First off, congratulations on launching your store and welcome to the wonderful world of Shopify! We often see people asking questions such as “I launched my store and I haven’t received a single sale” or “how do I get traffic to my store?”
The question we always ask is “What are doing to promote your store?”. Back in the day, when competition for a particular product was few and far between, often potential customers would stumble upon your website. Nowadays with everyone and anyone selling products, competition is at an all-time high and it is imperative to market and promote your store.
Our top 4 ways to promote your Shopify store are SEO, Facebook & Instagram Ads, Email Marketing and Social Media & Influencers.
In a highly competitive market, how does your store stand out? How do you start getting sales? We specialize working with boutiques (bou·tique – a business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele) and we’re going to share our expertise & how we have helped these companies grow by driving traffic to their store leading to sales.
Using SEO on your Shopify Store
SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization, is important and useful if used properly. To get started make sure you fill out all your meta information and name your images for example; full_length_red_dress.jpg instead of img342.jpg and use the alt tag “Full Length Red Dress – Store Name”. You can read our last blog post here for more details on SEO.
Facebook & Instagram Ads
We’ve had a number of clients use our advertising services for Facebook and Instagram to build sales and traffic to their website and have been very successful! Even with a limited budget of $5-20 a day you can start running some ads driving targeted traffic to your store.
Before you start spending money on ads, make sure Google Analytics and your Facebook Pixel and Catalog are setup correctly. We recommend using Flexify for the product feed which will power your Facebook catalog. If your pixel and catalog are not setup, you are missing out on collecting extremely valuable data. The process can be a little daunting, so if you are having troubles feel free to contact us, we offer a package to setup your pixel, catalog and get your basic ads up and running.
We often see many people making the mistake of “boosting posts” and expecting sales as a result. Boosting a post on your timeline, or promoting a post on Instagram through the app is for engagement, and you can’t expect sales from doing so. You might see other brands boosting posts and the reason behind this is for engagement which has its own purpose. Facebook’s algorithm is smart…really smart, so choose the right objective and let Facebook do its job.
Incase you are new to paid advertising with Instagram and Facebook, your Instagrams ads are set up through the Facebook Ads Manager. When you create an ad in Facebook you can choose to have it display on Instagram as well. We always choose to run ads on both, just make sure your Instagram account is connected to your Facebook Business Manager.
The two ad types we suggest for every store are lookalike and retargeting conversion ads.
- Lookalike audiences perform best once you’ve had your Facebook pixel ‘seasoned’ (once it has had time to collect sufficient data across all events). If your at this stage we suggest experimenting with lookalike audiences within conversion campaigns. If you have a new store, or a store with little traffic (under 50 purchases) we suggest creating conversion ads based on your own targeted audiences. Try starting with ViewContent or AddToCart as the conversion event (depending on your traffic) and working your way up to the Purchase event.
- Retargeting Ads. Once your store is generating a decent amount of traffic and you are getting 10+ cart abandonments a day (ideally 50+) you can start retargeting ads. Remember adding some sort of incentive such as a discount, free shipping, free gift etc This will help sway these customers back to your store to complete their purchase. For retargeting, there are also great apps such as Shoelace. If you don’t have the time to fully learn and understand Facebook ads it’s probably best to leave it to someone who does.
Always split test. I often see people running ads that are all over the place, no consistency. They try new audiences or new creative on the fly each time they create an ad. You should ALWAYS split test your ads. If your running a conversion ad, create two campaigns with different audiences, from there choose the winner then try split testing creative such as video vs single image vs carousel. Slowly bump up your daily spend your winning ads (scaling). I suggest focusing on testing audiences first, then moving onto fine tuning the creative.
Tip: Did you know you can now go to any Facebook page and view their ads? Simply go to https://facebook.com/the-page-name/ads
Getting potential customers to sign up for your newsletter is important, this is how you can reach out to them with promotions, information and new product announcements. Keep in mind, you can create different lists for different customers such as potential customers vs past purchasers.
- Don’t spam visitors with opt-ins! We suggest using a mobile-friendly and ‘smart’ app to control pop-ups such as Pixel Pop.
- In our opinion, we suggest not to devalue your business by offering 10% off to sign up for your newsletter. Instead try offering value, such as “Get beauty tips every month and be automatically entered into our monthly giveaway.” As soon as you offer that 10% off your pretty much saying your products are overpriced by 10%. Another option is offering a gift with purchase or buy X get Y. This way you are not devaluing your products right away to your customers. Offering a discount should be left to retargeting, either via email marketing or retargeting ads. Keep in mind this is not the case for all stores, but its something to think about.
- Brand your emails. Your emails should match your overall brand and be consistent. Make one master template (at the very least a header/footer) and duplicate or build from it each time you create a newsletter. We recommend using Mailchimp with its easy UX and integration with Shopify. Klaviyo is another great option if you want more complex email marketing campaigns.
- Think about creative ways to get your potential customers to read your emails. If all your doing is sending the same email over and over chances are they will unsubscribe. One of our favourite newsletters is from Hari Mari (example #1, example #2) It’s eye-catching, colourful and easy to read, as well in each email they include some curated content from around the web.
- To learn more about email marketing and funnels we suggest checking out the Shopify Traffic Academy Facebook group.
Using Social Media & Influencers
We have worked with some brands who have done an incredible job building a strong and loyal following on Facebook & Instagram. You have to understand your audience to learn which of these two tools will be your best bet, but generally, we lean towards Instagram for organic reach. Post, post, and post some more. Learn and use hashtags. It might take a year to build up a strong following, but it’s worth it. Don’t pay for follows, or likes as tempting as it sounds this will do more harm than good. You would be surprised at how using social media will lead to sales, maybe even your first sale…best of all it’s free.
- Keep your stream consistent and on brand.
- Always tag your products on Facebook & Instagram.
- Try some giveaways on your own or a ‘loop’ giveaway with other businesses that compliment your brand/products
- If you have a hard time coming up with content, make special days. Featured Product Mondays, Inspirational Quote Tuesdays, Freebie Fridays etc. You can use free tools like UMUM to schedule your Instagram posts or a more advanced tool such as Buffer.
- Keep in mind you want to get as much engagement as possible, so asking questions or making statements is a good way to get people to interact. An example for the Fashion niche would be posting two dresses and asking people which they like best…red vs black. If your selling skincare, post a skin care tip and ask people to share their favourite morning skincare routine etc.
- Influencers on social media are incredibly powerful, they have a strong following and their fans trust them for information and advice on products. Follow and interact with people who you feel could be a great fit for your brand, eventually, reach out to them to see if they’d be willing to help promote your product. We suggest finding influencers yourself vs a 3rd party platform. Here is a great video talking about leveraging influencers.
Thankfully there are many free tools & resources to help promote your business. We know this can be overwhelming but you should do your best to utilize these tools. Without promoting your business you can’t expect to get sales. Reach out to influencers, get your email list populated and start running some Facebook ads. If you’re struggling for your first sale, maybe the reason is not your promoting…but the website itself. Maybe it is hard to navigate or isn’t visually appealing to the consumer. There are plenty of places out there to seek advice such as Shopify Entrepreneurs. Post your website and some information about where you’re at and the community will help with suggestions. If you have any comments or questions, please reach out to us as well, we are here to help our Shopify community!