For your ecommerce site to have immediate and long term success, it needs a continual flow of new and returning visitors driven by deliberate marketing techniques. The traffic that comes to your ecommerce store needs to be full of potential buyers.
You might have the most well-designed ecommerce site on the best platform, but there is no guarantee that consumers will find your site or want to make a purchase. You could even have the best prices in your market with high quality, sought after products. Still, if your website isn’t being deliberately made visible to the right audience, it may sit idle and not perform to its fullest potential.
For you to maximize your online store, We are providing some “free” and paid strategies you can use to drive the right traffic to your website so you can increase your sales right away!
1. Organic Social Media that Sells Products
Your social media posts should promote your offerings in a creative way that leads users to your store and ultimately make a purchase. The point of any posts you make on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is for the reader to click through to product detail pages or landing pages. Do not get lost in the pursuit of vanity goals. Treat social media as a crucial channel for consumers to discover your products and find your store.
Generally, posting schedules and page content should be well balanced with product plugs and less formal posts to build your brand. You can communicate directly with your audience and establish your brand identity with posts about your company values, company videos, and community involvement. Be sure to include in your schedule product plugs, uses, and offers as they occur. It will take balance and consistent posting in the longterm to yield conversion for your store.
Some specific ideas to keep in mind for using organic social posts to get interested users to your site include:
- Utilizing features like Facebook Shopping and Instagram Shopping to add Product Tagging to your listings to link directly to your store.
- Posting engaging posts that link back to your product listing or landing pages. i.e., posting links to product pages for blenders with the question, “What is your favorite smoothie to make in the morning?”
- Making sure your store is linked to all your social accounts. This is perhaps the most often overlooked, but essential step.
2. Facebook/Instagram Store
Both Facebook and Instagram offer free storefront features on your business pages. As a prerequisite, you will need an active Facebook Business Page and/or an Instagram Business Account to use these features. You can easily link any major ecommerce platform to unlock the store feature or set up a store from within Facebook’s Business interface.
The Facebook Store Interface also allows the sharing and tagging of products in posts on your page that link directly to your products.
Your Facebook page will then have a “shop” tab that acts as an ecommerce storefront where customers can browse your products directly on your Facebook page. Each product listing in the shop links directly to your ecommerce website, funneling them from your Facebook page to your store.
Take advantage of the ecommerce features provided by social media platforms as additional marketing channels into your store. Combine these features with organic and paid social to drive real traffic to your ecommerce store.
3. Strategic Product Listing SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for your overall success with online marketing. You need to optimize your product detail pages (PDPs). Write on-page content that uses the keywords potential customers are typing into search engines.
What do you Google when you need to buy something? If you need a new TV, do you look up the brand of TV that you enjoy? Or do you search for the size and additional capabilities such as built-in streaming services? Take time to conduct keyword research through any of the many free and paid tools available online. Don’t overdo things, though: be strategic with using keywords and write your content around how people are searching for your products or services.
Put yourself in the position of your ideal customer and imagine how they would search for what you sell:
- Brand – Are your products from a credible brand?
- Features – What details of your products are important to your customers?
- Pain Points – Do your products solve a problem or fulfill a need?
Think about which of these ideas take precedence for your ecommerce offerings and update your pages with relative keywords.
If you have many products, you may not need all of them to be ranking highly on Google. However, if you are in a competitive industry with many online sellers, you will need to find different opportunities and angles. Be sure to follow SEO best practices and add high-quality content on all your pages. Over time this will help bring new visitors to your site.
4. High Funnel Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Today there is an array of platforms and options for digitally advertising your ecommerce store. All are focused on getting ads in front of prospective customers, backed by data and targeting. Using “High Funnel” messaging, meaning broader messaging to larger audiences, will get visitors to your site. If you utilize tracking “pixels” on your website, it will allow the use of retargeting lists, which can help increase the value of your overall ad spend.
- Search Ads – Search ads appear in search engines when users type in specific terms. Use keywords that target what your potential customers are searching for to find your products.
- Programmatic Display Ads – The billboards of the internet, appearing on popular websites such as news sites and blogs. Create and run ads that focus on your store’s offerings by leveraging third-party data to narrow down interested potential customers.
- Paid Social Media – Sponsored content that is shown in a user’s “My Story” and news feeds on Facebook and Instagram to show off your products.
- Shopping Ads – Ads with product images and pricing that appear in search engines like Google. These link back directly to your product listing, so buyers can click on the products that align best with what they are searching for.
There are many high funnel options, each accessible to a variety of skill levels and familiarity with digital marketing. If you want to spend ad dollars that will lead to conversions for your online store, PPC advertising is an effective and proven method. It’s great for driving those “new” or unfamiliar users onto your site to start their buyer journeys.
5. Remarketing Ads: Bring Them Back
Remarketing ads are a fantastic opportunity to grab the attention of previous visitors and customers of your site that did not purchase their last visit. To create a remarketing list, first, make sure you install the appropriate tracking codes on your ecommerce site to have the ability to fill “retargeting lists.” Next, choose a page or a user action on your website that is relevant to your sales funnel. For example, one list might track the users who visited one of your landing pages.
If you operate a local specialty shoe store and have the tracking codes in place, you can build a list of users who visited at least one product page and browsed your shoe styles. Each time a visitor fulfills specific criteria, they will be added to a remarketing audience, and you can serve targeted ads to them.
When set up correctly, these lists will identify “warm” prospects who have shown some interest in your store, meaning they are closer to making a purchase.
Here are a few use cases:
- General Awareness – Stay top-of-mind with your potential and current customers. No matter if a potential customer is scrolling through social media or reading an article online, remarketing ads can help you be the first brand that comes to mind when he or she is thinking about your particular industry or category.
- Promoting an Offer – Instead of doing a storewide sale for anyone who visits your site, you can offer promotions to people specifically in your remarketing lists. You can entice them with a discount or special offer to come back and make a purchase.
- Product Remarketing – Like regular shopping ads, these will show products that customers viewed, but left behind. Some tools that integrate with ecommerce platforms allow you to feature product images through display ads to interested customers, but still may need a little push to buy.
6. Use Amazon as a Channel
For ecommerce businesses that apply, Amazon can be a powerful channel for your store. There is no doubt that Amazon is the largest ecommerce platform on the planet. An abundance of companies sell their products on the dominant platform because of Amazon’s infinitely growing customer base. If you are using a major ecommerce platform such as Shopify, it can seamlessly integrate with Amazon when it comes to billing and fulfillment through your main ecommerce store.
Using Amazon as another channel to sell your products on, gives you space on their infinite (virtual) shelves. The customer may be on Amazon, unaware of your main store, but see your product listings or sponsored ads on Amazon.
Before attempting to sell on Amazon, you should research whether your products will do well on the website. Ask yourself these questions:
- Competition: How many sellers are selling my products or similar substitutes?
- Price: What price point can I afford to sell my products on Amazon, and how does it compare to other products in my space?
- Fulfillment: Can I fulfill orders quickly and efficiently, potentially across the country or around the world?
Once you’ve determined if your business can support selling on Amazon, the process includes creating a seller account, getting the account set up, and approval. It can take a few days to several weeks, based on your business details. Next, you need to create optimized listings based on best practices for Amazon itself and your segment. Finally, you can link to your ecommerce platform or operate your Amazon Seller account as its own store. If you are operating your account as its own store, you can use several features available from Amazon, such as its Brand Registry, Storefront Function, Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), and Amazon PPC ads.
Using Amazon as an additional sales channel can be challenging. Still, if done correctly, it can help expand your buyer audience immensely.
7. Utilize Multi-Channel Marketing for Maximum Benefit
It is essential to understand that it may take multiple touchpoints over time with many prospective customers to achieve significant results. The methods previously mentioned can each be done on their own or in combination with other channels such as email marketing. Still, the latter is more effective over time to generate sales.
It’s crucial to understand not every channel that you use will perform. However, the more channels you use, the more opportunities you are creating to make sales. There will be specific channels that are critical in creating a path for website visitors to make a purchase. Most people will need multiple touchpoints to turn into customers. Importantly, you will need to recognize using numerous marketing channels means these types of conversions are considered “assisted conversions.” An “assisted conversion” means another channel had the last click before the conversion. However, it will still credit the other touchpoints along that path.
Here are some examples:
- Clothing and Shoes: People may search for their favorite brands, “window shop” online for the best deal or product. Search ads can bring them to the store from the initial search, while remarketing ads and social ads will bring them back to the store with an offer.
- Equipment and Supplies: Professionals click a display ad for a new online store to fill their supply line needs and join an email list. They receive multiple nurturing emails and see remarketing social ads in their feed before agreeing to a discounted purchase.
- Specialty Products: When the product is higher-end and fills a particular need, buyers may bounce around from store to store looking for the best product. Remarketing ads and email marketing can help pull them back to your store while competitors lose their attention.
The channels, methods, platforms, and ads you use should center around the best way to communicate to potential ecommerce customers. Take advantage of these tools to reach potential visitors and tell them your online store is the place they should buy from — both now and for future purchases.