How to Choose a Shopify Marketing Agency

web development icons around a Shopify bag

The digital marketing landscape is changing all the time. What was once a specific role has become much more complicated.

As a small business owner, it may feel like there are always too many things to do and not enough time in the day. As if that isn’t challenging enough, it also feels like newer technology, social media sites, and mobile apps come out regularly, meaning it’s that much harder to keep up with everything AND grow your business.

But if you’re ready to stop wasting time and finally get results that help your business grow, engaging a digital agency for your e-commerce business may be the best decision you can make. If you feel like this sounds like something your organization is ready for, keep reading and learn about what to pay attention to when choosing an agency for your Shopify store.

What types of businesses is Shopify best for?

Shopify is an excellent choice if you are looking for a “set it and forget it” store solution. It comes with many of the features you need out-of-the-box and gives you the flexibility to add various apps from their marketplace to achieve functionality unique to your Shopify store.

However, Shopify does have some drawbacks that you should consider before signing up for an account:

  • If you need a highly complex or unconventional website built, then Shopify might not be the best fit. Shopify’s prebuilt themes are a great fit for small businesses and online stores, but if you need something radically different, you may want to look elsewhere. With this in mind, the platform is a great choice if you're going to get started fast and not have to worry about development costs;
  • In some instances, you might need more support than Shopify offers. This isn’t an issue with most merchants, but if you have a huge ecommerce store or a lot of custom requirements, you may need more hand-holding than Shopify can provide.
  • Shopify is set up to support both physical and virtual products. However, if you only want to sell digital products, there might be better choices out there.

With these being said, Shopify is a great choice if you have an ecommerce business and want to set up your online store fast and with minimal development requirements.

Things to consider when choosing an agency

Understand that it takes time

Your agency needs to work closely with you to understand your customers, audience, goals, and product for a digital marketing strategy to work. They will ask many questions and ask you to be available and willing to share that information.

This takes time. It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy for ecommerce business owners to share their vision because they are so close to it.

They also need clear access and communication with your current designers, developers, or whoever creates the assets required for the project. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it’s essential because this allows them to see the project from the inside out.

They’re able to see what has been done before and what is planned for later, which helps them develop a successful digital marketing strategy that fits into the bigger picture without feeling out of place. Check out Marketing 101: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for a deep dive into digital marketing.

Choose someone with a proven track record on Shopify

To have the best chances of success, you should choose a marketing agency with a lot of experience growing e-commerce brands on Shopify. Ideally, they should be Shopify partners and understand the platform's ins and outs.

You should ask them about their previous work and brands they've grown.

If you're considering hiring an agency that has never worked with an ecommerce brand on Shopify before, ask them what their plans are for getting up to speed on the platform. They need to know how to use the built-in tools, and third-party apps to make design changes, set up retargeting ads, create customer segments, and automate personalized emails based on cart abandonment or purchase history.

What does a marketing agency do?

If you want to sell online, you need an intuitive and attractive website for your customers. In addition, you must have some knowledge of the digital business world.

Shopify marketing agencies are specialized in this platform, which is why they will be able to advise you and help you at every step of the process.

These agencies offer you different related services that cover the whole process of creating an online store on Shopify, from the page's design to the development of marketing strategies.

For example:

  • Designing your own theme (designing the page of your shop) or setting up a theme that you like.
  • Creating a personalized theme for your brand, with custom designs and settings.
  • Setting up a payment gateway in your country and integrating it with Shopify.
  • Creating basic functionalities for your online store such as forms, membership areas, etc.
  • Integrating third-party applications such as social networks, email marketing tools, etc.
  • Developing marketing strategies to increase sales and traffic on the web.
  • Establishing the right KPI dashboards to monitor your eCommerce store

Why you should work with a Shopify marketing agency

At some point in your Shopify business journey, you might be brainstorming on whether or not you should hire a digital marketing agency or try to build your Shopify store from the ground up yourself.

To make your decision easier, here’s what you should consider:

Your internal team doesn’t have enough experience or resources.

A marketing agency is a team of experts in advertising, content, design, SEO, and other marketing disciplines that work together to help you achieve your goals.

If you're a busy Shopify store owner or already have an internal digital marketing team in place, hiring a marketing agency can be the perfect solution to ensure your team has the resources they need to get the results you want.

Not only can agencies help fill in the gaps in your current marketing strategy, but they'll also bring fresh eyes to your Shopify business and provide valuable insights that help you grow.

You need someone with experience in a particular niche.

Outsourcing to a marketing agency can help your company stay competitive in the market. Let's face it: every business, no matter how big or small, can benefit from the insider information and knowledge that an industry specialist can provide.

Some agencies only work within specific niches. Collaborating with an agency in your industry gives you a competitive advantage over other brands. The agency will already know the ins and outs of your industry and has particular specialized expertise.

You don’t have a marketing team.

If you are a small business, likely, you don’t have a marketing team yet.

It would be wise to look for an agency that has experience working with ecommerce clients of your size. They’ll understand the challenges you face, and they’ll offer solutions that will benefit you.

An agency will have developed its own proprietary software to manage campaigns and analyze data in many cases. You must ask which tools they use and how they will benefit your company. It’s also essential that they have a deep understanding of your industry so they can make recommendations about what would work best for you.

Choosing the best agency for your Shopify store

Before you lock yourself down into a committed relationship with a digital agency, take the time to check out your options and make sure that they have what it takes to make your time together an enjoyable experience.

It's hard to know whether you will work well with an agency right off the bat. You've never worked with them before, so you don't know exactly how their process works or if it will match up with your needs. You don't know what kind of people they are and whether their communication style will be a good fit for yours.

It's not easy to just take a leap of faith and hope for the best. That's why we recommend following the above steps when meeting with prospective agencies: Check them out thoroughly on their website, ask them questions that relate to your needs, ask to see work samples that are relevant to your project, make sure they understand your industry and goals, set up a meeting (or several) to get to know each other, and finally—trust your gut instinct!

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