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What is Shopify Audiences? Here’s What You Need to Know

With rising CPMs, it’s only getting tougher to achieve a strong return on ad spend. Shopify Audiences may be just the solution you need to combat ever-rising advertising costs. It is not only a major play for the ecommerce platform giant, it could be game-changing for millions of ecommerce stores worldwide. 

What is Shopify Audiences? 

Shopify Audiences is an audience-sharing tool that enables you to connect to Shopify’s massive network of online buyers to generate new audiences and find high-intent customers. The way it works is you share your first-party data from your Shopify store in exchange for the ability to access a pool of other brands’ first-party data. This data includes customer information such as their name, phone number, email address, purchase history, and shopping behaviors.

And with access to 2 million merchants’ customer information as of March 2022, and 457 million buyers worldwide, you can only imagine the data you can potentially tap into. 

How is Data Shared on Shopify Audiences? 

Data shared through Shopify Audiences is anonymized using a hashing function and is powered by AI/ML. Think of how you can upload hashed customer lists onto social platforms to create targeted Facebook and Google Ads. 

With access to customer data through Shopify Audiences, you can supercharge the performance of your targeted ads. The data network enables you to obtain the information you need to get your ads to highly relevant, high-intent buyers – buyers who have already been in the market looking for products from other brands just like yours. 

Shopify Audiences is currently integrated with Facebook and Instagram ad platforms, but TikTok and Snapchat will soon be hopping on the bandwagon, too with their own integrations to build audiences using Shopify. 

What Does This Mean for a Future Without Third-Party Cookies? 

With recent data privacy changes, it is increasingly more challenging to collect second and third-party data as well as stay in compliance with platforms’ data restrictions. The world is quickly moving towards a pixel-less future without third-party cookies.

Passed on March 2, 2021, the Consumer Data Protection Act gives consumers the ability to opt out of offering their personal data for means of targeted advertising. This type of advertising exposes customers to ads that were specifically selected for them based on data processed through their shopping behaviors.

These data privacy changes also mean that it’s getting tougher for ad platforms to correctly target the right customers so more than ever, brands need to turn their attention to collecting first-party data.  A data-exchanging tool such as Shopify Audiences is therefore, not only super helpful, it is invaluable as a means of collecting accurate first-party customer data. 

Plus, since the data shared is anonymized, there is no need to worry if the data is compliant with the data privacy requirements of major platforms like Facebook and Instagram. And shared data accessed through Shopify Audiences does not require customers to consent to their information being processed.

But as privacy regulations are constantly evolving, it is wise to stay on top of them to ensure you are always in compliance. 

What are the Benefits of Shopify Audiences? 

You can generate audiences composed of a pool of up to 2 million high intent-customers throughout the Shopify network, based specifically on the product you select.  Better targeting of high-intent buyers means that you not only increase the likelihood of conversions, you can magnify your overall top-of-funnel acquisition. With more accurate targeting, you can decrease conversion costs, while driving conversions up for improved return on ad spend. 

And while you will eventually exhaust your ability to expand your audience on third-party channels like Facebook and Instagram, this won’t happen with Shopify Audiences. Shopify Audiences’ algorithm is continuously evolving and improving which means you will always have access to new, uncharted pools of high-intent buyers. Shopify Audiences can also be used as seed audiences to generate Lookalike Audiences on your paid social platforms to find more customers that are similar to the ones Shopify already found for you.

Shopify Audiences not only offers an incredible opportunity to amp up ​your ​performance, it could be the solution to attribution and post – ​IOS ​14.5 tracking. ​Previously, the algorithm was unable to identify which creative, ad set or user had converted, and therefore was unable to provide actionable feedback to improve future performance.  Using server-side tracking, Shopify Audiences can accurately attribute customers’ purchases right down to the very ad or creative that motivated them to convert. This means that Shopify Audiences may not only be able to potentially close the feedback loop, it could even eventually make Facebook Lookalike audiences obsolete.

Which Brands Are Eligible for Shopify Audiences? 

At this time, Shopify Audiences is a feature that is exclusively available to brands who use Shopify Plus and Shopify Payments. If you were thinking of upgrading to the more advanced Shopify Plus, there might not be a better time. Don’t forget, with the upgrade you also get access to cheaper merchant processing rates from Shopify Payments. Shopify Plus caters to enterprise level businesses who require more sophisticated levels of customization, features, and integrations to support stores who generate millions of dollars in sales revenue. 

How to Apply For Shopify Audiences

Getting set up for Shopify Audiences is pretty easy and straightforward. If you are eligible for this new Shopify feature, here’s how you can apply! 

From your Shopify admin, go to Apps

In the Installed apps section, click the Shopify Audiences app.

Click Set Up Audiences

Click Turn On to enable data contribution and agree to the Shopify Audience terms and conditions.

Click Set Up to connect to your Facebook account that you use for your ad campaigns.

Click Connect, enter your Facebook account credentials, and then click Continue.

Click the Facebook Ad account that you want to export your Shopify audiences to.

Click Accept terms to accept Facebook’s Custom Audiences terms. 

Get Started with The Snow Agency to Scale Your Business

Competition is only getting more fierce for ecommerce brands. So, taking advantage of Shopify Audiences could give your business the edge it needs to succeed and amplify your performance like never before.

We are incredibly excited to dig into this further with our brands and publish some case studies that speak to the power of this new, potentially game-changing tool.

If you have questions on how to take your Shopify store to the next level or are looking to elevate your marketing campaigns to drive conversions, connect with the digital marketing experts here at The Snow Agency. Reach out for a free consultation today.