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How To Write Surveys That Reveal Actionable Insights About Your Shopify Customers

ShopSurvey Team

By ShopSurvey Team

How To Write Surveys That Reveal Actionable Insights About Your Shopify Customers

Introduction

Every Shopify marketer has been there. Your offer isn’t performing how you’d like, you’re staring at your analytics tools, and you’re just totally lost on how to proceed.

Most new Shopify marketers treat their marketing like playing a game of darts blindfolded, where if they just keep throwing more darts, eventually, through random chance, they’ll hit a bullseye.

Professional marketers know the key to hitting a bullseye every time is to take off the blindfold and aim directly at the center of the board.

They do this by regularly conducting surveys with their target audience and customers, uncovering important insights, and putting those insights into action in their business.

This article will explain exactly how you can do it too.

Why Survey Insights Matter For Your Shopify Business

They Provide A Precise And Complete Picture Of Your Target Audience

Shopify merchants get some valuable insights on their customers out of the box:

  • Their contact information
  • Their mailing address
  • And their purchase history on your website

This data is pretty good on its own, and it can help you personalize your 1:1 communications, but it doesn’t really give you a deeper understanding of your audience and what makes them unique.

To build and scale a brand, you have to know your customers intimately.

Surveys give you an opportunity to ask anything you want from your audience.

Use their responses to build proprietary knowledge and domain expertise about your market and serve them and market to them better than your competitors.

They Enable You To Take Actionable Steps Towards Optimizing Your Marketing And Sales Funnels

Surveys can also be strategically placed at key moments in your sales funnel, both off-site and on-site, so you can quickly understand why certain funnel steps may be performing poorly, or brainstorm ways to get them to perform better.

Some examples may include:

  • Running an attribution survey to know exactly where users are coming from when they land on your site.
  • Running an FAQ survey on your product pages.
  • Asking users about which topics they’d like covered on your blog pages.
  • Automatically send surveys out to users when they abandon their cart to know what concerns or objections they have about your brand.

There are plenty of more examples, and surveys can be a great first start to any conversion rate optimization experiment or project.

They Enable You To Build A Truly Customer-Centric Brand

As Jeff Bezos once said,

“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth's most customer-centric company.”

Amazon is the largest e-commerce company on the planet, and successful brands adopt this same philosophy to their core.

Once you put surveys in the loop of all your marketing efforts, it becomes much easier to:

  • Put more effort into the right marketing channels,
  • Adapt your brand and copy to fit your target audience better,
  • Identify and fix holes in your sales funnel,
  • Improve the post-purchase experience,
  • Increase customer retention and word-of-mouth,
  • And scale your business.

Remember that the basic formula for building a Shopify business is:

  1. Identify an (ideally growing) market,
  2. Build a brand this market personally identifies with,
  3. Create products and services that improve the people in this market’s lives,
  4. Find cost-effective channels to reach the people in this market,
  5. And promote irresistible offers to them.

When you use surveys at each step of the formula, you remove all guesswork and base your marketing strategy on objective reality.

Now that you understand the importance of surveys, let’s talk about how to create the perfect one!

How To Start A Survey Project

Define Your Research Objectives

It’s important to start each survey with clearly defined research and business objectives.

Perhaps you want to identify the brands your target market also purchases from, or you want to increase your landing page CTR or your sales page Add-To-Cart rate.

The key here is to stick to one or two related objectives for each survey and craft your questions in a way that uncovers the necessary insights for accomplishing your larger business objectives.

Define The Target Audience For Your Survey

Once you’ve identified what you want to learn from your survey, you can start to think about who would be the best audience to participate in your survey.

For instance, you may want to run a survey to users who have just completed a purchase. 

Or you may want to send a survey to your social media followers who haven’t yet interacted with your store.

The key here is to think about who is most qualified to answer your survey questions.

Pro tip: If you are unable to narrow down your target audience, feel free to send your survey to a broader audience and use screening questions at the beginning of your survey to disqualify non-qualifying users.

A common example might be if you want to people about their favorite alcoholic beverage, but you don’t have the data to segment by age, you can simply ask users at the beginning if they’re 21 or not, then use screening logic to disqualify participants under 21.

Write Clear And Concise Questions

Writing clearly and concisely will ensure users understand exactly what your question is asking.

This will ensure that you get accurate responses from your participants.

It will also make the survey less fatiguing and easy to go through for your participants.

A Few Tips On Writing Good Survey Questions

Make Your Survey Questions Easy To Answer

Users tend to prefer multiple-choice questions to open-ended questions. 

If you know that an answer will only have a small possible set of answers, pre-fill them and give users the option to click “Other, please specify” if they have a custom answer to provide.

Start Shallow And Go Deep When Necessary

Similar to the last point, if you want to ask long open-ended questions, think about in which cases you want longer answers, and if it only pertains to a subset of participants.

For instance, if asked users if they enjoyed their shopping experience, you can ask users an open-ended question with a longer response only if they said “no.” 

Keep Your Surveys To 10 Questions Or Less

Although we’d love to ask every question we could possibly think of, your users’ time is valuable, and it's important to respect it by picking the most important questions to ask, and keeping your surveys short and to the point.

Plus, you may find longer surveys cause users to abandon before completing the survey.

Resist The Urge To Sell Or Promote Your Offer

The point of a survey is to collect valuable information.

Remember your original research objective and stick to it.

Although it's tempting to pitch your products and services every chance you can get your audience’s attention, users may stop participating in your surveys or mark your survey emails as spam if they feel they’re just ads in disguise. 

How To Increase Participation In Your Surveys

Once you’ve published your survey, you’ll want to ensure consistent and ongoing participation to collect high-quality data over time.

Offer A Promo Code For Your Audience’s Time

Giving your users a discount code is a great way to incentivize them to participate in your survey and complete it all the way to the end.

It also has the added benefit of driving conversions back to your store once you’ve collected the data you need.

Avoid Writing Spammy Survey Emails

Your participation rate will decrease if your survey invitations end up in the spam folder. 

Make sure you’re following email best practices for avoiding the spam filter.

Don’t use spammy language in your subject lines or email bodies, such as:

  • Take this survey for $50 in FREE credit!!!
  • Congratulations, you’ve won $50! Just complete a short survey.

Do use professional and neutral language, such as:

  • We’d love your feedback!
  • Help us provide you with better service!
  • Let us know how we did on your recent order.

Test your survey emails with a spam testing tool like Mailreach provides before you send out larger campaigns.

Avoid Fatiguing Your Survey Respondents

Avoid sending repetitive emails and sending multiple surveys to the same user within a short period of time.

Even if you offer a reward each time, users may start to give poor quality and less thoughtful answers when they become over-surveyed.

If you need to run multiple surveys at the same time, try splitting your email list into smaller segments that can be used for each project you want to run.

How To Analyze Survey Data

The true power of surveys lies in data analysis.

Whether leveraging qualitative or quantitative responses or applying a mixture of both, your analysis is what drives actionable insights.

This topic is much larger than we could fit in one paragraph, so stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will dive deeper into methods and techniques for analyzing data.

Don't worry. You don’t need to be a math genius or have a Ph.D. in mathematics to apply these techniques. 

Anyone can learn the skills to start optimizing their business more efficiently.

How To Take Action From Your Survey Insights

The goal of your survey should be to discover insights that you can immediately apply to your marketing strategy, so you can begin to reap the benefits of your survey efforts.

Whether your goal is to:

  • Improve your content or top-of-funnel marketing
  • Develop a more appealing brand
  • Improve your sales copy and conversion strategy
  • Collect long-form testimonials
  • Decrease cart abandonment
  • Improve your post-purchase product experience
  • And so much more!

Surveys are an essential tool to guarantee the success of your Shopify marketing.

Leveraging Third-party Shopify Apps for Running Surveys

With Shopify, you have a lot more options that are a better fit for Shopify merchants than more generic platforms like Typeform or SurveyMonkey.

Apps like ShopSurvey enable you to quickly deploy, collect, and analyze surveys comfortably alongside your Shopify dashboard.

You can run surveys directly from your website using the embedded survey widget, automate surveys at key moments in your sales funnel (such as post-purchase surveys or order-delivered surveys), or use surveys in your social media and email campaigns.

Conclusion  

Surveys enable you to talk and listen directly to your customers.

A well-crafted survey uncovers a trove of insights that can help you optimize your sales and marketing and build a brand that outperforms the competition.

So, Shopify merchants, are you ready to start surveying your customers and discover the treasure map to increasing your sales and market share?

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