Generating sales for your online store can prove difficult. In fact, every step of the process from setting up your online store to designing the customer experience can end up discouraging many new online store owners from continuing with their virtual sales journey. However, in order to succeed with your online store, you just need to lay out a marketing strategy and kick-start the initial buzz that will lead to a long and prosperous future.

The best way to do that? There are actually multiple proven methods you can use to drive traffic and sales to your online store, whether it just opened yesterday or has been patiently waiting for its “big break” for months now.

#1 Be On An Influencer’s Mind 

With Instagram quickly growing to become of the most effective channels, there is no wonder you should be focusing on it as an eCommerce merchant.

A recent study has found that Instagram gives brands about 25% more engagement compared to all other social media platforms online. It also generates higher than average order values compared to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus. And, with Instagram being designed from its core to help showcase the appealing visual aspects of your brand and product, it’s hard not to see its many benefits.

So, let’s say you are trying to sell something online. How can you use Instagram to spark interest in potential customers? Aside from posting to your Instagram page and strategically using hashtags, which you should be doing, you should also be using another tactic: influencer marketing.

The right fit

An influencer is an Instagram user with many thousands of loyal followers and a great deal of engagement. There are influencers in just about every niche, and they don’t have to be famous outside of Instagram. Just look through Instagram and find some popular accounts. Look for accounts that feature products similar to yours, or accounts aimed at your target audience.

You can use these influencers in a few different ways, but one of the best is to simply send them free samples. Shoot them a short message that reads something like: “Hey! I’m opening a new store and I was wondering if you’d take a free product in exchange for a mention?” 

Most influencers are more than happy to score a free item. You can also look in their bio as many pages already have direct email addresses where you can contact them at to discuss marketing opportunities, like paid mentions, paid posts, and so on. If you struggle to find influencers visit and you can find Thousands of influencers.

#2 Get Attention From The Press

In addition to Instagram influencers, you can also reach out to many other people who may be willing to give your store some attention. Think about bloggers, vloggers, and press. Their audience size will vary, with some having large followings and some having smaller followings. Any press is good press, right? Consider reaching out to presences of varying sizes to help you score lots of mentions.

The process is quite similar to that of reaching out to Instagram influencers, but for users with a smaller presence, it’s usually more fair and cost-effective to pay a few dollars for a mention rather than sending them a free product, but this depends on your approach. If you want the person to be able to take custom images of one of your products to include in their post about your store, you’ll have to front them the product anyway.


Looking for bloggers and other potential people is as easy as searching on Google. If you were selling hair care products, for instance, you might go to YouTube and search “hair advice” or “hair tips” and look for people who regularly post about this niche. Seek out accounts with not only a high subscriber/follower account but also a good deal of engagement, including likes and comments. Visit for influencers.

#3 Use Data To Your Advantage

If you really want to overcome your competitors, you have to be taking every piece of data available to you and then basing your strategy on it. Far too many retail stores try to “wing it” and they just guess who may be interested in their products. Often, there are untapped audiences who would love to shop at your store–they just don’t know about you yet.

By pulling and collecting the right data, and by thinking about who your competitors are after, you can shape your campaigns and build a solid Targeted strategy that will bring you customers.

#4 Re-Target Everyone

When someone visits your store, they may express interest by browsing for a few minutes and even adding items to their cart, but they may not purchase right away. Perhaps something else stole their attention or they just aren’t at that stage of the customer journey yet. 

As the store owner, it’s your job to chase them down through a re-targeting campaign. A re-targeting campaign will advertise your store to them again through various ad channels (with the use of a cookie) and it can even display the products they looked at and ones similar to help entice them to come back and complete their purchase. 


If you were able to collect their email, you can also setup an automated email re-targeted campaign that reminds them of their abandoned cart. Re-targeting can also be used to help turn a first-time buyer into a loyal repeat customer. Platforms like Segmentify allow you to trigger different emails based on consumer behaviour. 

#5 Cross-Sell To Match Customers With The Right Product

Maybe someone comes to your store, views a featured item, and it just isn’t quite what they are looking for. This happens every day of the week and many visitors will simply click away rather than continuing to browse the site for much longer. This is when cross-selling can prove very valuable.

With cross-selling, you are displaying a similar or compatible product that can show a visitor that you sell exactly what they need. It can also add profits to a single order by showing visitors items similar to what they’re looking at that they may also want to purchase.

As one example, someone may be looking at a summer dress but they just don’t love the print. A good cross-selling plugin will show them a few similar dresses, some of the same color, some of the same style, and some of the same cut or length. Out of those, the customer should probably see something they like better. As they continue to look through items, cross-selling will help them pick items they like.

Cross-selling can also be used to display products similar to what they are buying that may be more suitable for their needs. For instance, you may cross-sell an underwater camera with a better camera model that can’t be taken underwater, but may be bundled with an underwater case that makes it compatible to their needs.

In this way, cross-selling helps customers discover alternatives they may like better or things they may want to purchase in addition to what they’re already buying, which is when it turns into an up-sell strategy.

Cross-selling is perfect for bringing up order value and keeping browsers on your site by showing them related items that may spark their interest.

#6 Feature A Person With An Audience

This is a nifty trick that can do wonders for growing your online presence. How you go about it is simply writing a blog post that features a person with an audience, and then sending it to them. A person’s name is definitely the sweetest and most important sound in any language, as Dale Carnegie said.

This method goes back to reaching out and connecting with people who have big audiences, especially bloggers. Rather than reaching out to them, however, and sending them a free product, get traffic by writing a blog post about them and then linking it on Twitter or sending it to them in an email. This works because, instead of waiting for them to feature your store, you’re featuring them first.

Look for influencers in your industry and search out the top people that you could easily feature in a blog post. You can also make a single blog post featuring multiple influencers with a headline like “The 10 Most Important Hairstyle Bloggers You Should Be Following” and then sharing it with each of them.

In return, someone is bound to feature you on their blog or mention you in some way and, at the same time, you’ll also be creating great content for your own website that future customers will actually enjoy reading. 


Get Familiar with Building Facebook Ads for your retail Business

If you’re looking to Build a successful Facebook ad strategy for your retail business we have a few tips to help you get started. To see how you can use Facebook ads for your retail business, check out our pillar page on how to Build a successful Facebook ad strategy for your retail business