Not sure what advise anyone would be able to provide to me, because I would like to keep this as anonymous as possible, but here we go. I have had a website for approximately 5 years. Over that time I've had about 20 unique visitors resulting in zero sales. I sell very niche collector and memorabilia items. I have about 1000 unique items for sale which is roughly 50% of what I have to offer. I used to sell very well on eBay prior to their model changing and therefore switched to a stand alone website. An item may have taken 3 months or more to sell on eBay and the fees associated with that were just not sustainable. I have put in countless hours over the past 5 years and nothing has got my store any attention what so ever. I have tried to optimize SEO with various tools available and have had no improvement. I offer an attractive affiliate program but since no one knows about my store, I have no affiliates. I have tried paid google ads which resulted in the majority of my visitors, but didn't result in sales or returning visitors. I thought about contacting "influencers", but have yet to find someone that reviews the type of niche collectable/memorabilia I offer. Right now, I'm waisting money between the web hosting, product storage, occasional google ad, and possibly paying an influencer. Not to mention the countless hours lost over the past 5 years. My website is alone on an uncharted internet island. From my eBay days, I know there are people who want these items, but I'm feeling highly discouraged?
I understand that wanting to be anonymous and not posting my website here is indicative of the problem. However, this is not the type of advertisement I want associated with my store.
Sounds like you need to get a lifestyle photographer to take some unique images of your products, then use social ads to drive sales and traffic to your site. Imagery and being able to capture the nostalgia component of your memorabilia is key to being able to sell your products. I would see if you can also do some Google display ads targeting keywords around your products. Search ads are difficult because it sounds like your niche is primarily visual-oriented. Also, you need to run ads consistently in order to get the results and data to better target your ideal customers. Turning them on and off won't provide the insights you need to keep building up traffic and sales.
Also, I would start some outreach to other fan sites in your niche. See if there are fan clubs, associations, or communities that are available to reach out to, advertise with, and become an active member in their groups. If you're selling antique doorknobs, look for restoration hardware facebook groups, community forums, reddit threads, etc. Participating in these will not only position you as an expert in this niche, but should also drive some traffic back to your site.
Once you have a steady stream of traffic to your site through social ads, then I would start trying to recruit to an affiliate program. If you install the Carro app to your Shopify store, you'll get alerted to all the possible influencers that could help you promote your brand. It's also a free tool, so it's good to have running in the background in case an influencer finds your site.
It was hard for me to read your post. I'm really feeling for you.
I'd like to help you out 100% for free. I have a lot of experience in the collectables niche that I'll list below to help you understand how I might be able to help you.
My own personal experience in the collectables market
Lets connect and try to sort out the problem you're having. Happy to keep everything 100% anonymous.
You can reach me here
Thanks for the responses.
I have tried both Instagram and Facebook for social media. Both account were disabled within an hour after creation because I didn't attach a cell phone number for verification or post a picture of my face with a specific code that Instagram requested for review.
I like the idea of offering something free. I think I could include something like this with each purchase or pay only shipping as @JeffreyDaniel suggested. But if no one is coming to my store now, how will this generate sales as no one will even know about it? I could offer $1,000 cash for free and no one would claim it since no one comes to my store. Could you please give me more information about sales funnel?
@Clayton_Bates, these last 5 years have been more difficult than I imagine reading this is. Thank you for the offer. I'd like to know more information!
Yea, so sales funnels are basically stripped down websites - but a totally automated sales process. Websites have all your products, contact info, about pages, and can leave customers confused at which product to buy or what action to take. To fix this, you can either make very clear/big calls to action on your homepage (click here first to claim ____) or, a much better way is make a separate sales funnel (which is like a simpler website that's connected to your main domain); they take a specific customer through a customized process for a specific offer.
You first get traffic (from Facebook ads for example) for a specific offer (for example a free/discounted item) on a landing page (page 1 of a sales funnel) where you offer the free product in exchange for an email address.
After submitting their email (which is very valuable because now you're building an email list that you can sell to in the future - customers are a business' most valuable asset), they are taken to a thank you page where they can claim the offer (whether its a free product, or a discount/coupon, or something of value).
If it's the free small product (and they pay only shipping), you add various up-sells as they go through the process of putting in their card info and shipping info (the up-sells should be complimentary to the free offer and not too too expensive) - this is called the Free + Shipping model, which was made popular by Russell Brunson (CEO of ClickFunnels)
I personally use ClickFunnels and I like their software a lot - super easy to make a funnel (you check them out here if you want: ClickFunnels) - they also have a bunch of free training on how to use sales funnels.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about how to set up a sales funnel, etc.
Thanks for the tips everyone. I feel like some would work, but they all pivot on people knowing that my store exists. I think I will try sales funnel ad with a free product offering. I also see the strategy here. Everyone reply included a link to a service, product, or affiliate.
As long as you can drive traffic to a funnel landing page, you'll be heading in the right direction and hopefully start increasing your sales. If you do end up using funnels, here's a simple 3 step pre-built up-sell funnel that I made. Feel free to use it and just replace the information with your product details and integrate your funnel account with your Shopify store. Click the following link to read how to integrate your store: Source
Check out this video from the founder & CEO building out a product up-sell funnel - get some inspiration!
If you're interested in using a simple pre-built funnel: My Share Funnel Link
Also, if you do end up trying this method, please reach out anytime with any questions if you need help driving traffic and/or setting up a funnel.
Best of luck