How to drive traffic to your online store

Running an e-commerce store isn't simple in any way. If you secretly believe in the classic cliché ‘If you build it, they will come’ you're going to be very disappointed. Whilst building it is very important, when 'they will come' is entirely down to your efforts and dedication. In other words, simply having an e-commerce store isn't enough to turn you into a successful business owner.

There will be no sales or traffic if no-one knows about your company, so you would be relying on someone stumbling across it accidentally. Therefore, it's up to you to drive traffic to your online store and make it successful in the process. But how exactly should you do that? Well, here are a few ways you can achieve this, without having to summon ghosts in the cornfield.

Leverage social media

Establishing a presence on social media can work wonders for your e-commerce store in terms of awareness, visibility, audience engagement and so on. You can't sell anything if people don't know about you, and one of the best ways of getting yourself out there is via social media - for better or for worse.

Some social media networks, such as Facebook, allow you to open up shop on your page and sell directly to consumers. The important part is to engage with your audience through relevant content and meaningful conversations; that way you’ll establish a good relationship with them. If you have difficulties, you can always enlist the help of a social media influencer. If you manage to get their support, their entire audience will soon follow.  

Build an amazing website

You’re not just building a bog standard website, but an e-commerce store as well. This means that it needs to be highly functional as well as attractive if it’s going to encourage consumers to stay and convert. So, aside from choosing the right e-commerce platform and the right hosting solution, you have to ensure that your store is fast, mobile-friendly, easy to navigate and well-organised at the very least.  

You also need to make sure that your content is well-organised, i.e. placed in categories, groups and enriched with visual elements. That way you can even leverage your website as a means of promotion because you're providing an amazing customer experience, service and support, which customers are likely to recommend to others.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Today, SEO is practically a must if you want to drive traffic to your store while operating in a highly competitive and oversaturated market. SEO can help build visibility, authority and credibility for your store in an organic way. In other words, consumers will more likely visit your store if it appears at the top of the search results for relevant keywords.

However, SEO requires a lot of effort and it takes time to show results, especially in difficult markets, such as Hong Kong - but there are plenty of SEO service providers out there to help you out. Without proper SEO, it can be difficult to stand out from other well-developed or better-funded e-commerce stores.

Start a blog

Blogging can help you promote your e-commerce store and drive more traffic to it. By developing relevant content that's informative, educational and entertaining, you can engage your customers in more than just what you’re writing about.  

Product descriptions, case studies, research papers and so on can help your customers familiarise themselves with your products and services, making them more likely to convert. You can publish your blog post on your website, social media pages and through your email marketing, in order to build exposure and drive more organic traffic to your store.

Surviving in the competitive market isn't easy for e-commerce stores. However, where there's a will, there's a way and always another inspiring cliché to keep you motivated. With the right approach and the right strategy in place, even small and new e-commerce stores can easily make a name for themselves.