This post is contributed by Marco Grishaber of WunderAds.
If you’re already selling on Amazon, you’re probably familiar with a lot of the pros and cons. Amazon offers access to millions of high-intent shoppers. You can see success relatively quickly without too many start-up costs. It’s a great place to get started, build traction and generate cash flow.
However, since Amazon has relatively low entry barriers, it also invites many competitors, and the platform itself is very restrictive with its marketing and branding opportunities. It makes sellers very platform-dependant, and overnight changes in the ecosystem can turn your business on its head.
This is why you should consider platform expansion, to diversify your risk and put you in a better position to compete. Amazon might be a good start, but there are more fruits to harvest.
Last year we helped one of our clients expand outside of Amazon to generate 153K€ within their first year on Shopify. In this article, we’ll talk about an easy, low-cost way to get started on Shopify. We’ll look at the basic setup, how to optimize your store for a higher conversion rate, how to prepare your 80/20 email marketing foundation and how to get your sales started with Google Ads.
Getting Started on Shopify
Shopify makes it very fast and straightforward to get started with your own online store. There’s no tech expertise needed, and its marketing integrations are easy to launch. It makes it easy to focus on selling and marketing, without worrying too much about coding.
You will have to sign up for a monthly subscription plan and then choose a Shopify Store theme to get started. We won’t be going too deep into the Shopify setup, but the official Shopify resources provide an excellent start. Learn everything from adding your products to launching your store here.
Optimizing Your Shopify Store for Conversions
One of the advantages Amazon provides is the trust factor. Its users – over 2 billion shoppers per month – come to Amazon in a shopping mindset, and they convert at a high rate, all because of the Amazon name.
Outside of Amazon, we need to focus on increasing our credibility and our shoppers’ trust while reducing friction in the way of making a purchase.
Looking at Amazon will help you better understand how to optimize for conversions. Many of the following elements are already very familiar:
- Use Reviews and testimonials on product pages, ideally with images or videos → Apps: Product Reviews (free), Stamped.io (User-generated content – short: UGC (User-Generated Content) – is critical. You want to have much of it everywhere on your site)
- Create an FAQ section on the site and product pages → Apps: HelpCenter- easy&beautiful FAQ
- Make sure to add high-quality images (zoomable) and, ideally, product videos to your product pages.
- Use benefits-driven bullet points
- Make sure to enable the section “What other customers bought”
- Display your shipping time and fees (ideally include shipping already into your pricing)
- Consider installing an upsell app for increasing your AOV → Apps: Bold Up Sell or OneClick Upsell
- Some more advanced things: Create a nice brand story. Ideally, have a person represent your brand to create a close relationship with your customers
Keep in mind: You want to find the right balance when installing apps & plugins. Some apps are highly recommended, yet having too many of them will slow down the store, and your site speed might suffer.
A few things that you should have right from the start are Facebook, Google Ads Conversion & Remarketing Pixel, and setting up an account for Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Those tools will allow you to collect more marketing assets over time and optimize your marketing efforts down the road.
Setting Up Email Flows via Klaviyo
Another inexpensive tactic we used to increase conversion rate is setting up a few email marketing flows using Klaviyo. Klaviyo integrates seemleasly with Shopify via their own app. Our primary goal was to make sure we keep users on the platform and convince them to make a sale with us. We also aimed to introduce our brand, social media channels and promotional campaigns to our user base. Using Klaviyo we can do so by setting up automated email responders for different stages customers are at.
Here are our 80/20 email marketing flows we’re using to ensure our customers will make it through the checkout and purchase our products.
- Abandoned Cart Flow: This flow will trigger if a shopper is going through the checkout process, but doesn’t purchase. They may have been distracted, or decided against making a purchase in the end. Using a discount ladder in in this stage can motivate the shopper to return to the store to finish their checkout.
- Welcome Series: We usually offer a 10-15% discount code (different incentives should be always split-tested) to incentivize them to opt-in to our email newsletter. We will then start to nurture our subscribers by providing value, introducing our brand and running promotional campaigns.
- Post-Purchase Series which includes a product review & cross-sell flow: After a user purchases a product we might offer some value on how to use the product and ask them for a review. Sometimes we would even ask them to do us a favor to record a video testimonial
At later stages you may want to revisit and get more sophisticated with your setup. You can add in additional flows, as well as making sure that the list is regularly cleaned out (removing inactive subscribers), which is important for delivery rate.
Getting Traction with Google Ads
Once your store is set up and optimized, it’s time to get your first visitors. So, we wanted to select one primary marketing channel and dig into it deeply.
There are platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to. However, since our background is being a Google Ads agency specializing in Google Ads, we decided to go for this first. We can also utilize data from Amazon PPC to get a head-start.
Usually we start with the three following campaigns to get sales coming in: Google Search, Google Shopping, and Google Display (for Remarketing to begin with, and later for Prospecting).
We usually start with contextual targeting campaigns to make our products and brand visible on Google Search, with Google Ads. This is where we can utilize our Amazon PPC data to use the keywords that were already performing on Amazon, and enter them into Google Ads. We used our research methods and tools such as the keyword planner to make sure that there is enough search volume on Google to be worth our while.
We also added Google Shopping to our campaign portfolio. Google Shopping is a powerful campaign type for eCommerce, as it displays the product name, an image and its price. Users will go directly to the product page, where they can continue to checkout. The targeting here is automated, so it’s essential to ensure that titles and descriptions are optimized. Google Shopping campaigns are an absolute basic for every eCommerce client.
Finally, since those two campaign types are targeted towards cold traffic, our next campaign is a Display remarketing campaign where we use banners to get our website visitors back to the site. With Google Display campaigns, we’re able to place our remarketing banners worldwide from small shops up to major news outlets like CNN, BBC, etc.
For remarketing campaigns to perform well, we need first to define our audiences. Advanced tip: Make sure that your Google Ads account is linked to your Google Analytics account. Once you get enough data to your site, you can create custom audiences via Google Analytics and import them for your targeting in Google Ads. This way, you can create very granular targeting e.g., you can target visitors who spend a certain time on specific pages or come from a particular traffic source.
Summing up, these are the three things to focus on to get your Shopify store off the ground:
- Optimize your store for conversions
- Utilize social proof such as reviews and testimonials
- Take cues from what Amazon does to convert viewers into customers
- Set up a few 80/20 email marketing campaigns
- Abandoned cart
- Opt-in incentive & welcome series
- Post-purchase sequence (reviews & cross-sells)
- Google Ads to get traffic to your store
- Google Search Ads (use the insights you have from Amazon PPC)
- Google Shopping Ads (low-effort, high-reward)
- Google Display Ads (for remarketing & retargeting campaigns)
If you put all your eggs into one basket, the basket might fall and break eggs. More and more Amazon sellers are looking for diversification, either in products but also in platforms.
This is why we’ve laid out an easy-to-follow process to get started expanding to Shopify. If you like to dig into that even further, we’ve listed some advanced resources below.
Recommended Resources for Shopify Branding and Marketing:
- Shopify Compass (Free Courses)
- Ezra Firestone – Smart Marketer (Paid Courses) for advanced knowledge
- Mike Rhodes – Google Ads Courses
WunderAds is a premium boutique PPC agency that specializes in Google Ads for eCommerce businesses. We help eCommerce businesses increase sales by getting high-quality site visitors and increasing conversion rates by mastering Google Ads.
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