Essential Guide: Building a Shopify Store Marketing Strategy

Picture this: You’ve poured hours into designing visually appealing product pages, streamlined the checkout process, and even integrated some top-rated Shopify apps to enhance functionality.

But despite all these efforts, customers don’t seem as excited about your online store as you are.

Your brand awareness is low, sales numbers are stagnant, and loyal customers … no visible success with customers — no enthusiasm, low recognition, and few returning buyers.

Sounds familiar?

Unfortunately, this happens too often. In fact, 31% of business startups in Shopify disappear after one year, and almost 50% shut down by their fifth year. 

Among the top reasons why startups fail are subpar marketing, lack of a business plan, poor timing, and expanding too quickly. 

Let’s focus on fixing the first item — by building a Shopify store marketing strategy.

We’ll look into research methods that can help you target your audience better and keep them engaged post-purchase. And then we’ll talk about essential strategies to market your Shopify store, particularly email marketing, word of mouth, SMS promotions, Instagram campaigns, and building strategic partnerships to extend reach.

Table of Contents:

Why Do I Need a Shopify Marketing Strategy for My Business?

If you have just set up your Shopify store, congratulations! You are now part of the 800,000 stores powered by Shopify. 

However, setting up an online store is only half the battle. Attracting customers and making sales is where the real challenge lies.

A powerful marketing strategy helps to promote your products or services to attract new customers while maintaining strong relationships with existing ones. Without one, it’s like trying to navigate without a map — you’ll likely get lost along the way.

Benefits of Crafting a Shopify Store Marketing Plan

  • Increased sales: A well-executed marketing plan can help drive traffic to your site and entice potential customers into purchasing from you instead of competitors.
  • Better customer experience: With targeted messaging aimed at specific customer segments based on purchase behavior or interests, the shopping experience can be much better for visitors.
  • Increased brand awareness: With effective strategies to market your Shopify store, you can reach out to your target audience and increase brand visibility.
  • Better customer retention: Implementing a loyalty program, offering store credit, or exclusive discounts to loyal customers can help create a sense of brand affinity and increase customer retention.

Building a Shopify store marketing strategy is not just about increasing sales. It’s about forming relationships with your customers and creating an online presence that reflects your brand voice.

Building a Shopify Store Marketing Strategy

To start building a Shopify store marketing strategy, follow these key steps.

1. Research Your Audience

Before you can create a killer marketing strategy, you need to know your audience inside and out.

This means doing both qualitative and quantitative research to figure out who your potential customers are.

Qualitative Research: Getting to Know Your Audience

Qualitative research helps you understand the motivations, opinions, and preferences of your target market.

You can do this by conducting interviews, focus groups, or surveys with open-ended questions to gather detailed responses.

Quantitative Analysis: Measuring Customer Behavior

Quantitative analysis uses numerical data to measure variables like customer behavior patterns or market trends.

You can use tools like Google Analytics or Shopify’s built-in analytics feature to gather this data.

By combining quantitative data and customer insights, you can create a tailored shopping experience that will drive conversions and build loyalty.

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal

2. Set Goals

Any Shopify marketing strategy should start with a specific and measurable goal. It can be short-term or long-term, and may involve acquiring new or repeat customers, or increasing sales.

Here are a few examples of marketing goals:

  • Acquire 250 new customers in the next 6 months
  • Sell $10,000 worth of products during a promo period
  • Sign up 100 email subscribers
  • Increase sales by 20% from last year

If you’re new to selling, start with a short-term goal so you can quickly assess the impact of your strategy. If you are doing well, then you can move on to more lofty objectives.

3. Clarify Your Messaging

Consistent and targeted messaging in your store’s marketing plays a crucial role in providing customers with information that influences their purchasing decisions. Every advertisement or content piece should align with your brand and convey your message effectively.

To create a compelling message, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What sets your store apart?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?
  • What value do you offer to customers?
  • What is your company culture?

From your answers, you can craft your unique marketing message. For instance, if your product’s unique selling point is its sustainability, then you can incorporate words like “eco-friendly” and “green” into your message to highlight this aspect.

4. Choose a Marketing Strategy

Marketing tactics are not one-size-fits-all solutions. They should be tailored to your store, products, customers, and brand. Instead of trying to do everything, choose tactics that align with your business objectives.

Consider including some of the following tactics in your marketing plan:

  • Research: Gather feedback and analyze data to gain insights into what your audience needs.
  • Product pricing: Set competitive prices according to market rates.
  • Sales and promotions: Offer discounts and run promotional campaigns.
  • Content creation: Create visually appealing, well-written content for blogs, social media, and other platforms.
  • Email marketing: Send branded emails to a targeted segment of your customer base.
  • Public relations: Build your brand image and manage your store’s reputation.
  • Customer service: Foster customer loyalty through exceptional support.

By choosing marketing tactics that align with your business, you can effectively promote your store and achieve your goals.

5. Search for the Best Marketing Channels for Your Message

Marketing your store can be done through various channels, such as blog posts, email, social media, paid advertising, and press releases.

Different channels have different strengths, with some more suitable for short-term goals and others for long-term customer retention.

Try different marketing channels to reach different customer segments. For instance, you can promote your products through paid ads to reach potential buyers and maintain a blog to turn existing clients into repeat customers.

6. Analyze the Performance of Your Marketing Strategy

Campaign analysis is important to make sure you are hitting your targets and not wasting money on tactics that don’t deliver results. It allows you to identify issues with your messaging and determine which channels are not a good fit.

To effectively track the performance of a promotion or campaign, break down your goal into milestones.

For example, if your objective is to gain 500 new visitors this month, you can monitor progress on a daily or weekly basis.

If your store is on track to meet or surpass the goal, you can consider expanding your marketing efforts or setting additional goals.

Conversely, if milestones are not being met, you can start making adjustments to improve their results.

After each campaign, conduct a thorough analysis of the results — particularly store traffic and product sales. If you tracked progress and made changes during the campaign, you can assess the impact of each modification on the overall outcome. This analysis provides valuable insights for future marketing strategies.

More Strategies & Tactics to Market Your Shopify Store

Crafting a Shopify store marketing plan is essential for any e-commerce business that wants to stand out from the competition. Here are some of the best strategies to market your Shopify store:

Optimize your store: Ensure that your website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines (SEO). Use high-quality product images, compelling copy, and clear navigation to provide a seamless shopping experience.

Content marketing: Create valuable and engaging content to attract and retain customers. Start a blog related to your products or industry and share informative articles, tutorials, and product reviews. This helps establish your store as a trusted resource and improves organic search rankings.

Social media marketing: Participate in social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to promote your products. Create compelling visuals, share engaging posts, and run targeted ads.

Email marketing: Build an email list by offering incentives like discounts or exclusive content. Send regular newsletters with updates on new products, promotions, and personalized recommendations.

Influencer marketing: Collaborate with influencers or bloggers who have an audience that aligns with your target market. They can create sponsored content, reviews, or endorsements to promote your products and reach a wider audience.

Paid advertising: Promote your store on paid advertising channels like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, or YouTube Ads. These platforms offer precise targeting options to reach potential customers based on demographics, interests, and browsing behavior.

Feature customer reviews and testimonials: Encourage customers to leave reviews or testimonials on your website and third-party review platforms. Positive feedback draws potential customers to your business and nudges them to make a purchase.

Affiliate marketing: Set up an affiliate program where influencers, bloggers, or other websites can earn a commission for referring customers to your store. This expands your reach and incentivizes others to promote your products.

Collaborations and partnerships: Identify complementary brands or businesses for collaboration. This could involve joint promotions, cross-selling, or co-creating products. Collaborations can help you tap into a new audience and gain exposure.

Experiment with different tactics, track their effectiveness and focus on the ones that yield the best results for your Shopify store.

Now let’s explore some of these strategies in detail.

Source: Oberlo

Email Marketing: Turning Subscribers into Loyal Customers

Email marketing is a powerful tool that can help you attract and retain customers, drive sales, and increase brand awareness. To amp up your email marketing campaign for your Shopify store, consider the following strategies:

  1. Welcome emails: Welcome emails are an excellent way to introduce new customers to your brand and create an instant connection with them. Use this opportunity to thank them for signing up and provide information about what they can expect from your online store. You can also use welcome emails as an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell related products based on their purchase behavior.
  2. Promotional emails: Promotional emails are great for highlighting special offers and discounts to ramp up sales. Consider sending promotional emails during holidays or seasonal events when people tend to shop more frequently.
  3. Abandoned cart emails: Abandoned cart recovery is one of the most effective ways of recovering lost sales by positioning yourself as the best brand option available among competitors who offer similar products. Use abandoned cart recovery automation tools to send follow-up messages encouraging potential customers to go back to their checkout pages and complete their purchases.
  4. Order confirmation emails: Order confirmation emails offer peace of mind while providing opportunities for pitching similar products. Consider using order confirmation templates designed specifically around various product categories so it feels personalized toward each customer’s unique experience.

Email marketing campaigns should always aim to provide value to your customers while achieving business goals. By following these tips, you can create engaging email campaigns that entice potential and loyal customers alike.

Source: Shopify

Launch an SMS Marketing Campaign

In today’s digital world where people are always on their phones, SMS marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses to engage with customers. With 48.7 million people using text messaging, you’re seriously missing out if you don’t leverage this powerful tool. 

Build Your Subscriber List 

To launch an effective SMS campaign, the first step is to build your subscriber list. You can promote exclusive deals or offers on your website and encourage visitors to sign up for text alerts by providing their phone numbers. 

Create Anticipation and Exclusivity 

Once you have built your subscriber list, it’s important to create anticipation and exclusivity around your announcements. This will help drive engagement rates higher than email campaigns that often get lost in cluttered inboxes or spam folders. 

Whisker Seeker Tackle is a great example of how creating exclusivity around its MegaDeal program resulted in click-through rates as high as 47% and conversion rates of 25%. The company achieved a conversion rate that was 762% higher than the average for email campaigns through its text message promotions alone! 

Craft Your Message 

SMS messages should be short (160 characters or fewer) but sweet! Add links to products that you want to promote so customers can easily explore them further without having to navigate through multiple pages of your website. 

Timing is Key 

SMS messages should only be sent during appropriate hours when customers are most likely available. The best times are between noon to 2 pm or after work hours between 6-8 pm in their time zone. Do not send promotional texts early in the morning or late at night as this can be very annoying. Not only will potential clients lose interest but this habit could result in negative word-of-mouth for your brand.

Comply with Regulations 

Send SMS only to subscribers who gave you explicit permission to do so. This is necessary to comply with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations.

SMS marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to drive sales, increase brand awareness, and engage customers throughout their lifecycle. By following these guidelines, you can launch an effective SMS campaign that will entice potential customers into exploring your products further.

Screenshot from Shopify

User-Generated Content: A Powerful Tool For Conversion Rates

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool that makes customers feel like they’re the stars of the show, encouraging more interaction and engagement leading to conversions.

One study even showed that websites with UGC had a 28% increase in dwell time.

In an online world filled with scams, building trust can be challenging, and this is where UGC truly shines.

The beauty of UGC lies in its authenticity — it provides social proof, showing potential buyers that other consumers trust and enjoy your product or service.

By showcasing real people using and enjoying your products, you instill trust in prospective buyers, increasing their likelihood to complete a purchase transaction.

Remember: The key here is to make customers feel like they’re at center stage while subtly promoting your brand/products.

Source: Embed Social

Post-Purchase Engagement Strategies

Retaining customers and attracting new ones is crucial for any online business, and post-purchase email flows can help you achieve this.

By keeping the conversation going with your customers after they’ve made a purchase on your Shopify store, you can build stronger relationships and increase loyalty.

Why Post-Purchase Emails Matter

Research shows that post-purchase emails can lead to increased repeat purchases and revenue growth for your Shopify store.

By offering exclusive discounts or rewards for loyal customers, providing excellent customer service, and updating product offerings based on feedback, you can retain more customers and increase revenue.

Remember: It’s much easier (and cheaper) to retain existing customers than to attract new ones, so don’t overlook the importance of engaging with your current audience.

Screenshot from Smart Insights

Why Chatbots Are a Must-Have for Your E-Commerce Store

Chatbots aren’t just a tech trend, they’re a crucial tool for personalized customer engagement.

If you’re looking for an effective way to provide VIP treatment to your customers and improve their shopping experience, then adding a chatbot is the perfect solution. 

A chatbot offers 24/7 availability, consistent responses, personalized product recommendations, and quick resolution of doubts or complaints — all while handling multiple customers at once.

Here are some of the benefits of integrating a chatbot into your Shopify store:

  • Higher customer satisfaction: According to studies, 92% of customers are satisfied with live chat features on websites. With a chatbot, customers don’t have to wait for support staff during business hours. Instead, they get immediate assistance from the bot regardless of time zone differences, resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction overall.
  • Better upselling opportunities: By offering personalized recommendations based on purchase behavior and browsing history through the use of AI-powered algorithms, you can increase sales and entice customers to explore more products on your online store.
  • Cut costs: Compared to support systems where you need more employees available around-the-clock answering questions about products or services, having one efficient tool saves money by reducing these expenses while still providing quality customer service.

Screenshot from Mage Ants


Building a Shopify store marketing strategy is crucial for the success of any e-commerce business. By combining the different strategies we mentioned here, you can maximize your store’s visibility, attract a larger customer base, and ultimately drive sales.

Optimizing your website and implementing strong SEO practices ensures that your store ranks higher in search engine results, increasing organic traffic. 

Content marketing helps establish your store as an authority in your industry and engages potential customers with valuable information. 

Engaging with customers on social media allows you to connect with a wider audience and run targeted ads to reach potential customers.

Email marketing helps build a loyal customer base by providing personalized recommendations and exclusive offers. 

Collaborating with influencers, both macro and micro, exposes your products to their dedicated followers, generating brand awareness and trust.

Paid advertising allows you to target specific demographics, increasing your chances of reaching potential customers actively searching for your products. 

Encouraging customer reviews and testimonials enhances credibility and influences purchase decisions. 

Affiliate marketing and collaborations enable you to tap into new markets and leverage the customer base of complementary brands.

And by continuously evaluating your marketing strategies, you can refine your approach and focus on the most effective tactics for marketing your Shopify store. 

Remember, marketing is an ongoing process that requires dedication and flexibility, but with the right strategies, you can achieve significant growth and success.

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About the author

Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an 8x author and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and presence that lasts online. As the VP of Marketing at Content at Scale, she helps marketers achieve insane ROI (3-10x their time back at 1/3rd the cost) in a new era of AI as a baseline for content production. She's been named in the top 30 of all content marketers worldwide, is the founder of Content Hacker, and recently exited her 100-person writing agency with a desire to help marketers, teams, and entrepreneurs find the keys of online success and revenue growth without breaking.

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