It's finally done: you have a professional, responsive shop design and your product photographs and descriptions are looking fantastic. Your ecommerce store is now perfect, but... where are your customers? No matter how incredible your store is, without customers you won’t be able to turn your store into a profitable business. In this blog post, I'll share my favourite ways to attract customers and promote your new ecommerce store.
Word of Mouth
The easiest way to get the word out about your new ecommerce store is to tell everyone you know about it. Tell your family, your friends, and even your friends' friends. People are significantly more likely to visit and purchase products from a store that has been recommended to them by a friend, as opposed to a store that they have seen in an anonymous advertisement. Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing techniques a business can use, so it's vital that you make the most of it.
Once the news is out, it will be passed from person to person and bring you new traffic. If your ecommerce store is an extension of your brick and mortar store, let your customers know that they can now order your products online. Placing a sign near the till will have the best effect as people’s eyes wander whilst in the queue.
Once your ecommerce store is up and running, it's a good idea to set up accounts for your business on the most popular social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Post links to your store and your products on these social media platforms, making sure to use your best product photographs.
Twitter is a fantastic platform for engagement as it allows you to have real-time conversations about your store with an unlimited supply of potential new customers. You can also greatly improve your customer service with Twitter by replying to customers’ Tweets. Great customer service generates great reviews, and with over 61% of people saying that they check customer reviews before deciding to make a purchase, the reviews on your website can make or break a sale.
Using advertising tools on Facebook and Twitter is a fantastic way to promote your business to people who are likely to be interested in your products. Cost effective and extremely useful, social media advertising is a great way to reach new customers online and can be tailored to ensure that you are only advertising to people who will be interested in your products / services.
Discounts and Giveaways
Customers will always be cautious when purchasing products from a new store, particularly if your products are quite expensive. To make your customers more willing to part with their money, offer promotions on your most popular products or your entire catalog. Whether it is in the form of an offer, a giveaway or a discount, people are always drawn to a good deal.
A technique that is used time and time again is to offer a discount, for example 20%, on the shopper's first order. Once they've tried your products and had a good user experience, your customers are likely to make another purchase or recommend you to their friends.
Email marketing is a quick and easy way to promote your ecommerce store right to a customer’s personal inbox. Once you have generated a mailing list of interested customers, you can promote your business and products very effectively through monthly or weekly newsletters.
Email marketing is not only useful for new ecommerce stores, but should be used continuously to promote any new products you have. If you run a promotion on your store, a newsletter is a simple way of letting all of your customers know about it and, in turn, generates an increased amount of traffic to your store. Increase your mailing list by adding a sign up option on your ecommerce store’s homepage, and include an opt-in option when customers complete their purchase.
Search Engine Optimisation & Pay Per Click
Improving your SEO is an effective way of generating traffic and promoting your ecommerce store. Simple techniques, such as keyword research and meta tag work, can rapidly improve your search engine rankings. If you are not 100% confident with improving your SEO by yourself, there are lots of easy to use guides available online, as well as skilled SEO professionals who are able to do all of the work for you.
The higher your ecommerce store ranks in search engine results, the more likely it is to be noticed by potential customers. It can be quite difficult to rank highly in search engine results, especially if your store is brand new, but using a tool such as Google Adwords will help you gain those first customers very quickly. Google Adwords allows your website to be shown at the top of Google’s search results in the Ads section - simply choose a keyword related to your products and place a bid. Bids are charged for every click your link gets (PPC). If used correctly, Google Adwords can effectively promoted your ecommerce store to thousands of people in hardly any time at all.
The most important thing to remember is that building up your ecommerce store and customers takes time. Be patient, follow some of my tips, and your ecommerce store will quickly be noticed by lots of potential customers.