I have had my shop open for roughly three months now and I have barely seen any sales or traffic. I've tried utilizing social media (Facebook and Twitter) and have seen little to no movement. I have also tried Facebook ads as well, although this method of "marketing" increased my traffic it didn't generate any sales.
I'm in the process of "updating" my site as far as adding more text, improving the picture quality, and adding more graphics.
Is there anything that I am missing, or is there any special pointers that someone can give me to see an improvment in both generating sales and traffic?
Firstly, I would say you should substantially increase the assortment on your site. Like for ecommerce store there won't be enough choice for buyers.
You are right, text is really necessary for you all pages of your website. Add more of description to your products - this will improve user experience. But before you dive in this I would advice you to do a keyword research- visit your competitors websites, look at the keywords they have been using in titles, headings, etc., think yourself of search terms which would describe your products. Then head to Google Keyword Tool and using exact match look for the keywords which have good search volume. Focus on lont tail keywords more. For example, type "cross earrings" and check the box "Only show ideas closely related to my search terms". Look into the keyword ideas for 3-term keywords (long-tail) with decent search volume.
After you have decided on keywords, optrimize your pages - include these keywords (but know the measure) into headings with H1 tags, page titles and text on pages.
Also, you will need external links leading to your site - you may add your site to different listings, but you will still need more links from other trustworthy domains in order for your website to achieve decent rankings.
As to the Facebook and Twitter - they are good solutions, but first of all they help build the customers loyalty and improve brand awareness. So you should focus on other methods aside from social media as well. By the way Pinterest is frequently used in ecommerce store promotion too these days.
I recommend you read our guides and materials on how to start small business and ecommerce promotion. http://www.promodo.com/blog/webinar-materials-small-business-seo, http://www.promodo.com/blog/webina...
There are a number of ways I have gotten traffic to my web site. The first thing I did was I started a blog. I try to write at least 3 times a week a blog article and when I write the blog I do not write in terms of trying to sell, but I write in terms of trying to help my audience and give them information about what can help them.
Then I started an email list and I setup an autoresponder. I use mailchimp for that at http://www.mailchimp.com and this helps me because I will just point to my blog post that I have written.
I then setup a Podcast and I have a show. I try to do it every week, but it seems like I have just been able to get it going about one show every three weeks or so.
Also, I suggest you try to make sure your store is SEO optimized and also make sure you have setup a twitter, Facebook, and even use Pintrest.
The thing that is sending me the most traffic is an affiliate program I setup their App store called OSI Affiliate Software http://www.osiaffiliate.com
Overall it takes a lot of time and patients.
First of all, I love your site! It’s very clean and organized. Generating traffic to your site, and converting that traffic into online sales, can definitely be tricky! It’s great that you have already looked into using social media and updating the content on your site to promote your store.
Using social media is also great for generating buzz about your online site. I see that you added social media chiclets to your product pages, to enable sharing, and that’s great! Another app that can be very useful for social media sharing is Justuno, which is a free app that increases sharing of products and offers on your site. That app can be found here: http://apps.shopify.com/justuno-social-bribery. Shopify also wrote a really great blog post on social marketing strategies to grow online sales: http://www.shopify.ca/blog/7900695-12-social-marketing-strategies-to-grow-your-online-sales#axzz2Vub....
One example of social media strategies is posting content daily. This is a great way to encourage visitors to return and gain repeat customers. I saw that you don’t have many selections in some product categories, try adding new products and selections to engage all visitors! You can also update more than just your products: try posting on your blog weekly to keep content fresh and exciting. I find that I’m more likely to re-visit a site and check for updates if they often run promotions and offers. If I’m more likely to win something or get a discount by sharing the site or product, I’m also way more likely to share the page. For example, LivingSocial gives users the chance to get a deal for free if they share with 3 friends (I attached a photo!).
I'm also more likely to re-visit a site if I'm being sent emails about new products and promotions. Like Scott mentioned, mailchimp is a great tool to send out promotional emails to your customer base! The MailChimp app is found here: http://apps.shopify.com/chimpified. ;;
Aside from updating products, optimizing your content is key to gaining traffic. Using keywords, URLs and handles, and tags, will help your website rank high on search engine results pages and drive more traffic. Shopify has a great guide to SEO here:http://wiki.shopify.com/Search_Engine_Optimization_(SEO)_101. If you need help deciding which keywords might work best and be most relevant for your site, try looking at http://www.spyfu.com/to check out what keywords your competitors are using, and find related keywords to ones you are already using. Use these keywords in optimizing your website, like making sure you are adding alt tags to all of the pictures you are adding and using relevant handles for the URLs of your product, and search engines will be able to index your site and deliver it to users searching for those keywords much easier!
Finally, when it comes to paid ads, I would suggest moving over to GoogleAds (adwords.google.ca). You get a credit to use Google AdWords when you sign up for Shopify, and AdWords is really great at helping you find keywords to use as well! Facebook ads are not the most efficient, which is likely yours haven’t led to many sales. Although Facebook is highly targeted and ads can increase traffic, they don’t have a very high conversion rate. In the end, Facebook costs you more in pay-per-click compared to actually sales than Google will. Like Elena suggested, use keywords that don’t have super high volume, but are instead as targeted as possible to the audience you’re looking for. This way you won’t have to place super high bids on the words, and you will attract visitors that are more likely to purchase!
One last note on social media marketing; Pinterest is actually proven as the best social media to convert visits to sales. Set up a Pinterest account to post photos of your products and encourage sharing across Pinterest boards!
I hope this helps, and good luck getting those sales!
Thank you all so much... I am soaking up all the information you are giving me and applying it to my site. I have seen an increase in trafic so again, I greatly appreciate all the advice.
I have looked at your website and if I was a user I would be anxious to get the items since I never know if they are going to fit. Especially in the jewelry section it is very unclear if and how the jewelry is going to fit. I am in the jewelry business and use http://retailers.findmyringsize.com maybe you also want to try this. It dramatically increased my conversion rate and decreased bounce and return rates. Best of luck!
I wish I could comment on your site but it did not work when I tried to open it.. Maybe you should have someone look into this?
As for your question, I can see you've already got some awesome feedback and your attitude is fantastic - nothing beats positivity 🙂 If I could add to everyone else, my advice would be to try to narrow in on the needs of your customers. Try to engage your customers in a unique and sincere way -
For example, say you were selling sneakers and you wanted to drive traffic to your site. You searched through Twitter "where to buy sneakers" ... any tweet relating to this topic will come up. You then replied to someone's tweet with a picture of your sneakers and a post-it that says "These have your name of it" - You have now engaged someone in your community in a unique and creative way which shows them that you care to take the time to make them feel special and heard. The likeliness of this customer visiting your shop and buying a pairs of your sneakers versus someone else's sneakers has increased and in turn, that person will likely spread the word about your company and your creative initiative to reach out to them.
Take a look at the Shopify Blog - http://www.shopify.com/blog This is an awesome resource full of shopify updates and ecommerce trends.
You should also read these two articles on the power of Hashtags and the power of Instagram - as I said, both of these social media platforms are wicked resources to engage your customers.
Best of luck with your shop and keep smiling 🙂
You can also try to different ways to better engage your existing fans on Facebook or Twitter and let them share information about your store with their friends.
One way of doing this is by running regular contests on social networks (for example on the first Monday of each month). You can use contests to introduce new products to your fans (by asking them question about each product), but most importantly it is something fans are more willing to share with others.
Hope this helps,
So glad your traffic increased again! What did you do finally to get better results?
If you are interested to leverage Pinterest you could check a guide I helped writing a few months ago. http://viralica.com/content/ecommerce-pinterest-guide
Best of lucks!
I've written an app that automatically emails past customers at just the right time to bring them back again:
We're currently in beta. I'd love to hear any feedback or enhancement suggestions you may have.
If you haven't already, you can list your products in TheFind and Bing Shopping for free. You might need to purchase an app or service (like Aten Software) to submit the listings for you, but otherwise, there won't be any charges and you can get some free or low-cost clicks.
People searching in those shopping engines are already indicating an intention to buy your products, so you can get decent conversion.
If you have some additional budget for ads, you can list in Google Shopping, which is currently the biggest/best comparison shopping search engine. You can set your bid as low as $0.01 per click and get some very low cost clicks.
Good luck on your store.
It can be very difficult to get started these days because of the amount of competition in most niches. However, it is not impossible I will list out a few things you can do below.
- The first thing I would do is make sure that you have a blog and at your blog you want to write about topics that people are interested in. To come up with the topic, you want to ask yourself, when people are searching for my products and services, what questions do they have in their mind and then you can to create epic blog post around that topic. Once you create these epic blog post, you want to contact influencers in your niche.
You can use a tool like: http://followerwonk.com
Then at your blog you want to offer web site users something of value and collect there email address.
You can use a tool like: http://www.mailchimp.com
Then you want to setup an auto responder sequence, and give them more value information and always drive them back to your site. You do not want to really advertise to them, but you want to help them and drive them to your web site.
Make sure you have a Facebook account, Twitter Account, and as you help people by writing your blog post, make sure you post links to this site.
The other advice I would give is to start an affiliate / referral program. An affiliate program is when you get other web site owners to help you to promote your products and services and you pay them a commission only after they send you a successful sale. What's great about an affiliate program is you only pay for success. My company has created an affiliate software used by a lot of Shopify users called OSI Affiliate Software.
Check out OSI Affiliate Software here: http://www.osiaffiliate.com
The next thing you want to do is learn everything you can about search engine optimization.
You can review this can a lot here:
Next you want to form partnerships with others in your industry and figure out how you can work together. I would suggest when you contact others, you simply let them know how they would benefit from working with you and do not just ask them to partner with you. Try to establish a relationship first.
To keep track of your partnerships and to find them I suggest:
I hope my tools and advice help.
Their are plenty of methods that you can do to generate the sales and traffic.
You can use the SEO to rank your keywords that will bring the sales and traffic to your website. You can also use the Google PPC and Bing PPC but for this you have to pay some money at each every different clicks.
The third way to only use the social media sites. Just promote your website on social media sites, create your website banners, products image, tweet them, share them on facebook, Google+ then on Google+ page, stumble them etc.
So it depends on you which methods you would like to use. A perfect Internet marketing expert can guide you in a better way with some live examples.
I know that when i am looking to pump up sales on sites that I have worked with some of the best things that we do is flash sales! They are a great way to catch the attention of users, and makes people wanting to keep checking back to see what they may have missed or what is going on sale next!
The concept is if something is only available at a discount for a limited time or a limited quantity, it gives people the illusion of being a lucky customer in catching that amazing deal; Which, in turn drives people to keep coming back for more and to try and catch the next awesome deal as well.
Keeping your social media active and updated is another big key which it sounds like you are doing. As well as trying other things like email lists or flyers and maybe even a newsletter to let people know what is going on in your businesses world! Customers love to see how your business is doing and how dynamic it can be.
Ads can be a more targeted way of advertising, as you can specify target audience age, and interests, and a plethora of other things when you sign up for them. Even if you don't get a ton of traffic from it just having people see your companies name is an amazing asset, as they will probably remember seeing your business name somewhere and it will make them wonder what it actually is and potentially click on your site.
I wish you luck with your store and hope that all of these brilliant people here have helped you and that your business will continue to grow! It may take some time and hard work but the end result will be more than worth it!
I just released an interview with one of the top apps in the Shopify app store where we talk about the Top 5 ways to get your next (or first) 100 sales based on his experience with working with 300+ Shopify customers. Click here to listen and also get the guide on getting your first 100 sales.
Felix from ShopifyMasters
SEO is one of the best ways to generate traffic, so everyone wants to take advantage of it. However, many people don’t understand how SEO work.
You only want to drive search traffic from keywords that convert into sales.
You don’t want to waste precious time reading about juicy SEO strategies. Your goal is to use SEO to make money from your online business. This blog post has some steps you should follow: http://shopifynation.com/marketing/shopify-ecommerce-seo-part-1/
Well done on what you have done so far.
I have a few suggestions for the site itself. I never buy from sites which don't include an address on the About Us or Contact page. More about you/a photo might also create that bond with the customer reinforcing the fact that these items are handpicked.
I suggest that you try Polyvore. You can put your items with outfits of your choosing and create 'sets' which you could post on your blog and product pages. That puts the jewellery/bag in context with clothes. Amazing how a white shirt and jeans next to some statement jewellery helps customers understand how this would work for them.
I also think you should remove the strong red text warnings about wrong addresses and loss of shipping fees. Instead, make an effort to validate the address yourself before dispatching. In the UK we have a free post code (zip) look up. Not sure if you have the same in the states? You could move this info to your T&C as I think it gives the wrong impression - that lots of orders go missing/are undelivered.
For the photos, would it be possible to standardise the size of photos which appear on the same page? I think it looks more professional and is less of a distraction on the eye. Also, you have pull down menus with sub categories which are currently empty. I would hide those until you have the stock.
You could make a feature of having less stock - by creating a sense of 'buy it now or lose it forever'. A way to do this would be with a ticking sale clock on each product page "sales ends in 10 hours 4 min". There is an App in Shopify by Bold Apps which does this very well. You could also have a countdown of the number of items left in stock to create the same persuasion to buy. If you don't want to pay for another App at the moment, perhaps you could put the same information on your product pages manually "SALE ends midnight Sunday" Your prices are low so it would be good if you could increase your check out baskets by encouraging bundles. For example 'buy any ring, necklace and bag and get....free shipping/a free gift/10% off. Bold Apps also do an app for this.
If you aren't already doing it, promote a gift wrap service, as this is the type of website people could buy a gift to send to a friend. Perhaps consider adding scarves in future?
I hope that helps.
Best of luck!
Your website looks great. I think the only challenge here is how to encourage your customers make a purchase.
You can try to offer an instant discount right when customers enter your store, instead of collecting their email like now. Better Coupon Box will help you do that for FREE.
Or try to motivate customers finish purchase at checkout page by: Checkout Boost app
This app allows you to set free gifts, free shipping or discount (of your choice) to customers if they share their cart on Facebook, Twitter,... It will not only encourage them to finish their cart to catch your offer, but it will also help you reach more new customers on social networks.
Hope it helps 🙂
It is essential that you know how to diversify the traffic that is coming to your website, and not rely entirely on search engine optimization. Otherwise, if your primary traffic source fails you, it could mean the end for your business