How to market your online shop and increase sales
Your eCommerce shop can be one of the most valuable tools to gain new customers and increase sales. That’s why it’s key to spend a bit of time making sure your shop is as high quality, user-friendly, and engaging as possible. Well-written web pages and high-quality images and videos can direct customers back to you for years to come.
10 tips for growing your eCommerce website
Unfortunately, putting time and heart into your eCommerce website doesn’t guarantee sales. The “if you build it, they will come” mentality usually doesn’t work for creators, though it would be nice. That’s why it’s critical to build your website for the best user experience possible since customers are what drive your sales and what bring other people to your shop.
Here are ten tips for growing your eCommerce website.
1. Build your email list
Email marketing has been around for a while, and it’s still here because it works. Make sure there’s an easy way to collect email addresses when customers are on your site. You could use a pop-up box that encourages users to type in their email for a discount or free shipping on their first product. Whatever technique you use, you want to collect as many emails as possible so you have a wide audience to reach out to with new content or products.
Your emails are a chance to connect with new or existing customers, so be consistent and authentic with them. Every email is a chance to build more trust with a potential customer, so it’s important to be as user-friendly as possible.
Try following some of these email design principles that draw readers in:
- Use a clear subject line so people know what you’re offering right from their inbox.
- Use an inverted pyramid design to guide readers toward action.
- Design content with people with visual impairments in mind (use color contrast, avoid flashy images, etc.).
- Make sure emails are mobile-friendly.
- Use images intentionally and sparingly.
You can use your emails to update users on promotions, new content, events, and other info that leads them back to your site. Every email is a chance to connect and be as personal as possible with your readers so they’re encouraged to visit your site.
2. Consider paid Google ads
Google Ads is Google’s equivalent to pay-per-click advertising. Businesses bid on keywords for the chance to advertise their site next to relevant web searches. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google, so this might not be an option if you’re just starting out. But for sites that are a bit more established, this could work well. Your brand gets exposure to customers who are looking for something in your area of expertise.
You can also tweak your ads anytime to reflect what you’d most like to communicate, like a new product, update, or seasonal promotion. Google Ads also reach thousands of websites in the Google Display Network. You can choose specific sites to run ads or let Google create a list for you based on the groups you want to reach.
3. Prioritize SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) involves being strategic about the words you use on your site so you can show up more often in relevant searches. It means putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and thinking about what terms they might type in to find your product. In your titles, descriptions, blog pages, and other content, you should be including these words to boost your chances of ranking higher in search engine results. But don’t feel like you need to overdo it. Balance including keywords with remembering the people you’re writing for. Your content should come across as natural and trustworthy rather than overstuffed with keywords just for SEO.
Remember to be selective with your titles and meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are short summaries of each page. Along with the title of your page, these descriptions are the first things that show up in search results. They’re the perfect way to inform and bring customers to your site using just a few choice words. And don’t forget to include mobile users when you’re designing your site. The number of people who shop on their phones is increasing quickly, and you risk losing a huge portion of your audience if your site isn’t mobile-friendly. Making tweaks to organize your content can help keep your site friendly to mobile shoppers.
4. Create a blog
A blog on your site informs, entertains, and guides your users back to your products. Worried you don’t have the expertise or skills to maintain a blog? Start with a roundup of expert opinions in your niche. Then post whatever they contribute to give your audience helpful and engaging content, making them more likely to return to you.
You can also guest post on other blogs to kickstart your audience online. Find a blogger in your niche whose audience would appreciate your product and what you have to share. Then offer to write a guest post that gives the audience quality info while pointing them back to your site.
Your blog can help you capitalize on events, issues, and FAQs in your niche. Release articles that speak to what your audience is interested in and problems or issues they might be looking to solve. For example, here on Beacons we have articles on how to monetize your social media accounts because we work with creators looking to grow their businesses on social media.
5. Grow on social media
You don’t necessarily have to be present on every platform, but social media is an invaluable tool when it comes to growing your audience. Establish a consistent, authentic presence across your accounts to build trust with your audience. By posting high-quality photos and videos of your products, you can accomplish in one post or video what it might take many articles to do: get people to your site.
Each platform is different, and it’s important to understand where you most need to be to get your potential audience to your site. Look at other influencers, creators, and brands in your niche to see where they’re most active, and remember to tailor your content to the specific platform. For example, Twitter posts do better with a single strategic hashtag, while Instagram posts thrive with more hashtags.
And don’t forget to ask your followers what they’re interested in to generate content. See which of your products they are most curious about, and create posts based on that to engage your community and make them feel appreciated. Beacons offers a link in bio tool so users can easily get from your socials to your site. From there, use our powerful built-in visual analytics to help you better understand your audience. You can track your page views to see which ones are most popular and track your link clicks to see where people are going.
6. Create videos that could go viral
There is a good reason apps like Instagram that started with pictures now have ways for you to post videos. Videos speak possibly the loudest in visually oriented cultures. And with eCommerce, you can do a product demo that shows your audience right away how well your product works or how easy it is to use.
You can publish video content on your shop’s site and then promote it on social media. Don’t forget to include links back to your site when you post the videos. And if you can organically jump on something that’s trending, that could boost your presence online and send more people to your site. Just like with your email list, every video is a chance to inform and connect with your users. Keep being genuine and transparent about what you’re selling so you build that trust with your customer base.
7. Offer a giveaway
Every brand or creator’s audience wants to feel appreciated by whoever they’re supporting or following. A giveaway is one of the best ways to incentivize your audience to support your brand.
What’s appropriate for you? If you’re an author who’s about to publish a new book, offer readers a free advance copy if they share a link to your book a certain number of times. Or have your followers contribute character fanart, choose your favorites, and then send a free copy of the next book in the series to the winners. If your users are satisfied with what you’re offering, positive word-of-mouth feedback is much more likely to spread, both online and in person. Give select members of your audience a chance to test drive your product in exchange for comments and reviews on your content. Also, consider promoting giveaways to your email list to engage potential customers.
8. Partner with other brands
Is there another brand in your niche whose product complements yours? Partnering with other brands to increase your audience is mutually beneficial, as long as both your goals and values match. For example, if you’re selling cookbooks, you could partner with a brand selling kitchenware. You could co-host mini cooking segments on social media, with links to the recipes and kitchenware used. That way, traffic goes back to your and your partner’s sites while providing both of you with a whole new audience. Co-branded gift guides are perfect for holidays and special occasions. Another easy way to cross-promote is to discount one product with the purchase of another.
It could be worthwhile to reach out to influencers as well. Since they already have a strong presence in your niche and established trust with their audience, they can help promote your product more successfully to a wider group. If you’re in a focused part of your niche, look out for micro-influencers who might fit your brand better. Either way, influencers can help promote your product as part of their own lifestyle so it appeals to others who want to incorporate it into their lives.
9. Create an affiliate program
An affiliate program is another good way to boost sales on your site. How does it work? You reach out to people in your industry you’d want to promote your product, and they put an affiliate code on their page, bio, or social posts. That code sends people to your site, where they get a discount for using the affiliate’s code. The person you partner with gets a commission from the sale, so both of you benefit!
Using affiliate programs is a cost-effective way to broaden your reach and receive endorsements from trusted creators in your industry. Check out some of your favorite creators’ profiles to see how they’ve used this strategy.
10. Encourage product reviews
Positive feedback not only brings more people to your site, it also strengthens your reputation and builds trust among your audience. That’s why once you have a high-quality product, it’s important to encourage reviews so others can in turn be encouraged to purchase what you’re selling. You can highlight these reviews and positive feedback on your landing pages and product description pages to build social proof and drive conversions, like the example landing page below for Sticker Mule's phone case stickers.
Offer incentives for people who leave feedback on your product, and advertise those incentives across your social media platforms. Reach out to that influencer who can boost your sales with their review of your product. Give customers a 15% discount if they share your site link with family members or friends. By paying attention to feedback, you become more in tune with your audience. This can only help you as you continue developing your site to reach as many interested people as possible.
Why marketing is so important for a successful business
It takes time to market your eCommerce well, but it’s worth it. You can have a beautiful site with great products, but if you don’t advertise them well, people won’t be able to find them.
We’re drawn to what catches our attention and makes us want to learn more. If you approach marketing your shop with that in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of drawing people to your page — and making sure those people return for more great products.
Grow With Beacons
Looking to take the next step in advertising your online shop? Try Beacons for free today! We can help you create a website from your phone in minutes. You’ll have all your social media, merch, and fundraising links in one mobile-friendly, well-designed place. We’ll make it easier for you to monetize your content and grow your audience with places to promote events, accept donations, and sell merch, and you’ll be able to add content from your TikTik or Instagram account to promote your products. If you’ve been waiting for the tool that will get your shop up and running, see for yourself why millions of creators use Beacons.