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Improve Customer Targeting With The Audiences Shopify Tool

Improve Customer Targeting With The Audiences Shopify Tool↘

Have you heard the latest news? Shopify has released a new feature that makes it easier for retailers on the platform to discover potential consumers by using lookalike audiences.

Audiences is the most recent Shopify tool to hit the platform, enabling merchants to select intended products from their store's catalogue and display them to buyers who are more likely to purchase from their business.

How Does the Audiences Shopify Tool Work?

This innovative Shopify tool utilises machine learning to develop a lookalike audience for each specific product, which can then be used to reach those who are likely to purchase from the brand via online advertising networks.

Currently, the solution is available for Shopify stores to implement across Facebook and Instagram, but the ecommerce platform has stated that Audiences will soon extend to include the likes of; TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Microsoft Advertising and Criteo.

The Challenge of Customer Acquisition In 2022

Customer acquisition and successful audience targeting remain one of the most difficult challenges for online businesses to overcome and much of this is due to changing data privacy updates and platform privacy legislation across the web.

Therefore, this type of Shopify tool exemplifies an industry-wide scramble to recover lost data, as several businesses have had no choice but to cut their Facebook ad budget as a result of higher acquisition costs and inferior outcomes.

From what we've heard, Facebook has estimated that Apple's updates will cost the social media giant up to $10 billion in ad revenue in 2022 alone.

Additionally, Mark Lewis, the Founder and CTO of the Netalico ecommerce agency stated:

- “Ever since Apple started cracking down on the data you could get from apps, companies like Shopify are trying to fill this gap.”

Therefore, with all things being considered, brands are hungry for any new type of tool or insight that they can access to harness the power of their store’s influence across the web.

- However, even a new Shopify tool such as Audiences is “not a direct replacement” for targeting lookalike audiences on social media networks such as Facebook up against what the platform was once able to offer brands within its own right.
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Beta Access to the Audiences Shopify Tool

From what we’ve heard, Shopify has offered beta access to the lookalike audiences tool for select brands on the platform since the late months of 2021.

During this time, the team at Shopify has stated that the platform did not develop the lookalike Audiences tool as a way to work around recent global updates, but to provide the stores on its platform with a more robust toolset.

Kaz Nejatian, the Vice President of Product at Shopify commented:

- “Shopify Audiences will give merchants a new, effective way to find prospective customers, which is one of the hardest challenges in growing a business while enabling merchants to meet obligations under their applicable privacy regulations.”

However, this new Shopify tool could be of assistance to brands on the platform and will most likely be employed as a marketing move by Shopify as the Audiences solution is only available to Shopify Plus subscribers.

As a result, Lewis believes that this could be a compelling reason for merchants to upgrade.

Shopify’s Data Collection

So, the main consideration here is what kind of data Shopify is collecting to figure out which users on the internet are most likely to purchase certain products from online stores.

- Furthermore, the company stated in a press statement that its “machine learning builds an audience of high-intent buyers tailored per merchant and the audience is directly and securely exported to their ad network of choice.”

Shopify also revealed the types of data that it uses to inform its machine learning, as well as whether all Shopify merchant data is utilised alongside how merchants on the platform can opt-out of the program should they wish to.

In a nutshell, Nejatian stated:

- “Broadly speaking, the algorithm looks at buyer behaviour in a privacy-aware way as well as product information.
- Shopify Audiences leverages our unique perspective on purchase intent from supporting merchants and their buyers.
- Shopify Audiences will only use the data of merchants who opt-in and those merchants can opt-out at any time within their Shopify admin.”

From what we’ve discussed, it would seem as though the Audiences Shopify tool may become a new component of the ecommerce advertising toolkit for merchants on the platform and one that others will become envious of across the web.

It was once much easier to find and target shoppers online, however savvy software companies like Shopify are now trying to see if they can capitalise on this shift and we are 100% behind them, backing this tool.

So, what are your thoughts on our guide to the Audiences Shopify tool? Reach out and let us know.

If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!

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