Manish Dudharejia8 min readPartner postsJanuary 22, 2020

E-commerce traffic-building hacks that really work

E-commerce traffic-building hacks that really work

When it comes to generating traffic, e-commerce marketers often feel like they are fighting an uphill battle.

Not only is competition greater than ever as global e-commerce has exploded, but online retail giants like Amazon make it nearly impossible for smaller businesses to capture the attention of their customers.

One way many e-commerce brands try to compensate is by focusing on paid advertisements that target specific audience segments. While this can work from time to time, it could actually be a waste of resources for many businesses.

According to Statista, the vast majority of e-commerce traffic comes from organic Google searches. Only 20% of customers are entering sites directly and just 18% arrive through paid search results!

global ecommerce sessions report by source and medium

So, how can e-commerce marketers possibly win the war against Amazon and attract organic, highly-converting traffic to their sites successfully?

Here are eight ways to consider.

Most customers are not going to convert or even visit your site on their first, second, or even third interactions. Therefore, it is imperative that you are retargeting visitors to drive in repeat traffic and generate conversions. According to the latest research, retargeted ads have ten times higher click-through-rates than display ads.

Clearly, retargeting is important – but it needs to be done correctly. By personalizing and automating retargeted messaging, you increase the chances of driving traffic and conversions.

One of the best ways to do this is through automation triggers for email marketing. This will create a personalized and perfectly-timed email message that is based on a specific customer’s actions.

For instance, HubSpot sends out a personalized message once a customer downloads any material from their site with initiations to get in touch with a sales representative.

personalized targeted email newsletter from Hubspot

This helps to re-engage a customer and generate conversions based on their behavior.

One of the best ways to consistently drive in new traffic is by building a trustworthy reputation for your site. Consumers rely heavily on customer reviews when they are searching for new businesses or considering a product. In fact, 82% of customers say they read online reviews for every single business they consider purchasing from.

Utilizing review sites can help to drive in organic traffic from websites like Yelp – and remember, reviews show up on Google searches, too. Furthermore, having more reviews can help you rank higher, as they are a major ranking signal Google uses to determine the placement in the SERPs.

For example, e-commerce jewelry company Laguna Pearl used Trustpilot to gather credible online reviews which were then embedded on their website and product pages. This did wonders to help them gain higher visibility on the search engine results pages and increase their conversions, too.

The bottom line is that reviews are becoming an essential factor in how people shop online. The more credible, authentic reviews you can incorporate into your site, the better you will fare on the search engines.

Rather than focusing all of your site’s content on promoting your products, another way to drive in traffic organically is to publish content that will attract curious customers. Since the majority of Google searches are often looking for an answer to a question, it is best to write about topics related to your industry that will drive in relevant traffic.

For example, Hum Nutrition is an e-commerce store that sells vitamins and supplements. They also run an informative blog that focuses on subjects related to health and wellness that answer common questions or discuss popular topics in their industry.

the wellnest informative blog with images of people

This drives in more organic traffic through targeted keywords. Visitors are then introduced to Hum’s products in a natural manner through the content.

It is important here that you conduct some thorough keyword research to pinpoint industry-related searches that could drive interested customers to your site. You will need to understand the types of questions your audience is asking or the topics that pique their interest the most.

Promotions really do work, and it is far easier to convert a repeat customer than a first-timer. According to RetailMeNot, 80% of customers said they would be more likely to buy from a new business if they were offered a promotion or discount on their first order. 

Making this a major part of your marketing focus is a great way to attract traffic. For example, Shoedazzle offers exclusive discounts to their first-time shoppers if they make a VIP account. They heavily promote this offer – and you can see that their promotions pop up in the organic search results.

shoedazzle google search showing shopping discount

Most e-commerce sites report that about 80% of all shopping carts end up abandoned - since the vast majority of shoppers are typically browsing sites with no intent to make a purchase at the time.

Cart abandonment emails are one of the most effective ways to drive back repeated traffic and generate conversions – but you may need to give your customers more than just a reminder to do so. One way to do this is to promote scarcity by letting the customer know that their item is nearly out of stock or that there is a special deal going on, like this abandonment email from Urban Outfitters.

urban outfitters abandoned cart email newsletter

Customers love feeling like they are getting a great deal – or, even better, like they are getting something for free. Offering a rewards program could convince a customer to choose your brand over another since they are getting extra bonuses for their purchase.

Again, in order to drive in traffic with your rewards program, it should be included in your keyword strategy.

For instance, when you google Starbucks, one of the main results is a link for customers to sign up for their rewards program.

This helps to instantly attract customers and gives them a major incentive to sign up with a free initial cup of coffee.

starbucks google search showing rewards program

Implementing a digital referral program is yet another way that e-commerce sites can generate not just new traffic, but traffic that is quite likely to convert.

This is because consumers are generally quite skeptical of businesses and advertising - but they do trust one another. We are all far more likely to buy from a store or eat at a new restaurant simply because our friend told us they liked it.

It is best to keep things simple here. Getting too complicated can result in frustration and could prevent a new customer from following through with a referral. Instead, offer straightforward rewards to both parties, like Bombas does with their program.

bombas socks refer a friend program newsletter in blue background

Influencer marketing exploded over the past few years and is an extremely effective way for online stores to drive in new traffic. After all, 60% of consumers have purchased something because of a promotion through an influencer on social media or a blog.

It is incredibly important that you partner with the right influencer though. You will need to make sure that they reach your intended target audience with content that is relevant to their followers.

Influencers can then promote your site or product with embedded links into their posts as well as additional functions - like the “Swipe Up” feature on Instagram which will direct traffic to a specific landing page.

instagram swipe up post from influencer example

Generating traffic that converts will always be one of the greatest challenges e-commerce marketers have to face. But this does not mean that it is by any means impossible.

These are just some of the different strategies that have been proven to increase important metrics like conversions, click-through-rates, and organic traffic. But the real reason why these methods are so effective is that they accomplish one goal: providing customers with what they want.

This is the real secret to generating traffic online. Be sure that whatever strategies you use, you are creating a better customer experience by offering relevant content, promotional offers, and other incentives that will help you attract and convert more consumers on your e-commerce site.


Manish Dudharejia

President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience, Manish is passionate about helping businesses take their branding to the next level.