Start driving traffic to your online store.
You have a business. You have products and/or services to sell. Now what?
There are a lot of factors to consider when selling online. For instance: should you start small, perhaps opening an Etsy store and see where things go? Or do you skip the middle man and go straight for your own web store? And whichever direction you choose - how do you go about getting customers?
If no one knows you exist it's hard to make a sale. You've got one shot to launch your web store for the first time, so use this as an opportunity to generate excitement and anticipation around your business. Set a launch date weeks in advance, ensure your site can handle big traffic loads and target potential customers with ads on social platforms. With every post you make, be sure to include your URL. Offering incentives like promo codes, free shipping or gift-with-purchase work every time. Give someone a reason to stop doing what they are doing and go to your site. And if your store is well built with beautiful photos, detailed descriptions, return policies and shipping information, your products will begin selling themselves.
You may cringe at the idea of some random person taking a selfie with your product in hand in order to generate sales. It can feel desperate, contrived and misleading without the right messaging. But with Instagram becoming one of the most effective marketing channels for ecommerce merchants - targeting influencers simply makes sense if you want to drive traffic to your store.
So how do you find influencers for your brand? Start by looking through Instagram for popular accounts that have a large following and that align with your goals and objectives. For example: do you believe in shopping locally, supporting women in business, and using only sustainable ingredients for your products? Start searching for a female blogger that lives in your area and writes about the same things you care about. Or perhaps you have a product that would sell well in gift boxes? Reach out to companies that you think would be a good fit. Still stumped? Websta is a good tool that features trending hashtags that can help you find the people you need to connect with.
By reaching out to people in a genuine and authentic way you can begin building your brand and creating strong relationships that can double as mentors too.
Press sounds like a tired, expensive and played out option, but nothing could be farther from the truth. You'd be shocked at the little amount of time it takes to fill out a submit form and send some high resolution images of your product to different blog, publication and local news departments. Nothing sells your products faster than a positive review, so put yourself out there and let people know you exist.
The dreaded Newsletter.
There's nothing I despise more than opening my email up first thing in the morning to find a bunch of emails regurgitating the same boring thing. Follow me on social media! Buy my product! But in reality, the numbers prove me wrong because newsletters actually work. Really, really well. And as much as we think we don't like them, I continue to subscribe to my favourite shops in anticipation of a sale, promo code or exclusive deal to members. And next thing you know you're down the rabbit hole adding items you didn't know you needed to your cart...
Don't forget about the people that have your back first and foremost - your friends, family and the loyal customers that have been with you since the beginning. Encourage them to help spread the word and share your story to generate growth. It's amazing how quickly word-of-mouth can spread when you have people that love you backing your business.
In conclusion, if you want your online store to work, you're going to have to do some work. You can have the most beautiful online store that blows your competitors out of the water, but if left stagnant no one will ever think to purchase your product online. Every time you post a photo to your social feed, remind your audience that they can buy this right now. Have random flash sales when your site is slow to generate re-growth and entice people to follow you. Offer free or flat rate shipping and make your checkout process simple. Collaborate with others and spend a little money on social ads to see where it gets you.