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How your Shopify theme can drive your digital marketing efforts

How your Shopify theme can drive your digital marketing efforts

After building your online store with a Shopify theme, the next step, for most businesses, is to start getting the word out via digital advertising and marketing — which can be both a daunting challenge and highly effective.

A complete digital marketing strategy is not only way beyond the scope of a single article, but it’s also something that’s often unique to each store’s goals, products, audience, and needs.

However, there are a lot of great ways that Shopify themes lay the groundwork for great (and creative) digital marketing and advertising tactics.

Shopify themes and digital marketing

Most digital marketing strategies rely on what’s called a landing page — which is a fancy way to say what a potential customer sees when clicking on your advertisement or listing.

Before the landing page, most online advertising formats also allow you to create some kind of visual — which, depending on the platform and format, can include custom text, imagery and color palettes.

These “pre click” elements and the “post click” landing page are both key parts in how you present your brand and store to potential customers.

When creating these elements, a good place to start is to keep your advertising assets consistent with your theme settings, imagery and content.

Not only is this a great way to build confidence about your brand in the minds of shoppers, having a consistent, unified experience from the time the user first sees your company name to, hopefully, making a purchase, can be a great strategy.

  • Use the same or similar color palettes in your ad and landing page that you use throughout your site is a great starting point.
  • Consider using the photographs that match the style and look that you use on your website. Even if the composition or subject matter is different, it’s often possible to create subtle visual cues with how the images are edited.
  • Borrow graphical elements from your logo or Shopify theme design. For example, a button in an ad can resemble your “add to cart” or other buttons — or you can design your ads to incorporate subtle design accents borrowed from your shop and brand identity.
  • Look to Artisan’s shape feature, divider and arrows active in your theme for inspiration. Also consider elements such as how your theme is spaced and its general look and feel.
  • Visuals aren’t the only aspect to consider — text or ad copy can also play a huge role in click through rates. A good rule of thumb is to match the “tone” and “attitude” of your ad copy with that used on your Shopify store. 

That said, if you’re not having great luck with matching elements of your store or simply don’t have the ability to do so, there have been plenty of awesome advertising campaigns out there that don’t use the same look or tone as its parent website.

Depending on how you’re marketing your Shopify store, you may have the ability to test a variety of different images, video or ad text — which can all have a big affect on how many people click your ad.

Shopify theme landing pages

Consider experimenting where you send users reached via your marketing.

Everything from the home page to product page, to a collection, informational page or even blog posts can serve as a “landing page” and can all deliver very different conversion rates.

If you do opt to build a dedicated landing page, it’s typically a good idea to make sure the messaging and look and feel tie into your advertising materials.

The current page.details sections-enabled template is an ideal way to build a landing page from right within your theme and Shopify’s upcoming improvements to sections and themes will likely also make it even easier to craft landing page designs using your premium Shopify theme.

Well written and designed product pages, collection pages, blog posts, and informational pages can also double as “landing pages” for organic search — which plays into your overall SEO strategy.

Creating quality content that answers the queries potential shoppers are searching is an important part in getting your site to gather organic (e.g. free) clicks.

Conversion rate and Shopify themes

It’s not uncommon to see store owners say something like, “I got 500 visitors, 10 add to carts but no conversions. What am I doing wrong?”

Let’s take a look at those numbers:

  • 500 visitors may seem like a lot, especially if you are in a very niche market, but it reality it’s not that big of a number.
  • Some social networks have upwards of 2.5 billion active users, 500 — or even 5,000 or 50,000 users — is just a fraction of the potential worldwide audience.
  • Search engines are just as big — with leading search engines recording tens of thousands of searches per second on average.
  • Having 10 users add items to a cart is actually pretty good — if you do the math, it’s actually 20% of visitors that you attracted.
  • That “zero conversions” number is definitely hard to swallow — but again, it’s actually not all that unexpected.

For argument’s sake, let’s say this hypothetical campaign scored a single conversion.

Even with that, you’re still looking at a 2% overall conversion rate which, for a new site and some industries, isn’t all that bad.

Another thing you’ll also note is that, in this format of marketing, there’s numerous steps or stages that a user has to make their way through to become a paying customer.

In most cases, the number of people who make it to the next stage will almost always be smaller than the step before — that’s why this concept is known as a funnel.

‘Typical’ conversion rates for Shopify stores

One of the things that most Shopify store owners who advertise would love to know is what the average conversion rate for online advertising.

Searching for articles on the subject reveals a wide range of opinions.

This is ultimately really, really tough to answer.

Every store, product and industry is unique, which can greatly affect conversion rates.

It’s also worth noting that many digital advertising solutions also have a “bidding” component that means advertising is more likely to be shown to users who match your criteria if you’re willing to pay more for those eyeballs.

This can ultimately have an effect on conversion rates since bidding lower generally means you’ll have fewer people entering the funnel at the top.

Finally, it’s also worth noting that, while a purchase is the “ideal” conversion for most stores, it’s definitely not the only way to gauge success with digital marketing.

  • A newsletter sign up, social media follow or even just engaging with your content (and tagging the user for possible remarketing) are all positive actions.
  • Even if these aren’t your primary marketing goals, keep these results in mind.
  • In many cases, these types of “conversions” are just the start of your relationship with someone — and it’s not uncommon that, through careful nurturing strategies, you can get a purchase out of someone who just stops by your site.

A/B and multivariate testing in Shopify stores

Like most websites, Shopify stores can also be integrated with a variety of third party tools that can be used to test different scenarios, designs and other elements to see which attracts the most customers.

This can be done, as mentioned, with your advertising imagery and copy, as applicable.

Many marketers also experiment with sending potential customers to different landing pages or, on a more advanced level, even using an A/B or multivariate testing tool to experiment with different colors, messaging and layouts on the pages customers visit.

Just like with conversion rates, however, it’s easy to get tied up in running these types of tests without considering the potential shortcomings:


  • Running a large number of ad variants typically requires a proportional amount of both impressions and clicks to register reliable data. For example, if you run even just five different designs but only score a few hundred clicks.
  • Likewise, experimenting with sending visitors to different pages will most likely require you to send a decent amount of traffic to each destination in order to gain meaningful data.
  • Testing different messaging, layouts and other design elements on the landing pages themselves also might require attracting a large amount of traffic to the page before you can definitively say, for instance, that users respond better to a green button than a blue one.
  • Also keep in mind that testing more than one variance on the same page (such as a headline, image and button) will likely require even more visitor data since, with each variation, your creating multiple potential combinations. For this reason, it’s typically a good idea to stick to testing big, impactful elements rather than get mired in small ones.
  • It’s also important to keep in mind that a common pitfall is being overly broad in ad targeting in order to send a large amount of traffic through. While this does give you a larger user pool, it’s also possible these users aren’t representative of your typical buyer or even someone who’s interested in your products, thus resulting in faulty data.
  • With smaller pools of data, the behaviour of a handful of users — or even a single one — can greatly affect your results and trends and potentially lead you down the wrong path. 

Of course, this isn’t to say that testing shouldn’t be a part of any online store’s strategy.

Even if you don’t get a huge amount of traffic, the data you gather can be a good indicator of what works and what doesn’t — especially if there’s a clear frontrunner.

However, it’s vital to keep potential shortcomings or skewed data that could pop up and carefully analyze your results for potential flukes or anomalies that could be throwing off your conclusions.

Also keep in mind that, as your time and budget allows, you can continue to test your theories as well as refinements to messaging, design and other elements — but it’s often not necessary (or practical) to do this all at the beginning.

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