You’ve just set up your online store, are you excited to receive your first orders? But, how do you get people to purchase from a newly launched online store?
When starting your new eCommerce store – let’s say a dropshipping store – getting your first sales is easier said than done. Today’s online shoppers are meticulous and demanding. They have endless options — it could be very challenging for you to keep up with more senior online stores out there.
To get your first sales, you need to focus your energy on creating creative and effective strategies to drive people to place an order as soon as they enter your site. But, as an eCommerce beginner, you could easily fall into the trap of endlessly and mindlessly altering your online store.
This is why we’ve created a list of 10 easy-to-follow and proven ways to get you to achieve your main goal: make a sale.
After following these 10 super effective ways to get first sales below, you’ll already see orders are lining up in the next three days — increasing the chances of getting your first sale and delivering the revenue you’ve always wanted.
How to Win Your First Sales in Just 3 Days
1. Connect with your personal networks
When getting your first sales in 3 days, let’s begin within your current means.
You don’t have to go elsewhere, start within your personal connections. All of us have friends and family who will be supportive of our endeavors.
This doesn’t mean you have to guilt-trip them into buying products they won’t ever use. If you have quality products, match something that will be relevant and useful to your friends and family.
This is what Upworthy did on the day of their launch.
They set a goal of obtaining 1,000 Facebook fans by the end of the day through their (both owners and staff) personal networks. At the end of their launching day, they were able to hit the 1,000 fans and bringing new customers to their store. Today, it’s making an estimated $4 million annual revenue.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to tapping into your personal connections:
- Create an Excel sheet of at least 50 people you are close with and another 50 people you are acquainted with.
Here’s a sheet to get you started, feel free to make a copy:
- Create an email marketing campaign targeting these people. For example, a VIP sale exclusively for the family and friends of your staff.
- Alternatively, you can create a personalized email per individual person you know. This way, it will appear that you’ve put a lot more effort into your email.
2. Ask for quality referrals
Speaking of connecting to your personal connections, don’t waste your time and effort reaching out to them.
Make sure that you also ask referrals from them. Get your friends and family to share your brand new online store to the people they know as well.
This way, you’re driving the domino effect of getting more customers from quality referrals. You might think it’s a trick. But, it’s just the power of word of mouth marketing.
According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. From one person, it will usually continue to a chain of recommendations to other people. Thus, a free form of advertising to get your brand out there.
But, what will get them to talk about your newly opened store to other people and get sales as well?
To effectively drive them to refer you, incentivize them with referral discounts. Plus, you can also reward their referrals with coupons or discounts which they can redeem on their first purchase. You’re not just getting quality leads, you’ll also generate new sales too!
The “Get $5” referral strategy from Postable is a perfect example of how you can get more sales by incentivizing your existing customers.
3. Combine a discount offer into your email capture form
Email marketing is a major part of any online store’s success.
With an enormous ROI of $38 for every $1 spent, email is still the king of marketing channels. What it means to you is to build a robust email list.
Start by capturing your visitors from the moment they land on your website. Every visitor has a marketing cost so you should be able to capture them as leads.
You can offer a discount coupon that your visitors can redeem on their first purchase in exchange for their email address. This way, you’re not only gaining more email subscribers but you’re also increasing your chances of making your first sale. In fact, a merchant with an active discount code is 8 times more likely to make a sale.
To do this, you can simply create a beautiful email opt-in form that will pop up once a visitor enters your site. The Better Coupon Box is a perfect tool to create responsive and attractive email opt-in forms.
You can select particular pages to display your email pop-up coupons. You can even choose a specific customer group like new or returning visitors to grant specific discount coupons.
A perfect real-life example to draw inspiration from is how Saved by the Dress offers a $15 off for the first purchase of new visitors in exchange for their email address.
4. Offer a product giveaway promo
Running a product giveaway campaign is an excellent way to drive people to start talking about your online store. Not only that giveaways help in increasing your brand and product exposure, but it also helps in generating more sales.
In fact, more than 20% of customers said that a free giveaway would drive them to make repeat purchases.
During the early launch of your online store, it is important to be generous. You shouldn’t be afraid of giving your products away because your goal is for your potential customers to try them and get some idea of their benefits.
Your product giveaway doesn’t have to be your most expensive products. Start with something inexpensive and easy to produce, or create small product samples like sachets or small tubes.
A product giveaway will put your products into the hands of your potential customers. Once they get familiar with your products, you’re increasing the odds of their first purchase. Plus, even those who won’t win the giveaway will now have some level of familiarity and exposure to your products. Thus, giving them enough interest to try out and purchase your products too.
A great example is how Jat Clothing used a giveaway campaign on Instagram to grow its followers and drive them to purchase. The rules are simple. To join the giveaway contest, one must:
- Like at least 10 photos they’ve posted.
- Tag at least 3 or more people who will follow them too.
- Winners will be announced when they reach 400 followers on Instagram and 200 followers on Facebook.
Now, you can tweak this giveaway rule to get your sales in three days. Here’s how:
- Set a time limit to drive people to convert people as soon as possible. You can say that it’s your “Launch Giveaway” so people could only join with the first 3 days of your launch date.
- Pair your launch giveaway with a purchase discount. For people to join, they must first make a purchase. But, you have to make it more appealing by offering them a discount promo.
5. Host a shopping spree contest
Contests are designed to increase engagement and reach new audiences. Aside from hosting a product giveaway, another fun and engaging way to intensify your brand presence is running a shopping spree contest.
A shopping spree contest is a short period of time in which someone buys a lot of products at once.
Now, just set your shopping spree contest within the first three days of your launch date. The shopping spree should only focus on spending on your products. If you want to use contests while increasing your odds to make your first sales, then a shopping spree as the major prize for your online contest will surely help you achieve that.
If the winners will only spend their prize on your online store, the tendency is that they will exceed their prize. Thus, gaining new sales for your store.
This is what exactly Joybird had in mind when it ran its “Win $1000” shopping spree contest. The winner will get to spend $1000 worth of Joybird products.
6. Run a sales promo on your header bar with a countdown timer
Online stores are ideal places for impulse buying. Because it’s much easier to purchase online, people are increasingly getting enticed by various online promotions. With the right timing and value positioning, impulse buying is heightened.
One factor that makes impulse buying so effective is the manipulation of time. If people have a limited time to take advantage of a deal, the chances of impulse buying heighten. People’s sense of urgency to buy has increased. You can easily do this by simply adding a countdown timer to your sales and promotions.
For example, when your visitors are still deciding to buy, show them a limited-time offer like free shipping. To visualize the sense of urgency, show a running countdown timer beside the offer to persuade them to act on the unplanned purchase.
To increase their shopper’s urgency to buy, LSTN has added a countdown timer right beside its 10% discount offer. This is prominently placed on its header bar.
You can also set up your very own header bar promotions using SiteKit. It has the Smart Bar feature which helps you design attractive and responsive header bars to promote your promotions and drive shoppers to purchase.
7. Add time pressure on your cart page
A study investigating the impact of time pressure on customer choice deferral revealed that in the absence of time pressure elements, customers are more inclined to perform trade-off comparison. This drives their purchase decision making process more difficult. They’ll take more time to think, thus, delaying their purchases.
Your checkout process must be highly intensified with time pressure elements to drive the customer’s sense of urgency more effectively. Within the first 3 days of your launch date, if customers have added an item to their carts, don’t delay their purchase intentions.
Offer a last-minute deal once they added an item to their carts. Add time pressure by setting an expiry to your last-minute deals. This is a good strategy to put more sense of urgency on your customers.
Checkout Boost can help you create a last-minute deal offer that will pop up once a customer adds an item to his cart.
8. Limit stock availability to intensify FOMO
You’ve probably heard of FOMO (fear of missing out) a countless time. This is the psychological phenomenon which describes people’s inclination to do what most people are doing. There’s a bandwagon effect to try something because people don’t want to feel left out.
The easiest way to increase FOMO is by simply limiting your stock availability to your trending or popular products. If your visitors see that your highly coveted products are limited in supply, they will start considering to purchase the product immediately instead of waiting for days to decide.
For example, Section is an online store that used the Countdown Cart app to display a low stock indicator bar right at the bottom of the product description to encourage shoppers to purchase immediately.
9. Convert shoppers on their way out with exit intent offers
Not all shoppers who added items on their carts will complete their transaction. In fact, there’s an average of 60% visitors who will abandon an online store and never return again.
If you’re new, getting traffic is a hard task. This is why every traffic counts. You should be able to convert your visitors and prevent them from slipping away.
You can still salvage your abandoning visitors by making sure you have an exit-intent technology in place. What it does is to detect when visitors are about to leave your site without completing a purchase. When a visitor is detected, he will be presented with an irresistible exit-intent offer to persuade him to continue the purchase before leaving.
For instance, Elf Cosmetics has effectively employed an exit-intent offer that pop-ups when a visitor is detected to abandon his cart. The exit-intent offer tells the visitor to “Wait!” and receive his free gift before exiting.
10. Throw a 3-day flash sale on your first 3 days
A flash sale is a type of discount promo offered for just a very limited time. Flash sales provide significantly higher discounts compared to run-of-the-mill sales. Normally, you can also limit the products that are part of your flash sales. This will immediately build hype to your first visitors because of limited-time element and the scarce availability of discounted items.
This drives your visitors to buy on the spot as soon as possible because they know that at any moment the flash sale will be gone soon. To make more exciting, announce a unique flash sale for the first 3 days of your launch.
Each day, your visitors will see different discounted items on your flash sale. This way, they will be enticed to visit your store for the next 3 days because they have something new to look forward to during the duration of your 3-day flash sale.
Lazada has a dedicated landing page of its flash sale items. Each day, different items are discounted with whooping discounts at different time schedules too. You can implement this same tactic on your 3-day flash sale.
Getting Your First Sales
You’ve just launched your new online store. You don’t have any sales yet. Don’t worry! In the beginning, you’ll start from zero.
You should begin by developing highly creative ways to drive your potential customers to be interested in your brand and develop the motivation to purchase your products. These 10 easy and simple to follow ways will effectively get your first sales.
From there, don’t stop! Pick up your momentum and continue exploring effective ways to get more sales and grow a sustainable online store.
Now that you’re ready to claim your first sales, it shouldn’t stop you from here. Running a successful online store is a 24/7 job. If you’re a beginner, follow this marketing blueprint to help you navigate the ins and outs of growing and scaling your online store: