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.