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1. Expand your portfolio

The creators guide to grow your online business

Expand your portfolio

Merchants with 10 to 50 products have an average of 7.5 times revenue compared to merchants with less than 10 products.

Expanding your catalog allows you to offer a wider selection of extra products, meaning more upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Cross-selling and upselling are marketing techniques that will help you increase profits. With Gelato you can save time when expanding and creating new products. We have a set of tools that will help you add  your best-selling designs to new products in just a few clicks. Easily add existing designs to best-selling items  like posters, hoodies, mugs, and more.

  • Upselling is a sales strategy whereby a customer is encouraged to buy anything that would make their primary purchase even better. It’s like an upgrade to an existing order.

  • Cross-selling invites customers to buy related or complementary items.

They both increase the merchant’s profit, although in different ways. Upselling grows the revenue by promising a higher-level product, while cross-selling does the same by suggesting more products to buy.

image comparing up and cross selling
Examples of cross-selling and upselling
If you are selling
You can offer
Tote bag
Premium wall art (canvas)
Classic apparel
Classic apparel
Organic or premium apparel
Personalized mug

Tips to expand your store:

  • Use our design expansion tool to expand into new products in just a few clicks.

  • Optimize your website and include up-selling and cross-selling notifications before and after purchase. Sharing some suggestions below:

    • Add complementary or upgraded items suggestions on the product pages, in the shopping cart, or during the checkout process.

    • Show the amount of money your customers are saving by buying a complimentary item on the checkout page.

  • The best cross-sell normally happens when the second item has a small discount (5-10% discount).

  • Include personalization as an upsell to increase the order value. For example, if your customer would like to add a name or choose a color for the design, that can be an upsell and you can charge an extra cost.

  • Unique products that your customers can’t find anywhere else are a great way to increase the average order value.

  • To encourage cross-selling offer free shipping when customers add 1 or 2 more products to the cart.

  • Alternatively, offering free shipping on high-value orders can also be a win.

  • Use our Price Setting tool and optimize your pricing strategy in an easy way and for each market.

Image showing an illustration of a customer personalisation tool

Optimize your website

Customers need between 7 to 21 interactions with a website before completing a purchase.

Ask yourself the following question; Do your new customers know what your website is about in the first 5 seconds they are on your site? Attracting customers to your website is not an easy task, so it is important that once they are on your site they have a clear user journey to follow that takes them from the first click all the way through the cart, and completes their purchases. Having an optimized store means creating a  friendly and easy-to-navigate user journey to achieve the best conversion rate.

Your website is a  visual representation of your online business hence the importance of having a website that represents your brand and your business identity. Website optimization is the process of using controlled experimentation to improve the website's ability to drive business goals. Below we share some quick wins you can implement in your website to have it optimized, and increase your conversion rate.

Tips for optimizing your site

  • Make sure your landing page looks reliable and provides a clear understanding of what your store is about within the first few seconds.

  • Customize the top bar: With shipping information, offers, and/or review score.

top bar creators guide
  • Create clear navigation, try to avoid long and crowded pages.

  • Have a clean footer with key information: data privacy, website policy, shipping, and return information.

  • Add sustainability and local production information. Having a sustainable partner like Gelato can be a great selling point.

  • Build social proof and share the positive feedback previous customers have shared about your products and their experiences buying in your store. You can build social proof:

    • By sharing reviews, testimonials, blog posts, etc..

    • By developing public relations. Try to get a mention in a magazine or a blog post. Getting someone to write about your store and sharing it on your website will build credibility and trust in your store.

  • Create an engaging “About us” section. It is important that your customers relate to your story and connect with your brand. Try to answer questions like, Why did you create the store? What are your motivations?

  • If you're an artist, you can reflect on your work and show the process when creating your art. You can also add videos and pictures of yourself and the team to create that human connection.

  • Mockups and how you present your products is important.  Try to use real-life mock-ups, and real people and create momentum.

If you are part of our subscription programs, Gelato+ or Gelato+ Gold, you will have access to a range of premium mockups. During product creation, you can easily add them as product previews in your store. Furthermore, you can also download our mockups if you want to use them for other purposes, such as marketing assets.

mockup creator guide
  • Use strategic colors. Color is important in neuromarketing to trigger behaviours.

  • Look at your checkout. Make sure it looks clear and clean and all payment methods are visible.

Lastly, and more important. Test your website with your close network, friends, or relatives (someone who is new to the site) and review their journeys as users.

What questions do they have? Can they find what they are looking for? Take their feedback onboard and continue to implement quick wins to optimize your website. 

Check out these resources to learn more:

Create effective content

Understand who is your audience and create engaging content that directly connects with them.

Content creation is the process of identifying topic ideas that appeal to your buyer persona, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to your audience. By creating branded and engaging content you can reach and connect with your audience to encourage certain purchasing behaviors.

Craft a genuine and personal story

Get clear about what you offer to your customers, why you do it better than anyone else, and how you will communicate this to potential customers.

Storytelling in social media

Identify which channels your target customers use, and share content that is valuable to your customers and that they find engaging. Place your products in a context that brings value by e.g. showcasing “five ways to decorate your home office” rather than simply promoting your products.

Advertising in social media

Sponsoring the content you craft in social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin can be a cost-efficient way to expose your brand to a specific, segmented audience. Choose between anything from the industry your customers work in, their hobbies and interests, or where they are located. Installing pixels can help you track and measure the effectiveness of your ads.

Content marketing

Google rewards quality content, so consider starting a blog or writing articles that can help bring traffic to your website. Depending on your business, what topics can you position yourself within? If you are e.g. selling framed cycling maps, what can you share about your passion for cycling trends, tips, and training? Use relevant keywords and metadata to boost SEO.


Start a mailing list early and send newsletters. This is a great tool to get returning customers.

Are you wondering how to get people to sign up for your newsletter? We are sharing a couple of ideas. 

  • Show a notification to sign up for the newsletter at different stages in the purchase process, and in the checkout.

  • Offer discounts or free gifts for signing up for the newsletter.

Just a quick heads up, in most countries, you will need your customers to opt-in to send marketing emails.

Check out these resources to learn more:

Attract traffic to your store

With digital marketing, an eCommerce business can increase brand awareness and credibility, boost conversions, drive more sales, increase engagement and boost its revenue.

ads creators guide

We have now created a portfolio with a good variety of products. We have also ensured to show well-made descriptions and applied visual effectiveness. We built a clear, optimized website and prepared some storytelling content to assure our customers’ engagement. Now, there is one important thing left, driving traffic to our website, and making sure that our hard work pays off!

Traffic is the count of the number of visits you have to your website, and setting the right digital marketing strategy is key to succeeding in attracting traffic. We are sharing some ways you can drive traffic to your store.

  • Organic (search) traffic - when a site pops up in search engine results such as on Google or Bing, below the first few search results which are paid ads.

  • Paid search traffic (Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc.): Can be separated into 3 main buckets:

    • Text ads: the text search results showing at the top of the search results page (SERP). Typically have a small icon (“ad”) next to them to indicate they are paid ads and not organic results.

    • Brand ads: text ads used to attract visitors who search for your brand name.

    • Shopping ads: the image ads showing in the main SERP (and in the separate “shopping” tab in Google).

  • Paid Social traffic - traffic generated from ads run on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Tik-tok and Snapchat.

  • Direct traffic - when your store URL is directly entered into the browser URL field.

  • Referral traffic - when traffic comes from a 3rd party website, such as from a blog that references the site.

  • Organic social traffic - traffic directed from organic social media such as your own Instagram account/profile.

The most common ways to attract traffic for e-commerce sites are organic and paid traffic. While organic takes more time to start showing results, it is a cheaper option, sometimes free, and you can always use the engaging content you have already created. We find that a combination of organic and paid traffic is a good way to attract customers to your site. 

Starting to run a paid advertising strategy can be challenging if it is your first time doing it yourself, we are sharing some tips to get you started.

How to attract traffic

  • Start by knowing who is your audience, where you can find them, and what language they speak.

  • Pick the channels and study them, it is important you understand how their algorithm works so you can run your ads strategy in a more cost-efficient way.

  • We recommend starting with one or two channels and making them work well before expanding further. Google and Facebook (including Instagram ads) are the largest platforms where most brands are always present. In case you have especially strong experience as a user of platforms such as Pinterest or TikTok, it may be a good idea to have one of these two be part of your initial marketing mix instead of Google ads or FB/IG ads. 

  • Create 2-3 ads and spread the budget to run some  A/B tests. The goal is to understand with what ads and content your audience engages the most. Start with a small budget, but a budget that is sizable enough to learn and for the bidding algorithms to function. Be willing to invest some spend in obtaining learnings as to what ads and keywords work best for your store. -- Facebook is recommended for this practice.

  • Creating engaging content is key to success. We suggest following the AIDA model when creating the copyrights, and test images, videos, carousel, etc to track what engages better.

  • It is advised to add testimonials and social proof in your ads for better results.

Here are more articles on the topic:

Enter new markets

Geo expansion is an opportunity to increase your targeted audience and open up to additional revenue streams.
map showing which countries gelato has production partners in

Geo-expansion is a growth strategy that allows businesses to grow by expanding beyond their original location to additional locations, nationally or globally. Despite sounding like a not-so-easy process, expanding geographically becomes a straightforward strategy, especially in the e-commerce world when having a global partner like Gelato. 

And what about sustainability? Is my products’ shipping process going to impact the globe? That’s one of the main concerns that Gelato wanted to address since the beginning. The answer was easy: the power of local production. Creating strong relationships with 100+ printing partners, Gelato provides customers with 129 local production hubs in 32 countries. As a consequence, the end customers get orders faster while reducing costs, waste, and carbon emissions which simply means faster, smarter, and greener.

Checklist for success
  • Identify potential new markets.

  • Review your product catalog and expand according to your geo-expanding plans: are any of your products adaptable to new markets? (maps, pop culture, etc.)

  • Research target markets: culture, holidays, competitors & collaborators.

  • Start with the same language countries and then translate your website as needed.

  • Plan marketing strategy and set a budget. Will you stay profitable after entering the new market?

  • Identify new marketing opportunities: test promos, marketing materials, etc.

Tips on global expansion

  • Each market is different: make sure to assess variables as culture, market trends, and local competitors.

  • Keep track of international holidays, and key e-commerce dates.

  • Research social media and popular local hashtags  to find potential customers and collaborators.

  • Use your customer purchases and advertisement data to understand where your audience is based.

  • Create a tailored ads strategy to be present in those countries.

  • Use your customer purchases and advertisement data to understand where your audience is based.

  • Review VAT guidelines for each country and make sure you comply with legal requirements. You can read more about VAT in our Tax Center.

  • Determine what markets are a good money-making opportunity for you. Use our Retail Insights to explore both costs and pricing in different markets for your products to help you make this much easier.

  • Use our Price Setting  tool and optimize your pricing strategy in an easy way and for each market.

  • Review local competitors to understand their approach: prices, collaborators- Look around for similar products and consider if you need to adapt your designs or discounting strategies. You can also use Retail Price Insights to check out landed market prices (meaning once a discount has already been applied) and see how your prices stack up. All of this is available in our Pricing Navigator module.

Here are more resources to read:

Useful tools:

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