Getting Started on Shopify Marketing 

You’ve got a brand, you’ve got a website on Shopify, you’ve got products, you’ve even got your social media accounts set-up. But what next? No-one knows your brand exists. It’s like a shop that doesn’t have a street or a sign-post to let everyone know you are there. Fortunately getting started on Shopify marketing is pretty straight-forward and since CRKLR are Shopify Marketing Experts, we thought we’d share everything you need to know to get you started.

Product Optimisation

Let’s start with the basics as ensuring your products are set-up well is essential to everything from achieving a good conversion rate onsite to appearing on your ads to target relevant audiences.

  1. Product Data – Make sure your product data is complete and includes all the necessary attributes. Providing good quality data about your products is essential to appearing for the right searches and even for making the most of your paid marketing activity. Specifically ensure that you have any details like SKU, colour, materials, weight, size, age group added. The old adage is ‘good data in good data out’ and this applies to product data. Providing search and social platforms with the right information is essential to allowing their algorithms to match with user intent. 
  2. Product Descriptions and Titles – writing good product descriptions and titles affects everything from how your products from appear in organic listings to reducing return rates. Make sure you conduct keyword research using tools like SEMrush and include keywords where possible in product titles as well as descriptive terms. Pro level – include structured markup to answer any specific questions that are likely to be repetitive and seen as useful to search engines 
  3. Product Images – Make sure your site is well ordered and Product Description Pages (PDP’s) have multiple images in a consistent order. If it’s a fashion brand  then include front and back as well as model and detail shots. Examples of product shots are: Product image (on model if fashion). Product image 2 – Front of product, Product image 3, back of product, Product image 4 – detail. These should also have meta descriptions of the products, again containing relevant keywords.

How To Set-up Shopify Marketing Channels

Before getting started with any marketing activity, you will need to set-up your marketing channels. Shopify does a lot of the heavy lifting for you here in terms of tracking but there are some nuances to getting this right and not wasting your marketing budget. 

  1. Google Ads – Set-up a Google Ads account or pay a marketing expert to do this for you. Good set-up across all platforms is critical and done correctly, it is quite time consumptive and daunting. CRKLR offer set-up and training packages to help you launch successfully and rapidly become an expert yourself. However if you want to get started quickly in Google then our advice would be to focus on Google Shopping and Performance Max and use Google’s powerful machine learning to do the heavy lifting in terms of bidding. A couple of things to watch out for are enabling broad match if running search ads as this can waste a lot of budget if you aren’t a google ads specialist, splitting out brand and non-brand and switching off auto-apply recommendations. This is contrary to the advice you will receive from Google reps but will conserve your budget.

  2. Google Merchant Centre – Google Merchant Centre is where you connect your products with Google properties such as Google Shopping and YouTube. This doesn’t just include paid Google Shopping Ads but also free shopping listings (previously called Google Surfaces). Google Merchant Centre can be tricky to configure and it is important to understand that you can connect either directly from Shopify using content API or via a separate feed management platform such as Shoptimised.

    1. Content API – connect this via the native shopify integration is a good starting place if you have made sure your product data is well set-up. Use the SEO descriptions to pull in the copy you are using for meta search. This will also pull in all your shipping settings

    2. Feed Management Platform – Using a feed management platform is for advanced users but makes a significant difference to performance as you can optimise shopping campaigns using rules to complete or enhance missing attributes. For instance we set rules to move products out of the feed based on stock or creating custom labels based on sell-through, margin etc.

  3. Meta Channel – Meta (Facebook and Instagram) is still the largest and most effective social media platform for advertising. This should be your starting place for marketing. In our experience, Meta outstrips paid search for many D2C brands as it generates demand, provided products and content are strong. First you need to have your social accounts set-up – make sure you have an Instagram business account. Connecting to Shopify is dead easy and will even set-up your tracking pixel and commerce account natively. However, we’d advise you also set-up a Business Manager account which will house your assets; pages, ad accounts, commerce manager, pixel, assets and billing. Business Manager also makes it a lot easier to work with external agencies or freelancers. Even if you want to run ads in house, there is a massive benefit to having a fresh set of eyes review the structure and set-up from time to time. Check out our guide to Meta Ads account structure for more detail. Pro-tip – set-up CAPI or server side tracking to understand performance.

  4. Other Social Channels – If you are just starting out then it’s usually best to focus on getting one platform right rather than trying to be present across everything. There is an enormous amount of crossover between users across platforms but they do work differently and have different content approaches. If you have a young audience (under 25 YO) and/or are focussed on beauty and fashion then set-up TikTok and Snapchat. Content here is extremely important and particularly on TikTok, it needs to be fun and informative. For slightly older audiences, higher value products and design or home and garden related Pinterest produces excellent results. We’d recommend setting up all these channels and seeding with some content and linking up product feeds from Shopify. When you add new products these will automatically sync as long as you remember to add the sales channel.

  5. Influencer Marketing – Install Shopify Collabs (native Shopify influencer app) Shopify’s quoted 7X ROAS on influencer marketing is inflated and you are unlikely to see this initially as finding good reliable influencers can be tough. Get it right though and you will have social proofing and also a content pipeline. We find the best approach is to think as influencer marketing as doing the job of content production as well as advertising and when viewed through this lens, working with micro influencers is typically most effective, especially if they are in your niche.

Email Marketing, SMS and CRM

You will need to set-up your email marketing if you want to see customers build a lasting relationship with your brand. Email marketing goes much further than just collecting emails and sending out a newsletter once a week and can significantly improve site conversion and repeat purchase behaviour. This means better ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and better LTV (lifetime value) which will enable you to scale your store.

CRKLR are Klaviyo marketing partners and highly recommend this email and SMS marketing platform for Shopifty advertisers. A few of the initial flows you will want to set-up are below: 

  • Website Forms – Optimising your newsletter subscription pop-ups can dramatically improve conversion rates. We have seen 400% improvements by optimising content and device. 
  • Welcome flow – convert your new subscribers to customers with an offer and welcoming them to your brand
  • Abandoned basket emails – remind customers that they have items in their basket and push them over the line with a discount based on rules
  • Post purchase emails – tell them more about the brand, products and how much you appreciate them shopping with you
  • Loyalty emails – If customers have purchased previously then gaining a second purchase is critical to developing loyalty so why not reward them with points? Loyalty apps like Loyalty Lion have great integrations and can deliver a competitive advantage by incentivising purchases and engagements.
  • Re-engagement flows – If customers haven’t purchased or interacted in some time then target them specifically with a compelling offer.

Marketing Measurement for Shopify

Next you need to make sure you have measurement set-up and understand the basics of attribution. This enables you to understand what part of your marketing is working and where you should invest. Ad platforms are notorious for over-reporting and will only show journeys from their own walled gardens. Most users will have complex purchasing journeys so there is a risk of double counting conversions, especially in the lower part of the sales funnel. 

Best practice – use server side tracking. In platforms like Meta, this is implemented via CAPI. As you scale your business, using a tag management solution is highly recommended. And ideally server side. To find out more, please read our guide to tag management.

  1. Shopify Reports – Shopify reports are really useful in understanding your store’s performance, especially from a product perspective. If you don’t see sales on day one of going live, then check ‘add to cart’ stats as it is normal for this to be a first step for a lot of customers and given a few days you will see conversions.

  2. Google Analytics 4 – Google analytics (GA4) will provide you with a wealth of valuable data and help you better understand anything from product performance to user journey and how your marketing is actually performing. GA4 is different from Shopify analytics and will provide more accurate data on your marketing channel performance based on DDA (Data Driven Attribution). Be aware though that GA4 wil not account for post impression based conversions (for example, people that have seen an ad on Instagram and then searched on Google). GA4 is now natively integrated with Shopify and you just need to set-up a property, locate the property ID and add to the Google channel in Shopify. It will not include your returns so always remember to take account of this when looking at your profit.

  3. Tag Solutions – Even using the native Shopify solutions, store owners are adding a lot of javascript to their website which slows down site speed, impacts user experience and is penalised by search engines. Using a tag solution like Google Tag Manager can improve load speeds as effectively it reduces the amount of javascript on each page. More advanced users will want to look at server side tagging solutions like Elevar which helps provide better attribution and enables better first party data collection, useful for targeting and automation.

  4. Attribution Solutions – for more sophisticated advertisers that are spending over £20,000/month on advertising and looking to optimise and scale their spend, it is worth looking at investing in solutions like Triple Whale, Fopsha or Wicked Reports which will help gain greater insights into metrics like NCAC or New Customer Acquisition.

So there you have it – the complete guide to getting started with Shopify marketing. It’s critical in the early stages of any business to get the basics right as it will mean the difference between success and failure. A good marketing agency will deliver great value and offer a solution that includes all of the above as well as platform experts, technology and processes to help bring your business to the next level.