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      12 Ways to Get the First Sale on Your New E-Commerce Site


      You’ve just set up your e-commerce site. The design is trendy, the product descriptions are top-notch, and you’ve set up the perfect payment gateway. You’re officially open for business — boom, mic drop, collar pop!

      Now you just sit back and wait for the orders to come in, right?

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      Sorry, Charlie. Getting that first sale can be a challenge, even with a solid marketing strategy.

      Ideally, you’ll want to begin to market your offerings even before your store is launched. However, you can take many of the same steps to promote your shop after it’s up and running. All you need is a little patience and an understanding of which techniques are most effective and affordable.

      In this article, we’ll discuss 12 ways you can get that first sale on your e-commerce site. Let’s get started!

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      12 Ways to Make Your First E-commerce Sale

      1. Reach Out to Your Network

      The first people to be aware of your business will likely be family and friends, and you can solicit their help in getting that first sale. If your product genuinely solves a pain point for anyone in your personal network, sell them on the benefits of buying from you.

      This is not much different from promoting to strangers online. To get started, ask your immediate family and friends to try out your products. You could even provide free samples. You can also reach out to your personal network on social platforms like Facebook, where you’ll likely be connected to old classmates and colleagues.

      The key here is to know your products inside and out, be aware of what problems they solve, and sell people on their benefits. Make sure to follow up with anyone interested and take the time to thoroughly answer their questions.

      2. Start a Blog

      A blog offers a way to increase brand awareness and bring new traffic to your website. It’s also a platform where you can better expose your products to your audience. The more visitors you can bring to your site, the higher the probability you will make a sale.

       “A blog for an e-commerce store.”

      Some examples of content you can create on your blog include:

      • Articles that demonstrate how to achieve a goal using your products
      • Roundup posts that showcase your best solutions for solving a specific problem
      • FAQs that answer questions people who might be interested in your products will have

      To improve your success rate, you’ll also want to do some keyword research. Organically working in some relevant keywords can help your posts rank higher in search engines.

      3. Build a List of Email Subscribers

      Email marketing is a proven tactic for customer acquisition and retention. This means it can be a core part of your e-commerce marketing strategy.

      Signups for newsletters generally indicate interest in your brand. Therefore, an email list can generate one-off sales and drive repeat purchases from customers whose interest you’ll keep active by sending them regular (and relevant) content.

      Tools like Jackmail (which enables you to send automated emails) and Mailchimp (which provides email templates and tools for tracking metrics) can help you create and manage your own newsletters easily.

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      4. Solicit Help From Social Influencers

      As a new brand, it’s vital to keep costs low. One cost-effective strategy for getting your first sale is working with influencers – or to be more specific, micro-influencers.

      Micro-influencers give you access to small, targeted audiences who already have a connection with the influencer and trust them. These influencers actively cultivate engaged and loyal followers and can get your product in front of that audience with their seal of approval.

      This is a worthwhile investment because the costs involved are typically low. That also means you can work with multiple influencers to reach increasingly larger audiences as your budget increases.

      "A search for influencers.”

      The first step to getting started with this type of marketing is to search for influencers within your niche. You can explore relevant accounts on social media to locate candidates, or use a dedicated influencer database like Socialbakers.

      5. Host Giveaways

      Everyone loves free things. When you’re just starting out, you can use this simple fact to your advantage to create awareness of your business and products.

      Hosting contests and giveaways can bring much-needed attention and help you build trust with potential customers. You don’t have to start big, nor do you need to give out your most expensive products. However, you do need to be willing to offer a few starter products for free.

      Giveaways can help you generate interest in your brand, as you’re drawing the attention of both participants and winners to your paid offerings. Participants may also share your products or information about the giveaway itself with their friends and networks.

      Services like ViralSweep and Gleam help you run contests and giveaways online while keeping things simple and professional. There are also dedicated WordPress plugins you can try out, such as RafflePress.

      6. Give Discounts

      Unlike giveaways, discounts do not require you to give away your products entirely for free. Plus, discounts may make it easier to persuade a potential customer to buy from you.

      “An example of a giveaway.”

      It can be difficult for new buyers to justify purchasing from your store at full price, especially when you have no established reputation or past customer reviews. Offering some of your best or most affordable products at a reasonable discount can be a strong incentive, reducing the risks and enticing visitors to give you a chance.

      Just remember that when setting up discounts, you’ll need to take production and shipping costs into account and make sure you don’t overextend your budget. It’s also a good idea to create sales with time limits, which play to visitors’ Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

      7. Simplify Your Site’s Design

      By simplifying your website’s design, you can make it easier for potential buyers to use your site without any hassle. This is key for turning interested visitors into e-commerce conversions (in other words, your first sales!).

      One way to simplify your site’s design is by reducing the number of products displayed on its pages. You want to ensure that your site’s interface is not cluttered, and that a visitor doesn’t have to jump through many hoops to find what they want. This is one reason to have a prominent search bar and clear menu options for easy navigation.

      You’ll also want to use a lot of blank space to help focus visitors’ attention on your Calls to Action (CTAs). That can mean removing distracting and unnecessary elements and avoiding the temptation to include too much information on each product page.

      Finally, keep in mind that mobile phones far surpass desktops and laptops for making online purchases. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that your store is fully responsive.

      8. Build Your Brand on Social Media

      Building a brand makes it easier for existing customers to stay connected. It also helps potential customers find and learn about your business and the people behind it. To this end, you’ll want to create accounts on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok.

      By using social media, you can tap into audiences that are already using those platforms. You can grab their attention and create positive feelings towards your brand while creating and sharing relevant (and engaging) content.

      “A brand Instagram page.”

      Attracting an audience through social media is a topic worth several posts of its own. In short, you’ll want to begin by doing some audience research, and deciding what platforms to focus on. Then you can start sharing content and promoting your products, linking followers back to your e-commerce site.

      Also, don’t forget that many social media platforms have groups formed around specific interests and topics. Joining these groups can help you connect with relevant potential customers and generate interest in your band. A great place to start is by signing up for and posting on Facebook Groups that are centered on your niche or industry.

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      9. Market to B2B Clients

      An alternative way to generate your first sales is by selling to other businesses, rather than (or along with) directly to individual customers. Ultimately, your goal is to get your products into buyers’ hands, whomever they might be.

      This can be done by selling to wholesale retailers, either on a local, national, or even international level. Selling to businesses might not result in high profit margins, but it is a way to get your products in front of the right consumer audience. Once you have enough brand awareness, you can start to target customers directly.

      10. Refine Your Product Descriptions

      You’ll only make a sale if your site’s visitors understand your products and what benefits they offer. This means creating clear and detailed product descriptions. It’s important to include all the relevant details and specifications, as well as high-quality images and other media.

      An example of a clear product description.

      Some users might research products beforehand and only visit your store to make a purchase. However, others will begin their buyer’s journey on your site and will be entirely dependent on the information you provide.

      You want to ensure that those users can learn everything they need to know about your products without having to leave your site to find more information. To make that happen, you’ll want to find out what questions your target audience is asking, and include those details for your products.

      11. Streamline Your Checkout Process

      You may have generated interest in your products, but people aren’t buying because they’re frustrated by your checkout process. For that reason, you’ll want to do everything you can to reduce cart abandonment.

      If users have to create an account or are forced to answer too many questions during checkout, they may decide it isn’t worth continuing. Each additional step is a chance for your customers to change their minds about following through on their purchases.

      One practical step to take when streamlining your checkout process is asking only for essential information, such as billing and shipping details. You may also want to include a progress indicator to let customers know how close they are to being done.

      12. Attend a Trade Show

      Of course, there are also ways to market your brand offline, such as by attending trade shows. You can likely find both regional and national events that are relevant to your niche and audience. There are plenty of sites that compile trade shows by industry and enable you to search for them, such as 10times, EventsEye, and TradeFairDates.

      A search for trade shows.

      At these events, you’ll get to meet both individual customers and wholesale vendors. You can drum up interest by offering free samples, exclusive coupons, or promo codes to any visitors who come by your booth. While it takes a little more work than some of the other options on this list, trade shows are an excellent way to get some exposure and start building relationships.

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      Get Those Online Sales

      Launching your online store is only the first step in starting an e-commerce business. Getting your first sale can be a real challenge. However, by taking a few well-proven steps, you can start your e-commerce store off on the right foot.

      One of the best strategies for getting those initial sales is to put a lot of high-quality content out there, via your blog and social media profiles. You can also host giveaways and offer discounts to drum up interest or look into less obvious options such as marketing to B2B clients and attending trade shows.

      If you’re looking to build or grow an online store, our WooCommerce hosting packages make it easy to sell anything on the world’s biggest e-commerce platform. Don’t hesitate to check them out!



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      How to Run a Successful Sale on Your WooCommerce Website


      Everybody loves a sale. There’s nothing quite like browsing reduced items in the hopes of finding a great deal. You know this, and your customers know it too. The question is: how can you create an effective sale and make sure it brings both new and loyal customers to your business?

      If your store runs on WooCommerce, your job will be that much easier. This handy e-commerce plugin enables you to create a variety of different types of sales, without much hassle. However, you’ll still need to prepare and plan your sale carefully to make sure it becomes a success for both you and your customers.

      In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of running a sale on your WooCommerce store. We’ll talk about the different types of sales you can create, as well as how you can promote and augment them. Let’s get started!  

      Why It’s Smart to Run Sales on Your WooCommerce Store

      You’re probably already familiar with WooCommerce. After all, it’s the world’s most popular e-commerce solution and is used to power nearly a quarter of all online stores. There are many reasons for this, but one is that the WooCommerce plugin makes it incredibly easy to start and run an online store, regardless of your level of experience.

      One crucial aspect of retail that WooCommerce handles particularly well is sales. Running a sale offers many benefits, not the least of which is that it helps drive more customers to your store. The fact is that customers love sales. A sale will also encourage people to buy more, and you can use it to attract both new customers and returning ones. For example, a sale can help sway users who may be hesitant to buy something at full price. Once they’ve made an initial purchase, you can follow up with more offers and information and turn them into regular customers.

      Fortunately, WooCommerce makes it easy to run a large variety of promotions. Best of all, the e-commerce platform also enables you to track your data after the sale is over, which you can use to improve future promotions. We’ll look at that option in more detail later on, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still need to talk about what to do before you start your first sale.

      What You Need to Do Before You Launch Your WooCommerce Sale

      To ensure your sale goes off without a hitch and is a worthwhile experience for everyone involved, you need to plan it out thoroughly. First and foremost, you’ll want to define the length of your sale and decide when it should be launched.

      While it’s a great idea to run sales close to a big holiday or celebration, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to these times. Instead, aim to run several sales over the year, mixing up the duration of each discount. For example, you could run a flash sale that lasts for only a day or two, and later a week-long event.

      When and how long you run your sale depends largely on the type of promotion you’re planning. That’s why it’s important to consider the purpose of your sale, such as which products you’ll include. For instance, the above-mentioned flash sales are great for clearing out excess stock, while an exclusive members-only promotion will help you build brand loyalty with existing customers.

      You should also think about how you’ll promote your sale. This applies both off and on your website. It’s important to spread the word on social media and through ads but equally vital to make the sale visible on your site. Consider highlighting it on your homepage, along with what deals are included. You could even create a dedicated FAQ page with information about the deals, and an ‘On Sale’ page that features all included items.

      If you’re using WooCommerce, the plugin even enables you to augment your sales through the use of extensions and other plugins. You could add a countdown timer to appeal to your customers’ Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), for instance, or create coupons that can be used to get special discounts.

      How to Run a Successful Sale on Your WooCommerce Website (8 Types of Promotions)

      Now that you know how to prepare for your upcoming sale, let’s talk specifics. We’re going to look at eight types of promotions you can run using WooCommerce. You should be able to find at least one option on this list that suits your store’s particular needs (and hopefully more!). Let’s start at the top.

      1. Standard Product Discounts

      A discount is the classic promotion. In short, this is when you specify a temporarily lower price for one or more products. When you do this in WooCommerce, the regular price will usually appear crossed out with the sale price next to it.

      We say usually because the exact appearance may differ depending on your chosen WooCommerce theme. However, the basic functionality remains the same. When you’re editing a product, you can use the Sale price field in the General tab to set the new price without affecting the old one.

      You can also schedule a sale to specify when you want the new price to be active. This lets you choose both start and end dates.

      With this feature, you can easily apply your discounts in advance and even promote your sale ahead of time. This works particularly well for holiday-based sales.

      If you want to apply a discount to an entire category of products, you can do so quickly using a plugin, such as Woo Product Category Discount.

      This plugin enables you to set a percentage or fixed sale price to a specific category or tag. This can save you a lot of time, especially if you have a large e-commerce store with hundreds or even thousands of products.

      2. Coupon Codes

      Coupon codes are another classic marketing tool for enticing potential customers. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, this is a short code that a customer can enter during the checkout process to get additional offers or discounts on their order.

      This is a straightforward and rewarding technique, which makes the benefit to the customer very clear. Most coupon codes will apply a percentage discount on a customer’s entire order or a specific item (excluding taxes and shipping) and will usually not be combinable with other offers.

      WooCommerce includes a lot of coupon management features by default. You can access them by navigating to WooCommerce > Coupons.

      When you add a new coupon, you can specify the code customers will use to apply the deal. You can also configure the discount the coupon will apply. This can be a fixed or a percentage reduction.

      Perhaps the most important settings are the usage restrictions and limits, which determine how and when the coupon will be valid.

      You should make sure to look over these options carefully; you don’t want your coupon offer to have any exploitable loopholes.

      When your coupon is ready, you can give it out to your users. How you distribute the code will depend on its purpose. A coupon code could be part of a bigger marketing campaign, or it could be intended only for specific customers. As we mentioned earlier, you need to consider your sale’s aim carefully before starting as this will let you know who the recipients of your coupon code should be.

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      3. Free Shipping

      Did you know that free shipping is the single most important incentive for online customers? It’s not hard to see why. Shipping costs can inflate an order’s final price considerably, especially if the customer is located far away from where your store is based. The allure of free (or even just reduced) shipping can therefore be a powerful motivator, convincing them to complete their purchase.

      WooCommerce enables you to create a free shipping offer in a few different ways. First, you can use the coupon code method we described earlier to apply free shipping.

      Alternatively, you can also set Free Shipping as an available option for a particular shipping zone.

      Both methods give you a lot of freedom in deciding how the free shipping works and who can use it. For example, you could offer free shipping on all orders over a certain amount for a limited time, create a dedicated coupon that you distribute to particular customers, or spread the word via your social media channels. Either way, your customers will be sure to appreciate it.

      4. ‘Product of the Day’ Discounts

      As we’ve mentioned, sales are a perfect way to highlight specific products. You can even take this a step further and place the spotlight on one particular item.

      You can create this type of offer with the Products of the Day extension. This tool enables you to specify one or more products for a given day, which will be highlighted on your e-commerce site using a widget.

      By default, this is simply a way to encourage the sale of particular products. However, you can sweeten the deal by also applying a discount to each daily item. For example, you can schedule a sale price for a product (which we covered earlier), and then add it to this widget.

      Not only will this technique increase the visibility of the promoted products, but it also gives your users a reason to check your site regularly to see which products will be on sale each day.

      5. Exclusive Members-Only Sales

      A sale is not just useful for bringing in new customers. You can also use it to reward your existing users and members. Offering exclusive offers can significantly increase customer loyalty, which can, in turn, lead to improved word-of-mouth exposure.

      When it comes to WooCommerce, you have a number of options for this type of campaign. For example, you can create coupon codes that you can quickly distribute to select users, such as through an email newsletter.

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      To ensure that this code can’t be leaked or used by non-members, you can even specify the exact email addresses that can use the coupon.

      You can also use the WooCommerce Memberships extension, which lets you set discounts based on different membership tiers.

      This extension provides plenty of features relating to sales, such as member-exclusive offers. You can also create discounted prices, free shipping, and even ’buy one, get one free’ promotions.

      6. ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ Deals

      A ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ (BOGOF) deal is, as it sounds, an offer where the customer gets one item for free when they purchase another. This could be used in many ways. You can simply offer two of the same item for the price of one, or include a different product as an extra when a customer purchases something complimentary.

      You could also specify different quantities, such as ‘buy three, get one half price.’ All you need is the right extension, which in this case would be Dynamic Pricing.

      As the name aptly suggests, this extension enables you to set dynamic prices for your products by specifying specific criteria. You can determine the number of items that will make the BOGOF offer valid, for instance. The discount will then be applied automatically when the user adds the right items to their cart.

      As with most promotions, the key to making this one work is to ensure that your users are aware of the deal and the specific criteria required. For that reason, it’s best to feature it prominently on your home page, and on individual product pages where applicable.

      7. Discounts For Future Purchases

      We’ve already discussed the benefits of rewarding existing customers to build brand loyalty. Another smart way of doing that is by offering discounts that a customer can use on their next purchase.

      There are a few ways to do this in WooCommerce. The simplest is to create a coupon code that you distribute to your customers, which we’ve already walked you through. The Follow Ups extension makes this method even easier, as it lets you automatically email customers with a notification about the coupon code.

      You can also set up a rewards system that gives customers ‘points’ when they make a purchase. They can then use these points on later orders to get a discount that’s relative the amount they’ve earned. The Points and Rewards extension makes it easy to add such a system to your store.

      To make the deal even sweeter, you can offer double points during specific periods. This will further incentivize your repeat customers to complete more orders and can be used to increase sales during times when your store is usually quiet.

      8. Minimum Order Amount Discounts

      This last technique is a cousin to the BOGOF deal we mentioned earlier. A minimum order discount is a promotion that’s applied automatically when the total value of the customer’s cart exceeds a set amount.

      For example, you could offer a 20 percent discount on all orders above $100. If a customer’s cart total were $112, the discount would bring the order amount down to $89.60 — an attractive deal.

      We recommend that you use Discount Rules for WooCommerce to put this strategy into action. This plugin lets you specify the exact criteria that must be met before a discount is applied.

      This tool also makes it easy for you to manage the discount and lets you change or remove it any time. Plus, it includes several other helpful sales-related features, such as BOGOF and dynamic pricing.

      What to Do After Your Sale Ends

      You might think that once a sale is over, all that’s left to do is count the money you’ve earned and prepare for the next promotion. However, this is far from the ideal way of approaching your sales strategy. If you don’t take the time to analyze the results of your sales campaigns, you won’t be able to optimize future offers to get even better results.

      To do this in WooCommerce, we recommend that you purchase the Google Analytics extension. This will provide you with detailed information about your users’ behavior and purchasing habits. While there’s a lot to consider after a sale is over, these are the most important results you should pay attention to:

      • Interest and usage. How many users showed interest in your sale versus how many actually completed a purchase? This shows you whether you need to work harder next time to close the deal.
      • Time and duration. You’ll also want to consider if the timing of your sales could be improved. To do that, you can compare the latest promotion’s results against similar deals that have run at different times of the year.
      • Sale frequency. If you see a steady drop in conversions for each promotion, it might be worth your while to make sales less frequent. If users know another sale is just around the corner, they’re less likely to buy during this one.

      Take all of these factors into account, and you’ll be more informed and prepared when it’s time for the next sale!

      Promo Power

      Running a sale on your online shop can be both profitable and enjoyable. All you need is a flexible e-commerce plugin and a little preparation to make sure you launch your campaign at the right time and with the perfect offer.

      Do you have any questions about how to run an effective sale for your business using WooCommerce? Join the DreamHost community and start the conversation!



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