eCommerce platforms like Shopify have made it unbelievably convenient for literally anyone to set up their online shopping destination. You need absolutely no technical knowledge to open up your inventory to online shoppers and start selling.
However, if you’ve just started out, getting high volumes of traffic to your Shopify store does not come as easily.
While there are tons of resources the internet has to offer around eCommerce marketing strategies, finding one with revenue as the ultimate goal for your shopify business is rare to find.
In this guide, we take you through some eCommerce marketing tactics that your growth strategy needs in 2021.
We’re pretty sure that owing to the hype around some practices online, you’re probably missing out on the most important ones - those that drive more sales! So read slowly, and carefully!
Oh and one more thing - most of these tactics don’t require hiring a marketing person. You can implement them on your own with the help of many smart Shopify apps.
15 Shopify marketing strategies to drive shoppers to your store
1. Put your marketing strategy on autopilot
As a platform, Shopify allows you to automate most of your tasks with the help of Shopify apps and integrations. This lets you focus on scaling your business while manual, operational, or repetitive tasks are taken care of on their own.
Some of the things you shouldn’t miss automating for better marketing, include:
- Cart recovery campaigns - Bring back shoppers who added products to the cart but never completed the purchase with automated reminders over email, web push, SMS or even Facebook Messenger. You can do this with the help of Shopify cart recovery apps like TxtCart for SMS recovery, Firepush for automated web push notifications, CareCart for email reminders and Recart for sending the same on Messenger.
- Customer engagement - Keep your store visitors and subscribers engaged by automating retargeting, remarketing and communication over emails, web push and other channels. Right from welcome emails to product updates, there are more than one Shopify apps to do it all!
- Promoting new products on social media - You can integrate your Shopify store Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to share your products on social media with a single click. Additionally , you can set up Facebook and Instagram shops using Shopify apps to automatically update your inventory on the social platforms and make it available for selling.
- Internal communication and program management - By integrating your Shopify store with apps such as Slack, Trello, Google sheets/docs, Airtable, and every other app you use for program management, internal communication, or collaboration; you can keep track of your cross-functional projects, sales and marketing activities, customer management, and so much more.
2. Pin your latest products
Pinterest is actively used by a lot of young adults to browse literally anything in the world. It is rightfully termed a “goldmine of ideas”. However, Pinterest users are also open to discovering new products or brands and this is an opportunity brands barely leverage.
Leverage the behaviour of these idea-seeking internet users to drive traffic to your Shopify store. Create appealing images of products, infographics or simply show a product-in-use, sharing it on Pinterest, to reach them.
You can create moodboards, lookbooks and so much more on Pinterest based on the types of products you sell. Considering that pinners are 70% more likely to engage with products in scenes, it is just about getting your strategy right.
To ensure that you’re able to reach your audience, also include the following in your pins:
- Install the Pinterest app on your Shopify store
- A catchy title that describes your product/ collection
- An enticing description of the product (include BTS, making or details)
- Hashtags that best describe your image
- Link to the web page where the user can find more details of the product discovered
- Use product tags to encourage website visits and shorten the purchase cycle
- Leverage Pinterest stories to expand the reach of your pins
- Optimize your Pinterest profile with your store URL as well as a description of your brand
- Make sure you rock your brand on all media files
3. Put your website on the map with SEO
About 60% of online shopping journeys start from the search engines. This means you need to be present for the right kind of searches at the right moment.
Most eCommerce store owners believe search engine optimization is possible only when they’re creating blogs actively. That’s not true!
You need to make sure all your landing pages, product pages, homepage, collection pages and even the temporary sale pages are SEO friendly as well so they rank for the relevant keywords. For instance, if you’re running a sale for BFCM, your sale page needs to be optimized for keywords like ‘BFCM deals’ etc.
When creating an SEO strategy for your Shopify store, be sure to:
- Target more top of the funnel keywords as they have higher search volumes than highly specific ones
- Focus on long tail keywords too as they are most likely to be used by shoppers with high purchase intent
- Focus on site speed so that high load times don’t become a reason for drop offs and lower search rankings
- Optimize all your site images for search so they show up in case someone is looking just at the images section
- Make use of the built-in SEO features of Shopify like setting up URL structure, adding meta title and description of each page, including ALT text for all images
- Be as descriptive as you can while writing product descriptions as they are likely to cover a huge number of relevant keywords
- Interlink all possible product and category pages of your site with one another
4. Invest in community marketing
Very often, community marketing is confused with social media marketing. But It is actually a strategy wherein brands engage with their customers or potential customers on online communities and groups that comprise enthusiasts of a relevant subject.
These communities could be on subreddits, Facebook groups, Quora, community blogs, or anywhere else on the internet.
For example, if you make and sell candles, being a part of such groups could really help reach customers faster:
By regularly posting informative content that is valuable to the relevant community members, you can also build a good brand reputation. When people trust you, you sell more!
Moreover, it costs literally nothing and can drive a significant amount of word-of-mouth sales for your Shopify store.
5. Turn customers into a sales force with referrals
92% of consumers trust word of mouth - recommendations from their friends and family. Simply put, your customers getting you more customers is the best Shopify marketing strategy.
A referral program is essentially where your customers get reward points or store credits for referring your store to their friends or family members. Of course, they get rewarded only when the referred buyer makes an interaction with your Shopify store in the form of a sign up or a purchase.
Here’s a simple example of a referral campaign:
The good thing about this marketing strategy is that it doesn’t cost you much. At the same time, it also drives traffic that is more likely to convert into a sale to your store.
Setting up a referral program on your Shopify store is pretty easy. There are a number of apps that can help you get everything in place. One of the most commonly used one being ReferralCandy. Right from tracking the number of referrals to the conversions on the referrals, rewards given out and redeemed, the app enables you to do it all.
A few things that you need to ensure to succeed at referral marketing being:
- Understand what would motivate your customers to refer your store to others
- Ensure a great shopping and product experience
- Make the program easy to participate in
- Ensure you promote your program actively across all channels
6. Encourage more user-generated content
The advantages of user-generated content are twofold. First, you get a repository of authentic, unique content that you don’t even need to create.
Second, customers creating content around your brand is another form of both social proof and recommendation.
User generated content helps drive more brand awareness, reach more buyers and keep you alive on social platforms.
You can invite user-generated content in various forms. It could be through videos where they showcase how they have been using the product, detailed reviews on social media, entries for a contest or giveaway, or even comments on your social posts.
Here’s an example:
Infact, you can drive purchases through user generated content by making these posts shoppable with Shopify apps like Cevoid.
The app lets you easily invite your customers to share pictures and videos through after-purchase emails, direct links and even QR codes. It makes it easier for them to upload their content through an easy to use upload form, and lets you choose what you want to display and how across your store site pages.
7. Launch a Facebook store for your brand
Facebook can be leveraged for far more than just social media marketing. You can even allow your Facebook followers to shop from your store while using the platform. All you need to do is use the Facebook shop feature and integrate it with your store.
This will make your entire catalog available on Facebook and will also help you manage inventory efficiently.
Now, there are multiple benefits to setting up a Facebook store. The primary one being you don't have to rely solely on on-site traffic for sales. By sharing more valuable content on Facebook and growing your following organically, you can get more visitors to explore your catalog and make a purchase without having to redirect them to your site.
Apart from allowing you to reach a larger customer base, Facebook shop enables you to build a much stronger brand identity and improve your brand awareness and recall.
Don't forget, Facebook has over 2.6 billion monthly active users as of 2021 and you don't want to miss out on an opportunity to be able to influence their purchase decision.
To set up your Facebook shop, here’s what you need to do:
- If you haven't installed the Facebook channel, then install the channel
- Select Facebook Shop as the first feature that you want to set up for your store
- If you already have the channel installed, Facebook Shop feature is available on the Facebook channel Overview page
- If you have Instagram Shopping set up, you can activate Facebook shop by clicking Activate in the Facebook Shop section of the Overview page
- If you have previously set up Facebook Marketing, you will need to connect a Facebook Commerce Manager account to the Facebook channel to activate the feature by clicking Start setup in the Facebook Shop section
- Connect the required Facebook assets for your shop
- Select or choose your data sharing settings
- Accept Facebook’s terms and conditions to submit for review
Typically, it takes up to 48 hours for Facebook to review your products and approve the store. When the review is complete, you will be notified via email and in your Shopify admin dashboard.
8. Make your Instagram feed shoppable
Just like Facebook, you can set up an Instagram store as well. This means that Instagram users can shop from your catalog while simply using the platform.
All you need to do is set up your business account on Instagram, add relevant details, and link to your Shopify store. Post that, you must connect your Instagram handle to your Facebook page, upload your product catalog, turn on the shopping feature, and voila!
You are all set to start using product tags in your posts and videos to open them up for sale on your Instagram store.
Here’s what it’ll look like:
You can even include products from your catalog in your Instagram stories by selecting the relevant stickers from the sticker tray. This allows your followers to click on your story and shop for their favorite products.
Instagram is our go-to platform for visual inspiration in all walks of life. With most of us spending over 53 minutes per day on the platform, we believe this is one Shopify marketing strategy you shouldn’t miss!
9. Get back to texting your shoppers
With open rates as exceptionally high as 98%, SMS marketing is one of the most effective communication channels for businesses today.
The total number of mobile phone owners across the world is increasing as you read this and so are online shoppers. Customers today prefer receiving transactional SMSes as they are short, direct, and convey the message in the minimum time possible.
And they don’t even have to login or go online to consume the message.
But make sure you’re as frugal and strategic about using this platform. Automate your cart recovery campaigns on SMS, but make sure that your one-time promotional campaigns are timed in such a way that they don’t “bother” the subscriber.
10. Start leveraging the demand for good content
76% of B2C marketers are leveraging content marketing today to reach their target customers.
With the need to consume information before making a purchase decision, increasing by the day, it’s time eCommerce marketers focused on content marketing.
This is a tactic where you go beyond your product descriptions to highlight the benefits of your products, what’s different about your collections, your brand story and how you will be adding value to the consumer.
For example, creating lookbooks on season’s trends if you’re a fashion brand is a subtle way to introduce fashion-first consumers to explore your range.
Similarly, if you’re a health and wellness brand, educating your consumers about common concerns is a great way to show you know what you’re doing. This leads them to trusting your brand and hence your products, leading to more sales.
But content marketing only works when you:
- Know who your customers are and what they’re looking for online
- Create content with a consumer-first approach consistently
- Focus on optimizing your content with the right keywords (phrases that people use to look for products they want to buy)
- Create different types of content - blogs, lookbooks, videos and more
Here’s an example of a food subscription brand leveraging blogs to entice customers:
You can even experiment with podcasts to tap into the audio-first consumers:
11. Launch an irresistible loyalty program
Many businesses believe a loyalty program needs to be implemented when they have a set number of customers in their base.
You need to have a loyalty program in place right from the start to ensure your existing customers don’t walk away from you. Even better - they keep coming back to your store to make more purchases.
A loyalty program is one where your customers sign up to receive reward points or store credits every time they make a purchase from you. The great thing about loyalty programs is that they are extremely effective in driving repeat purchases. In fact, as many as 75% of customers would choose brands that offer rewards over those that don't.
That’s one way to ensure consistent traffic to your Shopify store!
However, when crafting a loyalty program, make sure it is not complicated or invaluable for customers. They will immediately see through programs that are not really meant to benefit them.
Reward every integration like signing up for a newsletter, making the first purchase, sharing their reviews, tagging your brand on social media, and other little actions to get maximum participation.
12. Get on trends with Instagram Reels and TikToks
If you’ve been shying away from creating videos, it’s time to snap right out of it. With Instagram Reels and TikToks, you really don’t need to invest heavily in shooting product videos, how-to guides or even fun content for your Shopify store.
You can create micro-videos using the native features of the two apps easily. All you need is a smartphone, a close watch on the trends that people are following and of course, clarity on what you want to show your audience.
For example, you can create a little video to share more about your brand. All you need to do is shoot some of your products, workspace or even yourself to create a little Reel around it!
Similarly, if you’re on TikTok, take a look at what’s trending. For instance, the “into the 00’s pop stars” trend, has gotten users to share their style statements from back in the days. If you’re a fashion and apparel brand, this is your chance to shine!
13. Collect high-intent subscribers in a fun way
You want to know more about your audience and their needs. But asking them too many questions is going nowhere. Nobody has the time to fill out extensive forms or explain what they need in detail. They’d rather look for a brand who seems to ‘get them’ already.
But one way to get your audience to open up and also capture them as subscribers is to run quizzes and polls.
For example, Care/of knows how sensitive the visitors on their store are towards making health-related purchases. So they start off by getting to know them better, asking them to make a small commitment by taking the quiz.
The quiz then walks them through a series of questions that helps the brand understand what they need and where they are in the purchase cycle.
Once a visitor completes the quiz, they recommend products accordingly, making the consumer feel cared for.
Similarly, if you’re launching a new collection, you can run a poll on your Instagram account to get people talking, discussing and sharing their opinion on your products.
You can even build targeted lists with this marketing strategy!
14. Create an Instagram filter for your brand
Instagram filters is one of the most used features of the platform. From selfies in the Stories to posts, Reels, IGTV videos and more, everyone is using Instagram filters to enhance the look and feel of the visuals.
If you’re a little aesthetically inclined or are someone who can create presets, you can actually design your own Instagram filter and let users do the marketing for you. The simple ‘made by’ tag will get the word going as more users use your filter, driving more people to your profile and eventually, your store!
You can read about how to create an Instagram filter, in this step-by-step guide, here.
For instance, Kylie Jenner kills two birds with one stone. A filter that gets the word around and a try-on of their lipstick collection.
15. Collaborate with other brands
Most brands believe that the other business is competition. But the truth is, you can actually cross-market one another and reach more consumers with collaborations.
For example, if you're a fashion and apparel brand, you’re obviously posting a number of lookbooks to inspire trends. To complete the look, you’re also wearing footwear that goes with the outfit.
Now if your brand doesn’t sell footwear, you can actually collaborate with a brand that does!
Black Milk Clothing, for instance, includes the brands they’re making use of in their lookbooks by including a quick link to them in the FAQs section of the product.
Here the footwear the model is wearing is from another brand. So they co-promote it by simply adding a subtle question and answer in the FAQ section:
“OMG, where are those shoes from?
If I had a dollar for every time we get asked this question… I’d be a millionaire. And yes the shoes we use are amazing and are supplied by our BFFs at Solestruck.”
Which Shopify marketing strategy Works Best for You?
When it comes to marketing your brand online, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
So we recommend getting to know your customers better, understanding what they expect from your brand and implementing tactics that entice their interests.
Another great way to see what works for you is to test strategies one by one. Measure the impact of every little thing you implement before taking on something new!