In-depth Marketing Strategy of Shopify | IIDE

Updated on: Sep 3, 2021
Marketing Strategy of Shopify | IIDE

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

Practical assignments, case studies & simulations from Harvard Business Review helped the students from this course present this analysis.

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Shopify started to sell snowboarding equipment. But, later it was turned up to be an open-source platform for creating an eCommerce website. Are you already intrigued to know how the company achieved success in the e-commerce industry? In this case study, we will talk about the marketing mix, SWOT analysis, target audience, marketing strategy of Shopify, and its digital presence.

Let us know more about Shopify

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About Shopify

Shopify Logo | Marketing Strategy of Shopify | IIDE

Shopify is a multinational Canadian e-commerce company. Shopify implies only a simple thing – “Anyone anywhere can start an eCommerce website”. 

At first, it was started to sell snowboarding equipment online. Later it was created by using the open-source web application framework. Snowdevil was launched as Shopify in June 2006 by its founders. Shopify is also the name of their eCommerce platform.

They help you build your brand online with an eCommerce store and a custom domain. As an e-commerce software, Shopify allows you to track sales trends and order records, manage inventory, customize the look of your online store, and add in sales channels. 

Now, as we know a brief about the company, let us learn about the marketing mix of Shopify.


Marketing Mix of Shopify

The marketing mix contains 4Ps of Market, they are as follows:

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place
  4. Promotion 

Let’s look into all 4 aspects of the Marketing mix in detail and how Shopify’s as a company uses it


1. Product Mix of Shopify

Shopify is a commerce platform catering to all sizes of businesses, whether they are online, offline, or on social media. Shopify not only helps us to sell products, but it also helps to grow business. Shopify can provide services for:

  • Physical Products
  • Digital products
  • Services and Consultations
  • Memberships
  • Ticketed experiences
  • Classes and Lessons
  • Rentals  

In 2010, Shopify launched a loose app and gave traders but every other manner to manipulate online sales. In 2013 Shopify unveiled the main platform redesign, Shopify 2, that blanketed over 60 new features.


2. Pricing Mix of Shopify

Shopify Pricing Plan | Marketing Strategy of Shopify | IIDE

At first, Shopify offers 14 days of free services for their customers and gives their customers full access to create a website. Shopify gives an option that after 14 days if the customers want to disclose their website it allows them to do that. Here they attract more customers.

After the trial version, if the customer wants to continue their website they provide services through some pricing. The below image shows their subscription pricing.


3. Place Mix of Shopify

Shopify is a multinational company so they offer every shopkeeper in the world to sell their products everywhere in the world. It offers its services to even small retailers to industries. Shopify is trusted by thousands of entrepreneurs in 175 countries.


4. Promotion Mix of Shopify

The below strategy is followed by Shopify to expand their platforms and also to improve their customer relationship

  • Grow our Base of Merchants
  • Grow our Merchants’ Revenue
  • Continuous Innovation and Expansion of our Platform 
  • Continue to Grow and Develop their Ecosystem
  • Continue to Expand our Partner Programs
  • Continue to Build for the Long-term

Now, as we are well versed with the marketing mix of Shopify, let’s see the target audience the company is catering to


Shopify Target Audience

Target Audience refers to a group of people who are interested in your product or can buy your product in near future. Shopify’s target Audience is discussed below:

  • They target every retailer creating their websites.
  • It serves services to all revenue groups through different subscription plans.
  • Segmentation of services they provide from industry to retailer
  • They targeted customers by creating eCommerce websites on their own
  • They allow their customers to sell their products to everyone in the world and there is no geographic limitation

Now, we know the marketing mix and target audience of the company. Let us now learn about the SWOT analysis of Shopify.


SWOT Analysis of Shopify

Shopping Cart on Keyboard | SWOT Analysis of Shopify | IIDE

SWOT Analysis is a tool used in an organization to track the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is important as it helps in tracking what you are good at, and what improvements you can make for the better functioning of the organization. Here is a complete SWOT Analysis of Shopify:


1. Strengths of Shopify

Shopify possesses numerous strengths that made them cover 18% of the total market share in the eCommerce industry. Following are some strengths of the company:

  • Shopify has a wide range of products to offer. Also, they have reliable suppliers which becomes a strong base for their company.
  • Strategic Mergers and acquisitions to integrate new technologies in the company.
  • A strong portfolio that allowed Shopify to expand into new product categories. The customer and merchant experience were good which helped them grow.
  • One of the biggest strengths is strong distribution channels and dealer community where dealers promote the company’s products and also provide training to the sales team.


2. Weaknesses of Shopify

Shopify has to work on its weaknesses and have to improve in these areas to capture new markets and be the top player in the existing market. The top weaknesses of the company are:

  • The company has to invest in the training and development of their employees and educate them about new technologies to always penetrate the market. This increases the attenuation rate.
  • Requires big investment in new technologies. To always be up-to-date with new technologies and industry best practices, the company needs investment to expand its business.
  • High risk and challenges to increase the product range. Shopify is one of the leading brands in its industry, but still, they have to face challenges to enter into the new product segment.


3. Opportunities of Shopify

To be the leading player in its market, Shopify has to take action to start implementing all the possible opportunities they have in the market.  Shopify’s opportunities are as follows:

  • New technologies can help the company to have a new pricing strategy.
  • Shopify can invest in marketing and promotion for brand awareness as well as for sales.
  • Post-pandemic, every small business is looking for a solution to develop its online presence. This will help the company to get more new customers.


4. Threats of Shopify

In the technology industry, Shopify has some threats which can disrupt their business, and they have to work on it. The threats are as follows: 

  • The scarcity of skilled employees in the market is a threat to the company.
  • Competitors surpassing Shopify by developing new technology is the biggest threat to the company.
  • Change in the behavioural pattern of customers after the new features on social media.


Marketing Strategies of Shopify

Shopify App | SWOT Analysis of Shopify | IIDE

A marketing strategy is an implementation of a complete plan on how the company will promote its products to its target audience. So, let’s see different marketing strategies that Shopify used to promote its product

1. For Shopify, there is no brand ambassador for promotions. It promotes by giving small merchants the tool for e-commerce. This created a huge ecosystem in 2009 by launching its Application programming interface(API) platform and application. E-commerce is a highly individualized business. Every business wants to give an amazing buying experience to their customer, but providing so many features will lead to difficulty in using the interface

2. In 2010, Shopify launched a loose app. Shopify Mobile became a game-changer as it allowed dealers to screen their online stores, appear up client information, and satisfy orders from their phones—simply as “m-commerce” aka Mobile commerce started flourishing. More people have been getting smartphones and shopping and promoting online. This became a big possibility to command a brand new channel, and Shopify got onto peak because of it   

3. Shopify additionally stepped up its efforts to sell e-trade through launching the “Build a Business” competition. This contest challenged shop proprietors to begin a shop over eight months. They created excessive-stakes to gas enthusiasm: the maximum a hit agency could win $100,000 and get mentorship from celeb entrepreneurs

4. In 2011, Shopify assisted 11,300+ stores and produced over $125million in sales throughout the stores. With such a lot of customers of all levels, Shopify desired to increase and get the right entry to expert support. They launched Shopify Experts, which became an “online listing of skilled Shopify pros” that had substantial information about Shopify and that could skip down recommendations to the less skilled sellers 

5. In 2011-2012, Shopify noticed 61% increases in new stores (that is 18,200 stores) and over 2.2x sales increases (exceeding $2.75 million in income throughout all stores)

6. In 2013 Shopify unveiled the main platform redesign, Shopify 2, that blanketed over 60 new features

7. In 2014 Shopify overhauled its app to house offline sales. The new Shopify Mobile sync with Shopify POS (Point of sale)

8. In 2015, Shopify brought “Buy Buttons” as a manner to promote content from any website — instead of just being an e-trade storefront. Users can upload Buy Buttons to the websites that they make with WordPress, Squarespace, and Tumblr

9. In 2016 To merge the customized contact of offline trade with the ease of e-trade, Shopify brought integration with Facebook Messenger. Merchants may want to talk with clients about orders and supply them with real-time providers in an extra private channel

10. In 2017 Shopify closed the distance between online and offline purchasing even similarly with Shopify QR codes. These permit buyers to test a code on a bodily object with their telecoil smartphone digital digicam and at once get right of entry to the object withinside the merchant’s online store

11. Shopify also advertises its company through social media platforms. They started their promotion of the company through youtube channels

12. Shopify also uses Instagram and Facebook to advertise their website and they use a psychological theory to market their website known as Reciprocity theory

The aforementioned are some of the marketing strategies used by Shopify. With this, we conclude this blog on the marketing strategy of Shopify


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In this blog, we learnt about Shopify, what is its marketing mix, and how it uses the 4Ps to its benefit, then we saw the competition of Shopify. Needless to say, Shopify is a leading platform in the eCommerce industry and uses various marketing strategies effectively in order to remain on the top.

We hope that this case study is helpful and to get more insight into the marketing strategy of Shopify. Let us know your suggestions in the comments.

Also, If you enjoyed reading this case study and want to know more about the Marketing strategies of various brands and market leaders click visit IIDE’S  knowledge portal

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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