Low budget marketing… It’s a dream of any business owner, be it an e-commerce company or a brick and mortar shop. Even better, if at the same time the reputation of company and products flourish… And the sales grow every single day… All at the lowest price possible. Daydreaming? Wishful thinking? Rainbow chasing? Not at all, if you use Shopify.
Marketing is a strategy which, if successfully implemented, leads to a substantial increase in earnings (for small and medium companies) or to additional profits measured in billions (if we are talking about large corporations). Marketing is not simply ‘serving ads to the public’, but much more. It takes analysis, planning, concept development, reorganization and a lot of home work.
To put it simply, marketing, like any strategy, involves a set of tactical maneuvers which combined leads to the victory on e-commerce battlefield. And the results are measured by increase in revenue, brand recognition, conversion, reputation and customer loyalty.
When we speak about marketing in e-commerce, it is critically important to remember that apart from all factors mentioned above, two very important areas are involved: management of website traffic and optimization of the user experience to raise the conversion. Both are crucial elements of online marketing strategy and expansion of your online business, which makes them equally indispensable.
Fortunately, all apps in our list deal admirably with both aspects. That’s exactly why we liked them and we’re sure you would too. Get some coffee and let’s have a look at those seemingly impossible ways to market your store and products without substantial spend.
Numbers do not lie and statistics say that stores who use this app boast 5% sales increase and 9% conversion raise. What does it actually do? Socialphotos searches Instagram for content related to your store and adds it to the product pages. This way besides the standard pictures (admit it, you yourself found those much-look-alike photos irritating and boring) shoppers will see more ‘alive’ photos. The appeal of seeing your products in action with actual people shouldn’t be underestimated.
And, you can manage that appeal too! Select the best looking photos and highlight them to entice new customers to buy, create themed albums with a single product or bundles, showcase the discount section using the happiest smiles and cutest kittens, launch PR or promotional campaign and use best photos as posters. No need to pay an expensive camera guy, you already have the most impressive pics at your disposal.
- Instagram is the strongest social network in terms of granting brands organic engagement
- New customers see your products in the positive light
- Social proof of your products popularity
- Building customer trust
- Chance to add ‘social network’ section to your store
Pricing: free 30-day trial, $10 per month for the basic package, $50 per month for the full range of features
Everybody knows that information is the most precious commodity in the world of e-commerce and an efficient builder of e-mail addresses database is worth its weight in gold. Since e-mail marketing isn’t going anywhere (we use e-mail a lot and, like it or not, it makes all of us vulnerable to the marketing tactics) Sumo is an ideal tool developed specifically to expand your business. Taking into the account its versatility it can even be called a complete toolkit, since it includes a lot of very useful features like share buttons, exit popups, cart abandonment recovery, etc.
What can it do for you? It allows you to gather email data and builds email lists fast. Because it’s very customizable, you can configure the events triggering display of pop-ups, control settings and options for mobile display, thus enabling compliance with SEO. If you like receiving marketing tips, having an access to apps designed to drive up sales and using the automated email list building tool in one neat package, then Sumo is the plug-in for you.
- Integration with major email marketing services including MailChimp, Hubspot, Klaviyo, Constant Contact, and SendGrid
- Rich choice of email list building options, including A/B testing for pop-up messaging
- Features like ‘spend $X more to get free shipping’ to increase order value
Pricing: free plan available. Upgraded plans start from $24/month
3. Facebook channel
What are the chances that you’ve never heard of Facebook? Non-existent, unless you’ve been living in a cave all your life. Would a possibility of gaining access to such number of potential shoppers give any e-merchant rose-colored dreams of ROE and conversion? You bet. How would you rate Shopify in comparison in with other e-commerce platforms? Most probably you’d sing praises. Well, there’s an easy-to-use, efficient and inexpensive way to combine these two your favorite things, that is called Facebook channel app. It’s included in all Shopify paid plans.
After the configuration of the app Facebook creates a store in a dedicated section on the chosen Facebook page. Now all FB subscribers can browse and buy your products in your shop, all without leaving Facebook. They can even do their purchasing in your posts. It just doesn’t get more shopper-convenient than this!
- Support of products management, sales tracking, orders processing, etc.
- Support of adding products to Facebook with only one click
- Support of tagging the products in photos
Pricing: free plan available
4. Smile: Rewards & Loyalty
No one can argue that a loyalty program is one of the most efficient tools for improving the relationships with clients. However, working with these programs takes a lot of time and nerve. For some smart people, who choose Smile plug-in, it is ‘took’ not ‘takes’, since this app creates and manages loyalty programs for them. Selling to an existing client is infinitely easier and cheaper than working on winning new customers, so why not concentrate on your old friends?
Smile is great not just for strengthening the friendship with the regular shoppers in your store, but also for turning one-time visitors into loyal customers. How? In Smile just a couple of clicks let you create your own referral program and you do remember that recommendation from friends is still numero uno among other sources of advertising, right? You can also create loyalty and VIP programs and customize them in whatever way you think best from tying it to your latest promo campaign to promising some sweet bonuses to the most active referrals.
- Ease of use
- Support of both desktops and mobiles
- Integration into other tools such as ESPs and CRMs
- Gamification approach which is fun for clients
Pricing: free plan available. Upgraded plans from $59/month
5. Referral Candy
A mere mortal trusts what he’s been told by friends and colleagues more than what he sees or reads in any media. However, almost 65% of marketing executives state that they consider word of mouth the most efficient form of marketing. That confirms recommendations and referral programs as undoubtedly the most powerful marketing tools. There’s just one little glitch that unfortunately makes that tool rather tricky and unreliable. The fact that even the most satisfied customers tend to forget to refer a product or a store.
Referral Candy solves that by automatically sending an email with a remainder to share referral link. What else does it do? It gives out the rewards, which everybody loves. When a client purchases a product in your store, plug-in sends the shopper a pop-up coupon code, which he can share. When his friends do the shopping using this code, Referral Candy grants the referral a reward. It makes for a circle of happiness: customer gets referral reward, his friends use a discount and your sales go up. Which is why more than 3000 e-commerce companies use and quite happy with Referral Candy.
- Automatic reward delivery and referral reminders
- Support of referral tracking
- User-friendly editor to work with branding and design
- Choice of cash or coupon rewards
Pricing: free 30-day plan available. Upgraded plans from $49/month
To sum it up
Every successful business owes its wins to the marketing. Whether your company will be a roaring success or epic fail completely depends on the marketing. Marketing is responsible for creating a demand for the products which you’re selling. We could go on and on, but we’re sure that you already understood that marketing is so very important.
Which is why there’s no reason for you to stay away from these apps, since all of them could prove very useful. Especially considering that you can try all of them for free. Since many people think of marketing as the backbone of any business, strengthening the skeleton of your company is definitely in order.
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