Written by Michael Keenan

August 21, 2020

With more than one million merchants and over $135 billion in sales in 2019, Shopify has proven to be a highly profitable platform for many eCommerce companies.

However, there’s a lot to learn about how to market a Shopify store. Success requires more than just a great product. You also need a focused niche, a good logo, lots of website traffic, and a marketing communications strategy. 

How and when you communicate with visitors and customers is an essential part of growing your business. As you begin to acquire more customers, you’ll need to have a reliable marketing strategy and a communications plan that you can scale. 

The delicate balance lies in knowing how to spend your limited time and resources to improve your online store while still managing other tasks that don’t actively bring in revenue. 

Here are 10 ways to market your Shopify store, use chat to communicate with your customers, and grow your sales.

1. Build a strong brand

When you first create your brand, you’re planting the seeds of a successful Shopify store.  A brand is more than just a name or a representation of the products you sell. It’s a fundamental asset for  capturing customer emotions and building closer ties with them in the hopes that they’ll continue to buy from your store.  

The biggest thing people mess up with creating their stores is branding. They put a lot of focus on Google and Facebook ads, but forget about everything that happens on their website.

Adam Wilbanks, CEO of ROI Labs Agency

Your brand (and brand awareness) is more than just your store’s website or your logo. It extends throughout your entire digital marketing strategy, from email marketing to Messenger and SMS. Every communication with a customer needs to align with your brand to deliver a consistent experience.

Your goal is to emulate a good personality across all your customer touchpoints. A lot of people see e-Commerce as very segmented. Email is one thing, your bot is another, and your store is on its own…”

Adam, who has helped grow multiple Shopify stores past the six-figure mark, explains that all these pieces add up to the full “brand experience,” and you want to ensure they are all well-integrated. Maintaining a consistent persona across all your channels makes your store easy to identify and keeps customers engaged over time. 

For example, Pipcorn’s website portrays their brand as natural and healthy, yet modern:

Pipcorn Shopify Store Example

The color palette and an eye-catching illustration support the simplicity and natural origins of their product. 

Here’s how to create a strong brand:

  1. Find your niche market. Who are your customers? Who are your competitors? And what can you do to differentiate yourself from them? 
  2. Choose your personality. Create a persona for your company. Use language and messaging that will resonate with your ideal customers, and employ it consistently throughout your Messenger, email, and SMS marketing campaigns.
  3. Create the visual identity of your brand. Choose a color palette, typography, logo, etc., that will best represent your brand’s personality.
  4. Evolve your brand as you grow. Your brand may change or mature over time. New products can attract different customer groups; new trends can lead to new customer perceptions. Stay fluid to evolve with the times. Blast your brand over social media.
  5. Start a blog. A Shopify blog strategy can help you connect with potential customers and help build a strong web presence by creating valuable, on-brand content for readers.

2. Create an attention-grabbing visual identity

Since your Shopify store provides a big part of the user  experience, creating a visual identity that’s fun and exciting is essential to attract customers and increase revenue.

Consider this: if your store sees 100 visitors and only one person makes a purchase, your conversion rate is one percent, which isn’t bad. But say you spruce up your site with high-quality product photos and fun descriptions on every product page, which helps secure one additional sale per 100 visitors. You now have a two percent conversion rate for a minimal investment (or no investment, if you take the photos yourself).

Adam adds,

“Small tweaks like high-quality photos and descriptions focused on the psychology of conversion can quickly bring in more revenue for a store. Even if you move from one to two percent, you’ve already doubled your conversion rate without spending money on ads and emails. You’ve already doubled how much you’re going to make online.”

Photos

The Candi Factory, a clothing brand out of Toronto, uses quirky, appealing images on its website that immediately attract the eye:

The Candi Factory Shopify Store

The background is a plain, flat white, which lets the brand’s personality shine without distractions. 

Product descriptions

While high-quality photos are crucial, product descriptions can also make or break a sale. Green and Blacks, an online chocolate retailer based in the UK, peppers its copy with sensory elements to help a potential customer imagine the bar’s taste.

Green&Blacks Shopify Store

You can work with an in-house team or outsource freelancers to help create persuasive copy,or try it yourself! You might just discover you have a hidden knack for it.

Colors

You may not realize it, but brand colors are the first thing a customer will notice upon entering your site. You can use color to initiate an immediate, unconscious emotional connection with a customer and establish your identity. 

For example, eco-friendly companies who want you to think “healthy” use earthy tones like green and brown. While others, like Coke and Heinz, stand out and get people excited for their products by using the color red. Consider what emotion you want to evoke when a customer looks at your website, and choose colors accordingly.

Furthermore, if your Shopify store looks like every other online store out there, customers will be hard-pressed to separate it from the pack. Hardgraft, an eCommerce brand that sells leather and knit goods, uses a light gray background to set it apart from its competition. 

Brand color example for Shopify store Hardgraft

The sleek and elegant site embodies Hardgraft’s sophisticated brand, and its unique look paves the way for a memorable online shopping experience you won’t find elsewhere. 

Customize your store on the Shopify platform

You have two options to customize your Shopify store: Build a site from scratch or start with a templated Shopify theme. Building your website from the ground up gives you full control, but templates save you time and offer a ready-made, sleek design. 

Browse through Shopify’s pre-built themes or use a third-party developer to design your dream website. Either way, you have a lot of options. No matter what your business may be—photography, beauty, health, software, etc. —there’ll be a template designed to meet your store’s needs. 

Note that you have the freedom to experiment with your template’s layouts, text, images, and colors. Shopify’s interface is simple enough to navigate, but if you want more control, consider the Shotgun Shopify app to help you customize your landing pages and more.  

Market your Shopify store with ManyChat today. The leading Chat Marketing platform for e-Commerce marketers.

3. Run click-to-Messenger ads

Running click-to-Messenger ads can be an effective way to grow your Shopify store. These Facebook ads let people who’ve clicked on your ad to start a conversation with you inside Facebook Messenger.

Click-to-Messenger ads can help you reach new customers through custom audiences you create yourself. Try targeting these high-value target segments with ads:

  1. Custom Audience:  people who’ve viewed products, but didn’t add anything to their cart
  2. Custom Audience: people who added products to their cart, but then abandoned the purchase before checking out 
  3. Lookalike Audience: base this on customers with a Lifetime Value of over $1,000, or any amount that indicates a high value customer for your brand.

If you use the ManyChat Shopify integration, you can build these audiences from the data you collect from your Shopify store. You can connect with your target audience, showcase products, and send users straight to a product listing in your store or product carousel inside Messenger. 

Use the following advertising template to get started today. It’s based on The Pearl Source case study in which the online retailer achieved a 47% conversion rate and generated over $64,000 in additional revenue over six weeks. 

Click to Messenger ad template

Check out the flow via this link. Then download it as a template for your own Facebook ad campaigns!

Overall, click-to-Messenger ads help you follow a more conversational approach to selling by initiating a real-time conversation in a chat window. You can automate the entire lead generation process, or have a human jump into a Live Chat conversation to offer help and advance a sale. 

4. Convert store visitors into subscribers

Are your subscribers ignoring your emails? Encourage store visitors to sign up for your SMS or Messenger subscriber list instead. They’re faster, more efficient, and more people open and act on messages sent through these channels than they do with regular emails. 

Baskets and Beads Kenya, a Shopify merchant, uses the SMS Modal growth tool to get subscribers on their text marketing list.

SMS Modal widget for ManyChat

In ManyChat, it’s easy to test different pop-ups such as a Page Takeover, Slide-In, or embedded sign-up forms to help turn anonymous visitors into subscribers. You can even choose when the pop-up appears, like after a certain amount of time or when someone clicks “Add to Cart.” 

ManyChat and Shopify Widget

Once you get a new subscriber from your Shopify website, you can collect contact information, preferences, interests, and more to tailor their communications.

 

For a full list of ManyChat Growth tools you can use to market your Shopify store, read this guide

5. Turn social media followers into Messenger and SMS contacts

Running Facebook ads and acquiring new subscribers are essential to growing your Shopify store’s client base. But what about your social media followers? 

For most eCommerce businesses, it’s hard to keep in touch with all your followers when they’re scattered across different channels. Odds are, you’re probably running Instagram campaigns, a YouTube channel, and maybe even posting on Twitter. You want to corral them all into one place, whether it’s SMS or Messenger, where you can engage customers in two-way conversations to build more meaningful relationships. And you can do it all with a Messenger Ref URL. 

Messenger Ref URL

A Messenger Ref URL is a simple URL you can add to any channel driving traffic to your store:

  • Social media bios (like those on Instagram and Twitter)
  • Marketing emails 
  • Instagram stories 
  • YouTube video descriptions
  • QR Codes
  • eCommerce product videos
  • Guest blog posts

When a person clicks on your link, they enter into a conversation with your ManyChat bot. A Messenger Ref URL is a useful tactic for collecting subscribers and creating different welcome flows based on the acquisition channel. 

For example, if a subscriber came in from your latest Instagram marketing campaign, you could greet them with a message saying, “Thanks for joining us here on Messenger; we’re even more excited to see you here than we were on Instagram!”

The Messenger Ref URL will quickly become one of your favorite tools if you embark on the ManyChat journey. It’s easy to set up, effective, and its minimal learning curve makes it a must to promote your Shopify store. 

6. Run Coupon Campaigns

Everyone loves a good coupon. In fact, according to the latest Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report, 92% of consumers used one in 2019, with 45% claiming they always or frequently use them. What better way to encourage shoppers to buy than by offering to save them a nice chunk of change?  

You can easily create a Coupon Campaign right inside of ManyChat’s Flow Builder. Use Coupon Campaigns to encourage sales at any point during the buyer journey, such as:

  • A token of appreciation for leaving reviews
  • First-time buyer discounts
  • Completing a quiz 
  • Sharing a giveaway with friends
  • Participating in a giveaway (but not winning)
  • Cart abandonment follow-ups
  • Promotional flows
  • Customer loyalty program sign-ups

You can create both general-use or personalized coupon codes with a time limit for when a customer could use it. 

Coupon in Messenger

Let’s say you have a fitness gear store on Shopify, and a yogi named Trish visits your website. Trish opts in through your Modal widget to receive exclusive deals and updates via Messenger. To reward her for signing up, you send a personalized 10% off coupon through Messenger with a link back to your Shopify store. Trish, as excited as could be, clicks through to your store and buys an item she was interested in. With a ManyChat Coupon Campaign, generating new sales is a piece of cake. 

7. Send abandoned cart reminders

If a shopper reaches your checkout process, you know they’re at least interested in buying your product. Maybe the doorbell rang with an Amazon delivery, or the kids got rowdy at home; for whatever reason, they abandoned the cart. 

But don’t fret: you can easily get them back by using ManyChat’s Abandoned Cart Trigger. Here’s what a cart abandonment message looks like in Messenger:

 

In ManyChat’s Flow Builder, you can choose the Shopify Abandoned Cart trigger to send an automated message when someone leaves a product (or products) in their cart. Your message can include a gallery of what’s in the cart, a personalized coupon, and a direct link back to your online store. 

ManyChat Cart abandonment message

Depending on what channels the customer has opted to receive your content from, you can send the message through Messenger, SMS, or email.

Abandon Cart Message with Shopify Coupon

The best part? If a shopper has a question, you can route them to a Live Chat agent to help answer them and encourage a sale.

You can start running abandoned cart campaigns in your Shopify store today with your ManyChat bot. Read Selling on Shopify: Recovering Abandoned Carts on Mobile to set it up.

8. Combat browse abandonment with chat messaging

Consider the mindset of someone browsing your site. If they haven’t added anything to their cart, maybe they’re not sure what they really want yet, or they haven’t found the right product that will satisfy their needs. Whatever the reason, shoppers at this stage are still searching for what they want. With chat messaging, you can help them find it and nudge them towards the checkout page. 

Nearly 54% of shoppers leave an eCommerce store because they couldn’t find what they were looking for, according to Episerver’s Reimagining eCommerce report.

With ManyChat, you can combat browse abandonment by sending messages through Messenger and SMS based on what shoppers were looking at in your store. Such messages allow you to create automated marketing campaigns that help convert those window-shoppers to customers.

Browse abandonment message for Shopify store

Using ManyChat, you can even see your entire inventory when building out these campaigns so you can quickly make relevant product recommendations or special offers. 

For more on how to create browse abandonment campaigns for your Shopify store, read Selling on Shopify: How to Connect with Visitors on Mobile.

9. Improve the post-purchase experience by sending order updates through SMS

According to research by Convey, nearly 40% of customers consider post-purchase follow-up to be the most memorable part of the brand experience, with 75% believing that clear communication is essential for this step. 

One way to create a memorable post-purchase experience is by sending order updates directly to a customer’s mobile phone. This is a pivotal moment to build trust between you and your customer, considering 51% of shoppers want real-time visibility into their order status. 

Fulfillment messages are also known to reduce buyer’s remorse and help cultivate a more meaningful relationship between you and your customers.

You can send automated personalized confirmation messages after the customer places an order and when the order has been fulfilled.

With ManyChat, you can send these messages through Messenger, SMS, or email, automatically and all in Flow Builder. Here is an example of what an SMS fulfillment message can look like:

Order confirmation

If a customer has a question about their order’s status, you can route them to a Live Chat agent who will answer any questions they have. 

Read more: Selling on Shopify: How to Engage Shopify Customers on Mobile

10. Set up Live Chat on your store

Forrester data reveals that site visitors who use web chat are 2.8x more likely to convert than those who don’t. 

If you haven’t yet added Live Chat to your Shopify store, now’s the time! Nearly 95% of people spend time on in-home media consumption, and between 30 and 55% shopping online more frequently.

People are clicking, reading, buying, and chatting online. To improve their experience at your store, you can offer help, strike up a conversation, and get to know the person behind the screen all through Live Chat, building a relationship that could result in a sale. 

With ManyChat, you can engage in a Live Chat over SMS or Messenger without leaving the ManyChat interface. 

Live Chat in ManyChat

You can also access all the data that’s been collected about a customer to help them make the best purchase for themselves. 

To use your Messenger bot and Live Chat effectively, Derric Haynie, founder of eCommercetech.io and speaker at ManyChat’s Conversations 2019, offers a six-step strategy to grow your Shopify sales:

  1. Build a comprehensive FAQ or knowledge base section
  2. Create a detailed chatbot flow that can answer common questions and help decrease purchase friction
  3. Assemble a sales training guide for your team.
  4. Recognize typical user purchase and browsing behavior that indicates whether a ticket is pre-sale or post-sale, and segment your support team into pre-sales and post-sales accordingly to best serve the customer
  5. Have humans ready to respond to tickets within 90 seconds of receiving a customer message
  6. Rake in the profits!

Creating a successful Shopify store for 2020

As a juggernaut in the space, Shopify leads the way for eCommerce store platforms. But to get the most out of it, you’ll need more than a good logo and store traffic. 

Fortunately, armed with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to growing a Shopify store that sells like gangbusters and achieves your eCommerce goals year after year.

Grow your Shopify store with ManyChat. It’s free to get started.