When you open an online store , first sales are of paramount importance. These are sales that create momentum, help you optimize your marketing strategy, and allow you to simplify the management of your e-commerce. Obviously, your first sales will be difficult to achieve.
In this article, we will present sales techniques that will allow you to get your first customers.
Your goal is to get ten sales using each of the methods listed below, in the specified order. Try not to skip any step; since, beyond making initial sales, the underlying goal is to understand how you can use the channels presented below for your business, and to know their level of difficulty.
Are you ready to make your first sales?
- Send an e-mail to your pre-release list
Creating buzz and building an email list – even a small one – is an essential first step to launching your e-commerce. If you have already built a pre-launch list, you should send an e-mail to your subscribers before trying any other tactics. These subscribers are very qualified potential customers, since they have shown interest in your products and services by subscribing by e-mail to your mailing list. You can also try out the shopify affiliate software to make your mailing list easily.
- Sell in person to friends and family
The easiest way to make your first sale is to find someone from your network of friends or family network who would be really interested in what you sell; as you have understood, this does not mean in any case to force someone to buy a product that he will never use. Target the people around you who could really appreciate and use your product. Try to make personal contact with them, and meet them to introduce them to your product.
- Organize a contest
Even if one might think at first sight that contests only attract people looking for good deals, when they are well organized, they are a great way to generate interest in a new product. The viral nature of a contest can be very effective at generating a lot of initial traffic and enabling word-of-mouth marketing; allowing you to broaden your presence and make your store and products known.
There are several great apps that can help you improve your contests and expand their reach. Some allow you, for example, to give visitors the opportunity to increase their chances of winning by participating repeatedly – by sharing your store or product on social networks.
- Sell strategically to your friends through social networks
So, you’ve already convinced a friend or family member to buy your product. Now it’s time to use social networks. If you’re like most people, you’re probably on Facebook too.
So, how to strategically sell to friends on Facebook?
It is best to adopt a targeted and strategic approach to present your shop. You can use the powerful Facebook search engine Graph (Facebook Graph Search) and search for keywords related to your articles; to find the people most likely to be interested in your products and to buy them.
Example: This is exactly what Noah Kagan did to try to validate his idea of starting a business; when he wanted to create a service for the sale of seasoned beef.
“I did a search using Facebook’s graph to find people who ate Paleo, followed a healthy lifestyle, or liked dried meat. “
Once you have identified the people on your list of friends who might be interested in your product, you will need to contact them personally by sending them a message.
In addition, after having tried the targeted approach above, you can use another approach that is much less, and start publishing some updates to announce the opening of your new store to your Facebook friends; by offering them discounts if you are able to do it.
- Sell on eBay and other marketplaces
The best e-commerce entrepreneurs are testing everything; including other channels and marketplaces. Sites like eBay and Amazon could allow you to generate initial sales. This is a very interesting option because you will take advantage of existing traffic from these marketplaces and reach potential customers who are actively looking for products similar to yours. This can give you momentum during this startup step , and as you implement your SEO strategy to improve your organic search ranking on Google.
- Use Facebook ads
The challenge here is to use Facebook’s native advertising platform to make a sale. Facebook is a channel that all e-commerce entrepreneurs should test, because of the ultra-precise targeting that can be configured through the features of its advertising platform. Keep in mind, however, that even though Facebook offers several targeting options, you will need to study your target market, the lifestyle of your potential customers, and their interests; to reach the right audience with your ads. At first, your customer acquisition cost will likely be high on Facebook; expect that, and spend time optimizing your campaigns and tracking results.
- Use Promoted Publications on Instagram
Instagram is a very popular visual marketing channel; brands take advantage of the influence of popular accounts to display their products to huge audiences. On Instagram, the key is to find big accounts (50,000 – 500,000 followers) and pay them for the diffusion of an image and a description of your choice.
- Use Google Adwords
Google Adwords is one of the most established online advertising channels. It is in this case advertising on the search engines; therefore, if you have a brand new product that no one is already looking for, Adwords will not be a viable marketing channel for your e-commerce. If this case does not apply to you, Google Adwords will be an interesting channel to explore; even though most people will find the platform quite daunting and complex when it starts. There are, however, several guides available online that can be very useful to new advertisers.
- Write an article mentioning influencers
In this kind of article, you will need to mention, quote or present influential people in your niche. This is an excellent tactic to start building relationships with influencers, who may eventually share your article with their audience.
For starters, you will need to make sure that the article you intend to write really adds value; you will need to include links and quotes related to your area of work, and profiles of influential people in your niche.
Once the article is written, you will have to send a personalized email to each person put forward; the goal is to let every influencer know that you like his work and that you mentioned it in your most recent article. Generally, it is better to ask nothing in return from the influencers (not even to share the article); let them make their own decisions. Nevertheless, if you have written an article of good quality, it is likely that they decide to share it.
These articles will also serve you to improve your SEO. Remember, the more content you publish, the more organic search traffic you will receive.
Your first sales are vital. They heat the engines and create momentum. Remember that these sales will be difficult to achieve; since you will need to simultaneously determine the strategies, tactics and marketing channels best suited to your business and your niche. Do not be afraid to spend a little money or offer discounts at this start-up stage. If you have optimized your offers, the management of your company, your marketing activities; and if you have defined your target market and your ideal clients well; profitability should naturally follow.