The internet is a big place. A very big place. If you want your online store to get found (and stay found), you need a Shopify marketing strategy to let potential customers know about your shop. It’s also helpful to cultivate intentional routines around new products as they come in, so you’re always current.
Easier said than done, though, right? Even with most thorough plan for brand awareness generation, Google ads, social media, and the like, ecommerce marketing is a big job. This is especially true for small business purveyors who don’t have a big budget to promote their Shopify store.
Today’s article is all about how to change that. We’ll take a look at just what Shopify marketing is, then discuss the best strategies to ensure visibility for online stores.
Shopify marketing includes the strategies and marketing tactics intended to bring people to your online store. These e-commerce marketing channels can include social media, ad retargeting, email marketing, referral programs, inbound marketing, and more. Goals include attracting new customers and boosting existing customer retention, all while optimizing conversion rates.
Each marketing strategy we discuss below is suitable for marketing automation, bringing people to your ecommerce platform on autopilot. And while all of the tactics here require upfront work – such as visiting the Shopify app store or crafting a Shopify email campaign – they quickly become a no-fuss routine that increases your sales and profit margins.
What’s not to like? Let’s dive in.
Making the most of your options requires first understanding the goal of each strategy, then finding the right tools. Each of the eight strategies below will explain the benefits provided, then recommend an app to help you accomplish it.
Among the most important marketing tools are email and SMS marketing. Successful digital marketing requires that you reach people where they are, and that means getting their deets. Once you put them on an email list or get them into a database for texting, you have a much greater chance of driving them to your product pages and campaign-specific landing pages.
Email marketing tools can help you in many other ways as well. They’re a prime foundation for letting customers (or potential customers) know about new products they can link to, and even enabling communications with your affiliate marketing partners. They also offer templates for tactics such as abandoned cart recovery and new product launches.
Mailchimp is one of the best tools to start with, as it’s intuitive and easy. Plus, the separate forms plugin makes it even simpler to outfit your site with email-gathering power.
A referral program encourages your existing audience to bring potential customers to your e-commerce business. This customer engagement strategy dovetails nicely with influencer marketing (a form of affiliate marketing), in which people feature your products on their social media profiles or blogs, then offer a code to their audiences to use on your site.
Referral marketing is a great addition to your marketing efforts, and it’s quite flexible too. Not only can you sign people up as affiliates or give them a code, you can do it automatically on your site – no personal relationship needed.
Smile: Loyalty and Rewards is one of the most highly reviewed apps on the Shopify store for loyalty and rewards tools.
SEO matters not just for content marketing, but for your eCommerce brands as well. In fact, when your listings are fully outfitted with good search engine optimization, they actually become a kind of content marketing.
That’s because your listings are also searchable on the internet, so they’re one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. If you can put your product descriptions on automation, so much the better.
It takes a little practice to learn to optimize your product listings, and doing so manually is too steep a hill for most small business owners (and even large brands) to climb. That’s why it’s helpful to have an app up your sleeve.
Booster SEO & Image Optimizer is a well-reviewed option, offering a free plan as well as a 1-day free trial. Not only does it help ensure proper file size and fast load time (important for SEO and shopping experience), it simplifies the process of optimizing your listings.
Social media marketing is critical for store owners who want to reach their target audience. Depending on your demographic of interest, you will likely use different social media platforms. For instance, Facebook ads tend to reach the older set, while TikTok marketing is important for millennials and Gen Z.
Influencers often find Instagram is one of the best options, because it is so highly visual and still has a decent focus on static images – great for product photos. If you tend to create long-form content, on the other hand, a Pinterest presence is great.
Whatever the best platform for you, you need the means to reach them. Shopify plugins such as the Facebook and Instagram app from Meta can help you get there.
Curious to know which marketing techniques work and which don’t? Which product pages get more views, and how much time is spent on each? Want to know where your traffic is coming from, and where they drop off?
All of this is possible with tracking... which Shopify doesn’t offer much of.
The good news is, Trackify does. And while getting started with tracking user behavior and marketing plan strategies can sometimes involve a bit of a learning curve, that curve significantly more straight when you use a tool such as Trackify. Because it offers tracking, attribution, and analytics all in one go, you don’t have to worry about finding other apps to meet those needs.
Marketing tools can only be effective if your Shopify store offers a premium user experience. This means that customers should be able to find what they want or build what they’re looking for. And that requires product customization.
Product customization apps provide functionality for store owners to offer options like color, font, text fields, file upload tools, and so much more. Buyers can then go in and select from these options to customize your products to exactly suit their vision. The end result: Your customers get exactly what they’re looking for, and you only have to manage a small handful of product listings.
One of the highest-rated apps in this market is Product Options & Customizer. Store owners that use Product Options & Customizer free themselves from Shopify’s 3-option, 100-variant limit, and create a much more user-friendly and personalized shopping experience at the same time.
Upselling is one of the best ways that Shopify store owners make money. You can use either popups or notifications to let people know about deals and steals they might be missing, right there in your shopping cart.
For instance, In-Cart Upsell is a great tool for this. It enables advanced targeting, offers discounts to shoppers, and provides AI-powered suggestions for other products upon checkout. You no longer have to worry that your customers might miss an applicable purchase, because this app will take care of it.
Last on our list of Shopify marketing strategies is a tactic for dealing with out-of-stock items. Small business owners are often working solo or with a skeleton crew, which makes it hard to meet every customer need that might arise in the course of their shopping trip.
One of the most frustrating for buyer and seller alike is when an item is unavailable. They can’t get what they came for, while you lose a sale – and potentially a long-time customer.
You can fix that with an app like PreOrder Now. When your items are out of stock but will return, you can let the shopper pay ahead of time for delivery on a certain date. Voilà: keep your customers, make them happy, see more sales.
Each of the above marketing apps is powerful in its own right, but by using a few (or more) of them together, you can build a truly personal shopping experience for your customers. From recommendations given by their favorite Insta-famous “friends” to personalization features and customized products, you’re can build a Shopify store that feels trustworthy and effortless.