Traffic but no sales.

Dave94
Tourist
7 0 1

Hi. I have had 900 online visitors this week so far to my store - ecobottlesandstuff.com and not one sale. I am marketing with Facebook ads and Instagram but can’t understand why no one is buying. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

David 

Replies 21 (21)
Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
853 34 340

Hey, David!

 

Aria here, I'm on the Social Care team at Shopify.

 

First of all, congratulations! I have no idea how you're targeting your ads but you are definitely doing something right if you've had 900 visitors this week. I would, however, hold off on pumping more money into those ads until you perfect your store.

 

It's important to understand that it's about a lot more than just a product. If you want customers to buy from you, let's give them something they can't get by wandering into the dollar store and purchasing a steel bottle. You need to create a brand identity, build a Social Media following and create content to add value beyond the product itself.

 

It might be easiest if I give you an example of a store who are doing it right. I went to Google and searched 'eco water bottles' and I found greensyourcolour.com. I've never heard of them before but they certainly have an attractive looking store.

 

When I visit, I can see they have a professional looking logo which fits in with the brand image they are trying to create:

 

They have attractive sliders showing lifestyle images of their products in use and a tab where you can quickly click to read customer reviews:

 

 

Their About Us page is personalized, informative and they have contact details, letting me know they are in Burlington, Ontario and providing a phone number and their office hours. I understand as a small business, it's not always convenient to provide a phone number but I would recommend you are as transparent as you can about where your business is based. Providing an address can make a huge difference in the amount of trust you are building with your potential customers. Another great option is to use the Facebook Messenger Channel. People are increasingly more comfortable using Social Media as a communication method, rather than email. They typically receive a faster response this way as well.

 

Building a Social Media following is important. It acts as Social Proof which increases buying confidence and it gives you an audience you can continually market your products to without always paying for advertising. You can add your own Social Media links by going to Online Store > Themes > Customize > Theme Settings > Social Media.

In the case of Green's Your Colour, they are selling skin care products as well. If we ignore that and just focus on the water bottles, you will notice they are all the same, just different colours/images:

There's a lot to be said for simplifying your product range and selling something you can really get behind, instead of just selling all products that fit with your business model. I get that this is harder when you're dropshipping but it can still be done. Spocket is a great app to try. They have a free plan available, they have a lot of attractive products and many of them ship from the US, rather than China. This can give you an edge over businesses with longer shipping times.

 

Another great thing to consider is creating blog posts for your store. It provides value beyond the product and over time, it can drive more traffic to your store as Google will recognize you have unique content.

 

 

I notice you have store policies attached to your footer menu. This is great but personalize them to your business. Your Returns policy mentions products you don't sell:

 

I'd like you to take a turn before you work on your own store. Think of an online store you've purchased from or at least considered purchasing from. Make sure it's a unique product, rather than a big marketplace like Amazon. Go to their website and have a good look around. It doesn't matter what they sell. Just think about why you like them. What makes you trust them enough to part with your cash? Why are you more likely to shop with them than another company selling similar products? What is it about their website that makes them look like a professional business?

 

I realize starting a business is a little overwhelming, there's a lot to think about. We are always here for support! Make sure you sign up for the free business courses on Shopify Academy.

 

Aria
Social Care Guru
Shopify

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Dave94
Tourist
7 0 1

Hi Aria,

thank you for your great answer. I will certainly take on board all your comments and look at implementing your suggestions.

I’m a little bit surprised myself at the number of visitors I have built up this week. I have promoted my website on Facebook to get more website visitors and targeted UK, USA, Canada, Australia and India. A massive majority of visitors to my store are from India. Without them my figures would be a lot less. Maybe my audience is far to large?

I also have had 1 product promotion running on Instagram and one on Facebook but they have now finished or about to finish. 

I am also pretty active on Instagram and have now 130, all gained this week. 

So yes I am doing something right but certainly not everything. 

It looks like I have a busy few days ahead to analysis your suggestions and plan my change 

s.

Any further thoughts would be appreciated. 

David 

Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
853 34 340

Hi, David!

 

It's interesting so many of your visitors are in India. I'm curious how you have targeted your ads? Facebook ad targeting is a tricky science. It's important to try to target the people who will buy, rather than just the people who will click. Without a doubt, the US is the English speaking country you're likely to have the most success selling to, especially if you can pivot your products to start selling items that are shipping from the US instead of China. I have a Shopify store myself. I'm located in Canada (and my products ship from Canada) but without trying, 65% of my customers ended up being from the US, 16% are in the UK and Canada comes in third at 14%. I'm now thinking the smart thing would be to get my supplier to ship my new products to a warehouse in the US, instead of shipping them to me. I can get a fulfilment company to ship them for me. Yes, I'd need to pay them but US shipping is considerably more cost-effective than shipping from Canada. I can then focus my ad dollars 100% on the US market since they are more likely to spend money than other countries.

 

When it comes to ad targeting, your customer's location is just one part of the puzzle, of course. I found this article the other day, I think you may find it useful to help put your own ad plan together. It's important to narrow down your targeting as much as you can.

 

If you gained 130 organic followers on Instagram in just a week, that is impressive. Just remember, the same rules apply as with your FB ad targeting: you only want to attract your ideal audience because you are aiming to eventually convert a large percentage of them into sales. I would be looking to add value on your Instagram page as well. I'd have at least 3 or 4 types of regular content. Your products should be one of those but it's important to have other attention-grabbing content, such as how-tos. Check out the Instagram Marketing course on Shopify Academy. All Academy courses are free.

 

Remember to link your Social Media pages to your footer by going to Online Store > Themes > Customize > Theme Settings > Social Media.

 

Keep in touch! I'm excited to hear how you get on.

 

Aria
Social Care Guru
Shopify

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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spiffystack
Trailblazer
151 8 36

Yeah, you're marketing in the wrong places.  Facebook has changed over the past several years.  It's much more disorganized and laden with advertising and faulty / bad links these days.  When there wasn't much advertising, it was frequented and popular, but it's almost like a third-rate directory now.  Instagram isn't much better, though at least it has a simpler and more consistent interface than facebook.  I'm afraid to say it, but Aria is right about your policies pages.  Copying and pasting the templates is alright, but it's necessary to alter those where they're not pertinent to the business and products you run.  It wreaks of a cookie-cutter web site, which could easily turn away a potential sale, and throw a visitor off before deciding to purchase.  Sorry to put it so harshly.  The need for color / design aesthetic is another area your site is lacking.  Why not have a selection of textures / colors that are on some of the bottle designs along the side of the page, or framing the pictures (border or frame) of products with that specific product's texture / color.  But only for certain ones, not all.  And those certain ones could have a sale, or a highlight of a sort to inspire a sale for it.  Water bottles are a personalized product, suited to a humongous range of tastes and preferences.  However, those aren't always so clear and obvious, even to a potential buyer.  There's a ton of options in your store alone.  Try separating them into less generalized sub-categories.  Keep the categories currently, and make sub-categories (with drop-downs) that put particular traits of the bottles into perspective.  For example,

 

All the marble texture ones can be in one sub-category.  All the flat color ones can be in another.  Don't call 'em "Flat Color", call 'em "Monochrome" or "Simple".  Extend the concept of each bottle beyond the mere description for it, and the idea that it's a non-recyclable water bottle.

Eco-friendly is and has been a wearisome label for the past 20 years.  I'm an environmental science degree holder, and I've noticed how much damage the label has caused to authentic efforts of ecological preventive measures and such.  So, despite the claims on the home page, you're going to need to put those on a separate page.  It's likely also getting the site poorly searched by search engines because it could be categorizing / rating ecobottlesnstuff.com with non-store sites.  So it could be a search for water bottles AND eco-friendly is turning up not your site, but a search for plastic damage to environment is turning up your site on the fifth page of results.  The home page is one of the pivotal points of reference for search engines.  It's far too common to place a ton of information and photos on the home page, thereby rendering SEO for the site a transition into no-visitor's lands.  Simply look at several water bottle shops from a search, and analyze the home pages of each one.  Then put them into a free SEO review tool, and look at the basic stats.  It'll be a surprise how much more a site with a simplified home page gets over the others that have a bunch of pictures, a paragraph about something that isn't a typical about us section, etc. 

Backlinks is another important facet of SEO, and getting high traffic.  Backlinks are simply any link from another site to your site, not including search engine links.  Facebook and Instagram are so common in terms of marketing / ads, that backlinks from those are tightly ranked and reviewed now.  It is really misleading for e-commerce store owners to think that facebook and instagram are a quick, go-to solution for advertising and getting high levels of consistent traffic that produce sales.  It's more like waiting for the circus to come to town and have a completely new set of events / treats / animals.  So, to put it mildly, try going to various blogs and sites that have some association with your store's theme / product types, and request to put a link on their blog / site.  It's not an easy task, I understand.  But even a few (read 3-4) could result in a ton of traffic or a smaller amount that becomes actual sales.  Offer a small percentage per sale to the site / blog, but base it on a certain number of visitors.  For example, for every 100 visitors from the blog, all sales generate 1% profit to the blog-owner(s) / writer(s).  Not 1% no matter the number of visitors.  Or set it to 3-4%.  It may shave a bit off your profit for a time, but the more visitors to the store, the more transfer of the store's presence BWOM (by word of mouth) and by sharing of links, therefore more sales external to the blog / site.  It doesn't sound as promising as running a facebook ad and instantly getting site traffic, but it's more promising because the traffic is far more targeted.

So, in summary, ecobottlesnstuff.com needs a semi-revamp.

1)  Modify policies to fit the products and business operation.

2)  Reduce white space and dull appearance by enhancing with colors / textures that align with the products

3)  Stop relying on FB and IG for traffic / sales, and expand via backlinks from blogs / other sites with a current connection to water bottles / eco-conservation
4)  Sub-categorize products (excepting perhaps the wheat straw products)

5)  Simplify the home page, getting rid of the blurb about plastics and the damage they do (which actually may not be as accurate as you probably are led to believe)

6)  Add more products to the store...more water bottles of types that are less likely to be thrown out after a year or two of use, and that are travel-efficient and have a range of options (colors / textures / etc)

Dave94
Tourist
7 0 1

@spiffystack wrote:

Yeah, you're marketing in the wrong places.  Facebook has changed over the past several years.  It's much more disorganized and laden with advertising and faulty / bad links these days.  When there wasn't much advertising, it was frequented and popular, but it's almost like a third-rate directory now.  Instagram isn't much better, though at least it has a simpler and more consistent interface than facebook.  I'm afraid to say it, but Aria is right about your policies pages.   and pasting the templates is alright, but it's necessary to alter those where they're not pertinent to the business and products you run.  It wreaks of a cookie-cutter web site, which could easily turn away a potential sale, and throw a visitor off before deciding to purchase.  Sorry to put it so harshly.  The need for color / design aesthetic is another area your site is lacking.  Why not have a selection of textures / colors that are on some of the bottle designs along the side of the page, or framing the pictures (border or frame) of products with that specific product's texture / color.  But only for certain ones, not all.  And those certain ones could have a sale, or a highlight of a sort to inspire a sale for it.  Water bottles are a personalized product, suited to a humongous range of tastes and preferences.  However, those aren't always so clear and obvious, even to a potential buyer.  There's a ton of options in your store alone.  Try separating them into less generalized sub-categories.  Keep the categories currently, and make sub-categories (with drop-downs) that put particular traits of the bottles into perspective.  For example,

 

All the marble texture ones can be in one sub-category.  All the flat color ones can be in another.  Don't call 'em "Flat Color", call 'em "Monochrome" or "Simple".  Extend the concept of each bottle beyond the mere description for it, and the idea that it's a non-recyclable wat
Eco-friendly is and has been a wearisome label for the past 20 years.  I'm an environmental science degree holder, and I've noticed how much damage the label has caused to authentic efforts of ecological preventive measures and such.  So, despite the claims on the home page, you're going to need to put those on a separate page.  It's likely also getting the site poorly searched by search engines because it could be categorizing / rating ecobottlesnstuff.com with non-store sites.  So it could be a search for water bottles AND eco-friendly is turning up not your site, but a search for plastic damage to environment is turning up your site on the fifth page of results.  The home page is one of the pivotal points of reference for search engines.  It's far too common to place a ton of information and photos on the home page, thereby rendering SEO for the site a transition into no-visitor's lands.  Simply look at several water bottle shops from a search, and analyze the home pages of each one.  Then put them into a free SEO review tool, and look at the basic stats.  It'll be a surprise how much more a site with a simplified home page gets over the others that have a bunch of pictures, a paragraph about something that isn't a typical about us section, etc. 

Backlinks is another important facet of SEO, and getting high traffic.  Backlinks are simply any link from another site to your site, not including search engine links.  Facebook and Instagram are so common in terms of marketing / ads, that backlinks from those are tightly ranked and reviewed now.  It is really misleading for e-commerce store owners to think that facebook and instagram are a quick, go-to solution for advertising and getting high levels of consistent traffic that produce sales.  It's more like waiting for the circus to come to town and have a completely new set of events / treats / animals.  So, to put it mildly, try going to various blogs and sites that have some association with your store's theme / product types, and request to put a link on their blog / site.  It's not an easy task, I understand.  But even a few (read 3-4) could result in a ton of traffic or a smaller amount that becomes actual sales.  Offer a small percentage per sale to the site / blog, but base it on a certain number of visitors.  For example, for every 100 visitors from the blog, all sales generate 1% profit to the blog-owner(s) / writer(s).  Not 1% no matter the number of visitors.  Or set it to 3-4%.  It may shave a bit off your profit for a time, but the more visitors to the store, the more transfer of the store's presence BWOM (by word of mouth) and by sharing of links, therefore more sales external to the blog / site.  It doesn't sound as promising as running a facebook ad and instantly getting site traffic, but it's more promising because the traffic is far more targeted.

So, in summary, ecobottlesnstuff.com needs a semi-revamp.

1)  Modify policies to fit the products and business operation.

2)  Reduce white space and dull appearance by enhancing with colors / textures that align with the products

3)  Stop relying on FB and IG for traffic / sales, and expand via backlinks from blogs / other sites with a current connection to water bottles / eco-conservation
4)  Sub-categorize products (excepting perhaps the wheat straw products)

5)  Simplify the home page, getting rid of the blurb about plastics and the damage they do (which actually may not be as accurate as you probably are led to believe)

6)  Add more products to the store...more water bottles of types that are less likely to be thrown out after a year or two of use, and that are travel-efficient and have a range of options (colors / textures / etc)



Hi, thanks Spiffystack for your insight. 

I am very new to Shopify, websites, drop shipping etc etc as you have probably gathered so any input and help is greatly appreciated. I don’t know when you looked at my site but I have corrected my Policies pages - I think. Hopefully it now reads better.

i am in the process of making colour/content changes and will implement them soon. 

Thanks again, there’s a lot for me to get on with. 

 

spiffystack
Trailblazer
151 8 36

No problem.  I'm new to dropshipping and Shopify too, and e-commerce overall.  I know some, but I have work to do on my store before it's at an optimum level.  I've had knowledge of search engines for a long time though.  I happened to remember those when I was reviewing ecobottlesnstuff.com.  In brief, Google and Facebook have a sort of monopoly on marketing / advertising.  It's best to avoid relying on those solely.

Dave94
Tourist
7 0 1

Hi, I had my first sale today so I am quite pleased. It came from a post on instagram offering a discount on a product today only. A bit lucky i guess, I know I need to continue to make  changes to my store. 

cmorales
Explorer
85 3 10

Don't focus so much in Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter. There are lots of social media website like Instagram, Pinterest, Flicker and Picassa. 

 

If you try to market your product in Pinterest, make your image have creativity.

IAMSHOPDOCTOR
New Member
3 0 0

Hey 

 

    Great work in getting your store up and running, your products look great too. The biggest challenge facing us as "ecommerce superstars" is over crowding and differentiation! Every potential customer of yours "those 900 visitors" has litterally millions of product choices and hundreds of thousands of eco bottle options available to them, so the challenge is Standing Out From The Crowd! The Shopify platform is an incredible thing because it allows you to get ahead of 90% of competition by offering beautfully designed stores that are as powerful as the biggest brands in the world.  Take a look at the Free Narrative theme on the shopify theme store, this could work well. The next step is to think about the buyers journey when visiting your store. They need to land instore on an incredibly moving and inspiring homepage that instills the core messages of the brand and directs them products. Checkout pexels.com for free / royalty free images - The homepage features most popular images which are great to browse for inspiration. Think about hero text that says  something along the lines of " Eco Bottles That Change The World" or " We're Changing The Way You Do Bottles". Really think about the reasons people should "buy your bottles now" over the thousands of other options available online. It's always worth reviewing your price point for no other reason than your own peace of mind. By offering your products at your most competitive price point, it'll drive your belief in your value proposition. It's much harder to sell your brand if you knowyour charging a little more than you should. Once your store looks beautiful, your messaging is inspiring and bold and your pricing is lean you can start to market your brand and it's all about defining your ideal customer and getting your brand in front of them. A thousand of the wrong visitors won't make a single sales, a million of the wrong visitors won't make a single sale but ten of your ideals customers might place ten orders, that's hypothetical but you need to live by that mindset when it comes to social media ads otherwise you'll go through cash like water. 

 

It's been really great talking to you and we hope we've given you some valuable ideas.

 

I AM SHOP DOCTOR

iamshopdoctor.com

Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
853 34 340

Congrats on the sale, David! That's awesome. It's useful to keep track of where your sales came from so that you know what works.

 

Aria
Social Care Guru
Shopify

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Dave94
Tourist
7 0 1

Thanks everyone for your comments. I have made some changes to my store. I have a new theme which I am happier with. I have added colour and reorganized my products.  I still have some product descriptions to re write so it’s definitely not the finished article yet.

I have a few issues though.

 

1. When the store loads, the slideshow is slow and initially very briefly shows a split screen with another image. Any idea how to correct that?

2. I have the app Auto currency switcher installed but I can t get it to work on the new theme - Brooklyn. 

 

Aria, I would appreciate it if you could take a look at my store now and give me some feed back. 

DuaneBrown
Shopify Expert
1568 152 932

This is one reason we start out all our ecom clients on Google Shopping. Faster to drive sales, and grow the business as you target people who are searching for what you sell. Facebook is great and it's half our business with clients but it's not the first place most ecom brands should go. With that said, 900 visits is not a lot of data and some clients can see someone take 7 - 10 days after a few visits to make a purchase. Not everyone buys on the first visit.

We help ecommerce & DTC brands create, manage and scale profitable PPC campaigns: TakeSomeRisk.com

P.S. Take my Google Shopping Course and help grow your revenue this month.
Dave94
Tourist
7 0 1
Well the weeks have rolled on and my store has a new image and some different products. Hopefully it’s much improved.
With Facebook and Instagram ads I am now getting around 100 visitors to my site each day.
I have had a few sales - 5 in total in the past 4 weeks.
Whilst every sale is exciting my profit is far less than my spending on ad campaigns.
To be honest I am starting to think of closing my store. I have worked so hard and put so many hours into this but at the end of the day we all are doing it to make money and I’m not.
Maybe my products are not interesting enough, maybe everyone already has a reusable water bottle, maybe my pricing is out of sinc.
I personally think my website is good now and I think my products are good and relevant, I am building a good following on instagram by posting regularly and I am getting people to my store. I can’t work it out why they don’t buy.
Any last advice will be more than appreciated before I make a final decision to call it a day.
Thanks
ecobottlesandstuff.com.
Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
853 34 340

Hey, David!

 

I can see a lot of improvements to your store. You've clearly been working hard on it.

 

I would hide this:

 

 

It's getting in the way of your store. It would be better to just keep the smaller messenger icon, rather than the big box.

 

It typically will take longer than a month to build a following and make a success of your business. You don't have to focus only on Facebook and Instagram ads, I understand those can be costly. Here are some ideas I'm using for my own store:

 

If you do want to run more Facebook ads, make sure you run a Like Campaign first until you have at least 100 followers on your Facebook page. Only then would I run more product ads. I would also look at re-targeting previous visitors, rather than always targeting new visitors. How often do you purchase an item the very first time you visit a website? For me it's rare but when I see a product I like, get distracted and close the browser, I'm more likely to buy it when it then shows up on my Facebook newsfeed, on Google and everywhere else I end up visiting online in the next week. The Kit app is great for re-targeting. Check out the free Kit Webinar if you want to see it in action.

 

If you want to gain some insight in to why visitors are not converting, try the free trial of the Lucky Orange app.

 

If you work on your Social Media growth and other cost-effective options, you can potentially gain the same number of sales without always spending the ad dollars. Don't forget to ask for customer feedback and reviews when you do get sales. People will be happier placing an order when they are confident your previous customers were happy.

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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D-C-Chaos1
New Member
3 0 0
Aria, we have similar issue..is any chance you can check our store? Is any suggestion to me? Or should I call Shopify? Store is d.c.chaos.net
Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
853 34 340

Hey!

 

I'd be happy to take a look at your store but I'm not sure you left the correct address. I went to d.c.chaos.net but it's not a store. If you can confirm the URL, I'll take a look. 

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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D-C-Chaos1
New Member
3 0 0

thank you for responding....i just figure out that i have to respond here, not in my email directly. Store is dcchaos.net...please take a look. 

Aria
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
853 34 340

Thank you for the clarification.

 

I took a look at your store. It is looking great, it's simple and clean looking which I love.

 

If you're advertising free shipping, make sure it is clear whether this is just in the US or if it's worldwide:

 

 

I understand your store is aimed at the US market but I think it's still important to be transparent here.

 

Make sure you proofread all of your copy carefully, use a spelling and grammar tool and get friends to look over your store too. I did find a few spelling and grammar errors. It's important to have accuracy when you're trying to build a brand.

 

I would tidy up your menus by using a drop-down menu. I would just put Shop, rather than Catalog at the top and have Women, Men, Kids, etc. dropping down from it.

 

I like the fact you have a Contact Us page but I would include a mailing address. People are unlikely to use it much but it will give them more confidence in your store. You will look more like a legitimate business.

 

I would recommend you install the Facebook Messenger Channel. When people do want answers to their questions, they want them fast and the Messenger channel can be a faster communication method than email. You can easily respond to questions on your phone when you're out and about and you can use it to sell more products. Social Media is becoming the communication method of choice. I have a small business myself and people ask me questions a lot but have actually never sent me emails (unless they are trying to sell me their products).

 

A FAQ page is a great idea. You can use it to pre-emptively answer questions. Some important questions to answer include shipping questions. Where do your items ship from? How long is shipping likely to take? How much does it cost (if it's not over $100)? Customers will also want to know your returns policy. They will be less confident in placing an order if you don't have clear guidelines on that.

 

Be careful with your images. A couple of the images on the bottom slider are looking a little pixelated. You want to make sure you are always using clear, good quality images.

 

When it comes to a product like yours, the most important thing is building a community on Social Media to promote your product. You could potentially make some sales from Facebook ads but I don't think that's where the bulk of your success is likely to come from. Your customers are more likely to be people who know and share your philosophy. Check out GenM. They can provide free Social Media marketing courses to help you learn how to build your community. If you don't have time to take a course right now, you could also consider hiring one of their interns at a very affordable price.

 

Where has the bulk of your traffic come from so far?

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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CuriosQuestions
New Member
1 0 0
Dave94 did you ever make a sale? From someone you don’t know? From India?