26 Marketing Tactics to Promote Your Shopify Store

26 Marketing Tactics to Promote Your Shopify Store

No matter your mission, niche, products, or services, it’s safe to say that every Shopify store owner has perhaps one of many common goals: to increase sales (and we’re guessing part of the reason you’re here)! As we strive to continue to provide useful resources to Shopify merchants, we’ve got you covered on this one too.
We’ve put together a list of tried and tested marketing tactics that we think can be pretty effective in helping you promote your online store and reach more potential customers. While there are always new ways to market your products, grow your email list, and drive sales, we hope that the ideas and case studies reviewed here put you on a more concrete path to successfully advertise your Shopify store, and a starting point you can add on to!

Table of Contents

Bonus:As a Shopify store owner, you directly benefit from the native integrations Shopify has with many of the apps mentioned on this list, so once you decide which ones best suit your marketing needs, find them in the App Store, download, and you’re good to go! Did we mention there’s no coding required?
Let’s go!

The Basics

Wherever you are in the process of marketing your Shopify store, these steps are a good place to begin with and a way to get a solid foundation to implement your future advertising strategies. Plus, you can get started on most of these today!

#1 Lead generation

We know the “what” of your marketing goals is (to promote your products or services and increase your sales) but now is a good time to ask to “who”? There’s no way around it – effective advertising needs an engaged audience, and the first step to start building your email list is to have a way for visitors to sign up for your newsletter. One of the best strategies? Setting up a lead generation form, usually an eye-catching pop-up with an email address sign-up section.
Socital popup for free shipping

Bando’s lead generation pop-up:

Just make sure that the form is GDPR-friendly and that it can integrate with other email marketing platforms (like Mailchimp or Moosend) so you can stay connected after visitors sign up! With Shopify’s App Store, there’s no shortage of options. Start off with Socital, a user-friendly online pop-up builder that lets subscribers sign up with their social media accounts as well as their email addresses, allowing online store owners to create more personalized email marketing campaigns and recover abandoned carts. Also, your first 500 leads are free!

#2 Optimize your storefront

And we’re not just talking about your homepage. Each social media platform requires its own strategy for building an audience and offers its own tools to promote your Shopify store, so whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest (in general we recommend all four sales channels!), taking the time to tweak each social media account to both better reflect your brand and fully benefit from each platform’s features creates cohesion and can ultimately translate to the better visitor experience.
Have an Instagram account? Consider adding brand-consistent Story Highlights to promote your products:
brand-consistent Story Highlights to promote your products
brand-consistent Story Highlights to promote your products
Oversee a Facebook Page? Set up Instant Replies to help guide potential customers on questions they might have.

Tip: consistently responding to messages in under 15 minutes can earn you a “very responsive” badge on Facebook, and solidify visitors’ trust in your Shopify store.

“very responsive” badge on Facebook

#3 Promote useful and shareable content

While you are likely already sharing resources, updates, and general information with those who engage with your online store, really taking the time to consider how that content will be repurposed and shared is one of many useful tips and advice that can shape how you advertise your products and drive sales.
Take Pela Case, for example. A business focused on fully biodegradable cases, they have a weekly newsletter called “Sustainability Saturday”. They understand that their audience likely prioritizes eco-friendly behavior, and by sharing news that does not directly promote their products but rather seeks to inform, they maintain their relationship with their potential customers and also remind them of their shared mission.
Sustainability Saturday
Pura Vida also offers free “Digi Downloads” – phone backgrounds that not only look great but also indirectly advertise their products:
backgrounds that look great but also indirectly advertise the products
backgrounds that look great but also indirectly advertise the products

#4 Build an Instagram/Facebook store

Ever seen those little shopping bags on Instagram posts? That means that the products featured can be purchased and if you’re an online store owner, that’s too good of an opportunity to increase sales and promote your Shopify store to pass up! To set up an Instagram or Facebook store, you just need to have a Facebook Page and Instagram Business Profile. As a Shopify store owner, all you need to do is then head on over to your dashboard, add Instagram and Facebook as sales channels and follow the instructions!
Note: it can take some time for Facebook to approve your store for selling but once you have the go-ahead, you can start tagging your products right away! It’s a great way to go!
tag your products

#5 Generate anticipation

“Coming soon”: more engagement! If you’ve seen the automatic display that pops up when you’ve set up your Shopify store but hasn’t made it live yet, you know that in some cases, your site doesn’t even need to be fully ready to generate buzz. By building anticipation for a store launch, event, or even a seasonal discount, visitors are incentivized to check back in with your site, join your email list or follow your social media accounts, and the buildup also allows more time for you to get the word out and drive traffic.

Building anticipation is a key marketing strategy for The 5TH watches:

Build anticipation

#6 Facebook/Instagram stories

Another social media tactic to promote your Shopify store, frequently uploading stories to your Facebook Page and Instagram account provides another great way to stay connected with your audience and generate sales. Each story stays up for 24 hours and can be an effective way to share updates to either emphasize your main feed posts or provide supplementary content related to your products.
Tip: Include interactive stories like quizzes, polls, and Q+As! Here’s Tastemade’s take:
upload stories to your Facebook Page and Instagram account
upload stories to your Facebook Page and Instagram account

#7 Email marketing

As you build your audience and the number of collected email addresses increases, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to communicate and stay connected with those most engaged with your online store. To make it useful for all, increase open rates, and better promote your Shopify store, we strongly recommend segmenting your email list, and personalizing your newsletters according to subscriber interests, purchase history and general interactions with your business.

Fun fact: with Socital’s integration with followers’ social media accounts, the app allows for a tailored email list based on subscribers’ interests, so not only can you promote your products and share updates, but you can also do so in a way that is relevant to them (and can result in an up to 200% increase in sales)!

Bando’s introductory email:

introductory email

Tip: To grow your engagement rates on social media as well, dedicate a section of each of your newsletter to encouraging subscribers to follow you on your other accounts:

Sugarfina’s sign off:
encouraging subscribers to follow you on your other accounts

Next Steps

You’ve created your social media accounts, are building your email list, and sales are coming in. Now might be a good time to start exploring a few more involved tactics to promote your Shopify store. Here’s some we’ve found:

#8 Paid ads

No need to reinvent the wheel in this case. Sometimes the most traditional online marketing strategies are the most effective, and dedicating some of your budgets to paid ads is a classic sales tactic for a reason. With Facebook’s and Google’s extensive targeting capabilities, launching online ad campaigns remains an incredibly useful strategy to drive traffic to your website, promote your product, and increase engagement on your social media accounts. While it requires a bit more startup capital, even a little can yield large results.

#9 Discounts

Maybe it’s counterintuitive, but to increase sales, it helps to provide potential customers with the opportunity to save. Remember, offering a discount can also be a great way to grow your newsletter list since users are more likely to sign up for future email marketing if they can immediately save on their purchase. Some of our favorite types of sales include:
offer a discount to grow your newsletter list
If you’re an Instagram or Facebook user, you’re likely already aware of the impact influencers can have on their followers, but as a Shopify store owner, this becomes a critical consideration when determining marketing tactics to pursue.
The influencer’s followers, specific niche, and engagement rate are all important factors to note when deciding how to promote your store, but it is also worth evaluating how this partnership can translate into sales. You’re not only looking for a content creator with an engaging feed, but also one that can significantly sway their followers’ purchase decisions.

Note: A low follower count does not have to be a disqualifying factor when selecting a creator to advertise with. In fact, micro-influencers (generally considered to be creators with over 1,000 to up to 100,000 followers, though the number ranges) have often built a community whose engagement with influencer sponsorships likely rivals that of other social media creators with larger followings. Just keep in mind that an Instagram account with over 10,000 followers can add links to their stories – particularly useful if you’re just starting out and want to drive traffic to your website!

Also remember: partnering with an influencer doesn’t necessarily mean an individual content creator. It can also be a popular page within your Shopify store’s niche. For example, in this case, this business has secured a link on a popular pet account to promote their products and bring traffic to their online store.

links on facebook posts

#10 Upsell and cross-sell

We know what you’re thinking: isn’t it pushing it to ask your customers to add even MORE to their carts? Not according to other Shopify stores’ sales history! Upselling (suggesting upgraded versions of products your customers are about to purchase) and cross-selling (suggesting complementary products to add to their cart) are two of the most effective tactics to increase sales.
Upsell and cross-sell

We’ll let this Shopify store case study speak for itself: When you go to check out at Velvet Caviar, an online store for phone cases, you are prompted with a pop-up that suggests you add a screen protector to your order – according to Shopify Inspector, that screen protector is one of their best-selling products! It helps to make sure if the items you are cross-selling cost less than the original products visitors have in their cart. Frequently Bought Together, Reconvert, and Bold Upsell are all Shopify apps to consider.

#11 Giveaways

Who doesn’t enjoy some good freebies? One of our favorite tactics for online stores is to host (or co-host!) sweepstakes or contests. Just set some rules for eligibility (usually involving following your social media accounts, tagging friends, and joining your email list) and you’re good to go! As a result, you get to promote your products and winners get a prize! Plus, the increase in traffic and brand awareness can lead to an increase in sales later on.

#12 SMS marketing

While email newsletters allow for more visual variety, they can often end up in the “Promotions” folder of subscribers’ inboxes. With open rates of up to 98%, text message marketing is an effective way to ensure your message gets read by the people most engaged with your brand. Just make sure your subscription forms also (or instead of, depending on your marketing strategy) have a phone number capture in addition to an email address capture section! Some Shopify apps that can help with SMS marketing and drive sales are SMSBump and Postscript SMS Marketing.

#13 Loyalty program

Want to reward subscribers for actions they take on your Shopify store? Offer them some sweet perks! One of the best tactics to help advertise your products, promote your social media accounts, and increase sales is to create a membership program with benefits based on followers’ interactions with your business.
Actions that can be redeemed for membership benefits include joining your email list, following you on social media, referring a friend, and completing a purchase worth a certain amount (we also hear that birthday rewards don’t hurt either). A couple of great apps for your Shopify store (with free plans) that also integrate with your social media accounts include Smile.io and LoyaltyLion.
Loyalty program
Loyalty program

#14 Affiliate program

Marketing is a team effort, and launching an affiliate program by identifying influencers in your niche and offering them a percentage of revenue for sales they generate can be a useful strategy for promoting your Shopify store. To help keep track of purchases linked to specific accounts, it can help to offer a personalized code, or alternatively use an app like Refersion or GoAffPro.

#15 Cross-promotion

A win-win for online store owners, consider partnering with and cross-promoting businesses that offer complementary products to yours. It’s an effective way to drive traffic to your website and also provides your visitors with an opportunity to discover another brand they might enjoy!

#16 Testimonials/User-generated content

Marketing your Shopify store doesn’t have to be just about the content you’re putting out there. Potential customers can benefit from hearing from others that have been in their shoes too. Featuring testimonials and user-generated content for your products not only provides social proof, but it is also one of the more effective tactics to promote your business and drive sales since it increases visitors’ trust in your store. Yotpo and Stamped.io are two Shopify apps you can start with.

Testimonials/User-generated content

#17 Blog

Writers unite! There are many skills that can be useful for marketing and creating compelling copy that entertains and informs readers is high on the list. A strategy to put it to good use? Starting a blog for your online store! This can serve not only as an additional way to promote your products and attract traffic to your website but also as a resource for and an opportunity to connect with audiences with similar interests. It also helps make your Shopify store more discoverable on search engines!

#18 SEO optimization

Google: the underrated business partner of all Shopify store owners. The most popular of all search engines, having a high Google search rank means that you are more likely to appear on the first page of its results, so optimizing your site to include frequently searched and relevant keywords can be a critical driver in generating organic traffic to your online store and directly impact sales. Both semrush.com and alexa.com give insights on potential keywords to focus on, how to increase organic traffic on search engines, as well as SEO rankings so that potential customers can more easily discover your products.

#19 Consistency

Aside from posting consistently on your social media accounts, one of the best ways to promote your Shopify store is to create content with a distinct voice and visual aesthetic. While this may take some figuring out in the beginning, settling on content that potential customers can immediately recognize as yours not only helps with brand recall but also in building an audience that is highly engaged with your online social media presence.

#20 Side Instagram Account/Facebook group

One of the more underrated social media tactics to promote your store is to create a curated Instagram account or Facebook group in addition to your primary business, one that is directly related to the products or services you offer. Content on these social media accounts usually does not directly promote your Shopify store but is relevant to consumers. Now that Facebook pages can join groups, you don’t even have to make your own! For example, Instagram account @peony_addict curates images of peonies for an audience of over 47,000. Given that the account promotes a flower subscription service, the audience is highly relevant to the products they offer.
Side Instagram Account/Facebook group

#21 Get Festive

A holiday is always just around the corner! By tailoring your marketing content to better reflect the season and upcoming celebrations (example: Black Friday sales), you make it easier for consumers to find you on search engines, and drive sales by providing additional incentives to select your products. For more season-specific sales strategies, check out our e-commerce guides here!

Sugarfina’s holiday banner:

Get Festive

Casetify’s Halloween promotion:

Get Festive

Advanced tactics

These strategies may require a bit more of a budget, experience, and research, but no need to be intimidated! Even beginner Shopify store owners can benefit from considering how these additional steps can be used to promote their products and increase sales.

#22 Podcasts

Have a radio program in mind that you think is relevant to your products? Consider reaching out to them to promote your Shopify store! Listeners tuning in are potential customers, and adjusting your messaging for audio can go a long way in driving traffic and sales.

Also, get this: all Shopify store owners are eligible to receive a FREE card reader. This means that tracking and increasing your offline sales just got even easier. 

#23 Subscription Boxes

There are thousands of curated subscription boxes out there, and given that many of them are focused on providing members with a way to discover new brands, applying to be featured in one of their monthly shipments can result in a serious increase in sales, particularly if you select subscriptions directly relevant to the products you offer!
P.S. Don’t forget, you can also start your own!

Birchbox and Causebox are one of many subscription boxes with an engaged audience and active social media presence:

Subscription Boxes
Subscription Boxes
Stumped for inspiration?

#24 Ask your subscribers!

Inspired by Happy Socks’ survey campaign where they offered subscribers a 25% discount and free shipping on their purchases, one of the most useful sources for ideas on how to better promote your Shopify store and increase sales can be those most engaged with your brand!

Ask your subscribers!

#25 And subscribe to email newsletters!

What better way to learn how to increase sales than from companies that already have? There’s a whole world of creative email marketing out there, so joining the email list of some of your favorite brands is sure to give you more ideas for how to advertise your Shopify store. Plus, they’re delivered straight to your inbox!
By the way, if you’re looking for additional guidance on promoting your Shopify store, you can get all of our e-commerce guides for free here! You can also scroll to the bottom of the article for a cheat sheet on the apps mentioned.

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