Smarter Shopify Product Marketing Using Sales Trends

6 min read
updated Sep 28, 2016
Smarter Shopify Product Marketing Using Sales Trends

If your Shopify store is like most, you have a mix of products, each of which have different sales patterns. One common mistake is to not factor these sales patterns into the overall marketing plan for products in your store. Focusing your marketing strategy based on sales trends can ultimately make your store more profitable and lead to more sales.

In this post, I’ll discuss:

  • Why it’s important to market products differently based on sales
  • Key sales metrics: rank and percentile
  • Strategies for promoting your products based on sales

Why it’s important to market products differently based on sales

Each product in your store has a unique sales profile based on past sales history. Popular products fly off the shelf, while slower moving products may sit and collect dust waiting for a shopper to come by.

Once you have a handle on each of your product’s sales profile, you can craft a marketing strategy that is complementary with the natural tendency for each product.

Slow moving products may need to include some incentives such as discounts to convince a shopper to pull the trigger and buy. Fast moving products may be able to sell even more units if placed promoninently in front of shoppers at the key purchasing decision time.

If you do not take the sales trends of a product into account, you may be sending off the wrong signals in your product marketing strategy which could lead to lower overall profitability and sales.

Key sales metrics: rank and percentile

Sales rank

A product’s sales rank represents the overall position of this product’s sales compared to other products in your Shopify store. For example, a product with a sales rank of 3 means the product was the 3rd highest seller compared to other products in your store.

The sales rank is typically based on the quantity of items sold rather than the total sales amount or profit margin. One other consideration when it comes to calculating sales rank is time. Shopify uses all-time sales to determine best seller ranks, but you may also want to consider focusing on only the recent best sellers within your store.

Another common technique when it comes to tracking sales rank is to track sales ranks at the category level. On Shopify this would involve tracking the rank of your products at the collection level. This will allow more products to have best seller rankings, as each category has a separate ranked product list.

Sales percentile

The sales rank is good for comparing products directly to one another, but when it comes to comparing groupings of products, the sales percentile is a better choice.

Sales percentiles provide a way to group your products into buckets based on their relative sales rank. So rather than using the absolute sales rank, products are grouped based on the relative sales percentages.

For example, products ranked in the 90th percentile have sales better than 90% of all other products within your store. Likewise, products ranked in the 10th percentile sold less than 90% of products within your store.

Sales percentile can be a great way to grab your best sellers and worst sellers so you can then market to them more effectively.

Strategies for promoting your products based on sales

Now let’s discuss a few strategies you can use to focus your product marketing strategy based on each product’s sales profile.

Promoting best sellers

Since your best selling products are proven to be popular with your customers, you should make it easy for your customers to find them. You should place your best sellers prominently throughout your store and highlight their best seller status. This will also help you tap into the social proof cycle.

You can use a variety of best seller promotional techniques including:

  • Use best seller banners on product pages
  • Use best seller banners on collection pages
  • Show a list of other best sellers in related collections on product pages
  • List your most popular products on the home page

If you need more inspiration, check out how Amazon, Bestbuy and Walmart promote their best sellers.

Promoting slow moving / worst sellers

Slow moving or worst selling products will need a different strategy to get them into a customer’s cart. Most techniques for promoting slow movers involve offering some form of incentive for the customer.

There are countless types of incentives you could offer for slow movers. Here are a few of the more common approaches:

  • Offer a percent off discount
  • Bundle the product with some of your best sellers
  • Offer a future use discount code if they buy this product now
  • Give the product away for free based on spending a certain amount

You may need to get creative and experiment to find the magic combination that works for each of your worst selling products. At the end of the day, the goal is to get rid of this stale inventory to make way for more best selling products.

Focus your ad spend on your best selling products

Since your best selling products have proven to convert well, it makes perfect sense to create an ad campaign targeting your best selling products. These products have a proven track record so they should in theory perform better than an unfocused product ad group.

The advantage of having a Best Seller ad group is simple. Your best sellers convert great for you site wide, the theory is that if you get more traffic to these listings they will continue to convert well for you. —

Leveraging your best sellers in this way can help you to focus your ad dollars on the winners in your store and stretch your ad dollars a little further.

Make your best selling products sell even better
Best Sellers puts your best products front and center so they sell even better which means more money in your pocket.


Let’s recap some of the key points covered above about using product sales trends to create a smarter Shopify marketing strategies:

  • Using your product sales trends can help you build a smarter product marketing strategy tailored to each of your products
  • Sales rank and percentile are two sales metrics you can use to track your best and worst sellers
  • Best selling products should be featured prominently throughout your store
  • Slow moving products may need to provide more incentives to get the sale
  • Focusing your ad spend on your best sellers can help maximize your ad budget
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