Shopify Marketing: Do’s and Don’ts, Prohibited Products, and More

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The query “starting a shopify business” returns thousands of search results on Google and this fact alone proves how popular Shopify is as an e-commerce platform. Since its inception back in 2006, Shopify has made several milestones and this year, it is predicted that the number of merchants being hosted by them would reach over 2,000,000.

Online shopping just isn’t showing any sign of decline and as a business-minded individual, you might already be thinking about making it to the online space and try a new venture using Shopify as your e-commerce platform. That is actually a good idea provided you know the dos and don’ts and many other details about starting an online store on this popular platform.

Getting Ready for the Journey

Building a Shopify business from the ground takes a lot of time and effort. It’s an undertaking that needs focus and dedicated attention to ensure that every step you take reaches that common goal, defeating the competition and making it to the top! And just like any crucial endeavor, it pays if you know the very first steps that you need to take in order to ensure that all is set for your business to take off.

You simply can’t start something that you’re not familiar with and even if you’re already done choosing the product and creating your online shop, there are still a lot of other preparations and a lot of learning that you need to go through. We have talked about being prepared for success before starting your very own Shopify business in one of our previous articles so this time, we’re going to get you acquainted with some of the best practices and don’t do’s when you start marketing your shop.

Are There Built-in Marketing Tools in Shopify?

Marketing is one of the core skills that an online entrepreneur needs to have. Even if you’re into a business other than an online shop, you will need to learn some marketing techniques and strategies that will help increase your presence over the Internet. As a practice, marketing takes several forms and employs a variety of techniques that evolve in time.

For instance, the traditional “spray and pray” forms of public ads are no longer as appealing to customers as before. Our modern world is now ruled by customization and personalization so if you are to entice more prospective customers into purchasing your product, you’ll need to have a more targeted form of marketing that primarily emphasizes benefits rather than the boring technical specs or the generic features of your product.

Thankfully, Shopify has tools that can help you get started with marketing over their platform. They’ve got a built-in SEO feature which can teach you how to optimize your shop for search engines to ensure that it appears in the search results of some of the most popular search machines out there. If you still need to have some learning and gain even more insight on how the platform works, they’ve got Shopify Learn ready for you to explore and learn from.

Furthermore, you will also have the option of using apps for marketing and promotion which are available in the Shopify’s app store. In here, you can find certain tools that can improve conversions, increase customer retention rate, and even apps that can assist you in building an email list and running email marketing campaigns. You’ll also find very useful apps that can make the task of launching Ambassador Affiliate Marketing a lot like a breeze. All these tools run seamlessly within the Shopify platform and only takes a few minutes to setup. Others can even automate your affiliate marketing strategy so you can focus more on what matters!

Once you get your very own online shop ready to go live, the next step that you need to take is marketing and taking its online visibility to the next level. This is where the journey gets even more exciting and if you’re still not confident about the knowledge you gained about online marketing, here are some general rules that you need to put in mind.

Prohibited Items/Products

Just like any other e-commerce platform, Shopify is careful about what products they allow their merchants to sell both locally and on a global scale. Here’s a list of items that Shopify does not allow to be sold over their Platform:

- Solvents

- Alcohol

- Fireworks

- Gambling products

- Firearms and weapons

- Certain firearm parts

- Intellectual property

There’s a longer list of prohibited products and services that are not allowed to be peddled online via the Shopify platform and we’re going to discuss them in detail on a separate article. For now, let’s start exploring the do’s and don’ts of marketing your Shopify business

Marketing Don’ts

It is normal to desire the top spot of the competition space but you must do it by clean and honest means. Marketing your business entails plenty of effort and you surely don’t want to get it wrong. Here are some don’t dos that you need to put in mind.

1. Don’t Spend Too Much in Social Media Ads

The FB ads strategy may have worked for years but it is slowly losing its grip from being one of the most effective marketing strategies for Shopify stores. In fact, it no longer works very well in attracting new customers to a particular business and most stores right now use FB ads for customer/audience retargeting. This means that you should not put all your eggs in this marketing basket anymore but instead look into the other strategies that have been proven to work better in attracting new leads and increasing conversions for your Shopify store.

2. Don’t Put All Focus on Acquiring Customers Alone

As a startup business, it is but normal that your first agenda would be customer acquisition. This in itself is already a challenging endeavor but once you start getting a growing stream of leads to your site, your next goal is not to entice even more customers but to keep those existing ones loyal to your product or brand. You can’t focus on customer acquisition alone because chances are you will run out of funds doing so.

Getting more customers routed to your site takes a lot of money especially if you do it by running paid ad campaigns and that means that if the stream of leads stops, your money supply would also stop. Invest in strategies that will help turn existing customers into loyal ones and make them your business partners using Ambassador Affiliate Programs for instance. This is way cheaper than running ads and what’s best about it is that you can leave it unattended in case you need to do some other tasks.

3. Don’t Settle for a Single Marketing Technique

There are several marketing strategies that you can use in promoting your online business and boosting its online presence so don’t just focus on one. Explore other techniques and methodologies like content marketing, Google ads, SEO, shop promotions and holiday sales, etc. There are several things that you can try and this is where you need to be creative. Look into every available marketing strategies and study which one will perfectly fit your product type and overall business structure.

4. Don’t Copy-Paste

There can be several other stores that are selling your products and within that group of competitors, there could be a few whose leading list. Chances are you’re going to spy and look into their marketing strategies and even the way they write their product descriptions. These is an accepted practice and in case you resort to doing that, just make sure that you are not copying everything exactly as how they appear in your competitor’s website.

The last thing you want to do is to be labeled as a copycat or a knock off of that popular competitor of yours and when this happens, it will be the end of you and your business so be sure to always add authenticity and even develop your very own brand identity so you can easily be distinguished from all your competitors.

5. Don’t Be Slack in Customer Service

Marketing isn’t just about advertisements, affiliate programs, and the other practices that are aimed at spreading the word about your product or brand to the entire globe. It is also about treating customers right and making sure they are satisfied every single time! This is where customer service comes in. As your shop grows and your customer base increases in size, you will also see an increase in customer issues and queries. Be sure to get every single one of these issues sorted out by your customer service team to avoid any snowball effect that can wreak havoc on your business’s reputation and overall success.

Marketing Dos

You have already seen the don’ts list and have learned a lot of insight out of it. Now, let us start talking about the marketing dos so you can ensure your shop’s overall success in the upcoming months and years. The opposite of each item listed under the don’ts list above are already dos so take time to review them and think about their opposites. You already have 5 right? Here’s more!

1. Write Product Stories and Descriptions That Engage

When your customer is led by one of your ads to a particular product page, their focus will be on the product description section. For this, you will need to make sure that they are filled with not just the specs, materials, and features of your product but also the benefits of it when they choose to make a purchase. Customers tend to get bored by generic features or repetitive specs. They want to know what your product can offer and what benefits can they enjoy when they purchase and use it.

The most popular brands even focus on telling the customers the exhilarating experience they’ll get when they use or consume their products. Marketing strategies really evolve and this is just one part of the evolution that you need to be aware of and definitely apply in your shop.

2. Find the Right Mixture of Marketing Techniques

A product can sell using FB ads as a marketing technique but you should not discount the possibility that it can be more profitable when you mix FB ads with other marketing strategies such as content marketing, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Content marketing will definitely cost less but has the same or even greater conversion potential than FB ads so start learning the best methodologies of this particular technique. The idea is using a mixture of marketing strategies that works for the product you’re selling because as was mentioned above, putting all the eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea at all!

3. Create a Space for Loyal Customers

Birds of the same feather tend to flock together. And when customers who share the same passion and sentiment for your brand is provided a space where they can gather and share experiences, the resulting discussions can easily turn into useful marketing tools for you. Loyal customers are effective sources of authentic endorsements for your product or brand and for you to easily find them, building them a space of gathering is a good idea. Start with FB pages or closed FB groups and see what else can work as you go. Other businesses even set up blogs and online communities and forums so their customers can gather and express their ideas and testimonies within these spaces.


Adding the opposites of the 5 Don’ts that we gave above, you’ll have 8 Dos in this list and that is where our discussion ends. Again, marketing should be one of the cornerstones that your business should be built upon so definitely give time to study this practice and be sure to use the ones that will work for your product or brand. There’s no shortage of examples, guides, and competitors for you to study and that means there virtually is no reason that your shop would fail at this point. All you need is persistence, patience, and dedication and success will surely be on your way sooner than you expect it!

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