Creating a store on Shopify for your eCommerce business is the easy part. Marketing and bringing in customers is where your hard work actually begins from.
There are nearly limitless options for you to successfully target your customers and the best of the brands keep trying to explore more and more exciting methods to grab the attention of their followers as well as the general public.
This guide focuses on some of the most effective marketing strategies to improve the sales and engagement of your Shopify store.
If you are wondering whether you should create a Shopify store, head over to my guide on why you should start your own Shopify store.
Connect with Influencers
This is a must-have marketing strategy for most eCommerce stores, including stores on Shopify. There aren’t many tricks that can get your products thrown in the spotlight as quickly as a single post from a social media influencer.
But who exactly is an influencer and how do you connect with them?
An influencer is a person or business on social media with a large following. The term comes from the idea of the person or business being able to ‘influence’ its audience.
The word ‘large’ here is completely contextual. A small eCommerce business might be able to benefit from an influencer with a couple of thousand followers while multinational companies often promote their products through influencers – and at times celebrities – with millions of followers.
You would also find the prices companies are willing to pay to get endorsed by such individuals nearly unbelievable.
With an Instagram following of 153 million, Beyonce reportedly charges a whopping $1,000,000 per a single promotional post while singer Selena Gomez, with nearly 190 million followers, is said to have a rate of $550,000 per post. It’s no wonder that major international brands such as Adidas, Pantene, Puma, and Coca Cola have partnered with Gomez to advertise their products.
Yes, we understand that you don’t have millions lying around to market your products. Luckily for you, there is a large range of influencers with varying followers and charges that you can benefit from.
There are four groups of influencers: nano-, micro-, macro-, and mega-influencers, which are categories based on the ascending order of the number of followers. You can easily find an influencer suitable for your niche and willing to work in your budget.
There are popular influencers you can collaborate with even under $100! In fact, if you really cannot afford to spend much here, you can simply send a product of yours and politely request the influencer to give an honest review of your product on their profile.
A single post or story by an influencer can skyrocket your traffic and even sales within a short while.
Influencers, such as Jaclyn Johnson (@jaclynrjohnson) who have a following of 99 thousand followers on Instagram, are experts in specific niches and have a relationship of trust with their audience, prompting it to give the promoted products a try.
Read tips to hire an influencer on Instagram.
Running a Shopify blog simultaneously with your eCommerce store can drastically increase your sales. The purpose of such a blog is to consistently introduce your audience to your products or services and then direct them to buy them.
Statistics indicate that 61% of the customers have made purchases based on blogs they read and 60% of consumers feel positive about a brand after reading its blog. This implies that not only are customers more inclined to purchase from a brand after reading its blog, but they also begin trusting it.
You do not need to have a busy blog or hire a content writer to churn out posts every day. Even one blog per week can be sufficient provided you are consistent and offer your customers something they can’t really refuse.
A pool manufacturer, River Pools and Spas, runs a pool-related marketing blog – which is also the most read pool blog in the U.S. – to improve their sales.
Marketing Apps for Shopify
The use of marketing apps for Shopify has been on the rise considering these applications offer customized and target-oriented marketing. These apps can increase your profit by enhancing your sales, providing rewards to your customers, and improving your inventory and shipping operations.
There is no dearth of applications that accomplish exactly this. However, with the seemingly endless list of marketing apps, it can get frustratingly difficult to settle on one.
Some of the top marketing apps for Shopify stores include:
This application by Akohub aims to divide your potential customers into different groups by retargeting campaigns to ensure you do not lose your valuable customers or any sales. Since multiple campaigns are supported by this app, you have the opportunity to bring in customers with improved ad performance.
The target of this application is to improve your low conversion rate which refers to the number of conversions (successful purchases) divided by the number of visits per time. Apart from this, you will be receiving sales notifications, identifying trends to devise sales strategies via sales pop as social proof, and improve profit by sales pop up.
This service works by garnering feedback and reviews from your customers if you have participated in the Google Customers Review Program. These reviews then help you assess your product quality and build a trustworthy name for your brand, allowing you to enhance your conversion rate.
There are a plethora of websites that have shown successful marketing results but which app would work the best for you is a matter of your products or services and your target audience.
You can have premium quality products or enviously stellar services and get the most skilled of copywriters to write glowing praises for them, and you might still not earn a potential customer. So how do you do that?
You bring in testimonials from other customers.
Users are always skeptical about online merchandise and services to a certain extent and no amount of convincing on the part of the business will mitigate that suspicion.
And why should it? After all, the primary goal of any business is to further its sales and profits.
But when a customer, who has nothing to gain from praising a certain brand, recommends a product or service, potential customers are highly likely to believe them. In fact, a study revealed that 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from their friends or families.
Therefore, make sure you offer your customers the chance to leave a detailed review once they have received their purchase.
This can be done, among other ways, via an email reminder after the expected date of delivery, prompting the customer to drop their opinion of the product on your website. Additionally, you can sort the testimonials with the most positive reviews appearing higher than the rest.
Integrating User-Generated Content
User-generated content refers to any form of media created by users. These include photographs, videos, writings, or selfies, etc.
Featuring user-generated content on your store would not only increase your audience’s engagement with the brand but also make new, potential customers trust you more.
Campaigns urging users to create media with a brand’s products have been around for a long time. One of the most interesting examples is Burberry’s famous “The Art of Trench” campaign.
The British luxury fashion house asked its users to send in pictures of them wearing their Burberry trench coats, which would be featured on Burberry’s website.
The year after the launch of this campaign, the Facebook following of the brand had grown to more than a million – the highest fan count in the luxury sector at the time – and eCommerce sales increased by 50%.
What’s that one thing that no one, literally no one, ever says no to? A freebie, of course.
And this is one of the most foolproof techniques to market your eCommerce store. All you need to do is offer some of your products for free and see your customers take over your marketing campaign for you.
Although some brands put their own unique spin and have slightly more demanding contests or giveaways, most just require the audience to follow them, share their posts, mention friends, get others to follow them, or post about them. In return, randomly or systematically chosen winners are gifted the products or services.
Launch contests or giveaways generate heavy traffic which can be converted to leads.
The multinational technology company Amazon often conducts giveaways where users are offered free books for download for a limited time.
Social Media Engagement
Facebook has roughly 2.7 billion active users monthly while Instagram sees activity from above 1 billion users each month. And you can connect with these massive numbers of people sitting at your home or office.
No one’s even denying the crucial role of social media in eCommerce anymore – it’s that obvious.
Many of us have a restricted view of this role and believe that social media only helps promote a brand and attract more customers. However, it is also vital in collecting data about the customers, their preferences, their requirements, and their feedback, all of which in turn help improve the business.
Having a social media presence is about creating a strong brand perception, influencing the buying decisions of your customers, and understanding and connecting with them better.
As per some infographics, revenue brought in from social media advertising was $41 billion, in 2017 alone. Also, 90% of followers try to contact brands through social media.
The popularity of social media among brands is evident from the fact that even the major players in different industries worldwide are utilizing it to further their sales despite already having established massive customer bases.
On Facebook, Samsung has 159.82 million fans, Coca Cola has garnered some 106.96 million likes, and McDonald’s enjoys a massive following of 79.85 million. Instagram’s dominating brand is Nike with 90 million followers, Victoria’s Secret sits at the second spot with 68 million, and Huda Beauty has around 38 million followers.
But what exactly do these numbers mean for you? Well, they’re asking you to ensure that you have a strong social media presence because every eCommerce business – even the most prominent brands – needs one.
Although the other techniques mentioned in the list also work effectively, they might be too slow for your liking. If you are looking forward to instant results, try your hand at Facebook advertising.
You have to pay for advertising your brand on Facebook but that’s all required from you. The platform’s algorithm intelligently chooses your niche’s audience using various statistics such as age, location, and preferences.
You do not need to set aside a major chunk of money for Facebook ads. Simply start with a small amount at first and see how well it goes; if you are liking the conversion rate, increase your weekly or monthly spending on Facebook advertising.
Remember that the more you invest in your business, the higher the returns will be.
With the massive number of people using Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, they have become quite saturated with advertisements. Even though one can still get a break on those sites, there is just too much information in front of the users every time they log in.
Emails, on the other hand, create a very customized and intimate connection with the audience.
Gone are the times when the emails sent in bulk by companies were ignored by the recipients or worse – marked as spam. Now, email marketing has become more personalized and potential customers are sent emails based on their location, preferences, and other similar statistics.
One goal should be kept in mind, however: the subject of the email needs to be attention-grabbing to make the user read a promotional email.
When utilizing these marketing strategies, you need to know that almost none of them will work overnight and somehow transform your business into a commercial success. You need to understand each strategy, research its effective use, spend capital where required, and be consistent in the use of your chosen marketing method(s) to ensure a steady flow of customers to your Shopify store.