is an e-commerce solution which offers retailers an opportunity to streamline and simplify the shopping process. Among the facilities it offers retailers are shipping, payments and marketing tools. The facilities are available in the form of plug-ins, templates and notifications, capable of being tailored to the exact requirements of the business.
Read on and we explain 10 useful tips on how Shopify can be used as a marketing strategy to boost sales and growth of your business.
1. Blogging and content creation
It is a fact that your sales success will often merely be a function of how highly and how often you rank in Google and other popular search engines.
Every well designed website will have pages that will be capable of optimisation to rank in search engines. These pages include their main home page, a page explaining their history and perhaps a shopfront. However, optimisation of these pages alone will usually make for a poor marketing strategy, mainly because this type of content is not engaging, or useful to the reader, other than to describe a business and its products that are for sale.
More sophisticated marketing strategies combine optimisation of main website pages, alongside content that has been created specifically for the audience who will be visiting the website. An example is a blog, or a video that explains how a product works, or how a product can be useful to the person considering purchasing it.
So, a makeup retailer may decide to create a blog or a video highlighting and explaining how a product works and how it should be applied. This allows prospective customers to make a more informed choice regarding how the product may be of use to them, or may be worth buying.
The blog and video engages a prospective customer in more ways than merely using words to describe a product or service. Good blogs will employ visuals like diagrams, charts and pictures to get their message across. Equally video will use visual information to get key messages across.
2. Abandon manual pricing strategy
Setting prices manually is an outdated strategy because it is simply too onerous to monitor and compare pricing and other relevant variables (like postage and packing costs, the price of similar products and discounts) manually.
As such, using automated systems to perform price monitoring is becoming the norm for retailers – particularly those with a large online offering.
3. Use of ‘influencers’ for branding and content creation
There is a plethora of evidence, which suggests that if you are good looking and accused of a crime, you are more likely to be acquitted
at a criminal trial, compared to a person of average appearance. This is because attractive people are more influential and persuasive than less attractive ones. Unfortunately, the world is a very superficial place and people make subconscious judgments about people and situations based on aesthetics alone.
This unfortunate state of affairs has an application within the world of marketing. It is known as the use of ‘influencers’. An influencer is an attractive person, who is paid to use and advertise a product or service. This is why major sports brands give clothing away for free to sports stars, or even go as far as to sponsor them to use their products and clothing while competing in their field of sporting expertise.
Choosing an influencer, and using them to advertise a given product will give products an edge over products that are merely sold on the basis of the nuts and bolts and functionality of the product or service concerned.
Shopify is designed to make the use of influencers easier as the system is very visual and pictures can even be set up as being “shoppable” so customers can click on features within pictures in order to shop.
4. Video content creation
Videos are particularly useful marketing tools, and they can be fully integrated into Shopify and exported to social media accounts like Instagram to assist in getting marketing messages across to the right audiences.
is very versatile and they can be created to include “influencers” to help make products appealing for customers.
A good application of video marketing is the creation of “how-to” videos. These can be exported to and shared on social media. Good ones get liked and shared and this creates multiple backlinks to your brand.
Video content creation does have a downside though, as videos can be expensive to create, with the advertiser taking the risk that the video won’t generate the sales needed to justify the expense of creating one. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate the success of any advertising campaign, so that expensive mistakes are not repeated. Campaigns should be evaluated both before and after, and defined in terms of what the creator aims to achieve with the creation of the campaign.
5. Shopify shopping facilities
Shopify has many functions which allow for ease of buying and selling. A wise marketing strategist will employ these to their full potential.
Among many features aimed at allowing visitors to ship conveniently, shopify allows for the user to choose a “window dressing”. A number of free themes are available and these can be chosen and applied by the user, who then chooses the one most suited to their products.
Shopify also allows for a shoppable Instagram feed to be created. Using a numbering system to identify and select items for purchase, shoppers can shop from pictures and see prices displayed from pictures. Items displayed can be moved to the shopping basket quickly and easily.
6. Loyalty schemes
Loyalty schemes can be leveraged to assist with marketing strategy, and there are several apps that enable loyalty schemes to be managed through the Shopify platform.
Loyalty schemes encourage customers to make repeat purchases and incentives like a points system can be “saved” to be used to reduce the price of future purchases.
One common method of leveraging a loyalty scheme is to use the loyalty scheme to reward users for performing tasks that create more customer engagement and build trust for your brand, like leaving reviews and comments about items they have purchased. Sometimes the appearance of reviews provides reassurance for customers who may be apprehensive to give bank details to a retailer they have not used before.
7. Referral schemes
Again, there are various apps and plug-ins available which allow the user to manage referrals and referral schemes within Shopify. A refer- a - friend scheme is a popular choice of referral scheme. It rewards the person referring and the person referred.
Referral schemes create brand awareness and increase brand recognition through word of mouth discussion and recommendations. There is no stronger system of referral than a word of mouth referral from one friend to another, and Shopify facilitates the operation and management of these schemes.
Upselling is the process of encouraging more purchases once a sale has been completed, or near completed. So, for example a retailer could add an incentive to make a subsequent purchase, but offering a reduced rate for it.
Shopify can be used to display all kinds of different upsells to customers like faster deliveries, bundle deals and products that either complement the purchased product, or products that have better specifications, but are slightly more expensive.
9. Shopify discounts and offers
Shopify has a “discounts” feature which makes it easy to offer discounts to customers. Different types of discounts are applicable such as free postage and packing, fixed amount discounts or percentage off discounts. Furthermore, discounts can be applied to collections, orders or standalone products.
10. Use Shopify apps
Shopify provides an app store which allows the retailer to customise the shopping process to encourage more sales of their products.
An example is apps that send push notifications straight to the customer’s browser. These can be useful to increase sales where a customer has put something in the shopping basket, but then have abandoned the purchase. Push notifications work well as they circumvent spam filters and retailers do not need to wait for customers to open emails, which can also be used to deliver reminders about abandoned sales in shopping baskets.
Users should browse the Shopify app store and choose which apps are best for them. Since some of the app plug-ins are expensive, to get the best out of the app store, you can use the “popular” search facility and search for apps with five star ratings from users.
As platforms like Shopify get more and more prevalent, not using them becomes a bigger risk…
If you are a small to medium retailer, with a large online offering, you will invariably benefit from using platforms like Shopify. The platform is designed to streamline the shopping process and make it easier for users to buy and to sell.
As you have learned from the tips in this article, it isn’t difficult to use Shopify, and the payoff in using it by far outweighs the time and effort required to make it work for your business.