As of today, online stores are in abundance, with that number only set to increase. With this increase comes the challenge of getting more visitors to your store. Therefore, if you are looking to increase traffic and grow your store sales, here are our best strategies and solutions to nurture traffic!
Driving traffic to your online store can be a challenge, especially if it's a new site with little to no domain authority and if you don't have the right marketing strategy in place. Even stores that have been online for years sometimes struggle to increase website traffic. E-commerce is, after all, an extremely competitive space.
While strategies like SEO and social posting are universal—they work for any industry and brand—it's important to tailor to your niche to ensure you're deriving the right ROI for your efforts.
In this article, we've listed 10 strategies with steps and tactics to use specifically for your online store.
1. Use SEO for E-Commerce
33% of all e-commerce traffic in 2019 came from search engines, and organic traffic was higher than any other medium, even paid. And the way to tap into this high volume, free traffic, is through SEO.
But hold on, here's another important statistic to remember when optimizing your site for search engines:
67.60% of all SERP clicks go to the first five results on the first page.
Now, why is this important? Because, unless you manage to rank on page one of the SERPs for your chosen keyword, you aren't really going to reap the fruits of SEO.
The first step in optimizing your store for search engines is selecting the keywords you want your site to rank for. This will play a crucial role in deciding if you reach page one SERPs or not. Choose a highly competitive keyword, and you'll probably not rank high enough. Select a keyword with a low search volume, and you'll only get a trickle even if you do rank.
Once you've selected your keywords, add meta titles and descriptions to each product and category page and include the keywords relevant to that page. Optimize the content on all product and category pages by adding these keywords and relevant content. Make sure all images have alt-tags that reflect the inserted keywords.
In our article How Effective is Content Marketing for E-commerce in 2022? we cover the use of content and content marketing for SEO.
2. Reach Out to Customers and Prospects through Email
A typical email marketing campaign generates $42 for every dollar invested.
That's an ROI of 4,200%!
Email marketing is a great tool, especially for e-commerce stores, as it allows you to reengage customers who've made a purchase in the past and also engage users who've shown interest by submitting their email address but haven't yet made a purchase. You get to converse with both of these groups—customers and prospects.
The first step is to build a subscriber list. Some ways e-commerce stores collect email addresses are:
Once you have different email lists ready, you can run email campaigns using tools like Mailchimp, SendGrid, or HubSpot, all of which have free plans. The key is to create succinct and attractive emails and to only send emails when you have a message to convey, for example, to intimate people of an upcoming sale, of a running offer, etc.
3. Go All Out on Social Media
Leveraging social media to drive traffic to your online store is a no-brainer. Posting on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a great way to drive traffic back to your online store.
Here are some social media strategies you can use:
4. Tap into Influencer Marketing
The strategies listed above work great to build your brand's social media presence, but until you have a large enough following, you should consider reaching out to influencers.
Influencers are people on social media who have a large number of followers, generally 50K or higher. Having influencers give your brand a shout-out, use or review your products, etc., will give your brand visibility across their followers.
It's important to work with influencers whose content is within your brand or product's niche. If you have a store that sells vegan cookies, you should look for fitness or nutrition influencers who live a vegan lifestyle. One great strategy you can use is to send free samples to influencers and have them unbox and use these products on their social channels.
5. Market on Online Directories and Listings
Another great way to drive traffic to your website without paying for ads is through online directories. For example, you can use directories like Zomato, Yelp, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, etc. It's important to find online directories within your niche. Then, you can create listings, add compelling images, and a succinct description with a CTA back to your online store.
6. Get in on Discussions Around Your Niche
If you can't create enough buzz around your products or brand yourself, join in on the buzz that's already generated. There are many forums that you can join and advertise your brand and products on as a part of a discussion and drive traffic to your online store.
Facebook groups are one such example. If you sell fitness products, you can join groups that discuss fitness and subtly market your products while also participating in the discussions.
Another great strategy is to comment on posts or answer Quora questions. Make sure the content you post is always relevant and adds value to the reader. If you spam advertising content without adding any value, you won't just lose access to these groups; you'll also lose brand reputation.
7. Use Marketplaces
You can use free product listing platforms like Google Merchant Center and Facebook Marketplace to advertise your products and drive traffic to your online store.
Google Merchant Center is especially great to tap into organic traffic if you haven't managed to rank any pages on SERPs. When someone searches for a product, Google displays the Shopping list right on top, and this gives your brand incredible visibility.
Make sure you use quality images that are visually appealing and a short headline that clearly conveys what the product is.
8. Run Giveaways and Contests
We won't just tell you giveaways and contests are incredible; we'll prove it to you:
A survey found that, on average, businesses acquire over 34% of new customers through contests, and contests have a 3.7% higher conversion rate as compared to other CTAs. Giveaways and contests don't just impact store traffic and conversion; they help with other avenues too: Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster on average than accounts that don't.
What is a giveaway? It's basically offering to give a product (or products) for free, or a discount coupon, in return for some action—answering a quiz, following an account, submitting an email address, upvoting a post, etc. You run the contest for a fixed number of days and then select one lucky winner from the participants.
9. Create a Referral Program
Referral programs are similar to giveaways: you offer a discount or free products to anyone who refers a friend to your online store. Referral programs are great sources for traffic and conversions. A study by McKinsey found that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
Referral programs are a great way to leverage customers you already have. They've purchased products in the past, and they already trust your brand. They'll be more receptive to campaigns than new customers, and they're more likely to open an email from you.
The key is incentivizing referrals—offering a discount on their next purchase, giving away free products, etc. Offering discounts on future purchases is also a great way of getting existing customers to make another purchase.
10. Run Paid Ads
The world of e-commerce is close to being saturated, and the competition is fierce. While you should definitely work on building organic traffic through SEO and social media channels, you should also run paid ad campaigns until you have sustainable organic traffic.
Paid ads are a great way of generating immediate traffic. The amount of traffic you can drive to your online store is proportional to your budget, so you have some amount of control over the number of store visits you can generate.
Paid ads give you complete control over who sees your brand, something you can't fully do with organic campaigns. For example, you can run a display ad on Facebook and target it to a specific city, age group, and people with specific interests. Getting this level of micro filtering organically is difficult.
Depending on your budget, you can run:
And there you have it, 10 great strategies to drive traffic to your online store in 2022. It's important that you be patient, especially when it comes to organic campaigns. Strategies like SEO sometimes take up to a year to yield results. Until then, you can always supplement traffic using paid ads.
We'll leave you with this final tidbit—before starting any campaign that drives traffic to your online store, make sure the website UI and UX are optimal. Otherwise, you'll have a huge number of visitors but not sufficient conversions. The average website conversion rate is 2.35%, while the top 10% of websites have a conversion rate of 11%. With that, we have the average mobile website conversion rates even lower at 1.53%, compared to 4.14% on desktop websites. This leads us to the next question- How can we convert website visitors into buyers?