8 proven ways to drive traffic to your online store
This post was last updated on October 24, 2022.
We've all heard the saying "just because you build it, doesn't mean they will come."
There's no better example of this than when you own an online store. Despite all the hours you might've poured into getting your site ready for business, there's no guarantee that buyers will magically appear.
Fortunately, there are many tried-and-true ways to increase your site traffic. We've put together a list of eCommerce marketing tactics and best practices to get you started.
But first, is your eCommerce site optimized for sales?
Whether you’ve just launched your store or have been in eCommerce for a while now, it's wise to regularly check the user experience on your site. After all, no matter how ingenious your marketing campaigns may be, you'll struggle to convert visitors into buyers if your site is clunky, disorganized, or unprofessional. Here are several things to look out for:
Organize your site with a clear structure and CTAs. Make sure shoppers can easily navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. If your product catalog isn't displayed directly on your site’s homepage, add a prominent “Shop Now” or “Start Shopping” button that leads customers to the right pages.
Speak to a specific target audience. Think from your customers's shoes when you're writing your product descriptions, designing your homepage, and/or setting your prices. If customers don't feel that your brand is tailored to them—chances are, they'll exit your site as quickly as they entered.
Remember that photography is king. We’re living in a visual age. High-quality product photography is a must-have, allowing customers to envision themselves using your product. Aside from static product photos, include product videos and/or user-generated content that can serve as powerful social proof.
Don't skimp on product details. Make sure that your product descriptions are detailed and accurate. The last thing you'll want is for customers to shy away from making a purchase because they have more questions than answers after looking at your product listings—or, if they do make a purchase, you'll want to avoid an influx of returns due to "item not as described."
Offer a seamless checkout process. An overly complex checkout process is one common cause of abandoned shopping carts online. Simplify the checkout process as much as possible while also accepting various forms of payment. By using Wix Payments, as an example, you can accept everything from major credit cards to Apple Pay to BNPL solutions.
Make sure your return policy is easy to find. More than two-thirds (67%) of shoppers want to see a return policy before they complete a purchase, according to Invesp. Hence why you'll want to make your return policy easy to find so that shoppers can enjoy some peace of mind while they shop.
How to drive traffic to your online store
Once your site is ready to receive visitors, experiment with the following tactics and strategies to maximize your reach.
01. Attract customers with a sales campaign
A well-planned discount pricing strategy can draw attention without draining your wallet. The key is to find a strategy that makes your customers feel that they've gotten a good deal, while avoiding a situation where you're competing on price alone.
To get you started, here are some campaign ideas that you can implement:
Offer a competition or giveaway. Incentivize visitors by offering free shipping or a coupon towards their first purchase if they sign up for your mailing list. This not only entices your customers to take a chance on your brand, but also provides an avenue for you to stay in touch with them.
Create a coupon for online use only. Whether you offer a percentage or fixed amount off the final price, an "online only" coupon can draw people to your site. Extend this offer to your existing contacts and shoppers who visit your brick-and-mortar store (if applicable). You can create a coupon directly from Wix eCommerce, applying the coupon to a specific product or collection of products if desired.
Create a sense of urgency. Whether you announce a flash sale, limited-time free shipping, or a blowout holiday sale, creating a sense of urgency can get people rushing to your store. You could even add a countdown clock on your website to build excitement around an event or sale.
BOGO (buy one, get one) deals. Incentivize shoppers to try multiple products from your store by offering a buy-one-get-one 50% off (or free) deal. BOGO campaigns are especially useful if you're trying to liquidate certain products.
Note: creating an enticing sale is only step one. Without a proper promotion plan (e.g., ads, email marketing, or social promotion), you run the risk of no one seeing or hearing about your deal, so make sure to bake that into your plan as well.
02. Target your audience on Facebook
With more than two billion monthly users, Facebook is the world's most active social channel. There are a plethora of ways to use Facebook to your advantage, including:
Create a Facebook page. As a first step, set up a business page for your brand where customers can look for crucial store information. This is also a good place to publish and promote any content that links back to your website, such as a sales campaign, a blog post, or a product announcement.
Run Facebook ads. Create pay-per-click (PPC) Facebook ads that help you to reach new consumers with relevant interests, browsing habits, and backgrounds. Choose from a variety of ads and adjust your campaign according to your business goals. If you’re looking for an easier way to manage your ads, use Wix’s Facebook Ads tool, which leverage AI to A/B test your ads, track sales, and locate the ideal audience for you to target.
Integrate Facebook shop. Let customers browse your products when they're on Facebook, then direct them to your site to check out. If you’re using Wix, you can integrate Facebook shop with your eCommerce site in just a few clicks. Your inventory can be managed from your site’s backend, and any updates you make to your product listings will automatically appear on your Facebook shop.
03. Show off your business on Instagram
Depending on your business, Instagram can be a huge asset for increasing traffic to your website. Use it to cultivate your brand and to give people an authentic look into your business.
Kaekoo (pictured above) uses its Instagram page to provide design inspiration and to show the face behind its brand—Kaekoo founder, Kae. The brand flaunts more than 175,000 Instagram followers, many of whom have fallen in love with Kae's creativity and personality.
Take a page from Kaekoo's book and take these steps on Instagram:
Optimize your Instagram bio. Make sure your Instagram bio is optimized for your business by including a link to your store, alongside other contact info and perhaps some witty content.
Utilize videos. Your Instagram page shouldn't be a replica of your product catalog—rather, it should feature engaging content that expresses your brand's personality. To that end, show behind-the-scene footage that highlights your products or team members via Instagram Stories and/or Reels. If you're creating a story, use "link" stickers to direct visitors to a webpage, where they can browse your products or make a purchase.
Integrate Instagram with your site. Sync your Instagram feed with your online store so that customers can shop your products directly from Instagram. Similar to Facebook shop, this feature lets customers find the product they love on your social media channel, then click on the image in order to see more details and check out.
Read Also: What is social commerce?
04. Lean into email marketing
Although eCommerce email marketing may sound outdated in a world full of TikToks and Instagram posts, email still boasts the highest return on investment (ROI) of all, with an average of $40 earned for every dollar spent. As one of the most successful ways to direct your customers to your online store, it’s definitely worth implementing.
The first step, of course, is to grow your email list. One way to get people to sign up for your emails is by adding a lightbox to your site that promises a discount on a visitor's purchase if they provide their email address. You can additionally include a signup form in your site’s footer so that shoppers can opt in at any time.
As you start building out your email list, think about the types of emails you want to experiment with. Do you want to send a weekly or monthly newsletter? Do you want to highlight an upcoming sale or product launch? What kind of content will convince visitors to shop your products, both in the short term and long term?
As you seek the answers to these questions, keep the following tips in mind.
Choose your eCommerce email platform wisely. Pick a platform that’s simple to use and lets you customize templates, easily sync contacts, and track your performance. There are many free options for you to choose from, including Wix’s email marketing tool.
Test various subject lines. Your subject line is arguably one of the most important elements of an email, with the power to attract or repel your customers before they've even seen the full message. Make sure you keep your subject lines short, punchy, and provocative—while still keeping them relevant to the content inside.
Keep written content short and sweet. Don’t overdo it with the text. Make sure every word you write is useful, eye-catching, and geared towards getting visitors to click on your main call-to-action (CTA).
Mix it up. Avoid inundating your email subscribers with content that's 100% promotional. Instead, send emails that offer value in the form of helpful content, inspiration, or other material that'll help subscribers feel more connected to your brand.
Don’t neglect your branding. Make sure to honor your eCommerce branding strategy and align your email images, copy, etc. with your store branding. By keeping these elements consistent across your various properties, you can create a brand that's easy to recognize, no matter where shoppers encounter it.
05. Optimize your site for SEO
Your potential audience is most likely googling products like yours already. It's your job to make sure that your website appears in the first few results of these searches by implementing a smart eCommerce SEO strategy.
To ensure that your SEO plan is effective, get familiar with critical SEO terms, like "keywords" and "metadata." Each of these elements (among others) influence your site's rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) and help search engines discern when and how to showcase your products.
Each page of your site needs to be optimized individually. That said, you can simplify your work by using Wix's built-in SEO tools, which can auto-apply certain optimizations across multiple pages at once.
Note: even when SEO efforts are done correctly, landing a spot on page one can take time, so you’ll need to be patient.
06. Utilize content marketing
If you’re a newer company trying to compete with bigger brands or if you’re trying to increase your brand recognition, a great way to grow your website traffic is through content marketing.
Your eCommerce content marketing strategy should be clearly mapped out, with a specific target audience in mind. Remember that when it comes to content, the immediate goal isn’t necessarily to get people to buy, but to stimulate interest in your products and to present your business as an authority within your field.
Some of the most common forms of content marketing include:
Blogs. When you're learning how to start a blog, it becomes pretty evident that a blog is a long-term investment. If done well, a blog can attract quality leads to your store and help you rank for keywords throughout the eCommerce customer journey. You can use your blog as a way to provide insights within your field, inspire customers to use your products, or even receive backlinks from larger publications.
Videos. Create short, engaging video content that’s related to your field of expertise and your business and post it on your business’ YouTube channel, social channel, and/or your eCommerce website. You can use videos to answer frequently asked questions about your business, explain how to use your product, or just provide interesting information.
Infographics. What have you learned about your industry that you can pass on to your customers? Publish key insights and stats in a visually compelling way by creating infographics. Aside from attracting potential buyers, infographics can help you earn backlinks from journalists or other publications in your field. Make sure that your infographic is well-branded, complete with your business’ logo and a URL to your site.
07. Engage influencers or brand partners
Stepping out of your network into someone else’s is a great way to gain traffic to your site and reach new, yet relevant, audiences. By working with credible influencers or brand partners in your space, you can more easily gain the trust of potential buyers.
Start by researching your social platforms and looking for popular accounts related to your industry. A tip for Instagram is to use Webstagram, an Instagram web viewer with advanced features, and type in keywords related to your business.
After you’ve created a list, initiate conversations with those influencers or brands, taking the time to nurture an honest, positive relationship before negotiating business terms. When it comes to familiarizing your partners with your brand, make sure to send product samples, alongside enough information about your brand to help them speak confidently about your products. Consider passing along special discounts that they can distribute exclusively to their followers, or offer commission for every person that makes a purchase from your store as a result of your co-branded activities.
It’s also possible to create an affiliate marketing program to automate the process, allowing you to work with a large number of influencers in the most efficient manner. These efforts can inspire Instagram posts, videos, and/or blog posts that link back to your site and can thereby drive traffic to your online store.
08. Advertise on Google
Whereas with SEO, you garner traffic organically, with Google ads, you gain traffic through paid placements. Most ads can be targeted by location, device, demographics, and keywords.
There are various ad types that you can choose from, including:
Search ads - Text-based ads that are displayed at the top of Google search result pages
Shopping ads - Ads that showcase your product at the top of Google search result pages, the Shopping tab, partner websites, and Google's Display Network (note: Shopping ads use product data, not keywords, to target the right people)
Display ads - Ads that feature text, images, videos, and/or rich media and are shared across Google's Display Network
Video ads - Video ads that are displayed across YouTube
Each of these can take visitors back to your site, while dynamically expressing your brand. Pay attention to remarketing campaigns, which allow you to re-engage people who've visited your site before, in addition to targeted campaigns.
Bring more eyes to your products
Extend the reach of your eCommerce site by experimenting with the above tactics. Be intentional about the channels and campaigns you run, investing in the ones that align best with the interests and behaviors of your target buyers.
Ready to build your eCommerce website? Start selling on Wix today!
Marketing Writer, Wix eCommerce
Brielle is a Colorado native with a passion for innovation and helping to mobilize entrepreneurs. Brielle is a marketing writer for Wix eCommerce, which powers over 700k online stores worldwide.