As any Shopify business owner knows, building an incredible store is just the first step in achieving phenomenal success online. Once companies have the right store environment in place, they need to implement strategies which attract the right customers to their products.
That’s where the marketing journey begins. While there are many ways to advertise a Shopify store, generating fantastic results can take a lot of time, effort, and experimentation. For new companies and startups, simply figuring out which ads generate the right attention can be an overwhelming process.
Fortunately, Shopify is here to help. The company recently announced the release of a new tool, designed for Shopify Plus customers called “Shopify Audiences”.
Here’s what Shopify experts and business leaders need to know about the new solution.
What is Shopify Audiences? An Introduction
So, what is Shopify Audiences? Simply put, it’s an exclusive advertising platform for Shopify Plus users and site managers. Essentially, it works to help companies reach the right customers, at the right time with their marketing messages, using statistical algorithms and data.
Shopify Audiences allows companies to create series of “Audience” groups for any segment of their user group or store. For instance, a Shopify marketing manager could create an “Audience” focused on big-spenders, customers who visit specific pages, or individuals who live in certain regions.
Shopify will automatically add customers to each “segment” based on trigger activities. For instance, when a customer buys a product from a specific category, they could be added to an Audience for clients interested in that group of items. The solution aims to help companies build better marketing campaigns on ad platforms, and enhance email marketing strategies too.
How Does Shopify Audiences Work?
Shopify Audiences works by combining order attribution data with your marketing campaigns. The system collects information from your store to identify customers who belong to specific segments. You can categorize your customers into groups based on virtually any factor you like, from their location to which products they buy most often.
Not only can companies and marketing teams use this tool to improve the quality of their email marketing efforts, but they can also leverage the technology to build more targeted ads. Whenever a marketing professional runs an ad for a client, they can select the product they want Shopify to help them sell more of, and Shopify will leverage machine learning algorithms to match buyer intent and customer data to the unique attributes of store products.
The algorithm uses a combination of unique product attribute information, and order data, to determine which contacts or customers are most likely to purchase a specific item. The system then creates an “audience list” of authorized email addresses from recent buyers.
Currently, the technology supports both forms of “Meta” ads (Facebook and Instagram), and Shopify has plans to implement integrations with all major ad platforms in the year ahead too.
The Unique Shopify Attribution Model
The success of the Shopify Audiences feature revolves around Shopify’s specific attribution model. Whenever a marketing team runs an ad using “Shopify Audiences”, they’ll be able to see step-by-step insights into how different orders are attributed to different audiences.
Shopify can collect data from emails inside pre-made audiences, as well as emails at checkout, to help marketers create more personalized and engaging campaigns. What’s more, the model is resistant to changes in user-tracking regulations, and adheres to current privacy laws, so companies don’t have to worry about their ads becoming obsolete.
Shopify’s “Audiences” tool also uses statistical modelling to exclude orders from audiences from people who may not have seen ads, but were included in an Audience. This helps business leaders and marketing teams to better track which advertisements actually contribute to sales.
How Can Marketers Build Shopify Audiences?
For Shopify Plus marketers and business leaders, creating a Shopify Audience is a straightforward process. Users can choose either from pre-built audiences already created by Shopify’s algorithm, or click the “Customize” button to create their own audiences from scratch.
The pre-built audiences available with the feature today are based on common customer segments, such as people who have purchased specific products, or made more than 3 purchases.
There’s also an “Audience Builder” tool, which can help business leaders to create audiences based on specific criteria. Users simply need to log into their Shopify store, and choose a few parameters, such as location, age range, or buying behavior. From there, the algorithm will create a list of qualified buyers who fit those criteria.
Companies and Shopify marketers can also create custom audiences based on their own data warehouses, by uploading information from other channels like Salesforce, HubSpot, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact.
Notably, the service is currently only available for stores in the US and Canada using the Shopify Plus plan, and Shopify Payments simultaneously.
How Will Shopify Audiences Help Marketers?
For ecommerce managers and marketers in the Shopify world, Shopify Audience represents a powerful new solution for lead acquisition and generation.
The tool is designed to help companies find high-intent buyers, while ensuring they get the best results from their paid ads and promotional campaigns. Plus, Shopify Audience can supercharge prospecting efforts, decreasing conversion costs with stronger top-of-funnel targeting, and delivering transparent performance reporting.
Some of the key benefits of Shopify Audiences include:
- Better marketing attribution: Shopify’s attribution model is resilient to changing user-tracking regulations, to help ensure business leaders and marketers can better understand which of the channels in their marketing campaigns are driving the most leads.
- Access to new audience segments: Shopify can use artificial intelligence to detect new audience opportunities based on existing products, customers, and traffic sources in an ecommerce store. This helps business leaders and marketers to expand their reach to a wider selection of new potential buyers across any channel.
- Preserve customer privacy: To ensure companies can stay up-to-date with privacy and compliance laws, Shopify ensures its Audience solution is designed for privacy. Audience lists are fully encrypted, and companies can manage customer opt-out preferences from within their administration portal.
- Reduce cost per acquisition: By helping companies to target ideal customers with highly-tailored and personalized ads, Shopify Audiences can significantly reduce the CPA of various marketing campaigns. In-depth analytics and tracking data will also ensure companies can double down on the marketing strategies that deliver the best results.
- Boost customer retention: Companies can even use Shopify Audiences to detect audience members who might be at risk of churning, so they can target them with personalized ads for retention. For instance, if a customer hasn’t made a purchase in a specific number of weeks or months, you can use Shopify Audiences to re-engage them with a new offer.
- Constantly improving results: Not only do companies get more of the data they need to make the right decisions with their marketing campaign, but the Shopify algorithm also naturally improves over time. This means the service can deliver higher numbers of fresh audience opportunities and look-alike campaigns consistently.
Unlocking the Benefits of Shopify Audiences
Shopify Audiences is a fantastic new tool within the Shopify ecosystem, available to access and monitor within the admin environment.
Companies can create audiences with a few clicks, easily track audience performance data, and use what they learn to make intelligent decisions about future campaigns. While customers do need to be a Shopify Plus subscriber to access the feature, the solution could significantly improve conversion rates and lead acquisition for all kinds of brands.
If you’re a Shopify marketing expert or store manager, it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at what Shopify Audiences can do for your clients.