posts or campaigns can get your store much more traffic for free, which is one of the most popular methods to increase Shopify sales. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Create a business account. Whether Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or any other platform – start by creating accounts that correspond to your brand style.
  • Share it with your friends and family. Sharing your work with those close to you may be a great starting point to get more sales and start word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Be consistent. Think of your target audience and make sure you create relevant content at least a few times a week.
  • Work with creators. You can offer free products or services to bloggers or influencers with large followings that you feel align with your brand. In return, they could promote your products or services to their audiences.
  • Consider running a contest. Everyone loves discounts and freebies, so consider creating a contest. For example, users who follow your account, tag friends, or share your post (or all of these options) get a chance to win a free product from your store.

Someone who’s known to leverage social media to gain new followers quite often is MrBeast. Here’s a recent example:

Starbucks reward system rules

The rules of the contest included mentioning 2 friends, liking the post, and following the MrBeast account on Instagram. According to Social Blade statistics, in a week from May 7 (the day of the contest post), MrBeast gained over 2 million new Instagram followers.

Plus, while other recent posts of this account have an average like rate of 1 million, this contest post gathered almost 14 million likes already. This is clear proof that running contests can work in favor of your business, even if it may not always affect sales directly.

6. Improve your Shopify product pages

Product pages with engaging and SEO-friendly content, including product descriptions, metadata, and optimized images, can lure more visitors into becoming customers.

To start from texts, here’s a few tips on how to make product page content engaging:

  • Use metadata effectively. Ensure your Shopify meta titles and descriptions include the main SEO keyword and invite visitors to open your page when they find it on search engines.
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice. Consider your company values and set a tone that corresponds to your target audience. This will help create content that’s relevant to your visitors.
  • Don’t make it too long. Unless your products are very technical and require in-depth descriptions, make your content short and straight to the point so readers can skim through the text.
  • Focus on user benefits. Instead of choosing a bland format and only mentioning features, highlight what benefits the product will bring to your customer.
  • Include SEO keywords. Conduct a Shopify SEO keyword research and place a few relevant keywords into the product description. This can increase your chances of ranking higher in search engines.

As an example, here’s a product description example of a Reebok jacket:

Engaging product description example

The product description is short (just 44 words) and explains the main features, such as “durable water-repellent finish” and “reflective details.” However, it also mentions benefits for the user, including “stay dry as you keep pace with the elements” and “stash your small stuff in the side pockets.”

Moving on, you should also not forget to optimize product images. The main image is usually the product placed on a white background, making it the main focus. You may include images from all angles as well as one or two in-context images. These are visuals that show the product in use.

Here’s an example of how IKEA does it:

In-context product page image example

While the main product image is the bed sheet displayed on a white background, they also included an image of the bed sheet in use. This helps the visitor visualize how these bed sheets will look like on their own bed.

Moreover, make sure you pick the right size for your images so that it fits the page design and layout. The recommended product page image size on Shopify is 2048 x 2048 pixels, and the file size shouldn’t exceed 20 MB.

If you have too many product pages to do everything manually, you can quickly optimize images in bulk and generate metadata with AI using the TinyIMG app.

7. Utilize customer reviews

Adding customer reviews to your website or product pages can increase customer trust and influence their purchasing decisions.

One of the companies that adds a customer reviews option to their store is the Shein online fashion retailer.

Shein customer review option example

Not only do they allow rating the products and writing reviews, but they also let customers add photos and their body measurements. This helps other visitors find out whether the products are fit for their body type and helps them choose the size more accurately.

Additionally, the way Shein urges customers to leave reviews is by giving out points. You get points based on the review you leave and what it includes.

Shein point reward system

A hundred points equals a 1 dollar discount, and each dollar you spend also equals getting 1 point. This system encourages customers to leave more reviews in order to get bigger discounts and buy even more products.

You can add product reviews by getting a third-party app from the Shopify store. The most popular apps for this are and Loox. If you’re reselling from AliExpress or other platforms, you can import reviews using an app like Ali Reviews.

8. Include a live chat option

Adding a live chat option at the corner of your product pages can help visitors get quick answers to their questions and diminish any doubts they might have before buying.

LTVplus found that live chat implementation can increase conversion rates by 12%, and the visitors who use this communication channel are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t.

You can see an example of how an implemented live chat would look like on a product page below:

Website live chat example

There’s usually an icon at the lower right corner of the page that opens the chat box right after clicking it.

You can set up live chat on Shopify by following this guide:

  1. In the Shopify Admin dashboard, enter “Inbox” in the search bar and click it.
  2. Click the Set up chat button.
  3. You’ll be redirected to your store editor. Shopify’s Online store chat will automatically be embedded, just click Save.

That’s it! You can manage all of the messages in your Shopify Inbox app.

If you don’t have enough time or resources to run a live chat, you can consider getting a Shopify ChatGPT chatbot that can answer the basic questions for you, like Tidio.

9. Start a blog

If you’re wondering how to drive traffic to your Shopify store, not just sales, starting a blog can help. Well-written posts can rank higher in search engines, getting you more traffic, and potentially, sales. Shopify has the blog feature built-in, so you don’t even need a separate app for it.

Follow this guide to add a blog post to Shopify in just 5 steps:

  1. Head to your Shopify Admin dashboard, go to the Online Store section, and click Blog Posts.
  2. Click Add blog post.
  3. Enter the title of your post, write your blog post and the excerpt, and add a feature image.
  4. In the Blog drop-down menu, choose which blog you want to add your post to or create a new one.
  5. Change the visibility to Visible once you’re done and click Save.

Remember that blog content has to be relevant to your audience. For example, the King Arthur Baking Company sells all kinds of baking-related products, but they also run a blog with content that’s interesting to bakers.

Blog example of King Arthur Baking Company

As you can see, they not only share recipes and write down detailed baking lessons but also promote products. The best ice cream maker post describes the appliance in detail and includes hyperlinks to their shop, ensuring customers can buy it in their shop.

Example of using hyperlinks to sell products in blogs

This ensures that visitors who are searching for an ice cream maker and find this article also buy the product on the same website.

10. Utilize trust badges

There are multiple things you can do to make your website look trusted. Here’s what customers usually look for:

  • SSL certificates. These are small lock icons by your URL that indicate that your website is secured. They’re added on Shopify by default and for free.
  • Secure payment badges. This is a section in the shopping cart that shows users that the website is secure and includes trusted payment methods, like Visa, American Express, and so on.
  • Money-back guarantee. Having a money-back guarantee and refund policy in place helps users be more confident with their purchase, letting them buy products without fear of not being able to return them in case they don’t meet their expectations.

As an example, let’s take a look at the popular H&M clothing brand website:

Trust badge examples on H&M website

The locket by the URL indicates that the connection is secure. Meanwhile, at checkout, you can see the logos of popular and trusted payment methods, including PayPal, ApplePay, Visa, and more. There are also multiple indications on the checkout page that there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee included.

You can add badges using more comprehensive Shopify apps like Avada or a completely free one like Trust Badges Bear.

11. Seek tips from the Shopify community

Shopify has plenty of experienced merchants who went through the same or similar issues as you. Here are a few useful resources you can check out to reach out to the community:

  • Shopify community. This is a forum where any user can share their struggles or tips and tricks. You may expect useful answers not only from other merchants but from Shopify staff or partners as well.
  • r/shopify on Reddit. Shopify store owners are also active on Reddit, so make sure you explore related subreddits.
  • Stack Overflow. For more technical or development issues related to Shopify and not getting sales, you can seek advice from the Stack Overflow community.

12. Consider running ads on a budget

If you feel like trying to get sales without using ads is not for you, you can run paid ads on a budget. Here are a few tips on how to do it:

  • Structure your campaigns carefully. Don’t waste money without first organizing your campaigns. Instead, make sure they’re structured based on your goals and allocate your budget.
  • Set the right audience. Whether on Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or any other platform, make sure you pick the right demographic so you don’t waste funds on the wrong audience.
  • Make ads relevant. Research the topic and keywords related to your products or services and craft engaging content for the ad. The better the ad corresponds to your audience, the higher the ROI (Return on Investment).
  • Control your budget. Many ad platforms on social media allow controlling how many people see your ads and how frequently, estimating the budget you need for it. On Facebook, it’s called reservation, while Google Ads allows setting an average daily budget.

There are different types of ads you can display on social media platforms. From video and photo to event, multi-product, offer, and many other types of ads.

Whichever you choose to use for your business, you should also consider the basics. A good ad should include a call-to-action button, an engaging copy, and visuals.

Let’s look at a Facebook ad example of the Loop earplug company:

Effective Loop Facebook Ad example

The copy of the ad is short and structured, highlighting the company's advantages with emojis, such as having over 41 thousand 5-star reviews and being the number 1 product on Amazon. The visual is also minimalistic and provides the main differences between multiple earplugs.

Meanwhile, while there’s a “Shop now’ call-to-action button, you’re also encouraged to take the quiz by clicking on the visual. This can help the user find out which product is right for them, creating a personalized experience.


Although ads can help gain an audience and potential customers quicker, learning how to get sales on Shopify without ads is definitely possible.

Focusing on driving traffic to a Shopify store, improving your brand trust and product pages, offering rewards, collaborating with bloggers or influencers, and starting a blog are just some of the practices you can adopt.

However, if ads are an integral part of your Shopify store, you can still try running them with a lower budget. Consider creating a structured campaign, setting a clear budget, and finding the right audience to maximize your ROI.

Whatever strategies you decide to use, make sure you stay consistent. Continuously test what works and what doesn’t, and eventually, your Shopify sales will skyrocket.

Frequently asked questions

You can increase your website sales without using ads by utilizing targeted pop-ups, email marketing, on-site notifications, trust badges, customer reviews, live chat, and a loyalty program. You may also optimize your Shopify product page SEO and write relevant blog posts.

If you want to get quick sales on Shopify, ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms are the way to go. However, you can also optimize your product images and adopt useful marketing strategies like loyalty programs, onsite notifications, pop-ups, and email marketing.

No, it’s possible to get sales on Shopify without running ads if you put in the work. You can optimize your product pages to fit your brand voice, use trust badges, start email marketing or a loyalty program, leverage pop-ups or on-site notifications on your site, and more.

You can increase Shopify sales for free by optimizing your website for SEO, adopting email marketing, writing blog content to promote products, adding customer reviews to your product pages, making your brand trustworthy, and offering deals to newcomers.

About the author
Vita Klimaite
Vita believes that every great product must be supported by an even better marketing strategy. Armed with SEO and Content Marketing experience, Vita is dedicated to helping website and eCommerce store owners unlock the power of search engines and scale their businesses. A big fan of remote work, she is always on the road, so you can also hear some exciting travel stories from her.