SoapSell Marketplace

Friday, January 27, 2017

How to Make Your First Online Sale

How to Make Your First Online Sale

A guide to building your Ecommerce Shop

So you're ready to go! You've taken great photos. You've read my post "How to Cut Costs Without Cutting Quality" and researched your competitors online to insure you have competitive pricing.  You have products posted and you're waiting for the sales to come in, but they don't.  You wait another week, nothing.  You start thinking, what can I do to make that first sale?

First you have to set goals for yourself.  Once you know what goals you want to achieve, you can then work backwards breaking down the steps it will take to reach those goals.  So let's say you've set your goal to have your first online sale in 90 days.  You now have to figure out what steps to take to get that first sale.

When selling online I've found that there is a process for everything, including making your first sale. First you have to find out what is going to drive people to your online shop.  To start, post on social media.  You should already have a Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter & Pintrest accounts for your business.  If not, I suggest you start there.  This is important for a few reasons;

  1. Billions of people use social media, it's a to get information about your business out there without spending cash, just time.  You can use social media outlets like the ones mentioned for advertising, but I suggest you start to build a following first.  (Not having this social media accounts can hurt your business. When people are looking to find out more information about your company, they will search for your social media pages, and if you don't have them, in this day and age, you're likely to lose customers)
  2. Once you have a following and understand the different social media site you can use it for very direct marketing to your target audience.
  3. It's a great way to test what posts, and images will get the best response when advertising your products, allowing you to build more effective ads from the start. (Take it from me, who has spent thousands of dollars on social media marketing, to not get the results I want. It takes time, you can't just throw money at it, especially if you don't have it)

Now that you've got your social media accounts set up, start posting photos of your products, but don't spam.  Find some interesting articles about your industry and share them.  Join different groups, share your information, meet people (virtually online).  Send invites to your friends to "LIKE" your page and/or share your posts. Do the same in groups (if the groups allow it, or after you talk to the group admin)  This will help you to start organically driving traffic to your site.

What's good about these social media sites is they already have analytics built in, even if you're not actually paying for advertising.  You can see how many people LIKE, LOVE, LOL, your posts, or even how many shares they get.  This is valuable information!  Why because when you see posts are getting a lot of action, you can then focus on making more posts that are similar, driving the most traffic per post to your site.  This is also build link backs to your site, which will help with SEO.

Now that you're building traction, you still need to reach that goal of getting your first sale within 90 days.  So now what do you do, wait?  NOPE! Don't ever just sit on your hands and wait! Nothing is going to come to you, you have to go out and get it!  Contact your family or friends that have purchase your products before, and ask them to make their next order online.  Contact your co-workers (if you're still working) and send them a link to your site.  If you have an email list, send it to them (as long as it won't be considered spam to them.) 

This is where you are likely to get your first sale, from friends/family.  Encourage them to do a product review!  This is important.  When potential customers come to your shop and see reviews, they know people are making purchases from your shop.  If they're good reviews, that even better!

Once you get that first sale, you now need to set a new goal, one that's a bit bigger and a bit tougher to reach.  Once you have done this, go back through all of the data that was collected before your first sale, analyze it, find out what worked to get that first sale, then duplicate it. When you see that duplicating it works, then start advertising. When you do advertise, promote the posts, that worked the best to drive the most traffic to your site.

To save yourself some frustration, make sure and set obtainable goals.  Setting goals to high can get you discouraged when you don't reach them, setting them too low won't challenge you enough to reach the heights you want to.

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