Ecommerce Growth

How to drive traffic on a shoestring budget (+ ways to convert it)

Driving traffic to your eCommerce website is the battle half won. This post ALSO explains how to make it stick around and convert to sales.

How to drive traffic on a shoestring budget (+ ways to convert it)

eCommerce is witnessing a year-over-year growth of 23%.

People already depend heavily on online shopping. This is only going to increase—about 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040.

YES, there are a lot of online shoppers. But are you able to drive that traffic to your eCommerce website?

Not every business can spend a fortune on running ads. They’ve to go the organic way.

And trust us, it’s not a tough cookie to break.

That’s what we discuss in this blog: how to successfully drive traffic to your eCommerce website (spending fewer bucks) and land more sales.

8 money-saving ways to drive eCommerce website traffic

1. Solve your customers’ problems with product-focused posts

Content marketing still works. It costs you 62% less and yet gives you 3 times more returns for every dollar spent.

But that doesn’t mean writing pages and pages of content that no one’s going to read. You’ll be left lurking in the dreaded Page 2 of Google. Because let’s face it, only 95% of your customers are going to skim through the 1st-page results of Google. And if you aren’t there, you’ve lost the opportunity.

Here are 2 tips on how to craft relevant content for your site:

a) Focus on your value proposition

People don’t search on Google to find your product. They search to find a solution to their problem.

So ask yourself this: Is your product and/or service going to solve their problems? If yes, how?

That’s something your potential customer may be interested in reading. It’s sure to provide them with enough meat to flock to your site (and for you to build traffic and, most importantly, a loyal customer fan base).

In simple words, communicate your value prop clearly. Focus on selling the value the customer will get and not just your product and/or service.  

Check out this example from Adidas.

Example of value proposition in content to drive traffic to your eCommerce website
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Had they just left it at stylish shoes, it wouldn’t have been convincing enough. The moment they mention something like Your weekend to-do list, it immediately personalizes the value the product offers for you.

b) Promote benefits, not just features

Flowing logically from the above point, don’t just stick to explaining what the product does. Talk about how the product benefits the customer.

Creating content that doesn’t solve the customer’s problems can lead to a loss of 20% of sales.

So try and connect each and every feature of your product and/or service to a clear benefit for the final customer.

Here’s how to nail this strategy:  

  • Find out the most popular products and/or services on your eCommerce store
  • Brainstorm interesting topics around them
  • Find relevant keywords to target
  • Start populating content around those products and/or services

Experiment with different types of content such as product reviews, tutorials, news updates, stories of customers using the product and/or service, and other informational pieces.

P.S. Don’t forget to keep checking Google Analytics to measure your traffic growth.

2. Sprinkle your site content with the right keywords

Keywords are one of the crucial Google ranking factors that can propel your content to the top of SERPs.

Here are some of the best practices to use keywords for eCommerce traffic generation:

a) Use a mix of all types of keywords

Choosing the wrong keywords will make it difficult to rank your content as well as get website traffic.

That’s why it’s super important to use broad-head keywords (such as shoes and smartphones), specific long-tail keywords (such as running shoes for men and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max), and latent semantic indexing (LSI). LSI keywords are related terms that help indicate to Google that your content is relevant to the search.

b) Match your keywords to all types of intent

Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Just having the right keywords isn’t enough. You’ll need to ensure that those keywords match the searcher’s intention.

Depending on the intent, you should focus on 4 types of keywords:

  • Navigational - These are the keywords buyers search to find a particular site or product. You should use your brand name for these types of keywords. For example, Shopify.
  • Informational - As the name suggests, these are the keywords buyers use when they’re looking for information. You can use these keywords for crafting educational content that can establish you as a thought leader in your niche. This will also help you to slowly and surely build an audience and grow your eCommerce site traffic. For example, someone searching for best clothes for winter may not have figured out exactly what they need but are looking for information.
  • Investigational - Buyers use investigational keywords when they’re contemplating a purchase. These fall under pre-purchase searches and can include phrases that correlate to reviews, product categories, specific brands, comparison-related words like top or best, and price-related words such as cheap or affordable.
  • Transactional - Also known as commercial keywords, buyers use these when they’re ready to buy. Apart from specific product and category names, these can include phrases such as buy, free, discount, and shipping.

You’ll be able to visualize better with this table by Neil Patel. Here Browse, Shop, and Buy correlates to the informational, investigation, and transactional keywords respectively.

Example of driving eCommerce website traffic by targeting intent-based keywords
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Google’s tool suite is ideal for your keyword research. Analytics and Search Console can help you in finding keywords you’re already ranking for and Keyword Planner will help you to find new keywords along with their volume and cost-per-click (CPC).

Tip: Try using a single head keyword for your product and category pages, and long-tail and LSI keywords within the page content.

3. Onboard people with word-of-mouth

92% of customers base their purchase decisions on referrals from people they know.  

If you don’t already have a referral program in place for your eCommerce website, it’s time to have one.

A customer gained through a referral has a lifetime value of 25% higher than other customers.

One such example of this is Dropbox that grew from 100,000 users to over 4 million users in only 15 months, all thanks to their referral program.

As per Texas Tech’s research, although 83% of happy customers are willing to recommend their preferred products and/or services, only 29% in reality do. Regardless of whether you have a decent product and/or service, you’re passing up a huge part of expected references in case you’re simply trusting that references will come in organically.

Here, referral marketing can step in to boost your eCommerce store’s organic traffic.

Having a referral program set in place urges your satisfied clients to make a move and suggest your items to companions who may profit from them.

Some of the benefits of this type of referral marketing are:

  • Referrals are always trusted
  • Has a low initial and ongoing cost
  • Makes the current customers happier
  • Helps you to find the target audience as your current customers have direct access to the potential customers.

Here are some examples of how to do it right:

Part of Harry's pre-launch marketing campaign included their referral program.

Example of a referral marketing program
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Once someone signed up at the website, all they had to do was invite more friends to signup and get free products and offers.

As clients referred to more people (up to a limit of 50), they got more significant prizes. Practically like a game.

Before the pre-dispatch ended, more than 65,000 companions had joined through welcomes, which represented 77% of all email leads.

The next one is an example from Trendy Butler.

Referral marketing can help drive traffic to your eCommerce website
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As per their program, if someone signs up with your invite link you get $10 in credit that you can use to shop your favorite items.  

Clymb’s referral program benefits both the referrer and the person who gets referred.

Example of referral marketing for eCommerce website traffic generation
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Clymb uses its referral program in such a way the customers who refer their friends get a $10 credit and the person with new signup also gets the same benefit.

4. Build excitement with discounts, offers, and contests

eCommerce website traffic generation doesn’t always have to be about long-term strategies. Sometimes short-term goals work equally well.

An easy way to hold your visitor’s attention and drive excitement is through viral contests or giveaways and offer discounts and coupons.

This insanely works in driving traffic to your eCommerce website. This is because it motivates the customer to participate in return for a reward. These are truly powerful incentives to drive both new and existing customers to your eCommerce store.

But just running these blindly won’t give you the desired results. Here’s a 3-step formula that works:

a) Lay down clear goals

Keep your KPIs handy. This includes, for example, which channels to focus on. If you’ve already got the desired following on social media, you can try email as a channel. This will help in analyzing the results later.

b) Have an exciting reward ready

Determine the exact prize that the customer is going to get in return for their participation. Is it a free demo of your product and/or service? Is it money? Or a discount coupon/gift card?

c) Rope in influencers and celebrities for better reach

Influencers and celebrities can play a huge role in boosting your eCommerce site traffic. They can be both individuals or businesses. Working with an influencer in your niche can spice up your campaigns and get more eyes on them. We discuss this in detail in the next point.

5. Stay visible with influencer marketing

If you want to create brand awareness and target new clients, then Influencer marketing might be exactly what you need.

Influencers can help you connect with a new audience and create brand awareness for your eCommerce business. In addition, they have sufficient influence over their own crowds that their suggestions can get numerous individuals to look at your site.

It’s important to find the right influencer that can promote your brand and get more visitors to your website. For example, if you have a popular clothing line, you might have a well-known fashion influencer wear your product and tell their followers about its quality and style.

49% of the users say that they rely on recommendations from influencers to make purchase decisions. On the other side, 89% of the marketers believe that an Influencer marketing campaign’s ROI is better than that of any other marketing strategy like SEO or PPC.

Even if your eCommerce business doesn’t have a budget to rob in some big influencers, you can still start by collaborating with micro-influencers that can generate more traffic for your eCommerce website.

Here are two examples from popular brands on how to get it right.

Adidas wanted to reach out to the young audience so they started their influencer campaign on Instagram. This strategy worked well for them as 70% of Instagram users are aged below 35.

Some big influencers like Selena Gomez and Iga Wysocka collaborated with Adidas to promote their brand and started a #MyNeoShoot contest through which they were able to get 12,000 entries and the brand’s Instagram followers increased by over 41,000, all thanks to the mentions. At the time of this campaign, they were able to achieve their target as the sales increased by 24.2%.

Example of influencer campaign from Adidas
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Bach Flower Remedies teamed up with compelling bloggers like A Girl Named PJ and A Clothes Horse. The influencers published posts that advanced the brand's range of herbal and natural items. That increased the brand’s awareness.

Example of using influencer marketing campaigns for eCommerce website traffic generation
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Simultaneously, they offered a buy one, get one free coupon. This was added to each promoted post to urge the influencers' followers to try the items for themselves.

The mission created more than 6,000 clicks and 133 million social media impressions. Due to the campaign, the brand's follower tally expanded by 258%.

6. Reach out to new potential customers with Quora

Quora is by a long shot the biggest Q&A platform. At the pace of 6,000 queries made each day, Quora is a gigantic wellspring of referral traffic where individuals can gather and discuss. Those who truly need an answer can go to Quora to address their queries, where numerous other people of similar interests give answers.

The best part? The questions you write answers for are crawled by Google and can come up in the search results. There’s no doubt it’s a huge source of referral traffic.

Discover questions that pull in your target clients and share insightful answers that connect back to your site or present your product and/or service as the recommended solution.

Don’t forget to add relevant keywords and use smart interlinking to promote your product landing pages.

7. Engage them with webinar marketing

Webinars are an underused tactic to grow your eCommerce website traffic. Around 60% of marketers resort to webinars for driving website traffic.

You can also reach out to a wider audience as there are no viable or topographical limitations on the coach and participants.

Most importantly, they can get you around 19% conversion rates. The major conversion happens on the initial signup page, out of which a smaller percentage actually attends. However, in total, they are pretty good numbers for you to give it a shot.

Webinars might be the appropriate response as they permit you to introduce a limitless measure of alluring and interest-inciting content, directed to your crowd, industry, and specialty. Online classes can likewise be as short or as long as you need them to be, thus can be a successful method to convey short messages or longer instructive content.

It can be an exceptionally powerful yet basic approach to inform expected clients about your business. Within the viewing time, you get ample opportunities to push forward your CTAs and offers.  

Here’s a workflow of how to leverage webinar marketing to boost your eCommerce website traffic.

  • Remind people about your webinar through email and social media
  • Include links to your eCommerce website so that people can log in to your website
  • Keep the title of your webinar catchy to get more attention
  • Organize seminars with Expert guest speakers that can provide valuable information.
  • Keep the content interesting and creative
  • Keep the recording of the session for viewing
  • Send a thank you message or email to all the attendees

You can make the sessions as interactive as possible. For example, Harry’s organized a set of webinars to help students entering the accounting profession by providing insights about how to evaluate risk, find resources and manage the development of major change initiatives.

webinar marketing to drive more traffic to ecommerce website
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8. Hook them with an attractive landing page

Landing pages are a free and effective way to get more traffic to your eCommerce site.

Typically, landing pages include the vital information that your target audience needs in order to move further on your website and convert. Whatever message you display on the landing page should be specific and have an engaging CTA (call to action) that encourages your potential customers to take the next stride.

Depending on your business, the landing page can be promotional or can even contain newsletter signup to get those precious emails. Effective landing pages are about giving their customers the right direction, information, and experience to click that Buy Now button.

Here are some examples of eCommerce landing pages that have managed to make a mark on their audience:

a) Keep it simple like Meowbox

Meowbox has a simple landing page that’s loved by all pet owners. It adds a level of credibility by pairing customer testimonials with pictures of their cat enjoying the meal. The headline of their landing page makes the visitors easily understand what they are going to get from this website as soon as they hit the page. Meowbox also includes newsletter signups in order to get all emails and run promotions.

Example of using landing pages to boost eCommerce website traffic
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b) Showcase your products like Liv Watches

Liv Watches uses its landing page to display its products in different ways. It doesn’t follow the standard way of showing their product rather they make the page look attractive and interactive by showing the watch featured in different lights and situations. Its landing page also includes a video overview of the watch that helps you to look at the features more closely and understand them better.

Example of how Liv Watches gets more visitors through landing pages
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c) Nail responsiveness like Thistle

Thistle provides plant-based subscription services and has organized its landing page for mobile devices. People are 62% less likely to buy your product if they have a negative experience on mobile. Thistle gets it right by optimizing its landing page for seamless viewing on all channels.

Example of a mobile-responsive landing page for eCommerce traffic generation
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Should you just be measuring website traffic?

When your goal is driving traffic to your eCommerce website, you’ll most likely be measuring visits or sessions. But you shouldn’t be limiting yourself to just these metrics to measure the effectiveness of your eCommerce traffic generation efforts.

You should also consider the following KPIs:

  • How much time did the visitors spend - It doesn’t make sense to usher in huge volumes of traffic if they leave soon. Hence metrics such as bounce rate and time on page can act as good indicators of user behavior.
  • How many shoppers made a purchase - Again, your primary goal is to get the right traffic and not just any traffic. So unless your visitors are actually making a purchase, there won’t be any profitability in spending to get more eCommerce traffic. So conversion rate is an important metric to measure in this case.
  • How expensive is it to get visitors to your site - Building website traffic can involve both organic and paid efforts. So the cost per acquisition (CPA) is another important metric to measure here. When you match that with your average order value (AOV) you can figure out how to adjust your ad spend to maintain profitability.

Website traffic is a great starting point, no doubt. But you’ll also have to figure out ways on how to retain those visitors and convince them to make a purchase.

The next section in the blog discusses how you can effectively retain and convert your shoppers.

What to do with the traffic: Convert them right now (and fast)

Use this handful of tricks to make use of the traffic you build and soar your conversions.

1) Upselling is a skill

Before you go far out in search of conversion rate improving strategies, use a neglected option in your kitty - upselling.

If there’s a myth that says upselling doesn’t give you results, then that’s what it is at best - a myth. It can easily boost 10-30% of your revenue on an average. In fact, Amazon itself accrued 35% of its revenue growth from upselling.

Product recommendations is one of the best ways to increase your AOV from upselling.

2) Speed matters

Know what drives away visitors real quick? A site that fails to load fast enough.

49% of customers expect your site to load within 2 seconds. If your site fails to match that benchmark, you may lose out on 79% of customers.

Example of the importance of site speed
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And once they leave, it’ll be a lot more difficult to get them back. Keep an eye out regularly for your site speed and you can avoid such debacles.

3) Build trust with social proof

92% of customers rely on at least 1 review before making a purchase decision.

Example of how social proof is important in driving traffic to your eCommerce websites
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If your customers don’t trust your brand, they aren’t going to buy from you. When they see their peers buying from you, it’ll automatically build trust in your brand.

Ultimately, social proof will directly impact your conversions. Trip Advisor makes the best use of this tactic. Imagine searching for a place and having real reviews guide you. It’s what makes the platform so trustworthy.  

Example of social proof by TripAdvisor
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4) Think mobile

79% of your shoppers will be making a purchase from their mobile devices. That’s a figure you can hardly ignore.

Prioritize mobile responsiveness and ensure your site has features that can help them convert easily.

Keep testing your features regularly to avoid losing conversions.

5) Retain your abandoned cart users

Few things are as frustrating as losing customers right before they check out — especially when you’ve worked so hard in bringing them to your site.

But don’t be worried about abandoned carts, you can retain 30% of them — with abandoned cart emails. There are several tools out there — such as Engage by ConvertCart — that can help retain your customers and drive 30% more revenue.

A/B test and repeat

The key to having an effective strategy to drive more eCommerce traffic is to keep testing your strategy and optimize them based on results. A/b testing can help transform the way you drive traffic to your website by:

  • Creating a seamless user experience
  • Tracking conversion growth
  • Optimizing marketing strategy
  • Implement learnings across eCommerce site
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