5 Overlooked Methods For Improving Ecommerce Traffic

Image credit: Wallpaper Flare

It’s funny just how quickly we humans take things for granted. The pandemic of 2020 is a prime example — while the initial lockdowns and fear of the unknown were difficult to deal with, it caused a revolution in the way we approach work.

Key to this shift was the development of internet infrastructure and various associated technologies. Pivoting to working remotely would have been a non-starter for most businesses not that long ago, but today it’s strongly viable. Regular office-based workers have set up home offices, and many retailers have moved into the ecommerce marketing world, while taking advantage of the raft of benefits a hybrid environment has to offer — international hiring, asynchronous work models, reduced overheads, the list goes on…

Online retail is in an interesting position as a result of this situation. Interest has risen overall, but so has the level of competition. Demand is up massively for some things and down just as drastically for others. Employees are stressed like most others, but supply chains are holding up and plenty of sellers are fulfilling their orders promptly.

The average ecommerce brand has a good chance of getting through this pandemic with minimal disruption if it makes a concerted effort to bring in as much relevant traffic as possible. This demands investment in the main tried-and-tested tactics such as using smart paid advertising or using content marketing geared towards SEO, but what other options are on the table? Here are five interesting and oft-overlooked methods for boosting retail traffic:

Get listed in more comparison engines

How do you search for products online? Most people turn to Google, but it’s more than just a provider of ranked results and paid ads: it also provides suggestions through the Google Shopping system, making it relatively quick and easy to order something if you’re not overly concerned about the details. Using Google’s Merchant Center, you can get your entire product range listed in Google Shopping, helping to display your products more prominently (and visually) — but that isn’t the only comparison engine.

There are actually far more around than you might think, and while they don’t offer equivalent value, there’s still good reason to use them: if you can get your products listed in numerous comparison engines in the course of an hour, even just one resulting order will make that time investment worthwhile. The value is obvious.

When you place an action-oriented product search, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll be served some results from Google Images — so what if some of those images are from ecommerce pages? You can use this to your advantage by optimizing your images for search. Include various high-quality product images and polish their metadata (title, description, etc.).

That way, even if one of your product pages doesn’t appear on the first page of results for a relevant search, one of the images from that page might, and even just a handful of clicks routed through that image will improve your chances of converting. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s never been easier to create your own custom ecommerce graphics, either. Thanks to tools like ours, anyone can adorn their store with professional-grade ecommerce banners, logos, or product photography. So don’t be afraid to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in — we bet you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve!

Distribute flyers through compatible brands

Every seller has plenty of competitors, but there are far more businesses that don’t offer any products overlapping with yours. In fact, their wares can complement yours, and you can take advantage of that by arranging some cross-promotion. When a seller packages an order, they might well throw in some additional paraphernalia such as discount codes.

If you can identify a company that sells products that complement yours, you can reach out to it and arrange a deal whereby you provide flyers with your brand details (including a simple URL and a QR code) and that company adds them to its packaging contents. You can pay for the privilege, or respond in kind through promoting their products through your packaging (it can be mutually beneficial, so why not consider it?).

Many social media platforms now support sellable links: Pinterest, for instance, has allowed shoppable Pins for years now. Social selling — using social media as a general marketing tool — has been standard practice for a while, but not as many people are using direct selling links as you might expect.

It’s a particularly interesting option because it has quite a bit of depth. In addition to choosing between selling through an on-site gateway and redirecting to your store, you can draw on ecommerce chatbots that can encourage sales through the platforms: Facebook Messenger chatbots can be particularly effective with Facebook storefronts.

Create YouTube product showcases

Everyone knows how valuable video is, but many brands still shy away from it because they find it intimidating. It’s far from it. The production can be extremely complicated, but it doesn’t need to be, and it’s possible to get decent results through the simplest smartphone recordings. Something that more sellers should do is use YouTube to provide product showcases.

Why? Because they show brand personality, highlight the products, pick up some easy views, and establish conveniently-embeddable resources that can be used for internal blog posts or suggested to other websites during regular outreach. They generate so much value if done well that there’s every reason to try them.

Adding new tricks to your marketing strategy is a great way to spruce things up and bring in traffic from new directions, so give these tactics a try. They might be just what you need to make some sales during this challenging time.

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