A first customer is the most long-awaited person for a beginner in ecommerce: you select products for sale, create an online store, add photos, and descriptions with thoughts about customers. You expect that customers appear just after opening your Shopify store, and if it doesn’t happen, you try to figure out what’s wrong with your website?
The answer is on the surface: your online store is new and your target market doesn’t know about its appearance. So, stop customizing the settings in the administration panel (it can be addictive for beginners) and focus on the attraction of the targeted traffic. There are a lot of ways to promote your online store since it would be better to choose the most matching solutions for your kind of business.
Why targeted traffic is the first thing to think about?
When you open the online store and there are no thousands of customers per day, don’t be upset, and don’t hurry to change the design, slide bar, or pricing. It’s a waste of time: you don’t know how it influences the customers and don’t have the working example in your practice. You can find all answers if you will work with traffic. Analyze the traffic after every change in your store, doing so you will see if the customers are interested in your product if your prices are appropriate, etc. So, set up Google Analytics and check the results of every marketing strategy.
We prepared a list with several sources of traffic from free and easy strategies to more resource-intensive ones. You shouldn’t apply all kinds from our list of practices, but choose strategies that suit your business requirements.
What are the free traffic sources and how can you get an audience?
The first that you should try to get sales on Shopify is to build a connection with your online community:
- Think, what discount codes you can offer to customers to attract them to your store. For example, you can give the discount code in exchange for an email, registration, commentary, invited friend, answers to your questions, etc. You can offer a 10-20-30% discount code or a bonus of $20, $30, etc.
- Use your private networks to promote your online store: you can add your website to the bio on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, write about it in your blog, etc. It is especially a good solution if you have a lot of followers in the network. Also, you can ask them to share this information with their friends.
- When you gather emails from your potential customers and plan to send them targeted emails, don’t overload them with repetitive advertising. If people get used to such kind of emails, they mark it like spam and don’t read your messages. You need to diversify your content, think about how you can do it.
- Place your links in online niche communities: it can be thematic forums like Reddit, Facebook groups, etc. It’s a place where your target market gathers, so you need to show your activity, set communication with other members, and tell them about your store and what benefits you can offer to them. For example, it can be a discount for all community members.
Paid advertising: what channels you can use
It can sound strange for ecommerce beginners, but experienced businessmen confirm: you need to spend money before to earn money. Paid advertising can attract your target market, but to optimize its work you should make research and figure out on what platforms or social networks you need it. In other words, you should know the answer: where are your potential customers? Besides searching for an effective platform for advertising you should decide how much money you can spend on advertising. It’s great that most advertising channels allow paying for the click, so you can start with a minimal budget.
It’s no secret that Facebook is one of the most popular networks in the world, so you can find your audience among millions of users with various interests, ages, and incomes. Working with Facebook you can customize its targeting parameters to figure out your potential customers. The most helpful among targeting options is “Interests”: with its help, you can see what your audience likes: brands, products, style, etc, and give it to them.
Is perfect for niche stores. It works when you have a clear answer who is your target market and what they are interested in (crafted accessories, environmental protection, eco cosmetics, etc).
Instagram differs among other platforms with a visual format and a relatively young audience, and thanks to it, Instagram shows especially good results in influencer marketing.
With the help of proper hashtags, you can attract customers’ attention to your free posts in your account, and using Instagram advertising you can show your posts in people’s feeds and reach more clients.
Is perfect for stores that work in the sphere of fashion, fitness, beauty, food, interior, etc. If you have original photos of products and can make a great visual, you can effectively use Instagram advertising.
It’s a very niche channel and because it often can be under-appreciated. Pinterest customers in most cases are women that come here in search of inspiration. It works like a pinboard when customers create boards and add on them what they like according to the theme. It can be examples of makeup or hairstyle, outfits, elements of the interior, etc. You can promote your store on Pinterest with the help of various tools: from promoted free pins to buyable pins.
Is perfect for stores, connected with fashion, beauty, interior, art, food, and other products with good photos.
Google is the most popular place that people use for searching for the needed products. You can use Google Ads if you want customers to see your ads at the top of the search. You can choose several variations for advertising: it can be text ads in the results of the search, or shopping ads with the product’s photo and pricing.
Before starting the company with Google Ads, you need to explore what keywords your potential customers use in their search. It helps you to build an effective advertising company and save money.
Is perfect for stores that offer local popular services and trend products.
It’s the method of crowd marketing when companies use inner links for the brands’ promotion. In simple words, you turn to inner platforms, other sites and they talk about you to their audience with the help of banners, posts, or product reviews. It’s good for your business if not only you talk about it. These actions not just give you new customers but also increase the level of trust to your company. Before searching for a platform for this, think about what you can offer to them, what conditions you can discuss, and what kind of ads suit them.
Is perfect for stores that complement its biggest platform, and have a connection with its themes.
Bloggers or editors
Internet users adore new content, so you can offer bloggers the story about your unique product. Find a blogger or publication that is popular among your target audience and try to reach a cooperation agreement. Prepare material and make sure that it would be interesting for bloggers or editors, and suit their style of presentation of information. These tips will help you to achieve the needed results:
- Write the guest post or post with news on your theme with your product description and links to your site.
- Give your product to the blogger for free in return for a review.
Is perfect for unique products, stores with extraordinary ideas, experienced store owners who can tell something interesting about their niche.
A strategic partnership is a good ability to get a new audience for your products. If you want to get good results you need to find brands that would be like-minded but non-competitive with you (for example, if you sell crafted cups, you can find a strategic partner among coffee shops). If we talk about an online strategic partnership, you can show your creativity in your common work:
- Hold a competition where your products will be prizes.
- Offer your products, samples, or discounts on your products when customers buy things from your partner.
- Do as the sponsor of the event.
- Participate in creating a new common product together.
Is perfect for online store owners with experience in business development or sales. Also, it can be a solution for stores who can find not a competing store or organization, but with similar interests.
Like world-known brands work with celebrities, you can turn to Instagram or YouTube influencers to tell the audience about your product. Doing so, you will get interesting content about your product and can attract new customers among the great fanbase of the influencer. Also, you can offer influencer’s subscribers a discount code, or a competition with prizes.
Is perfect for stores that work in the sphere of a certain lifestyle, fashion, beauty, or technology.
You as your store promoter
It’s like guerilla marketing: you can spread the word about your store offline in your surroundings. For example, you can hand out your flyers or product samples in a place where your audience gathers, or just at the park or among the street if you can differentiate your potential customers from other people. Who said that you shouldn’t use offline methods for your online store promotion?
Is perfect for store owners with sociable nature, who don’t be afraid to come to strangers. It would be especially useful if you know where to find your audience.
When you get traffic and gather analytics data with the help of Google Analytics and Shopify Analytics dashboard it’s time to figure out your potential problems or improve the results. Also, by this time you can get customers’ feedback that can be helpful and interesting.
According to your traffic behavior, you can make several conclusions on why the customers do not purchase your products:
- If your customers leave your site just after their visit, it’s a sign of low-standard traffic or you have technical problems with your site (maybe, the time of pages’ loading is too big).
- If your site visitors don’t add products in the shopping cart, it can mean that they don’t trust your store or your products don’t suit the market requirements (if it’s true, you should continue the search for proper niche and matching products).
- If there are a lot of abandoned carts in your store, it’s a sign of shipping problems.
With the help of the analytics data, you can make changes in your online store, customize your settings, and use other marketing strategies to achieve needed results.
Don’t be afraid of possible failures, don’t give up: sometimes just another try is all we need to do to win. There are too many opportunities for ecommerce now, so you need to try several of them to find the one suitable for your case.