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Shopify Audiences 101: The Ultimate Guide [2024]

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Every penny spent on ads counts.

If you believe the above statement, then as a Shopify store owner, you need to bring your A-game into play. We are talking about Shopify Audiences, of course. One of the main reasons for ad money going into vain is broad targeting.

Many businesses find it hard to reach their target audience with accuracy, leading to inefficient marketing efforts and a drain on resources. But, as a Shopify store owner, you can turn this around by using Shopify Audiences. This targeted solution is focused on optimizing the ad spent of businesses such as yours and helping you reach the right audience.

In this guide, we will take you through the A to Z of Shopify Audiences so you’ll be ready to make the best of your ad spending in 2024. Let’s begin.

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: What's the Difference?

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: What is the difference?

Source: Canva

Before we begin exploring Shopify Audiences in detail, it is important for you to understand the difference between Shopify vs. Shopify Plus. The primary difference between a standard Shopify plan and a Shopify Plus plan is its target audience. While a standard Shopify platform is suited for individuals to small and, in some cases, large businesses, Shopify Plus is most suited for enterprise businesses.

To further distinguish between both solutions and understand each of them and their suitability for your business, we have created this table for you.



Shopify Plus

More API Integrations

Standard APIs

Enhanced API resources for GiftCard, User, Multipass, and more, ability to integrate custom apps for unified audience management and precise segmentation

Exclusive Apps

Basic apps

Wholesale Channel, Shopify Flow, Launchpad, Shopify Audiences,Script Editor, Transporter, Bulk Account Inviter

Merchant Success Program

Standard support

Comprehensive program offering 24/7 support and guidance on segmentation strategies, marketing efforts, access to partners, and industry insights

More In-Depth Analytics Options

Detailed analytics dashboard

Collaboration with leading analytics companies for advanced insights.

What is Shopify Plus Audiences?

What is Shopify Plus Audiences?

Source: Shopify

Shopify Audiences is a tool created by Shopify with the sole purpose of simplifying audience generation. With this solution, you are able to maximize your ad spending by helping you find more buyers across marketing and advertising platforms such as Meta, Google, and Pinterest.

Shopify Audiences was launched in 2022, and within a year, in 2023 precisely, Shopify introduced additional integrations, bringing TikTok, Snapchat, and Criteo to the package.

Read more: Shopify Sneakers 2024: A Comprehensive Guide to Profitable Selling Strategies

How and Where Can You Access the Shopify Audiences App?

How and Where Can You Access the Shopify Audiences App?

Source: Shopify Apps Store

This precision targeting app is currently available for free but is exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants using Shopify Payments and residing in the US or Canada. Shopify Plus Audiences works by creating audience lists, which you can easily export to your Facebook or relevant ad accounts to launch campaigns that are customized to your audience segments.

Shopify Audiences v2.1 has brought in a new and rather unique feature that can help your store achieve success like no other. The feature is none other than the Benchmark option, which lets you compare your advertising performance with that of your competitor or a store similar to yours. This way, you can easily identify the key areas of improvement and work on them swiftly.

Shopify Audiences leverages Shopify's commerce data using the latest algorithms to deliver unprecedented ad performance for your business.

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Benefits of Using Shopify Audiences

Shopify Audiences offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Considerable Improvement in Existing Advertising Campaigns

Shopify audience helps in impriving existing ad campaigns.

Source: Shopify Apps Store

One of the most common reasons for the adoption of Shopify Audiences is that your current ad campaigns aren't reaping the results you expected.

The reasons for this could be many. Shopify Plus Audiences helps you re-energize your campaigns with deep buyer-journey analysis to create hyper-relevant audience lists. This analysis focuses on predicting future behaviors and avoiding the same old targeting errors.

Quick read: Shopify Collabs Review: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

  • Precise Targeting with Continuous Enhancement

Shopify audiences helps in Precise Targeting with Continuous Enhancement

Source: Shopify Apps Store

With Shopify Plus Audiences, you get access to Shopify's rich customer behavior insights. Shopify algorithm utilizes this merchant data to continuously deliver the best possible ad performance with precise targeting.

  • Lower Customer Acquisition Costs

Shopify Audiences helps in reducing customer acquisition costs,

Source: Shopify Apps Store

One of the first things you see when you research Shopify Audiences is how it reduces customer acquisition costs, and Shopify boasts about how they have enabled businesses to cut their CAC by over 50%. The number is a gold mine, attracting more Shopify merchants towards Shopify Audiences.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
Trusted by over 2,000,000 businesses worldwide

How to Set up Shopify Audiences?

Setting up Shopify Audiences is a straightforward process. Follow the steps below to install and set up the Shopify Audiences app.

Step #1 - Eligibility Check and Installation

  • Ensure eligibility as a Shopify Plus merchant using Shopify Payments in the US or Canada. You can also log in to your Shopify store and check for eligibility.
  • Then, navigate to Settings > Apps and Sales channels in your Shopify admin.
  • Locate and click on Shopify Audiences. Alternatively, you can get the app from the app store as well.
  • Open the app and agree to the terms and conditions.

Step #2 - Data Sharing and Platform Connection

  • Enable data sharing to develop insights crucial for effective targeting.
  • Connect to ad platforms like Meta, Google, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, or Criteo (Shopify recommends starting with Meta for a seamless initiation)

Step #3 - Audience Generation and Export

  • After setup, audience lists are usually generated automatically within 24 hours.
  • You can create and run ad campaigns targeting your custom audience lists.

Once you have completed the above steps, you'll be running your Shopify Audiences successfully. Since Shopify Audiences performs audience list generation based on the data we share, there could be some worries about the safety of your data. To eliminate this, Shopify ensures that the data is secured through hashing, ensuring your data is not compromised.

All you need to do to ensure your data is safe and secure is to update your privacy policies, keeping you compliant with US state laws and other applicable privacy laws.

How to Connect Shopify Audiences to Ads Platforms?

Follow these step-by-step instructions to connect to the popular digital advertising platforms:

#1 - Connect to Meta (Facebook)

  • Navigate to Settings > Apps and sales channels in your Shopify admin.
  • Open Shopify Audiences and select the Meta tab.
  • Click Connect ad account, enter your Facebook password, and choose the desired Meta Business Account and ad account.
  • Accept Meta's Custom Audiences terms.

# 2 - Connect to Google

  • Similar to Meta, open Shopify Audiences, select the Google tab, and Connect the ad account.
  • Enter your Google password, choose the Google Ads account, and accept Google's Customer Match Policy.

#3 - Connect to Pinterest

  • Open the app, select the Pinterest tab, and Connect the ad account.
  • Enter your Pinterest password, give access, and choose the Pinterest ad account.

#4 - Connect to TikTok

  • Open Shopify Audiences, select the TikTok tab and Connect the ad account.
  • Enter your TikTok password, confirm, and select the TikTok ad account.
  • Accept TikTok's audience terms.

#5 - Connect to Snapchat

  • Open the app, select the Snapchat tab, and Connect to Snapchat.
  • Enter your Snapchat password, continue, and choose the Snapchat business account and ad account.
  • Accept Snapchat's Customer List Audience Terms.

#6 - Connect to Criteo

  • Open Shopify Audiences, select the Criteo tab, and Connect to Criteo.
  • Enter your Criteo password, approve, and choose the Criteo ad account.

Remember that you need the permissions for each ad account to streamline the integration process.

Shopify's Biggest Clients: Learn from the Best

Now that you have learned about Shopify Audiences and how you can use it to your advantage, let's explore two Shopify Plus merchants who benefitted from this solution:

  • Happy Hippo (

Happy Hippo is a Shopify Plus merchant that sells fun children's bath products.

Source: Happy Hippo

Happy Hippo is a Shopify merchant selling fun and safe children's bath products since 2006 and soon became a nationwide famous brand. They adopted Shopify Plus to establish a strong DTC presence and quickly opted for Shopify Audiences. Their very first advertising campaign after the adoption of Shopify Audiences saw a remarkable 23% sales increase from new customers, boasting a 4.7x Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and 51% lower Cost Per Thousand (CPMs). This led to a 200% surge in the conversion rate and a whopping 72% decline in CAC.

  • Nathan James (

Nathan James is a Shopify Audiences app and is a minimalistic furniture brand.

Source: Nathan James

Nathan James, which started in 2017, is a boho and minimalistic furniture brand. In 2021, they shifted their focus to DTC and encountered several challenges in ad performance. With the help of Shopify Audiences, they were able to achieve a 175% surge in conversion rates, a stellar 5.6x ROAS, and a notable 52% reduction in acquisition costs. This also resulted in an extra $100,000 in revenue and welcomed over 500 new customers.

Key Takeaway

From precise ad targeting and data-driven insights to cost-efficient customer acquisition, the impact of Shopify Audiences is evident. With success stories like Happy Hippo and Nathan James, Shopify Audiences could be the missing puzzle to your business's ad campaigns. The app is completely free and definitely worth the try. So go ahead and make the best of Shopify Audiences in 2024. Good luck!

Explore more, check out: How to Increase Sales on Shopify: 15 Expert-Backed Tips to Try

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