This is a guest blogging article contributed by Eliza Medley.
343.15 billion US dollars were made with the help of eCommerce in the USA in 2019 and it seems like a pretty good reason to start an online store, right? eCommerce stores require lower startup costs, they make profit 24/7, are not bound to one place, and stimulate the best customer experience. Moreover, with such platforms as Shopify, technicalities become a lesser evil. You do not need to be an IT person with great experience to launch your brand new online store. Yet, starting a new business may be challenging.
If you are getting your eCommerce store starting for the first time ever, there is just so much to learn. You need to get acquainted with the platform that you are launching your store on, put a finger on who your target audience is, and how to make yourself visible on the market.
There are also new challenges to face if you have been running your business for years. For example, if you are moving from other eCommerce platforms to Shopify, you have to update all the data information on your old platform and a 301 redirect for every page, and so on.Let's dive into 07 ways to get your first sales on Shopify!
- 01. Create A Blog
- 02. Collaborate with Influencers in Your Niche
- 03. Create an Engaging Newsletter
- 04. Invest in Facebook Ads
- 05. Take a Look at Pinterest
- 06. Ask Help from Family and Friends
- 07. Use Free Shipping or Free Return Card
Why Should You Try to Get Your First Sales as Soon as Possible?
No matter if you are either a complete newbie or an old soul in new waters, the main desire of yours is probably to make your quick first online sales. There are a lot of businesses that want to make their shop pitch-perfect before they get to actually selling their products. Even if it seems like a good idea, it is not. You can get perfection, only if you get feedback from your customers. If you are going through every single small detail instead of starting your shop, you are not likely to get that feedback.
In order to understand how good or bad your prices and products are, you need to expose it to customers, so you can see how they react to it. It is normal that your customers notice minor inconveniences after you have just launched your business. It is the only way to learn what needs to be fixed. That is why it is so important to make your first sales as quickly as possible.
Now that we know who and why needs their quick first online sales, it is just the right time to find out how to get them. We have prepared 07 tips and strategies that will definitely help you get started with Shopify and make your first sales.
1. Create a Blog
A blog that is connected to your product gets you into the big bright world of content marketing.
By providing your customer with valuable how-to-dos, guidelines, advice, and more, you can gain their trust, showcase how they can use your product in daily life and give them one additional reason to visit your site more often. You also can get connected with other professionals in your niche. For instance, you can invite guest bloggers who will give you valuable insights into new issues that people face in the industry.
How Blog Frequency Impacts Customer Acquisition
Moreover, your blog is the reason why your shop appears higher in the search results. Since users are unlikely to go further than one page in Google, you must end up on the first page. A blog can totally help you with that.
Check out top 30 blog post ideas you can use to get traffic:
1. Create A Checklist
2. Create a FAQ to answer common questions in your niche
3. Give away actionable industry tips
4. Tell readers why they need something
5. Curate industry statistics
6. Run a survey and share the results - people love insights
7. Write a case study
8. Curate advice from influencers
9. Curate a list of best products
10. Review new products
11. Do an in-depth comparison of two products
12. Discuss the latest industry trends
13. Curate a list of seasonable deals
14. Challenge popular opinion
15. Weight pros and cons of an important decision
16. Offer free stuff (free templates, free ebooks)
17. Explain how to do something from start to finish
18. Show people how to fix something.
Check out other 60 blog post ideas in this Ahref's definitive guide: 86 Blog Post Ideas (With Successful Examples)
Of course, there are challenges to overcome if you decided to take that advice, and it would take a long time to make your first sales on Shopify with blog, but it will definitely be a sustainable approach. You will need to find out what SEO-content is and dedicate your time to writing blog posts (thankfully, topics rarely become an issue. There are plenty of them!). Yet, the effort is totally worth it.
2. Collaborate with Influencers in Your Niche
Thanks to social media, marketing has gained so many tools that make selling products almost too easy. Influencers, however cynic it may sound, are one of those tools.
Reach Their Audience
Influencers already have a big audience. They gained their trust and people want to be like them. Consequently, if an influencer says that they order products from that exact online store, their subscribers will most probably follow the link and take a look at the shop. They want to be closer to their idol after all.
Send a Free Sample
Yet, choose wisely who you are sending your product to. Look for bloggers from your niche. There is much sense in investing in bloggers with big audiences but can you imagine how many products they get? There is a big chance that you will drown in their post. Some influencers may have a smaller audience but it is more likely that you will get an honorable mention from them.
For more Shopify growth hacking methods, check out: Top 100 Ways To Grow Your Shopify
3. Create an Engaging Newsletter
Newsletter reminds your customers that you still exist, whether you have new products, when the next sale is coming up. You can also inform them about the trending articles on your blog which increases the chances that people will not unsubscribe from the newsletter. The main question is how to make people subscribe.
The first rule that you have to remember is that you have to offer some kind of value. There will be people who will subscribe to your newsletter because they will grow to be big fans of your online store. However, such people will appear later. It is not a case of first customers.
There are a couple of tricks that will make your newsletter more valuable:
Offer a 10% Off Coupon for Subscribing
People love good deals. If they were not initially going to buy something, they will consider looking through your store more, to find something which is worth using their coupon. Basically, you get two benefits out of one deed. First, you make a customer buy something and also you get a new email on your list.
Check out this beautiful email newsletter from Headspace
Offer Deals for Those Who Are Subscribed
For example, you have a summer sale but there are exclusive goods that are on sale only for those who are subscribed to your newsletter. That will grow your audience bigger for sure since it gives them not only the deal but the feeling of being more special.
Giveaways That Require an Email
It is not a sale, a giveaway is even more engaging - they are about free stuff, and everyone likes free stuff.
Remind Your Customers About the Newsletter
Are they leaving the platform? Remind them to sign up for the newsletter! Did they make a purchase? Even more, goods are waiting for them in the newsletter! Top of the site content is a nice place to promote your newsletter too.
So newsletters will require a small loss on your behalf if you are offering coupons and sales but they will make you more money if you do not sell anything at all. You also get the audience who will revisit your site later and become loyal over time.
4. Invest in Facebook Ads
Adds are yet another powerful marketing tool that is given to us by social media. They are easier to set up too. You can make your own design, decide on how long you want it to run and describe your target audience. You can barely find such customization with any other advertisement tools.
After Facebook bought Instagram, advertising on both platforms became so much easier. You have had to fill out two ads forms before, but now you only have to click the checkbox “Instagram” while setting up your ad on Facebook.
- How To Make Your First Facebook Ads Campaign For Your Shopify Store
- How To Set Up Instagram Shopping For Your Shopify Store
5. Take a Look at Pinterest
Pinterest has become the biggest source of inspiration nowadays. If other social media is used mainly to interact with people, Pinterest is about building your perfect outfits, design, and life overall. We seek out for like-minded people on Instagram and stumble into ads. They sometimes seem irritating because we came to talk, not to shop. Pinterest has an absolutely different vibe. We go there to get inspired. If there’s a source that tells us where to get that amazing sweatshirt, we will probably just get happier.
According to Pintererst, 98% of Pinners give a try to the products and ideas that they found on Pinterest. In comparison, the number is 27% lower on other social media platforms. That being said, the Pinterest audience is proactive shoppers. If you want to meet gen Z and Millennials where they are - Pinterest is the go-to platform.
6. Ask Help from Family and Friends
It is often the case that your friends and family are your first customers. It does not mean, of course, that you have to pressure your mom into buying products she hardly needs because “Mom, aren't you going to support your son’s/ daughter’s ambitions?”. Try to be less demanding and suggest things that they will actually grow fond of.
After they did get their orders from the shop of yours, ask them how they liked the experience of using the store and the product. It will help you to detect the issues that need to be fixed. It is often hard to see minor things if you look at your creation not as a user, but as a creator. When we started our VPN, friends were the ones to give us the most feedback on what is wrong.
Moreover, if they are kind enough to write a review or two, it will help you get those first customers for sure. They can share the review on their social media, on popular review sites, or simply tell a friend about your new business.
If you suggest giving your friends a product for free, they will be much eager to cooperate.
7. Use Free Shipping or Free Return Card
Basically, when you start your online store, there is a lot of fuss around words “free”, “deal”, “x% off”. People tend to buy unnecessary stuff whenever they see those words and you need to remember that. Even if the goods are more expensive in some places but offer free shipping (stores literally include shipping in the overall price), customers are likely to buy in the place with free shipping.
Moreover, they get disappointed when they get a much bigger sum after adding the purchase to the shopping cart. You might as well skip the disappointment stage.
When it comes to free returns, customers feel safer. It happens a lot that you buy something online and it does not fit or it is broken. Except for being sad about it, you also have to pay to fix the issue that is not your fault. It is the main reason why the older generation is against online shopping. However, if the return is free, it is still an additional effort but you do not have to worry about paying more.
Free Shipping and Return help reduce shopping anxieties (source: Bigcommerce.com)
So we figured out 7 ways to make first quick online sales that will help your eCommerce business to get started, to grow, and become better (in case if you get the feedback describing some issues). Like everything in this world, it requires a big amount of effort but in the end, when you are profitable and steady, you will thank yourself for all that you have learned and done at the beginning. We wish you good luck and nice customers in your eCommerce adventure.
Eliza Medley is an experienced writer and psychologist. She is actively interested in management, new technologies, and writing motivational articles. And also trying to go with time with modern trends. Inspires people with her work to learn new things and reach new heights.
Follow @Eliza_Medley on Twitter.