You probably know that there’s a bunch of ways to do Shopify marketing. That’s true. Reading about each one can take some time off your schedule.
This guide is detailed, too, but it’s worth your time.
Because it describes Shopify marketing like Mark Cuban does public speaking—in plain language and with many examples.
In this guide:
Here for something else? Check out these guides:
- Best Accounting Software for Shopify
- How to Become a Shopify Partner in 2021
- Omnichannel Marketing Strategy, Tips, and Examples
What is Shopify Marketing?
Shopify marketing is a strategy of promoting a Shopify store and products through online marketing channels such as email and advertising campaigns. An effective Shopify marketing strategy builds brand awareness, retains more existing clients, improves customer loyalty, and increases sales.
Best Shopify Marketing Strategies
Here are eleven best Shopify marketing strategies from successful businesses. Consider these Shopify marketing tips—they worked for businesses of all sizes and industries.
1. Send Email Marketing Campaigns
- Make visitors return to your store by sharing the best offers
- Recover Shopify abandoned shopping carts automatically
- Relatively easy to start with email templates
If done right, Shopify email marketing can be your ATM all day. That’s why your business should have email functionality to get sales.
Oxygen Boutique, a Shopify business selling beauty products, sends promotional emails with discounts to encourage customers to buy. Here’s an example.
How to use emails for Shopify marketing? Start by finding the best email marketing app for Shopify.
This app will help you:
- Greet new customers with welcome emails (they get 4x more opens and 5x more clicks than promo emails)
- Sell more by raising awareness of sales, special offers, and customer loyalty programs with promotional emails
- Recover abandoned sales with abandoned cart emails that remind shoppers about products they left
- Update shoppers with order-related, transactional emails (order confirmation, order shipping, etc.)
Once you add the email marketing app to your eCommerce store, start collecting email subscribers. When you have at least several dozens of them, add your text and products to email templates and send them out.
Add a Shopify email marketing appADD FOR FREE
Welcome email is the first email your store should send to subscribers. It’s your brand intro and an excellent chance to encourage the first purchase. If you need some inspiration to design yours, here are 26 welcome email examples.
2. Send Push Notifications with Promotions
- Easy to set up and start
- Quick results for Shopify stores with traffic
- Direct communication with customers via browser notifications
Push notifications are a way to share marketing messages and drive traffic to your store. This Shopify marketing strategy can get sales because push notifications get delivered directly to customers’ browsers.
Shopify marketing with push notifications is easy. Add a push notification app to your Shopify store and start collecting subscribers (throw in a discount to encourage more customers to subscribe). Later, send them push notifications with a browser notification like this.
These common push notification types can drive traffic to your Shopify store and make sales:
- Product promotions—price drop notifications, discount codes
- Sales alerts—messages announcing sales
- Back-in-stock notifications—updates about product availability
Consider adding discounts and other bonuses to your Shopify marketing strategy to keep customers interested in getting push notifications. Shopify apps make everything easy: write your offer, set the campaign time, and the app will do the rest.
Get more sales with push notificationsUSE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS FOR FREE
3. Create a Referral Program
- Boosts customer acquisition and retention
- Creates authentic relationships with more customers
- Increases sales, as over 90% of customers buy something recommended by friends
A referral program is a Shopify marketing tactic to get people talking about your online business. That’s why word-of-mouth is often mentioned in Shopify success stories. In this success story, Budge Dhariwal, the owner of Premier Estate Wines, started by promoting his online business at exhibitions and events... Here are some moments from those experiences.
Budge got people talking about the wines. Then, he took the word-of-mouth strategy to the next level with a referral program for his eCommerce store. What happened next? Well, he didn’t disclose any profit details... But the brand for sure didn’t make the list of Shopify success stories for nothing.
Consider these tips for Shopify marketing with referrals:
- Use a Shopify referral app to manage the program and save time
- Reward customers with a gift card for a referral
- Listen to customers and personalize marketing messages.
In case you need app recommendations—
Bamboo is a good free referral app for simple referral programs. ReferralCandy ($49/mo) is a more expensive option to handle thousands of referrals for large businesses.
Get more help with choosing top-rated referral apps in our best Shopify apps list.
4. Start a Customer Loyalty Program
- Sign of customer appreciation
- Encouragement of first-time and repeat purchases
- More effective customer retention thanks to bonuses and rewards
A customer loyalty program is an excellent Shopify marketing strategy to promote your store. Rewards can help make the first sale and keep customers coming back for more.
Tarte, a Shopify business selling beauty products, has a loyalty program called Team Tarte. Joining the “team” is easy—just create an account. Besides purchases, customers can get points for completing surveys, referring friends, completing the account, and writing reviews.
The rewards for Team Tarte members include many products, exclusive access to limited-edition sales, birthday gifts, and more.
Enticing, right? Let’s see how you can build a similar program for your Shopify marketing strategy.
To help with Shopify marketing, a customer loyalty program must be easy to join and get rewards. “Easy” is a must, as 69% of customers say meaning rewards in loyalty programs is hard.
Consider these tips when creating a loyalty program:
- No purchase required to enter—Allow to join your loyalty program without having to buy anything, choose a push notification or newsletter subscription requirement instead.
- Offer different rewards—Besides points, try rewards like free shipping, free consultation, discounts, and free products.
- Ask what rewards your customers want—Ask customers about their preferred rewards in an email or website survey.
Creating a customer loyalty program is simple: the Shopify App Store has many good apps. Loyalty, Rewards & Referrals by S Loyalty, for example, comes with a free plan and decent functionality.
Phaser FPV, an Australian site selling drone parts, used push notifications to welcome new customers, send price drop alerts, and give back-in-stock updates. Results: almost 1,500 extra orders. Details: Phaser FPV Case Study
5. Share SMS Product Promotions
- Very easy and quick to start campaigns
- Convenient: 54% of customers prefer SMS product promotions but only 11% of businesses send them
- Allows both promotional (sales announcements, etc.) for marketing and transactional (order status, etc.) messages for customer support
SMS has a few advantages over emails for Shopify marketing. First, people open almost every SMS they get, which doesn’t happen with emails. Second, SMS neither go to the spam folder nor get rejected by an email provider.
Thanks to SMS marketing apps, writing and sending out entire campaigns is easy and fast, so you can do it while eating a tuna sandwich. If you send relevant SMS messages to your customers, the change of engagement will be high.
Here’s how a typical marketing SMS looks: short, sweet, and easy to read.
Starting with Shopify SMS marketing means adding an app to your store to build a subscriber list (just like with emails). This process might take several weeks, but SMS will help you cut through the noise + it’s cheap.
Start Collecting SMS SubscribersADD SMS MARKETING FOR FREE
6. Add Customer Reviews to Product Pages
- Increase consumer trust
- Make customers more confident to buy
- Positive reviews make 94% of shoppers more likely to use a business
Customer reviews show that buying a product is the right decision. They’re a huge trust signal that helps to make a good first impression and encourage to buy, especially when added to product pages. Having customer reviews on your store could improve your Shopify marketing without having to invest in advertising, too.
Notiq, a Shopify seller of luxury planners, displays customer reviews on product pages. Each review contains a client’s name, a date, a headline, some details and a verification sign—one of the best trust signals.
Add reviews to product and checkout pages with apps like Rivyo or Loox Photo Reviews. Both have a free plan or a trial and collect reviews automatically, so it’ll be easy to start.
7. Add an Instagram Feed to Your Store
- Provides social proof and increases confidence to buy
- Shows products in action
- Showcase loyal and happy customers
“Wow, that dress would look good on me... I wonder if they still have it...”
That’s how an Instagram feed can inspire your Shopify store visitors. Instagram feed is a collection of the best Instagram photos and videos from customers collected automatically using hashtags. You can easily add one to your store to showcase happy customers in minutes—no coding needed.
An Instagram feed can help showcase your happy customers and build social proof for your business. The posts in the feed are essentially 5-star customer reviews, so they can be a huge help for your Shopify marketing strategy.
Here’s an Instagram feed from Back Beat & Co., which combines both branded and customer-generated content.
Don't have a lot of customer-made content to showcase yet? No worries. You can still add the feed to your Shopify store to serve as an extra source of inspiration for visitors.
Here’s an example of such an Instagram feed from St. Frank, Shopify store of furniture products.
If you’d like to try Instagram feed for your business—
Instafeed and Instagram Feed‑Photo Gallery are the best Shopify marketing apps for that. Both come with 4.8+ ratings on the App Store and have free plans.
8. Run Advertising Campaigns on Google and Social Media
- Pay requirement for only for conversions
- Great to promote new Shopify stores and generating quick traffic
- Advertising platforms display ads to your target customers based on characteristics
Many store owners choose advertising campaigns as the first Shopify marketing method. Indeed, you can run ads on Google or Facebook for $5/day and get several daily Shopify sales with minimal effort.
Shopify marketing with ad campaigns can include:
- Google retargeting ads (the type of ads shown to people who have visited your store) if the store has some traffic
- Google Shopping ads if your customers prefer to do a lot of online product research
- Facebook ads if your customers like to make impulse buys.
Do advertising campaigns have some disadvantages? Well, yes.
Although they are a faster Shopify marketing tactic than emails, there’s a learning curve involved with setup and management. Also, the costs can exceed the budget if the ads are shown more often (in the case of campaigns where you pay for conversions).
You can also show your products to Google users with shopping ads—they include a product photo and price. Here’s How to Create a Profitable Google Shopping Campaign.
9. Set Up an Affiliate Marketing Campaign
- Have other people promote your products with their content
- You’re in charge: affiliates get paid only when they make the sale
- Reach more customers with affiliates who promote your products on their channels
Affiliate marketing happens when you have third parties (affiliates) promote your Shopify store and products and earn a commission. Affiliates can be bloggers, influencers, or even celebrities who have an audience to market your Shopify store to.
You can totally do affiliate marketing on Shopify. With a dedicated app, you can create affiliate programs, hire partners, and track affiliate sales. Check out this list of 10 top-rated affiliate apps for Shopify to see the best options.
10. Promote Products in Blog Articles
- Low-risk Shopify marketing strategy
- Quality content improves your online store’s SEO and increases ranking on Google
- Non-pushy product promotion that helps to show brand personality
“Is running a blog on my Shopify store worth my time?”
Yes, but it depends.
If your online business is quickly growing, then you might want to focus Shopify marketing on ads and emails—they generate revenue quicker. But blogs could be great to promote new Shopify stores if you’re after organic traffic.
Many stores do blogging for SEO and Shopify marketing campaigns. Beardbrand, a seller of men’s grooming products, is a good example of a nice blog.
This article about beard styles below mentions a product (beard trimming scissors) in a relevant way. By doing so, the brand helps online customers find good products without being pushy.
Beardbrand’s blog is also considered an example of Shopify blogging success.
Third-party studies learned that the brand’s blog brings over 75,000 monthly visitors from Google!
Beardbrand’s blog performance. Source: Sumo
This goes to show how SEO-optimized, customer-oriented content can help with a Shopify marketing strategy. So, consider writing a blog about common topics that interest your customers to lead them to product pages.
Need an app to help with SEO? These 10 Best Apps for Shopify SEO will help with optimizing blog content, meta data, and images.
11. Create Engaging Social Media Posts
- Easy to reach thousands of customers on multiple platforms (Facebook and Instagram are the best to start)
- Diversifies a Shopify marketing strategy (you can use influencer marketing, ads, post promotions, or company news)
- Customer engagement—57% of online customers follow brands on social media to learn about products
How to use social media for Shopify marketing? Let’s learn from the best. GymShark was founded by Ben Francis, a pizza delivery employee, in 2012. Now, his ecommerce company is worth almost $1.5 billion. The brand’s Instagram has an impressive 5.2 million subscribers and is one of the huge reasons for its success.
GymShark’s social media strategy includes these posts:
- Collaborations with influencers to promote the brand’s products
- Hashtag challenges and giveaways
- Employee stories
- Viral fitness and health-related posts
- Company news and updates
- Product promotions as a part of fitness routines
Here’s one Instagram post example that promotes a product in a non-pushy way.
The next post below is a small employee story.
Content like this improves the brand’s image and creates a community of like-minded people around it.
Okay, so how can this content help with marketing for Shopify? Try sharing similar social media posts from GymShark's social media (the list we described earlier in this section). Browse the brand’s Instagram and see what content works for them. If you’d like a more industry-specific example, a profile of a successful competitor of yours will do.
Social media tactics from successful eCommerce brands could help drive traffic to your Shopify store if you try. But: no copying someone else’s marketing strategy. Always look for ways to make it uniquq to your brand.
Shopify Store Marketing: Summary
Shopify marketing is a process of promoting your store through social media, advertising campaigns, customer reviews, SMS, emails, push notifications, and other channels.
Again, the list of the best Shopify marketing strategies:
- Share email marketing campaigns
- Send push notifications with promotions
- Create a referral program
- Start a customer loyalty program
- Share SMS product promotions
- Add customer reviews to product pages
- Add an Instagram feed to the homepage
- Run advertising campaigns for Google and social media
- Set up an affiliate marketing campaign
- Promote products in blog articles
- Create engaging social media posts.
These marketing tips will help with Shopify marketing campaigns. Pick a tactic, grab some tools, and go from there.