You’ve poured your heart and soul into uploading products, writing product descriptions, and configuring your online store. You are now rewarded with an ecommerce site that is open for business. But what now? How do you go about getting your first customer? Where do you look and what should you do? We’re presenting 25 simple ideas to make your first sale online. We’re encouraging you to try new tactics online, use social media, and promote in person. Take these small steps to make a leap towards your first online sale.
1. Tell everyone
Start by creating your sales pitch -- ensure you cover all the major points. Perfect your sales pitch while spreading the word by practicing on family and friends. After you master your sales pitch, speak passionately about your online store every chance you get.
2. Press Release
Now that you’ve told everyone about your store, get the media to help spread the word. Draft a press release and send it to all local media outlets – news, magazines, and radio. Take time to write a good press release. PRWeb suggests writing with a professional voice using lots of facts but not too much jargon.
3. Contact Influential Bloggers
Aside from traditional press, you can also reach out to influential and relevant bloggers. Ask them if they would like write a review or sample products. Be sure to research the blogger’s past reviews to better position your products. If a blogger agrees to feature your online store, make sure they link back to your site! This backlink will help your SEO!
4. Increase Traffic with SEO
SEO, search engine optimization, is important when customers search for your online store. Optimize your site by using relevant keywords in product descriptions, category pages as well as the URL. Also be sure to fill out the Meta information for each product. Automate this by purchasing SEO module from PrestaShop’s Official Marketplace.
5. Mingle with Customers on Forums
Aside from waiting for customers to find you, you can find them. Visit forums your target customer participates in and contribute with good content. Remember, potential customers will only read content that is valuable to them. Engage in the conversation or provide solutions to problems using your products.
6. Create a Facebook Page
Further increase customer interaction by creating a Facebook account for your online store. Use this platform to connect with potential customers. Post engaging Facebook content to get customers talking about your company and products. You can also learn about potential customers by browsing their profiles.
7. Tweet on Twitter
“Use 140 characters to engage customers with exceptionally shareable witty content. Retweet, Favorite, & Connect w/ #followers in real time!” (139/140) Check out this Practical Ecommerce article to learn more about successful Twitter engagement.
8. Film YouTube Videos
Did you read directions to learn how to tie shoe laces? Doubtful. Somebody probably showed you how. Teach a topic or share a new trend with a YouTube video demonstration. Be sure you commit to making high quality videos containing great content. Check out Econsultancy for examples and best practices.
9. Inspire on Pinterest
“Pinspire” users by creating Pinterest boards with lots of inspiration. Create a collection of complementary products to start a gift guide. Organize boards by themes so they’re easy to follow. Most importantly, be sure to include the product link in your pins for easy shopping. Develop your Pinterest Strategy with these tips from Social Media Today.
10. Share images on Instagram
Bring products to life by sharing the different way to use your product. Use images to tell a story your customers can relate to. Share the creation of your product. Get started by checking out these businesses who brought their products to life with Instagram.
11. Start a Blog
Write about a topic relevant to your target customer. Tell stories about your product that makes customers fall in love or teach them something new. By drawing customers in, you increase the chance to sell online the products on your online store. Be sure to include keywords in your blogpost to help your SEO!
12. Promote sales with Social Media
Now that you have your social media outlets setup, use them to endorse your sales. Get everyone to visit your new store by offering discounts for featured products. Your followers already like your social media content; the discount might convince them to make their first purchase.
13. List Sales on Coupon Sites
People love deals – some specifically shop on stores with sales. Promote your sales with websites that list coupons. Submit coupons to websites like RetailMeNot, MyCoupons, and Reddit. By promoting your deals, you increase visibility, customer volume, and eventually sales.
14. Encourage Referrals
Even if you have the perfect product, some customers are just not ready to purchase. Don’t fret, instead encourage them to refer your products by creating and promoting a refer-a-friend program. Referrals seem more trustworthy allowing you to gain better access to potential customers. Learn more about building customer loyalty for your online store.
15. Collect Emails
Customers’ e-mails are important for marketing purposes. Obtain them by running promotions and contests. Work with websites like SheFinds that run weekly contests for readers. In exchange for an entry, they must opt in for your e-mails. You can also collect e-mails by offering a coupon code with each newsletter subscription.
16. Send Newsletters
After you’ve collected e-mails from potential customers, stay in touch by sending newsletters. It’s a great way to convert customers. Each newsletter should either 1) remind customers about your store or 2) share a new product. Create your email marketing plan with MailChimp’s guide.
17. Sell in Person
Just as physical stores use online tools to drive traffic, drive traffic to your online store with traditional advertising. Print nice fliers and business cards. Distribute them locally to interact with potential customers in person. When customers can put a face to your online store you bring in a human aspect.
18. Attend Networking Events
Attend local events to meet and network with people to promote your business. Interact with other key players in your industry such as suppliers, distributors, and competitors. You will learn more about your industry, gain valuable networks, and meet more potential customers.
19. Leverage LinkedIn
Keep in touch with people you meet at networking events by adding them as LinkedIn connections. Send messages periodically to build and maintain your relationship with key industry players. You can also broaden your network by asking current connections to introduce you to their connections.
20. Create an Industry Network
Make friends with other people in your industry! Find other companies in your industry who you are not in direct competition with. In other words, look for companies with the same customers who you can address a different need for. For example, as a dog accessories retailer, work with dog sitters or dog groomers. Cross sell to each other’s client lists to double or triple your client base.
21. Get listed by Distributors
Brand name distributors often compile lists of authorized online retailers. Request to be added to that list. Use this chance to nurture a great working relationships with your suppliers. They will be more inclined to refer clients directly to you and maybe even let you in on upcoming deals.
22. List Competitive Prices
List your products on sites such as Google Shopping so thousands of customers can compare your prices. Competitive pricing will drive customers to your site. Increasing the number of visitors increases the chance of closing your first sale! Be sure to avoid price wars to ensure you are still profitable.
23. Sell on other Marketplaces
Post your products on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. You can leverage their credibility to build yours while making sales. However, be aware of the listing fees marketplaces charge. Easily export products from your PrestaShop store by purchasing any of the corresponding modules from the Official Marketplace.
24. Run online Ad Campaigns
Run online ad campaigns to drive customers to your online store. Be sure your ads are relevant to your product to ensure you are using your marketing dollars wisely. Learn how to run effective Google Ad campaigns by reading their step-by-step guide.
25. Throw a Party!
You’ve just launched an online store! That in itself is a milestone and a huge success. Celebrate by throwing a party. It’s a great time to generate content for your social media, create buzz for the press, and meet people from your industry. Most importantly, it’s a great time to thank the people who've helped you get this far. _________________________ Have some tips that we should’ve included? Share them in the comments below! Don’t have your online store set-up yet? Take the first step by downloading PrestaShop, the world’s best open source ecommerce software! Or demo PrestaShop’s front and back office experience our software. Already using PrestaShop? What steps are you taking to convert your first sale? Which modules are you using? We’d love to hear from you too!