Last updated on 3rd October 2023 at 19:00 by Alex Nicholas
Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that enables businesses to easily build, manage and grow their online stores into revenue-generating machines that make money whilst they sleep.
And as I detail in my Shopify review, with its user-friendly interface and a wide variety of customisable options, Shopify is the perfect solution for hundreds of thousands of business owners and is the go-to eCommerce solution for anyone wanting to take complete control of their eCommerce website.
However, simply having an online store on the Shopify platform does not guarantee instant success, or in fact any success whatsoever. And just like any other type of business, your Shopify store needs a thought-through business plan, detailed cash flow projections and importantly a marketing plan that enables you to put your products in front of your ideal customers.
Couple this with a unique selling proposition that sets you apart from your competitors and you'll be a long way down the path to success.
In this short but detailed guide, I will discuss the importance of marketing for Shopify stores, outline essential marketing channels, and provide insights into creating an effective marketing plan that will help your business flourish.
The Importance of Marketing for Shopify Stores
A well-thought-out and executed marketing strategy is essential for driving traffic, attracting the right customers, and continually growing sales.
And when it comes to the success of a B2C business, I'm sure it's obvious to all that marketing plays a crucial role in driving sales and brand awareness, because without understanding where your customers are and how to approach them, your Shopify store will fail. It's as simple as that.
A solid marketing plan and strategy will not only help attract new customers but also foster loyalty among existing ones, and with the increasing competition in the eCommerce industry, it's more important than ever for Shopify store owners to have a robust marketing strategy in place.
Shopify Store Launch Checklist
Before launching your Shopify store, it's essential to have a comprehensive checklist that ensures your store is fully optimized for success. This includes creating a visually appealing website and optimizing your store for search engines (Shopify SEO) so that when your potential customer base types a query into Google, you have a chance of showing up.
In my opinion, it's also worth setting up any other Shopify payment gateways that customers might want to use such as PayPal, Apple Pay etc because your customers will more than likely have their payment details stored on at least one of these payment systems.
In my experience as a Shopify seller, customers will use the integrated Shopify payment process the majority of the time, but you essentially need to make your checkout process as seamless as possible to reduce abandoned carts so it's definitely worth installing other payment options.
It's also worth adding any Shopify apps you think you might need, right from the beginning. This will be helpful, for example, when it comes to implementing things like social proof to build trust with potential customers via reviews or upselling or cross-selling to increase your customer value.
Or an app to compress the images so that your store loads quickly and gives a better UX.
And by adding these apps at the start when you're just setting out you get to figure them out early when you don't have to deal with everything else that goes into running an eCommerce store.
You also need to make sure that your product images are as good as possible, and for this, I recommend studying your competitors and either copying what they've done or bettering them if at all possible.
Essential Marketing Channels for Shopify Stores
To create a successful marketing strategy, you must utilise the correct channels to reach your target audience. You need to know where your ideal customers hang out so you can promote your products on those channels.
Basically, you need to understand which distribution channels will give you the best return on investment (ROI). And to do this you need to spend time utilising software that spies on your competitors or pay someone to do it for you.
This might mean you need to adopt an omnichannel approach that focuses on search engine optimisation (SEO), affiliate marketing, Amazon and social media channels such as Instagram or Facebook ads, but unless you do your research and find out, you'll be simply guessing.
But one thing I 100% recommend to everyone setting out on their eComm journey is to build an email list from the outset because marketing to your existing customers via email is by far the cheapest way to gain sales and increase your revenue.
You're essentially promoting to customers that have already brought from you or want to hear from you, so they already trust your brand and are much more open to purchasing another product. This form of email marketing has a great return on investment (ROI).
Crafting a Winning Marketing Strategy
After you've identified where your customers are, you need to build a marketing strategy that speaks their language and helps to drive growth by publishing content that helps them learn and advertising in a way that grabs their attention.
Obviously, there's going to be a lot more that goes into a marketing strategy than I can outline in this short article, such as studying existing data, personalization and the tech needed to implement everything, but you get the idea.
You also need to set realistic measurable goals and allocate resources effectively. A good marketing guide will help you develop a plan that aligns with these business goals, enabling you to maximise your ROI.
Innovative Marketing Techniques for Shopify Stores
In today's competitive eCommerce landscape, store owners must stay ahead of the curve and their competition by adopting innovative marketing techniques. In addition to strategies I've already outlined in this article, some popular strategies that still work include:
- Offering free shipping
- Leveraging user-generated content such as blog comments (yes this actually works if done correctly)
- Implementing push notifications
- Enable instant messaging so customers can talk to you quickly if they have a question
- Running limited-time promotions
- Influencer marketing
- Add a phone number because people like to talk to people when they have a question
Now I understand that not all of these are worthwhile ideas for everyone, but they can give you an insight into what might work as you look to expand and grow your sales.
Measuring and Optimising Your Shopify Marketing Strategy
Lastly, to ensure the success of your marketing ideas, it's vital to track performance metrics, analyze results, and optimize your strategy accordingly, because the last thing you want to do is set out on your journey and miss vital opportunities because you didn't take the time to look back at everything you've already done.
By doing this you'll also highlight errors and mistakes in your plan that need to be addressed so that you can both correct them and not continue to make them.
By continually monitoring your marketing initiatives, you basically identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions that fuel the growth of your Shopify store.
Thankfully, you have some half-decent tools at your disposal in Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Granted, they're by no means perfect because they simply don't provide all of the data you might need, but they're a good start and most importantly, they're free!
That's a wrap
It should be clear to anyone that marketing is an essential component of running a successful Shopify store, and by creating a comprehensive marketing plan, utilising diverse marketing channels, and continually optimizing your strategy, you can drive traffic, increase sales, and foster customer loyalty.
Don't underestimate the power of a well-executed marketing plan for your Shopify store – it could be the key to unlocking your business's full potential, especially if you have great products, too.