Study: How to acquire customers for your shop

by Kristof Maletzke, 12.05.17

For you as an online merchant, acquiring customers for your shop is one of the most exciting tasks. There are many marketing channels available for directing potential customers to your shop. But which of them are the most promising ones and are worth the effort?

A new study published by Statista now gives insights on this topic and shows you where you can convince new customers to buy from you. For this, online shoppers were asked about their favorite sources of information when they are looking for a shop to buy from.

We compiled the results of the study for you and have practical tips on how to address the customers in the best way.

#1: Search engines (66%)

Search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo are the starting point for many users when they start to surf the web. 66 per cent of the study’s participants said that they use search engines to find the right online shop.

Tip: There are two important ways to generate new customers via search engines: Through search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA). In the ePages App Store, you can find various app that help you with optimising your shop for search engines – for instance Positionly.

#2: Accessing a shop directly (63%)

63 per cent of the interviewed said that they are accessing certain online shops directly when they want to buy a product – for instance by entering the shop’s URL in their browser’s address bar or by opening a previously set bookmark.

Tip: Online merchants love returning customers. If they were satisfied with your shop in the past, they may be accessing it directly later when they intend to buy again. For that reason, you should always provide excellent customer service and remind previous customers of your shop from time to time. You can do this for instance by sending out newsletters. In our article Make your online shop unique we show you many ways of leaving a lasting impression.

#3: eBay (42%)

In the past, many Internet users regarded eBay simply as a portal where other users sell used products. But nowadays there are lots of commercial sellers on eBay who are offering new products.

Tip: The ePages shop software provides you with everything you need to sell on eBay. With just a few steps you can offer products directly from your shop’s administration area.

#4: Price comparison sites (32%)

The idea behind price comparison sites such as idealo is simple. Customers enter the name of their desired product in the search field of the site and then get a list of online shops where this product can be bought for the cheapest price. Due to that, these portals are visited often by price conscious shoppers who regard the price of a product as the most important factor when choosing an online store.

Tip: Price comparison sites are especially interesting for you if your shop has low prices. But even if it does not, it can be worth offering your products there. With ePages, you can easily submit your products to price comparison sites all over the world from your shop’s control panel.

#5: Test websites (20%)

Test websites are specialised on providing users with professional, in-depth tests of various products.

Tip: Many of these websites offer a partner programme, enabling you to advertise there. That way you can reach the 20% of customers who use test websites for deciding on a product.

#6: Websites of manufacturers (19%)

19% use the websites of product manufacturers to search for information about shops.

Tip: Many manufacturers list online shops where their products can be bought. You can contact manufacturers of the products you sell and can find out if they are willing to add a link to your shop on their site.

Ungefähr jeder zehnte Nutzer informiert sich in sozialen Netzwerken wie Facebook über Onlineshops

#7: Social networks (11%)

Customers are also using social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to search for the right online shop.

Tip: With ePages, it is possible to create your own Facebook shop easily. Are there Facebook groups where people are discussing your products? Then you can get active in those groups. It can also be useful to pay for Facebook ads. 

#8: Review websites (10%)

Unlike with the test websites (#5 in this article), the content on review websites is posted by users like you and me. An example for this is

Tip: Search for websites where people are posting reviews of your products. Find out if it is possible to post advertisements for certain products.

#9: Video portals (9%)

On YouTube, you can find many thousands of review videos in which users test products. That is one of the reasons why almost 10 per cent of users are searching on YouTube & Co. for information on trustworthy online shops.

Tip: When you want to use YouTube to acquire customers, you should create your own channel there and post own videos. That way you can lure YouTube users to your shop. Alternatively, it is an option to search for your products on YouTube and then ask the users who posted the respective videos for a link. 

#10 and #11: Topic-specific communities and blogs (6%) and general communities and blogs (5%)

For many topics, there are special online forums and blogs in which users discuss and post articles.

Tip: Use Google to find forums and blogs where people talk about your products. In forums, you can create an own account and engage in the conversations. Niche bloggers often like to get contacted about possible cooperation. For instance, you can offer them products to review – if they are willing to link to your shop in exchange.

About the author

is Communications Manager at ePages.

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