How to Drive Traffic To Your Shopify Store

If you want to increase your revenue, increase your website traffic!


Here’s a question I get asked all the time: how do you drive traffic to your store?

And of course, it’s super important, because if you don’t get the traffic, you can’t get the sales, right? But when you first get started, it can take time to get traffic to the levels that you need.

And what you think you need, I always say… double it! Maybe even triple!

That’s because your revenue is a function of your traffic, your conversion rates and your average cart total. And in my recent posts and videos, I’ve been talking about increasing revenue a lot (it’s the 2nd most common question I get, obviously….) and these are the 3 main things you have to focus on.

But in today’s post, I’m going to be focusing on TRAFFIC.

(Don’t forget to check out my posts on increasing conversions and average cart too though!)

Ok. So let’s dive in.


The Importance of Driving Traffic

Here’s why you need to be focusing on driving traffic to your store:

Ecommerce has an average 2% conversion rate. This is the % of people who visit your store actually buy something. So if you really really want to increase your revenue, the smart thing to do is increase the amount of traffic that is coming to your store

For example: Say your goal is to make 10 sales per day. With a 2% conversion rate, you’d need to get 1000 hits to your website every single day

That’s what I mean when I say that whatever you think is good in terms of traffic numbers, you really need to be looking at doubling it at least, because you just need the numbers of traffic to leverage that conversion rate.

Caveats Before We Continue...

Don’t forget, we aren’t talking about any old traffic... It’s got to be the right sort of traffic too, right? You want your ideal customers browsing your store!

But even if it’s the ‘wrong’ traffic coming to your site - that data is still good for market research of course.

And here’s another important caveat to remember - these strategies I’m going to share aren’t magically going to drive thousands of people to your store and turn you into an overnight success story.  To ramp up your traffic can take months, and it also depends on your store, and what your marketing efforts are too.

And please please please remember this: We all have to start somewhere. No one gets to success without having started from zero. So it’s totally normal to have low traffic to begin with - this is your starting point!

Lastly. You need to have done everything you can to have optimized your site first. You definitely want to get that foundation in place before you start seriously driving traffic to your site.

Need help optimizing your website to increase your revenue?
That's what we do!

Ok. So let’s dive into how to drive traffic to your store.

Bear in mind that there are two strategies here: there are quick wins, and then there’s the long game.

You want to do both!

If you’re only ever playing short term strategies, you will quickly get stuck in the weeds, spinning your wheels with these strategies, and you’ll probably never get out ahead where you can level up to CEO and really start being strategic with your biz.

So really, you want to want to work both ends to keep your business sustainable.

I won’t be going into granular detail here - just enough to get you off the ground, especially if you’re a beginner!

Short Term Strategies

Short term strategies are the methods or tools that you can use now to get traffic to your store and get sales immediately.

This can be activities like posting a lot on social media, sending out emails, app notifications, and having people join your text club and signing up with text messages.

So if you need sales now, think about implementing short term strategies first.

Long Term Strategies

Long term strategies are the methods or tools that you can put in place now but you’ll really reap the benefit of in future.

Even though I said that Social Media is a short game, it’s also a long game! Because this is about brand building over time. So while you might be posting regularly, also make sure that you’re looking at your metrics so you can analyze what is working and what is not. Give yourself enough space to be working on longer term strategies.

Secondly, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great long term marketing strategy. But this is something you have to work on, because it can take 9 months + (even if you’ve been doing it right!). So be thoughtful about your SEO efforts, and do it strategically.

Thirdly, I want to talk about content marketing. At Hot Mess, we do regular blog and video content, because we want to be your go-to for ecommerce. But there’s a whole strategy around it! Sharing a blog isn’t enough though - it takes time to nurture clients and to provide value, and this is what your content needs to do. So think about in the ecommerce world, how can you become a valuable resource for your customers? Are you inspiring your audience? Or providing a sense of community? Are you the go-to for knowledge and trends in your industry? Think about how you can share content so that you can nurture relationships with your audience for the long term.

Lastly, a quick word Email Marketing. Your long term strategy is to really give value in your email marketing. So again, whether you are nurturing your community, keeping them up to date with relevant news or just keeping the conversation going, this is something you want to build over time to be constantly driving traffic to your site.  

So what about Paid Marketing Strategies?

I’ll just say this briefly: paid marketing can be very profitable, but they aren’t magic fixes. There are so many different platforms to choose from, because pretty much all social media platforms offer ads. You need to figure out where your ideal customer hangs out because this is where you will see the most fruit for your efforts. If you don’t advertise in those spaces, you’re basically just spending money on nothing.

You also have to be really strategic. Often it can be a good idea to outsource to someone who has that skill level in terms of experience with paid ads. But there is no guarantee - and you still need to be the expert on your business, your store and your customers in order to get the most out of the marketing. You still need to know everything that’s going on in your store, from inventory, to marketing, to customer service . So even if you’ve hired an expert, ultimately you still have to be the one running the show.

Lastly, please also remember that what works for one biz owner won’t necessarily work for everyone - so ask around, do interviews - make sure you’ve got the right person for your business.

Okay then, so what marketing strategy gets the biggest impact?

So I’ll level with you girl.

Here at Hot Mess, and with our clients, we find there are two strategies that have the biggest impact in boosting traffic in the short term:

  1. Email!
  2. Text Club or App can be good too

That’s right - email isn’t dead! ! I’m talking about Transactional emails and automated emails to your list, so definitely make sure you’re making the full use of emails. I recommend you check out this blog for optimizing your email.

And yes, while email still traditionally is great, between you and me, text club is leading because spam filters aren't as heavy on text as they are on email. Email filters can be strong! That means that if you’re sending out emails to your list, up to 50% could be going to spam, so open rates are low. If you can keep your email open rates to 20-25%, you’re doing well.

But for text clubs, we like Postscript because it integrates so nicely with Shopify. If you head to Thongin’ It Boutique you can see the pop up and the neat automations.

So if you’re going to invest your marketing efforts in just a couple of places, email and text club would be my hot tip.

But wait a sec…. Do you know what your traffic goal even is?

📣 Boutique Traffic Calculator

I want to just acknowledge as well ( no judgment ) that a lot of store owners don’t even know what traffic they need to hit their goals.

That’s exactly why I created the Boutique Traffic Calculator.

You can use this handy tool to play about with your numbers and see what you’re aiming for. The calculator will tell you how much traffic you need and how much you need to increase your marketing efforts to get there.

Or to look at it another way: how much effort you need to put into these strategies I’ve gone over in this video.

You’ll need to get your metrics from Shopify analytics and plug them in. Play around with them to see how the amount of traffic you get impacts your bottom line. You can also check out my tutorial here for a walk through!

🚨Remember this though!

Increasing your marketing efforts isn't just a simple increase in activity. It’s about being more effective. So think like this: be 3x more effective at marketing, rather than posting 3x as often on Instagram.

And when your traffic gets to a high enough level, you will be able to see where it makes most sense to focus efforts going forward. Maybe it’ll be time to turn your attention to increasing your average cart total, or your conversion rate.

Final thoughts 💭💭💭

I just want to leave you with this..

Driving is critically important! - but if you’re driving all that traffic and you’re not making the most out of that visit to your site, that’s a travesty!

So you need to give your visitors and customers the best experience possible so they don’t just leave again. 

So remember:

  • Optimize your site for making sales, make sure it loads fast!
  • Use email marketing. Have a compelling call to action to sign up to your list! The next best thing to making a sale is having a person signing up to your list so they might buy at some point in future.  
  • Optimize your Abandoned cart series to recapture that purchase. Shopify offers one abandoned cart email which we recommend using, and beyond that you can use another provider like MailChimp or Klaviyo to turn it into a sequence. Shopify also has an app we like - ConsistentCart - it has its own features to make sure that the cart recapture process is as smooth and detailed as possible.
  • Also… Retargeting with Facebook Ads are great to drive traffic.

The bottom line: Stay top of mind with your customer!

Still reading?

Well then, here’s some Homework for the Holidays!

We’re getting to the end of the year, and it’s been a crazy one! So if you want some homework over the holidays - here’s your task:

☞ Go to to figure out what your revenue goal for 2021 is going to be, and what your traffic needs to be to meet that goal.

☞ Find one way to optimize your site to improve your customer experience.

These 2 things will go a long way to helping you figure out what works for you.

But otherwise my friends, I hope you have a seriously peaceful break and get some rest so you can get ready for an epic 2021!

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