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Shopify Helps Sellers Advertise on Google and Facebook

Shopify Helps Sellers Advertise on Google and Facebook

Shopify launched a marketing tool in May to help its merchants improve the effectiveness of their advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Unlike marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, merchants who set up a store on Shopify’s ecommerce platform must drive their own traffic to their listings.

On the other hand, even sellers on online marketplaces are increasingly forced to advertise their listings to get visibility on those platforms.

Shopify president Harley Finkelstein told the Financial Times on Monday that Shopify Audiences lets merchants upload customer data to Facebook (and now Google as well) and target ads at “lookalike” customers “who might be more likely to buy their products because they bought similar items from another retailer.”

Pymnts covered the news, writing, “While retailers may be hesitant to contribute data that will be pooled and then used by other merchants — who could include their competitors — they also see their participation in Shopify Audiences as a way to reach new potential customers based on data from Instagram, Google and YouTube, according to the report.”

Shopify uploaded the following video to YouTube in May that explains its Audiences tool, where it told merchants, “it’s time you get a better return on ad spend” and saying the tool connects merchants to “high-intent buyers so paid ads preform higher and conversion costs get lower.”

Two months ago, it uploaded another video announcing Shopping Audiences included Google and YouTube and said, “Our algorithm connects you with people who are more likely to buy your products.”

Shopify’s Finkelstein told the Financial Times that the Audiences tool was a key area of focus as it’s forced to make cutbacks in other areas.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “Shopify Helps Sellers Advertise on Google and Facebook”

  1. Google and Facebook were great 12 years ago. I got an ROAS of 600% back then. Pour money in, get money out. Now, between the thousands of negative key words from irrelevant ads that cost you money for Google to “learn” about your business (tl;dr it doesn’t), some costing 200% of your ad limit, you’re lucky to get 20% ROAS (that’s 20 cents return on every ad dollar spent).

    On top of that, I sold hand-blown glass domes in 3 similar sizes. Google doesn’t do sizes, measurements, or units. I got $5 clicks for “14 foot dome” and often would get double clicks the same day for the same keywords, so $10 for nothing. (No, Google doesn’t credit you for bad traffic) My domes were 2 inches and made of glass.

    You’ll spend every day putting irrelevant searches into your negative keywords list — which has a maximum number of irrelevant results you can filter for — on Google’s ad manager. Don’t dare use Shopify’s limited portal and think you’re going to be able to make money with a simplified interface.

    Unless you sell something popular where people agree on what it’s called, you’re going to go broke at these two casinos before you train them. The House always wins.

    Also, sharing your customers’ data with them might expose you to a GDPR fine from the EU, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah or Virginia so there’s that.

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