Shopify is an extremely dynamic ecommerce platform. As such, the way that online stores can utilize it is always changing and improving. What started as a simple solution devised by the owners of an online snowboard store to sell their wares now offers an array of add-on marketing tools that operate in many different channels to advertise products to potential customers.
The story of Shopify marketing
From early on, Shopify’s founders recognized the importance of marketing to an ecommerce platform. It has long included a very handy analytics function so that merchants can see their data using either the native Shopify analytics app or with a Google Analytics integration.
Rather than lose focus on what they do best (build an amazing and agile ecommerce platform), Shopify opened their API up to other app developers who could hone in on exactly what was needed and create something amazing.
First, a little perspective: the first iteration of the Shopify App Store launched in 2009 with less than a dozen apps. Today there are more than 2,000 apps in the marketplace providing value to users. Many of these are marketing-related and help merchants to brand, advertise, and sell their goods.
Marketing is an essential part of any retail business. Shopify makes it easy for online retailers to take advantage of many different advertising channels through an array of innovative apps—developed by specialists and seamlessly integrated into the platform.
Basic and effective methods of Shopify advertising
With such an expanse of marketing opportunities, ecommerce businesses can have trouble weeding out the best. We’d like to share some of the basic underlying concepts for Shopify advertising that stand out in 2019, from the perspective of a well-versed Shopify expert:
While there are screeds of research and knowledge about SEO and how to get it, the premise behind optimizing your website for search engines is basic: if your shop pops up high in the search rankings, you are far, FAR more likely to get clicks and conversions. The trick lies in understanding Google’s ever-changing algorithms and using them to your advantage with keywords, links, and great content.
Don’t cast around widely for customers—attract them! A blog can help with SEO, and also position you and your brand as a thought leader in your particular field. If you’re selling outdoor gear, write top-notch content about the absolute best hiking trails around the world, set it loose on social media and let the customers come to you. Just keep in mind that this is a tool of the advertising “long game.” It’s all about building trust using valuable information that your readers can relate to. Once that relationship is established, you’ll watch your quality traffic increase steadily.
Just as Shopify has done by opening up its API to outside developers, merchants can work with other sellers rather than against them. While teaming up with a direct competitor is probably not the best idea, you can find other stores with complementary products and cross-promote through banner ads, deals, social media mentions and more. This is where backlinks come in. Connecting and being connected to credible sources through links is a fantastic tool for SEO and networking online.
Good UX design
A smooth and effortless shopping experience does not just convert customers more efficiently at the point of sale, but serves as a channel for marketing. Ease of use is paramount in creating customers, and happy customers at that. They are more likely to return to—and to recommend—your store. Good UX design takes your marketing data and puts it into action. It translates into satisfied shoppers, which translates into repeat business and a good reputation.
Losing customers at the point of sale (abandoned carts) is a real bummer. One important aspect of marketing for any Shopify store is following up on those potential buyers and making an effort to get them back. There are many ways to do so, from impersonal remarketing product ads to bespoke messaging, which can save a sale by reinforcing the value to the buyer. Any time that you can rekindle the interest of a potential customer, you’re one step closer to a conversion.
We are bombarded with advertising from all directions, and very little of it has an impact. In the current climate, personalization is important for catching people’s interest and attention. This means tailoring messages to individuals according to the information you have about them, making relevant offers, and being intentional about who you promote to (and what you show them). Data aggregation combined with a savvy approach to messaging can create a lasting relationship with current and future customers.
SMS marketing is targeted and effective
A relative newcomer to the scene, SMS marketing is innovative, easy, and most importantly, effective. As a marketing channel, it can cover many of the concepts listed above (follow-up, personalization, cross-promotion) to get your messages across effectively.
Email has long been the popular form of direct messaging for marketers, but the statistics make it clear that SMS wins on the visibility front: SMS open rates beat those of email fivefold on average. Response rates vary, but often beat out email open rates—that means that more people are likely to actually respond to an SMS than even click on an email to look at it.
SMS can also be easily personalized. It allows you to segment users to ensure that you’re reaching the right demographic with your ad campaign, or correspond directly with customers and potential customers to answer questions or close sales. You can follow up on abandoned carts and perhaps even offer a deal to close a sale. Gone are the days of sending out the exact same missive to everyone on an enormous email list.
All signs point to SMS marketing being a very successful channel for Shopify users. Why? Above all, because customers prefer it. Texting is a favored form of communication: quick, efficient and familiar. Young adults send and receive thousands of text messages per month, so it’s no wonder they like to interact with companies that way.
Take advantage of this fantastic marketing tool.
If you have a Shopify store and want to increase sales using a plethora of cutting-edge tools, we’ve got you covered. Postscript can help you reach your target audience, improve engagement, personalize messaging and increase your conversions with our simple and wide-ranging SMS marketing platform for Shopify. Schedule a demo today, or download the app and get started.