How to Get New Customers for Your WordPress eCommerce Business

Adding more to the bottom line of your WordPress eCommerce shop will often come down to new customer acquisition; getting new people to buy your stuff. Whilst we really shouldn’t forget our existing customers, this post will go into some detail on different techniques you can employ to either get new customers or push more of them over the line to buy from you. Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  1. Remarketing
  2. Search Advertising
  3. Social Media Advertising
  4. Search Engine Optimisation
  5. Social Media
  6. Write Targeted Content
  7. Targeted Landing Pages
  8. Improve Your Product Category Pages
  9. Make the First Purchase a No-Brainer
  10. Offer a Money-Back Guarantee
  11. Free Shipping


92% of first-time visitors don’t want to buy anything. The goal, therefore, is to get them to come back. Remarketing offers a way to do that; by logging their visit in some way, you can target previous visitors to your site and display adverts to them across various platforms.

It’s fairly quick and easy to set up a remarketing campaign, and you can do so across Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram plus a whole load of specialist remarketing platforms. You’ll probably need to add some kind of tracking to your site (Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel or Twitter tracking code) and set up your audience but once it’s all up and running, you’ll be able to run targeted ads at anyone who visited your site recently.

Take the opportunity to market them with an offer for first-time buyers, free shipping, or maybe just showcase your best sellers.

Want to really get clever? Most tracking lets you create audiences by what pages they’ve viewed. If you’ve got enough traffic, try creating audiences for specific categories; that way, you can create ads showcasing products within just those categories to try to pull them back in!

Search Advertising

Whilst search advertising can be costly if you get the budget right, it can actually improve your revenue. It’s important to be aware of your profit margins and make sure your advertising spend sits well within them here; you don’t want to be spending more than the profit of a sale on the advertising (unless you’re looking to hook in first-time customers over a longer period of course).

Google search results page

It’s a good idea to set a good budget and engage with an expert here, as long as your ad spend is large enough (or likely to become large enough). With a good AdWords agency, you’ll be able to set budgets and run an efficient campaign at a profit. They’ll also know from experience what to look out for, the best way to write your adverts, and what products will work best for your advertising.

Your ads might show up on Google’s search pages, Google’s display network or even Google Shopping (that last one’s definitely worth doing if you stock brands people search for). Either way, you’ll probably be paying per click on your advert. Make sure you’ve got effective eCommerce tracking in place; Google Analytics’ Enhanced Ecommerce tracking is a must to make sure you’re spending in the right places. Your WordPress Support Company should be able to set this up for you.

Social Media Advertising

Similarly to Search Advertising, social media advertising is another way to reach potential customers who might otherwise never find you. This time, you’ll be doing it on social media platforms, crafting adverts that might look like social media updates to appear in their feed, or banner ads that appear when a user is logged in.

Two people exchanging money for a red card with a heart on it

Generally, Social media advertising offers you more demographic targeting then search advertising. This can be an advantage if you know your target market well. You’ll also find that the cost per click is a lot lower. On the other hand, sometimes traffic from social media can be a little less engaged with your site than clicks from search ads.

If your products are very visual, and you know exactly who you’re targeting (based on their interests, age, gender or job seniority) social media advertising can be a great way to grow your customer base. Just be careful to keep an eye on what they do once they click on your adverts.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a longer-term opportunity, but getting search traffic is generally a more sustainable option than advertising. Unlike paid search advertising, your traffic doesn’t just stop when you stop paying for it. It also tends to perform well; research by Smart Insights shows that search traffic sits only behind email as a source of conversions.

SEO includes many different strategies to improve your site’s overall ranking on search engine results pages. These include:

  • Link Building – Building up the links to your website; Google sees links as a “vote” for your site, so having more links from good quality sites can really help. It’s also seen as one of the most time-consuming and difficult SEO options.
  • Technical SEO – This is the strategy we most often employ. It involves constantly reviewing and altering the site in order to ensure that it’s working correctly, and has the best possible chance of Google finding its way around it. It requires a high level of technical skill to do this from report through to fixing the issues.
  • On-Page/Inbound/Content – This strategy involves building up a site’s content around some keyword research that shows what people search for while looking for what your site offers. Potentially very lucrative, but also time-consuming as it means a lot of content needs to be generated.

Social Media

Social Media is an important part of your store’s site traffic, brand visibility and customer service. Here’s the thing though – it probably won’t result in many direct sales. Now, that’s not true of all retail sectors, but it’s certainly been true of the vast majority of our clients.

Research from Shopify shows that social traffic conversion rates range from 1.85% (Facebook) to 0.47% (LinkedIn) on their platform. A good conversion rate overall is around 3% (a great one is around 5%), so social as a channel doesn’t perform nearly as well as the average.

So why bother? Well, not all transactions are the result of seeing a link, clicking on it and making a purchase. With 92% of first time-visitors not looking to buy anything, generating return visits becomes an important path towards increasing revenue. Getting those first-time visitors to follow you on Social Media gives helps you to stay in their minds when they are ready to make that purchase.

How do we do this?

  • Encourage a follow on their first visit – Use an overlay containing buttons to follow your Social Media accounts. Offer something in return; a free gift, or free shipping on their first order maybe.
  • Provide opportunities to follow in page – Follow/sharing links along the side are nice, but try to include follow buttons more prominently in the page. This will stop these buttons from being overlooked by your visitor.
  • Use remarketing lists to push your social pages – Using remarketing (such as Facebook’s Pixel), you can advertise to visitors to your website. Why not show them ads asking them to like your page?
  • Actively follow potential customers – This one you have to be a little careful with, but it’s possible to actively build your audience by finding potential customers and connecting with them on some platforms.
  • Ask for a follow on your order received page – Right after a purchase is when your customer is probably the most excited about your relationship. If you prominently ask them to follow you, they may well be more inclined to do so.

Write Targeted Content

Got a blog? Great! Use it. Find out what content your customers read and start writing about it. There doesn’t have to be anything sophisticated about this; you can just ask them! Chances are you’ll start to notice patterns around the sort of magazines they read or websites they visit. This will give you a clue as to what they’re interested in.

Once you know what your audience likes, start writing about it. This will have two benefits; first, your content will resonate with your target audience, which will mean they’ll more readily understand what you have to offer. Second, it’ll improve your SEO; you should naturally start to rank better over time for searches related to your target market.

Two journals placed on top of each other, with some pencils on top

For example, we offer WordPress eCommerce Support. Our target audience is marketing managers, directors and owners of eCommerce businesses (or businesses where eCommerce is a primary or secondary sales channel). Therefore, we write content about topics eCommerce store owners/marketers care about; increasing revenue, legal compliance in online sales, WordPress website design etc. This means we get found by our target audience looking for answers to these issues, and hopefully, they think about us next time they’re in a bind.

Targeted Landing Pages

Following up on the above the next thing to do is to start building up landing pages around things that you know your audience is looking for. These might be ordinary pages, category pages or even pages aggregating particular products with a particular attribute in common. For example; if you’re a luxury homeware retailer that sells designer brands, it would be worthwhile setting up a global attribute for those brands in WooCommerce and applying them to your products. WooCommerce will then create the Brand pages automatically, displaying all the products assigned to that brand.

Of course, just setting up the page is the first step. Once you’ve done that, the next stage is to work on getting it visible on search engines. Once there’s traffic coming to it, you can make sure that it converts well using something like Google Analytics.

Improve Your Product Category Pages

Your product category pages should be well organised, make sense to your customers, and offer an easy way to drill down through your product catalogue. If they don’t, now’s the time to reorganise your products. If they do, but they’re not driving sales, then it’s time to look at their overall layout.

Here’s how we tackle this for our clients:

  1. Review – First, we review the categories themselves. Do they make sense? Are they easy to find?
  2. Analyse – Next, we use Google Analytics to understand if customers pass through these pages on their purchase journey. Does landing on one category page, in particular, drive more conversions? If so, why?
  3. Record actual usage – We then use software to record and allow us to playback actual visitors behaviour on the site. This quickly flags up any issues visitors have with pages, the design or functionality of the site.
  4. Fix the issues – We get to work on fixing any of the issues we’ve identified.
  5. Experiment – Then we start to experiment with new features; does changing the button colour improve conversions? How about removing the large header, so visitors see products straight away? We implement, test, and then keep building on what works.

Make the First Purchase a No-Brainer

The first purchase is a difficult one, but it’s crucial. It often takes a purchase for a customer to realise why they should use you instead of anyone else, especially if your differentiating factors revolve around customer service. That’s why you should do everything you can to make that first purchase a no-brainer.

OK, so how do we do that?

First, make sure there are no shipping costs (or they’re included in the product price). Customers hate shipping costs! Next, identify a product that you can offer a great deal on. Ideally, it needs to be something that appeals to the widest possible audience and gives you the capability to show off your unique selling point. Finally, make it visually stand out to visitors who haven’t purchased from you.

You might, for example, set up an audience in Google Analytics of visitors who have never seen the “Thanks for your order” page. You know these people have visited your site one or more times, but never bought anything from you.

Set up a remarketing campaign to these people highlighting your offer. The idea is that they’ll visit your site and then later see your offer for the next 30 – 90 days. You could even make the offer better as time goes on!

Once they’ve bought from you once, hopefully, you’ll have enticed them to sign up to your mailing list. If not, get in touch with them to check they’re happy with their purchase. Going out of your way will make the deal all the better and show them you truly care about their experience. They’ll be more likely to buy from you in the future.

Offer a Money-Back Guarantee

A lot of eCommerce site owners are a little cagey about giving a money-back guarantee. Here in the UK, consumers have every right to return an item within 14 days of receipt for almost any reason they want to (there are some exceptions). Therefore, offering a 30-day money-back guarantee is only 16 days more than you’re legally obliged, and might result in additional sales.

Free Shipping

55% of online shoppers say that free shipping is the most important checkout option. What’s clear from this statistic is that shoppers don’t want to have to pay for shipping to get their goods. This makes sense; they wouldn’t have to if they bought it in a physical store, so why should they online?

A man with a package on a table

The key here, then, is to understand how we can price products to take account of their shipping costs. That way, we’re not putting a large portion of our potential customers off whilst also making sure that we’re not cutting too deeply into our margins.

Many retailers set a “free shipping on orders over X” rule. This is fairly easy to set up using WooCommerce and has the added benefit that shoppers close to the limit may buy more in order to push their value over the limit. The key here is to be aware of your margins; if you’re certain that orders over £50 are going to offer more than enough to cover the cost of shipping, then it makes sense to offer free shipping over that cost.

Need More Help Increasing Your Turnover?

We’ve been working with eCommerce store owners on WordPress for many years now, doing everything from performance tweaks right through to inventory control systems integrations. If you’d like to discuss anything to do with your WordPress eCommerce shop, we would love to hear from you. Just drop us a line via the contact page

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