Launch and grow your online business

Best Ways To Make Your First Online Sale

By Ecommerce Pro


That first sale you make from your new online store is going to be a significant milestone that you will have to pass in order to kick start your successful online business.

Because you want to make sales, you have done all you can to build an awesome online store. You’ve got the right niche, great products, well thought out content, all the webpages, and high quality product images. All that’s left is to get customers to come through your virtual revolving doors!

Now, you can twiddle your thumbs and wait for your first online customer to come by—only to be met by no customers at all. This can happen to you and your new online store and it can be quite frustrating, we know.

Getting the online foot traffic you were hoping for does not just come down to building an online store and hoping it will do the rest. That’s not the case, however there are a few, easy marketing strategies for you to implement in order to get the word out about your new store to your target audience so you can finally make those sales.

The purpose of this guide is to help you kick starts your shop by getting you your first sale. Keep reading, and we will let you in on the most effective ways to get those sales going from your new ecommerce shop.

 

Pay attention to store design

Just like with any physical store, your online shop design is crucial in keeping your online customers in your store! Your website store design should look appealing to your potential customers. It should look nice, professional, and reputable. A patchy job will only scare your customers away.

Here are some things you can do to make sure your store appeals to your consumers:

  • Give the right impression. People make their first judgment on your business based on the look and feel of your online store. Because of this, poor web design won’t get you sales. What it will get you is customer mistrust. A professional and well thought out online store on the other hand, tells customers that you are in serious business and worthy of their trust. Your website design needs to match your products and your brand identity, and visitors should also be able to understand right off the bat what it is your website does and what you have to offer. The more pleasing your site is to your customers, the more time and the more money they will spend on your site.
  • Make your store mobile friendly. Your prospective consumers are going online every day with more than one type of device, whether it is from their laptop, mobile phone, or tablet devices. If your website doesn’t work for whatever devices your consumers prefer to use, you’re certainly losing revenue.
  • Make it easy to navigate. Having a site that is difficult to navigate and not user friendly cannot hold a potential customer for very long. This makes your store’s navigation one of the most important aspects of your store’s design. Your store should be easy and fun to use. It’s your priority as a shop owner to make the navigation process, from the landing page, to the checkout page, hassle and stress free. If you don’t do this, your potential customers will be abandoning your site whenever they encounter a less than smooth step during the transaction.

 

Get on social media

Having an online store is not enough. You need to have a presence on social media in order to build meaningful connections and to generate real, two way interactions with your audience.

Just think about it, your target audience is most probably on social media, interacting with one another, sharing and discussing topics and content that is relevant to your online business. You don’t want to be left out.

You want your target audience to know that you exist and that you’ve got something to offer.

Social media is going to play a crucial role in brand building and in promoting brand awareness.

You can use your social media page to directly promote your business, products, and deals. You can also use your social media accounts to share relevant and interesting content, like your latest blog posts, or use it to feature influencers using your product.

When used effectively, your social media pages are going to become a valuable resource for you to generate traffic and revenue for your online store. Here are the most popular social media platforms for you to market your business on:

  • Facebook. Clearly the most popular social media platform out there, with 1.5 billion active daily users. Facebook provides the most diverse range of users for you to appeal to in a great number of ways.
  • Instagram. This popular social media platform has over 500 million active daily users. Instagram is a photo sharing app, so it’s a perfect place for you to share images and videos of your store and products.
  • Twitter. This platform has over 800 million users. 81% of Twitter users’ have made a purchasing decision based off of products they have seen on the app. Twitter is a great place for you to share information about your sales, links, products, and events.
  • Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine and a great place for you to share your product images. Pinterest has over 200 million monthly users. 93% of people who use Pinterest, use the app to follow creative ideas and to plan their purchases.

 

Send free samples to social media influencers

Sending out free samples to social media influencers is something you may want to do when you are launching a new store and product. Leveraging social media influencers is a proven method in generating online foot traffic to your store and making conversions.

Literally everyone loves free stuff, especially social media influencers. There are ways for you to get social media influencers on board to promote your brand by giving them free samples of your products to promote. If you can’t afford to have a celebrity influencer, or a macro-influencer, then micro-influencers are your next best thing.

Micro influencers are regular people on social media who have built a small (10,000-50,000) but strong loyal audience of similar interests. Find a micro-influencer who is passionate about what you do and your type of niche and you might find yourself in a great working relationship.

Micro-influencers take your products samples and photograph themselves using your product in authentic life situations, so that your products can reach their followers in a meaningful way. Many of them also run their own blogs, do video tutorials, and more.

Micro-influencers may have a smaller reach than celebs and macro-influencers, but they have a passionate and authentic following, and are more accessible to people and businesses.

 

Start blogging

That’s right. You have to start a blog, one that has something to do with your niche, store products, and services. The purpose of your blog should be to provide value to your readers, to improve their lives, and provide them valued knowledge and insight on the things that interest them.

For instance, if you are running an organic online pet store, you will find that there are many people online who want to find more natural ways to care for their pets. So, why not start a blog on providing expert knowledge and content for these types of people with these kinds of interest?

You can use your blog to give tips, advice, promote your products, and promote the life-style associated with your niche. Having an online store that runs a useful blog is an excellent way to generate search engine traffic.

 

Go for paid advertising

One of the best ways to get your first sale and to get traffic to your online store is through paid advertising. Paid advertising online is an affordable and effective way for you to not just generate sales, but to also increase brand awareness.

When it comes to online advertising, you will have different channels to choose from, depending on who you are targeting, where they are located, and how your chosen platform helps you reach your prospective buyers.

Here are some of the best platforms for you to use in order to advertise your store:

  • Google Ads. One of the most popular forms of online advertising, Google advertising allows you to place your ads on Google search results pages, YouTube, and partner sites. Google Ads work on a pay-per-click basis, meaning you will only have to pay for the ads whenever someone clicks on your link and visits your site through the ad.
  • Facebook Advertising. Facebook ads are great because you will have control over who gets to see the ads. You can target people based on age, gender, location, interests, and more. Because it is narrowed down and specific, this makes Facebook advertising great for store owners who know exactly who they are trying to sell to. Facebook ads however, will only show up on Facebook. This might not necessarily be a total downside seeing as Facebook is the most popular social media platform with over 1.5 billion active users. That’s quite the number.
  • Instagram Advertising. Instagram is a visual centric platform that is popular with the younger demographic. You can use Instagram influencer marketing and post about your products for free, but paying for Instagram ads is another way to reach more people and sell your products off of social media. Instagram has been shown influence buyer behavior and shopping habits, especially in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle related products. 75% of Instagram’s 500 million daily users have been found to make purchasing decisions based on the products they viewed on Instagram.

 

Offer discounts

People love the feeling of saving when they make a purchase. Most people can’t resist a good deal, in fact, that’s why people shop online in the first place—to find better deals. What you can do is offer them just that.

When you are running a brand new online store, you haven’t built any kind of reputation yet. You haven’t made any sales, and you have no product reviews on your store. Kicking off your site with your first sale is a hurdle you can attempt to pass by offering people marked down prices for your wares in the early stages of your shop, just to give people a little nudge towards the checkout counter.

You can start offering people special bargains, discount codes, and limited sales. If you are reluctant to decrease the price of your products, then you can list them at a higher price, then offer a discount that will amount to the ideal profit you have in mind. For instance, you would like to sell an item at $20, mark the price as 25$, give a $5 discount and still make your 20 bucks.

 

Have a smooth checkout process

Now we mentioned something about designing an easy to navigate store, this includes a smooth checkout process. All those product ads, promotions, successful blog posts that will drive traffic to your site will be hampered by bothersome checkout procedures. You got your customers to your site, they’ve added products to their cart, but checking out is complicated, and not worth going through with.

To avoid this sentiment, you want to get rid of as many unnecessary steps as possible, and make the checkout process smooth, direct, and done in a few clicks.

Here is what you can do to offer a smoother checkout process:

  • Offer guest checkout. This way you won’t be forcing your customers to sign up for anything. This facilitates the checkout process by allowing them to go ahead and input their email, shipping, and payment details hassle free.
  • Use a progress indicator. Progress indicators tell your customers which step they are in on the checkout process and how much left there is to do before completing their purchase. Being able to track the checkout process is a visually pleasing and reassuring tool for your customers, so that they can see how much longer the process may take.
  • Summary of cart content. People want to see the contents of their orders, the total costs, and any extra fees. It is a way for you to show and reassure you customers that their purchase with you is in perfect order before they complete the transaction.

 

Persevere

We all have to start from somewhere. Right now, you might have achieved no sales at all from your online store and you are trying to kick off your website with your first sale. Because there is no solid, one-shot way to make your first sale and carry on making more sales into a wildly successful online business, exploring, trying new things, failing and evolving to become better is all a part of the big process. Perseverance, being a proactive and resilient online store owner is what is going to get your store going and growing.

 

Back to you

The strategies we have listed above are proven ways for you to get your first sale. You can also carry on using these strategies to generate more sales as your business grows in the future.

Are you planning on implementing some of these strategies from our list to your new online business? If you are and you find yourself with questions in mind, let us know. At Ecommerce Pro, we love to hear your ideas and share practical solutions that make ecommerce stores function at their best. Please feel free to start a conversation with us today!

About the Author

Ecommerce Pro content team crafts resources with the objective to provide advice for new and existing ecommerce entrepreneurs on how to effectively launch, grow and manage their online business.

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