9 steps to making your first eCommerce sale.
So, you want to start an ecommerce business and are wondering how to get your first sales? First up, welcome to the exciting world of online shopping! It is a massive industry, with online shopping counting for 9% of Australia’s total retail sales, and reaching 20.3 million people in 2019 alone. Of course, the first steps can be scary, it is a very competitive space, one which can be daunting to enter.
To help you get started, we have created this guide outlining your first steps into running your ecommerce business. Of course, this article does expect you to have sorted all taxation related obligations, like getting an ABN and registering for GST, you should talk to an accountant about these. But if you have these, then let’s get started building your online store!
1. Set up your online store
First up, you will need to set up your online store. There are many great platforms out there to help you build a great ecommerce website. Some are more customisable than others. Platforms include Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress’ WooCommerce addon. Many of these have great templates you can use to easily set up your website.
If you want something a little more customised and unique you may have to hire a web developer. If you have the funds available, this will always be the best option, giving you more control over the look and feel of the website.
2. Connect a payment processor
Now you will need a way for your customers to pay for your goods. You can connect a range of payment processors to enable transactions. Some of the most common payment processors are Stripe and PayPal. Stripe will allow your customers to pay with their debit and credit card, or through Apple Pay if they have a supported device.
PayPal will allow your customers to pay through the PayPal platform. You can attach both to your ecommerce store, increasing options and the likelihood of your customers purchasing from you.
3. Go live
Once you have built your store, added your products, and connected your payment methods it is time to go live. You will need to get a custom domain related to your business name. There are many options to choose from, but as an Australian business, we recommend that you go for a .com.au domain where possible.
A custom domain looks professional. Having .com.au at the end of this domain will help your website’s search engine rankings which we will touch on in a later step.
4. Add discounts
Adding a discount for your first visitors, or for repeat customers is a great way to encourage those first few sales. You can create a popup banner which welcomes new visitors with a discount, encouraging them to purchase. You can also use this same discount popup to collect emails from your site visitors, building your email list for marketing, more on that later.
5. Boost your website’s SEO
Now that you store is open for business you need it to be visible in online searches. This is where SEO comes in. SEO is the process of improving your search engine rankings in order to increase visibility, and increase visitors to your website. While many advanced SEO processes will require an expert, there are some things you can do now to get your website started on its climb up the ranks.
The first thing you should do is to optimise your webpage content. Look for keywords your customers may be searching in Google in order to find your products. Write content targeting these keywords and put it on your website. Another thing you can do is to start a blog on your website. Build a vast library of content targeting keywords your customers search, and answering some of their common questions.
6. Get the word out
Take advantage of social media to spread the word of your business’ existence far and wide. Post about your new products, promote sales, and give special announcements. Try to engage your followers as much as possible, and encourage them to shop at your store. If you sell physical products, you can also connect your inventory into Instagram and Facebook to allow your followers to shop directly from your social posts or pages.
7. Start building an email list
Now is where you start collecting your customers’ emails and putting them to good use. Connect your website up to MailChimp and start building your database. You can then use this information to create some awesome email marketing which will bring your customers back. Start sending out automated emails to customers who have purchased something, thanking them for their purchase. Send out a monthly newsletter filled with products you would like to showcase, any news, and the current promotions you have on going.
Email marketing has the power to make your customers feel valued and connected. Make sure you use the personalisation tools within MailChimp to add a personal touch which really connects with your customers.
8. Drive traffic to your website
Now is where we get into paid ads. These often have some of the fastest returns out of all digital marketing methods. When optimised right, they will also have a great return on investment. Get started with Google Ads or Facebook Ads and see what you can do. It is a good idea to experiment with a lower spend until you feel that you have found something your customers resonate well with.
It is also a good idea to reach out to an Ads specialist. They will be able to optimise your ads to make sure you are receiving a great return on investment to the point where they easily pay for themselves.
9. Use analytics to gain insights
Now that you have started getting traffic it is time to measure it in order to improve it. Go to Google analytics, Facebook Business Manager, or your website’s built in analytical tools and have a look at your traffic overtime. How has it improved with changes you have made to your marketing? Here you will see the real effects to your marketing. Keep tweaking your strategy until you get a level of traffic you are happy with.
Now that you have gotten started with your ecommerce business it is time to take things further. If you want to grow your business, improve stability, and make a higher return on investment from your marketing efforts you should bring in an expert marketing team. Link Pixel are specialists at transforming your marketing to massively boost your sales, while lowering cost per sale. Come have a chat with our team members and see how we can help you.