Saturday, June 23, 2012

10 tips to increase webshop traffic part - 1

One of the most frequently asked questions on webstores of handmade items seems to be how to increase of-site traffic. I don't pretend to be an expert on those matters, but I have got some tips that work, so decided to put them in an few articles to share with the world.

1) Keep in touch with your old customers, maybe they will do a repeat buy or recommend you to others

I think this is perhaps the single most imporant rule. In Marketing / Sales, there is an old saying: "Gaining a new customer costs you 10x more than keeping an existing one. Provided that your customers were satisfied with whatever they purchased from you, one thing is sure: they either liked what you make, or they bought a present for someone that likes what you make. Either way, they are potential customers to come back and do some more shopping! Key question of course is how to get them to do it.
Here are some idea's to do just that:

  • Offer coupon codes with an incentive to do a repeat buy. You'll be surprised how much it is valued by customers to get a small price reduction on their next purchase.
  • Add some freebees to your shipped item, such as a fridge magnet or a pagemarker, that way you keep on top of your customers mind.
  • Add your customers to a mailing list, or ask them to sign up. Which one you choose depends a bit on your relationship and communication with your customer. New anti-spam regulations demand you to be very careful in just sending unwanted mail to your customers, so make sure you don't get a spam-tag to your name. If you send mail to your customers, you can either ask them if it is ok to add them on your mailing list, or alternatively, to be on the safer side of things, ask them to sign up themselves and send a mail with the link to the subscribe page.
  • After a few weeks, send an e-mail to your customer requesting if they are still satisfied with your product. This is a great time to immediately ask them to fill out feedback if by then they still did not give it

2) Link your page to FB and regulary post items there

Distribution of Amount of FB friends
Its surprising to see how much time and effort some people put into maintaining their Facebook page. And the good thing about that is that it gives a great chanche of you not only bringing your items under the attention of your FB Friends, but also the friends of your friends! Why is that important? Studies have shown that the average amount of friends a FB user has is over 100. So the potential amount of people that with one click could see your items or store is 10.000! (100x100). 

In order to put this to effect of course, you need to interact with your friends. Make sure they appreciate your postings (so don't overdo it!) and try t get them to like it or share it with their friends. Remember, everytime they like your post, all THEIR friends get to see it too!

3) Set up a twitter account for communication about what you are in to.

Twitter is a great little tool to interact with a growing customer base. Here too, make sure you don't just SEND, don't just swamp people with links to your store or items, but try to add some value. How? Tweet link to interesting blogs, news articles or other items your customer base might find interesting. Consider to set up a seperate twitter account for your stores activities. You might not want to mix private updates like, "Oh My God, my Daughter just won the annual Spelling Bee Competition!" with your potential customer base, although it is a good thing of course to make sure in your tweets now and then to show you are a person, it greatly helps with building a favourable relationship with your followers.

With Twitter, don't just send. Do a search now and then on interesting Hashtags (#) like #Fashion, #Jewelry or #Vintage. It will point out interesting  tweets to which you can respond or show you new interesting people to follow. If you're on Esty and do Jewelry for instance, add in tweets about your jewelry #JewelryOnEtsy, they might retweet your tweet, potentially hugely increasing the visibility of that item.
And last but not least: Link your Twitter account with Facebook so tweets will show in your timeline.

4) Start your own blog. 

Start your Blog!
Why? Well, you're reading THIS blog right? And thats exactly why: It creates interaction with your potential customer base. If you use the right Tags, Words and Titles in your blog postings, more and more people searching for related terms on the Internet will find your Blog, click on it, maybe read it but at least it creates interest. 
So when you have them on your page, then you need to "Lure" them into your store. How to do that?

  • Put Etsy Mini in the side panel.  Its non intrusive, but highlights some of your items and are an easy and effective way to get them to click on your store.
  • Hook the blog up with FB and Twitter to promote it. People interested in you on one platform are most likely to start following you on another.
  • Blog about your own items. Don't do it all the time, but now and then talking about the creation of a new item, something that gave you inspiration, or how your items reflect a certain trend is definately worthwhile!
  • Blog about other stores. Probably your first reaction will be: "Why do I need to put my competitors in MY blog?" Well, easy. If you choose the right stores, the store might also feature you. And their customerbase is potentially also yur future customerbase. Maybe not the wisest move would be to feature a store that is in directly the same field that you are, especially not if they are cheaper! ;)

But a word of caution: A blog is not for everyone. Some people just don't have writing skills and / or the time or stamina to write blogs. And there is nothing more depressing that a blog with the last post dating back a year or so.
It costs time but its a great way to get the messages across. 

5) Link your store's url on Linkedin if you have a profile there.

I assume you have an account on LinkedIn. If not, my first advise would be to set one up. LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch with business-relevant people such as suppliers, prospective customers and maybe even editors who can feature you!
Now, Linkedin has an interesting feature: you can actualy list up to three websites to your account. So use one for your webshop, and one for your Blog if you have it. But when you do that, do it in a smart way. If you go to the Profile Tab, and click on "Edit Profile", you can add or change the websites by clicking add or edit. by default it will say: "Personal Websites", Company Website or Blog. After that you have a window to enter the URL in. Now, most people just enter the URL there. That is, for SEO purposes, not the best way. If you choose "Other", another field will open where you can put the websites Name or description. If you put your webstore's name there, it will greatly enhance the findability of your webstore's name. The URL you put in the field after that.
If you also link your Twitter account to the one on LinkedIn, your updates will also show there. You can set settings for "all tweets" or just tweets containing the #LI hashtag.

In order tot to make this post too long, the remaining tips will be posted in a few days. So stay tuned for part 2!


  1. thanks so much for these tips, I get "NO" sales in my shop. Wishing you much success and a wonderful weekend!

    enjoy *~*

  2. Great tips! Thsnk you for your time and effort!

  3. Thank you for the comments! And I wish you all the best with your sales. Will sometime this week try to write part 2 of this blog.

  4. Thanks for sharing your tips. Very useful info re LinkedIn.