The world of E-commerce is very much a snowball effect. When you put the finishing touches on a website, have listed products (either your own or through drop-shipping outlets) and have opened up the digital storefront you may begin to wonder where the first sale will come from. Nobody has ever purchased from you before, which is a disadvantage.
Some customers look for product and storefront reviews. Because you haven’t made a sale yet you won’t have any reviews. Other websites and digital storefronts on pages like WooCommerce and Shopify may rank ahead of your store on account of your lack of sales and website traffic.
All of this puts you a bit behind the 8-ball, but only at the beginning. Once you start generating sales you’ll begin to see that snowball effect. You net your first sale, then come a few more, then a large number, and finally, you are really rolling, growing off of your momentum.
So don’t fret if you haven’t made a sale yet or you’re approaching the launch of your E-Commerce property because there is everything you need to know in order to get your first sale in 30 days.
Begin With Google Analytics
There is more to starting an E-Commerce storefront than just sales. Yes, making a sale is the desired outcome, but just because you’re not making sales early on does not mean you’re failing. You need to know whether individuals are coming to your website, where they are coming from, what they are looking at and if they are clicking on multiple product listings. Unless you’re monitoring your website with the right analytical tools you’ll never know this.
To succeed in business you need data. Lots of it. The more information you have the easier it becomes to evolve your business to better connect with those who are coming to the store while identifying areas of concern. The best way to go about doing this is with the aid of Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free service from Google easily implemented on your site. With this information, it’s possible to monitor just about everything. So before you make any further steps and edit anything else on your website or E-Commerce platform, make sure to take advantage of the free Google service.
Family And Friends
Finding those first few sales is often all you need to really get the snowball moving. However, sitting and waiting for a visitor to arrive on your website and make a purchase can prove frustrating. The best way to help spur early sales is to turn to your friends and family.
Hopefully, you have some friend and family who are willing to support you on this new venture. In the beginning, it’s not about the money from the purchase either. This amount will go back into running the website (or paying for your monthly Internet bill). The real benefit of such a purchase is the purchase itself. This way, when a new customer visitors your website they will see the reviews given by other customers (your family and friends). It also helps boost your ranking on E-Commerce platforms like Shopify.
According to Conversion XL (2017), 88 percent of customers trust reviews given online just as much as a personal recommendation. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers say positive reviews of product or service influence increase the potential of buying from the company. On top of this, 63 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a website featuring product reviews.
The more reviews your E-Commerce platform receives the higher the conversion rate. Products with zero reviews (as the graph below indicates) have an average conversion rate of two percent. When this bumps up to 20 reviews the conversion rate increases to nearly 3.5 percent. Should it reach 60 the conversion rate hits over 4.5 percent. So having your friends and family review the products sold on the E-Commerce website can make a difference (as long as it isn’t obvious they are related or know you).
There will be some family and friends who do not make a purchase for one reason or another. While this doesn’t help your sales and review numbers, ask them to share your product listings. Friends of a friend might discover products you offer and make a purchase. There’s never such thing as too many shares.
Spiral Out To Your Social Networks
Your immediate family and friends can be a great source for early purchases. However, these avenues also come with limits. After requesting your immediate family and closest friends to check out your E-Commerce page you need to turn to your larger social network.
Ideally, when you start considering the creation of an E-Commerce website you should do what you can go grow your social platforms. The greater your social influence the larger pool you have to cast your marketing net too. Just avoid purchasing any followers in order to boost social numbers, as these paid-for followers will not add any financial benefit.
Showcase your products and the new online business through personal accounts like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat and even through your email list. At the beginning of an E-Commerce website, there’s no shame in going after these sales. It’s all about building those early sales numbers while you attract customers from outside your immediate footprint.
Facebook itself is the best platform for generating sales (both with your friends and through Facebook advertisements). According to Shopify, 85 percent of all sales originating on a social media platform come from Facebook. However, while the average Shopify purchase from Facebook runs around $55, the average Instagram purchase bumps up to $65, so there is value in sharing your content through all social media platforms (and why you should have a footprint in as many social media outlets as possible).
When developing your E-Commerce company you only have so much time to work with. Due to this, when posting information on social media accounts you need to target the platforms where you not only have a large following but with platforms more likely to generate sales.
As the Shopify information does point out, Facebook is usually the main source of social media sales traffic. However, it does depend on the industry you’re E-Commerce company is in. For example, as the same Shopify research indicates, 74 percent of all antique and collectible sales come from Pinterest, while YouTube is the main social media traffic generator for automotive companies. Reddit is the top platform for electronic and appliance purchases.
So while you need to target platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, make sure to not skimp on other platforms as you may reduce your sales potential.
Sign Up (And Participate) With Online Communities
After you share the word of your new E-Commerce website with your social media networks it’s time to continue expanding outward. The next step is to sign up and participate in online communities.
Reddit is one such community you need to consider. This message board based social media network may seem antiquated when compared to other services, but it helps directly connect individuals based on their interest. It offers a desirable way to share information and to bounce ideas off of others who have started their own E-Commerce website.
Beyond Reddit, there are Facebook Groups that function in a similar manner. It’s all about finding niche communities, signing up and staying active. By searching online for such communities you’ll likely find other websites and platforms outside of Reddit and Facebook Groups.
It is important to not just sign up and begin soliciting. Many communities will ban you for doing that. Instead, remain active. Eventually, other users will get to know you and what you do. You can have your company URL inside your profile, which gives other members of the community an easy way of connecting with your business.
Over time, once you have enough clout and have built up a reputation others trust (such as giving automotive advice when you sell car parts or recommendations on computers when you sell hardware upgrades) you can begin to share discount codes with members of the community. This way, you’re not blanketing them with post after post of products, but instead, you’re providing a beneficial way of saving money without going overboard.
According to eMarketer (2017), websites with an active discount or coupon code increase sales potential by 71 percent. The next highest influencer for a website is a suggestion coming from a close friend or family at 40 percent.
Additionally, 57 percent of individuals polled said if they did not have a coupon code for the product they would not have made the purchase. On top of this, consumers who use a coupon code to make a purchase spend 56.5 percent more money then they would have without the coupon code.
Coming in Part II: Spending Money to Make Money
In Part II of Getting Your First Sale in 30 Days, it’s all about spending money to make money. There’s only so far you can go with free advertising and word of mouth. Now it’s time to find the best forms of online advertising and push your products to your key demographic. You’ll learn all the tips and tricks in Part II of Getting Your First Sale in 30 Days.