Shopify stores need to be more strategic than ever to increase sales. And the right marketing plan is key to your success. It enables you to grow the audience and increase sales for your online business. But where to start?

From engaging customers through SMS to setting up an affiliate program, there are plenty of ways to grow your Shopify store.

Consider these tried-and-true Shopify marketing strategies to reach more customers and increase your revenue.

1. Engage and convert customers through SMS

SMS marketing is a powerful way to boost customer engagement. By sending personalized, targeted messages straight to their phones, you can quickly connect with them on a personal level.

And your customers read the texts you send them, too. It's estimated that 95% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of sending. Compare that to email, which has an open rate of 25%.

Integrate your SMS messages into your marketing automation flows to send relevant messages for product promotion and special offers.

Using the right SMS marketing platform, you can even automate two-way conversations with shoppers. With these, you can make product recommendations, help customers place new orders, and get feedback on recent purchases.

2. Grow your email marketing program

Building an email marketing program is a great way to reach and engage current and potential customers.

Many shoppers don't purchase immediately after visiting your site for the first time. So email marketing campaigns can be a great transitionary step towards winning new customers.

Use email to promote sales, announce new products, and send personalized marketing campaigns to help them along their journey to purchase.

For existing customers, use email to build loyalty and retention with post-purchase flows and personalized product recommendations.

3. Optimize your website for search

SEO (search engine optimization) is a marketing method to increase organic traffic to your ecommerce business. It can get your brand in front of shoppers with a high intent to purchase.

38% of retail website traffic comes from search engines, so it should be a top priority in your Shopify marketing strategy.

Start by identifying relevant keywords with a tool like Moz. Then, optimize your ecommerce website by incorporating these keywords into your URL structure, titles, body copy, image alt text, and metadata.

Include backlinking as part of your SEO strategy, too. Backlinks will help boost your site's domain authority so that your brand appears in more searches.

4. Use customer reviews as social proof

Customer reviews are a powerful form of social proof that can help increase sales for Shopify stores. By displaying customer reviews on your product pages, you can show potential customers that your products are high quality and worth their purchase.

Include a request for product feedback as part of your post-purchase flow by email or SMS. To encourage more reviews, consider offering an incentive like a discount on their next purchase or loyalty points.

If you get any negative customer reviews, take the time to respond to them publicly and address the issue.

Using customer reviews as social proof, you can increase confidence in potential customers and encourage them to purchase from your store.

5. Boost retention with a customer loyalty program

Loyalty programs can help increase retention for your Shopify store. By offering customers rewards for specific actions, you can increase customer satisfaction and boost repeat purchases.

When setting up your loyalty program, offer a variety of rewards and perks that will appeal to your target customers. For example, you can offer free products, points to exchange for discounts, members-only swag, early launch access, free shipping, and more.

Reward the actions you want to see from your customers, like purchases, social media posts, referrals, product reviews, and email/text signups.

6. Start a referral marketing program

Shoppers trust their friends and family more than any other source for product recommendations. So start a referral program to incentivize more of that behavior.

Consider offering customers discounts, free products, or loyalty points for referring new customers to your store.

7. Set up an affiliate program

Partner with blogs, publications, and other websites in your industry to promote your products to their audience.

By offering a commission to affiliates, you incentivize them to talk about your brand more.

Look for affiliates by finding product review roundups that rank for relevant keywords. For example, if you sell digital cameras, you can contact sites that rank for a keyword like "best digital cameras."

Or find partners by joining an affiliate network with a searchable marketplace.

8. Build a following on social media

Social media marketing is excellent for connecting with potential and existing customers. Creating and sharing engaging content can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.

To use social media effectively, start by creating a social media plan that outlines your goals and objectives. Then, choose the social media sites that are most relevant to your target audience. Once you've created your profiles, don't just talk about your products. Also, share interesting and relevant content that potential customers can connect with.

For example, if you sell eco-friendly laundry detergent, you may share sustainability tips or funny memes about doing laundry.

9. Collaborate with influencers

Influencer marketing is a great way to take advantage of the trust content creators' have built with their audiences. And it can help you promote your products to a broader audience.

This channel boasts a strong 5.78x ROI, so it can be a lucrative way to grow your Shopify store when you find the right influencers.

Find an influencer marketing platform, like Aspire or Grin, with a searchable creator marketplace. You'll be able to narrow down the results to relevant influencers that will make great partners.

10. Create a blog

Consider adding a blog to your content marketing strategy. Creating engaging and helpful blog content can demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and increase loyalty with shoppers.

Integrate your blog into your SEO strategy to reach audiences that you can eventually convert into customers.

11. Use paid advertising

Paid advertising is a great way to reach new customers who are not already familiar with your brand, especially if you're starting with no audience.

Social media, display, and Google Shopping ads can help you find customers who will likely be interested in your products. And retargeting ads can be used for customers who have visited your website but didn't make a purchase.

But let's address the elephant in the room. Paid ads could become less efficient as third-party tracking goes away. So here's how to plan for a cookieless future.

12. Partner with other brands

By partnering with a complementary online store, you can reach new audiences, drive traffic to your store, and lead to more sales.

A good brand partner will have products that complement your own. And their target audience should overlap with yours to some degree over shared values or interests.

Choose a common goal and develop a campaign that supports that goal. For example, if you want to grow your email and SMS subscriber lists, you could run a giveaway that requires people to sign up. Or if you want to encourage sales, you could try including postcards with discounts on them in each other's customer orders.

13. Sponsor podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to advertise to audiences with certain value sets or interests. When you sponsor a podcast, you pay the podcast host to promote your brand on their show. Often, they'll read an ad at the beginning, middle, or end of the show for a set duration, depending on your agreement.

Track the impact of your sponsorships by including a discount code specific to that podcast or directing listeners to a particular landing page. Otherwise, you might see an increase in direct traffic but won't know how those customers heard about you.

Diversify your Shopify marketing tactics

You never want to rely on just one marketing channel for your success. So choose a couple of digital marketing strategies to start and see what makes the biggest impact towards your goals. Then, invest more in the most effective channels. Adjust anything that isn't working or nix it for now. Add new marketing channels and tactics when you have more bandwidth.

We recommend starting with owned channels like your website, email, and SMS. On these channels, you have total control over the customer experience and ownership over your customer data. That means you can personalize your marketing messages, making it all the more likely for site visitors to become customers.

So consider getting started with a high-ROI SMS marketing strategy.

Emotive is an SMS platform designed for ecommerce stores that want to scale. Advanced automation and segmentation capabilities help you reach and engage your customers effectively. And two-way conversations help you build relationships and boost sales.

On average, Emotive customers see a 27x ROI on their text marketing campaigns.

Learn more and book a demo. Then get started with a free 30-day trial to see first-hand how SMS can boost your bottom line.