Did you just get done placing the finishing touches on a brand-new Shopify store? Then it’s time to publish it and begin your new life as an online business owner.
Yet – creating an online store is only one step in the process. Once your store goes live – you may have a feeling of, “Now what?”
It may take a while to land your first sale, especially if you don’t have any marketing in place.
Luckily, there are many ways to market your store, boost traffic, and encourage sales. To help you out, we’ve prepared the ultimate guide on how to get your first sale on Shopify. Read on to see how you can use some simple and affordable techniques to land your first-ever online sale.
Why It’s a Good Idea to Start Generating Sales Sooner Than Later
You may think to yourself, “What’s the rush to start selling products? I want to refine my store further and make it pitch-perfect before making a sale.”
While that may seem like a solid strategy – it actually isn’t. You see, perfection only comes from responding to customer feedback. You can’t get customer feedback if you aren’t selling products.
That’s why you should strive to make your first sale as soon as you can. Even if your layout isn’t where you want it yet – you can refine it later based on customer feedback.
The same is true for judging the quality of your products. The only way to know if you have a good or bad product is to expose it to customers. Don’t assume that your first products have to be perfect, either.
It’s normal for customers to experience some minor issues when buying products from a new business. It’s important not to panic over these issues. Instead, view it all as a learning experience. Once you correct shipping issues, pricing, and other problems, your store will be better for it later on.
Now that you know why you should start selling as soon as possible – you’ll need to know how to start generating sales. That means developing traffic, doing outreach, creating funnels, and more.
Tips for Generating Quality Traffic
You won’t sell many products if no one visits your online store. That’s why you’ll need to place a heavy amount of emphasis on traffic generation. Traffic refers to the number of users visiting your online store.
Bear in mind; traffic itself is neutral. It doesn’t mean that the visitors will buy something simply by visiting your site. Yet – generating traffic is the first step in making sales.
Later on in the guide, we’ll teach you how to convert traffic into customers. For now, these tips focus on generating as much traffic as possible.
Use Content Marketing to Attract Relevant Traffic
In today’s age, content marketing is all the rage. Everywhere you look, you’ll find blogs, videos, podcasts, guides, and more. These are all forms of content marketing. What’s that?
Content marketing involves promoting your store through interesting, informative, and engaging content. The content can take several forms, such as blogs, videos, or eBooks.
The goal is to create relevant, engaging, and informative content for your niche.
That way – you educate your customers, solve their pain points, and teach them something new.
Afterward, you hit them with a call-to-action (CTA) to try out your brand. That’s one of the most effective ways to convert the traffic you generate into customers. Content marketing will also boost your SEO efforts – which is a plus. Let’s take a look at some popular forms of content marketing that you can use on your Shopify store.
Blogs are the most popular form of content marketing for an excellent reason – they’re low-risk and high reward. Not only that, but Shopify has a built-in blogging editor that you can start using right now. A blog is an informative written post (sometimes containing pictures and video) that discusses a topic.
Above all else, your blog posts should inform and solve customer problems. You should not create a blog post simply to promote a product or service. Hard sell tactics don’t work for blogs, and there’s a good reason why they don’t.
The primary purpose of a blog is to generate traffic to your website.
You’ll need users to find your blogs on search engines to do that. The best way to show up on a search engine is to solve a problem or inform.
Let’s consider an example to visualize this.
You sell wine through your Shopify store and want to boost traffic to your website. That’s when you decide to write a blog. For this example, let’s consider two different posts.
The first is a hard sell post entitled ‘Branson’s Chardonnay – The Absolute Best in the World.’ In the post, you go on and on about your process, quality ingredients, and more. You harp about how your wine tastes superior to the competition and how your prices are affordable and fair.
…And crickets. Very few people wind up clicking on your link because it’s not relevant and doesn’t solve a problem. It’s simply you tooting your own horn about your fantastic wine. Google doesn’t view content like this as valuable – so you won’t show up in the search rankings, either.
Now let’s consider another post with a different approach. You do a little research and discover that many wine drinkers struggle with pairings. You get a ‘eureka’ moment and pull up Shopify’s blogging editor. You write a post called ‘Red or White? Your Ultimate Guide to Wine Pairings.’
You dispel common myths and provide sound advice for wine pairings in the post. It’s unique, informative, and valuable for readers. At the end of the post, you include a CTA that says, “Want to try out some of these delicious pairings? Try us out at Branson’s Chardonnay.”
Google takes note – and ranks your blog higher for ‘wine pairings.’ Users read your blog, appreciate the information, and click on your link. Just like that, you’ve generated a ton of new traffic to your store.
That’s why blogs are such a powerful form of content marketing – but they certainly aren’t the only type of content you can use.
Beyond blogging, YouTube videos are a fantastic form of content marketing. While they will take more resources to create than blogs – they’re often well worth it.
The same philosophy of blog posts applies to video as well. Avoid hard-sell tactics and aim to educate, inform, and entertain.
YouTube is the largest online platform for videos. Anyone can create a profile for free – and there are 2 billion users on YouTube. That’s a massive potential audience that you can reach to drive traffic to your store.
In fact, YouTube reaches more 18-34-year-olds than any mainstream TV network. That means you’ll find a lot more value from creating YouTube videos than paying for expensive TV ads. In today’s age, everyone is online, and YouTube is a great place to catch their attention.
Beyond solving customer problems and being educational, strive to be entertaining.
Moreso than blogs, entertainment comes into play with your videos. A fun video that takes advantage of your audience’s interests will attract many viewers. You should also interject keywords into your video titles and descriptions.
Continuing with the wine example above, let’s say you want to create a fun video. Rather than informing or educating, your goal here is to entertain.
You decide to create a virtual tour of your wine vineyard. You interview your staff, show off beautiful views, and more in the video. In the end, you provide a fun recipe for a sangria that your viewers can make at home. Of course, you cap things off with a CTA for your brand.
Produce Relevant Podcasts for Your Audience
The final form of content marketing that we’ll cover is podcasting. Videos cover the visual, blogs handle the written word, and podcasts use audio. Currently, podcasting dominates entertainment. Millions of Americans listen to podcasts every day – and that’s only increasing.
The reason why they’re so popular is apparent – they’re often free, insightful, and free of any political influence. Like YouTube and blogging, anyone can start a podcast. They’re typically long-form – lasting around two to three hours.
You can start a podcast to promote your brand and help land your first sale.
Of course, it needs to be relevant to your niche and products. Going with the wine example, you could start a podcast called ‘The Chardonnay Chat Hour with Branson.’ Each week, you interview professionals from the wine world and discuss new wines coming out. That’s another effective way to generate traffic to your Shopify store.
Using Influencer Marketing to Generate Traffic
Now that you know how to leverage content marketing – let’s move on to influencer marketing. ‘Influencers’ are prominent people in your field or niche.
In the wine world of Branson’s Chardonnay – he’d want to reach out to wine influencers. These are people with large followings on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
An influencer can help you generate traffic and make sales on your online store. How do you get an influencer to support your product? There are a few ways to do so.
Recruiting Instagram Influencers as Affiliates
As far as influencers go, Instagram is the cream of the crop. Many users will purchase products they see their favorite influencers supporting. As a store owner – that’s a great way to generate traffic and sales to your website.
Do some digging to find a notable influencer in your niche. They don’t have to have 6 million followers, either. Even an influencer with a following of 40,000 can provide you with that significant boost you need.
Try to find an influencer that fits the image of your brand. Also, check their engagement rates. Do they have a close connection with their followers? If so – they’ll have lots of likes and comments on each post.
If you notice their posts don’t have a lot of interaction – they have poor engagement. That or they used fake accounts to buff their number of followers.
Once you find the perfect influencer – it’s time to do some outreach. You should send them a free sample of your product as well as a proposition for being an affiliate. Here’s an example of an outreach email:
-Hey there (influencer name), my name is Branson, and I run a wine company online. I looked through your posts, and I think you’re a great fit to be an affiliate for our brand. I’d love to send you a free sample of our Chardonnay so you can try it out. You’ll earn a 5% commission for every sale you generate if you decide to sign up. Please get in touch with your contact information to learn more if you’re interested. Thanks!
Doing Guest Posts on Other Blogs and Social Media Accounts
Another way to use influencers to promote your store is through guest posting. Is there another wine blog out there that gets thousands of reads each week?
Then you will benefit from writing a guest post on their blog. That will help you funnel some of their traffic to your store.
You can also do a guest post on Instagram or other social media accounts. Remember, the rules for a guest post are the same as a regular post.
You should aim to inform, educate, and entertain. Avoid hard-sell tactics here – as readers won’t respond to that. Write a guest post as you would a regular post on your blog. In doing so, don’t forget to include a CTA at the end to encourage customers to try out your brand.
Tips for Converting Traffic
All right – now that you’ve generated a lot of traffic for your store – it’s time to convert it. Conversions are the number of visitors you persuaded to buy something. This number is your conversion rate – and you should always aim to improve it.
If you don’t convert your traffic – you won’t see any sales. That’s why you need to keep a close eye on your conversion rate.
It’s the stat that will let you know how successful you are at selling your products. To calculate it – divide your number of conversions (sales) by the total number of ad interactions. That will give you your conversion rate.
If you don’t know your conversion rate – you won’t know how to improve it. Calculate your conversion rate as soon as you start seeing a few sales on your website. If it’s a little low, here are some tried and true ways to raise it.
Create a Sales Funnel
One of the most reliable ways to increase conversions is to make a sales funnel. What’s that? It’s a series of landing pages designed to turn clicks into customers. Here’s a brief breakdown of the stages of a sales funnel:
- Awareness. That is your homepage. It’s what lets your customers know what you sell and what your products can do for them. It also refers to your marketing efforts to generate traffic.
- Interest & Evaluation. The next series of pages should pique user interest. Show them why your products are valuable and why they’re better than the rest. Engage them with informative videos and blog posts. Encourage them to sign up for your newsletter to receive exclusive deals and offers.
- Desire. Next, you need to play on your customer’s desires. What will their life look like if they have your product? How will it improve? Why is having your product better than not having it? Answer all these questions here. The goal is to build their interest to a point where they want to make a purchase.
- Action. That is the last stage of the funnel. You’ve piqued customer interest and played into their desires – now it’s time to make the sale. Not only that, but your checkout page poses a unique opportunity. Using an upsell pop-up can encourage customers to spend more by upgrading to a premium product. You can also promote similar products that were frequently bought together.
Instill a Sense of Urgency in Your Customers
Another great way to boost your conversion rate is by creating a sense of urgency to act now. How do you do that? There are a few ways.
One of the most prevalent is to use a sales countdown timer. For all sales you’re running – add a timer next to them that lets customers know how much time they have left.
An example would be running a discount on white wines. For the next three days, all white wines are 30% off. To advertise it – you add a countdown timer next to all wines that are on sale. That way, your customers know that they only have a few days to take advantage of the discount.
That sense of urgency is a great motivator for customers to act now and make a purchase.
Another way you can instill urgency is by showing your inventory quantities. If customers see that there are only a few items left – they’ll act sooner rather than later. As a rule of thumb, you should only display inventory levels if they’re low. Displaying that you have a fully stocked inventory won’t create the sense of urgency that you need.
If you still want the urgency but have a complete inventory – you can simply say that you have a limited amount left. Certain apps let you display false inventory levels for this very reason.
Download Debutify to Generate More Sales and Boost Conversions
Lastly, we highly recommend downloading Debutify for your new Shopify store. It’s a conversion-boosting e-commerce app that you can download in the Shopify App Store.
It’s such a powerful app because it comes with 54 unique add-ons for your store. These will help you build loyalty, boost conversions, and enhance your user experience.
Downloading Debutify is like getting 54 apps in one package. In fact, many users find that they can delete lots of other third-party apps once they have Debutify. That’s because its add-ons provide so many valuable functionalities.
Many of the tips we recommended in this guide are made possible with Debutify. Do you want to add a sales countdown timer? There’s an add-on for that. Do you want to display your inventory levels? There’s an add-on for that, too.
Here’s a look at some of Debutify’s most helpful add-ons for generating your first sale.
- Upsell pop-ups. Upselling is one of the best ways to increase your average order value or AOV. With this Debutify add-on, you can create pop-ups to upsell customers during checkout. Before they make a purchase – the pop-up will encourage them to upgrade.
- Upsell bundles. Selling bundled products is another great way to boost sales. Debutify lets you create bundles of products that you can upsell customers on during checkout. A bundle is a group of related products sold at a discount. It’s a great way to move products that don’t sell very well by bundling them with hot-selling products.
- Sales countdown. As stated before, you can create a sales countdown timer on Debutify. That will display a timer next to items on sale – instilling a sense of urgency in customers.
- Inventory quantity. This add-on lets you display your inventory quantities for your customers. If they see that you only have a handful of items left – they won’t hesitate to make a purchase.
These are only four of the add-ons you get when you download Debutify. Each of these add-ons is fully customizable too. That means you can add your branded imaging and messages to the add-ons.
Key Takeaways: How to Get Your First Sale on Shopify
Those are our top tips for generating your first sale on Shopify. Remember, you should start selling sooner rather than later. Don’t take too much time perfecting your store – as you won’t be able to adapt to customer feedback.
Step one is always about generating traffic. You can use content marketing and reach out to influencers to do so. You should always aim to inform, educate, and entertain.
Once you have the traffic – you need to convert them into customers. Try instilling a sense of urgency, offering discounts, bundles, and more.
For more great content to help you develop your Shopify strategies, check out the rest of the merchant posts on the site. If you want to see a list of our top recommended Shopify apps visit this link here.