For anyone who is just starting their journey in the eCommerce industry, making the first sale means a lot. It is a symbolic moment that marks the initiation of a new venture. Keeping sentiments aside, the first time a customer buys anything from your digital store, you gain confidence and feel optimistic about the prospects of your business and the profit that you will be making in the future. Completing your first sale might sound straightforward but the reassurance you will feel will be a turning point in the life of your business. However, achieving this milestone might not be as easy as it sounds.
Catching your first customer can be an arduous and tiring battle. If you want to make this fight easier to win, you have to consider a variety of factors. The amount of investment, the audience that you are targeting, and the demand for products that you are selling, all play a major role in the success of your first sale. If you are also wondering about how to increase sales virtually and how to expand the sales of your business, you are in the right place.
There are a number of approaches you can opt for if you want to increase the sales of your eCommerce business. That being said, you cannot implement all of them at one time, as it will not only be irrational but expensive as well. As the proprietor of a new online store, you cannot afford to invest heavily in resources that are not even needed at that time. As a beginner in the eCommerce industry, one thing you should know is how to increase sales of small businesses with the help of budget-friendly techniques.
Here is a guide to the top 15 cost-friendly methods to increase your eCommerce sales in a short time period.
Influencer marketing is a big part of the eCommerce industry. The internet is jam-packed with influential bloggers, entrepreneurs, vloggers, and journalists belonging to a diverse range of niches and industries. You can use them as a medium of marketing by sending them free samples of your products. Many of the modern influencers have more social media following than celebrities, which can help in boosting the visibility of your items when the audience comes across your products featured in different stories and posts.
However, it is critical that you choose the right influencers who have a loyal following and know the art of social media marketing. By sending the selected individuals’ free samples of your products, it is implied that you appreciate their work and you might get a mention on their social media pages and other platforms that can instantly boost your sales. Moreover, it can also lead to a spike in traffic and social media followers. Additionally, a seal of approval from the giants in the influencer industry can also help in building a positive image of your store.
Start a Blog
If you do not already have a blog site linked to your store or products, you are missing out on your chances of turning leads into customers greatly. Content marketing is a great tool and has limitless potential to increase your sales. If you manage to produce quality content that is free, valuable, and relevant to your products, it will be easy for you to build trust and keep your target audience informed about any update in your services. Apart from that, blogging will also give you a way to share and publish your content on social media that can help you rank in search engines.
Before you start writing your blogs, it is important to understand the queries/questions your target audience might have about your products and industry. Once you do that, you can add all the useful information in the blogs that you will curate. That way, your customers will be left with no confusion and they will have a smooth shopping experience with your eCommerce store. For instance, Shopify tries to increase their traffic and get the attention of their target audience by writing blogs that target terms, such as “the benefits of online shopping” and “how to dropship”.
Sponsor an Event (virtual or physical)
If you take on the right approach, sponsoring an event can work wonders for your eCommerce store. Firstly, make sure that you are selecting a complimentary event to sponsor. For that, you have to search for events and occasions where the attending audience will show interest in your products. Other than that, it is also best to keep the consumers in your thoughts as well. With a strategy like this, you can increase the reach of your products without having to invest much of your resources.
However, you should completely avoid asking a bunch of marketers to attend the event, set up the table, and hand-out flyers. If you are sure that there will be a huge number of potential customers attending the program, it is imperative to be more creative in terms of attracting potential clients to build long-lasting relationships. To achieve that, showcase the most interesting products that describe the personality of your eCommerce store in the best way. That, alone, can do the job for you!
If you are desperate for your first sale, you can pull a PR stunt that can wonderfully do the trick. Similar to viral videos, a PR stunt can push your brand under the limelight and right into fame. If it is executed exceptionally well and without any harm, there will be no need to engage in time-consuming brand marketing strategies because social media publicity can help you in gaining loyal followers and possible buyers in the process. If you want to try out this extremely budget-friendly method of increasing your sales, you have to do something unusual that can be hilarious, outrageous, and above all, phenomenal enough to be under the light of media attention.
The direct consequence of PR stunts is that it opens a lot of doorways and links to remarkable news sources, which is extremely beneficial for organic traffic and search engine optimization as well. Challenge your creative sense and think of doing something that your target audience will never forget. If you need any help, you can research world-renowned marketing stunts and get some inspiration from their ideas.
Employ PPC Techniques
Many beginners in the eCommerce industry naturally opt for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It allows online retailers to publish their advertisements on Google search result page, partner websites, and YouTube video. Initially, every online store wants to rank in at least the top three search queries to drive sales. When people employ PPC techniques, the target audience keeps coming across paid ads that increase the visibility of their digital store. However, the greatness of Google Ads is all because of its massive reach and speed. It only takes a few minutes to set up and launch an advertising campaign that will get your content and video ads seen by search engines all over the web.
With the help of AdWords campaign options, you can curate targeted ads, which will be displayed right beside Google searches when users are searching for predefined keywords. Other than that, your pay-per-click ads will also be showcased on articles and different websites that contain keywords relevant to the products.
It is very natural to feel overwhelmed when you are trying to sell your products in the competitive eCommerce marketplace. However, you can avoid it if you know how to smartly share the load with other possible options. You can count affiliate marketing as one of the effective options to market your products without putting in much effort and investment.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy where you let other people market your items and increase the traffic of your website. If they are successful in getting you customers, you will have to pay them a percentage of sales that took place because of their contribution. You can easily track the efforts that they are making by providing them with a unique coupon code or hyperlink.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you only have to pay the influencer once a sale has taken place through the traffic, they sent to you. Otherwise, you do not have to waste any of your resources. However, the success of affiliate marketing hugely relies on the type of products you deal with and the amount of commission you offer to your affiliate partner.
Sell your products at a wholesale rate to other retailers
If you want consumers as your target audience, that’s fine, but if you opt for selling in the wholesale market, it might turn around your business towards success with enormous sales going on. The instant increase in cash flow is one of the significant benefits of selling wholesale. While it is true that the profit margin slightly decreases with an approach like this, the added quantity makes up for the difference.
Apart from the increase in the number of sales, another advantage of selling wholesale is that you are using other resellers and companies to market your brand, which increases the reach of your products and ultimately, your brand. This leads to impactful visibility and an indirect boost to consumer sales. Lastly, the majority of the products that are on-demand in the eCommerce market are wholesale-friendly and can expand your customer base in no time.
Send out Press Releases
Media can play a massive role in the success of your digital store. Many new-age eCommerce businesses send out press releases to gain the attention of the media sources. However, it is not an easy task to handle and many shops fail in doing so, but it can still work in your favor if you do everything the right way. It is extremely demoralizing and a waste of investment, if in the end, you get ignored by the majority of the news outlets. You can avoid that by distributing your press release to only those media houses that are interested in the niche of your products and have the right target audience.
Simply put, the secret ingredient to getting noticed is as simple as ABC, and that is, avoid publishing a poorly-written and confusing press release. The first thing you have to ensure is that the news you are providing is newsworthy. Expecting an extraordinary response without giving the public something noteworthy is not rational and practical at all. If it is interesting to read and has a catch to it, you do not have to worry about making some extra sales.
Review site Analytics
If you know how to analyze the behavior and activity of every user that visits your website, you can extract useful information, such as what you are selling, and most importantly, what you are not selling. That is why it is highly critical to check what your website analytics or stats are saying. They not only show what the customers are doing on your site, but they will also tell you the web pages they enter, the amount of time they stay on your website, and the route they opt for when they are exiting your site. Moreover, some features of modern analytics tools also provide information on how frequently a customer visits your digital store.
The great news is, all this information will not cost you any money, as Google Analytics is a service that is entirely free of cost. It allows you to keep an eye on your traffic in more ways than you can imagine. Therefore, make it a habit to check your store’s website analytics, so you have a clear insight into the present success rate of your eCommerce business.
Conduct Surveys and Focus Groups
If you want to gauge the true reality of your eCommerce store and how you can increase the sales of your business, conducting a consumer survey is an excellent tool, as it is the source of honest feedback. Asking your family and friends about the quality of your services and the products is not an efficient approach, as they might be reluctant to hurt your feelings. However, the consumers have nothing to do with how you feel but what kind of service they are being provided with, and so, they will be brutally honest if anything is missing in your web design, marketing approach, and the overall operation of your services.
If you want to run your survey, you can benefit from several online apps, such as Qualaroo and Survey Monkey, to create effective online surveys. To get the most useful answers, make sure you have asked the right questions.
Social Media Marketing
If you want to know about a few great places to engage with your customers, they are online discussion forums and social media groups. Over there, the experts in the industry, often share useful tips and advice, answer important questions, and above all, help you in acquiring several customers. You can make use of giant social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to look for active groups and forums that can be beneficial for the store based on your niche. Other than that, platforms like Twitter and Discord are also excellent mediums to carry out niche discussion in many eCommerce groups.
When you are posting, make sure that you are not violating any rules while promoting your brand and products. Before joining any group, learn the limitations and restrictions of the forum, and ensure that you stick to them at all cost. As long as you are using the right forum avatar, signature, and profile page to market your brand, you are good to go.
Create an Infographic
As suggested by the name, an infographic is a graph of information that helps in transferring the message of your brand and product effectively to your customers. Thanks to modern digital technology, they are extremely easy to make with the help of applications and different tools. One of the easiest-to-use tools, Canva, is excellent for beginners, as it has a lot of features to offer. The secret to a successful eCommerce store is that the customers have complete and clear knowledge about the products they are selling. If you want to achieve that, start creating your infographics right away.
Infographics are extremely useful when it comes to increasing search engine traffic and social shares. According to a survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, 65% of marketers use infographics for their content marketing. This approach can easily double the organic traffic on your site, leading to a rapid increase in sales. Another survey, conducted by Unbounce, confirms that digital users are searching for infographics like never before.
Create a user-friendly store
Whatever you do in life, first impressions matter the most. Especially when it comes to selling online, the customer’s first impression depends heavily on how you have designed your website and how seamless it is to use. Online users will only stick to your website if they can understand the objective of your brand and products without feeling the need to scroll or explore more than necessary. Furthermore, if you make navigation through your catalogue easy, your customer will surely enjoy it more, as compared to an all-over-the-place product display.
The most important thing that plays a significant role in the success of your eCommerce store is if it’s mobile-friendly or not. If your store is not responsive to mobile devices, you can lose a huge chunk of potential customers. Therefore, employ strategies that make your site as friendly as possible for all the digital mediums out there.
Launch a pop-up store
Many eCommerce store owners think, just because their brand began online, it can stay that way and keep growing. However, if you are looking for a way to increase the cash flow of your business, a pop-up store could be just what you need to complement your online presence. While conventional bricks-and-mortar shops are costly, a pop-up store is a temporary and economical medium to attract your customer base.
The success of a pop-up store is all about location. If you want, you can open one at farmer markets, shopping malls, art fairs, galleries, and many other such spots where you think your target audience typically gathers. However, you have to make sure that you set up your pop-up store in an area that is visible and where your potential customers wander the most. Additionally, a pop-up store may act as a great offline marketing outpost. With an approach like this, you can easily hand out coupons and discount vouchers, gather email addresses, along with social media followers, leading to a steady increase in cash flow.
Host your launch on Reddit
Reddit is one of the top socially empowered news websites where users submit content of every niche daily. Most importantly, it is a place where eCommerce business owners attract a significant number of loyal followers and customers. If you use the r/entrepreneur subreddit, you can introduce your brand, gain reviews from consumers, and learn many different strategies from other eCommerce stores, all at the same time you are promoting your products.
The process of marketing your digital store on Reddit is all about giving and taking. The more you engage with your customers and your target audience, the clearer will be your branding and visibility. Carry your followers with your brand through our journey and get yourself a huge number of dedicated customers. Also, keep the advice from fellow subscribers and customers in mind, as they can help massively when it comes to giving exposure to your products on such social media platforms.
There is no doubt in the fact that setting up an eCommerce store is no easy job, but there are plenty of online users all prepared to spend their money on shopping. If you keep the above-mentioned 15 strategies in mind, you can kick-start sales of your digital store without the need of investing much of your resources.