blog post

12 Proven Shopify Marketing Strategies That Boost ROI

December 14, 2023


Shopify is one of the most powerful ways to create an online store, enabling countless eCommerce businesses to reach new customers.

Still, standing out in a crowded market isn’t easy. Finding and reaching potential customers in your target audience can be challenging, especially if you’re a smaller brand still creating brand awareness and building a healthy customer base.

Below, we’ve compiled 12 proven marketing strategies that can help any Shopify eCommerce store generate results and boost ROI. Whether you’re operating in conventional eCommerce, connective eCommerce, or both, add these strategies to your marketing plan to supercharge online business, nurture high-quality leads into loyal customers, and successfully launch new products.

Understanding Shopify Marketing

Shopify marketing is a unique set of tactics: It overlaps with general digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), but it has a character all its own. 

So, what’s the value of focusing on Shopify marketing specifically? Because driving visitors to your Shopify store and converting them into customers is the whole ballgame. 

It’s the only way to sustainably increase sales, increase your Shopify conversion rate, and generate a healthy ROI from your digital store.

12 Effective Shopify Marketing Strategies

Ready to boost your Shopify marketing skills? Try these 12 proven eCommerce strategies that can help you increase your conversion rate and grow sales.

1. Add Engaging Product Videos to Your Site

First, make sure you’re adding engaging product videos to your site for everything you can. Item images are a good start, but there’s no denying that video catches the eye in a much deeper way.

Drawing viewers in via product videos can keep them on the page longer, increasing your chances of a purchase and boosting your ROI. 

This is an especially powerful way for D2C brands to improve conversion rates since it gives shoppers a clearer picture of:

  • What the product looks like
  • What it does
  • How it might change their lives

Traditional brands can rely on a brick-and-mortar presence or product familiarity, but online-only D2C brands tend to fare better when they can bridge the experience gap with video.

Gander is the simplest, most powerful way to add product videos and user-generated content (UGC) to any product page. Sign up free to see for yourself!

Other benefits of adding engaging product videos to your site include:

  • Helping visitors envision using or experiencing the product
  • Showing off features that still photos can’t
  • Increasing the average time on page
  • Lowering bounce rates

2. Build a Robust Abandoned Cart Recovery Plan

Abandoned carts are just a part of doing business in eCommerce. But when customers walk away after adding an item to their cart, your brand has a choice in how it will respond.

You could do nothing; maybe that person legitimately changed their mind and isn’t coming back, no matter what.

Or you could keep going after that customer — because it’s always possible they abandoned their cart for another less permanent reason. Maybe:

  • The user is going back and forth about the purchase.
  • The tab took too long to load.
  • The user considered the final price (including shipping/fees) too high.
  • An email or notification distracted the user, and they forgot to return to checkout.

In each of these scenarios, the would-be customer might still be winnable. 

Politely reaching out via a robust abandoned cart recovery plan is worthwhile. While you’ll never recover a customer if you don’t try, a well-timed email, reminder, or discount code can work wonders. 

And emails aren’t the only option. Retargeted advertising on Google Ads and social media platforms (like TikTok and Facebook) can also nudge target customers back to your online store. 

3. Expand Your Reach With an Email Marketing Campaign

Retail customers need to know you exist before they can buy from you, but that often isn’t enough — they also need to be reminded (repeatedly).

That’s why all the large retail brands invest heavily in email marketing; there’s no denying it works, and it’s got some of the best ROI of any marketing channel. 

Creating an email marketing campaign is relatively simple to do, but you’ll need a few things to do it right. 

An Email List

Many brands build an email list by offering discounts or loyalty programs in exchange for the right to email or text customers (as you’ll see later on).

An Email Marketing Platform

Doing email marketing right and at-scale requires purpose-built tools. Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Klaviyo, and Privy are a few strong options — but as a Shopify store, you might want to check out Shopify Email. This app is easy to use and integrates your existing Shopify customer database.

4. Create a Rewarding Customer Loyalty Program

Customer loyalty programs are everywhere, and there are plenty of good reasons why. They offer attractive rewards and incentives for repeat business, like “buy nine, get the 10th free!” or “free shipping (on orders over $45)!”

Those incentives are the prize for the customer, and all that repeat business is the prize for you

But while these programs can work well, it’s important to note that they’re not a silver bulletfor every type of business. For example, many direct-to-customer (DTC) products fall into the “highly substitutable commodity” category, meaning that customers have plenty of alternatives and very little reason to stick with one brand — unless you convince your customers that buying today will make their life easier tomorrow.

These are instances where subscription-based loyalty programs come in handy. They’re a subset of loyalty programs and are great for niche DTC brands because they take the “decision fatigue” out of buying each time the consumer needs their product. 

For example, there are some items that most people will buy on a recurring basis, like coffee. With a generic loyalty program, the buyer still has to make a conscious decision to buy every time in order to be rewarded. However, a subscription program puts the decision on autopilot and removes the decision fatigue from the equation — thus, simplifying things for the consumer.

5. Set Up an Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Affiliate marketing can be a powerful mechanism for tapping into others’ networks, exposing your brand to audiences you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

In exchange for a small percentage of sales resulting from inbound clicks from the affiliate brand, individual, or influencer, you essentially get free advertising and inbound traffic.

The more naturally an affiliate partner can incorporate links to your Shopify products, the better your results will likely be. Look for partnerships with people and businesses that are a natural fit for what you sell.

6. Invest in Content Marketing and SEO

Content marketing and SEO are essential tactics not just for increasing sales, but for boosting overall visibility and prominence of your Shopify store. The online retail landscape is competitive and complex. If you’re not yet a brand people are familiar with, it’s tough to cut through the noise.

By investing in content marketing and boosting your SEO scores, you’ll gradually improve your brand’s visibility and familiarity.

It’s a long game, but over time, more and more right-fit leads will start to form good associations with your brand so that you are that household name, at least in the right context.

7. Utilize SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS marketing can be just as powerful (if not more so) than email. It’s the only marketing channel you can use that literally lights up your audience’s smartphones or makes them buzz in their pockets. Talk about direct reach!

SMS campaigns can:

  • Notify your audience of current or upcoming sales.
  • Push users to come back to abandoned carts.
  • Send unique discounts that entice people over to your mobile site. 

8. Have a Simple Return/Refund Policy

One of the biggest perceived risks of eCommerce is what happens when an item doesn’t work out. Most people who shop online have been burned before by something that didn’t live up to expectations and couldn’t be returned (or wasn’t worth returning due to the cost). 

Return shipping is expensive (either for your customer or you), so it can be complicated to work out. The right answer isn’t the same for everyone: Your return percentages, shipping costs, client expectations, and several other factors affect what makes the most sense for your store.

But whatever you decide about returns and refunds, make sure those policies are transparent and easy to understand. You don’t want to create friction or fear in the buying process. Alleviating visitors' concerns about returns and refunds is a great way to reduce that friction.

9. Deliver Five-Star Customer Service

This isn’t exactly rocket science: customers like to be treated well. Whether they’ll pay extra for white-glove service is open to debate (and depends on what you sell and who you’re selling to). But you can be sure they’ll vote with their dollars when customer service doesn’t meet their expectations.

Customer service feels different when there’s no physical storefront, but eCommerce brands and Shopify stores can leverage technology-forward tools to excel at customer service.

Many brands are implementing chatbots as a first-level service tool that can answer basic questions and route more complicated issues to the right destinations. Email and phone service are a must as well. No matter which methods you use, make sure you clearly communicate to customers how they can reach you. 

10. Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

The internet has gone mobile, with 53% of all internet traffic now being from mobile devices. And that’s for all content: the more consumer-oriented it is, the higher that percentage skews. 

So, in eCommerce, there’s a strong chance that more of your traffic is mobile-device users (smartphones, tablets, etc.) rather than those using computers.

Given this reality, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. That means it should be both attractive and highly functional at small screen sizes. Every bit of content needs to be easily accessible on phones and tablets — because if it isn’t, impatient mobile users will find an alternative that is.

Thankfully, Shopify makes it easy to be mobile-friendly, but you still want to verify that every theme (and especially any custom coding on your site) works beautifully on smaller screens.

11. Optimize CTA Buttons Throughout

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons and widgets can make an outsized impact on any web page’s conversion rate, including in your Shopify store.

Make it easy to buy — and less easy to keep scrolling. Don’t be afraid to experiment: A/B and split testing can help you determine what button placement, button color, text size, and messaging get the best results. 

12. Expand Your Reach by Trying Influencer Marketing Campaigns

In online retail, influencer marketing can pack a punch. Similar to affiliate marketing, it leverages the pre-built audience of an influencer by exposing them to your brand or to specific products you sell. 

Influencer marketing works best for consumables (like health and beauty), fashion and accessories, and any other eCommerce items that convey status.

Curious about the difference between affiliate marketing and influencer marketing? The latter tends to be more personality-driven, plus influencers often get paid up-front to promote your goods. They may also receive affiliate payments for sales resulting from click-throughs from their posts and content.

Enhance Your Shopify Site With Video Using Gander

There are plenty of ways to punch up your Shopify marketing efforts, and we’ve shared 12 of them with you here. 

But perhaps the best change you can make? Adding product videos.

Product videos drive engagement. They keep eyes on your products for longer, which keeps people considering that purchase the entire time. And by increasing average time on page, product videos boost your SEO just by being there.

The best part? Adding product videos is easier than you think. Gander handles all the technical details. All you have to do is record, upload, and go!

See the power of product video made simple with Gander: Get started today.

December 14, 2023