You have taken the critical step of setting up your e-commerce website, congratulations on that. You now have access to a broad customer base and are excited to start selling.
However, you’re wondering how to get your first sale, because you realize how intimidating the process can be.
Whether you are selling existing products or new ones, the right tactics are essential if you are to succeed.
We have the answers for you in our article below. Read on to see how you can convert potential customers into buying ones, resulting in more sales for your business.
1. Blogging Is Vital
It does not matter how many people come to your website if you do not convert them into buying customers.
In the initial stages, you may receive a lot of traffic but no ROI. Do not worry; you are not alone because many people struggle with how to convert website visitors into customers.
To give you a better understanding, let us talk about the conversion funnel for customers.
At the very top, you find the awareness stage. This is a very crucial part of the whole process because customers will only buy from a brand they know; the more the traffic to your website the higher the chances of creating awareness to your brand and products.
Blogging provides a wonderful platform to do this.
With the right content, you will create interest in what you have to say. You will receive more people on your site because you are responding to their needs. You also get a chance to improve your search rankings organically.
Any time a visitor looks for a product online, the search engine will direct them to your website.
Use the blogs to promote your products and do not forget to include hyperlinks. The hyperlinks will lead people to the landing page, where you should have the right information to help in the purchasing process.
2. Email Subscribers
You cannot have a content strategy without incorporating email marketing.
In the initial stages, you will not have an active list of subscribers, but you will need one if you hope to make a sale.
Email Marketing will help you acquire and retain your customers.
The success of a business depends on repeat customers and those who can give referrals.
By keeping your customers up-to-date with the emails, you will continue to build awareness while building loyalty. You can only build loyalty if the customers have an interest in what you are selling or saying.
Remember, people occasionally require a gentle nudge to make them buy. Sending updates will be that gentle push as you will remain top-of-mind.
Be careful not to flood the customer’s inbox with emails; you may end up in the spam or junk mails.
Use the emails to push campaigns that offer discounts and see the level of interest you generate.
3. Use of Influencers
E-commerce has made influencers very popular because of their ability to turn potentials into customers.
Influencers typically have very many followers on social media. These followers live and breathe by what the influences say and do.
Even if you have not managed to build a high level of brand awareness, as long as you have the right influencer on board, you will convert their followers into customers.
Use the influencers to showcase your products or services. Sending them your product is not as expensive as advertising.
Remember to include any discounts and have a link to the purchase page. Be careful about the influencer you choose, to ensure that they fit with your brand and products.
4. Promotional Campaigns
Building brand awareness takes time, and you can expect to you some money.
Your marketing strategy should incorporate promotional campaigns. You could, for example, give discounts, cash backs, buy-one-get-one-free, slashed prices, among others.
Here is another marketing trick you could consider; price your goods slightly above the asking price, and then offer a discount on the mark-up amount.
You could also reward those who refer people to you.
You are entering a marketplace that may have many competitors, all shouting at the top of their voices about how good their products are.
The online customer has so much choice, and many will base their purchasing decision on the company’s that give them value-for-money.
Yes, you will have to do the campaigns even as a startup.
Other promotional campaigns include contests, giveaways, among others.
Most people would like to save money, and by giving away free stuff, you will generate a lot of interest.
5. Target B2B Clients
Even if your focus is on the end customers, it does not hurt to expand your client base to include the business-to-business (B2B) market.
You will get better profit margins with the former, but B2B allows you to sell wholesale.
You also get a chance to showcase your products because more retailers will be stocking them.
The advantage is that you deal with bulk amounts, and depending on the success, other retailers will want to sell your products.
6. Set Up Social Media Accounts
If you have not set up social media accounts, then it is time to do so. You have so many options available, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, among others. Setting up an account is easy, and best of all, free.
Remember, the accounts will not run themselves, and you, therefore, need to be very active on the platforms.
Make sure you understand what kind of audience each social media site targets, so that you can customize your messaging appropriately.
If for example, you are in the clothing or makeup business, you can have tutorials on YouTube.
Instagram will provide an excellent platform for you because of the emphasis on visual content.
LinkedIn would provide a networking opportunity for professionals in your field.
Snapchat would be ideal for the younger demographics, and like Instagram, you will need content that is heavy on the visuals.
Invest in high-quality photographs because they will help sell your products.
Make sure you link all your social media pages to your website so that you can drive traffic there.
You can also take advantage of the platforms to aggressively market your products. Marketing on these platforms is cost-effective while giving you access to a broad customer base.
7. Think About Your Website
There are certain aspects you need to put into consideration when creating a website. Some of these include:-
• It should be easy to use
• Simple in design
• Clutter-free By reducing the number of ads
• Should be aesthetically pleasing; incorporate images to break up the text.
• Have a menu and search bar to ease navigation on the site
• It should have a proper call-to-action (CTA) button
• Fast loading speed
• Easy checkout process
You will find many tools online that can help you create the perfect website. Some of them do not even require that you have coding or technological know-how.
We would, however, recommend that you let the designers do their job to ensure that you have a responsive website that gives relevant information.
8. Industry Events
Do not ignore the importance of industry events, like expos and exhibitions, to get your name out there.
Even if you are just starting in business, you may want to think about putting aside some money in your marketing calendar for such events.
You may not sell any product at the Exhibition, but you will get to showcase what you have.
Put aside some of the marketing collateral like t-shirts, keyrings, business cards, among others to give you some exposure.
Running promotions at such events will definitely bring people to your booth.
9. Networking Opportunities
The online platforms can give you an excellent forum for networking.
Professional sites like LinkedIn are great for business people. You will learn a lot from those who are in the same industry as you are. You also get a chance to showcase what you have.
You will find that you have the opportunity to reach out to B2B clients, thus expanding your customer base.
Make sure you are active in the groups, and if there’s something you need to learn; do not be afraid to ask.
Achieving success in business is all about building the right relationships.
It also requires that you have an understanding of what your competitors are up to. You will get to avoid any pitfalls.
Have mentors who can guide you in the business world and have an open mind so that you learn something new every day.
Think about sponsoring certain events within the community, or in your industry. Take your time to get the right one because you do not want to throw away any money.
Sponsoring an event where the people will not have an interest in your product may not make any sense.
If, for example, you are selling children’s products, then sponsoring a cleanup of the park would make sense.
Parents will appreciate a clean place where they take their kids. The parents will look favorably upon a company that puts the welfare of their kids at the forefront.
At such events, avoid hard-sell language; it should be about showing that you care, and want to know the people that event.
Look for creative opportunities to Showcase your products, and make sure you hand out plenty of business cards to those in attendance.
11. Consider PR
Third-party endorsement is stronger than any advertising campaign will ever run.
If a few customers say they are happy with your product or service, we can bet you our last dollar; you will get more people interested in your products.
Create newsletter content and share it with the media; you become a go-to source of information for the journalists, thus building your profile.
Ensure that you know your stuff well before you go in front of a camera.
Doing industry research will give you the relevant material you need to position yourself with. Issuing editorial content, including press releases, will get you noticed.
Journalists are always looking for newsworthy story angles, so you should be the one to provide it.
The other option you have is to do a PR stunt that will leave people talking. The right stunt will get you media attention, will be great for SEO, and will drive traffic to your website.
Do a Google search on Richard Branson and see how far he’s willing to go to achieve publicity for Virgin.
12. Affiliate Marketing
Take advantage of affiliate marketing to get people to market your product and send traffic to your website.
You will pay them a commission every time they make a sale, but you will find that you’re able to move your product quite fast.
Do your research well to avoid any disappointment. You will find a lot of resources online, so please do take the time to understand affiliate marketing before launching.
Paying attention to website Analytics will tell you what you are doing wrong or right. Understanding what your website visitors do when they come to your ecommerce platform will give you valuable insights.
You can monitor how long they stay and what actions they take once they are on it.
You can also get to know the customers that make repeat visits so that you can target them directly.
Google has simplified the process through the free Google Analytics tool. It is easy to use and will give you valuable insights to make a business better.
Setting up your e-commerce platform is just one step in succeeding in the digital business world. The next step you need to pay attention to is how you will turn that website visitor into a customer.
We have given you excellent tips above, and what you realize is that most of them do not require that you spend a lot of money.
Incorporate the above in your marketing strategy, and you will see your business grow exponentially.
We would be happy to hear what worked well for you, you never know, you could inspire somebody else.