Having operated a number of web stores over the past 10+ years, the one defining characteristic of each has been the source of “traffic” they received.
“Traffic” is the number of views/hits that an Internet site receives.
Everyone knows about the impact that having a “#1 spot in Google” can bring – it does so because of the traffic it brings to the business.
Thus, when you’re looking at “Shopify” stores in 2018, the primary concern – beyond having a quality store, products and experience is how you’re actually going to get people to look at it.
This tutorial looks to discuss the overall process of cultivating an audience who loves what you’re doing…
Not All Traffic Was Created Equally
The key point with this is that “traffic” is not the only metric that matters in online business.
Whilst it’s important, it’s really just an indicator as to what’s going on with your store.
For example, people who have bought before, and are looking to make a repurchase, are going to be far more valuable (to the business) than “window shoppers” with little-to-no prior experience with the business.
Thus, when considering what I’m about to write, you have to appreciate the quality of people looking at your stuff.
Getting big numbers is nice, but if it doesn’t convert into actual business growth, you’re not really making progress.
1. Focus On Creating a “Brand” (Not Just a Store)
The most prolific way to (presently) attract visitors today is through social media.
Obviously, having a popular Instagram / Twitter / YouTube page is certainly going to give you access to an audience… but the key lies not in its breadth, but depth.
The depth of the audience determines who listens to what you say, and whilst people obsess over having 50,000+ subscribers/followers, they generally disregard the simple truth that if you don’t have a deep connection with those people, they’re not going to trust you enough to buy things.
The most important thing is to consider building a “brand” – rather than just a “store”.
What might be a simple analogy, most people simply try and build a website and get people to buy from it; the best work beyond the store – actually digging deep with the various people who contact them through all channels.
To this end, when considering setting up a store, you need to be extremely personable as to why someone would consider you over one of the massive names:
Perhaps instead of being a “natural cosmetics store”, you use your own name: “Claire’s Natural Cosmetics Boutique”
Focus on an underlying reason why people would (or should) consider your store: “The ONLY store to stock Bourjois in the US”
Work around “problems” / “solutions” rather than products: “The ULTIMATE Acne Clearing Products for Girls”
NEVER “sell” anything – provide helpful information and recommend products… but never “sell”
The point is that you should not be trying to set up a store to get quick sales – give it a reason to exist and focus on providing a quality service through its provision.
The “social media” stuff will take care of itself if you put your effort into effective work.
2. Most People Want Solutions Before Products
The biggest mistake people make with any sort of venture is focusing on the product.
The product is important, but it’s only a small part of the overall offer. People really want to buy solutions.
Solutions come in all shapes and sizes – the most important thing is to absolutely understand where your solution fits in.
For example, most people don’t care where products are from, or even why you’re stocking them… they care about what they’re able to do with them.
Thus, when considering the store you wish to build – you really need to focus on the way through which you’re creating actual results.
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The bottom line is that one of the more pertinent things I discovered several years back is that people don’t buy the product, but what the product actually *does*.
This means that if you’re looking at creating a “store”, you need to be able to give it an underlying “reason” for people even consider looking at it.
This process takes time, and obviously requires a significant amount of experience. The benefit is that if people like what you’ve created, they’ll generally stick around.
3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Cold Traffic… But Learn To Embrace The WARMTH
It used to be called “word of mouth” – the idea that someone would refer others to you (simply by virtue of the quality of your work).
People want to spend money. The fallacy that they’ll not be willing to spend money in your store is basically a lie that you’ve made up — people enjoy the exotic + interesting, and will definitely embrace whatever you’ve created IF you’re sincere.
I used to have a massive hangup years back; never really connecting with people because I was always about trying to “make sales”.
Whilst this is important, you need to realize that people talk – and there’ll be a group of them who genuinely want you to succeed.
Thus, if you’re looking at “warm” traffic (people from your social account etc), don’t be afraid to embrace it. The more you embrace people’s desires, the more open they’ll be with you.
4. NEVER “Sell” Your Store / Products – Always Provide Value
If you really want to promote your store properly, there are a number of important things you need to do.
The first is to ensure that you never sell the “store” itself.
People have this fascination with the idea that just because they made a store, everybody else will instantly be interested.
In a world of Amazon, social media + millions of others trying to “get rich”, this is one of the worst things you can do.
A much better thing is to focus in on one thing that your store is there to do (see #2), and use that as the underlying promotional message.
Further to this, you need to ensure that conversing with buyers – not telling them about what you have.
This means that if you’re buying advertising, rather than promoting your store/products, address their underlying problem and provide a solution.
You don’t really need to mention the store at all – only the fact that you are able to provide the solution for a particular price (and free shipping?).
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Notice how people aren’t buying you or your store? They’re buying the result that you’re promising.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Test/Experiment
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Experimentation is the process of life, and it’s no different in the world of enterprise.
EVERYTHING has value. Obviously, some value is higher priced than others… the point is that even if you created a “really bad” store, someone will still want to buy from it.
The biggest enemy people has is themselves; uneager to risk their name/reputation (ego) on making progress – they stick to what they “know” and refuse to try new things.
This reluctance pushes them toward obscurity.
Put your face out there. Enjoy the process of creation and continue developing your underlying value no matter what.
This actually allows you to “attract” buyers, who value who you are + what you stand for. These people stick around, and are the most highly valued traffic going.