'Spring cleaning' your Shopify store is a great chance to update and review your business

by Michael P. Hill

'Spring cleaning' your Shopify store is a great chance to update and review your business

For most of us in North America, spring and better weather can’t come soon enough — after a brutally cold winter and tons of snowfall.

Emerging from our winter coats, feeling warmer weather and flowers start to bloom will all be welcome events — but it’s also a great time to do some “spring cleaning” for your Shopify business.

No matter where you are in the world — and when your “spring” is — taking some time to focus on updating, reviewing and “cleaning out” your business at least once a year is always a good idea.

Spring is also a great time of the year to leverage for marketing campaigns.

Update your Shopify theme

No matter what season it is, it’s always a good idea to keep your Shopify theme up to date and check to see if you’re using the most recent version.

Out of the Sandbox Shopify theme users can take advantage of our exclusive automatic Shopify theme update feature via our Shopify Theme Updater app in most cases.

Other ‘spring cleaning’

In addition to doing a theme update, there are numerous areas of your business that you can do some quick “spring cleaning” on.

  • Look through your best selling products and compare them to your lower performing ones. Compare the characteristics of these product pages — especially imagery and descriptions and see if you can spot any notable differences. If necessary, generate replacement content for the lower performing items.
  • If you use email marketing, now’s a great time to clean inactive subscribers or reconfirm that contacts are still interested in hearing from you. Not only can this save you some money on your email marketing costs, but you can also consider re-engaging subscribers with a special offer or the latest news from your store.
  • If applicable, be sure to update any audience lists on advertising platforms to reflect your newly cleaned email lists. Now’s also a good time to update these audiences if you haven’t done so recently as well as create any suppression lists to prevent contacts that don’t fit your marketing profile from seeing your advertising. 
  • Review the list of active discount codes and make sure that you don’t have any old ones hanging around that are still active. In general, it’s a good idea to disable, rather than delete, discount codes so that analytics related to them are kept in your admin. 
  • Review your tax and shipping settings to make sure that you’re up to date on any changes to tax structures, duties or increases in shipping costs from your provider.
  • Also, review your products and collections to make sure you still actually sell everything you say you do. In some cases, disabling the product might be a better route than deleting it. If you have a lot of unused collections, consider removing them. 
  • Conduct an audit of apps installed on your store. If you’re a Turbo user, check to see if you can replace any apps with built-in features the latest versions of this premium Shopify theme offers to save money. Uninstall any apps that you aren’t actively using — and be sure to check the app developer’s website for any additional uninstall steps you might need to take beyond just removing the app from your dashboard.

More ways to spring clean your Shopify business

In addition to Shopify-related spring cleaning, I encourage store owners to do some literal spring cleaning and tidying.

  • Clean your workspace. Sort through any piles of papers that have formed around your work area and recycle anything that’s no longer needed. Consider digitizing any papers that you do need to keep to cut back on physical clutter. 
  • If you’re like me, once you’re able to see your desk, wipe it down with some household cleaner. 
  • Wipe off your devices — laptop, phone, and tablets. Be sure to use cleaning products that are approved for electronics (ammonia and bleach are typically not good picks). These devices get so much use, it can be surprising how fast they get dirty.

While this type of cleaning might not be as exciting as creating marketing campaigns, developing products or making sales, it’s still a good idea to keep your work area as clean and tidy as possible (although some argue that clutter actually drives creativity).

You can also do some “digital spring cleaning.”

  • Go through your devices’ files and delete any duplicate files or ones you don’t need. However, since storage is relatively cheap and most files are stored, if you’re in doubt about a certain file, you may want to keep it. 
  • Make sure that files you do want to keep are well organized into folders or using tags if your operating system supports that. 
  • If you don’t have unlimited storage with your email provider, consider going through and permanently deleting emails that contain information that’s stored elsewhere. For example, order alert emails sent by Shopify can generally be deleted since this information is also stored in your store backend. You might be surprised, especially if you’re a high volume store, how much space these emails are taking up in your account.
  • If you have a physical store or warehouse space that you have direct control over, spring is always a good time to clean and organize these spaces. Depending on your business, you may also want to conduct an inventory count at the same time.
  • Double check that your organization system, whether physical or digital, is set up for important things such as taxes, accounting and legal paperwork you need to keep. Make sure that these records are complete as well.

Finally, even though this isn’t spring cleaning per se, it’s a good time to double check that you’re backing up all of your files from all of your devices somewhere.

  • Backups are vital in case one of your devices fails. Operating a business without backups can be devastating if you lose vital data. 
  • If you find you’re running out of space on your favorite cloud service, consider you might not need to back up everything. 
  • For example, Apple users often find that their Downloads folder and Desktop are being backed up to iCloud — when often these locations contain a random collection of files that don’t need to be backed up.

Similarly, now is a good time to consider changing your passwords and making sure to use a highly secure one.

Spring promotions and marketing

The “Spring” cleaning theme — or whatever term you’d like to use — can also make for a fun marketing campaign.

  • The most obvious marketing idea is a “warehouse spring cleaning” or “inventory clean out” campaign. If applicable, take a look at your inventory and consider lowering prices on items that aren’t moving. Create a collection and link email marketing, social media links and other efforts to it. 
  • You can also link a discount code to this collection or specific products to promote them if you prefer to avoid adjusting prices or want to sweeten the deal and discount the pricing on top of the lower sale prices. 
  • If appropriate, consider spotlighting items that shoppers can use for their own spring cleaning efforts — whether literally or figuratively. Again, you can create a special collection for these items and link to them from various places — and add a discount if you’d like.

You can also create collections and sales around a variety of spring holidays and themes.

  • Consider spotlighting products that convey the idea of “freshness,” “green” and “spring” — either literally or figuratively. Floral and items with nature themes can also be worth highlighting. 
  • Depending on your locale, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Arbor Day, and more are all great opportunities for sales or promotions, especially if you sell products closely related to these holidays. 
  • Keep in mind that even if you don’t sell items that are directly connected to the holidays, you can still get creative by, for example, promoting products that come in the color green for St. Patrick’s Day, or products that make good Easter basket gifts. 
Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn. While comments and feedback are always appreciated, Michael regrets that, due to the volume of inquires received, personal responses are not possible. For specific assistance or support with Out of the Sandbox themes, visit the help center.