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How to get your First Customers for your E-commerce Shop

Once you set up your e-commerce shop, don’t be worried if new customers don’t come pouring in right away. The truth is, you can’t wait for customers to come to you. Before you get your first few customers, try out these several techniques to get one step closer to those first sales!

Here are 6 strategies you can use to start getting customers shopping on your online store today.

1. Incentivize Customers with a Free Offer

Give it away for free? You may be hesitant to offer something for free but doing so can both increase your number of customers and help get the word out in your initial days. Here a few “freebies” you should consider:

• Free demo if applicable
• Free Shipping
• Buy 2, Get 1 Free with your first order
• Free sample or special gift for first orders

In addition to getting your product into the hands of a customer, this is an opportunity to grow your email subscriber list by requiring an e-mail address to enjoy the freebie. These users will create a word of mouth buzz and as a result, increase your customer base and provide feedback that you can use as testimonials to promote your products.

2. Optimize Social Networking

Your potential customers are already on social media sites which is good news for your online business and all the reason for you to join the conversation. Social media networks make it easy for you to know who you should be engaging with and gives you a direct opportunity to do so. Promoting your products and services across social media sites will also help potential customers discover your brand. Set up accounts on the most popular sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These are also channels you can use to promote any info or deals that would interest potential customers and present your brand as a top leader in the industry. A good social media presence will convert readers and fans into actual customers. Learn more about how to use social media networks for customer service.

3. Boost your Online Advertising

If your budget allows, consider investing in an effective advertising strategy. Spending a little money will get your brand and product in front of your target demographic and help drive qualified traffic. Some examples of advertising programs include Google AdWords, Amazon Product Ads, and Facebook Ads. If done correctly, you will see a return on this investment but first do some research to determine the options that work best with your budget and audience. Take a look at Google Keywords to help you find out what your competitors are doing to drive traffic and increase sales on their e-commerce sites.

4. Drive Traffic to your Online Shop with Great Content

Neither search engines nor website visitors can resist great content. Offer something enticing that will engage viewers and encourage them to share with others. Here are a few examples of content that can boost traffic:

• Blog posts: Writing about relevant topics connects you with potential customers and demonstrates your knowledge of your products or industry. Skillfully written blog posts can also showcase your products in creative ways that people won’t filter out as just another ad. Great blog posts will give readers a reason to regularly visit your site where your products are only a click away. Check out some Blog Modules on PrestaShop’s Official Marketplace that can help you connect with your visitors.

• Videos: You can use videos in a variety of ways to engage customers and offer a more human experience when they visit your site. You can use videos to share product demos, testimonials, tutorials, and more. Using videos to feature products can set you apart from your competitors. If two sites are selling similar products but one has videos that allow customers to see the dimensions and use of that product, customers will likely prefer to buy the products from the site featuring videos. Check out how PrestaShop powered online store, Zing Manufacturing, uses videos to immediately engage visitors right on their home page.

• Relevant news articles: Another way to drive traffic to your online shop which can increase your conversion rate is to be a source of useful information and posting relevant news that your potential customers might be searching for online. By regularly curating relevant news, you give your visitors a reason to come back to your site, where they can easily engage with your products.

5. Increase Visibility with Online Marketplaces

You can set up your online shop to also display your products on leading online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc. You can use the enormous following that these marketplaces already have to your advantage. Not only will you get your products in front of new customers, you can also make it easier for them to buy your products on a site they already know and trust while building visibility for your online brand. Some marketplaces, including eBay, Etsy and Facebook, also allow you to offer exclusive coupons to attract customers to your online shop. From there you can include exclusive incentives for customers to return to your online shop with a special offer such as an exclusive coupon. Take a look at PrestaShop Addons’ Marketplace Modules to help you seamlessly integrate your products onto online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Facebook. Read more about how you can integrate your products on online marketplaces.

6. Promotions via Referrals

Another great way to expand your network and grow your online business is to offer promotions for customers or potential customers who refer your online store. Reward customers who share your online business with friends and family. You can start by offering a coupon to customers for liking your social networks or even reward them for referring new customers to your e-commerce site. This is a great way to start building a loyal customer base since they are being referred by a friend or family member that they already know and trust. Make sure to check out PrestaShop’s native Marketing features to help you build a successful referral program in just a few clicks!

Learn more about the PrestaShop features and addons that can help you increase your customer base. Not using PrestaShop? Download PrestaShop for free and start selling today!

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