This is the second part of “The Road to First Sale” series highlighting best marketing channels for new ecommerce stores. The first part is here.
Your very first sale is a big thing.
That moment when you get an email notification telling you that someone had purchased from you, well, it sticks with you for the rest of your life.
But getting that first conversion does not come easy.
In fact, there is no harder sale to make than the first one. Why? Because it’s a result of a massive struggle during which you try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You try different marketing channels without knowing which ones could bring any results.
You still don’t know much about it after the first sale. But having someone purchase from you gives you the confidence to keep going.
Yes, the first sale changes everything.
There is no quick way to a first customer. Knowing which marketing channels to focus on however helps. That’s why I compiled a list of 12 of the most effective ones in ecommerce.
This post presents the second half of them.
Since it’s explosion as a marketing channel couple years ago, social media has been a hot topic dividing many marketers. Some consider it a terrible channel, others one of the best things that happened to ecommerce owners.
Regardless of your stand on this issue, according to this Shopify research, it does make sense to invest in social. Having a Facebook page alone can increase traffic and sales (nearly two thirds of social media traffic and 85% of orders come from the site, according to Shopify, with a typical conversion rate of 1.85%).
But social is not only about sales. It’s also about finally being able to engage with your audience. Not so long ago that was a privilege only brick and mortar stores enjoyed.
Now, thanks to social media you can get to know your customers, speak to them regularly and build a lasting connection with them too.
5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Your Ecommerce Website (Huffington Post)
Social Media is a Terrible Ecommerce Tactic – or is it? (Convince & Convert)
Contest have always been a popular marketing tactic. But the explosion of the Internet has opened a new avenues for businesses that use them in promotion.
Why? For one, because contests go viral. A good contest will spread among the audience. They can be highly targeted to a specific niche or industry. Moreover, they can be big or small and still engage your audience. And they can target various needs of your audience too.
Even if you’re only starting out, contests, often coupled with social media can prove beneficial in raising awareness of your brand and getting people to your store.
9 Contests on Facebook from Retailers (Practical Ecommerce)
Contests as Ecommerce Marketing Tool (Ecommerce Guide)
12 Contests on Pinterest (Practical Ecommerce)
Videos engage audience, fact. Even a short, seconds-long Vine clip can get people to talk about your store.
But videos offer more benefits than just engagement. They can show your product in use. A well created video can show the customer exactly how it is going to be like to own a product, what she can do with it and how.
There are many types of ecommerce videos, from how to guides, testimonials to product overviews and tutorials and each can bring more traffic and buyers to your site.
50 Video Marketing Strategies – Ecommerce Edition (CPC Strategy Blog)
Why Video Has Earned its Place at Every Stage of the Customer Journey (ReelSEO)
Beyond Reviews: 12 Types of Product Videos Are Influencing Your Customers (ReelSEO)
Your website isn’t the only place you can sell your products through. In fact, many online retailers use a variety of channels to reach their potential customers – Amazon Marketplace, Ebay, traditional brick and mortar stores, comparison shopping engines, online marketplaces and many more.
These new channels offer a way to reach out to customers who could never land on your site or ever get familiar with your brand.
There are of course some cons to this solution as well, the biggest being the cost. Every time you sell through those channels, you give away a cut of your profit in return. But the level of sales could compensate for that.
What is Multichannel Selling? (Practical Commerce)
Multichannel Retailing (Wikipedia)
Public relations may seem like an outdated marketing practice. Especially after press releases had lost their SEO benefit, the interest in Public Relations has waned.
But PR can still offer some marketing benefits for your store. Good PR has a positive effect on shoppers. Having your store or products mentioned by respectable bloggers and media outlets can build a positive image of your brand. Moreover, many of those mentions can help you reach new customers, many of which wouldn’t be able to hear about you right away.
Ecommerce Know How: Public Relations 101 (Practical Ecommerce)
How to get PR coverage for your e-commerce products (Shopify)
How to PR Like a Pro: A Guide to Getting Media Attention (Bigcommerce)
It’s not hard to get mesmerized by the glowing computer screen when you’re working hard at getting that first sale. And it’s easy to focus on the online world as it seems the most logical to get your first sale from there.
There are however equally many opportunities to find your first customers offline as they are online. From traditional business cards, flyers you could leave in public places to speaking at events and running guerrilla marketing campaigns, you could try to reach out to potential customers.
5 Offline Marketing Tips that Complement Online Marketing Efforts (Website Magazine)