Starting a new business online can be intimidating—and one of the most disheartening challenges you can run into is when you’ve done your research, poured days and weeks of work into your online store, and you’re still not seeing the traffic or the sales that you’d like.
Don’t give up.
There’s no one secret to creating a successful business, but we have a ton of fantastic resources to share. Not only that, but this community is an incredible place to reach out for advice and feedback on your store. We couldn’t be more proud of the incredible merchants and partners that do so much to support each other.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the things that you can do to get traffic flowing to your store, and to help encourage customers to buy once they’re on your site!
Don’t Neglect the Basics
Setting up shop online for the first time is exciting, particularly when you’ve got a business that you’re passionate about. That can make it tempting to skip some steps as you’re getting set up, but before you open, you’ll want to make totally sure that your site is ready.
We have a great checklist to help you make sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted, but in particular it’s a good idea to pay close attention to a few key details:
Run some test transactions to make sure your tax settings are accurate, your shipping rates are working as intended, and that your payment provider is set up correctly.
Give some thought to the theme you’re using. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in a theme, we’ve got a great article right over here, and you can easily preview themes without replacing the one you’ve published in your storefront.
Get lots of feedback. Your setup will seem totally logical to you, since you created it, but that’s not always the case when a visitor comes to your store for the first time. Reach out to family and friends, and find out if there’s any difficulty getting to the products they want to see. Our Feedback on My Store forum is an awesome place to get opinions on your store as well!
Customer trust is incredibly important. Sadly, some have had bad experiences ordering online, so you want to do all you can to make sure your customers feel that they can trust you:
Make sure that you have a Contact and and an About Us page, with ways for your customers to reach out with any questions or concerns, as well as links to social media accounts - the more ways people can reach out to you, the better.
Ensure that your store’s policies are easy to find, and include everything your customers will need to know.
Consider adding security or trust badges to your site - we have an awesome guide on adding our own trust badge.
Get More Traffic
If you’ve tested everything, made sure that your site is well designed, but you’re not seeing visitors in your site, it’s a good idea to give some thought to your marketing and SEO. These are rich subjects, but here are a few things to check out as you get started:
One of the best things you can do to improve your shop's visibility is submitting your sitemap to Google, to make sure that your shop is getting listed in their search results. Check out our guide on submitting your sitemap.
To go beyond SEO, we have an amazing guide on 50 ways to make your first sale. Not everything in that guide is useful for all businesses, but it’s a fantastic resource for sparking ideas on how to promote your store.
Apps can be a great value-add as you’re working to promote your shop. The marketing section of our app store has apps for referral and loyalty programs, coupon popups, email campaign tools, and more.
If you’re considering advertising, our virtual marketing assistant, Kit, is incredibly useful. It can help you create and manage ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, as well as integrate with several other tools to make marketing your store simple and effective. While you do have to pay for whatever advertising campaigns you set up using Kit, the app itself is totally free for all Shopify merchants!
Improve Your Conversions
On the other hand if you’re seeing a good amount of traffic but it’s not translating into sales, it may indicate there’s something about your site that’s not convincing customers to go through with a purchase. Exactly what that is can vary from store to store, but customer bounce can usually be traced back to one of three issues:
Ease of use is a big factor in making sure that your customers go through the checkout process. Make sure that your “add to cart” button is prominent and easy to find, and that your collections and menus are organized logically—our blog post on common conversion killers goes into this in lots more detail.
If your site isn’t aesthetically pleasing, it’s more difficult to convince your customers that you’re worth buying from. We have a fantastic guide that talks about this in fine detail.Try to get your product images as high quality as possible, and make sure that your writing is evocative and free of typos or grammatical errors.
It’s important to give some thought to your pricing strategy. Simply setting your prices as low as you can while still making a profit can actually devalue your brand! These tips can help you create an effective pricing strategy for your business, and keeping the benefits of psychological pricing in mind can reap remarkable benefits.
Analytics tools are helpful in tracking down which of these issues might be affecting your store. Google Analytics is invaluable for tracking your customer’s behaviour as they navigate through your store, and there are apps available that can graphically map the actions taken on your website for you, such as Lucky Orange or Hindsight. Once you know where in your store your customers are leaving, you can take steps to fix the issues that are causing them to abandon their purchases.
Remember—You’re Not Alone!
Every business is different, so while these tips can apply to many stores, they’re not intended to be a comprehensive list by any means! The information in this post is a great starting point, and you can always reach out to other merchants here in the forums, or contact us here at support directly for help. If there are any resources you feel that we’ve missed, or advice for fellow merchants, don’t hesitate to post your responses below!
I would like to add the importance of setting and Google Analytics at the beginning. It's good from the point of driving traffic to landing pages and undersatnding ROI. Thanks to Shopify that there is the simple field with inputing the Google analytics ID and the option to enabled "Enhanced Ecommerce".
With the Enhanced Ecommerce we can know the funnel of customers from additing to cart, abandonment and successful sales.
Great read! We've been lucky that through social media and word of mouth we've been able to make sales around the city, through mostly hand to hand. Our brand has become somewhat recognzeable locally, but struggle to bring in sales online, both from a lack of visitors which translates to a lack of sales. I am excited to put some of these ideas to work! Thanks
You should use a tool that let's you see what the users are upto on your website. Where they are dropping off. Have you used something like Intercom to get the conversations started with your users and see where they are getting stuck.
For a customer they will be interested in the model and product quality. As well as traditional goods, the site is more invested in the quality of content, images, products, interested customers will often visit the purchase.
I want to agree with what you are saying but am caught in what feels like a rat running on a treadmill. Our site sadiescountrystore.com has been up and down since starting a few weeks ago- we have been at it around the clock trying to address things- at this moment we have steady 80 to 110 visits per day coming mostly from paid fb kit ads that link directly to product pages- but as of yet we have no sales. Not sure what to do, we really want to believe quality images, content and such will lead to sales- but this does not appear to be the case. any advice? here is url of sample latest product page
Just a few thoughts, I think your site is simple yet beautiful. But the logo is in a low resolution and it could be better if you give a more detailed description to the products like material (what kind of wood?), sizes...
Thank you Nicolas- I will follow your advice if there is anything I can do in return let me know- this was very helpful.
Hi Rudy - stumbled across this post and your store. Spent a few minutes poking around it and the site is certainly pleasing aesthetically, but I have some input to give.
1) I land on your homepage and right away I see the first carousel image (a slightly blurry pic of a wooden pumpkin?) and your logo. That's it. This doesn't deliver much to me to help understand what your store, brand, products are all about. You have literally seconds to help brand new visitors "get" what your business is all about. I see "Amish Made" in the browser tab, so that gives me a hint, but before I can really figure out what you're about I'm hit with an email collection pop-up. My opinion is that the first 5-10 seconds on your website aren't really a great first impression.
2) There's a ton of home decor like this in the world. I live right by a Hobby Lobby store and there's a lot of similar looking items. (Probably Chinese made though?) Anyway, with a business like yours, you need to realize you're not just selling products. You're selling a story. If these are genuine Amish made pieces, you need to be selling the story behind each product. Ever heard of Grovemade.com? Check them out. They sell some fine craftsman goods and do an amazing job of telling the story of their business and products and inspiration. I encourage you to think of your website as a place where you share inspiration, tell the story of your products and the craftsmen, and you just happen to sell stuff too.
3) Your product photography isn't bad, but it's not consistent. In many cases I feel like there is nothing for scale so I have no sense of how big these pieces are. That's a big problem.
4) Value proposition. Every business MUST have one. What's yours? It's the answer to the question "Why should someone shop with you?" Do you have the best selection? Best quality? Best shipping? Best pricing? Best service? Best something? You MUST have a thing. Something that you can boast and brag about. Something to tell people why they should buy from you instead of Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Etsy, Amazon, etc.
5) You mention 80+ visitors a day. It's not a lot but it's a start. My question is... How many of each 80 are you bringing back? How aggressively are you retargeting? The harsh reality is that less than 1% of new visitors will buy. No matter what you sell. No matter how good you are. So you bring in 80 people and less than 1 on average will spend a dime. But as you bring people back more and more, they're expotentially more likely to pull out their wallets. Driving traffic is one thing. Driving repeat traffic is another.
Summary) You're working hard which is great, but don't think FB ads are the answer. They're not. They're one small piece of a really big puzzle. Feel free to reach out if I can be of more assistance.
Thank you - your timing in responding was amazing- we have just sent out focus group inquiries and as we were processing returns- your feedback came in. And to your credit- your points were spot on with many of our respondents. This is good for us as we can now focus our work on some solid goals.
If there is anything you'd like me to help you with in return let me know.
I would like to share my experience about "Getting TONS OF TRAFFIC but NO SALE"
Have you ever heard about "Conversion rate"?
Sale or Converion = Number of traffic * Conversion rate
No traffic, no conversion! If you got traffic, it is the first great thing. The other thing is to optimize Conversion Rate. I'm actually a digital marketer who has been struggled a lot about Conversion Rate Optimization.
The conversion rate is made up of a lot of small ingredients. So my advice is that you break your traffic into small categories, sources... to see which one generate the most sale/conversion, then invest more in those.
As said, I cannot tell the way to improve conversion, but where you can find the problems. Please have a look at my sharing about Shopify Sales/Conversion Tracking
Hope add some value 🙂
My store is about 2 months plus old now, still don't have sales right now, I researched and applied all that I could learn from promoting, marketing, advertising namely, facebook adverts, IG influencers, provide discounts, free shipping, sharing to everyone, email marketing, google pixel has already been running, including google merchant, sales app and other apps that I have used are sale pop by beeketing, optinmate, frequently bought together upsell, hurrify, abandonment plus etc. I have a lot of store traffic, likes and facebook page visits using facebook adverts and IG ads, and I also regularly post on facebook groups that have the same niche on my store.
I am open to any suggestions, any advise or tips that you can share. Any feedback on my store would be very helpful.
My shopify store: https://www.stompiton.com
Hi everyone! I'm new to the forums and ecommerce in general. I have had my site up going on two months. I haven't had a sale yet other than friends and family. I have had up and down visitors most of the success with that has come from Google AdWords. I have used Facebook Ads as well as Instagram. I have Facebook and Instagram set up. I've gone through countless changes on my page but I feel like I'm still missing something. I haven't been able to recover any abandoned carts even with email campaigns with discounts. Please help me figure out what is missing. At this point I'm open to anything.
I will also add I have been pretty successful with the Amazon app plugin and that's where a lot of my sales come from.
Ron Green, thanks for jumping in. Just took a look at your store (only for a moment) and my immediate input for you is that there's a major disconnect with your brand. So the URL is R3-Innovations (sounds like an electronics manufacturer), the header (in my browser tab) reads "Gym Clothing Apparel | Yoga...", and then the very first image on your carousel is a high-fashion shot of a woman definitely not wearing gym clothes.
Simply put, you have an identity crisis. The key to launching a new store/brand is to have a crystal clear identity and a solid value proposition. I could spend hours and days getting into more detail on that, so if you want to dive deeper, feel free to reach out.
Thanks! Best of luck!
Thanks for the input John! Yeah I would have to agree with your post. When I started it wasn't as I would have done it now. I didn't narrow down my niche enough. I'll change the carousel pictures and start working on a brand name that fits more into what I'm selling which is athleisure clothing for fitness minded men and women. Anything else that you would suggest?
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