Most Ambaum clients already have a good handle on the go to marketing channel for driving their company’s sales. Either Facebook, Google, SEO or even email marketing is the primary source of sales; and they may have tried others but without much luck. Some types of products will inherently do better on Facebook, Google, etc. However, what we find in many cases, it’s the familiarity a merchant has with a channel behind their success. We recommend branching out and practice ABT (always be testing) when it comes to different marketing and customer acquisition strategies. Here are the primary marketing channels our Shopify Plus merchants are having the most success with.
Google Product Listing Ads
Have you tried Google search and been unsuccessful previously? Does it feel like you are throwing money away, paying for clicks with zero sales? Before you give up on Google advertising you should to try a Google Shopping campaign to sell your products. Google shopping ads show a picture of your product directly in a Google search, which is crucial for getting more clicks and more sales. For example, if you sell Adirondack chairs and someone types in outdoor cedar chairs, your ad has the chance to show up with an image of the your product directly in Google search. The visual prompt quickly shows this potential customer they have found what they are looking for.
To start your Google Shopping campaign, first create a Google Merchant Center account. Your Google Merchant Center account will be the repository for your products – you can use a 3rd party app or setup a manual process to sync your Shopify Products to the merchant center. It’s important to for your product feed setup properly so when you add a new product to your store it automatically syncs to your Google Merchant center account.
If this is all new to you, check out this in depth guide from Google on creating a Google Merchant Center account. Or simply reach out to us here at Ambaum, we are happy to walk you through some dos and don’ts of getting started with Google product listing ads. You can also hire a professional Google advertising agency – this guide will help you.
Why do email communications matter? Email is an affordable way for you to disseminate information about your company and is a great touch point with your customers to educate people about your latest products. It is an effective and non-intrusive (make sure to opt out options are set up for subscribers) way to incentivize your subscribers to purchase additional products from your store.
What tools should you use to send your emails? Shopify has purchase confirmation emails automatically sent directly, however there are many other marketing and brand messaging emails you should send. The two most popular email platforms used with Shopify are MailChimp and Klaviyo. You can find both of these email providers in the Shopify app store to test.
Check out this comprehensive post from the Shopify blog and the email marketing case study they performed on Birchbox for ideas.
Facebook & Instagram Ads
Facebook ads have been around for a long time, and many Shopify Plus merchants we support have found a lot of success converting customers on Facebook. To start testing, you will sign up for a Facebook business account. Take a look at this Facebook page dedicated to retail and ecommerce companies for some examples. If you want to learn more about connecting Facebook and Shopify, here is a great guide Shopify created.
Shopify purchased Kit, a fantastic app for testing Facebook ads on Shopify, about 18 months ago. Kit will connect your products to your Facebook ads account and suggest different advertising campaigns to you via a SMS chat bot right to your phone. If you are advertising on Facebook you will also want to set up retargeting so the ads can follow your customers across different sites and platforms. In addition to Kit, there are a few other Facebook apps on Shopify worth testing out – take a look here to see the latest and greatest.
Instagram ads are a relatively new frontier for most ecommerce companies. The companies with an strong social presence have had the best luck transitioning to advertising on Instagram. It should be obvious, but Instagram ads are heavily dependent on the quality of the pictures. Photos mean everything! The quality and variety of your image ads on Instagram are critical to the success of your clicks and conversions. If this is all brand new to you, check out this article with some helpful tips on how to optimize your Instagram account.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
New to ecommerce SEO? SEO is a complex topic, but if you spend the time to learn, it can pay off with organic traffic converting to additional sales. SEO is your organic listings (rankings) for different phrases in Google and other search engines. Your organic results are constantly updating based on a number of variables, some of which Google makes public, but many are intentionally kept hidden so companies can’t game their rankings.
Ecommerce SEO spends a lot of time focused on your product detail pages. By using tools like SEM Rush you can see which sites currently rank for the phrases you are targeting. You will need to create an inventory of the pages on your site, the phrases you currently rank for and the apirational phrases. Once you have your inventory of your current rankings you can shift into action mode and create a plan to increase your SEO traffic for your entire site.
To kick off your eCommerce SEO plan of action, do your homework by reading some of the expert guides already created and even consider hiring an agency to help out. A word of advice, before you hire an agency or company to help with SEO make sure to educate yourself on how SEO works. Many businesses have hired eCommerce SEO companies without a full understanding of how it works, or they get into black hat tactics causing serious damage to their site.