You’ve added eCommerce to your website, made a couple sales, but it’s not taking off like you expected. Where could you have gone wrong?
Well, the problem isn’t you. The market is hard to break into as a new ecommerce business, but there are many tips and tricks that you can employ to bash that barrier. So what are you waiting for? Read on!
Create a blog for your business
This is 2015, almost 2016, and content is king. The best way to boost traffic to an ecommerce website is with a blog related to your goods or services. A fantastic way to get people to share your stories is to write about them! Do your customers love what you do? Write a blog about them, or ask your customers to submit their own stories. What better way to show your appreciation than to showcase your biggest fans. And when they see a blog about them, or featuring something they wrote, they’ll share it for their circles to see. Make sure to always include a call to action within your blog posts. This CTA should point readers to whatever your main objective is. Selling goods? Direct them to different pages to purchase your products. Selling a service? Point them to a page about how to get in contact with you to get a project started! Always include shareable photos, and graphics, and you’ll be on the road to success in no time.
Create videos of products
With YouTube being the second largest search engine followed closely by Google, it is probably a good place to put some content to gain more traction. Post videos of your product in use, or services being rendered. Post videos of customer reviews, or content uploaded by your customer and kill two birds with one stone with their video testimonial. You can upload videos about how it works, what it does, what it looks like, or in use. People are visual, and love seeing how a product or service can look in real life, results, and the process. Post your videos on your website, and in your blog, and people will devour your content.
Read more about the importance of video on your website here!
Push users to leave reviews
Simple enough, but the amount of credibility that your business gains from just one positive review is shocking.
Send free samples
There is a science to this. Free samples are a great way to get people to come back to your shop after purchasing just once, or perhaps a great way to get new customers in the “door”. This really only works if you have a product you can ship to customers, unless there is a way for you to provide a free mini session of your service. To find who you should send free samples to; search your favorite social media sites for high ranking users within your industry. To find these high ranking individuals, you can search on websta.me for Instagram users, and followerwonk.com (now owned and operated by Moz) for Twitter users. By doing even a simple Google search, you can return some highly ranked blogs that are influential in your industry. You can send samples to these individuals in exchange for a review of your product or service, or even something as simple as a Facebook post urging their fans and followers to check you out.
Another place to send free samples is to friends and family. Ask them to share a photo of your product or service to their social media accounts, linking to your website, along with a glowing review of your product. There is no greater marketing than Word Of Mouth marketing. Get people talking!
Send samples along with online orders (or pick ups) for new products you’re carrying. What better way to reduce the risk of an investment than to let them try before they buy.
Cross promotion is another great tool a lot of local businesses will use. Work together with other local businesses which may have a product or service that could go along well with what you have to offer. Are you a chocolatier? Send some free samples to the local ice cream shop for visitors to try out while they’re in for their dose of ice creamy goodness. Pizza shop? Set up a cross promotion with the local hardware store where visitors get a free slice if they stop in! Don’t forget to brand your packaging so they know where it came from, and where to get more! Include any and all contact information someone could need to find you again.
Reach out to bloggers and press
Ask if they would be interested in reviewing your product, or sharing a story about your brand. This can be a great way to build a local presence; being featured in your local news! Host an event for a good cause, send the proceeds to a local charity, and make sure the news shares it to give it a boost. Everyone wins in this situation, with money going to charity, your business in the spotlight, and customers getting to try something new. It’s a great way for a community to come together. On the other hand, bloggers who have a large following sometimes have cult like fans who will try anything that the blog suggests! If you can find someone in your industry with a large following, and the same ideals as your company, send them a sweet email about how you love their articles, and you would love the opportunity to talk to them about your product or service.
Post store to Reddit
Oh, Reddit. “The front page of the internet”. While there are many subreddits to keep people distracted at work, there are tons of subreddits that are there to promote industry specific threads. Just do a quick search for your industry here, and I am sure you will find a subreddit to call home. You might as well post in /r/Entrepreneur, and /r/SmallBusiness while you’re there!
Ask friends and family to share photos and posts about your product and link to your Social Media page of choice or website
This sort of follows up from the previous point about bribing friends and family with samples, but even without free samples, you may have plenty of friends and followers who want to help you out in any way they can. Just ask around, and see if people will share your link!
Actively engage on Twitter
Find, follow, and engage with enthusiasts in your industry! Find these mystical beings with Followerwonk by searching a keyword, and it will do the rest by searching keywords in user profiles. Ask them about their favorite products, and offer to send them samples in exchange for a review, and a tweet about your product.
Write a blog post about top [insert favorite number here] influencers in your industry
Keep it short, sweet, and sincere, and they’ll be flattered and may share your article [HELLO traffic]. For example, you sell hair products; write about your favorite stylists, and why they’re your favorite. Once your post is published, send it to them to make them aware of your kind words about them. They could share it on their different social media platforms, and bring in a bunch of traffic for you. Just don’t be cheesy about it. Be sincere, and they’ll appreciate that so much more.
Provide a wider variety of payment options on your website
Allowing users to check out with a variety of different payment options provides a much easier user experience for your visitors and customers. Some options include PayPal, Square, and Amazon Payments for starters, and the list goes on. Forever. Literally. Choose a solid 4 or 5, and your users will appreciate your flexibility. Another option to seriously consider if you have a brick and mortar place of business is to provide a pick-up option for locals. Ask them to pay ahead of time, set aside their order, and when they come in to pick it up, they just need to show proof of purchase, and they’re good to go! How easy!
Send paid ads to specific product pages
Choose specific long tailed keywords, and direct users to a specific product page based on the keywords. This will result in lower bounce rates, and visitors may click around your site too. Nothing is worse than clicking on an ad, expecting it to go to the actual page it looks like it should go to, and ending up on a page completely unrelated. Frustrated users will leave your site in a heartbeat and shop elsewhere. Get specific with your keywords and landing pages, and everyone will be happy.
A mecca for DIY enthusiasts, and imagery lovers alike. Use styled photos, products or services being used or rendered, or “how to use” posts linking to your blog, and this will yield great results. Creating sharable images for use on Pinterest should include a photo of your product or service, along with some text so users can see what they’re about to click to. If you really wanna gain a footing on Pinterest, try out the brand new “buyable Pins” feature recently set up in Pinterest for sellers of goods.
Always use images in Social Media posts
We are a visual culture, leverage that to your advantage. When using pictures, make sure they stay consistent to your brand. You don’t want to post crappy clip art type photos one day, and high resolution photography the next. Choose a style you really love, and stick with it. (I would highly recommend AGAINST crappy clip art – Seriously. Just don’t do it) Try using some stock images to start with, and once you’re established, you can hire your own photographer to take photos for you!
Word of mouth marketing
Urge your customers to tell their friends about you by offering a certain percentage discount for referrals, both for the referrer and the referee.
Start a Q&A on your website
Answer popular questions from users! This will not only save you time, but it will answer the burning questions from potential buyers without having to contact you and eat up more of your time.
Attend events as a vendor
Think: bridal shows, fairs, carnivals, farmers markets, and other tangent events related to your industry. This is a great way to get some face time with potential buyers and really wow their socks off.
External Ecommerce platforms
Have you considered selling on Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy? This could really help to boost your sales. While it’s not a direct way to get people to your site, it’s a way to get your name in the eyes of the shoppers by being where they’re shopping.
Show up at the top of the search results with other similar sellers in Google Retail. This can be a super easy way to get buyers to your online shop.
Start a competition
Have people share, like, comment, etc. on a photo on your favorite social media outlet, and watch your followers [and sales] grow!
Social Coupon Plugin
“Save $X with A Share!”. Spread the word organically by having visitors share a coupon to their social media pages. This not only saves your customers a little bit of green, but it will also prevent a handful of cart abandonment instances.
Sponsor a local event
With your logo on everything, supporting a good cause, or a fun event with like-minded people, how could this not help sales? Support something you’re truly passionate about, and the shoppers will come.
Accept & Share customer images on Social Media platforms of your choice
This is a great way to make your customers and followers feel appreciated. Share THEIR images. Even better, host a contest or a giveaway, and anyone whose photo gets shared, gets a gift card or exclusive goods. If you’re looking for a good example of this, check out Lush’s latest contest with their hashtag #bathart. A select few will win exclusive Lush goodies. [now ended… boo!]
This can be a great way to get people in the door. Especially around the holiday season. Everyone is looking for a good deal on the products and services they need most.
The basis for all of these suggestions is a well-designed ecommerce website. If you don’t have that as a foundation, none of these will really work as well as they could. Make sure you’re starting off on the right foot, and beginning with a functional, easy to navigate website.
Are there any other tactics you’ve used to get people clicking around on your site? Share your knowledge, oh wise ones!
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions, shoot us an email, or leave it in the comments below!