Making your first ever online sale is a turning point in every new ecommerce entrepreneur’s life. If you haven’t achieved this milestone yet, don’t get discouraged!
Think of the time and effort you went through photographing your products beautifully, sifting through shop themes for just the right look, and putting up your inventory. Now imagine closing due to lack of sales, without ever giving your store a chance! Don’t let this happen to you.
Here are 10 simple tips to consider to make your very first sale, and put you on the road to further success.
Influential people doesn’t necessarily mean top celebrities in this case -- just people who have influence in your industry. Think of the bloggers, YouTubers, and social media moguls that your target consumer base reads. Once you’ve identified relevant influencers who have loyal followers on social media or regular daily traffic on their blog, reach out to them to see if they’d like to try your product.
One way to do this is to send out loads of emails asking bloggers to write up something about your product, but in this case, ‘professional’ bloggers with the highest influence will likely say no, while amateur bloggers will be more likely to accept free stuff. Alternately, you can send samples to highly influential people without any prior commitment. Make sure they know that they are relevant to your consumer base and that your sample is a thank you for the hard work they do in your industry. If they like your product, they’ll give you a shout out, and get the ball rolling on making your first sale!
Kavita - a fashion blogger from She Wears Fashion, get's her followers roaring as she receives the perfect free sample from clothes store Bank Fashion. Getting personal can go a long way when your blogger has over 75,000 followers. Great work Bank Fashion - love the hand written postcard.
We’ve talked before about why your business needs a blog, but the long and short of it is that you’re creating more ‘doors’ leading into your online boutique each time you upload a piece of new content. Plus, creating valuable content improves your search rankings, which increases your traffic and likelihood of making sales.
Finally, having a blog that offers useful content -- things like tips, resources, and lifestyle advice about your industry -- is a way to create trust in your brand and let potential customers know that you’re an authority in your field. This sense of legitimacy is invaluable for getting customers to trust your business enough to put your items into their shopping cart.
Now that you’ve gotten into contact with influential people in your industry and started a blog, time to start generating some great content! Interviews with influential people are a great way to start making contacts and spreading the word about your brand, as your influential person is very likely to tell their followers about having been interviewed. They get more exposure (and the ego boost from an interview), while you get traffic from their followers and useful content for your own. Everyone wins.
Reporters are always looking for industry experts, and getting interviewed by any journalist or blogger means you can plug your online store. If you sell jewellery, why not approach media outlets with ideas for stories on the hottest fall trends, or how to take your work outfit from day to night using accessories? For more help getting this kind of relationship started, use websites like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) read about how to drum up press for your business.
Instead of waiting for someone to drop by your store, consider joining and participating in forums (or Twitter hashtags, Facebook groups, etc) that your target demographic frequents.
Don’t spam shoppers or only make posts advertising your online boutique!
Genuinely engage your potential customers by offering good feedback, solutions, or advice in the right communities. You can, of course, make mention that you have an online store, as this is often a natural part of the conversation that gives your posts legitimacy. Of course, be sure that your Twitter, Facebook, or forum profiles all have the link to your store prominently listed!
It’s totally normal to sell on multiple venues, especially at the start of your business. Selling on a site like eBay can get you customers, and give you the opportunity to mention your online store. Consider offering a small discount for any further purchases made directly from your online boutique, as this means getting an initial sale and a followup sale!
Example of a successful clothing store on eBay called Urban Celebrity.
While making a video can seem like a daunting task, videos are becoming increasingly important in ecommerce marketing. The creator of the Rainbow Loom (loom band bracelets), one of the most popular toys in the tween market, went to toy stores in his area for months trying to sell his product. Nobody wanted to buy them, because they didn’t understand how customers would use his toy. It wasn’t until he asked his daughters and their friends to make video tutorials, showing exactly how to make these bracelets, that distributors became keen on picking up his toys and customers were convinced to buy them.
Videos explain your products’ benefits!
Showing how they work are more convincing than text descriptions because customers can see your product in action with their own eyes. Even if you have aesthetic products like art prints or accessories, video can still help give a better idea of how the products will look when in use and allow you to tell your story of how they’re made. You can even consider vlogging on your own YouTube channel with relevant tips, advice, and behind-the-scenes footage of what’s going on with your brand, as this lends further legitimacy to your brand and business.
SupaDupa store The Brim Label, show us a great example of a short quirky video promoting their summer collection - Just shows how simplicity can still be super effective.
Have you ever shopped for something by typing “____ coupon code” into the search bar? A surprising number of people do, and many people won’t buy anything unless it’s a bargain! You can make your own coupon codes and post them to popular coupon websites like RetailMeNot, with a description like “Found a great discount to MyOnlineBoutique.com!”
RealNotMe is a great place to post your coupons, discounts and promotions
While most people search for a bargain, everyone loves something for free. While you shouldn’t give away too many products, you can start small with a contest or giveaway that increases trust in your brand and shows potential customers that you really mean business! Post on social media about your contest.
Ask participants to ‘like’ your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter!
Post a photo of them doing something (easy) that pertains to your brand under a special hashtag, or simply comment or retweet to enter the giveaway. You can keep the rules simple and the prizes small to ensure that your contests don’t take up very much time or money. This means getting your boutique more traffic and garnering goodwill among your customer base for minimum effort! Don’t forget to ask winners to post a picture of them with your product so that you can show other customers that the contest was a success!
The most important thing to remember is that making your first sale is difficult, can take a long time, and can require a lot of effort. Don’t lose hope! Don’t be afraid to tell everyone you know about your store, and don’t get discouraged if just telling friends and family doesn’t get you any sales. Remember that every hour you put into promoting your brand, increasing consumer trust in your brand, and increasing traffic to your website is laying the groundwork for a long and successful career ahead of you.
A website about analytics, marketing and testing.
Great site to list your discounts with coupon and promo codes