It’s a digital age, and most of the sales come from online consumers. So, you are here and reading this post, loud applause to your choice of joining the eCommerce market. Here is a huge opportunity to reach out to millions of potential customers. If you implement the right business strategy and be patient, you will be successful.
For now, probably, you have drafted your ideas – what and whom to sell.
One question is left here: how?
After reading this blog, you will know how to start a brand new eCommerce store and have your first sale.
Fasten your belts, you are about to read about getting started with preparing a website.
I can say that it is an essential part of an eCommerce business. Here are why:
- Your website says more about your business
- Plays a huge role in brand recognition and trust
- Affects to pleasant exploring any buying experience
Knowing all this, you need to know what exactly to include and how to locate the required information to impress your visitors at first sight.
What you include on landing page lets consumers get the first impression
If you have a Trustpilot account, you can install its plugin or app on WordPress or Shopify to show your ratings on the landing page as a brand trust.
Also, you can take advantage of Nextsale’s popups to demonstrate social proof. Nextsale social proof popups include sales and activity popups. Sales popups show the number of the recent sales; likewise, activity popups demonstrate the number of the recently visitors.
You need to have a well-organized website design for an eCommerce store. As you know, Google takes the convenience of exploring a site’s page into consideration when ranking. Thus, you need to choose an online store theme in a way that is easy to use for visitors.
You can hire a professional UI/UX designer or find online themes. Free themes are limited to change the design as you wish; thus, if you are not happy with the features, look for the paid ones. Don’t pay attention to the price, since it is a one-time payment and it will be the base of your online store. You can check hundred and thousands of themes from Themeforest.com.
While searching for theme pay attention to the following points:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Compatibility with your website’s current version
- User experience – your visitors should enjoy exploring your website. You can apply the rule of three-clicks while designing menus. The three clicks rule simply suggests that a user of the website should reach any information within no more than 3 clicks.
- Support – you may face difficulties when setting up themes, or there can be a bug that may destroy all the functionality of your theme. Thus, find a theme that offers free support after a purchase.
- Speed. It is one of the crucial features when purchasing a theme. According to SearchEngineJounar, “half of the visitors will leave if they’re forced to wait longer than 3 seconds.”
PS: did you know that “one second delay can cause conversion rates drop by 70%?!”, as Akamai found out.
Read how to improve conversion rates.
It is proved that pictures have a huge impact on conversions. They are one kind of soft selling.
Did you know that “90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual?”
You need to have high-quality pics on your store to impress visitors. For landing pages, you can find HQ pics from free online photo stocks such as Unsplash, etc. It would be great if the pictures feature human faces.
Also, don’t forget to compress them. As you know, pictures on a website affect the website speed. There are free plugins and online platforms to compress images and change their format. Smush is a great free plugin for WordPress and TinyIMG SEO Image Optimizer app for Shopify that compress all the media files in one click.
Descriptive photos. In the description of the products and services, you should use descriptive photos. You can also add GIFs to the product descriptions or blog posts. GIFs are so cool; they appeal more to the users. You can use GIFs in your advertisement campaigns and social media since they are so effective for user engagement.
Video description is also a good way to showcase your products. Consumers will know better how the products look in real life.
A copy is a cornerstone of your eCommerce business content.
Here, you may need to hire a copywriter to have a professional-written homepage copy and product description. If you don’t have enough budget to hire someone, here are tips you can follow:
- A landing page is where visitors get first impressions. Here, you should use short sentences to catch your visitors’ attention. You can simply tell what you do. Also, you should add icons like free shipping, 24/7 support if you have, etc.
- Do not include that your brand is the best in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Just emphasizing the features is enough.
- You also need to add contact info, social media accounts, and if you have a live chat feature, you need to add it to the landing page as well.
In the product descriptions,
- Don’t use “we sell”, say “we offer.” Try to show that your priority is creating value. Try to describe the product or service without hard-selling language. You wouldn’t want to seem pushy.
- Say how the users’ life would change for the better.
- Show how the product or service’s absence creates difficulty.
- Tell how happy they will be after the purchase.
In this step, you will find communities to get to know your customers, and have a chance to offer your products directly. Besides selling, the community is an ideal way to just reach out to a wider network.
Can you sell on Reddit? The answer is yes, but the first thing you need to know is knowing what and whom you are selling. It is possible to sell through comments, subreddits, and AMAs on Reddit.
You need to find a related topic for your business and comment about your eCommerce store, a specific product, or can even offer special discounts for only Redditors.
Subreddits are any specific page on Reddit. These are niche communities that have millions of monthly views by SubReditors who are looking for products.
Facebook plays a huge role as a social media account and selling platform for eCommerce businesses. Here, you can join groups – communities that users may get interested in your business. For instance, if you are selling beauty products, you can join groups like fashion, makeup, beauty, etc.
Then, you can create a post talking about your business or products, or comment on a related post in the group. But, be careful with the wording – do not stress on selling, you don’t want to be seen as a pushy seller. Also, some groups may have a prohibition on direct selling and advertising.
Forums are not only for selling, but they are also great to earn popularity and traffic. Here, you need to be good with people – you may need to have good online communication skills.
First, give yourself time to observe what people are talking about and how they communicate. You need to fit in the forums – find common ground. They can also prohibit direct selling and promoting; try not to use a pushy language. Also, you need to earn their credibility – trust. Engage in forums, Q&As as much as you have time, after adapting their culture and earning their trust you can start talking about your product or service.
Influencers are one of the ideal ways to promote your brand. If you have enough budget from the beginning, you can start to reach out for influencers to increase your brand awareness. Just to let you know that, it is very frustrating to find an influencer because you write emails to let’s say 10 people and get replied only by one. The only difficulty of reaching out to influencers I can say is to write a catchy copy that they reply back to your message or email.
You just need to make sure that you find influencers that are relevant to your brand. Say, followers of the fashion bloggers would not be interested in your online gadget shop.
What do you need to do when finding influencers? Firstly, check if the followers are fake. Here are a couple of tools that you can instantly check the Instagrammers like FakeCheck and Modash. Then, write a good copy – email or message.
How can you know if the followers are fake?
Here are the tips to follow:
- Don’t be misled by the number of followers; they can be deceiving. You can look if posts’ likes are relative to the number of followers. Compare the number of comments on their last posts and likes.
- Also, you can check their followers’ names. Do they look like fake names?
There are online platforms for social media statistics. They show you the recently received followers. You can check their follower growth and see if the growth is dramatically huge.
Now you have funneled influencers; the next thing you need to do is to write attention grabber emails or messages.
- Use emojis like money and fire at the beginning of messages and the subjects of emails.
- Write a short and precise copy. Influencers get tons of messages, and they may even not read your whole message.
It may be easier to find a youtube influencer since you need to check the frequency of their uploads and the views.
Depending on your product, you need to find an influencer that has enough knowledge of your product. For instance, if you sell weight-loss products, the influencer you have found should be in the healthcare field.
Just to make sure that both YouTubers and Instagrammers do not use pushy words as well. Consumers do not like it.
Advertise on niche websites
If you don’t want to spend time on SEO, you have a choice for advertisement either on niche websites.
As you know, niche websites are created to monetize their websites. Thus, it is always a good idea to advertise on those websites.
I am not talking about pop ads that annoy consumers. Personally, I do think they are annoying and ineffective because 73% of the users disapprove of popup ads. What I am talking about is placing your product in one blog post of a niche website. For instance, if you sell travel backpacks, you can advertise your products on niche websites. Also, you can consider affiliate marketing on niche websites.
Guest Posts On Niche Blogs
Guest posts are one of the ways of creating awareness of your brand and improving the number of backlinks. This is an ideal way for eCommerce to have a long term effect on the ranking. But, you need to know that it may seem a little bit hard and frustrating when you first do it. The reasons are that:
- Not every blogger accepts guest posts.
- You spend a considerable amount of time researching.
However, once you found a couple of websites, and had guest posts published, your traffic will be larger.
So, what do you need to do?
Find websites using keywords that are related to your eCommerce business. It is better to use an online excel sheet to have organized notes of your findings. You can include their domain and contact info to save your time.
How? In this step, you need to write an email to the niche bloggers but not just an email. Your email needs to show the blogger that you:
- Have enough information about their work
- You are enthusiastic about your work
- You have experience in writing
- Did not write an email just for the sake of reaching out
Here are the tips for writing guest post emails:
- Show that you have done enough research about their website then decided to write them.
- Say what you find their website relevant to yours, say the mutual point both your sites have.
- Say what you loved about their content
- Include your topic ideas
- Showcase your previously written blogs
Be sure that you have enough published blog posts to show your credibility.
Read the example below, and you will get the idea of what your reach out email should look like.
Let’s say that you have an online clothing store; so, your email should look something like below:
So, you get the idea. You don’t have to follow the above-given example blindly. Just be creative and yourself.
If you have a good digital marketing strategy, then you will be successful in the eCommerce business. Keep in mind that when you are a new brand, then it will take time for your first sale without paid ads. Thus, be determined and patient, you will see the best possible results!