In 2020, Shopify processed sales worth more than $5.1 billion, with the Shopify Appstore containing over 3,200 apps. With these statistics, it is evident that Shopify is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce companies. And with the right strategy; you will undoubtedly make a fortune out of it. If you have already set up a Shopify store, congratulations.
You are on the right path, but it takes more than setting up a store to succeed in such a competitive setting. Developing a successful marketing strategy is essential to making your business stand out.
Keep reading for steps to help you create an effective marketing strategy for your Shopify store.
Understand Your Target Customers
The first and most important step in building a Shopify marketing strategy is to know your target audience. Who are you marketing your products to, and what are their core drivers?
Understanding your target audience ensures that you direct your marketing efforts to the right group. And this increases the chances of reaching your smart goal.
You can learn your target audience by creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona represents the larger group, which you can use to learn the problems and interests of your audience.
Visualize your target audience by asking insightful questions about their motivations. Understand their expectations in terms of products and buying experience.
Learn what motivates them to purchase a product. Such information will help you create a marketing strategy to solve their problems.
Conduct a Market Research
Among the common mistakes by marketers when creating a marketing strategy is going overboard without the proper information. Creating a marketing plan based on assumptions can be misleading, and you are likely to create a plan that doesn’t yield returns.
Market trends, data, and statistics may not give you a foolproof strategy. But assumptions only add to the uncertainty. Take your time to understand how the Shopify market works, then invest more time understanding your customer base.
Investigate marketing analytics, customer surveys, and social media audiences. Understand who you are trying to reach and the triggers that would convince them to choose your products over competitors.
The easiest way to understand the market is to talk to your target audience or buyer personas. This idea is the best way to understand which problems require an immediate solution.
Don’t overlook the middlemen. While merchants are the end-users of your products, in most cases, the middlemen or agents do the significant work of recommending products to them. Therefore, go-betweens are the richest source of the feedback you need to better your brand.
Create a Strong Strategy Foundation
Now that you understand the market, you are better positioned to build a foundation for your marketing strategy. This is where you outline your marketing method, whom you intend to reach, and which channels to use for marketing.
The foundation should include proper planning and goalposts to steer you towards your objectives. Note that the foundation aims to help you develop a strong standing structure. Otherwise, your marketing strategy may not be capable of withstanding the market pressure and changes.
To build a strong foundation for your Shopify marketing strategy:
Understand Your Business
This may seem like an obvious pointer, but it is critical to lay it down. Highlight what you sell, the target audience, and how your products can solve their problem.
Outline Your Selling Point
What’s that one unique feature about your product or service that differentiates you from competitors? For instance, if you are a clothing brand, highlight qualities such as affordability and timelessness of your clothes. The payment plan is also worth noting.
Your unique selling point should showcase the benefits that your buyers will likely enjoy by choosing you over competitors.
What’s Your Brand Value?
It will help to highlight the values that your brand stands for. For instance, if quality and affordability are your core values, be sure to outline them. Similarly, if your goal is to ensure customer satisfaction, let your potential customers know about you.
The SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is the best way to evaluate your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This step is critical when planning the future directions your business should take in case of market changes.
SWOT helps you to:
Identify Your Competitive Advantages
By pinpointing your strengths, SWOT helps you identify your brand’s competitive advantage. It helps you spot what makes your products or company better than your competitors. In return, you can quickly develop an effective branding approach.
By focusing on your strengths and differentiators, you can carve out space in the minds of your target audience. This puts you on top of the map, especially in a competitive and saturated market. You will be in a better position to take advantage of your strength to attract your audience’s attention.
Offers You a Better View of the Market
SWOT analysis gives you a better and more realistic outlook of the market. With this, you can evaluate your business’ opportunity for success and help you to dig deeper into both the current and future market environment.
Getting a better market outlook will help you understand your competitors better and identify potential threats and seller pitfalls facing your brand. You can spot opportunities and grab them to expand your presence in the market.
SWOT-analysis helps you to find untapped niches or markets. With the information, you can act fast to fill in the gaps and employ effective methods to connect with potential customers.
Identify Brand Threats and Weaknesses
Again, SWOT analysis allows you to see your brand’s weaknesses and threats. Consequently, you can quickly develop an effective issue management strategy. If you have already researched and understood potential brand problems, you can proactively develop measures to prevent them before they happen.
Taking such steps early in your marketing planning puts you ahead of problems and positively impacts your public conversions. Note that you may experience both internal and external threats, so ensure to consider problems from all angles.
Select Your Ideal Marketing Channel
How do you intend to get your message across or in front of your audience? A suitable marketing channel depends on the demographic of your prospects.
You may choose to go down the traditional marketing route with billboards, television, and newspapers. Or, go the digital way with social media, email marketing, or search engine optimization.
For instance, if you target Millennials, you should consider social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram; if you target individuals in their 40s to 50s, Facebook and Twitter maybe your best choices.
If you are targeting corporate workers, consider Twitter and Linkedin, and if your products are designed for ladies, focus more on Pinterest.
Whichever route you choose to follow, ensure that it can turn your audience into prospects. When selecting the best marketing channel:
Evaluate Your Competitors
Consider the method your competitors use and whether the methods offer a qualitative advantage over other channels. Are there marketing channels that your competitors have overlooked? And will you gain a competitive advantage by using it?
For instance, if most of your competitors use social media marketing, you can dare to be different and use email marketing instead.
Evaluate the Costs and Benefits
Marketing aims to help you maximize sales. But it would be of no help if all the returns go to marketing. A lot goes into proper marketing, so you must evaluate the costs and potential benefits before settling for a particular marketing channel.
Note that you should not invest all your effort in a particular channel simply because everyone else is using it, and it feels right. It will help to do a bit of experimentation to identify what works for your store. Also, don’t expect to get things right from the get-go.
Break down your potential channels into earned, paid media, and owned channels. Pick the best three in each category; try them out until you are left with one in each.
Sales Funnel Breakdown
The secret to figuring out the ideal marketing channels and tactics for your Shopify store is to break down your sales funnel. Each sales funnel should follow the Attention, Interests, Desire, and Action format.
The first group consists of individuals who are completely unaware of your store’s existence. You should strive to grab their interests and convince them to try your products.
Think of the most effective way to turn your cold leads to hot leads by triggering a sense of interest or desire in them. It would be best to capitalize on that interest by convincing them to perform an action, which is to subscribe to your email, follow your social media page or purchase a product.
Breaking down your sales funnel aims to help you focus on each stage of your customer’s journey. This way, you can spot the weakest points that need more attention. This allows you to develop tactics to move leads to the final stage proactively.
Breaking down the sales funnel is extremely effective when figuring out the most effective marketing tactics and where and when to implement them.
Create Your Marketing Goals
Undoubtedly, every marketer aims to make more sales, thus more revenue. But that does not fully define a successful marketing strategy.
As much as you want your Shopify store to gain more exposure, it will help to narrow down your goals. Consider the long-term impact. And you can’t tell if your marketing plan is successful unless you know exactly what you want from it.
Your success goal could be that you want to rank higher on Google, gain more social media followers or create more awareness for a new product launch. Furthermore, you should set a timeframe and an actionable step.
Smart goals are measurable, actionable, and timely. It would be such a waste to invest all your time, money, and effort, yet you have nothing to look forward to.
Setting success goals pushes you to ensure that your marketing strategy aligns with them. Your whole team will get behind them so that everyone will be moving in the right direction.
For instance, if your smart goal is to gain 5,000 social media followers in 10 months or you want to increase your email list by 200 in two months, everyone in your marketing team can get to work, keeping in mind that whatever they do should bring the highlighted results.
Measure Your KPIs
We are in the digital era, and thankfully, you can measure and quantify all actions performed on your marketing strategy. KPIs help you to assess the effectiveness of your strategy. With this, you can make changes early enough.
KPIs in marketing allow you to assess the success of different stages of your strategy. This way, you can see what’s working and which areas need improvement. How do you define your KPIs?
You cannot measure the effectiveness of your business marketing plan without goals. Remember to categorize the goals into the short-term and long-term. The idea helps you to set realistic and achievable goals.
Know Which Channels to Prioritize
By now, you have already created a marketing strategy and selected suitable marketing channels for your e-commerce store. It would be best to identify which channels to prioritize and how you wish to position your brand in the market.
Define Which Key Performance Indicators to Measure
Not all KPIs will help you evaluate the success of your actions in reaching your goals. The main KPIs to measure include:
- Return on investment
- Sales increment
- Which channel generated the most leads?
- Conversion rate
- Email marketing engagement
- Store visits from mobile devices
Discard any indicators or metrics that add no value in helping you understand the success of your marketing strategy.
You Are Ready to Build an Effective Marketing Strategy For Your Shopify Store
Building a solid plan for marketing your Shopify store is essential if you want to be ahead of competitors. No matter how great your products are, you cannot possibly make winning sales if no one knows that you exist.
Strive to offer solutions to your prospects’ problems. And the above guide will help you develop a strategy that helps you achieve that. Join our mailing list and classes meetups today for more guides and lessons on running an eCommerce store.