February 4, 2022
Emmanuel Cohen

Now that you have decided the products (or services) to sell and your e-commerce store is up and running, your next burden is driving traffic to your store, some of who will convert to paying customers.

There are an estimated 12 million – 24 million eCommerce stores worldwide, with more being created daily. Don't be concerned if these figures lead you to believe that the market is too competitive. Less than 1 million of these stores sell more than $1,000 per year, so there's plenty of room for new entrepreneurs who put in the work.

By work, I refer to driving traffic to your store.  Simply put, the less traffic you have, the fewer buyers you're likely to have.

The more traffic you can drive to your store, the more sales you're likely to generate, although you must ensure that the traffic you're driving to your store are people who are already interested in the services you render or the products you sell.

Otherwise, you will not make sales and your bounce rate will rise. This will have a negative impact in the long run because Google's algorithm will perceive your site negatively.

For most stores, there are 5 primary sources of traffic.


Many shoppers start their product search by going straight to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If your products or services appear in search engines via paid ads or SEO algorithms (organically), it can lead to a lot more traffic (invariably sales) than most traffic sources.


Email marketing is a vital part of marketing, especially for B2B companies. The traffic generated from email marketing campaigns is a good indicator of how engaging and effective your emails are because it means readers took the time to click on your link and leave their inbox.


Direct traffic comes from customers or potential customers who knew your URL and typed it directly into their browser. This sometimes happens after they've already visited your site and their browser's search bar has remembered the URL.

Social media

Social media traffic could come from your social media campaigns or social media buzz about your products or services.


Referral traffic could come from customer recommendations or other affiliate websites linking directly to your store order than search engines.

Each of these sources can generate free traffic to your store, but if you wish to boost traffic through a paid plan, I recommend that you take the following into account:

  • The customer demography you are targeting

  • Your industry

  • The size of your business as well as goals

  • Your budget


1. Social Media

Social media is the doorway to your website. It is one of the best ways to draw existing social media users to your store, interact with them and strengthen your brand identity. This is because people are likely to find your store if your social accounts are active and linked to your store.

Facebook is without a rival when it comes to driving traffic to websites. It accounts for roughly two-thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores and a whopping 85 percent of all social visits-based orders.

Get started by creating social media accounts or reactive your accounts if they are inactive. You can also use your account to participate in social media groups with a large audience interested in your category of products.

Asking friends and family to follow your pages and share your posts is a good place to start. As irrelevant as it might seem, it will instantly get your store in front of an audience to which you may not have had access.

Here are a few things you can do to drive traffic to your store from social media

  • Optimize your social media profiles

When people want to learn more about your company, they look to your profile or bio section. Ensure your profile communicates your brand's value proposition quickly while also establishing what you do.

  • Make use of social proof

When someone is about to make a purchase or shopping for something, they look for reviews, recommendations, referrals, and feedback from others who have used your products or services in the past. This is called social proof, and it could be anything from testimonials, reviews, comments, or feedback.

Social proof adds a human voice to your brand experience, and you can incorporate them into your website content or on your About Us page. 

  • Make it easy to share your content on social media

Assume someone came across your blog post and was blown away by the content. If they consider sharing it but don't see an easy way to do so, they will walk away.

To prevent this from happening and encourage people to share your content - place share buttons near your content that makes it easy to share across various social media platforms. Display the total number of shares to date as proof that others think it's worth sharing as well.

  • Promote your content with excerpts

To increase traffic to your website, share excerpts or teasers with a link on social media. This can entice the viewer to visit your website and read more. You can also get creative by connecting your social media stories to display on your website.

Social media is also a great place to promote older but still relevant content that will entice new followers.

  • Engage your audience

When creating social media content for engagement purposes, ensure you ask open-ended questions that give your viewers the opportunity to interact. Pose questions that elicit a response. Ask yes-or-no questions or use a multiple-choice format. Organize a poll. Organize interactive quizzes and give out prizes to the winners.

  • Be responsive

Another company may have a larger marketing budget or create better content, but your brand will win if you are responsive and genuinely build relationships.

Make an effort to respond to as many comments as possible on your social media posts. This makes your audience feel valued, and your response can sometimes include a link to your website, which provides more information on the subject.

Incorporate customer service into your social media strategy so that your brand can respond to questions and complaints as soon as possible. The customer's experience is important not only to them, but it also shows prospects how your company will treat them.

  • Get visual

Social media users respond to visuals better than text-only, from images and infographics to videos and presentations. They are effective in helping viewers develop emotional connections or eliciting a strong reaction. They can also make your content more interactive and easier to digest.

Use images as stand-alone entries or along with text caption. Avoid using stock photography in favor of more authentic images that help viewers connect with the people who work for or are served by your company.

  • Share sales posts and informative posts

It's okay if most of your posts are sales posts that promote products and brands, but ensure it doesn't appear too pushy. It doesn't have to be a sales post every time - you can share educative content that informs. Calls to action should still be present, but they should provide something of value to the customer, such as a promotion or a positive message. The goal may be to increase engagement and traffic, but it must be accomplished by caring about your customers.

  • Choose the right time

Posting engaging content is great but there are hours of the day that works better than other hours. Imagine posting at 3 am when people are sleeping. There is a high chance people will not see it or engage with your post much later in the day since social media platforms display the most recent post first.

It is advisable to choose the best time for the best views. Instead of following best practices for social media post timing, examine your own data. Determine when your target audience is most receptive, interactive, or are online.

2. List your products free on Google Shopping

When Google launched free Shopping ads in April 2020, it opened up a whole new world of opportunities for merchants and shop owners.

Google shopping - how to drive free traffic to your ecommerce store

You can now list your products for free on Google. Your products will appear under the Shopping tab. All you need is a Google Merchant Account and a product data feed that has been optimized.

Because Google shopping ads are free, there is a greater chance that your vertical will become crowded. As a result, fully optimizing your product data is more important than ever, it will help your products gain visibility and put you ahead of the competition. 

3. Organic search via search engines

Consider your Google search records. How often do you go beyond the first page of Google's search engine results page after you've found what you're looking for at the top of the first page? Nearly never. 33% of the clicks on Google go to the first organic search result.

Using search engines to drive traffic to your Shopify store is an excellent strategy. If you want to generate traffic organically through search engines, you'll need to use SEO, and effective SEO optimization considers the entire picture, from keywords to page load times.

Getting your store to show up on the first page of Google search can be a challenging task. Here are a few techniques you can employ to help you stand a chance of ranking high or showing up on the first page of search results:

  • Keywords

I am your ideal customer. I'm looking for exactly what you're selling. I just need to find you. Wouldn't it be nice if Google and other search engines made it that easy? Unfortunately, search engines are needy, and it is your job to make its job easier. You must make it crystal clear to the search engines that your page sells the products or services that your customers are searching for, which means optimizing your e-commerce site for search engines.

One of the easiest ways to achieve that is by finding out which keywords your top competitors rank for, as well as which ones link to your intended landing page and products. This ensures that the right people see your advertisement, while Google sees it favorably.

  • Title and meta description

After researching what keywords your most successful competitors rank high for, use similar words for your page Title and Meta Description.

Page Titles and Meta Descriptions are two short pieces of HTML code that appear on every web page. They display the title and description of the web page, similar to the title and blurb on the front and back of a book. They tell you about the book (or page) before you open it (or click the link), just like the one seen in the search below:

Title and meta description - how to drive free traffic to your ecommerce store

Page titles and meta descriptions serve as a summary device that internet users can use to determine whether a page listed in a search engine's index contains the information they seek.

You can give every page or subpage of your store titles and meta description too, as well as for your store itself. Getting your titles and meta descriptions right gives shoppers a taste of what your store has to offer and lets them know if you have what they're looking for. And if they want to learn more about your company, they will know exactly what page to look at.

  • Rich snippets

You might require the help of a programmer to enable rich snippets in your Shopify store.  You need to check to be sure your store theme supports rich snippets - it needs to be using 'structured data markup'. And you need to test your website with Google's Structured Data Testing Tool. 

There are also plugins in the Shopify app store that you can use to optimize your store.

4. Publish great content

Quality content can help drive customers to your store. It helps to establish your brand as an industry leader, while also driving engagement and building relationships with your existing customers.

Google algorithm likes sites that publish content very often - it increases your chances of being suggested during searches. Such content could be videos, podcasts, ebooks, or even blog posts.

How to start subscription business - how to drive free traffic to your ecommerce store

Chargezen is a unified subscription app that helps merchants sell their products or services as a subscription and generate recurring revenue. I have been working with Chargezen since 2020, and this Blog has served as a resource page to share subscriptions and e-commerce insight with existing customers, as well as attract new merchants to sign up for a subscription.

You can additionally use this content to your advantage by sending them out as newsletters to re-engage existing customers while attracting new ones. And similar to what we discussed earlier, you can also help your contents rank higher by including keywords that work for your industry.

5. Publish content as a guest

You can drive free traffic to your website through guest posts by simply offering to write as a guest or offering expert contributions on the blogs of people in your niche. But bargain to link those articles back to your website - that's where the traffic comes in. 

This is an excellent opportunity to network with people in your industry, and draw their customers to your site. It also helps build credibility for your brand and improve SEO ranking with additional links. 

Since the goal of writing for them is to drive traffic to your store, focus on working with blogs that have large followers and are in some way close to your niche so you don't bring traffic that won't convert. So if you are looking to sell Subscription App, for instance, target developers that are building e-commerce stores for merchants. That way, merchants who read your blog on their site may likely adopt your app, since your app is for e-commerce merchants.

When you are writing for them, ensure you use your link carefully and share rich content that brings in your unique voice and point of view to the piece.

6. Free ads exchange

A free ad exchange is an excellent way to exchange exposure with other businesses. Using an ads exchange app like Instant Traffic & Ads by Eggflow from the Shopify App store, you can host ads on your site, and in return, other online stores will show ads for yours.  

I don't like ads much myself, but these ads should not be too distracting for viewers because they appear at the bottom of the screen, and only last 30 seconds.

7. Develop a pre-order product page

The earlier a page is created, the sooner Google will index, rank, and send organic traffic to it. Being one of the first in your industry to create a page that lists a product can give your page a boost in authority, especially if it earns links and shares before everyone else - this can help you obtain and maintain a #1 ranking for a competitive phrase.

This is why some stores develop pre-release product pages or pre-order collections for upcoming products like the iPhone series so that can rank high in Google search results before and after the new iPhone series is released.

8. Email marketing

Email marketing remains an effective campaign approach to date, especially for e-commerce merchants, maybe because shoppers are tired of sales pitches these days, but a well-crafted email can have a positive impact. It's also a good way to keep people interested in your company after they've made a purchase.

You can create and send emails directly from Shopify Email on your Shopify admin panel. Shopify email allows you to personalize or create your own branded templates. It offers the flexibility of deciding which customers will receive your emails - in case some emails are not suitable for a certain category of your customers.

Draft emails save automatically as you edit them and will not be sent until you confirm that they are ready. You can also pre-schedule emails to help you plan ahead for your store.

These emails should not be spammy but rather serve as newsletters to inform customers of new product additions, deals, and other things that can keep existing customers returning and likely recommend your store to others.

9. Special deals and discount codes

Offering discounts, coupons, and deals to your site visitors and customers is an effective way to drive customer loyalty and boost sales. 

Discount codes help to entice customers to come into your store not just to browse, but also to buy. Special offers can also be combined with surveys and other tools to help you better understand your customers. This method can help you attract new customers or gather more information about why someone is or isn't interested.

You can use the occasion to create a contest, such that the contestants or those voting for them have to complete your survey or submit their emails to participate. 

Giveaways are also an excellent way to increase traffic, followers, and brand awareness. It can be as simple as creating an Instagram post instructing followers to tag a friend or share your post on their stories for a chance to win your products.

These offers work even better when you make it time-sensitive by mentioning a start and end date. That way, those who are truly interested will act almost immediately so they don’t miss a good deal

10. Sell offline

Selling online products offline also works for a lot of e-commerce merchants. And you don't need a physical store, you can try setting up a booth at a trade fair so you can hand out business cards containing QR codes or the URL link to your website. 

A big congratulations to you if these free traffic injection methods are driving traffic to your site. 


If there’s little to no traffic on your store, you are likely not making any sales. But if you have genuinely put to work everything we discussed above and your store traffic has still not increased, here are a few things you might be doing wrong: 

No product return policy

The most successful e-commerce brands have a return policy and they make it clear on their website. Even if you would accept liability for returns, your potential customers have no way of knowing if you don't spell it out as a return policy on your store.

Create a clear, fair return policy that will neither harm you nor your customers too much and include a link to it on your store so customers can easily find it.

Targeting the wrong audience

If your ads are reaching the wrong target audience, they will either choose not to click on your ads or they will leave your store without making a purchase. For instance, if you sell a beauty subscription box and your ads are reaching both men and women, there's a chance that 50% of this site visitors (men) will not browse your store or make a purchase. That would be 50% effort wasted, which could be more productive if it targetted women between the age of 15 - 45.

And if you sell develop e-commerce store for merchants and your ads are targetting everyone on the internet, that would be too much of a waste, compared to curating your ads to target only those searching for your service. 

This is why it's important to conduct demographic research to help you understand the consumer population that is relevant to your product or service.

No navigation menu on your store

While it is a terrible practice to list too many pages on your landing page, instead of a dropdown menu, it is also a terrible practice if it is hard to navigate between products. That way, traffic, and sales can be affected significantly.

However, you can use Shopify navigation to create an intuitive navigation menu that keeps customers shopping for as long as they want.

Poor store design

Have you visited the website of some manufacturers website, especially those in China selling the products we dropship? Yes, those poorly designed websites give no attention to aesthetics and sometimes take forever to load!

The long load time alone can increase traffic bounce rate and the poor design can discourage potential customers from shopping. 

Although Shopify themes have well-designed templates you can just adopt, you still need to give it the time and use the layouts beautifully.

Poor image or video quality

The main reason you should avoid using low-quality images is that they can harm your reputation. To be competitive in e-commerce, you must do everything possible to appear professional, and low-quality images may give potential customers the wrong impression about the quality of products you sell or services that you render.

And, of course, not appearing professional isn't beneficial to a long-term business relationship. People may assume you're using images that aren't your own. So it's important to at the least download great images for your use if you can't snap original ones. 

Poor feeds

Data feeds are files that contain specific information about your store's products. They enable you to keep your stores and advertisements current and maximize their potential.

A poor quality feed can seriously jeopardize the success of a Shopify store. A poor feed may lack a product description, advertise out-of-stock products, or misrepresent one variant as another. All of these factors can contribute to low traffic because customers will be less convinced by the product in the advertisement, assuming they see the advertisement at all.

This is why you must commit to optimizing your data feeds, or consider using a third-party app to help out. 

Social media links are hard to locate

Imagine coming across an ad that you are genuinely interested in, you follow the link but it doesn't end with a clear instruction that helps you to buy, contact their team or take any action whatsoever. Customers may be ignoring your promotions or ads if there is no call to action. 

This is why you need to ask yourself what the end goal of every ad is before you create it. Always give them a call to action.

No information or contact page

There is always an element of suspicion when I come across a store that doesn't have a phone number, email, or some sort of means of communication. And I also want to believe that other potential buyers like me will feel unsafe submitting their debit card details to a store that has no contacts.

A lack of ability to contact you is a factor. It also does not allow customers to ask questions and creates a significant gap between your brand and your customers.

This should also emphasize the importance of an About Us page. Create a fantastic About Us page that tells your story and sells your brand. And if you can't leave a call line or email address on your store, create a simple contact form.


Ecommerce is still rapidly expanding, accounting for over 14% of all retail sales worldwide, up from 10.7% in 2019. That means there's a lot of competition to drive traffic, but it also means there's a lot of demand for online purchases, hence room for your new store.

However, the growing demand for online purchases is an indication of growing traffic. And just because you don't have the same marketing budget as your competitors doesn't mean you can't have a competitive advantage. I am hopeful that the free traffic injection methods we discussed drive traffic to your store and ultimately result in the overall success of your new store.

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