Picture this: You've poured your heart and soul into building an eCommerce business on Shopify, but despite your best efforts, you're struggling to stand out in a sea of competitors.
With so many businesses vying for your customer's attention, it's easy to feel invisible and wonder if all your hard work was for nothing.
The good news is that by utilizing specific Shopify marketing strategies and tips, you can break through the noise and establish a meaningful connection with your target audience.
These effective tactics help build brand awareness, increase sales, and grow your customer base—making all the difference between a struggling online business and a thriving one. But get them wrong, and it'll be just as detrimental as doing nothing at all.
That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the world of Shopify marketing. We'll explore the most effective strategies, provide real-world examples, and offer practical tips to help you implement them successfully.
Let’s get right to it.
1. Leverage the power of brand appeal
A strong, cohesive brand that resonates with the target audience instantly sets you apart from the competition.
Take Glossier, for example. This wildly successful beauty brand has built a cult following by crafting a unique brand identity that speaks to its customers. From the minimalist packaging to the playful, confident tone, everything about Glossier is designed to appeal to its target audience of 16-to-25-year-old females.
But the brand appeal isn’t just about aesthetics. It should also convey a sense of quality and trustworthiness, which are crucial in the eCommerce space.
Your customers can’t physically touch and feel the product. They rely on other cues to gauge its worth. By delivering a consistent brand experience, you legitimize your business and build trust with your audience. It also makes it more likely for visitors to remember you and come back for more.
Tips for creating brand appeal:
Personify your brand identity or think about it as a metaphor to inform your brand voice.
Pick a memorable domain name.
Make your branding consistent at every customer touchpoint, from the logo and color palette to messaging and values.
2. Make site optimization a top priority
Running a successful eCommerce business on Shopify requires more than a great product—you must also provide positive shopping experiences. Think: a well-optimized website where customers can explore products and categories seamlessly, without confusion or glitch.
One way to achieve this is to apply Shopify-centered optimization techniques.
Start with the basics. Use a responsive and fast-loading theme that works across all devices and get a system font so that customers don’t have to separately download one to access your website. You also want to remove distracting site elements, unnecessary redirects, and redirect loops that disrupt the customer experience.
Even small changes can have big results.
An Australia-based fashion retail chain, Diva, successfully increased the average revenue per visitor by 92% by implementing specific site improvements to remove conversion obstacles. The company removed obstacles and diversions to the shopping cart, (2) used site enhancements and Google Page Speed Service to speed up loading time, and (3) improved social sharing and proof.
Here’s what Diva’s PageSpeed results look like today:
Tips for implementing site-focused optimizations:
Integrate AMP web pages with your Shopify store to optimize your site for mobile viewing.
Uninstall redundant Shopify apps that run in the background and may slow down site performance.
Limit your collections to smaller product batches so customers can browse and shop easily.
3. Implement shoppable videos
Shoppable videos are interactive marketing videos with embedded links that viewers can click on to place orders while still watching the video. This not only improves the customer experience by making it easier to find and purchase products, but it also leads to increased engagement and longer viewing times.
One company that's seen impressive results from implementing shoppable videos is RIFRUF, a dog shoemaker. See how adorable and effective they look:
Using Videowise to create on-site shoppable videos, RIFRUF effectively communicated the unique value of their products and generated over $50,000 in added revenue with a 16% increase in conversions—all this in just half a year of the partnership.
It's clear that shoppable videos are a game-changer for eCommerce businesses, and with the right tools and strategy, you can see similar success.
Tips to enhance shoppable videos:
Add the shoppable link within the first few shots when you have the viewer’s undivided attention.
Create short and fun videos with a few products.
Use Videowise to install interactive video widgets and convert viewers to customers. Book your demo to learn more.
4. Amp up your email marketing campaign
Email marketing is an owned marketing channel that gives you complete control over content and distribution. It's a low-cost and conversion-rich way to generate a lot of sales by attracting new customers and retaining existing customers.
Skybound Entertainment, a multi-platform entertainment company, used email marketing to exponentially improve its open rates and conversions. By implementing various automation and email segmentation strategies around their email subscribers' interests and the company's marketing goals, Skybound's open rate skyrocketed to 80%.
But to truly harness its power, you need to execute solid email marketing campaigns that engage your customers and keep them coming back for more.
Here are general pointers to keep in mind when setting up an email Shopify marketing campaign:
Welcome emails are meant to welcome new customers and create an instant connection.
Promotional emails are great for highlighting special offers and discounts to ramp up sales.
Abandoned cart emails help recover lost sales by positioning you as the best brand to purchase from.
Order confirmation emails give customers peace of mind while giving you an opportunity to pitch similar products and encourage another sale.
Drip email campaigns involve sending a series of strategic emails to subscribers based on their actions and buyer journey.
When it comes to email marketing for your Shopify store, every email you send should be personalized, visually appealing, and serve a specific purpose. Take, for instance, Godiva's Black Friday email.
The chocolate giant's email exemplifies all the recommended best practices for eCommerce email marketing. It features an eye-catching headline, well-placed calls-to-action (CTAs), and a copy that creates a sense of urgency.
What's more, the email gives subscribers a clear choice: either shop right away or take advantage of various discounts. By simplifying the shopping process, this email helps to drive sales and maximize engagement with the subscriber.
Tips for launching successful eCommerce email marketing campaigns:
Send personalized, action-based emails that are relevant to customers and inspire action.
Prepare and categorize emails based on the different stages of the customer lifecycle or purchasing behavior.
Invest in email marketing tools that can automate and target customers by sending well-timed and personalized emails.
5. Add a chatbot
A chatbot is an incredibly handy tool to give shoppers VIP treatment every time to visit your store.
92% of customers are satisfied with the live chat feature, but a chatbot takes customer interactions to the next level by providing 24/7 availability. It provides speedy and consistent responses, offers personalized product recommendations, and resolves doubts and complaints—all while handling multiple customers at once to avoid making anyone wait.
Lisa Richards, CEO and Creator of Candida Diet, agrees integrating a hybrid chatbot into her Shopify store has been an effective marketing and conversion strategy.
Candida Diet uses the Tidio chatbot to provide customers faster, round-the-clock support experience, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction. Personalized recommendations from the AI-driven chatbot further optimized the company’s upselling and cross-selling Shopify marketing strategies which resulted in a significant uptick in sales.
“So far, we’ve realized a 180% increase in customer satisfaction, a 48% increase in sales since integrating the app to the store, and a 40% reduction in support costs compared to our previous support system,” says Richards.
Tips for using chatbots in an eCommerce website:
Recommend other products that would complement their purchase or items in their cart
Automate responses offering discounts and limited offers to prevent cart abandonment
Allow customers to quickly return items by automating returns
5. Set up a referral program
Did you know that 90% of customers are more likely to buy products recommended by someone, even if they don't know the person?
That's why setting up a referral program for your online store is a must. Not only will it help you build genuine relationships, but it can also boost customer acquisition and retention.
Think about it: one customer refers your store to a few friends, and each of them refers your business to others. Before you know it, your brand's reach has snowballed into something incredible.
What’s the catch?
Customers need a good reason to refer your business. For Shopify marketing, giving a discount is always a great incentive, but you can also sweeten the deal by offering other perks like free shipping or exclusive products.
Lokai offers a double-sided reward for the referrer and their friend: both get a generous 20% off their individual order. And because Lokai rarely offers discounts, customers are even more tempted to refer to the brand.
Like Lokai, give your customers a reason to refer you and watch your business thrive.
Tips for setting up a referral program:
Find out which rewards will motivate your customers to participate in your referral program.
Allow the referrer to refer your brand to many people at once.
Have a referral tracking system in place to know who was referred and who referred them, and when. This will also tell you whether the referee converted, helping you identify the best ways to nurture and follow up.
6. Create high-quality and credible product pages
The success of your online store depends on your ability to convert visitors into loyal customers. And while there are many ways to do this, one of the most critical elements is the design and quality of your product pages.
Take Mansur Gavriel, a luxury fashion brand known for its elegant and sophisticated products. The brand's product pages are a testament to the power of great design, featuring crisp, minimalist layouts and high-resolution images that showcase each item from multiple angles.
Notice how the product descriptions are concise yet informative, written in a consistent brand voice that exudes confidence and style.
Effective product pages should also include essential information like pricing, features, and customization options. And to build trust and credibility with potential customers, consider adding a dedicated section for customer reviews and ratings, like MD Solar Sciences.
Adding a dedicated section for customer reviews and ratings gives product pages more credibility, building customer confidence and encouraging purchasing behavior. Think of it as adding a layer of trust to the buying experience to help promote sales.
With a little effort and attention to detail, you can create an online shopping experience that's both beautiful and effective.
Tips for creating high-quality product pages
Place CTAs in a prominent position above the fold to guide visitors toward making a purchase. Stick to traditional buttons like ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now.‘
Hire a professional photographer to click high-quality product images and make a great first impression.
Be transparent. Use clear language to describe the product and its pricing.
7. Launch an SMS marketing campaign
SMS marketing can be your Shopify store's unfair advantage.
These campaigns generate six times more customer engagement than emails. And with 48.7 million people opting into SMS communications from companies, you're seriously missing out if you don't leverage this powerful tool.
Whisker Seeker Tackle is a great example of how SMS marketing can drive sales.
The company first built its SMS subscriber list by promoting its exclusive MegaDeal program on its website. Founder Matt Davis then consciously created a sense of anticipation and exclusivity around the monthly MegaDeal announcements, resulting in click-through rates as high as 47% and a conversion rate of 25%.
To put this into perspective, Whisker Seeker Tackle‘s MegaDeal text promotions led to a conversion rate that's 762% higher than the average for email.
Similar to email marketing, SMS marketing can be a one-time campaign (for example, a flash sale) or part of an automated drip campaign (for example, welcome series).
Keep your texts sweet and short, 160 characters or fewer, and add links to the products you want to promote. Aside from general announcements, you can also use SMS messages to raise awareness about time-sensitive events like sales, customer appreciation days, and new inventory alerts.
Tips for launching successful eCommerce SMS campaigns:
Ensure customers opt-in and give your business explicit permission to send messages. This is necessary to comply with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations.
Time your SMSes correctly based on your audience, and go about your SMS marketing through and frequency more conservatively.
Include a clear CTA to encourage recipients to take action.
8. Turn your social media followers into email subscribers
Converting your social media followers into email subscribers is another effective Shopify marketing strategy. This not only simplifies tracking, nurturing, and conversion, but also stretches your advertising spend (ROAS) further by investing in your email list, an owned asset, as a long-term sales driver.
Corrie and Samantha, owners of Plum Porch, implemented this strategy by adding their Instagram followers to the company's email list. "Instagram is unbeatable for reaching new people, but email is unbeatable for conversions. It's why we decided to combine both to see better results," they said.
Their Shopify marketing campaign was a great success, with a remarkable 49% conversion rate. The owners attributed the campaign's success to the use of POPSMASH, a Shopify app that verifies new email subscribers and synchronizes them to your store, automating a crucial part of the campaign.
Despite having around 3,000 Instagram followers, the campaign resulted in over 100 entries and 70 new email subscribers, which, along with the impressive conversion rate, was fantastic for Plum Porch's business. "Can you imagine what the results would be for a brand with 10x or 1000x the followers we have for the same investment?" the owners added.
In addition to driving conversions, the increased brand awareness from the campaign also boosted Plum Porch's Instagram following by 4.1%.
By turning their social media followers into email subscribers, Plum Porch was able to leverage the best of both worlds, achieving fantastic results with this powerful Shopify marketing strategy.
Tips for using social media platforms for email list building:
Create attractive lead magnets to capture your social media followers‘ emails.
Hold and promote contests and giveaways on social media platforms.
Design an opt-in form and add it to your website.
9. Start a customer loyalty program
Creating a customer loyalty program is an affordable, cost-effective way to establish a devoted customer base. Instead of always trying to acquire new customers, consider rewarding existing ones to maintain their loyalty and increase their lifetime value.
A key point here is to offer valuable rewards that appeal to your customers. Think: discounts on future purchases, early access to new products, VIP events, or points for leaving reviews and referring friends.
Take Sephora's Beauty Insider program, for example, which boasts over 17 million members in North America alone, and has members accounting for a whopping 80% of its sales.
The program has three tiers—Insider, VIB, and Rouge—and works on a point-based system, with members earning points for every dollar spent in-store. Even those who haven't purchased anything enjoy exclusive deals and perks, fostering a sense of inclusivity within an exclusive community.
Another reason why the Beauty Insider program is so successful is its wide variety of options. Members can redeem their points for discounts, store credit, or even giveaway entries, keeping them engaged and excited.
What’s more, Sephora’s loyalty rewards go beyond discounts.
Members receive birthday gifts, invitations to exclusive events, and access to new product launches, which we might add are specially curated and shortlisted after meticulously analyzing their purchase behavior and product preferences.
Another reason the Beauty Insider program is so successful is its wide variety of options. Members can redeem their points for discounts, store credit, or giveaway entries, keeping them engaged and excited.
Setting up a loyalty program for your Shopify store is effortless, too. By downloading a loyalty program app that integrates with your Shopify store, setting the rules and rewards, you can start offering your customers exclusive perks and incentives, just like Sephora.
Tips for creating an effective Shopify loyalty program:
Choose a customer loyalty program name that resonates with your brand values.
Make your loyalty program available to everyone, regardless of whether they place an order.
Offer a wide range of rewards, from discounts and points to free products and free consultations.
10. Run paid advertising campaigns
With minimal effort and cost requirements, paid advertising campaigns guarantee results through conversions. It's no wonder why many store owners turn to this strategy first to generate quick traffic.
The key to a successful advertising campaign is understanding your audience and choosing the right ads. Facebook ads are great for impulse buyers, while Google retargeting ads are ideal if you already have some traffic. For those with target prospects that prefer to do intensive online research, Google shopping ads can be highly effective.
Running an advertising campaign isn't all smooth sailing, though. Setting up and managing a campaign involves a learning curve, and costs can quickly spiral out of control if you're not careful with your ad targeting.
Nonetheless, a well-executed campaign can help you reach a massive audience with high buying intent, driving sales and traffic faster than other methods.
Take Patagonia's 'Shell, Yeah!' campaign, for example. By showcasing its water-resistant products made from 100% recycled materials and emphasizing their positive impact on the environment, the company created a highly successful ad campaign that boosted both awareness and sales.
Patagonia repurposed a video showcasing its Shell Yeah line into several smaller video ads for Facebook and Instagram, while YouTube and Google ads helped increase the campaign's reach. By the end of the campaign, the company had recorded over 66 million impressions and 728 thousand video views.
Tips for running paid eCommerce ads on Google and Facebook:
Prioritize split testing (test two different versions of something like two ad campaigns using two different videos) before A/B testing (test similar variations like testing two headings for an ad) for more significant differences in testing.
Automate your ad groups to change your bids or pause or stop campaigns when they reach the predetermined budget threshold.
Use a clear and catchy call-to-action (CTA) to make it stand out on the viewer's screen.
11. Promote your products in blog articles
When writing blog content, you're likely taking measures to make it search engine optimization friendly and provide genuine advice that helps your audience. How about taking it a step further and using it as a channel to promote your products?
Mentioning your products or services in blog articles is a low-risk marketing strategy that gets your products in front of your target audience, leading to increased sales. But before proceeding, consider your business goals.
If you're after quick revenue, paid ads and emails might be more effective. But if you're in it for the long haul, blogging can be a valuable tool to bring more organic traffic to your website.
According to a Sumo study, men’s grooming products seller Beardbrand's blog receives over 75,000 monthly visitors from Google alone. That's some incredible organic reach!
The brand frequently publishes consumer-focused content with subtle mentions of its products to avoid being overly aggressive or pushy in its marketing efforts. By seamlessly integrating product links into its content, Beardbrand successfully showcases its brand personality while providing readers with valuable information.
Tips to effectively manage and optimize your eCommerce blog
Create high-quality content with relevant keywords that directly address target audience needs.
Promote your products, but don’t do it excessively.
Add internal links to different pages on your website with optimized anchor text.
12. Post engaging social media content regularly
Social media is an indispensable tool for any eCommerce seller looking to better market their products.
By creating engaging, bite-sized posts, you can increase brand and product awareness and build a loyal following for your Shopify store. In fact, 57% of users follow brands on social media to learn more about new products and services.
And the best part? It’s super simple; you can begin posting on multiple platforms like Instagram and Twitter to reach thousands of potential customers right away.
How do you create engaging social media posts that resonate with your audience? Start by taking inspiration from successful eCommerce brands that are killing it on social media.
Forever21’s Instagram is a masterclass in how to create compelling content that engages your target audience. Its posts showcase clothing and accessories from the brand in real-life scenarios, with relatable captions that directly speak to the target demographic. The brand frequently uses Instagram’s Story feature to share limited-period offers, BTS glimpses of company events, and other fun stuff.
You’ll also see several stories and posts of influencers donned in trendy brand merchandise. This helps Forever21 generate higher user engagement and online sales, as influencers hold a lot of power over their followers' purchase decisions.
But: don’t make the mistake of copying any eCommerce brand’s social media strategy blindly. Instead, think of ways you can make your posts unique to your brand.
A good starting point here is to tailor the content to your target audience's interests in pain points. For example, if your Shopify store sells eco-friendly products, use social media to highlight your brand sustainability practices and initiatives.
Tips for creating engaging social media content
Have a regular posting schedule to remain top of mind for your audience.
Don’t be afraid to show some personality. Buyers want to make long-term connections with brands, so give them memorable content that helps them remember and recognize your Shopify store.
Partner with influencers with an engaged following that have the same target audience as your business.
Post user-generated content—user reviews, product unboxings, or anything in which your customer uses or discusses their purchase—to serve as social proof.
13. Offer personalized product recommendations
Many eCommerce sellers don't offer product recommendations to customers. This is a missed opportunity to increase online sales and customer engagement, especially because customers are more likely to buy if they feel they’re receiving a personalized shopping experience.
Here are a few ways you can leverage personalized product recommendations to increase sales:
Show your top-selling products on the top of your Shopify store’s home page so shoppers can see what others are buying.
Feature related products on product pages to upsell and increase your average order value. Base your recommendations on categories, tags, and other parameters to help shoppers explore similar products.
Curate handpicked recommendations on your category page, keeping in mind the value they will provide to the shopper. Choose a few limited-edition products, products from an exclusive range, or simply curate something that has been trending over time.
Display frequently bought together products on the cart page to cross-sell. Even better, if you can offer a discount on the clubbed purchase.
Showcase your latest range of products on the 'thank you' page to potentially re-convert a shopper who just completed a purchase on your store.
List recently viewed products on the home page for returning shoppers to provide convenient shopping experiences.
You can also share personalized product recommendations via email, publish them on social media channels, or send them via web post notifications.
Tips for implementing personalized product recommendations in your Shopify store:
Perform A/B testing to see where your recommendations work best: the home page, product page, checkout page, cart page, or category page.
Leverage interactive pop-ups to auto-show shoppers products closely related to the one they are currently viewing.
Ensure your algorithm engine is smart enough to send the relevant recommendations based on visitor behavior and actions.
14. Do frequent giveaways
Everybody loves the chance to win free stuff. It's why giveaways (and contests) are a proven Shopify marketing strategy to reach a wider audience with minimal effort.
When designing a giveaway, keep in mind your business goals. Do you want more brand exposure? Or are you more focused on increasing sales?
Depending on your answer, you may want to run an Instagram giveaway that requires entrants to follow your account and tag their friends. Or one that collects email subscribers to engage with potential customers for the long term.
This Instagram giveaway from Melted Soapery, a seller of handcrafted shops made with responsibly sourced ingredients, offers users eight full-sized products, including shower smoothies, sugar scrubs, and body butter.
To participate, users have to follow the brand on Instagram, share the post to their respective social media accounts, and tag friends. Melted Soapery will then select and contact the winner.
What works about Melted Soapery’s giveaway is its simplicity and transparency. Giveaway details and rules are clearly mentioned within the post, eliminating any confusion or ambiguity. Plus, by offering attractive giveaway items, the brand is able to bring a ton of new leads and build its Instagram following.
Tips for hosting attention-grabbing eCommerce giveaways:
Align your entry criteria with your goal. For example, if you want to boost brand awareness, get people to tag their friends on the giveaway post.
Analyze the category of products most popular among your audience to pick exciting giveaway prizes that arouse interest.
Keep your promotional rules short and easy to follow, and use bullets to make them scannable.
15. Use third-party apps to reach your goals
Shopify offers unparalleled flexibility and customization options for its marketing features, thanks to a vast array of proprietary and third-party apps in its App Store. Using them is a no-brainer to provide customers with enhanced shopping experiences.
But, when adding apps to your Shopify store, you should take certain precautions.
For starters, plan for additional costs since some apps require subscriptions to unlock advanced features. Even small subscriptions can add up over time, so it’s crucial to be mindful of your budget. Next, ensure you're only installing apps that serve a functional purpose. Unnecessary apps can consume resources and slow your eCommerce website down, leading to a poor user experience and potentially harming your SEO.
Don't forget to consider multifunctionality when selecting an app. This will allow you to streamline your marketing efforts and reduce the number of apps you need to install.
For instance, in addition to on-site shoppable videos, Videowise also offers powerful video analytics, a ‘Find video UGC’ feature, and an eCommerce video player. These are complementary features that help you effectively leverage the power of video to perform several video marketing-related functions and boost eCommerce sales.
Moreover, Videowise integrates with several popular platforms like Instagram, Klaviyo, Omnisend, and Pagefly, making it easier to deliver streamlined and engaging video shopping experiences.
Tips for choosing the right Shopify apps for your store:
Look at the ratings and reviews of each app, along with the level of support provided.
Pay close attention to the total cost of using the app to avoid surprises later.
Consider how deeply the app integrates with Shopify and whether it’s relevant to your use case and functionality.
A/B test Shopify marketing tips to see better results
Shopify gives you an excellent platform to showcase your products, but that’s it. It won’t sell your products for you. It's your responsibility to discover and apply effective Shopify marketing strategies and tips that can help you reach targeted prospects or retain existing customers.
Experiment with and A/B test each strategy to determine what works best for your Shopify store. Then allocate more resources to what's working. Given videos are currently one of the most powerful tools for showcasing and promoting your products, you can't go wrong with shoppable ads that effectively increase engagement and sales.
Interested in exploring shoppable videos? Book a demo with Videowise to learn more.