3 ways to drive traffic to your online store10 Jun
Lockdown might be easing but even after many shops re-open on 15th June, the physical distancing restrictions are likely to make visiting bricks and mortar stores complicated and time consuming – and for many vulnerable people it still won’t feel safe enough. It’s estimated that 61%* of consumers will continue to shop online.
For all these reasons and more, we know that there has never been a better time to set your retail business up online with eCommerce.
In our previous blog, we talked you through Finding the right eCommerce platform on which to sell your products – but how do you match the footfall that you’d get on the high street, on a busy market, or in shopping mall?
There are countless tips and tricks for encouraging visitors to your virtual shop, depending on the nature of your goods, but here are 3 ways to drive traffic to your online store that every type of eCommerce business should learn about and invest in…
How many times have you been on social media today? Exactly! Sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest have become such an omnipresent and influential part of all our lives.
You’re probably already posting on social media platforms but to boost, engage and retain followers (and get them to share your posts) you need to commit time to build a relationship.
As Henry Franco, a brand marketing associate at HubSpot, says:
“It costs a user nothing to scroll past your post, and if you don't offer them any value, that's exactly what they'll do. Know your audience, and craft content that speaks directly to them. Stay active with community management.
“People love when brands like and reply to them — it'll humanise your business, and keep people coming back for more content."
Being an early adopter of new features can also help you sell – as well as engage - via social media. Facebook is launching an automated lead generation feature on Messenger, allowing you to create an automated chatbot experience within Messenger to link to content offers on your site.
You should also try the swipe up feature on Instagram stories, or use IGTV to elevate your followers’ experience in a way that drives sales as well as likes and click-throughs. Competitions are another winning way to send more people from their social feed to your website.
And let’s not forget the power of the influencer! Particularly in the fashion, beauty and wellbeing markets, bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers have celebrity status these days. By researching the right influencers and sending them samples and freebies, you’ll hopefully get them to feature or review your products in a way that drives traffic and sales for your business. There are a few rules, so brush up on all the nitty-gritty here.
The social media landscape is one of vast potential, so it pays to do your homework on all its facets. Check out HubSpot’s social media marketing guide to delve deeper. This blog is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Improve your search ranking
From headphones to headboards and lipstick to lighting, the first place most people go to when they need to buy something these days is Google or another search engine.
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and what that basically means is that your website is written and designed in a way that improves your chances of getting on to page 1 of the search results in your product area.
The most effective way to do that is to regularly create web content such as blogs and case studies that include the same language and variety of key words that your potential customers will type into their search bar. The higher your company appears in the search ranking, the more likely it is that they’ll click through to your website. Positive Google reviews will encourage this, too.
Bear in mind that, depending on your sector, you might have a lot of competition for the same keyword traffic. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, don’t focus your SEO efforts on a generic term like ‘red skirt’ (something that your competitors are likely to sell); use SEO to promote your more unique items by region instead e.g. ‘Italian shoes in Hampshire’. For the red skirt, you could use Google shopping PPC (pay-per-click ) advertising.
Optimising your site for search is a complex and ever-evolving area that usually requires the expertise of a marketing agency, but there are tools available such as the Google Adwords Planner that will help you. This eCommerce SEO guide from Big Commerce claims to be “the most complete guide to eCommerce SEO on the web”.
Good old-fashioned advertising can guarantee your brand exposure, and with an engaging call to action, you stand a strong chance of driving more traffic to your eCommerce site.
Why not feature a discount in your advert, in exchange for newsletter sign up? Not only will this increase visits your site, but it will also help you capture customer contact details for future marketing campaigns.
Those marketing gurus at HubSpot summarise the variety of advertising options on offer:
“With search engines, you can run pay-per-click or retargeting ads. With social media, you can run display ads or sponsored posts. Your strategy will most likely include a combination of different types of advertising. In fact, according to the 2020 CMO Survey, firms expect social spending to rise by 62% over five years.”
Get the lowdown on online advertising here.
More traffic means more orders – so what about fulfilment?
Once the orders start rolling in, you’ll need a reliable end-to-end fulfilment and distribution service to get them to the customers you’ve worked so hard to attract.
Fullers uses a warehouse management system that will seamlessly integrate with whatever eCommerce software you’re using. We’ll tell you exactly when an order has been placed, picked, packed and dispatched. Your stock levels will be updated in real-time. We have links with all the UK’s leading courier companies to get your product from A to B.
Getting these practical parts of the customer journey right is the bookend to all the time, energy, and budget you’ve invested in promoting your products, so it’s vital to get it right.
That’s why, in our next blog, we’ll be telling you how to achieve a first-rate customer experience by outsourcing your fulfilment.
Talk to Fullers Logistics about how we can help you on your eCommerce journey.
*This data has been taken from GlobalData’s survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents conducted in May 2020