So you’re ready to sail with your brand spanking new eCommerce store, but you’ve hit one minor bump in the road – how the heck do you get your first eCommerce customers? The lifeblood, food and sole essence of your store’s existence, the clients. Now, let’s step back a bit, in this post I want show you that these customers, clients and buyers – they’re not mythical creatures akin to a unicorn, but rather good old human beings that want to buy from you! Now, before we jump right into the nitty gritty details – I want to personally mention that every store is different and has it’s ever so important to run tests, analyze and optimize constantly to make sure that you figure out what works and what doesn’t for your store. So with that out of the way – saddle up, we’re going to help you make some sales and get your first handful customers in 3 easy-peasy methods.
Method 1 – The Prelaunch List:
Now, if you own a eCommerce store, chances are you are with the Shopify platform, and if that’s the case – chances are that you follow the Shopify blogs and newsletters pretty closely (and if you don’t – you should.) In a previous post they’ve discussed the concept of building a “Prelaunch list” and how this list can really help you leverage your network or existing marketing efforts to make the first few sales. What’s this? It’s the secret sauce to help you get some of your first eCommerce customers! Well, as the name implies – it’s just a list of people that you want to reach out to when your store first opens it’s doors. These people can be your grandma, parents, friends, coworkers or even Alex from Target if you so choose. Whomever these people are, the moment you click that launch button – make sure you’re sending them an email or giving them a call to let them know about the awesome products you just put up on your shiny new eCommerce store. A very important point here is to not be shy – don’t be afraid to ask them to check out your store and even offer them a hefty discount to get them fired up! It’s really as they say: if you don’t ask – you won’t receive.
Method 2 – Giveaway Time:
Don’t worry I don’t mean to run you absolutely dry here on the first day after launch. I mean, the budget is entirely in your hands here – and it’s viral items that garner more attention than expensive items in giveaways. Firstly, we have to pick “the prize” that will entice people enough to participate in the giveaway. Now this can really be just about anything, as long as it has some relevance to the general range of products that your eCommerce store carries. One of your own products would be a pretty good place to start.
OK, so we have our prize settled – how do we crank this thing into action? Well, I’m glad to say that the hardest part is really over with. In 2017 there are numerous applications and web-apps that allow you to run giveaway promotions and sweepstakes for a small fee if not free altogether. One of the platforms that a lot of our clients tend to use is Viralsweep , though as always – we encourage our clients and readers to do your own research and find one that works best for you!
Method 3 – Social Media Marketing:
This one might seem like a mouthful at first glance – and you’re totally right it is, this is probably the single hardest method to get up and running, successfully bringing in your first eCommerce customers and then recurring clients – simply because it requires a good plan, lots of testing and potentially a monetary budget. Let’s dive on in and go through it all from the top down. Firstly, let’s touch on Social Media – this one goes back a few paragraphs where I talked briefly about reaching out to your friends and asking them to take a look at your store. What if I told you can find out which of your friends on social media like Facebook is interested in products similar to your own? Well, you really can, and should – the Facebook graph search feature is probably your absolute best friend in this scenario! Jump on and search around for products or even product keywords relevant to the products your store carries and see which of your friends are already interested. Why is this helpful? These interested friends make for the best, easiest, free leads for you to leverage and make your first few sales.
Next up, let’s look at Influencer Marketing. What does this entail? Simply put – in Influencer Marketing, you are working with Influencers, that is influential members of the social community, to promote your product to their (generally large) audience or give you that needed exposure to start getting some brand recognition. How is this done? One of the most common, and possibly most affordable ways to set up your first Influencer Marketing campaign is to offer to sponsor medium size social personalities, this means you give them free stuff – and they promote it by featuring it in their content in one way or another. Don’t have the budget to send free stuff to a bunch of people or is your product not a good fit for this model? No worries – a lot of larger accounts accept one time payments for featured posts to their audience, which you can use to promote your product or even just your brand. The trick? Choose accounts that position themselves primarily within your niche, or a relevant niche of business. This will ensure that your money is well spent and creates a return on your investment and constitutes for a great way to not only get your first eCommerce customers but a platform to leverage as an inbound channel.
Your first few sales and first eCommerce customers are going to be some of your hardest ones, but they will be the ones to fire up those engines and get the fires of motivation roaring! Just keep in mind that they are also the most difficult ones to make. Make sure to follow the 3 tips above diligently, even when your business is well off – remember the rule, Always Be Selling! If you follow the above methods, I can certainly guarantee that you WILL get those first few sales, your first eCommerce customers, and have the foundation to a consistent stream of new buyers. Where do you take it from here? Read up on our post about Organic SEO and how it can help you grow your store’s client base to the next level!