Ecommerce traffic

How to get traffic to your ecommerce store

By Mark
Last updated
10 June 2022

So, you’ve invested time, budget, and energy into an ecommerce store, but sales aren’t flying in?

That’s because having an ecommerce shop is only part of the online selling equation. Add to that the fierce competition out there, and you can begin to understand that generating traffic to your online store is a crucial part of your business.

Whether your online store is new, or you’ve hit a traffic plateau and seen a fall in sales, there are many digital marketing traffic-driving tactics you can start using right now, so you can get back in the game if your traffic has been low for a while.

We’ll cover both online and offline marketing activity that will increase relevant traffic to your online shop and, more importantly, how to convert that hard earned traffic into sales and ultimately profit!

Who is your Target Audience?

If you try to sell to everyone, then you’ll likely end up selling to no-one.

Understanding who your target audiences are, is key to selling online. Your target audience may be dictated by age, gender, income, location, interests or a myriad of other factors. Once you’ve defined who your target audience is and only then, can you find the best way to reach them.

Targeting the people who are most likely to buy from you, will ensure you spend less on customer acquisition and earn more by reaching the most valuable leads for your business.

What’s in your Marketing Strategy?

Using your target audience data allows you to put a clear marketing strategy in place, focussing on what your message is, setting your budget and what channels you are going to use.

Setting measurable objectives is a key part of any marketing strategy. These goals need to be based on your business benchmarks and utilising the tools that work best for you. Creating a successful e-commerce marketing strategy will involve a variety of digital marketing tactics to maximise your presence.

12 Digital Marketing Tactics to Increase Traffic to Your Online Shop

With so many digital marketing strategies out there, all aimed to drive traffic to your ecommerce shop, expanding your approach to increase web traffic will offer better results than sticking with one strategy. This way if one area drops, you’ll have multiple traffic sources, to keep your online sales coming in, while you address any issues.

1. SEO

There’s no doubt SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) will be on your to do list. If you are selling products online, optimising your website for search engines such as Google and Bing are essential. SEO will increase your store’s visibility and drive traffic, in fact, it produces some of the best traffic. SEO is a long-term tactic and can take time to see results, this is especially true for new ecommerce stores.

SEO for e-commerce is more than just adding keywords. You need to understand how search engines work, Google’s guidelines and have a working knowledge of SEO for e-commerce. This includes analysing buyer intent and implementing SEO strategically.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy to organically advertise your brand and business through producing high quality, engaging content. This includes blog posts, news articles, podcasts, infographics, user guides, product demos, videos, downloadable PDFs and much more!

All of the above types of content marketing can be used to attract, engage and retain your target audience by establishing your expertise and knowledge. It also keeps your business in their minds when it's time to buy what you sell. One of the best ways to do this is to be useful to your potential customers, produce content which answers their questions or solves a problem for them.

3. Social Media

Social media makes sense for most e-commerce sites. Your success on social media is dependent on your posts, messages, and images to get customers’ attention and drive traffic to your website.

Social media engagement is more than just posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. You should encourage conversations with your target customers, respond to comments and demonstrate passion for your products utilising your content.

Getting in front of your ideal customers with paid social media ads is a good way to help your e-commerce business grow. Social media platforms let you create highly targeted campaigns with tailor-made ads and deliver them to your target audience, who are most likely to click through and buy your products.

4. Google Shopping & Search Ads

Google Ads is the fastest way for you to generate traffic to your site. You can have a campaign set up in a few hours. Unlike social media ad platforms, Google Shopping and Google Search Ads (also known as PPC – Pay Per Click Ads) offer a unique opportunity to advertise your products and services to people who are actively searching for them. Paid search campaigns allow you to bid for top ad placements on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Google Shopping can be implemented on platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce and when users clicks on an item, they are taken directly to the product on your ecommerce shop. One of the biggest advantages with paid search is that it is an instant win, although setting up both Google Shopping and PPC can be complicated and costly if you get it wrong.

5. Email Marketing

This is a very effective and affordable way to drive existing customers who have joined your mailing list to your ecommerce shop. Think carefully about the frequency of your emails and pay attention to unsubscribe rates, they can tell you whether you’re hitting the mark.

It’s worth paying attention to email headlines that grab the reader’s attention in their cluttered Inboxes. Always make sure your emails entertain or educate customers in some way – don’t just sell products in your emails. They are easy to set up by using a good email marketing tool such as Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp.

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing works very well for certain industries such as fashion and beauty but can work in other sectors too. It’s a great way to increase brand awareness and potentially drive traffic to your website.

Marketing strategies such as sending free samples to Instagram influencers and getting them to feature your products is an effective tactic. Instagram is one of the top platforms for influencers, but make sure any influencer you work with is a good fit your brand. Look in detail at their engagement rates, as it’s not all about the number of followers. 

7. Reviews

Customers reviews provide credibility to your products and while you may receive good and bad reviews, they can both be used to your advantage to get traffic to your ecommerce store.  

Good reviews let you make the most of user generated content (UGC) and influence potential customers who may be sitting on the fence. Bad reviews or ‘not so great’ ones, can be used to re-evaluate a product, or improve the buying experience for other customers. Encourage shoppers to leave reviews via email, this can be on your website or Facebook page.  You can use tools such Trustpilot that will show your customers they are ‘real’ reviews.

8. Retargeting & Remarketing

Have you ever noticed that after viewing a particular product or service that you seem to then see ads for similar products online? This is retargeting, an ecommerce marketing strategy via Google or Facebook Ads, to help encourage website visitors and encourage them back to your site.

Remarketing is similar to retargeting but is aimed more to existing customers and re-engaging them via email or paid advertising. It can promote renewing a service or upselling an accessory for example.

9. Google My Business

If your ecommerce store is selling to a smaller, more local area, then you need to be on Google My Business. Google My Business provides you with the ability to list your business location on Google Maps and in local search results.

You can also display important information such as opening times, reviews, images and other ‘customer driving’ information. Google My Business helps improve local SEO too and lets users see key information briefly.

10. Affiliate Ads

Affiliate marketing ads appear on websites relevant to your audience, these websites will have links to your e-commerce store and drive traffic. This is done through an affiliate network with the affiliate earning a commission for marketing another company’s products, with the sales being tracked via affiliate links from one website to another.

11. Abandoned Cart Emails

Shopping carts are constantly abandoned for a number of reasons, but that doesn't mean you have lost the sale yet. By sending the right email to the customer at the right time you can resurrect the sale by reminding and enticing them to come back. You can also offer to help answer any questions they may have.

12. PR

Target publications and websites read by your target audience, with press releases about your products. Don’t just send journalists press releases but also send them photos, videos, and product samples. Offer to meet them or invite to any events you are running, so you can build a relationship with them.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Today we can track everything online and Google Analytics gives you the tools you need to better understand your customers. It’s also free and you can then use a myriad of business insights and metrics to measure your campaigns and see what works and what doesn’t. 

If you are not using Google Analytics, you can set it up by simply by adding a piece of tracking code to your website. Google Analytics will measure everything from the number of users, where traffic comes from, your bounce rate, conversion rates and that’s just the basics!

When you invest time, effort and money into traffic-driving tactics, it’s essential to understand the return on that investment and measure your success or improve on results that could be better.  

Offline Marketing

Adding offline marketing tactics to your overall strategy can help drive traffic to your e-commerce shop. This can be as simple as including your website on business cards and any printed material, offering online discounts via leaflets, direct mail campaigns, adding your website to company vehicles and if appropriate advertising in printed media or radio.

We touched on a lot of strategies, tips, and tactics here and whilst we wouldn’t recommend doing all of the above at once, a good way to get traffic to your ecommerce store is about layering short-term and long-term tactics so they work in tandem.

Successful e-commerce doesn’t happen overnight, but the internet is a big place, and your customers are out there waiting to find you.