What to do the day after the launch of your online store?
Here’s a thing. People constantly ask me this:
Launched a store, but no one is buying, what should I do?
eCommerce is a cracking choice for people starting out their own business for the first time. The process to open a new eStore is pretty much standardized. And the risk involved is usually smaller than launching an innovative tech startup or other high-risk venture.
I know this post is hella long, so download this free eBook for later:
Get your first eCommerce sales with these 7 tactics
- All the info from this post
- The excel marketing template file that will help you to get there
- What to do the day after the launch of your online store?
- Look at your first eCommerce sales as learning experiments
- Tactic 0 (Pre-launch tactic): Selling magic…
- Tactic 1: The triple F
- Tactic 2: The Facebook status
- Tactic 3: The Facebook Groupies
- Tactic 4: The Pinterest Salesman
- Tactic 5: The Big Brother
- Tactic 6: The Dope Reddit Advertiser
- Tactic 7: The Twitter Stalker
- Bonus tactic: Selling with FourSixty and Instagram
- Nailing the whole idea behind these tactics
The barrier to enter in eCommerce is low, and that’s why so many people open web stores on a daily basis.
But launching a new store doesn’t mean you’ll start making sales straight away. There are so many store owners that find it hard to make even a single sale.
I bet you’d agree with me that the first 10 eCommerce sales are the hardest to make. That’s why it might take you longer than expected before you see your first order come in.
In this post, I’ll show you 7 not-so-typical tactics I used to make my first eCommerce sales, or I’ve seen others put in place with success.
Let me know how you got your first eCommerce sale in the comments below this article.
Before we start:
Look at your first eCommerce sales as learning experiments
Learn how to measure the results.
“If you simply plan on seeing what happens you will always succeed in seeing what happens because something is guaranteed to happen.”
– Eric Ries, The Lean Startup
All right, before I dive deep into the actionable tips of getting your first sales, let’s clarify something.
Throughout the first few weeks and even months of opening your new online store you’re going to test different hypothesis like:
- Would users buy product X?
- How many users would buy product X?
- How much would users be willing to pay for product X?
- Would the same users come to buy product X again (i.e. what’s the average lifetime value)?
- How much should I price product X?
…and so on, and so on.
Whether you like it or not, even eCommerce businesses are running on the -> build -> measure -> learn cycle popularized by the Lean Startup method.
If you want to survive, you have to be more methodical and organized. You can’t rely on the “build it and pray approach” when you launch your store. You must work towards data-driven mindset.
You should look at your new eCommerce sales as experiments and measure the results.
(Picture from “7 Habits of Running Highly Effective Experiments”. A must-read article on running business experiments. And yes, it’s helpful for eCommerce businesses, too.)
To do that start by creating a quant-based marketing research with expected outcomes.
I learned about quant-based research from the great marketer and popular taco eater Noah. Since then I’ve always used some form of quant-based marketing for my projects.
What the hell is “quant-based marketing research”?
Ok, fist let’s understand what is “quant-based”.
There are 2 types of analyzes:
- Qualitative research or quality-based
- Quantitative research or quant-based
Here’s a great explanation by Snap surveys for the difference between the 2:
Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research.
Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables
So think of qualitative research as opinions and quantitative research as numbers and stats.
But what exactly is quant-based marketing anyway?
You already understand that you will work with numbers.
Here’s a step by step how to create quant-based marketing research for your online store’s sales:
Step 1: Decide on a benchmark for success for your online store. It must be quantity based, and it must be capable of being proven wrong. It also must have a deadline.
To consider my store a success I must sell 20 items of product X before March.
Step 2: Create an Excel/Google tables document outlining the solution you’re going to put in place to achieve that result.
Those solutions might be something like:
- sell to friends and family
- use Google Adwords campaign with $100 budget
- create a Pinterest profile with 10 pins per day
Step 3: Create 5 columns in that doc:
- solutions/channels (with solutions like the ones from the previous step)
- sales – hypothetical number of sales per solution/channel. The added number of all channels must add up to the number from your benchmark.
- confirmed sales – the real sales you’ve made
- execution dates – deadlines for each channel
- solution/channel potential – from 1 to 5 (1 being a great channel potential, and 5 being a horrible channel potential)
Step 4: start the hustle for your first eCommerce sales
This is how your excel table might look like:
Click on File -> Make a new copy, to make a copy you can edit.
In the next chapters, I’m going to share with you 10 ways to make your first 10 eCommerce sales. Choose some or all of them, and put them on your quant-based marketing document under the Channels column.
Tactic 0 (Pre-launch tactic): Selling magic…
The best way to figure out if there’s an actual demand for the stuff you sell
(Selling fake products is a bliss for the eCommerce entrepreneur validating a customer demand)
It might be a bit too late for this tactic if you already have your store, and you bought the whole product inventory. But here’s a method to make your first eCommerce sales even before you launch.
That’s my favorite strategy and in my opinion the safest way to validate whether there’s a selling demand in a particular niche or product.
Major disclaimer: this is a pre-selling strategy, so you must not have invested in buying products before that. If you had already bought inventory for your store, you might test this method to confirm demand for future products.
Here’s a guide how to do it:
- Use a free WooCommerce theme or Gospaces.com . GoSpaces is a simple SaaS that allows you to sell products online, and it’s great for pre-launch validations.
(GoSpaces.com is an excellent little tool for quick eCommerce validations)
- Add few products that you intend to sell in your actual store. Use the generic product descriptions from the supplier, don’t waste time on original product copy at this stage.
- Create a small AdWords campaign that leads to your “fake” store and the products. The point here is to get some fast traffic of potential product buyers.
- Track the sales conversion rate of your product.
So far your online store is just an MVP. You don’t have the products available at hand! That’s what selling magic is all about.
You want to quantify the results of your hypothetical assumptions and answer a simple question:
Would any people buy product X?
According to Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly, the average conversion rate for eCommerce is 2-3%.
Don’t get disappointed if you manage to convert below that. Just try with another type of product – that’s what pre-launch validation is all about.
Tactic 1: The triple F
The easiest way to make your first eCommerce sale: friends, family and you know the third ones
(Illustration credit: Gumroad)
All right, you have your online store up and running, but no one is buying anything.
(Btw, if you have done tactic #0 from above, it would be virtually impossible to have this problem now as you would already have some pre-sales.)
Your store theme looks good, your product copy is all unique and detailed, you did every single conversion tip you get your hands on the internet, but still you got no sales.
Now it’s time to get our feet wet and make some sales.
I’d like to start with the low hanging fruits. Friends and family.
Let me tell you about Rossie. Rossie started a natural home-made cosmetic products line called Pomada. She made her first sales by selling to her friends.
What helped her leverage the power of her close contacts is: a great brand, an audience of well-known people, and the power of genuine storytelling.
I reached out to her and asked her to share that experience:
The main reason my friends bought Pomada was the personal story I was telling them. They could see the motivations I had with this product.
I have sensitive skin, and I’m disappointed by the mainstream cosmetics. So I decided to start something on my own. That’s how I brought Pomada to life.
People liked the product because they believe in such genuine stories. Those are the stories that make people look at you as a person, and not a business.
My friends bought the product because:
Being big is not always a benefit. When you start out small, you are the product, and the product is you. Leverage that potential to get your first 10 eCommerce sales from your friends and family.
Write down a spreadsheet with the names of all your friends and close relationships that might be potential customers. Include their contact details and a column Contacted: Yes/No.
That way you can keep track and be a bit more analytical to whom you’ve tried selling the product and whom you should get in touch.
Tactic 2: The Facebook status
No hassle, no pressure, you just need a Facebook profile and a product to sell
(Illustration credit: Bernard Barry)
Make your first eCommerce sale with a Facebook status
Here’s one status message you can try right off the bat:
Grab this template and abuse it:
Hey, any fans of
[your product or niche]? We just got this
[product]in store. Just
[number]available. Order before
[date]and buy it for just
[discounted price]instead of the regular
[regular price]. Exclusive deals for friends only!
Drop me the cash in my PayPal account, and I’ll make sure to send you the stuff over.
This Facebook status works well because it combines few selling elements:
- a nice visual
- a scarcity element (just 10 left)
- a preferential price (just $19 for friends)
- the urgency of the message
- a message in the right tone: cheeky and casual. Although, if you sell printers to businessmen you’d like to be more official.
I’ve seen many entrepreneurs sell their stuff with simple messages like these. eCommerce sales don’t have to be always fancy. Don’t picture a huge team of salesmen making each other sale from their monotone office cubicles in a large office building.
Tactic 3: The Facebook Groupies
Use the power of Facebook communities for targeted outreach
(Illustration credit: Bernard Barry)
Try Facebook groups to attract your first customers
Facebook groups are crazy full of targeted audiences.
Start out by prospecting potential Facebook groups that seem like a good fit for your product niche.
I like to use Google Keyword Planner to get some search ideas.
Head to the Keyword Planner and type in your web store’s link under “Your landing page.”
This search should give you back a pretty solid list of search ideas. Jot down a few keyword into a text document, as you’re going to use them later to find some Facebook groups.
Head out to Facebook search, type in any of the keywords and click on “See more results for
Click on “groups” on the left sidebar, and you should be able to see a bunch of targeted groups.
Another little trick to prospect some Facebook group opportunities is by using the Group tags located in the right sidebar of the Facebook group.
Nota bene: the group tags are hidden if you’re not a member of the group!
Cool, you’ve joined at least a dozen Facebook groups with members that match your potential buyer’s profile and interests. Now it’s time to sell your products.
Most of the people would go straight to the status input form and spit out a shameless public promo to the group. A group that they had just barely joined.
But you’re not most of the people, right? You want to do this with direction.
I would advise you to do the following instead:
- Find out who the group admin is by going to Members -> Admins.
- Send them an offer they can’t resist.
The formula for a great message of this kind is:
Tickle their ego with a compliment about the group + short introduction + an exclusive product promotion for their group ONLY + visual promotion asset
Steal this template:
Joined your group
[group name], and I love it! Lots of good info and the whole community is very helpful. Would love to contribute.
Btw, I launched an online store about
[product category], and I thought some of the people in the group might like our products. So I thought of giving you a special discount for you and the group community. It’s
[your discount], and available till
[date]. What do you think?
I’ve also attached a cool image you can use in case you decide to post about this promo.
If this looks confusing, here’s a real life example:
Joined the “Star Wars Federation” group, and I love it so far! Great community of Star Wars fans. Would love to contribute in future.
Btw, I launched an online store about geeky products and novelty gifts for men. We even have a special Star Wars product category. I thought some of the Star Wars fans in the group might like our products. I’d like to give you a special discount for you and community in the group. It’s 20% OFF for all Star Wars products on our website until 3rd of March.
What do you think?
I’ve also attached a cool image you can use in case you decide to post about this promo.
Check out the image below.
(the text is in Bulgarian because the original message was for a Bulgarian FB group. It says, “20% OFF on all Star Wars products. With promo code SW20-OFF”)
Side note: WooThemes have a comprehensive tutorial on adding pro codes (which they call “Coupons”) to your WoooCommerce.
(Use Coupons in WooCommerce to offer discounted products)
Tactic 4: The Pinterest Salesman
Reach hundreds of new prospects with this Pinterest tactic
(Illustration credit: Swirl marketing)
Find potential buyers on Pinterest and use direct messages to contact them
According to Shopify:
The average order value of sales coming from Pinterest is $50 – higher than any other major social platform.
and Pinterest is a:
A major driver of online traffic: Pinterest is the #2 source of all social media traffic to Shopify stores
Steering away from Pinterest to drive eCommerce sales can only inhibit your store potential to grow.
In this chapter, I’m going to show you how to prospect potential buyers from Pinterest, and a way to use direct marketing to sell your products to them.
I’m going to divide this chapter into 3 sections:
- Prospecting Pinterest users
- Finding their contact details
- Selling to Pinterest prospects
Prospecting Pinterest users
I’ll show you 2 ways to find out Pinterest prospects.
Using the general Pinterest search
First off, remember the keyword list you typed back in the previous section? You should now have a handy list of at least a dozen juicy words related to your eCommerce business.
Head to Pinterest and input those keywords in the search field one by one.
Under each pin of that results page there’re some Repins and Likes:
Once you click on either of the numbers you’ll see a list of profiles who liked that pin or repinned it:
See which people repinned or liked that content. These are the people that are curious about this item. Follow them!
Using Google reverse image search
Choose a product photo from your store and copy the URL of the image:
Go to Google Image search, paste that URL and search for the image.
You should see some generic results across the web containing that image. These results are not good enough for us.
What you have to do is add the following query to the image in the search input box:
That way you tell Google to search for that image only on the Pinterest website:
You’d also want to search by just typing the keyword “pinterest” or “pinterest.com” along the image, as this might give you different results.
If your product is at least slightly popular, you should get a result page containing some Pinterest boards related to that product.
By clicking on the “followers” link, you will see to a bunch of people who literary love this type of products. Follow them!
Finding their contact
In the previous you learned how to find Pinterest prospects.
Now before you start selling to them, you must be able to contact them.
When users on Pinterest follow you back, you’re able to send them direct messages on Pinterest, which is easy.
Go to messages -> new message under your profile:
The thing is, you can’t send direct messages on Pinterest to people who don’t follow you, so you have to find a workaround.
There are 2 quick ways to find out user’s contacts on Pinterest.
- by Googling for their name/username
- by doing a reverse image search
The first one is pretty much self-explanatory. The second one works for those users who you’re not able to find solely via their username. And it’s again by using the Google Reverse Image technique. Only this time you’re reverse searching for their profile pic:
If you’re lucky, you’d be able to find their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profiles where you can direct message them.
Using the techniques from this and the previous sections, you’d be able to find hundreds of targeted user contacts that are all interested in the stuff you sell.
Now you just have to get in touch with them.
Selling to Pinterest prospects
When you approach your Pinterest prospects, you don’t want to sell hard to them. These people are strangers, so they don’t trust you yet.
Don’t put your store in their face. Don’t send them a link in your first message, and don’t hard sell on them.
A softer approach is to ask them for opinion:
[Pinterest prospect name], on Pinterest I noticed you’re into
[product type]. I’ve just launched an online store that sells
[product type]. It would be awesome to hear your opinion of the products we have in store. Would you like me to send you a link?
Tactic 5: The Big Brother
Thanks to Ivan “Giovanni” Dimitrov for sharing this cracking tip with me.
In brief what The Big Brother method is?
It’s an excellent way to push people to buy from you, and it works especially well in those cases when you want to sell fast.
- You collect your site visitor emails.
- You send an email with a limited time product discount they can’t resist.
- You watch them buy your stuff.
Disclaimer: to make The Big Brother works for you, you must be able to offer a killer discount. You need to have large margins on your products. That’s why this tactic is for eCommerce businesses that manufacture their inventory or at least sell through a solely owned warehouse.
I’m going to dissect the whole operation in detail step-by-step:
1. You collect their email
As a diligent growth hacker, you want to draw your site visitors through your marketing funnel.
First off you have to collect their email and create some initial rapport.
That’s a whole other topic, but in most cases the best ways to collect emails are:
- give them some free useful content (articles, cheatsheets, eBooks, advice, etc.)
- offer some funny/fascinating content.
2. You track their page views
You have to install a tracking software on your store so you can capture the site sessions of every user.
Apart from the collected email, you must know what product pages a user has viewed on your store.
firstname.lastname@example.org HAS viewed a product X, Y and Z
(Screen from Leadin, showing a user profile and the related activities)
There is software that can help you achieve that:
- Metrilo (works with WooCommerce) – provides detailed info for what products a user has viewed
- Leadin (works with WordPress)
1. When you activate the WordPress plugin or install the tracking code, Leadin will track each anonymous visitor to your site with a cookie.
2. Once someone fills out any form on your site, Leadin will identify that person with their email address.
3. You’ll receive an email with a link to the new contact record with all of their visit history.
3. You send them the big offer
You send a personalized message to your email list with a huge discount.
Your email must contain these elements:
- A big discount (50-90%) for a certain product that they’ve already showed an interest in by viewing the product page. It doesn’t make much sense sending a discount for a product that your customers have never seen before. It’s all the buying intent.Track their time on site and the number of product page views. The more they’ve viewed a product page, the merrier they feel about buying this product. Laser precision!
- You make them feel special by saying that they’re the chosen one.
- You squeeze them to take action by putting an uptight deadline – 24 hours or less before the discount expires.
Here’s the email:
Kalo here from
[your store name].
We chose you to be one of the ten people that will get the chance to buy
[targeted product X]for just $10 instead of its original price of $100. That’s a juicy 90% discount!
This offer will be available only for the next 24 hours, and then it’s gone forever.
Take it or leave it.
Click here to buy
[discounted product X] now.
A real life email might look like this:
Kalo here from MenGear.bg.
We chose you to be one of the ten people that will get the chance to buy Slush Cuppy for just $19.99 instead of its original price of $39.99. That’s a juicy 50% discount!
This offer will be available only for the next 24 hours, and then it’s gone forever.
Take it or leave it.
Click here to buy the Slush Cuppy now.
Use one of these subject lines for the email or do some A/B testing in case you have a big email list:
- Response required
- Discount for
[Product X]vanishes in a few hours (forever) – thanks to Bryan Harris for providing this one
- Last chance to get
[Product X]with a 50% discount
- About to close this killer offer for
And NEVER forget to follow-up the next day! You want to sell the product, right? Then you should follow-up. As Steli Efti (founder of close.io) says: 80% of the sales happen in the follow-up:
Tactic 6: The Dope Reddit Advertiser
Use Reddit ads to sell your products
(Image credit: PixelProspector)
I haven’t tried this tactic personally, but I’ve seen other use with great success to grow their eCommerce sales.
Reddit is currently the biggest online forum with a Subreddit for every single niche in the world you can think of.
Advertising on Reddit is cheap with less than a $1 per click.
I’ve tried Reddit advertising while I was validating the WooGuru idea, and I won’t lie to you – it didn’t work out. With about 36 thousand impressions and just 148 delivered through Reddit advertising, I didn’t manage to attract a single lead for WooGuru.
(My failed Reddit ad campaign)
However, there are some guys like Ryan who had magnificent results from Reddit ads.
So, I encourage you to try this technique and strongly recommend you to check out Ryan’s article. With less than a $1 per click.
Guidelines for Advertising on Reddit:
- Always choose “Subreddits” for your ad targeting. “Interests” are broad and won’t serve you any good.
I tried targeting “interests” and I received way smaller click through rates on those ads.
- Identify at least few Subreddits related to your products. RedditList is a good source of inspiration.(Redditlist.com)
I found this part the hardest of the whole Reddit advertising experiment. Reddit has a limited quota for the number of ads displayed on Subreddits. It will be hard for you to find Subreddits with enough available impressions to serve your ad, especially on the more popular Subreddits. That’s why you have to aim for smaller niche Subreddits.
- Start small. Test a dozen different creatives for your ad with a tiny budget ($5-$10 per ad). That way you can track what works best and scale it up later. Winning ads are rooted in iterative improvements.
- Be personal. I can’t stress this enough:Redditors hate advertisingAs Startup Bros once said:
It’s OK to be a Reddit user with a business. It’s not Ok to be a business with a Reddit account.
- Offer exclusive discount for Redditors:
- Answer every question in detail:
Successful Reddit ad case studies:
- Ryan’s Beef Jerky – Ryan uses the power of being personal to grow his eCommerce sales for his company SumoJerky. He uses a selfie instead of a product pic for his ad. He also tells a personal story instead of marketing copy. That way he avoids down votes by ad allergic marketing conscious Redditors, and raises community engagement.
- Hawort Inc. Chairs – long, helpful content combined with giving a crap for your clients, launched this ad in the stratosphere of all-time most successful Reddit ads. There’s a lot we should take from this ad. The detailed copy with practical advice, the genuine care for their customers, and the FAQ upgrade to this ad are just a few.
- Maker’s Mark Whisky – awkward, creative or plain crazy? You decide for yourself, but this ad works. With 220 upvotes and a few dozen comments, Maker Marks pictures a weird horse race through the original post updates while promoting their drink.
Tactic 7: The Twitter Stalker
Discover targeted sales opportunities with a twitter search
Topsy is a great place to see which topics related to your eCommerce products get the most attention.
You can try searching for different keywords and phrases and quickly identify a potential customer prospect.
Get in the mind of the consumer and search for phrases they’re likely to tweet.
(Search Topsy for new customer prospects)
Bonus tactic: Selling with FourSixty and Instagram
Using FourSixty to capitalize on Instagram
This bonus tactic is provided by Yozo Otsuki, founder of Kurasu. Yozo launched his store selling Japanese coffee equipment in April this year. Since then, they’ve been doubling their sales every month with almost no ads spent by focusing on building a lifestyle brand. 30-40% of their traffic comes from Instagram, the rest from Facebookb, Pinterest, SEO, and guest posts.
I asked him to share how they manage to be that successful with Instagram, and this was his respond:
Instagram has fast become one of the most powerful social media tools to use for eCommerce by business owners.
A recent study by Forrester research showed that Instagram users were 58 times more likely to interact with Instagram posts, and a whopping 120 times more likely then Twitter. However, Instagram has its downsides from an eCommerce perspective.
- You can’t insert links in posts. Instagram only allows one link to be clickable in the profile. You can take amazing product photos and have a great feed, but users can’t directly access and purchase those products.
- Not highly compatible with Google Analytics. Google Analytics recognizes link clicked from the Instagram profile only as a direct referral. It’s not intuitive to separate exactly which traffic is coming from Instagram. There are options such as setting up a tracking using the URL builder. However, it can get a bit messy.
- Overall, without knowing what people are truly interested in and what type of photos and timing of posts are converting, its hard to understand if you’re doing Instagram right and how to build the right strategy.
FourSixty was our solution for these issues.
What is FourSixty?
Foursixty is used by large brands like Billabong and Seafolly that focus on their branding and aesthetics. It’s a tool that enables to create directly shopable Instagram galleries into your website. Not only does it allow easily displayed Instagram feeds like other widgets, it’s unique that it allows to actually shop directly in your store from the embedded post. It’s also great in analysis and tracking to see how effective your Instagram feed is.
The interface of Foursixty is very straight forward.
After installing the application and connecting to your Instagram account (it also has the option to connect to your Shopify store if you have one), you will be able to view all the posts currently on your Instagram feed. Feeds are automatically refreshed, or you can have Foursixty manually pull the most updated feed.
Clicking on the post enables you to link any number of products that are associated with the Instagram photo, allowing you to type the Product name and URL.
Foursixty provides a simple code that allows you to paste in your webstore as a full page, slider, or a mini gallery. The rows and columns are easily customizable depending on your preference.
In our case, we’ve chosen to utilize the gallery as a page and paste the code to our website. Now our Instagram gallery is beautifully shown directly on our website. When users hover over the image, they see an option to “Shop it.”
By clicking on the link, users can see the description of the products, and jump to the product page to directly purchase.
Now you can post products by itself or arranged with others as a “lifestyle” shots. By “lifestyle” shots, we mean photos that you would commonly see in catalogs or lookbooks, with your products displayed in real life situations. We find that these photos engage almost 50% better than just posting a picture promoting a single product.
With posting these shots in your traditional Instagram feed, users may find it hard to know which product you are selling if you do not have a strong brand presence.
On this post, for example, we only sell the Kettle on the top right. With Foursixty, we can directly associate our product in the photo as users can quickly identify and purchase.
Foursixty for analytics
Foursixty is great from an analytics perspective as well. We go to the performance page to see which images are getting the clicks and our past overall trends. From this, we can adjust our posting pattern and the types of images which are working and the products our Instagram followers are interested in purchasing. Using the data allows us to rethink how to get optimal clicks and build an Instagram strategy specific to your brand.
By clicking the URL of the Instagram gallery created by Foursixty, users can now conveniently see more details and directly purchase products seen on your feed. Also, as there is a specific landing page for Instagram followers, this allows us to segment our Instagram traffic, measuring conversion or set specific goals in Google Analytics.
For example, using the data from Foursixty, we found that a particular product was getting 2~3x the click rate compared to others products. However digging down, even when those products were added to the cart frequently through Foursixty, we only saw low conversions. By running a campaign and posting a discount code targeting this particular product on our Instagram feed, we were able to see a 30% increase in sales for this product from the previous month.
Overall, Foursixty allows buyers to have an actual shopping experience through your Instagram feed while also enabling the power to build a profitable Instagram strategy effectively.
Nailing the whole idea behind these tactics
I hope you’ve already noticed a recurring pattern between all these 7 tactics. They are all sales powered methods using narrow and deep personal outreach.
The reality is when you start you have to acquire customers manually. That applies to startups, and online stores, too.
These first orders should come in from direct sales, and not marketing.
The lack of online traffic in the early stages of your store launch would force you to be proactive towards your sales channels.
Jesica Livingston, partner at seed incubator Y-Combinator says it best:
Successful startups almost always start narrow and deep. Apple started with a computer Steve Wozniak made to impress his friends at the Homebrew Computer Club. There weren’t a lot of them, but they were really interested. Facebook started out just for Harvard University students. Again, not a lot of potential users, but they wanted it. Successful startups start narrow and deep partly because they don’t have the power to reach a big audience, so they have to choose a very interested one. But also because the product is still being defined.
What I’m trying to say is, you have to hustle your way up to the level where you can scale your eCommerce growth with systemized processes.
Before that, you should clearly try some of these less scalable and not-so-typical tactics to get your first eCommerce sales coming in. Repeat until you have a healthy stream of sales, then you can shift gears into driving sustained growth.
Share in the comments what was you favorite tactic and why.
You can also download this post as an eBook along with the marketing template file!