E-commerce is growing, and shoppers are willing to shell out big money for the products they love.
But to get your piece of the action, you need powerful marketing strategies to drive quality traffic to your store.
Often this means thinking outside of the box and implementing techniques your competitors overlook.
Here’s a list of a few tactics at the moment that can deliver big results.
1. Add an Instagram Gallery
People love Instagram for a lot of different reasons.
But one of the biggest is the crisp, clean, professional images you find on Instagram.
Most of the pictures look great, and by featuring the products you sell on Instagram, you can pique the interest of many shoppers and compel them to browse your selection.
Of course, you can simply feature products on your Instagram account.
But you can take it one step further and use an even more potent strategy, which involves integrating an Instagram gallery into your e-commerce store.
Here’s an example.
Glow Fashion Boutique is a women’s clothing and accessories brand that sells dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, and more.
A big part of how they generate leads and attract customers is through their Instagram account.
Check out this section on their e-commerce store.
It displays the content from their Instagram page in a neatly organized layout.
And for some products, like this set of a skirt, sweater, boots, and hat, shoppers can click through and conveniently make a purchase.
If they wanted the mini skirt, they could buy it.
Integrating a gallery like this is an excellent way to increase e-commerce traffic from Instagram and simplifies the purchasing process for shoppers.
So if Instagram is your bread and butter, this is a technique to experiment with.
If you run your store on Shopify, Shop Instagram & UGC is the perfect plugin to use.
Or, if you use Magento, they have something similar with the Instagram Feed Widget.
2. Optimize Product Pictures for Google Images
While most brands invest a ton of time and money into optimizing their store for Google Search, many fail to optimize for Google Images fully.
And that’s a huge mistake considering 34 percent of all Google results come from Google Images .
Not only does appearing in Google Image results offer a strong visual element that can motivate users to click, but also the top-ranked images usually appear above-the-fold in prominent positions.
For example, here’s the first thing shoppers see when searching for “red high heeled shoes.”
These are sponsored ads, and the first thing users see.
But look at what appears after scrolling just beneath the ads.
The top results are all from Google Images and come before any other content.
When someone clicks on a product like this one from women’s shoe company Lulu’s, they’re taken to the Google Image results and can then click directly over to the e-commerce product page.
So it’s easy to see how big of an impact optimizing your product pages for Google Images can have.
Because shoppers see a high-quality image, it increases their odds of clicking, which can result in a steady stream of e-commerce traffic coming your way.
Here are some of the key strategies for image optimization for Google:
- Use unique, high-quality images
- Compress images to reduce storage size
- Use highly relevant keywords for the image file name
- Include keywords in the alt-text
By following these techniques and properly optimizing the images you use, you should be able to pull in a good chunk of traffic from Google Images and outrank many of your competitors.
And in the long run, this can have a huge impact on your e-commerce sales.
3. Collaborate with Influencers
89 percent of marketers say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
So it’s certainly a strategy worth considering, and here’s an example of one particular e-commerce brand who’s pulled it off brilliantly.
ShopStyle is a digital shopping platform that offers fashion items like apparel, shoes, bags, and so on.
One way they’ve leveraged influencer marketing is by partnering with style and beauty blogger Ellen V Lora who currently has a legitimate Instagram following with 455k followers.
She posts frequently, and her content receives quite a bit of engagement.
Lora is also the founder of PURE EVL, where she blogs about fashion and models the clothing she loves.
ShopStyle struck up a key partnership with Lora by featuring her on their site in one of their recent gift guides.
More specifically, they include a video of Lora modeling multiple products from Finish Line like the Women’s Nike Air Crop Top Crew Sweatshirt.
All of the items featured in the video are listed directly below the video, so customers can conveniently find them and check them out in further detail.
It’s hard to think of a much better way to show off products and leverage social proof at the same time.
It fully capitalizes on the star power of a major fashion influencer like Ellen V Lora.
And when visitors browse her site, she gives multiple shoutouts to ShopStyle.
Not only does this help ShopStyle bring in way more e-commerce traffic, Lora gives them her stamp of approval, which helps boost their brand equity and likely has a positive impact on their overall conversion rate.
So this is a good example of how you can collaborate with influencers to increase e-commerce traffic, while at the same time elevating your reputation.
4. Hold a Giveaway
Who doesn’t like something for free?
Holding a giveaway where you pass out free products to a certain number of participants is another effective way to quickly increase e-commerce traffic and can also be instrumental in building deeper relationships with your audience.
Here’s an example of this tactic in action.
Beardbrand is a company that sells men’s beard oils and grooming accessories.
And they’ve developed quite a reputation for hosting awesome giveaways where they pass out their products for free in exchange for participating.
Back in the summer of 2015, they had the Father’s Day Giveaway of their exclusive beard oil at the time called Black Marble.
Ten readers were selected at random to win a bottle.
To ensure people spread the word, they asked participants to upload a photo of themselves with their beards and kids to Instagram using the hashtag #beardbrandDADs.
And it created quite a buzz with more than 2,700 people participating.
The giveaway was a huge hit, and it helped them generate a ton of leads as well as greatly increase their brand exposure.
Choose a product to give away and ask people to use a certain hashtag on social media to enter.
Start with Instagram and Facebook, but other networks could work as well. Then hand out a free product to random winners.
It’s a fun way to get the word out and can potentially result in a massive surge in traffic overnight.
On top of that, it can do wonders for your social media following.
5. Ask Your Most Loyal Customers for Reviews
Customer reviews can make or break you.
While you don’t want to resort to schemey techniques where you try attempt to control everything that’s said about you, it certainly doesn’t hurt to make an effort to generate positive reviews.
Only a small percentage of customers take the time to leave a review, even if they’re highly satisfied.
However, the vast majority of consumers (70 percent) are willing to do so if asked.
So often, it just takes a little nudging.
Make it a point to reach out to your most loyal customers and ask them to leave a review.
For instance, you might email repeat customers because buying multiple times usually indicates a certain level of satisfaction.
Or you might offer a discount on your website for customers who take the time to leave you a review.
That’s what hair extension brand Adore Her Virgin Hair does where they offer 20 percent off the next order.
Often you don’t need a massive budget to bring in a lot of traffic.
Many small brands go from being completely obscure to well known by thinking outside the box.
Dollar Shave Club’s viral success from its YouTube ad back in 2012 is a prime example.
If you’re creative enough and tap into the right resources, you can quickly increase e-commerce traffic and consistently generate quality leads.
The strategies mentioned here will hopefully inspire you to get started.
PS. When optimizing images for Google (technique #2), optimize them also for file size. The best tool for this that I found, by far, is TinyPNG. The file sizes are usually smaller by 40-70% with TinyPNG, with absolutely no visible difference.