You’ve got your online store up and running – Congrats! Now, let’s go get that first sale.
I’m sure you’ve seen eCommerce experts talking about “strategies” to get more sales. Of course, they work, but I wish they were easy to understand.
Cohort analysis and data pivot charts? No, thanks!
Let’s keep it simple. You have an online store and you need sales.
What should you do?
Don’t make this mistake. Start your store the right way.
A common mistake many new store owners make is to not measure their store’s performance.
Six months after starting the store, if you ask store owners how many orders you get in a day, many wouldn’t even know.
But we’re smart. We’re not going to repeat this mistake.
The first thing you should do for your online store is to install Google Analytics.
Google Analytics? What is that, and why do you need it?
Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that will tell you everything about the performance of your store. How many people visited your store, how many purchases were made, which is the most popular product, etc.
Once installed, it will automatically track all the activities of your store.
Next time you want to know if people are sharing your store page on Facebook or Instagram, just look at Google Analytics.
You can install Google Analytics on your Dukaan store here.
How to get your first sale?
So now you have your store ready. The Google Analytics plugin is installed and set. Great!
For sales to happen, you need to make your store popular.
New people need to visit your store. More people need to see your products.
You bring ten people to your store, two among them might buy your product.
It’s a simple funda.
As a store owner, your task is to ensure that there are always new people visiting your store.
Sales and orders will happen on their own.
There are two ways by which you can get visitors to your store. One is free and the other paid.
I know what you’re thinking now. Let’s stick to the free methods.
Because, let’s admit it, we all love free stuff!
Here are some ways to get more people visiting your store to shop:
1. Throw a generous offer for first-time buyers
Throw a very generous discount for first-time buyers. This will entice them to try out your products.
Perhaps even display a site banner using the Privy popup plugin or show a countdown timer on your store.
These are great ways to convert visitors to customers.
Make the offer too good to resist. Add in more to sweeten the deal.
Perhaps free shipping, or up to 50% off on the price.
The more unique your offer is, the higher the chances of getting your first customer.
Get creative and see what you can do.
2. Use your friends circle
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
This phrase couldn’t hold more true than in a situation like this.
Most Dukaan customers have noticed that their first sale often came from their friends and family.
Maybe they are being nice to you or they want to genuinely support you.
Either way, your friends and family are your best bet when looking for that first order.
Start sharing your store’s link with friends and family over family WhatsApp groups, associations etc. (There are way too many of them anyways) and make the most out of these channels.
It is possible that you might get some harsh comments from your friends the first time.
Of course, friends are not supposed to sugarcoat you with feedback.
Take it as feedback and turn it to your advantage. If not make a sale, you could learn from their feedback. Make the changes, adapt, and execute. Keep going.
3. Get Sales from online communities
I can guarantee that you’re part of groups on Facebook that you never even bothered to check.
Well, now is the time.
School groups, entrepreneur’s groups, local groups…find them here.
See what’s going on. Which ones are active? Which one can you participate in?
Now, be thoughtful. Start slowly. Don’t go ahead and share your store link blindly.
Nobody appreciates that.
First, message the admins and ask their permission to share your store link. Make sure it’s according to their terms and conditions.
If you’re joining a relevant group (to your brand), there shouldn’t be a problem.
For example, if your store is selling car accessories, join car enthusiasts groups on Facebook.
Check out if there are one’s where members are asking for product recommendations.
Maybe someone’s asking for recommendations on where to buy car accessories online.
Use it. Share about your store and about your webstore.
If you don’t find similar threads where you can share your store, ask for reviews on the products. Or just general feedback. Get a conversation going.
Better yet, throw a unique coupon code for members of that community.
Create a discount coupon like this with perhaps the community name. And ask the admins to share it in the community.
Cheers! You made it into that online community!
Here are some online communities where you can learn and grow with fellow entrepreneurs:
- Dukaan VIP
- Buyers and Sellers India
- Wholesale and Resell Group India
- Loot Deals and Offers
- Save Money Offers
4. Get Your First Sale From Social Media
Why do Amazon, Flipkart, and other sellers have social media accounts?
They are making money from sales anyways, isn’t it? Why bother being on social media?
The only reason – to engage with their audience and grow their brand presence.
If the big guys are doing it, why not you?
So invest in social media. Go ahead and create your brand on all relevant social media platforms.
Statistics show that 3% of your social media audience is likely to get converted to your customers.
Tip: Not all social media platforms are for you. Find out where your audience hangs out, and that’s where you need to be.
What to do on social media?
- Start creating interesting pieces of content
- Stories, status updates, quizzes etc
- Share regular updates
- Ask questions to your audience
- Share tips for better shopping
- Share anything that will make their life better
- Promote with special offers
Dukaan has plenty of marketing design tools available that will help you to create social media promotions. Use them.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Not CEO, SEO.
Relax. Not to worry.. It’s a super simple process.
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of making changes to your store, or optimizing it, so that your store and products show up on Google, when people are searching for relevant products online.
This means that your store has to be ‘optimized’ in such a way that Google and other search engines show your store’s products when people search for it.
Dukaan makes this so much easier with the All in One SEO plugin integration.
In it, you can change the page titles, meta description, etc, and optimize them for Google.
You can also create pages easily with Dukaan and optimize them for SEO.
For example, if your store is selling N95 masks, let’s say in Bangalore, create a page with the page title and URL.
Your page title would be ‘N95 Masks for Sale in Bangalore – Your Store Name’
On the page write about how amazing your products are, and why anyone should buy them.
Make it valuable. Make it interesting.
Add images, share links to your products.
If you’ve done the SEO settings right, when someone searches for ‘N95 masks for sale in Bangalore’, your store should show up on the first page of Google.
Please note that SEO is a long term process, so you will need to wait a few days (sometimes) for the results to show.
Recommended for: SEO is important for every business that is selling online. Start with keyword research and add titles and meta descriptions that closely relate to your products.
Suggested Reading: How to create SEO page titles and Meta Description
Experiment with Paid Ads
Now let’s switch gears and move to paid advertising.
Once your business is up and running, this could be a space you invest some time and money to get more sales and customers.
Paid advertising is the practice of displaying messages to a specific targeted set of people on social media, search engines, and online publishing sites to sell a product online.
Simply put, you pay for ads. Ads bring visitors to your store. Visitors buy your products.
You might be thinking, why should you pay for this. Well, let’s do the math.
So, what are the ways to do paid advertising?
6. Reach Your Potential Customers on Facebook
Facebook ads let you show your store’s ads to people on the basis of age, gender, location, and interest.
It’s super easy to target and very effective.
Create an exclusive offer, or better yet run a contest for your potential customers on Facebook.
You will essentially be pulling in the right target audience, to your store.
Example:50% OFF for the first 50 Comments on This Post.
To start off with Facebook Ads, go to Facebook Business and get started.
Tips to do well with Facebook Ads
- Target your competitor’s fans and followers
- Zero in on the smallest locations to start with and build from there
- Put in a minimal budget and experiment
- Show different Ad creatives to different target audiences
- Keep experimenting, incorporate the feedback, and experiment again
- Encourage comments and engagements on your ads
7. Try out Ads on Instagram
If your customers are likely millennials, Gen Z, and folks who spent a lot of time on Instagram (which is all of us by the way) then you got to connect with them on Instagram.
A lot of store owners ask back saying, “Hey why should I spend money on Instagram, when I can get views and comments on my page already?”
The thing is, your updates from the page can only get you so much coverage.
You need to reach out to people who don’t know about your store. Plus, not everybody uses the same social media platform. Diversify. Connect with them on Instagram (as well) and convince them to buy.
Just like Facebook, ads on Instagram works wonders.
Studies show that Instagram’s engagement rate is 13.5x higher than Facebook posts and 27x higher than a Tweet.
You could try different formats like carousel ads, stories, and videos to bring guests to your store and convert them into customers.
8. Get your first sale from Google Ads
Whenever you want to buy something online, what do you do?
Google search it!?
Statistics say that 38% of purchase decisions are made online, with a Google search.
This makes Google ads a perfect place to advertise your store.
Google Ads, allows your site to be shown at the top of the search results page when customers search for something on Google.
Recommended for: Trending products, local businesses, and products/services with high search volume.
9. Get Help from “Influencers”
Asking for help is hard, but it does wonders’ when asked correctly..
It’s true in this case as well.
Sometimes, you need help getting the word out. And you need to ask for help.
Yes, using your personal network, online communities and paid advertising is great and works..
But sometimes you need a little more help from the popular folks out there.
Enter “‘Influencer Marketing’.
Identify people on social media like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram who are related to your product/industry.
For example, if you’re selling garments in your store, influencers you’d be looking to connect are folks on Instagram who are celebrities in their own right.
Maybe a fashion YouTuber with thousands of followers, or an Instagram model who shares tips on online shopping.
Contact them and ask them if they can promote your store. Perhaps you can give exclusive discount offers for their fans and followers.
10. Get Sales from Local Events
Another easy way to promote your business and attract local customers is to organize local events.
Organize local events either yourself or join one that’s already happening.
Don’t forget to share your business card and display your store’s QR code so that people can scan and browse your products right at the event.
Here are some ideas to hold a local event.
- A free workshop for local businesses
- An exhibition of your products
- An entrepreneurs support group exhibition
- A free educational event on a certain topic
Watch this video:
Experiment, learn & grow!
So, there you have it.
Some simple, yet powerful ideas to make your first sale.
We wouldn’t know for sure what works for you though. It all depends on the product you’re selling and where your potential customers are located.
If you’re a grocery store, a local event might help. If you’re an apparel store, Facebook and Google Ads might work.
Either way, the goal is to run an experiment, make the first sale, learn from it and do more.
Like they say, do it once, do it right, do it better the next time onwards.
Remember I told you about installing Google Analytics plugin in the first place?
If you have installed it on your Dukaan store, you can track all the data from the experiments you’ve been running.
Now that you have the data, it’s time to analyze it.
Google Analytics can help you with this to find out what’s the best selling product, what tactic worked best for you, and what didn’t.
Here are some tutorials.
If you still don’t see success with all the efforts you have made, there could be other reasons that you’re not seeing the results, yet.
Reasons customers don’t buy from you:
- Store views but no sales
This means people are visiting your store but not making any purchases.
This can be possibly due to poor quality of product images or product description and/or its benefits not clearly articulated.
- No add to cart or bag
This means that people have just checked out the store and didn’t add anything in the bag to buy. It can happen when people do not have enough trust in your brand. It’s time for you to build trust using social media and other channels.
- Add to carts but less purchase
This means people are adding products to the cart but not doing the checkout to make the final purchase. This can be due to a longer delivery time or no attractive offers on products.
Give the above-mentioned methods a try to get your first sale.
If you do it right, I’m pretty sure you’ll make your first sale in the first 30 days.
Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help you out.