The world of eCommerce is relentless and incredibly competitive. One just cannot go and make a big and growing marketplace with a sheer force of will and tenacity. It takes time to make it happen and even your very first sale takes a considerable journey.
While it is hard to pin down the exact formula of making your very first eCommerce sale — it is possible to nail down what should be in the foundation that will provide the environment in which the sales will be enabled and nurtured.
Here are 10 ways to make your first eCommerce sale.
1 Target the right audience
The launch of eCommerce marketplace is about making a value proposition to the right people i.e. target audience. There is no way you can target everyone and anyone from day one. Not even Amazon dared to do so. If you want to sell something — you have to aim at someone specific.
While there are many factors at play — it ain’t gonna work if the target audience is wrong.
How to make it right? First is market research. You can pay third-party companies to do some groundwork and you can some part of it yourself. This will be an approximation of the target audience. Keep in mind, that this targeting will be more of a hit-and-miss, but it will be something to improve upon.
Then you need to buckle up and get the ball rolling for some time in order to define your target audience and its specifics more precisely. Over time, you will get a distinct portrait of your customers.
2 Cover all major payment options
Believe it or not, but payment options are among the most decisive factors in enabling eCommerce sales. The logic behind is simple — if you can’t pay for it — you can’t buy it.
According to a report compiled by The App Solutions, lack of preferred payment gateway option is one of the reasons why customers bounce off the marketplace elsewhere.
On practice, it means you need to include as many payment options as possible. Essentially, you have to go for the options with the biggest spread and solid privacy policies. It includes the likes of Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.Net and others.
Part of the choice comes from the target audience and their preferences, the other comes out of your business requirements.
3 Get diverse customer reviews
Another important thing that will help to make your first sell in the eCommerce is the right informational background for the products. The best way to do it is through customer review.
Why? Customers trust what other customers say about the products of interest. It is much more trustworthy this way. Sure, professional reviews are very helpful in the awareness and consideration stages, especially if the customer is interested in something specific. But in the majority of cases, customers just want to be sure that the product is not a bust and part of the confidence come from the customer reviews.
With that said, it is important to note that it is important to make customer reviews clearly structured. There are must be a pro & cons section, and also some ratings (for example, “ease of use”, “customer support”, “features” and “value of money”). It is much more accessible this way even at a slight glance.
4 Use Social Media as a storefront
It is not a big secret that social media are amongst the places where the majority of the target audience casually hang out. Because of that, it is a nice way of presenting what you have to offer in a convenient manner.
According to WooCommerce study, social media as a makeshift storefront got many benefits. First of all, it is a rather unconventional way of presenting the products to the customer. The thing is — “stumble upon” factor is a thing of great power if done right. With a little help of paid and native ads — it may significantly increase exposure to the product and even persuade some potential customer to make a purchase.
Although that is not a solid guarantee — your brand will receive exposure points anyway and that will strengthen its presence in the target audiences news feeds.
5 Get into Product Feeds
There are many sites that aggregate various product information and compare the offers available on different marketplaces.
According to Shopify research, Product feeds are amongst the most effective ways of presenting various products nice and easy and without breaking an excessive sweat. If your offer is right — you will get one tight.
With a little help of sites like Shopzilla, The Find or even Google Shopping — you can significantly increase the exposure of the products to a wider audience.
Another benefit of getting into product feeds comes from the comparison of prices. It is a fine way of optimizing the offers and making them more attractive to the target audience.
6 Use Blogging to expose various products
Another good way of exposing your target audience to a variety of products they had no idea they wanted is via your own blog. It is useful on multiple levels.
On one hand, you have a steady stream of content that can be optimized to the moon and will help to keep the presence in the search engines and social media.
On the other hand, you can provide some actually helpful information for the customers.
There are several types of content you can produce:
- Frequently asked questions about some products;
- How-to choose something or do something articles;
- The Best products of the particular category;
The same trick can be pulled off with an email newsletter. However, in this case, you need to keep in mind that overbearing can move targeted customers away from your marketplace.
7 Try promo-codes and discounts
Everyone loves free stuff and discounts. It is one of those little tricks that always work because everyone wants to get more for less. Needless to say, it is very effective is inducing the sales of the targeted products.
Promo codes & discounts are something everyone likes in one way or another. There is an entire category of customers on the hunt for every conceivable promo and discount code out there. Hopefully, there are many websites like RetailMeNot and RedFlagDeals that aggregate various coupon codes and gather impressive audiences in the process. So why don’t you expose your product line in such a crowded place?
On the other hand, you can use various contests for freebies and giveaways as a way to lure the audience into looking for more. However, it is important to keep the whole freebie thing within the reasonable boundaries because otherwise, you may get an audience who just want to collect their freebies and move on.
8 Paid Ads
One way or another, paid ads are one of the few guaranteed ways of securing a steady stream of sales. No wonder, you pay for results.
There are several types of paid ads you need to keep in mind:
- Banner ads — a nice and simple way of increasing the exposure of your products. Usually hit-and-miss;
- Google Adwords — weapon of mass purchasing with wide targeting and optimization features;
- Facebook Ads — a combination of social interaction and value proposition works miracles;
A combination of these types of ads can build a strong presence that will gradually generate sales.
9 Use influencer affiliate programs
If used right, influencers are weapons of mass purchase. The same thing can be said about affiliate programs. With a little help of services like Commission Junction or Share A Sale, you can build a network of affiliates that will help you to expose your product line to the customers via convenient channels and increase the selling.
However, this is not a thing you can rely on at the very start. Affiliates are expensive and in order to make a splash you need to have a momentum of your own. However, once you’ve got that covered, affiliates are a go-to option in maintaining a steady stream of sales.
10 Get on top of search results
Search engine optimization is one of the secrets of securing solid eCommerce sales. The thing is — casual customers don’t have a particular marketplace of choice where they buy all sorts of stuff. They go for the option that turns up in the search results, compare it with a couple of others and make a choice. You need to convince them to go to your marketplace and buy a particular product here and not anywhere else.
Part of it depends on the offer itself, but there is also a fair share of search results factor.
Why? If your product page is on the first page of search results — there is a better chance to get noticed and turn it into a purchase.
These are the most effective ways of guaranteeing your first eCommerce sale and guaranteeing that it won’t be the last.
However, it is important to note that these advices are no use if applied sparingly without a particular focused. Such things work best in a combined effort and it is important to know what goals you are going for.