Written by Peter Bui Follow on
Published: 03 November 2015

This was an original post that I wrote in response to a Shopify form question about their online store. The questions was around a online discount watch store that was struggling to get better conversions and sales through the website. It was making money but the user was struggling to convert. Overall their products were the cheapest online in their region but still couldn't convert the traffic. Here were some of the suggestions I came up with to help with those conversions and sales process in general.

The website in question was a Shopify based site - http://www.reallycheapwatches.co.uk/ but the comments and remarks can apply to any website. You can find the original post on the Shopify Ecommerce Forums.


Hey there Mike

It's a broad questions and there are many ways that you can start and get cracking on this.

Understanding Your Audience & customers (Create that Persona)

First off, do you know who your audience is? Determining who that is or who they are is the first step to the process. Understanding that will help you define how to market, how to write copy, what images to take and what social networks to tackle or what marketing options will work for you the best.

This is the most important step to the whole process. You may think you know your audience but can you actually qualify your beliefs of your audience.

Is your target audience, young, male, edgy, working a corporate job and trying to make an impact on their image on a budget? Or are they an older male, looking for that perfect watch that they want to wear to a special occasion. Are they female, looking for that perfect gift? Or are they female and looking for the perfect fashion accessory on a budget.

Knowing this will let you aim your creative marketing efforts in the right spot.

This process is called "Creating personas" or "Persona development". Some people like to call it avataars but its not the right term for it. It's personas.

Engagement with Your Personas

Once you have an idea of the customer base that you are after and trying to target, then you can start putting effort into creating the type of content that they area after on the right social networks. A young millennial may be on Instagram and Snapchat constantly taking photos of themselves and sharing with their friends and network. If thats the case then get on there and start posting!

Understand how they are engaging with other brands in their demographic, understand the language and images they like and use and create content! 

I personally like to use a 5/6 rule. 

5 our of 6 posts are just cool things and interesting content. The 6th is a product about your business trying to sell. This will vary from persona to persona and vertical to vertical.

Funnel the Traffic and Leads

People aren't likely to buy straight away. If they haven't head about your brand or website before, they won't be right away buying. We need to build brand awareness and trust with the user.

Something that these users would give away is potentially an email address which you can use to start building the trust and engagement with.

"We always sell out of the cool stuff straight away. Want to get notified when we have new stock arrives so you don't miss out? Sign Up!"

Something along those lines to get a user to part with their email so you can start building up trust with the user and get into their heads.

Automate the Sales Process

You're pumping out great social media, your capturing email addresses to hopefully start selling to, but you are going to also need to pump out some emails so that people can learn more about you and have incentive to buy from you as opposed to another competitor.

I love sending out personalised emails that give free shipping for just this week and all of this can be automated using automated marketing tools like Mautic. 

I usually send out three or so emails to a new sign up to find where they are in their buying cycle and offer free shipping or a discount on their order. We also have emails that show them a catalogue of our latest products and shots of other people enjoying our products. Builds the trust if other people are purchasing from you.

You can take it a step further and automate from your social media that you are on.

If you're on YouTube, always direct people to subscribe, like and sign up to your email list.

If you're on Facebook, drive the people to your email list and capture demographic details with Facebook's pixel tracking.

What ever network you choose, track them and get them to sign up.

Changes to Your Website

Looking over your website, I think you need some personalisation to it. Who is wearing your watches. Most of them look sporty, the G Shocks. Get the photos, get into the head of your personas and show them how they will look wearing your watches.

Get photos not only of the product but of how its used.

ASOS do a great job of this with lots of photos and even videos of models wearing the clothing.

Just remember this, it's not just a watch you're selling, it's a fashion statement. 

If I want to know the time I just look at my phone. 


The post how ever kept on getting tripped up in the spam filters and never got posted.

More Resources Around Online Marketing, Sales Funnels and Conversion Rate Optimisation

If you want to learn more about sales and conversions for your website check out these podcast episodes:


Peter Bui

Peter Bui

An all round web specialist with years of experience in web design, development and open source solutions at PB Web Development

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