sale

How to Get Your First Sale for Your New Ecommerce Website

Your new ecommerce site has finally launched. Congratulations!

Now you have the ability to sell to a huge potential audience. Whether you have a completely new business or an existing brand that just launched an ecommerce site, getting your first few sales can be intimidating.

Existing businesses that expanded to the Internet, using it as an additional sales platform, will have an easier time with this.

That’s because they already have current customers familiar with the brand. For the most part, they’ll just need to let those customers know they’re selling online, and sales should follow.

With that in mind, this guide is designed mostly for those startups that just launched an ecommerce site.

Or maybe you’ve had a website for a while, but you’re just now adding an ecommerce feature to it.

Regardless of your situation, this guide will help anyone looking to increase conversions in their ecommerce stores, ultimately generating more sales.

Once you get that first sale out of the way, others will continue. Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction.

Start a blog

There is a big difference between website traffic and sales.

You may have noticed in the early days of your site launch that you’ve gotten some traffic. That’s great. But nobody is buying anything.

Don’t worry. It’s a game of numbers. No website has a 100% conversion rate.

But the more traffic you can drive to your site, the greater your chances of getting sales will be. It’s all about understanding the customer conversion funnel.

The top of the funnel is the awareness stage. Blog posts help create brand awareness and generate more site traffic.

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That’s why blogging is absolutely necessary for all ecommerce sites.

Think of it like this. What are you selling? Is it so important that people are going to shop every day for it? Probably not.

But your blog gives people a reason to visit your site on a regular basis, even if they didn’t plan on buying anything.

Blogging also improves your organic search ranking. When consumers look for products on a search engine, your site will have a greater chance of being a top hit.

Your blog can also serve as a channel for product promotion. Pitch whatever you’re selling within the content of your posts, and add hyperlinks to a landing page where the products can be purchased.

Build a list of email subscribers

Email marketing needs to be a major part of your content strategy.

If you just launched your ecommerce site, chances are you probably don’t have an active list of email subscribers yet. Before you start focusing on getting your first sale, you should learn how to build your first email list from scratch.

Again, starting from scratch can be intimidating. The number zero is tough to look at. But don’t worry, the only way to go from here is up.

I know what some of you might be thinking. Why focus on building an email list instead of working on sales?

It’s simple. Your email list will make it easier for you to generate sales.

Email marketing is the top digital tactic that drives both customer acquisition and retention, according to a recent survey of online retailers.

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This means your email list will not only help you drive your first sales but also increase the chances that those customers will continue to buy in the future.

That’s because once people sign up to receive emails, they are already interested in your brand.

Even if they haven’t bought anything yet, you can start to prime them to make a purchase. Create an actionable drip campaign, beginning with a welcome message. Follow that up with promotional emails.

You’ve got direct access to your subscribers’ inboxes, so take advantage of it. Just don’t push your luck by sending too many messages or spam.

Consumers may not visit your website every day, but they will definitely check your emails. Offer them a discount, which I’ll discuss in greater detail shortly.

Send products to social influencers

Influencer marketing has become one of the top trends of the year.

People may not know who you are or that your brand even exists. But they follow influencers on social media.

The reason why working with influencers is so beneficial is because the pay rates are low and the engagement rates are high.

For just a few hundred bucks you could get your product exposed to thousands of prospective buyers. It’s important for you as a new brand to keep your costs low in the early stages.

Without any sales, you won’t be able to survive since you don’t have a steady cash flow.

Look at the way Thompson Tee used this strategy to promote its brand on Instagram by partnering with James Tollefson:

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James has nearly 20,000 Instagram followers. So this post is great exposure for the brand.

As you can see, the post includes a purchase link and a discount code. This makes it easier and more enticing for a prospective customer to make a purchase.

It’s a cost-effective strategy. Make sure you’re smart with your marketing budget.

Have influencers wear your product, use it, or demonstrate how it works, just like in the example above.

But do your research before sending your product to just anyone. You want to make sure the influencers you’re partnering with fit your target audience and brand strategy.

Offer discounts

As a new brand, you don’t have a reputation yet.

Why should someone be the first person to buy something from your website?

They don’t see any product reviews or anything else from previous customers since there aren’t any. So it’s hard to justify paying full price for something from a brand with no reputation and no sales.

As long as it doesn’t interfere with your brand image, I recommend slashing your prices in the initial stages.

I get it. Some of you may have a luxury brand that doesn’t plan on putting items on sale.

But to get people familiar with your products and generate sales, it’s a viable strategy early on.

Here’s something else to consider. Offering a discount code increases the chances that you’ll make a sale:

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That’s because people love getting deals. Mark up your initial prices higher than you initially planned to turn a profit with the discount.

Want to get $ 40 for an item on your site? It’s simple. Then list it for $ 60 and make the sale price $ 40.

It’s an age-old marketing trick.

Market to prospective B2B clients

All too often I see businesses focus strictly on direct to consumer sales.

While there is nothing wrong with this strategy and its higher profit margins, it doesn’t mean you should completely dismiss the idea of targeting other businesses.

Consider selling your products at a wholesale rate to retailers.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a brand new ecommerce company that sells clothing. You don’t have any physical store locations.

To get your products into the public eye, you can reach out to local, national, and international retailers. Try to get your products in their stores.

Sure, you won’t get as much of a profit per item. But bulk orders will be much larger than those from consumers who just want to buy one shirt a time.

Once your product starts selling in one store, other retailers will want it as well. Now that consumers are familiar with your product, they’ll look to buy it on your ecommerce site.

Create social media profiles

This is something that should have been done before your site launched.

But for those of you who haven’t created social media profiles yet, it’s not too late to start. Set up accounts on the most popular platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

You need to have active profiles on all these channels. That said, find out which platform your target market uses the most, and prioritize those efforts first.

Once the profiles are up and running, you can leverage social commerce to drive your first sale.

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Try to increase your followers and create brand awareness.

Drive traffic to your site through these distribution channels. Once you have an active social media presence, it opens the doors for additional marketing opportunities.

Create a simple website design

Simple websites have higher conversion rates.

Take a look at your ecommerce site. Is it simple?

Yes, you might be selling hundreds or potentially thousands of products. But you can’t try to fit every single item on your homepage.

Reduce clutter. Get rid of ads.

Include a search bar and menu options for easy navigation. It’s okay to have blank space on your site. This will help focus the visitors’ attention on your CTA buttons.

You definitely want product images. But don’t include large pictures on each page – it’ll slow down page loading times.

A simple design translates to a faster loading page. You’ll get fewer page abandonments and increase the chances of getting a sale.

Giveaways

Let me clarify what I mean by this. I’m not saying you should just give your product away with no questions asked.

But now that you have your social media channels set up, you can use them to facilitate contests and similar promotions.

The winners of these contests can get your products free. Here’s an example of this strategy used by Knockaround on its Instagram profile:

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In the early stages of your business, you need to be more willing to give things away. It doesn’t have to be your most expensive products, but as long as you’re doing something, it will generate some buzz.

You could consider running weekly giveaways or even daily giveaways to put your name out there. This will accomplish a few things.

First, it puts your products into the hands of the consumer. They’ll be familiar with it and potentially buy something else as a result of their free gift. These people will also share it with their friends and family, who could also become paying customers.

Even those who didn’t win the giveaway now have some interest in your brand. These consumers are also more likely to buy now because your product is on their minds.

Attend a trade show

Many people who have an ecommerce site act as if their business runs strictly online.

Just because you don’t have a physical store doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and sell. Trade shows are a great place for ecommerce brands.

Look for local, regional, and national events to attend. They’re everywhere.

Having a presence at one of these events gives your brand exposure to attendees as well as other vendors.

You could potentially meet a vendor interested in buying products at a wholesale rate, which I previously discussed.

Trade shows aren’t necessarily the place to sell products. But you’ll give away things there to gain exposure.

You could offer some free samples of your products. Or maybe just give away some t-shirts, key chains, stickers, phone cases, and other smaller promotional items with your logo and website to encourage sales.

Give exclusive coupons and promo codes to people who visit your booth at a trade show. It could even be something as drastic as 50% off one item.

Remember, you need to do everything possible to close that first sale.

Reduce friction in your checkout process

So, you’ve been able to draw traffic to your website with the help of other promotions.

But you’re still having trouble getting those visitors to buy something. What’s wrong? Perhaps your checkout process is not optimized.

Get rid of unnecessary steps. Once a visitor decides they want a product, you need them to be able to complete the purchase with just a few clicks.

Take a look at the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment:

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Besides cost, which ranked first on the list, the next two top reasons both involve a complicated checkout process.

If you’re forcing visitors to create an account or answer tons of questions, you are crushing your conversions.

Ask only for the essentials. Get their billing information and shipping info. That’s it.

No need to ask them for their mother’s maiden name. The whole process should be a few clicks and done.

Each additional step gives the customer a chance to change their mind and abandon the sale.

Conclusion

Your new ecommerce site doesn’t have any sales yet.

That’s okay. Everyone started from zero at the beginning. The idea is to get your first few sales rolling to pick up some momentum.

Start blogging to create brand awareness, promote your products, and increase traffic to your website.

Focus on building a list of email subscribers. Work with influencers to promote your brand on social media.

Discount your prices. Simplify your website design. Attend trade shows.

Think outside the box. You can look for alternative ways to generate sales. Consider B2B brands that you could sell products to in bulk.

Increase your social media presence. Run contests and giveaways through those marketing channels.

Simplify your checkout process.

If you follow the tips and advice I’ve outlined above, it will sustain your ecommerce site far beyond your first sale.

What type of marketing strategy is your new ecommerce site using to drive your first sales?


Quick Sprout

LinkedIn’s sale is a sign of what’s to come for Twitter and other social media companies

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When LinkedIn went public in 2011, it was heralded as the first in a new wave of social media companies landing on Wall Street. 

Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Groupon were months if not years away from their public offerings. Pinterest and Snapchat, meanwhile, were still in their infancy. LinkedIn, less sexy than these companies but still growing sales quickly, saw its stock more than double on its first day of trading from investor appetite for the seemingly unlimited potential of social media businesses. 

With news of its $ 26.2 billion sale to Microsoft on Monday — the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history — LinkedIn may also prove to be a harbinger of what’s to come for many of those social media companies that did end up going public.  Read more…

More about Social Media, Business, and Linkedin


Social Media

Summer Sale from MotoCMS: 30% Off on All Templates

Do you like summertime? It is always sad to see how this wonderful season of freedom and warmth ends. But MotoCMS decided to prolong this summer a little bit more, announcing a 30% sale on all website templates. Make a purchase of a website theme that suits the best for your business or hobby within the first 10 days of September, 2015. Don’t miss this great chance to get a great-looking website design and save up to $ 60!

About MotoCMS

MotoCMS is one of the leading companies, developing ready-made themes for websites. Check out the whole collection of website templates for every purpose and need. The enormous army of customers has already been happy with the high level of service. MotoCMS professional team creates unique products – website designs that can be completely customized according to your requirements.

What Do You Get?

Full Customization
The control panel powered by MotoCMS is a WYSIWYG editor with drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to feel yourself a web designer and web developer at the same time. There is no need to hire tons of employees to create the website of your dreams. Without special skills in design and programming you will be able to customize your own website design within a few hours.

Responsive Design
Today the vast majority of users surf the web on smartphones and tablets. Thus, your website must have a mobile version. Due to their responsive design, templates developed by MotoCMS are automatically adjusted to all mobile screen resolutions without losing website content.

24/7 Customer Support
If you have any questions regarding your template or the system work, don’t be shy about asking for assistance, contact the professional 24/7 customer support. An operator will solve an occurred problem and give proper advice as soon as possible. And don’t forget that this service is all-time free.

Choose Your Design

Before you pick a template, MotoCMS presents you with a couple of great original website themes that will get you interested. Look through the website templates that are definitely worth becoming your website design.

Travel Agency Website Design

Travel Agency Website Design

Online Fashion Brand Template

Online Fashion Brand Template

Responsive Restaurant Website Template

Responsive Restaurant Website Template

Online Photo Album Design

Online Photo Album Design

Corporate Website Design

Corporate Website Design

Conclusion

MotoCMS is a good website builder for designers and developers, beginners and experienced freelancers, and this offer is seriously worth taking a look at. With a huge customer list, and flexible themes in many categories, the world is your oyster in terms of producing a professional, dedicated site.

Hopefully you will be tempted to browse the themes and make some massive savings!


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

Easily Achieve the Smooth Sale

Make Sale photo from ShutterstockCertain practices are essential for building trust and likeability as you develop the sale. Patiently adhering to the correct process will ultimately get you to the end goal you hold dear. Not doing so, or implementing selective pieces of an overall strategy, and out of order, upsets the potential relationship. The poor practice diminishes the trust as well as any chance for securing the sale. The following story exemplifies what NOT to do.

Upon reviewing a questionnaire meant to become familiar with personal history, it was appalling to find the inter-mixing of sales questions with case history questions. And it wasn’t just the fact that sales questions were included. Even more disturbing was the manner in which the questions were presented.

Erroneous assumptions were made including over-inflating expected current expense. This implied justification for purchase, but the fact were far off-base. The finality came when scare tactics were used, such as, “this will occur if you don’t…” The increased anger felt not only blocked the sale, but the thought of poor word of mouth branding could easily have taken place. Adding insult to injury, a blatant ask for the sale was made whereas this entire scenario should simply have been a case study form.

Moral of the Story: The sale proved to be more important to the provider rather than establishing credibility and trust first.

5 steps achieve the Smooth Sale:

1.  Become well acquainted on the first meeting

By asking, “What caught your interest to meet with me today?” you get to the heart of the matter that opens up a meaningful dialogue.  Allowing the prospective client to talk first, you capture ideas of which questions will be most appropriate.

NOTE:  Everyone has a unique DNA, so even if everyone appears to have the same problem, the approach needs to be customized for the individual or company.  This is the number one step to begin building the trust.

2.  Discuss all the associated problems

Without offering your services just yet, and by drilling down on all of the problems first, you build a case for more of the services you have to offer. Without offering your opinion, simply ask “Have you thought about…?”  Get the reaction verbally and visually to have a fruitful discussion.

3.  Ask a few more questions

In your continued dialogue, find the person’s preferences for solutions by sharing the possibilities of what you have to offer that may possibly resolve their problems.

4.  Establish Time and Money Value

The motivating factors are whether you can save enough time and money for the other person or company by providing your services.  When the answer is “yes”, the other party will be far more inclined to purchase from you.

5.  Open the Door!

Rather than “close”, ask, “when would you like to get started?”, or, ”which day would you like me to start?” This puts the ball in the other person’s court, and an answer will be forthcoming.  Sit tight with lip buttoned until you hear the answer.  Most often it will be the right one!

Following the orderly process, as well as building the relationship, trust, and personal brand, will lead you to the Smooth Sale!


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career