Boost Your Profits With These 13 Top Shopify Marketing Strategies

March 31, 2023

Top Shopify Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Sales shopify marketing strategies

Creating an ecommerce store is easier than it’s ever been. Aspiring merchants can go to a platform like Shopify and spin up a new store within the day. It’s incredible.

Yet, finding ecommerce success comes down to more than just having a store. You need to get people to that store, and those people need to be the right people.

That’s marketing, baby!

For Shopify merchants, marketing is a multifaceted thing. You can’t rely on a single marketing channel to drive the traffic you need. Your shoppers find products in many ways and you need to be discoverable in those places.

In this post we’ll cover:

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What is Shopify marketing?

Shopify marketing is an umbrella term for the strategies merchants use to drive traffic to and increase conversions from their Shopify store.

Top Shopify stores use a variety of marketing channels to get the attention of customers from the top of the funnel to the bottom, allowing them to attract more new customers and keep existing customers coming back.

The best marketing strategies for Shopify brands will depend on the brand itself (i.e., the products it sells, the target customer, the region it operates in, and so on).

Finding the right mix of strategies for marketing on Shopify is all about doing the work to understand these vital details about your brand.

You gotta do some soul-searching before you start your marketing.

What to do before building your Shopify marketing strategy

While you might want to just dive in head-first to start seeing results, the success of your marketing approach will depend on doing some vital pre-work.

Here’s what you need to do before firing up all those new marketing channels.

Identify your target audience and sales journey

woman buyer persona shopify marketing strategies
Image: IconScout

Knowing who’s most likely to buy your wares is vital to developing a meaningful marketing strategy. Otherwise, you’re just throwing darts and hoping they hit.

For whatever you are selling, there’s an audience.

To ensure your marketing is targeting them, you need to build buyer personas. This sort of market research goes deep into what these shoppers like, their pain points, where they consume media, how much they make, and so much more.

Going even further, you can keep going by mapping the customer journey so that you understand every touch point throughout the lifecycle of your customers (from awareness of your brand to loyalty to it).

Define your brand identity and style

woman painting shopify marketing strategies
Image: IconScout

Once you know your ideal customers, you can ensure your brand identity is in line with what they like and that it is consistent across all touch points.

Thriving DTC brands go through refreshes all the time, so even if your brand identity is set, it can always change to match the moment.

As you assess what your brand should look like, take color psychology into account, as it has real effects on what consumers feel about your brand (subconsciously, even).

High brand equity—the customer’s perceived value of your business—can’t be achieved right out of the gate, but the decisions you make will have a massive effect on this. So, start strong with powerful colors and design decisions.

Build a brand style guide to keep your marketing consistent no matter the channel. Hippy Feet has done a stellar job of this with their own guide, complete with color schemes, typography, and more.

hippy feet color scheme shopify marketing strategies
Hippy Feet keeps it consistent with a clear brand color scheme for all marketing assets

Set clear marketing goals and what channels to focus on

Finally, you need to know what you want to achieve with your DTC marketing and what your own limitations are in achieving it.

woman metrics marketing shopify marketing strategies
Image: IconScout

Your goals can and will change, but you have to start somewhere.

For instance, when first laying out goals for your marketing campaigns, they may look like this:

  • Increase organic traffic by X%
  • Boost conversion rates to X% on product pages
  • Reduce customer churn by X%
  • Increase email open rate by X%

When choosing your numbers, you want something aspirational but achievable. What we call ‘stretch goals’. Learn more about the best metrics to track for ecommerce brands.

Just as there is a limit to the amount of monthly growth that’s possible for your brand, there’s also a limit to how much marketing your team can actually do. That’s why you need to decide what marketing channels to focus on.

With great buyer personas, you’ll have a good idea of where your ideal customer hangs out and how they consume media.

Choose your marketing channels based on that, so you can put all your effort into what’ll‌ have an impact for your brand.

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The 13 Best Shopify marketing strategies for growing your brand

Now that you’ve put in the work to understand your customer, their journey, and the marketing channels that’ll drive conversions, let’s look at all the strategies you might use to see results.

Since you may already have a clear idea of the channels you’ll use, you can skip to those specific strategies in this list.

#cta-paragraph-pb#There are some stellar Shopify marketing tools that can help you as you build out your strategies. Check out the best Shopify apps out there for growing your store (like Shogun Page Builder, for instance).

1. Build compelling landing pages

No matter the type of marketing campaign, landing pages should be on the other side of the click.

Think about it: your campaigns have specific messaging for each channel’s audience, so it only makes sense to keep your messaging targeted once they smash that call-to-action, right?

illustration landing page shopify marketing strategies

And ecommerce landing pages are as various as the campaigns you are running, with design and copy seamlessly adapting to fit the purpose—whether it’s announcing an upcoming special offer, gauging interest for a new product line, or explaining the benefits of a subscription program.

Your homepage, while essential, just can’t do what your landing pages can do.

Landing pages yield big benefits, such as:

  • Higher conversion rates. Since landing pages are specifically built to drive one action and have highly targeted messaging, they end up converting at much higher rates than other pages.
  • Increased organic traffic. By using targeted messaging, landing pages are also great for SEO. The copy can go after high-volume keywords that their ideal customer would use, driving free traffic to the page.
  • Better quality leads. Once again, their targeted nature guarantees that the users that end up on the landing page will be the right type of customer for your brand.

Luckily, we have great resources for brands wanting to level up their landing page game:

2. Optimize your store for SEO

Every page on your online store has the chance to rank on Google (and the other search engines).

If someone searches for ‘blue mongolian cashmere beanie’ on Google and you sell blue Mongolian cashmere beanies, your product page should pop up somewhere for them.

cashmere beanie search shopify marketing strategies

That’s ecommerce SEO strategy.

There are a whole host of commercial intent keywords that your brand should be optimizing for. That way you can pull in that high-intent free organic traffic and reap the conversions that come with it.

Keyword research is essential for ecommerce brands.

Use a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to build lists of the product-based keywords with the highest monthly search volume, then optimize your title tags, product descriptions, and meta descriptions to target them (just not too much).

You’ll need these tools for the next thing we’ll cover too.

But, SEO is more than just keywords. It’s also about site architecture, page speed, links from other sites, and user experience. Get it all right and you’ll be rewarded with more traffic and higher conversion rates.

Learn more about optimizing your store for more of that sweet free traffic in our guide to Shopify SEO.

3. Grow top-of-funnel traffic with content marketing

Ecommerce stores don’t need to limit themselves to the commercial side of SEO, though.

This fact is made clear by checking out the blogs of popular Shopify stores like Rumpl, Nuun, and Dēpology. Their content marketing efforts with stellar blog posts are strong and this drives their top-of-funnel traffic.

branch turn key blog shopify marketing strategies
Branch does a great job of creating content that aligns with their product offering

A staggering 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, according to BrightEdge, so having a content marketing strategy in place is no small thing.

As opposed to product page SEO, content marketing aims to answer the bigger questions that your ideal customer may be asking. They might not buy something right away, but you want to be the one they turn to when that time comes.

So, you become the authority on the topic.

Take Nuun, for example. They sell fizzy hydrating drink tablets. So, their audience is serious about health, exercise, and nutrition. Thus, their blog is hyper-focused on answering all questions around nutrition, hydration, and physical activity.

This is where tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush really shine.

Brands can research the most popular questions and topics in their niche and come out with tons of content ideas that can translate to significant traffic gains.

4. Run paid Shopify advertising campaigns

Paid ecommerce advertising can be intimidating, but it works.

No matter how new your brand is, you can create an advertisement that gets seen by thousands of people right away. And, as long as your ads are great, you’ll start seeing results ASAP.

Again, with your trusty buyer personas at the ready, you can narrow in on exactly the type of people you want to show your ads to, enabling you to contain costs and boost your return on investment.

You can run super effective social ads on Meta properties like Facebook and Instagram, leveraging the platform’s deep well of user data to target specific demographics.

See great examples of awesome Facebook and Instagram ads from real (cool) brands.

olipop facebook ad shopify marketing strategies
Olipop crushes it with their social media ads

Or you can use Google to run search ads based on right-fit keywords for your products, display ads that run on millions of partner sites, or Google Shopping ads that drive traffic directly to product pages.

Every brand will find different strategies for building the perfect ad, but a universally effective tactic for driving clicks is to add testimonials into your ads to show how much your customers love you.

5. Implement smarter email marketing campaigns

If you’ve ever wondered why so many DTC brands offer a discount for handing over your email address, it’s because email marketing drives revenue.

The ROI is huge! One study from Litmus found that brands get a $36 return for every dollar spent. Other studies have shown even bigger returns, too.

But, you can’t just hammer people with emails and hope they click and buy. You need a strategy that respects their inbox (and doesn’t land you in their spam folder).

Must-have best practices include:

  • Proper segmentation and personalization (but not so much that it’s creepy)
  • Use smart automation for drip campaigns that hit at the right time
  • Optimize for mobile as that’s where the email opens happen
fishwife email shopify marketing strategies
Fishwife sends you emails you want to read

#cta-paragraph-pb#Get inspiration from 10 really effective email marketing examples, which represent everything from welcome and nurture missives to discount and product announcements.

Yet, whatever you do inside your emails, you’ll need to get subscribers to open them in the first place.

To make sure they find their way to your message, you’ll need to implement tactics to boost your newsletter open rates, such as writing compelling subject lines and paying attention to that preview text.

Finally, how you design your emails matters. Build consistency across your emails that’s informed by your brand guidelines as well as your voice and tone.

If you want a resource to get you started, check out our ebook full of 11 free email templates and tips for success. Say goodbye to all those abandoned carts!

6. Get personal with potential customers on social media

The online commons that is social media is full of your potential customers.

You just have to start posting things they like (and at the right time for them). Not to keep beating this drum, but your buyer persona is going to lead you once again to the best strategy.

Persistent posting of the right things is going to build your following, which will build your brand awareness and social engagement.

barebones instagram post shopify marketing strategies
Barebones Living interacting with their followers on Instagram

Through Twitter threads, Instagram Stories, Facebook Groups, regular posts with great hashtags, and the frequent UGC highlight, you’ll start seeing your fans interact with your brand in a more personal way.

Because social media enables them to relate to your brand in a way that your other marketing doesn’t. You’ve gained conversational depth suddenly!

These followers are your ideal customers, so you can use your socials to broadcast your cool new products and upcoming sales promos to an audience who cares. By linking to dedicated social landing pages, you can maintain the right tone and encourage them to convert.

Plus, you can even integrate your gorgeous Instagram feed on your store pages, adding a bit of social proof and visual flare to your already well-optimized pages (right?).

7. Integrate customer reviews across your store

Underestimate the impact of customer opinion at your own peril.

What your customers think about your brand will be far more impactful in capturing potential customers than a witty ad slogan. But, we do love a good slogan.

the ridge reviews shopify marketing strategies
The Ridge’s review section is just drowning in stars and pleased customers

93% of customers read customer reviews before buying a product, so not featuring all your amazing product reviews means you are leaving cash on the table (I mean, who does that?).

Grab that cash off the table by adding your product reviews to all the most impactful pages (product pages, of course, but also on those various landing pages and your homepage).

But, reviews show up in various forms, such as:

  • Customer stories and testimonials
  • Video and image reviews
  • Social media posts
  • Third-party review sites
  • Media publications

Which means you can’t just slap a review request form on your site and call it good. It takes a bit more finesse than that. But, it’ll be worth it.

Look at these awesome customer review examples to see why it matters so much.

8. Reward existing customers with loyalty and referral programs

Customers exist on a continuum from ‘haven’t heard of you yet’ to ‘tells everyone about you,’ but many brands forget to nurture the latter in favor of attracting the former.

It’s great to get more customers in the gate, but the real money lies in keeping your existing customers around and turning them into giant fans of you.

As mentioned above, people trust the earnest opinion of your fans (and detractors) way more than your marketing messages. Sad, but true.

nuun rewards program shopify marketing strategies
Nuun adds a gamification aspect to being a regular customer

By rewarding customers for their loyalty, you can help them become even more invested in your brand (and, in turn, the people they know). There are many types of loyalty programs you can choose from.

For instance, you could offer loyalty points for frequent shoppers or give big discounts for referring friends and family.

Tying it in with growing your customer reviews, you could reward customers for leaving reviews and boosting your brand online. That way, you’re not only rewarding them for their loyalty but also getting them to promote your brand.

Each brand is different, so how they build out their customer loyalty program will vary. Once you find the best version for your brand, you can start growing your dugout of loyal fans and increasing sales.

9. Expand into social selling and marketplaces

People can buy from so many places these days, it can be limiting to only sell from your online store.

Social platforms already have millions of people on them, ready to do commerce. So why not extend the ability to shop and buy to Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shops?

dirtea instagram shop shopify marketing strategies
DIRTEA has a whole Instagram Shopping experience that shoots you to the product page for checkout

We’ve covered how easy it is to integrate these social platforms into your Shopify store:

You can also expand your reach to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Etsy.

These ecommerce marketplaces give you access to a huge built-in customer base. Plus, you can capitalize on the trust people have in these marketplaces. By setting up shop on them, you can increase your sales and customer retention.

10. Get conversational with SMS and chat marketing

People want to know that they are supported. In ecommerce, nothing makes that support more clear than having your trusty chatbot within eyesight.

When friction points come up for shoppers, they can easily remove obstacles with a simple chat.

This can either be via an AI chatbot, live chat, or a mixture of the two (AI handing off to a real person when necessary). This type of conversational commerce helps brands build more trusting relationships with their customers.

fly by jing sms shopify marketing strategies
Image: Fantastic Texts

Once customers have opted in, SMS marketing can be an extremely effective channel for nurturing them into future purchases.

This direct access to the computers in their pockets is a huge opportunity to keep them in the know about sales and products (without bugging them into blocking you).

Compared to email marketing (which we’ve established as having quite an impressive ROI), SMS messages enjoy incredibly high open rates (as high as 98% vs email’s ~20% average).

11. Partner with influencers and brands

One way to get in front of the right people is to partner with the influencers and brands they already follow.

Influencers on platforms like Instagram have made it their job to build a following so that brands like yours can pay them to market to their niche audience in an authentic way.

And, there are influencers for every type of product and with every level of followership—from the nano-influencers with between 1,000-10,000 followers to the mega-influencers with a million or more.

Shopify understands the value of influencer marketing, which is why they’ve built their own service called Shopify Collabs for managing influencer programs.

Brands like Rumpl build collaboration landing pages to highlight their partnerships with small artists across the country. They have a constantly rotating series of uniquely designed blankets that appeal to niche communities and create a diverse customer base.

rumpl solo collab shopify marketing strategies
Image: Rumpl

You can also partner with other brands that have a similar audience (but don’t directly compete with you). Rumpl demonstrates this well with their Solo Stove collab, wherein their two products live in perfect harmony.

12. Showcase your social proof

Leveraging your customers’ good opinions about you goes further than adding their reviews to your store pages. There are other forms of social proof that you can take advantage of.

This can come in the form of expert or celebrity endorsements, product review articles, and user-generated content (UGC).

Your creativity can come into play here as you find fun and compelling ways to showcase all the love you get. Here are some examples:

  • Add a sliding carousel of quotes from notable people with their headshots
  • Include an Instagram feed with all the UGC your customers create
  • Build a section with logos from publications that have praised your products
bleame social proof shopify marketing strategies
Bleame creates a collage of glowing customer quotes

UGC is one of the most compelling pieces of social proof since it is often a visual asset.

Ecommerce brands put out the call on Instagram or TikTok for their fans to show off their products with a specific hashtag. This makes it easy to build an ongoing repository of video and photo UGC for use in your various marketing campaigns—be they social reposting or paid ads.

Once you have a constant stream of social proof coming in, it’s vital to get that in front of as many eyes as possible. You can even add these gems to your checkout experience!

13. Design product pages for conversions

At the end of the journey are your lovely product pages, so obviously they should be designed for maximum conversion potential.

That means incredible photos that show your product from every angle and what it looks like in use, product videos that help bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping, and product descriptions that are exciting and easy to read, among other things.

great jones product page shopify marketing strategies
A truly gorgeous product page from Great Jones

With Shopify as the biggest ecommerce platform out there, many brands’ product pages are bound to look the same, a consequence of using similar cookie-cutter themes.

So, it makes sense to break out of that generic world with product pages that sport elevated designs. How else are shoppers going to remember you amidst the parade of Shopify stores?

Learning how to create awesome Shopify product pages helps you finish strong in the sales funnel. Just think if you did all the work to get your customers to this point and they bounced.

Not great.

So, take some hints from our tips on building awesome landing pages (scroll back up to #1, if you forgot) and break out of the usual product page format to focus on converting instead.

A few resources:

Grow your Shopify store with the right tactics

Your Shopify store is only as good as the strategies you use to get people to it and into the checkout.

While every one of the marketing strategies above won’t be for every store, you can pick and choose the ones that best fit your target audience. By implementing some of these strategies and tracking your progress (tweaking as you go), you’re sure to increase conversions and revenue.

Remember that even the most popular stores were once just grasping for the right strategies to propel them to ecommerce success.

By putting in the effort, you too can scale your business (and get featured alongside the greats).

 

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Maximize your conversions with powerful landing pages<cta-title>Take advantage of our easy-to-use builder to create high-converting landing pages tailored to your audience’s needs.Start designing now

Sean Flannigan

Sean is one of Shogun's tireless content marketers. When he isn't creating exciting ecommerce content, he's probably biking or at the park.

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