Trend Up: Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Online Apparel Store
The e-commerce industry continues to grow, especially in the United States. According to recent data compiled by analytics firm Statista, the number of online shoppers in the country is expected to rise from 215 million in 2017 to about 227 million in 2020. That’s a growth of more than 10 million shoppers.
The industry’s most popular category, by far, is apparel.
We Are Social’s Digital 2019 report found that online shoppers around the world spend over $524.9 billion on fashion and beauty products annually. This is an enormous leap from the $392.6 billion they spent on electronics and the $209.5 billion they spent on food. A 2019 report by Digital Commerce 360 also found that over a third of retail clothing sales in the United States comes from online stores. The apparel e-commerce competition is cutthroat.
On the one hand, there are established distributors and brands like ASOS, Lacoste, Zara, and H&M that customers already trust and love. On the other, rising stars like FashionNova, Tabitha Simmons, and Verge Girl are building a dedicated following. If you want your online store to thrive among these retail giants, you need to increase your online traffic.
When Ads Aren’t Enough
Though your Facebook and Google ads are delivering significant results, they can’t pull in large amounts of visitors alone. Plus, almost half of internet users worldwide use adblockers, a report by the Global Web Index found. Over 48% of the respondents said that they use blockers because there are too many advertisements online.
About 47% of them also stated that the ads they see are irrelevant and annoying. They were wary that online advertisements were getting too intrusive. In other words, online shoppers don’t like too many ads. As such, you need to supplement your advertising efforts with other ways to drive traffic to your site.
Newsletters Are Still Hip
You may think that sending newsletters is a thing of the past because of social media, but it’s still considered one of the best ways to engage your customers. More than 81% of retail experts in the U.S. said email marketing drives customer acquisition, according to a recent study by WBR Digital and Emarsys. The researchers surveyed 254 retail professionals with businesses that make under $100 million a year.
If you want your email newsletters to be effective, use personalized material for every customer. More than half of consumers appreciate it when companies tailor email content according to their preferences. These include products similar to what they bought from your store recently. If they bought a top recently, give them suggestions on pants or shorts that might match with it. You should also send coupons or discount notifications that could attract new customers or bring back old ones. After all, no one wants to miss out on a good deal.
You shouldn’t just give users options to join your newsletter on your sign-up page or homepage. Give them incentives, like bundle deals or discounts, to help them warm up to the idea of joining your mailing list.
Referrals Are Your Friends
If there’s any promotion that your customers fully trust, it’s one that’s made by their friends and family. Over 92% of customers around the world say that they trust family members and friends’ recommendations more than any form of media. Word-of-mouth is still an effective marketing tool that’s used by many renowned businesses.
- Uber customers get a free ride every time they make a successful referral.
- Airbnb gives referrers and recipients free credits when the latter successfully book their first stay.
- Amazon used to offer store credits to users who successfully referred their Prime service.
Your referral plan should be easy to understand and do. Many successful programs often give their referrers instant rewards once the recipient makes a transaction. Your rewards should also be significant enough for your customers to want to go through the effort of referring you. If your customers spend an average of $500 per transaction, a $5 to $10 coupon won’t do them any good. Either increase the price or offer products instead.
Keep the rewards within your line of products and services, too. If you run a cafe, give them a voucher for a free muffin or cup of joe for their next visit. If you have a shoe store, you don’t have to give away a pair of expensive kicks. Some shoe cleaner or socks would suffice.
Become a Blogger
According to a recent consumer content survey by Adobe, the top two qualities that people want from brand content are “informational” and “accurate.” They want to learn more about your products and industry. And they only want to consume that information from reliable sources.
Starting a blog is a great way to give your audience the accurate and informative content they desire from you. But where should you start?
- First, you need to think of a topic that your audience would find valuable. A simple way to do this is to search for your product or service in forums or question and answer sites like Reddit or Quora. If you distribute luxury watches in Utah, you may find that potential customers ask a lot about the difference between mechanical and quartz movements, or what kind of piece to wear on different occasions. Answer these questions on your blog.
- Now that you have the informational quality down, it’s time to work on accuracy. Even though you’re an expert in horology, you should still do your research. Go through the company websites of the products you’re selling. Read respected magazines about watches to learn more about the craft and the kind of writing your audience likes.
- When writing your articles, longer is better. It helps your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as long-form content (more than 1,000 words) ranks higher on Google’s search results. They also get more referrals from social media users. This is because people often want in-depth discussions about the topics they wish to explore.
When you keep giving your readers content that’s not only engaging but also informative, you’ll be an authority they’ll keep coming back to when they want to learn more about your products or industry. Like any marketing material, wrap up your blog post with a compelling call-to-action. You’ll get more conversions in no time.
Apparel e-commerce is so successful and diverse that it’s often daunting to sell your creations or imports when there are brands like Zara and FashionNova taking the bulk of your customers. But don’t lose hope! Apart from creating or distributing quality products, getting more traffic to your online business will definitely boost your sales. Use the hacks mentioned above, and you’ll attract more customers and retain the existing ones.
I’m Paul Staten, CEO of SEO Werkz, an Inc. 500 Company, that delivers top-tier results for multiple companies such as NordicTrack, EnergySolutions, KSL.com, and more.
Drive Traffic to Your Online Store