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Okay, so you’ve made an important decision and joined the world of ecommerce. You’ve started your own online store on Shopify but haven’t sold anything yet. So what now? What should you do?
Yes, you guessed it right - you need to promote your Shopify store.
Today’s constantly evolving digital world offers a lot of opportunities for small businesses, not only to expand but also to potentially sell their online ventures. Creating or migrating to a Shopify store is just one aspect of this journey. Equally important is the effective promotion and marketing of your online store to boost sales and traffic.
How can you make your Shopify store stand out? How do you effectively promote your Shopify store? We've got you covered. Keep reading to discover effective strategies.
To kick things off, here’s a preview of what’s in store for this post:
- What is Shopify marketing? Why is it important?
- How to promote Shopify store?
What is Shopify Marketing? Why is it important?
Founded in 2006 in Ottawa by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake, Shopify began modestly and as a 17-year-old platform in 2023, has grown to be a major player in the e-commerce industry.
More than 4 million merchants use Shopify to sell their products and services online. In 2022 alone, about 649 million customers bought something from a Shopify store. And it’s predicted that Shopify merchants will have over 700 million buyers by the end of 2023.
With so many options on the market, Shopify is undoubtedly the top choice when it comes to setting up an online store.
Over the past few years, Shopify has become the most popular ecommerce platform and hosting solution for everyone who wishes to start an ecommerce business and there are 4 main reasons for that:
- Diverse features
- Active Shopify communities
- Rich ecosystem of 3rd party Shopify apps
While the numbers may encourage future entrepreneurs to open their own online stores, it’s not as easy as it sounds. According to statistics, the success rate of Shopify stores is around 5% to 10%.
The responsibility lies not with the platform but with the entrepreneur. Poor marketing research, poor store design, choosing the wrong product niche, and a weak marketing strategy are among the key reasons why many Shopify stores fail, with the latter often being a primary factor. Launching an online store represents just one aspect of a successful business; another crucial element is attracting customers to purchase your products and make a profit. That’s where Shopify marketing comes in handy. In the simplest sense, Shopify marketing is a combination of digital marketing strategies to attract visitors to your site and guide them toward conversion. Promoting your Shopify store is about increasing visibility, attracting more customers, retaining existing customers, providing good customer service, and boosting customer loyalty. Without promotion, a store may remain unknown to potential customers, limiting its sales and growth opportunities. An effective marketing strategy is what drives traffic to your Shopify store and increases sales. Given the online nature of your business, concentrating your marketing efforts on digital channels is the best approach.
Anyone can easily start a business on Shopify but you just need to know how to get your Shopify store noticed on search engines like Google. While the platform provides store owners with built-in SEO and blog tools, these may not always be sufficient to stand out from competitors due to the high level of competition. Luckily for you, there are numerous strategies and tactics available for you to leverage. Furthermore, the Shopify app store offers an abundance of marketing apps. In the app section, you’ll discover a media gallery highlighting the best features of each app. What’s more, you can find reviews before choosing the right app. But before you make a choice, you can also review feedback from verified users of these apps.
How to promote Shopify store?
Content marketing and SEO
Content marketing is undoubtedly one of the best ways to drive organic traffic to your online store. It is the foundation of your marketing strategy. This long-term strategy involves creating valuable, relevant, engaging, and consistent content to attract and retain visitors and customers. It’s all about the information people can consume. To promote your Shopify store you need to produce high-quality content. The way that people shop has evolved, with a greater focus on contactless payments, and ecommerce. Before buying, your customers want information and education. This is why creating high-quality content is crucial for the success of your online store. It drives traffic and increases time spent on-site. Additionally, it can expand your email list and assist in segmenting and tailoring it according to interest. Content marketing also aids in explaining your product more effectively, enabling people to understand it better. Consequently, this leads to greater customer satisfaction and improved post-purchase experiences.
But there’s one thing to remember: there’s no content marketing without SEO and vice versa. You can’t just post content daily and expect that the right people will see it. Likewise, you can’t just use the right keywords and expect people to read your poorly written content. By becoming proficient in SEO and quality writing, you can create blog posts that not only receive visibility but also rank on Google.
Firstly, what is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is the process of optimizing your website in such a way that it will rank higher in Google’s organic search results, meaning that more potential customers will see your online store. Paid Google ads work fast, while SEO takes time and effort. When it comes to SEO, the good part is, that you don’t pay for traffic, and results stick around.
So, what’s the relationship between SEO and content marketing?
As we’ve already mentioned, the relationship between SEO and content marketing is closely intervened. SEO and content marketing work hand-in-hand to enhance the visibility and success of online content. The relationship between these two is based on the fact that an essential element of successful SEO is high-quality content. Search engine like Google prioritizes content that provides value to its readers, and content marketing aims to fulfill this criterion.
With SEO, you can learn what people search for online and how to make sure that your content gets noticed by them. Because we all know, the majority of shopping experiences begin with a search engine. If you store appears at the top of the right search results, it means that many customers have already visited your online store. Creating content for blogs isn’t the only focus of SEO, you can also optimize your product pages, About Us page, Contact Us page for search engines. To be exact, you should optimize every page on your Shopify store for the right keywords. That’s where keyword research comes in handy. You might be wondering how to conduct keyword research. Fortunately for you, there are many apps that can assist you with it. Ahrefs and Semrush are the industry’s best SEO tools. Both of them offer a range of features for keyword research, backlink analysis, competitor analysis, and more. The best solution would be to explore both tools. But from personal experience, we can say that Ahrefs is your go-to choice. The app is easy to use and the keyword research has never been more enjoyable.
Here are some tips for using this app:
- Search for keywords with low keyword difficulty. They are just as important as keywords with high keyword difficulty. Especially if you are just starting your ecommerce business on Shopify.
- Avoid high-volume keywords with 1K+ monthly searches. The competition is too high.
- Filter keywords by countries if you want to be more specific.
- Pay attention to global volume. It is the total of all countries’ search volumes.
- Get backlinks to your Shopify store.
- Competitor analysis. Find and analyze the keywords your competitors are using.
Work on Product SEO. You should make sure that all of your product pages and photos are search engine optimized. If someone is looking for a certain product and you have it, they should be able to see its availability, good quality photos, and prices on your website. That makes it so much easier to complete an order with minimal effort.
Here are some recommended strategies when it comes to SEO for Shopify:
- Pay attention to search intent because the search engine doesn’t only focus on the keywords people type; it also tries to grasp their search intent.
- Your categories should be optimized for search engines, too. This also helps people seriously looking for something find it on your site.
- Focus on long-tail keywords, be it “Li-Ning Wade Shoes” or “Li-Ning Wade Men Basketball Shoes”. Long-tail keywords consist of three or more words. These keywords are better for your Shopify store because they generate more relevant leads. Users with a more particular search intent are more likely to check out your business since long-tail keywords are precise, and they are more likely to convert.
- Optimize all of the images on your site for SEO. People are visual beings. They are more drawn to high-quality photos than to images that are hazy or blurry. High-quality images significantly increase the total size of web pages, leading to slower loading times. Compress images on your website pages to make your online store load faster. You can use apps like TinyJPG or Squosh. JPEG files are smaller than PNG files. And WebP generally provides better compression compared to older image formats.
- When creating product descriptions, use as much detail as possible so that you can include a lot of relevant keywords.
- Find backlinks by interlinking your category and product pages with other websites.
Here are some compelling statistics:
These stats emphasize the crucial role and efficiency of content marketing and SEO in today's constantly evolving business environment.
Share your brand and products through blog posts, videos, and other forms of digital content. After creating content, share it on social media, email lists, and different websites.
Some exciting content ideas:
- Use interactive tools (lead quizzes, guides, visual tools for playing around with products) to get people’s emails. Then, nurture them with tailored content and offers based on what they are interested in. Also, if the tools are fun enough, people will share them on social media, earning you free press.
- Retarget blog readers on Facebook with content similar to what they have read.
- Send non-promotional emails post-purchase with content and guides on how to make the best use of the new purchases. This will increase customer satisfaction and encourage more orders.
- Team up with people related to your ideal customer’s interests - musicians, artists, chefs, etc. to expand your content tangentially. This tactic might not bring in direct sales but helps you broaden your reach and engagement.
Content marketing is a cost-effective strategy that brings long-term results. Content marketing should be a part of your marketing strategy as it is an important tool for any online store owner who wants to stay competitive and profitable.
Run a Loyalty Program to Promote your Shopify Store
Recently, there has been a noticeable rise in the popularity of loyalty programs for Shopify stores. These programs are becoming more appealing to both shoppers and Shopify store owners. This is because loyal customers tend to spend more in each transaction and frequently return to the same store, in contrast to those who are not loyal.
More than 50% of the brand’s loyal customers actively recommend it to others, and more than 70% of customers would consider a loyalty program when making a purchase. These statistics show the significance of loyalty programs today.
Running a loyalty program can be a powerful tool to promote your Shopify store in several ways:
Encourages repeat business: You can encourage customers to return to your store by rewarding them with points or awards for their repeated purchases. This starts a cycle of repeat business which is essential for long-term success.
Increases customer engagement: A loyalty program can boost sales by making shopping more rewarding. Because happy customers are more likely to recommend your store to others, this can result in increased word-of-mouth promotion.
Differentiates your store: A well-designed loyalty program can help your business stand out in a sea of competitors. Exclusive rewards or points systems can be a significant draw for customers looking for more than just products.
Increases organic traffic: Loyalty programs play a vital role in traffic growth by encouraging repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, as customers are motivated to return and engage more with your brand to earn rewards and exclusive benefits.
Enhances customer experience: Providing exclusive deals or rewards to loyal customers enhances their overall shopping experience. Happy customers are more likely to leave positive reviews and share their experiences with friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues.
Gathers valuable customer data: By using a loyalty program, you can collect information on customers including their location, demographics, shopping preferences, buying behavior, and anything that you can find helpful later on.
Now that you comprehend the advantages of loyalty programs for your Shopify store, it's time to determine the structure and rewards of your points system. Most loyalty programs fall into 3 types:
- Points-based loyalty programs. Customers can accumulate points through their purchases in points-based reward systems, and these points can later be redeemed for prizes or discounts.
- Referral programs. Referral programs provide incentives to customers who recommend your store to others, resulting in those referred individuals making purchases.
- Tiered loyalty programs. In tiered rewards, customers unlock impressive perks and prizes as they advance through different tiers. Similarly, tiered discount programs provide discounts that vary depending on the amount customers spend.
These programs help increase customer loyalty and retention, leading to more sales and keeping customers from buying from other online stores. They also help you recognize your best customers. The main goal of all these programs is to encourage customers to spend more on what you offer.
Suggested reading: Customer Loyalty and Retention: A Comprehensive Guide
Luckily for you, there's no shortage of loyalty apps on the Shopify App Store. For example, with Growave, you can significantly enhance customer engagement and loyalty, improve your store’s visibility, differentiate your shop from competitors, boost customer experience, and collect valuable customer data. By integrating Growave, you can simplify your marketing campaigns, and manage loyalty programs and other customer engagement tactics more easily. This will increase organic traffic to your Shopify store, and boost sales.
Growave provides three types of e-commerce loyalty and rewards programs. They include:
- Loyalty Points
- Referral Program
- VIP Tiers
Grow your social media presence
Social media isn't just for selfies and vacation photos, or for sharing posts with friends; it's also a powerful tool for advertising. Social Media Marketing is vital for promoting your Shopify business. Many online merchants recognize the effectiveness of social media marketing in boosting their Shopify store's visibility, and they're absolutely right.
Social media offers great opportunities for your Shopify store:
You can use social media marketing to:
- Promote your brand and showcase your products
- Inform your customers about your offerings and services
- Gain insights into customer opinions about your products
- Build strong relationships with your existing customers and attract new ones
With 4.9 billion users worldwide, 60.49% of the global population uses social media. This vast user base underscores the crucial importance of promoting your business on these platforms.
Investing time, effort, and money in social media marketing can be very beneficial. Before launching a campaign, it's crucial to identify your business objectives and marketing strategy. Ask yourself: What's the goal of this campaign? Are you aiming to expand your audience, boost your website traffic, or increase sales? It's important to focus your spending on effective advertising that aligns with your specific goals, rather than wasting resources on ads that don't serve your purpose.
Consistency is key in your social media marketing campaign. Posting regularly and at optimal times is essential to engage potential buyers and drive successful deals. While building a substantial social media following may require time and effort, the investment is necessary for long-term success.
When people discuss social media marketing, they typically refer to selling and promoting their brand and products through platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
According to statistics, these are the most popular social media platforms.
Promote your Shopify store on Facebook. By using Facebook advertising, you can access one of the largest audiences in the world. Unlike other social platforms, Facebook's advanced targeting lets you connect with the right people, matching your audience's interests. You can tailor your message based on demographics like age, location, and device usage. Remember, less is more with hashtags; just 1-2 per post and keep it public. Note that strategies effective on platforms like Instagram might not yield the same results on Facebook. Also, leverage Facebook's video upload feature to showcase your products and services. The powerful ad platform caters to all business sizes, ensuring your message reaches those who matter most.
Promote your Shopify store on YouTube. YouTube is the world's second most popular search engine in the world following Google. The fact that you can reach such a large audience is enough for you to start promoting your online business on YouTube. Nowadays people are watching more videos than ever before. Video content drives more engagement than other types of content. Video advertising is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. YouTube allows you to creatively showcase your products through visual storytelling and demonstrations. This makes it easier for potential customers to understand the use and benefits of your products. So, it’s safe to say that it’s worth investing in video marketing.
Promote your Shopify store on Instagram. Leverage Instagram, the go-to platform for boosting your Shopify business. With its visually driven content and massive fan base, Instagram offers the perfect stage for showcasing products. Utilize Instagram's unique features like Stories, Reels, and Shopping tags to engage with a targeted audience. The platform's advanced analytics help you track performance and refine strategies. Remember, Instagram thrives on hashtags - use them wisely to increase visibility and engagement. Connect your Shopify store directly. Make it easy for followers to shop for your products. What makes Instagram special is that it's a top platform for executing influencer marketing campaigns. Who is an Instagram influencer? An Instagram influencer is a content creator who has built a reputation for his knowledge on a specific topic; someone who posts regularly on Instagram and often has a large following. Instagram influencers put your products and services in front of their audience in exchange for money or free products. Moreover, they create amazing user-generated content for you. Businesses of various sizes collaborate with influencers to enhance brand awareness, boost engagement, and drive sales. Customers often trust influencers, and this trust is crucial for business success.
Promote your Shopify store on WhatsApp. Given its expanding user base, WhatsApp is one of the best social media platforms for Shopify marketing. It is a messaging powerhouse. What makes it so appealing is that it creates personal, direct communication with customers. With WhatsApp, you can send updates, special offers, and customer service messages. You can create a catalog to showcase your products and services. What's more, your customers can browse and make purchases directly through the app. But in order to use these features, you need to set up a WhatsApp business account.
You may quickly transfer your WhatsApp Messenger account complete with chat history and media to a new WhatsApp Business account if you already have one.
Social media marketing includes more than just Facebook, YouTube advertisements, Instagram influencers, and WhatsApp catalogs for seamless shopping. It's possible that your target audience spends their time on lesser-known platforms. Think about if you're making the most of all the opportunities at your disposal as well.
- Reach the affluent women demographic on Pinterest
- Try selling on Facebook Messenger directly
- Reach Gen Z on TikTok
- Even things like creating public reading lists on Goodreads or playlists on Spotify will get in front of extra pairs of eyes
- Post on Reddit's e-commerce communities such as r/reviewmyshopify and r/Shopify.
As you can see, each social media platform serves various purposes. Therefore, to optimize your social media marketing plan, you should develop unique content for each social network while taking into account its specific characteristics.
Run seasonal campaigns
We are not talking about seasonal promotions like Mother’s Day or Summer collection promos. It is about finding new ways to cater to the needs of your target audience.
Identify trends or seasonal needs in your target market and address them with special campaigns. Ads, content, features in online media, and partnerships are all good places for that. This way, when people search for any information and ideas about their needs, your brand will be there.
For example, the wedding season is pretty huge in some countries and many people start researching - what to wear to a garden wedding or what the cocktail dress code means. Answering their questions in content, retargeting with tailored ads, and optimizing a special category named appropriately “wedding guest shop” are all ways to attract that crowd.
Or you can launch a Christmas marketing campaign. You can reach a wide range of customers. Whether you aim to engage your current customers or attract new ones, a Christmas campaign serves as an excellent method to capture their interest. Additionally, it provides a perfect opportunity to introduce new products and services. Whether it's making a video, organizing a festive giveaway, or launching a holiday-themed email campaign, there are numerous methods to communicate your message. Additionally, you may use the season to your advantage by providing exclusive deals or discounts that will boost sales.
Partner with like-minded brands, and influencers
Collaboration in promoting your Shopify store can make a difference. When you partner with other Shopify businesses, Instagram or TikTok influencers, or respected brands, you not only expand your reach to new potential customers but also improve your store's credibility. Sharing resources and knowledge is a common component of this strategy, which results in low-cost marketing and the production of distinctive, engaging content. Cross-promotions, exclusive product offerings, and special campaigns can further intrigue and attract customers. Collaborations also present beneficial networking opportunities and provide insights into consumer preferences and industry trends, which eventually improve the customer experience overall and promote brand loyalty. This multifaceted approach can be a powerful catalyst for growth and visibility in the competitive e-commerce landscape.
You can access cost-effective marketing tactics by combining your resources and experience with like-minded brands. Influencers, for example, can complement your product knowledge and technical savvy with their skill at creating content and engaging with social media. This automatically leads to the creation of unique and compelling content that is more likely to be shared on social media. Such content not only drives organic traffic to your online store but can also increase brand awareness by igniting discussions about your brand and products.
Another essential component of collaboration is cross-promotion. It's a win-win situation where you and your partner market each other's goods or services. This tactic can double the audience that each of you can reach, which could result in a notable increase in Shopify sales and customer engagement.
However, collaboration is more than just advertising; it's also about improving your line of products and clientele. Working together with other Shopify merchants might result in the release of limited-edition or exclusive products, giving buyers a sense of urgency and exclusivity. These unique products have the potential to attract both new and returning customers.
What's more, you can gather feedback and insights. Your colleagues who interact directly with your target audience might provide insightful opinions on your offerings and marketing strategies. You can adjust your products and strategies to better suit the requirements and preferences of your customers by using this feedback loop as a guide.
Lastly, collaborations can significantly boost the overall customer experience. By offering bundled products, special promotions, or unique content, you increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This not only helps in retaining customers but also in converting them into brand advocates.
Use offline opportunities
Last but not least, eCommerce is about selling online but that does not mean you can connect with your customers offline, face to face. Brands of any size can benefit from direct contact with customers. That is why Casper, Allbirds and so many others have opened permanent brick and mortar stores - to communicate with people and let the hesitant ones touch the products before buying.
Fairs, local markets, and festivals are the perfect events to show off your range of products and do field consumer research. Beauty, food and drinks, fashion, even pet products will find many potential buyers eager to sample them for free and order on the spot.
To take it a step further, you can set up a pop-up store in a very specific location - like this year’s top vacation spot for your target group if that makes sense for your products.
Marketing your eCommerce store effectively is about creating positive relations with the customers and standing out from the crowd with a presence that is more relevant, more interesting, and helpful for the customer. Promoting a Shopify store effectively requires patience and can be complex, yet it's a learning process. By tackling the promotion step by step and employing the strategies recommended in our article, you can gradually enhance your store's visibility, and boost sales.