What is the best way to get traffic to your new online store? 

Unfortunately, like most aspects of marketing, there is no “one size fits all” answer. What you should do – and what you’re able to pay for – depends on your business and customer base. 

And, with over half of consumers shopping online, your business has a bigger potential customer base than ever. 

Unfortunately, an estimated 24 million eCommerce sites are vying for the same dollars. That means you need to have a strong game plan to break away from the competition. 

Thankfully, whether you’re wooing your first customer or your thousandth, the process is the same: 

  • Define and know your market
  • Test which marketing tactics appeal to your customers
  • Leverage those tactics in the best possible way
  • Watch the conversions roll in

While getting it right may take some trial and error, learning what works – and what doesn’t – will benefit you later. So, we come back to the pivotal question: how do you get traffic to your new online store?

This article will cover some of the most conversion-driving answers to that question – and how to keep customers once they found your site.

1. Get New Traffic with Social Media Marketing

There are over 3.6 billion people on social media, with another 1 billion estimated to sign up in the next five years. This makes social media marketing an effective way to get traffic to your new online store.

And with the powerful segmenting tools on these platforms, you can target your ideal audience like never before. But you still have to be strategic in your planning. That’s why it’s important to consider factors such as where and how you market to your customers. 

For instance, you should research and choose a platform your target customer frequently visits. Doing so will lead to higher conversions than selecting the site with the most users. 

For example, a website that sells office supplies will likely see more traffic from LinkedIn, rather than Facebook. 

Another crucial aspect of social media marketing is how you reach your customers. You must tap into the marketing tactics that work best for your base. 

Those who choose Instagram, for instance, may want to look at influencer partnerships. The right account can help you expand your brand through Instagram Shoutouts, videos, or a mention on their story. 

Before we move on, let’s have a look at some of the tips on how you can get instant traffic from social media.

Pinterest

PPC on Pinterest

While paid ads are nothing new, the results that you can get on Pinterest are quite different. The minimal bid is $0.10 per click, and the best part is it is not so difficult to get it. Let’s go over some simple examples:

pay per click dress

This was a direct linking test to an affiliate link, final price after 3 days $0.15 per click.

leadership qualities

Testing ad price on my post on leadership qualities, result after 3 days $0.125 per click.

web hosting tips

Even for such a competitive and expensive search term as the best web hosting services you can push the price to $0.612 per click. Though I must add that this is a very niche topic for Pinterest. 

If your online store is in fashion, lifestyle, food, makeup, DIY business – Pinterest is the way to get traffic immediately, for a reasonable cost.

Organic Pinterest

If there is a golden nugget, it is this one. You may start building your Pinterest traffic even before your online store is ready. When the store is online, you will direct your clicks there. Here is how it works.

While you can try various angles and niches to succeed on Pinterest, there are a couple of niches that just work better (the ones that I listed in the previous part). 

The main point of Pinterest is that when you put the right pin on the right board, the clicks are instant. No waiting for 6 months before your content is indexed, no paying in the auction, and competing for clicks – free organic traffic.

Instagram Shoutouts

While you can easily buy Instagram ads on Facebook Ads manager, here we are going to cover something different. 

Instagram shoutout is when an influencer or a theme account, posts a 24 hour post or story with your ad. On accounts around up to 100 000 followers, you may expect to pay $25-$100 per shoutout. How do you get access to such shoutouts? Here are some tips:

1. Approach Through Direct Message or Outreach

On Instagram message feed, you just see 5-6 word previews. Make your intentions clear from the start and leave the pleasantries when the target account replies.

In other cases, the account that you will be interested in will have an email address in the bio. When you have compiled a list of tens of emails to outreach to, you may need an outreach automation tool to monitor your outreach and follow ups.

2. Use Your Budget Wisely

Keep in mind that the final price is a matter of negotiation. Do not press too hard, but if based on your experience you see that the price is above the benchmark – try to push it down.

In this case, you are paying for exposure, so make sure the ad is built in a way that will deliver the visitors to your landing page where you can take the email or make a sale.

Most likely, you will be paying through Paypal. Be very careful to whom you send money. You can establish some trust with a smaller order. There are many scammers out there, so beware. 

3. Test, Test, Test

Keep track of all your purchases. Monitor prices, engagement rate, and ad performance. Make sure to separate the reporting of clicks between various shoutouts. To keep a track of clicks that each Instagram shoutout has delivered, you might want to consider a link tracker tool. While not required for 1-2 shoutouts, you will need a reporting platform to make sure you are receiving a sustainable quality when executing several shoutouts at once.

TikTok

While it has been up and down with TikTok lately, it seems that it is here to stay, until a new viral platform appears. There are two ways you can take charge of TikTok promotion.

TitTok Ads Manager

At the moment of writing, the ad manager of TikTok is on an approval basis. After you submit your info, you will be contacted/notified by a TikTok representative. From that point, it is a similar road as with Facebook. You choose conversions, your audience, and get testing. TikTok has prepared a page dedicated purely to inspirational content, check it out to get some ideas of what type of ads may potentially work for you.

TikTok Shoutouts

Here, the approach is the same as with the Instagram shoutout, with a difference that you do not have stories. Also, while in Instagram shoutouts there is a market practice of posts for 24 hours (after which they are deleted), it doesn’t apply to TikTok (at least yet…). So get the list of influencers and theme accounts and get going!

Twitter

Twitter is frequently forgotten, but for us, it is a good thing. The more people are exposed to ads the more resistant they become and vice versa. On Twitter, you may also use both approaches with paid ads and with influencers. 

Facebook Ads

One of the ways to instantly get qualified visitors to your site is of course using Facebook ads. No need to explain what it is, but we can’t leave you empty-handed:

  1. Install the Facebook pixel. It is a must. 
  2. In your ads always set Conversion as a goal. 
  3. Create 5-10 visuals.
  4. Make sure you are choosing ONLY Facebook as an ad platform (no Instagram, third-parties, etc.) 
  5. Look for audiences that are related to your product + made a recent purchase.
  6. Get as much of these as possible.
  7. Set a 5-10$ budget per day on each. 
  8. After 3 days start getting rid of ones where there were no in-carts, after another 3 days get rid of those with no purchases. 
  9. Let only the highest performing visuals run. 
  10. Start again.

2. Leverage Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are another effective way to get traffic to a new online store – without breaking the bank.

In fact, ecommerce email marketing is one of the best marketing methods, period. In 2020, email campaigns netted an impressive 7% click-through rate across all industries.

Furthermore, email marketing services lets businesses rake in new customers without neglecting existing clientele. 

This is important for any business. After all, repeating customers spend up to 67% more than new customers. That’s a lot of money to miss out!

Email marketing provides a quick, cheap solution to several business needs. For instance, you can launch an email campaign to:

  • Invite new customers to check out your store.
  • Encourage potential or previous customers to return to their abandoned shopping carts. 
  • Send out discounts or exclusive offers. 

This of course works if you already have an established email list before opening your online store. 

In case you do not have one, use the “Coming soon” page. Create a simple landing page with an email opt in, stating that if a visitor leaves his or her email, they will have a special offer when the store opens.

Put a timer for the store’s opening date, and state that the offer is for a limited time only. This will create a sense of urgency and visitors who are waiting for your product to drop will gladly take the discount. 

We will also go over how to quickly build a list with contests in point 5.

3. Use Content Marketing to Your Advantage

Content marketing helps you drive organic traffic to your new online store. Whether you write a blog, publish a podcast, or want to take advantage of one of the many webinar services, there are several ways to branch into content generation. 

Why would you want to use this type of marketing if your products have little to do with blogging or podcasting?

First off, it’s effective. 72% of marketers say generating content increased their engagement and website traffic. 

Second, the process lets you position yourself as an authority in your industry. When you become an authority, more people flock to you to answer questions – and supply products. 

Plus, generating content lets you explore topics beyond your promotions. 

In fact, for the sake of user engagement, it can be better to not limit yourself to product reviews alone. In doing so, you can reach a wider range of customers – some of whom may never have clicked on your site otherwise. 

For example, if your store sells weather equipment, you could write a blog post on the history of mercury in thermometers. 

While this topic doesn’t push product, it does provide entertainment and educational value. Not to mention, you can still include ads for your product in a more “natural” way!

To discover what keyword combination to go for, have a more detailed look into online marketing tools

To get started with content creation, you first have to select your format, such as a webinar or blog. 

Then, ask yourself what type of content you want to produce, such as:

  • Educational videos to teach and inform
  • Entertaining articles to catch attention and cater to your audience’s interests
  • Storytelling media to promote your brand and mission

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can put out your first content and be on your way to increasing your traffic!

4. Use Referral Marketing to Expand Your Brand

Referral programs are an excellent way to get traffic to your new online store. Over 80% of consumers say that a friend or family recommendation influences what they buy. 

The best part is, referral programs don’t have to be complicated. Your customers will do most of the work – all you have to do is give them the option!

One of the first things to do with a referral program is to set up a way for customers to leave reviews and recommend products. Then, you can insert a widget for customers to share products or pages with friends and family. 

You can promote your referral program in-house with pop-ups and ads on your site. To incentivize the process for customers, you can also offer a reward. 

For instance, you may include free premium services for new customers who sign up for your email list and refer a friend today. Or, you could offer 25% off plus free shipping for their next purchase. 

While setting up a referral program requires effort, the payout can be worth it. After all, customers gained through referral programs are up to 25% more profitable than those attained through other marketing tactics. 

5. Host Contests or Giveaways

One of the best ways to increase brand awareness is by making it worthwhile for your customers. Nothing says “Come shop here!” quite like a contest or giveaway that offers users a chance to nab some free gear. 

For a new online store, the instant surge in traffic from such a gimmick may be what you need to get off the ground. 

After all, up to 94% of users share your promotional offer as soon as they register for the product or raffle. Furthermore, up to 62% of participants recommend the promotion to at least one friend. 

Product giveaways, referral contests, and sweepstakes can all benefit your business. For instance, they can:

  • Increase your social media followers
  • Help you gather new leads
  • Spread brand awareness at a critical time
  • Snag new members for your email list

There are various methods on how you can use these opportunities to promote your products. But one of the best is to use social media shares as a method of contest entry or guarantee of a free “teddy bear.” 

By encouraging awareness on social media, you ensure your brand goes as viral as possible while offering a reward – or the chance of a reward – in return. 

And, once users are in your store, you can use other methods to guide them into buying products. From discounts and coupons to free shipping or even an extra entry in your raffle, there are dozens of ways to turn that one-time social media share into a long-time customer.

6. Advertise on Google

No article on driving traffic to your new online store would be complete without mentioning Google at least once. 

Google is the largest search engine in the world, with over 1 billion users searching at least 2 trillion queries per year. The website is so big that it captures over 70% of the overall market and 85% of all mobile traffic. 

That’s a lot of people. 

With Google Ads, you can put your brand in front of quite a few of them.

Unfortunately, advertising with Google Ads isn’t free. This method of increasing engagement follows the PPC (pay-per-click) model. This means that every time a user clicks on your ad, you pay Google a small (or not-so-small) sum of money.

Moreover, the Google Ad network can prove to be a complex marketing technique for new users. That means that you may spend a decent amount of time learning the platform before you make your first bid. 

But, for many, the time cost is worth it: 35% of users purchase a product within five days of searching. 

This is because Google Ads lets you target your audience with nigh-unheard of precision. You also have access to their enormous database of demographic information when you purchase ads through their platform.

Additionally, Google Ads offers another benefit over other marketing campaigns. Specifically, it allows you to decide how much you can afford to pay per click, as well as per campaign. 

By limiting how many ads Google puts out beforehand, you can be sure to stay within your marketing budget – and explore other ventures with the leftover funds. 

7. Don’t Forget About SEO

Studies show that the majority of clicks go to the top few search results on any search engine. In fact, 25% of clicks go to the first result alone. 

This makes showing up first your key to sustained, conversion-heavy website traffic. 

But getting to this prized possession takes time, patience, and a little SEO know-how. 

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a set of steps and tactics that help search engines categorize and find your site. Playing to the internal rules of SEO is essential to show up on that coveted first page of Google. 

While there are sites and plugins, such as Yoast, that can help you achieve your SEO goals, they can’t do it all for you. Thus, knowing the basics is essential. 

To improve your SEO, start by:

  • Writing titles that match search queries and include target keywords
  • Sprinkling long-tail keywords onto your pages
  • Including click-worthy meta descriptions on every page
  • Optimizing your site structure by including internal links

While none of these tips alone can fix your online traffic woes, they can give you a pretty good head start. But do not start to blindly write 5000 words on every item in your inventory. To get started with SEO, you will need to consider one of the SEO tools to let you know in which direction you should be moving.

And remember: SEO – like building consistent web traffic – is a long-term game. While results won’t happen immediately, they will ensure your new online store sees more traffic for months and years to come. 

After all this tremendous work is done, you must make sure that you do everything possible to increase the conversion and retention rate of the visitors.

Retain Traffic

Once you’ve got traffic to your new online store, you want to keep it there. This is where customer service comes into play.

Even in the modern world, it’s true that over 83% of shoppers need help at some point during the shopping process. Furthermore, about 60% of these customers refuse to wait more than 60 seconds for their personalized service. 

How do you rectify both of these issues in modern-day ecommerce?

The answer is with a chatbot. 

Chatbots are the digital equivalent of a personal shopping assistant. Yet, they come at a fraction of the cost – and your customers will still thank you for having one! 

A full 51% of customers say they are more likely to buy through a website that offers a chat service. 

These sales assistants can fill all sorts of voids in your business, such as:

  • Providing a knowledgeable assistant to every customer that clicks onto your site
  • Offering personalized recommendations to your shoppers
  • Giving your customers 24/7 answers to FAQs
  • Recovering up to 7x more abandoned-cart revenue

It does not end there. Chatbots are a great solution to keep the visitors engaged but there are also special offers, cart abandonment, and other issues that need solving.

Conclusion

In the movie Ford v Ferrari, they coined a saying “the perfect lap,” which means that somewhere out there there is an ideal lap time, with no mistakes, the best time there is. Nobody yet achieved it, and nobody ever will – the only thing you can do is get closer and closer to it. 

The same applies to ecommerce, you will never achieve a 100% conversion and 0 cost for traffic, but that is the goal. To have your “perfect store.” 

In racing, to get closer to that perfect time, you have to constantly push yourself and your car. The same goes for ecommerce, you have to constantly push yourself and your store. 

The strive for perfection never ends. 

Vlad is the founder and blogger at Costofincome, writing about online business, reviewing online course platforms, and other digital business tools.