Shopify has 21% of the eCommerce market share, meaning over 500,000 active stores use Shopify to sell products and services with over 40 billion worth in sales. This high number of stores involves a lot of competition and advertising costs that e-commerce stores usually use to grow their revenue.

Either you’re an established Shopify merchant, or you just opened up your store, running an eCommerce business can be a challenge for anyone, especially during times like this. Shopify merchants face a lot of high costs when running marketing campaigns, starting with advertising costs and even higher influencer marketing partnerships than can reach thousands of dollars spent in building trust and brand awareness that will bring new sales. While building trust is the main objective for small businesses looking to grow, trying to do so can sometimes feel unreachable due to the high costs associated with it. 

Trying to sell to the millennial market, merchants face a lot of challenges because they seem to be going through a different buying process than other older generations. The younger generation feels more inclined to do more research and spend more time looking at reviews, testimonials, and other competitors before making a purchase and committing to a brand. According to Adweek, 91% of millennials will buy a product if a friend recommended it, and 48% of millennials say that they are highly influenced by word of mouth referrals than digital ads. 

That is why word of mouth marketing can be the best way for Shopify merchants to start their marketing strategies when trying to sell to millennial buyers. Word of mouth marketing is a marketing tactic where organic discussions are encouraged between customers of a brand and their friends and family. While it can be hard to track this kind of effort, there are some tools that merchants can use to leverage WOMM and gain new customers.

Building your referral program

Building your referral program can be a budget-friendly way for small businesses to leverage WOMM and gain new customers, using their current customers. Start by thinking about an incentive you can give out to customers and their friends for making referrals. It can be anything from discounts on products, free products, free samples, or gift cards. After you’ve figured out your incentive, start promoting your program among loyal customers – they will be the first adopters since they already love your brand and most certainly made referrals to friends and family. You can start the conversation organically, by simply emailing them, or you can announce it on your social media platforms and see the response rate.

Another important fact when running your referral program is to be able to track what referrals are made by whom. An easy way to do this is to give everyone interested a Coupon code or a web link that your company can track and send rewards whenever used.

Using social media to start organic conversations

Communicate with your customers on social media by replying to all their questions, comments, and positive feedback. This fact will help you build a more personal connection with them, so when they talk to their friends next time, you’ll come up in conversation!

Social media helps you always stay on top of their mind with new updates, product launches, or reviews made by your customers. It also helps reach new customers that will see positive comments made by your current customers and make a purchase. 

Influencer partnerships

Although influencer partnerships can be on the expensive side of WOMM, they help merchants gain awareness and trust with their potential customers. There are also low-cost alternatives to influencer marketing, that involves offering influencers free products or discounts in exchange for a quick review. 

Influencers are beneficial when they share the same audience as the one you’re trying to sell to because their followers use their recommendations to stay on top with trends and achieve the same results as the people they follow. If they hear about your brand from a friend or their favorite influencer, they will most likely purchase because they trust your brand, unlike using digital ads where there is no connection with the audience. 

Using btwn 

Our solution is a new WOMM solution that helps Shopify merchants leverage customer referrals by automating the organic word of mouth conversations your customers have about your brand, and that doesn’t cost you anything!

The way it works is we set up a cash incentive program for your customers to use when talking about your brand with their friends. They create an account on the app, and whenever they make a referral to a merchant, we can automatically reward them for you in cash bonuses if their friend makes a purchase. There is no risk to the app, and you’ll only pay your customer when you’ve gained a new sale from a referral.

This solution combines all the above ways of leveraging WOMM, allowing the merchant to fully leverage the power of organic conversations between their customers and friends.

In summary, word of mouth marketing can be a great way to gain awareness, to build trust, and gain new customers that will come back to your business. This way of marketing is more personalized, and it allows them to trust your brand, in comparison with other competitor’s brands. Either you choose to create your referral program, use an influencer, or register your business with btwn, WOMM is a great marketing technique that will always be effective.

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