Updated: May 18
‘How do I drive more traffic to my Shopify store?’
This question has crossed the mind of almost every single Shopify store owner, with many worrying that they do not have the resources to address this problem. It’s a common misconception that it costs thousands to run all-singing, all-dancing Shopify advertisement campaigns, whereas in reality the most effective ways to drive traffic to your Shopify store are completely free.
Whether you’ve spent hours (and most of your budget) perfecting your Shopify website and are now looking for free ways to boost your Shopify website traffic, or you’ve been successful with driving traffic to your Shopify store and are curious about which traffic-tactic to try next, the process of getting traffic to your store can be the same, and it certainly doesn't require you to pay over the odds.
Can I boost my Shopify store traffic for free?
Short answer… yes.
Knowing the longer answer will help you choose the best channels to create this free Shopify traffic. Luckily, there’s loads of research that has been done on this topic; one such example showed that, out of 60,000 stores, the majority of Shopify traffic is free, with the top channels being organic, direct, and then paid advertisements as shown below.
Which is the best Shopify traffic-tactic for my business?
Successful traffic acquisition comes from finding the most relevant traffic sources and channelling your resources into them, but that isn’t really helpful just yet as the most ‘relevant’ traffic is very subjective and varies massively across stores.
Find a tactic that you believe suits your business the best and do this consistently, by trying multiple tactics at once you will not see results and inevitably spread yourself too thinly across these channels. Subsequently this article is broken down into three sections with multiple channels for each section.
Drive Shopify Traffic through Social Media.
Engage in Social media conversations and communities.
To drive free Shopify traffic from social media, you’ll need more than just sharing a few links as social engagement involves frequent conversations with the right people, responding and interacting with these communities will have more benefits than just generating Shopify store traffic - they’re pretty much one big focus group - at ShopHub for example, interacting with Shopify business owners on Facebook and LinkedIn has provided us with invaluable feedback in the development of our loyalty app.
One of the largest online communities, and perhaps the most underutilised by Shopify store owners is reddit, there are numerous sub-communities (or subreddits) comprised of passionate individuals debating and sharing advice, experiences and useful tips. I myself have found numerous helpful tips in r/entrepreneur and r/smallbusiness, with the best channel being r/shopify which has weekly forums dedicated to showcasing Shopify stores; a great way to create free Shopify traffic.
Social media shoppable posts.
In recent times social media, and in particular Instagram has massively enhanced its shoppable features and capabilities, with the discover page now having a section dedicated to finding new brands. This feature now means a whopping 81% of people start their buyers journey on Instagram thus making the platform an essential method in creating free Shopify traffic and subsequent sales.
One of the best ways to incorporate Shoppable posts into your businesses Instagram is by showing how your items can fit into the lives of consumers. This is demonstrated effectively by Stil classics who create free Shopify traffic by showcasing their items subtly in posts like the one shown below. What’s more, this photo shows that the product doesn't need to be the focal point and in some instances it may work more effectively if it's not. The view products button will highlight what is being sold and the link will drive free traffic straight to your checkout.
Don't generate traffic alone.
It’s almost impossible to grow a business alone, and the same goes for generating website and Shopify store traffic. Showcasing your product and its impact on your social media is a great way to engage your existing audience, but both current and prospective customers are likely to take more notice if your product is being advertised by a third party. Making connections that will talk up your product can be essential to driving traffic to your Shopify site and subsequently, generating sales.
Like-minded people buy from like minded businesses.
Co-marketing enables your business to collaborate with stores that have a similar ethos (but not similar products), subsequently, driving free traffic to your Shopify website from new customers that may not have otherwise found you. For example, if you are a sustainably focused store you can partner with other sustainably focused businesses and showcase one another's products in blogs, social media shoutouts, emails or even collaborate on resources like this.
A good way to find partners to collaborate with is to ask your customers what brands they like shopping with aside from yours, you can do this through a poll on social media or even a contact form on your website, which would of course generate that free traffic we are all after. If you are looking for Shopify stores to collaborate with, check out some of our customers. When you do, you too could offer discounts and rewards to the customers of similar brands with ShopHub to start growing your own brand community!
Size doesn't matter.
Blogger outreach is another sure-fire way of generating traffic to your Shopify store, even if you don’t have the contacts to start with you can still reach out to small business magazines and websites. You can even reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to showcase your business in one of our blogs. When reaching out to bloggers make sure their audience is appropriate for your business, it’s also important to note that they don’t have to be hugely successful writers, in some instances it’s better if they aren’t as they won’t be inundated with blogging requests. Plus finding a smaller blogger in the right niche can drive even more traffic to your Shopify store because the loyalty of an audience matters much more than its size!
Here’s some outreach ideas to help you get started on generating traffic from this method:
Expert roundups: Find experts on specific topics and ask them for ideas for your blog, this can be a tip, recipe or a story from their experience. Once the blog is published they will likely share this with their audience.
Product reviews: Contact bloggers with a relevant, loyal audience and offer them your product for free in exchange for a review, this will put your product in front of multiple prospects who may visit your site to find out more.
Guest posting: By offering to blog on other people's sites, you can get in front of their audiences. Make sure to link back to your own site where possible and in the author bio.
Turn Traffic into Sales.
Whilst driving free traffic to your Shopify store can’t lose you money, it doesn’t necessarily bring in revenue. Otherwise no Shopify store owners would have the problem of not turning traffic into sales. Going back to the Shopify traffic research once again we see that direct
FOMO FOMO FOMO
Unfortunately traffic usually does not equal conversions but in the case of time sensitive discounts it just might. Putting a time limit on your discount will create scarcity and leverage one of the most effective psychological sales triggers, FOMO. These discounts will not only boost Shopify traffic, if used correctly they can also generate sales.
For smaller businesses or recently launched stores offering flash discounts may have a negative effect on the businesses bottom line. In this instance, you can consider adding a limited amount of purchases which can be made using this discount. This ensures you don’t lose out on revenue and also creates even more FOMO which is never a bad thing.
If you really want to save the pennies, as we all do, then you don’t even need to offer product discounts. If your company doesn't normally offer free shipping, this can be used as a compelling incentive to generate free (sort of) traffic to your Shopify store from social media or email channels.
You've done the hard bit, now make sure they come back!
Now that you’ve got traffic to your Shopify website, make sure you keep them coming back. There is no better way to convince shoppers to return to your website than a loyalty program with 83% of loyalty program members saying that a rewards program makes them carry on buying from a business. Moreover, what some fail to realise is that loyalty programs are not just effective in retaining customers but also highly effective gaining them as well, with 68% stating that they chose their retailer based on where they can earn loyalty rewards. An effective loyalty program is essential for both driving traffic to your Shopify store and ensuring these new customers keep coming back.
This is where ShopHub comes in. Let’s not forget the purpose of this article was to drive free traffic to your Shopify store, and luckily for you, ShopHub is the only commission based loyalty program on Shopify. Unlike our competitors, there’s no upfront fees, fixed monthly cost or pay-per-feature as we only want your business to pay for the value we provide. Once you use our rewards to get traffic to your site, if we don’t turn this traffic into sales, you don’t pay a thing.
Start getting your Shopify store noticed.
Driving Shopify traffic is a never ending task, however, it's a task that produces results long after you get started. Adding one of these tactics to your marketing strategy will enable you to generate more free traffic to your Shopify store. Remember, traffic acquisition starts with selecting the most relevant tactic and getting started, as opposed to trying them all at once. Once this particular tactic is optimised, you can come back to the 12 essential traffic tactics in this article and get started on your next Shopify traffic-driving venture!
Looking for something else? Check out more content from ShopHub: