As an online business on Shopify, it is only natural to want to increase traffic and revenue with an effective Shopify marketing strategy. However, with a plethora of eCommerce marketing strategies and companies out there, attempting to improve sales can be a more complicated process than just creating product descriptions and photos. In order to effectively market your online company, you need a systematic approach and a well-thought marketing strategy that covers all critical elements of your online store operations.
Consumer preferences fluctuate, circumstances shift, and first-time experiments don’t always work as anticipated. Of course, the goal of a marketing plan isn’t to develop a foolproof, step-by-step guide. It’s to have a strategy to help you achieve the best-case scenario while also being realistic about your expectations and having contingency plans in place in case something goes wrong.
This article will delve into some critical Shopify marketing strategies to market your Shopify store and increase online sales. Before that, let us go into more detail about why you need a marketing strategy.
Why you need a Shopify marketing strategy
Without a well-developed strategy, it would be impossible to know whether you’ve arrived at your objective (achieved your sales targets) or whether your sales strategies are working.
A strong marketing strategy will guide you in measuring your company’s reach and sales potential. With a detailed strategy, you’ll have measurable targets to aim for. What can’t be measured can’t be managed.
And what isn’t planned cannot be implemented well.
If making money is the reason you started your Shopify store in the first place, you’ll need a great marketing approach.
A marketing strategy, by definition, is a business plan that aids in the promotion of a company’s goods or services to attract new clients and retain strong relationships with current ones.
Let’s face it: creating a Shopify store takes less than two minutes. Anyone can do it.
With over 800,000 stores powered by Shopify in 2022, you should expect plenty of competition. As a result, having a great marketing plan for your Shopify eCommerce store puts you ahead of all those that count on the best but don’t have a strategy.
Why marketing plans fail and how to fix it
You can have the best intentions to implement a new marketing strategy. However, as previously mentioned, platform algorithms change, plans go awry, and global pandemics disrupt even the most well-laid plans.
Let’s take a deeper glance at some of the typical reasons marketing campaigns fail and some tips on how to avoid it.
1) Overconfidence bias
Overconfidence bias is a term used to describe the human tendency to exaggerate our abilities. This is evident in American driving surveys. 93% of the people surveyed claim to have above-average driving skills, which is statistically impossible.
Marketers are subjected to the same fate. We overestimate our abilities, resulting in impossible and unrealistic marketing goals.
If you’ve ever executed a marketing effort that was a complete failure, figure out why. One possibility is that you overestimated the campaign’s ROI. In fact, this is a strong possibility if there was no severe crisis, the way COVID-19 forced many retailers to shut down their outlets.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to eliminate overconfidence bias, but there are actions we can take to ensure that our marketing strategies aren’t doomed to fail.
The first rule is to keep your expectations low. It’s admirable to be self-assured, but high expectations frequently lead to disappointment when targets are not met. In a marketing plan, disappointment is amplified since stakeholders or founders have already invested in false assumptions.
Any previous data can be used to model your forecasts. If you know your Facebook ad click-through rate is 0.1%, don’t deviate too much from that with your Facebook marketing strategy. The same is true for search-engine-optimized website content: increasing your monthly Google traffic from 10,000 to 1 million is difficult. The 50,000-visitor mark is a more reasonable and realistic target.
2) Going broad vs. going deep
Tactical marketing hell is a real problem that many eCommerce marketers face. It happens when you’re doing everything you can to enhance your conversion rate, like running Facebook advertising, tweeting nonstop, producing daily blog entries to boost your SEO, and making regular updates to your site.
If you’re lucky, one of those strategies will bring your startup steady traffic and sales. However, attempting to do everything at once is likely to keep you working round the clock with little to show. Instead, you’re left with a nagging question in the back of your mind: Is there anything I haven’t tried yet that could help?
One way of solving the issue is by implying the Pareto Principle.
The Pareto principle states that 20% of your actions produce 80% of your results. When it comes to marketing, most firms find that the majority of their existing consumers come from a few key sources.
Return to your audience study and select the three most popular channels your target audience uses. Spend the majority of your time honing those before adding other channels to the mix to make things more complicated.
How to create an effective marketing plan
What should a realistic marketing plan look like? Here are the five main elements of a marketing strategy, along with suggestions for how to create each one to ensure your plan’s success.
1) Executive summary
The first page of a marketing plan is an executive summary, which summarizes the strategy you’re about to provide. Think of it as an elevator pitch that condenses the most important details, such as:
- Business details
- Products/services being marketed
- Mission statement
- Marketing goals
- Budget and projections
- Marketing team
2) Market research
What’s the most common mistake marketers make while putting together a marketing strategy? Making assumptions. The final result is a marketing strategy that fails to generate income.
Keep an eye out for overconfidence bias in this situation. While statistics alone won’t provide you with a perfect strategy, every assumption you make adds to the amount of uncertainty you’re dealing with. If an incredible strategy has a 40% chance of standing up in real-world settings, a plan built on assumptions might only generate results 10% of the time. Is it worth it to build a plan for a 10% probability of success?
You need to look at marketing analytics, social media audiences, and customer surveys to see what information you already have about your customers. In this way, you can identify whom you aim to reach and the triggers that will lead them to choose your offering over that of a competitor.
Consult your buyer personas to learn as much as you can about the people who buy your items, from demographic information (location, age, and income level) to the channels they use to find new products.
Make sure you don’t mix your buyer personas up with your target market. A toy brand’s target demographic would be children, whereas the buyer persona would be their parents.
Additionally, you need to conduct a SWOT analysis to learn about your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Remind yourself of the company’s unique selling proposition or product (USP). Create a marketing strategy that revolves around each USP.
3) Marketing strategy
In this portion of your marketing plan, you need to define the strategies you’ll utilize to spread the word. A marketing strategy can be divided into channels, formats, and messaging.
The platforms you’ll use as part of your marketing strategy are channels. Return to your target market research and learn about the online and offline outlets via which they are entertained, inspired, or shop.
The most popular channels for eCommerce business are:
- Social Media Marketing. 53.6% of the population uses social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are (on the whole) free to use and help brands to reach their target demographic. That’s why 70% of marketers intend to enhance the importance of social media in their marketing strategy.
- Search Engines. Search engines are used by nearly half of all internet customers to begin their investigation. You can reach people who are actively looking for your products or services by optimizing your website for SEO.
- Email Marketing & SMS. The inbox of a prospective client is one of the most hallowed places you can visit. If your target market opts to hear from you, a phone number or email address grants you a direct line of communication.
- Podcasts. Record interactions with your staff, customers, or industry experts to reach the six out of ten Americans who listen to podcasts.
- Offline Channels. Offline media such as word-of-mouth, radio, billboard, and television advertising can help you reach people when they aren’t online.
Declare if you want to use each channel organically or with advertising as part of your marketing strategy. Most channels allow businesses to broadcast sponsored content, which will reach your target market via online and physical channels such as social media, television, billboards, radio, and more.
There’s a sweet spot when it comes to how many channels your marketing strategy should contain. You’re at risk if you grow overly reliant on one channel. If you spread your brand messaging too thin, you’ll end up wasting money on channels that yield unsatisfactory results.
Algorithms power the majority of digital marketing channels. They’re lauded for providing users with individualized experiences. However, any modifications to an algorithm might render marketing plans completely useless overnight.
Think about Facebook, for example. Brands put lots of effort into increasing their Facebook audience a decade ago. When marketers submitted new material to a company’s Facebook page, they were nearly sure to reach the brand’s fans. Facebook then modified its algorithm to push more businesses to pay for advertising. As a result, marketers may expect to reach only 5.2% of the page’s prospective client base.
Define which content types you’ll employ to draw attention and drive visitors to your website for each channel. This could involve the following:
- Audio. Audio content can be used to reach out to podcast and radio listeners.
- Images. Use infographics, GIFs, and memes to capture visual learners on visually dominant social networking sites.
- Video. With short “how-to” videos and product demos, you can get listed on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine. Many social media companies, including Instagram and TikTok, are now shifting their focus to video content.
- Written content. The majority of search engine results provide links to optimized written material like blogs, transcripts, and landing sites.
Consider developing a strategy for gathering user-generated content from current customers. The more they share their stories, the more content you’ll have to reuse across channels. If your internal resources are limited, this is a great way to scale content creation and generate engagement with your brand.
If you don’t have time to promote your material, consider teaming up with well-known influencers in your field, those whose loyal audience is similar to your target market. Allow them to distribute your material on your behalf. Not only will your corporate brand be able to tap into their devoted following, but an endorsement from someone whom an ideal customer respects will help to raise brand visibility and credibility.
Regardless of the channels and formats in your marketing strategy, you must maintain consistency across all of them. Customers will be confused if you provide mixed messages about what you sell and what your brand stands for.
Being more of something than anyone else is a straightforward approach to improving your messaging. If you look at the marketing channels that each retailer employs, you’ll notice that their messaging revolves around their adjective. For example, Costco is less expensive than its competitors. Harper Wilde’s bras are more comfortable than any other brand. Lorem Dripsum coffee has a stronger flavor than other coffee brands.
The most crucial aspect of any copywriting approach is research. Return to your SWOT analysis to see where your competitors’ vulnerabilities are by surveying people who have already purchased from you, running an Instagram poll to learn why people follow your brand, and going back to your SWOT study to see your competitors’ weaknesses. Look for adjectives that come up a lot throughout the process. Consult your customers if you’re not sure what this adjective should be.
A marketing budget for a business is the amount of money you estimate to spend on implementing your marketing strategy. You can conduct a marketing plan on a shoestring budget if you’re bootstrapping.
While a strategy can be performed on a shoestring budget, this component of your marketing strategy must account for more than any projected advertising cost. Time is a valuable resource that must be controlled and tracked. Indicate how much time you want to devote to implementing the marketing strategy.
4) Goals & measurement
In terms of spending, the final element of your marketing plan is a summary of how you’ll measure success. The most common metric is a return on investment (ROI), which is the amount of money you expect to make after spending your marketing budget.
Every marketer’s dream is to generate $100,000 in revenue with a $1,000 marketing budget. While that isn’t the most realistic goal, knowing your target ROI will help you avoid overspending. If your ROI exceeds your expectations, you should reallocate that budget to something else.
However, marketing measurement entails more than just calculating financial returns. The end goal isn’t always revenue. Short-term marketing objectives such as brand awareness, website traffic, and social media followers aim to bring new consumers into your marketing funnel. You’ll set your company up for long-term success if you nail them early on.
Shopify marketing strategies to effectively grow your business
1) Build customer profiles
A firm grasp of the consumer is required before adopting any Shopify marketing concepts, hence the need for a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a made-up biography of people from your target demographic. In other words, it’s a short brief that explains who, what, and why your ideal consumers are.
You may improve your product-market fit and enhance your sales by establishing client profiles. Customer profiles can also aid in developing your entire marketing strategy and the enhancement of your customer service plan.
When creating your customer profile, make sure you include demographics, psychographics, geographical characteristics, buying patterns, pain points, and social media preferences.
2) Offer promotions & discounts
According to studies, even the smallest discount can influence a buyer’s decision to complete a transaction.
According to a survey conducted by RetailMeNot, two-thirds of consumers have “made a purchase they weren’t planning to make solely based on finding a coupon or discount.” In addition, according to the same survey, 80% of consumers claimed they are more likely to make a first-time purchase with a newly discovered business if they find a special deal or promotion.
To effectively use discounts and promotions to improve sales, you could:
- Distribute pre-launch coupons. This will help increase signups and generate more interest in your products and brand.
- Provide End-Of-Quarter coupons to fulfill revenue targets
- Offer special deals to shoppers who abandon their carts if you have a high cart abandonment rate.
- Consider sharing special holiday offers and discounts to stay competitive
- Give volume discounts to customers that purchase large amounts of products
- Track discount success and enhance the most influential pieces using Shopify’s capabilities.
3) Create an SEO strategy
Another strategy to boost sales is to optimize your Shopify store for SEO. After all, the more potential customers who see your products, the greater the likelihood of a conversion.
The simplest way to improve organic traffic is to develop and implement an SEO strategy.
To amplify your SEO efforts, you should:
- Incorporate relevant keywords into your online store’s content (including page names, descriptions, and image alt text).
- Make sure that all of the URLs and filenames correspond to the content.
- Make relevant content for your products and industry.
- Encourage other trustworthy websites to link to your online shop.
- To improve your content’s SEO, use Shopify’s built-in SEO capabilities.
- “Add your sitemap.xml to Google Search Console,” Shopify advises, “your online store website may be readily searched and indexed.”
4) Recreate your store on Facebook
Scrolling through our Facebook feeds has become a habit for us. Every day, 1.73 billion people, or about a quarter of the world’s population, look through their Facebook feeds.
The good news is that you can enhance sales by using Facebook’s massive reach. Starting to sell on Facebook is quite simple, thanks to a specific function that allows you to connect your Shopify account to Facebook. In this manner, your Facebook account will automatically link to each Shopify store, eliminating the need for separate inventories for each site.
Additionally, you can build Facebook advertising directly from the Shopify admin interface. This function is essential because it targets the right Facebook audiences who might be interested in your items.
5) Add live chat features
Including a live chat function on your company’s website can enhance consumer engagement, satisfaction, and, as a result, revenue. Compared to other contact options, 92% of clients indicate they are satisfied with the live chat feature.
As an eCommerce business owner, you should view live chat as a sales channel rather than a support channel. Every support request is an opportunity to learn more about your consumers, assist them in solving their difficulties and find ways to improve your service.
6) Add user-generated content to your store
This is one of the most popular Shopify marketing strategies, but its significance never fades.
Did you know that user-generated content (UGC) strongly influences 79% of consumers’ purchasing decisions? According to the same study, only 13% of consumers believe brand content is significant.
Sharing user-generated content (UGC) is a great strategy to build social proof. Promotional messages are most effective when delivered by someone other than your sales team. Since we humans tend to mimic the behaviors of individuals who appear trustworthy, social proof works.
User-generated content comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Customer reviews, testimonials, and other brand-related content are all forms of UGC (such as images, videos, social media posts, etc.)
The best way to encourage UGC is through social media. For example, you could hold a social media contest in which consumers are encouraged to share your product images using a specific hashtag. You’ll create a win-win situation where you’ll receive a lot of UGC, and participants will be recognized for their work.
7) Launch a blog
Blogging regularly can improve your online store’s search engine rankings. It’s also a terrific way to communicate with your customers and help them fill in their knowledge gaps. Additionally, publishing educational and valuable blog posts can establish a reputation for your brand as a thought leader in your niche.
The key goals of content development should be to educate and nurture your potential customers. Create content that addresses issues that your target audience is interested in. To direct people back to your items, provide a powerful call-to-action in each piece of content. However, don’t over-promote your stuff.
Content creation can be a tedious process, especially if you want to do it right. It can be very time-consuming so some professionals can help with the process.
Do you need help creating content that’ll help your brand stand out? The PR experts at Pressfarm can help you do that! The PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers at Pressfarm can develop professional press releases, compelling guest posts, and creative media kits that will help your brand to make a splash in its industry.
In addition to creating quality content for your brand, Pressfarm also has what it takes to distribute this content widely. By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, the team at Pressfarm can boost your online visibility and ensure that you feature in relevant search results across different search engines.
With a media database populated by over 1 million media contacts across industries, the Pressfarm team also ensures that you can continue doing media outreach for your brand long after they’ve wrapped up your campaign. With Pressfarm, you can not only get quality content but also win more clients over.
8) Showcase auto-calculated shipping prices for each buyer
Displaying auto-calculated shipping charges to each consumer individually is a terrific method to boost sales.
Giving your clients an option and including several shipping alternatives is the best practice. If you provide free shipping, your clients will appreciate it significantly. According to studies, 75% of US consumers said that free shipping would encourage them to buy more things online.
Following the completion of the checkout process, your consumers will expect you to inform them about their order status. Statistics show that 83% of US online buyers want regular communication about their purchases. Make sure you have a communication strategy to address shipment tracking and updates to meet your consumers’ expectations.
9) Anticipate future sales
To predict future sales, you can use various sales strategies on your Shopify online business. Here are the top four strategies you may use right now to increase sales in the future.
1) Determine which products offer the most value to your customers by analyzing product demand. Use a variety of methods and approaches, such as social media trend analysis, consumer behavior analysis, keyword research, and regional validation. You can even pre-sell things on your internet store to observe how many people order them.
2) Upsell. Upselling is defined as a sales tactic that involves persuading your clients to pay a higher price for additional services and add-ons. Cross-selling is a sales tactic that entails offering a supplemental product in addition to the main product. For example, if you are an electronic retailer, you may provide a consumer who buys a phone with headphones or a case.
3) Set up email notifications. Another strategy to predict future sales is setting up email notifications for things that are out of stock. Allow your consumer to receive email notifications if the desired size or color is out of stock. You may let customers know when a specific item becomes available. If you retain more customers, make sure to mention an approximate availability date.
10) Keep track with Shopify analytics
If you don’t track your success, you won’t be able to grow sales or enhance your Shopify marketing efforts. The good news is that Shopify makes tracking and evaluating the key performance indicators (KPIs) needed to boost sales a breeze.
You’ll notice many data metrics when you visit your Shopify analytics dashboard. Shopify has a comprehensive tutorial on interpreting reports and statistics if you’re unsure of what it all means.
An effective marketing strategy requires lots of effort. To develop a realistic one, you’ll need to spend hours researching competitors, audience statistics, and your target market’s sources to find new items. Even so, it’s essential to understand that marketing is always unpredictable. There are millions of variables that might drastically alter the optimal marketing plan for your company. A worldwide pandemic, public relations crises, and the introduction of new social media platforms are all unforeseeable situations.
Think of your marketing strategy as the best-case scenario. Plan attainable goals and tactics, but don’t expect to stick to them to the letter.