Does Paid Traffic Work For Online Retailers?

It is more than likely that your product or service can be found anywhere in the world at either the same price or a more competitive one.

Furthermore, international and national free shipping (or more accurately, the raising of retail prices to cover ‘free’ shipping fees) means that consumers have access to a High Street that runs from one side of the globe to the other.

Retail has always been a highly competitive sector. Now, with the covid pandemic forcing entire countries to grind to a near-halt, more customers are opting for the online shopping experience than ever before. 

As of May 2020, 25% more clothing, 11% more household goods, and 26% more cleaning products have been purchased via online sources in the US. These increases are the result of deliberate consumer decisions, decisions due solely to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Since the first major national lockdowns occurred (circa March 2020), eCommerce website traffic has grown from 17.64 billion to 21.96 billion visits (May 2020). 

Great news for online retailers.

More Competition

However, in response to this rise in online sales, the number of eCommerce startups is exploding. According to a Business Data Group report, in the week before the UK went into lockdown, roughly 500 new e-commerce businesses began trading. Just over a month later, nearly 1,300 e-commerce startups opened their doors within a 7 day period.

This is more than 2.5 times the usual amount of competition.

Not so great news for online retailers.

A Broader Catalogue

Successful retailers are becoming less specialized. Adding disinfectants and face masks to your range of products makes sense. Even if people have more time to shop when working from home, and are home for doorstep deliveries, they still tend to shop at one address.

One needs only to look at Amazon data to understand that online mega-stores are doing very well during covid. Research data from Facteus reports Amazon spending growth as 70%; Amazon controls nearly 40% of the US e-commerce market. 

And there’s more bad news to come. When local and national lockdowns cease and covid finally disappears or at least dips its head, eCommerce will experience a dip. People will shop offline once more – at least until the novelty wears off. 

Paid Traffic as an eCommerce Strategy

Paid traffic is a very simple commodity that – in most cases – does what it says on the tin.

You pay a web traffic for sale provider to send five to five-hundred thousand visitors to your chosen URL over a period of hours, days, or weeks. You can also select specific locations, niches, and age groups if you prefer targeted website visitors.

The principal aim of this web traffic type is to increase brand awareness. This means that your website should be engaging. Selecting the right targeted groups from the areas you ship to is the final step of a paid traffic strategy. The first step is ensuring they have somewhere good to land.

There is no point inviting thousands to a website that either can’t cope with the volume or has absolutely nothing of interest for the visitor to look at. In this case, your paid visitors will simply forget who you are the minute they click on the X. Or they will be so frustrated by the experience that they do remember you for all the wrong reasons. 

The secondary aim is to convert paid traffic, but this is no easy task. Targeting helps but is far from a fail-safe strategy. However, what paid traffic lacks in conversion rates it makes up for in numbers. 

Again, if your online presence has 0% to offer, don’t be surprised if your conversion rates are the same. Paid traffic never bypasses good design, functionality, content, and product. But whatever your eCommerce niche, every human visitor has value.

If you have been enjoying the recent online shopping boom and have a reasonably engaging online presence, you may be enjoying a conversion rate of 3%, probably more. This conversion rate is the result of your investments in web design, SEO, social media presence, customer services, video content, email marketing, ads, word of mouth, reviews, and written content. These represent the bulk of your marketing budget.

If your organic channels bring in 500 visitors a week and you have a sales conversion rate of 3%, you have achieved 15 transactions.

Paid traffic is often associated with extremely low conversion rates, but this is not written in stone. While it is unlikely you will match the rates of a well-thought-out organic campaign, paid human traffic does convert. And when you apply specific options to an order, you increase that potential. 

Furthermore, if you purchase 10,000 visitors, you only need a conversion rate of 0.0015% to get those 15 sales.

It’s because of figures like these that paid traffic is becoming so popular in eCommerce marketing departments. 

Top Paid Traffic Providers

Finding the right website traffic provider isn’t so straightforward. Locating helpful reviews can be challenging. Marketers who expect conversion miracles from paid traffic without doing any work will naturally give bad reviews. Those who integrate paid traffic with other campaigns are more likely to give higher scores. Multiple mentions of bot traffic or no traffic in website reviews should ring alarm bells.

You need web traffic providers with a proven track record. These provide 100% human web traffic and give several to hundreds of options in terms of niches, locations, and visitor numbers.

One trustworthy name is Web Traffic Experts. This provider offers one-off or monthly subscription plans that range from 10,000 to 500,000 visitors. Choose up to 5 niches and up to 5 countries for each URL from very generous lists. Then select the start date of your paid traffic campaign (preferably a campaign that runs simultaneously with other marketing campaigns), and spread these visits over a period of 1 to 30 days. 

Maxvisits is another recommended traffic provider that specializes in Worldwide, 1 Pop-Up allowed, and US traffic. You might want to sign up for their Traffic Wizard account that will enable you to create and manage your own campaigns as and when you need them. As any reliable web traffic service will tell you, Maxvisits advises that you use paid traffic alongside other methods such as social media, SEO, and advertising.

And prices? Both of the linked websites are transparent when it comes to paid web traffic pricing. You can expect to pay between $0.0013 and $0.0085 per visitor, depending on volume and traffic type. 

Simultaneous Traffic Campaigns Work

By now, you should be aware that paid traffic is not the answer to increased conversions but a very reliable (when bought from the right provider) part of that answer.

And, just as you wouldn’t send your expensive organic traffic to a dull, malfunctioning website, paid traffic needs to be sent to an interesting and user-friendly URL to be of any use.

Paid traffic can be implemented either to boost campaigns or to continuously increase your website traffic in order to improve SERP rankings. In the latter case, ongoing orders of paid traffic spread over time are essential; if your website usually gets 100 hits a month and then suddenly experiences 50,000 visitors in 24 hours, Google algorithm alarm bells are going to ring. A steady order of 10,000 visitors a month for six months or a year – or until your organic traffic catches up – is the best SEO strategy when it comes to paid traffic.

For Amazon, eBay, and Etsy sellers, the practicality of being part of the huge ‘everything in one place’ environment is only as good as your visibility. Most sellers drown under huge waves of competition. Many sellers complain about the considerable commission rates they are expected to pay. And one of the prime mistakes these sellers make is driving external traffic straight to their Amazon store.

Your traffic is earned or paid for. Sending interested parties to your host is great for their analytics results, but not for you. You are bringing your potential conversions in very close contact with your competition.

When you invest in traffic, make sure that traffic arrives on your landing page; link it to your Amazon, eBay, or Etsy store and link your store to your landing page. Just don’t send precious traffic to your competition.

This means you need to understand the algorithms of those hyper-marketplaces you trade in. These internal search engines lead to extra revenue for the host and are widely advertised as the be all and end all of eCommerce success. However, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy promoted listings and ads can only go so far when hundreds of thousands of stores take advantage of them.

If you’re not specialized in eCommerce marketing for any of the major online retailers, find someone who is. If you sell goods on Etsy, the team at etsy geeks is on hand to boost your visibility. As experts, they even offer a money-back guarantee if your items fail to rank in the top ten Etsy search engine results.

So as you concentrate on your organic campaigns, your referral traffic from carefully-researched influencers, your social media channels, online Amazon, eBay, or Etsy stores, and the obligatory ads and keywords for your website, don’t forget to add some paid traffic to the list. 
You’ll hardly notice the investment, and you won’t need to put in any effort for this part of your multifaceted campaign. Paid website traffic from a reliable provider is refreshingly easy.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.