When you start out on your very own e-commerce venture, it is definitely a daunting task to make your first e-commerce sale. There is plenty to get excited about, but there are also many ways where you can get carried away. E-commerce is the fastest growing sector of the retail business in the world and is poised on the cusp of explosive growth. With sales expected to cross USD 4 trillion by 2020, e-commerce holds unlimited potential and right now, with only a few players out there. Giants like Amazon and Alibaba dominate the market, and there are lessons to be learned from them. There is plenty of scope for building a great e-commerce venture that delivers value and customer service, and it all begins with your first sale.
It is much harder than it sounds. Think about it, you are asking someone to hand over their hard-earned money on a brand new platform that has been in existence for only a few days and one that only a few people have heard about. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence in the platform on the part of the buyer before you can make your first sale, and getting there is no easy task. However, with careful preparation and luck, it can definitely be done. Here are 20 ways that will get you on the road to your first sale and hopefully, continued success with your brand new e-commerce venture.
- Gifting freebies to influential web personalities
Since e-commerce targets an audience that spends a significant proportion of their time on the internet and not on conventional platforms like television, traditional brand endorsements have also changed to suit the demands of the new millennial audience. Instead of film stars endorsing products, you get vloggers and bloggers to endorse them. In addition to affiliate marketing where content creators and influencers are paid a commission in exchange for talking about your products and services, sending gifts to them greatly improves your goodwill, both in the eyes of the creator and their audience. Also, because these are already targeted audiences, you are assured that the message has reached the perfect audience.
- Maintain an official company blog
The modern really has no time for officious sounding press releases. They universally prefer a more informal form of communication between a company and their customers. And a blog provides exactly that. Think of the company blog as a place to discuss everything related to your company as well as a major source of customer feedback. Regular blogging also gets you bonus points for content marketing and by enabling SEO and other analytical tools, even your blog can drive major traffic to your e-commerce site.
- Maintain robust and active social media presence
Because the present generation spends a significant amount of their time on social media platforms and the majority of their interactions, for better or for worse, happen on these platforms, your company must maintain an active presence on these platforms. Think of these as a secondary blog; indeed, you can share snippets of your posts from the official blog along with the link to the full post on the blog. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are prime locations right now. Do not let these opportunities go to waste.
- Sponsor events and contests
A tried and tested way of building goodwill and brand recognition, sponsoring events is a great way to take a step towards making your first sale. Choose an event that is in line with the thoughts of your target audience. Ensure that you make the most of the opportunity by being present and willing to talk to attendees about your platform and the advantages that you offer.
- Analyze your statistics
You just cannot worship analytics enough. Keeping track of audience activity from the moment they visit your site to the moment when they leave can provide you with invaluable insight on what changes and improvements you can make to your platform. Website analytics can also help pin point reasons for both good performance and non-performance. Google Analytics is completely free; you do not need a paid analytics suite for a vast number of tasks you can do with analytics.
- Synchronize with comparison shopping engines
Online shoppers are deal hunters. And the newest way of finding a good deal is not visiting one website after another but by visiting a price aggregator or comparison shopping website that shows the different prices for the same commodity across a vast number of e-commerce sites. Getting your e-commerce venture into these databases is an essential step for growing your business as it makes your products visible to a new demographic, one that is typically more accepting of new entrants in the business.
- Make your platform accessible on mobile
A vast percentage of online traffic is from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. E-commerce is all set to go the same way, with a share of users actually buying products from the mobile platform steadily increasing. You must have either a fully functional mobile version of your website or a mobile app available on all app stores right from the get go.
- Create a mailing list
Having a newsletter and a mailing list gives interested users a clear way to show their interest. It gets your information directly into the mailboxes of prospective customers, those who are already interested in beginning with. This increases the chance of making a sale much fold.
Online advertising using Google AdWords is a crucial part of marketing your online venture. Pay per click advertising is expensive, but when done right can drive a large amount of the traffic from interested users to your website. Do your diligence with the right combination of keywords that will be suitable for your business. Have a campaign idea ready when the time comes.
Business is competitive and nowhere will you feel the pressure to give up more than the initial lull. But you must persevere through this time. Remember that you have got this far and that you have to see this through. This one simple fact is worth all other success tips combined.