When starting a webshop, the first e-commerce sale is very important for your business. It marks a significant milestone for every webshop owner. The first customers provide valuable insights to inform your marketing strategy and business plan Making that first e-commerce sale doesn’t come easy… It requires time, focus, and a little ingenuity. There are hundreds of channels and ways to promote your business. In this post we’ll teach you how to find the methods that make the most sense for your webshop and produce worthwhile results If you don’t have a webshop yet, we recommend you start with a WooCommerce store. Check out our post about the pros and cons of using WooCommerce to start an e-commerce business. In the first 30 days after launching your webshop, focus exclusively on spending time driving relevant traffic to your website.

Why is it important to drive traffic to your webshop and make your first e-commerce sale?

It’s easy to think that you’re improving your business when you’re second-guessing your pricing, flip-flopping on brand colors, and getting caught up in every little detail of your webshop. You can continue redesigning your website and changing your business model until the cows come home, but how do you know if it’s working? Real improvement comes from exposure to the market. It’s impossible to know if you’re improving unless you can set a benchmark for comparison. Driving traffic to your website is crucial in the early stages of your business. It can help you gauge what’s working and what should be changed. It’s impossible to know if your prices are too high without any exposure. Similarly, how could you know if there is any interest in your product unless you drive traffic.  Managing an webshop requires a dynamic marketing and business plan. We have organized some of the most effective marketing strategies applicable to webshops. Let’s get started with some free and easy traffic sources.

1. Tap into your network

The first logical step to get some traction and drive traffic to your webshop is to make use of your personal network. No, we don’t mean force your mom or your best friend to purchase your products. Instead, your friends and family can help you get the word out about your business.  Share your webshop with your network and relevant online communities manually. Most likely your first e-commerce sale will come from personal connections but that’s not a bad thing. Yeah… it might not be as satisfying as earning the trust of a total stranger as a customer, but it’s a good way to get feedback. Use your personal social media accounts to announce your webshop to your network. Consider it a trial run to test how your webshop performs with a real audience. Check out our post about how you should use social media for your ecommerce business.

2. Target online communities

Identify relevant social media channels where your customer is likely to come in contact with your business. Post on Reddit threads and join Facebook Groups related to your industry niche. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of online groups. They represent a valuable opportunity to attract people who have organized around a common interest. Perform diligent research into hobbies and interests related to your product. For example, if you’re selling pet toys, then join discussion groups about dog training or pet adoption.  The key is to become an active member of groups your target audience frequents. Build a reputation and create genuine connections with other members. Engage with them in a meaningful way and when the time is right, share a link to your webshop. Perhaps even offer them a discount code to encourage conversions.

3. Sell on established marketplaces

Perhaps your initial reaction is to turn up your nose at joining an online marketplace, but just hear me out. Consider the potential of listing your products on bol.com or Amazon. Collectively, they have millions of loyal customers who are likely to purchase your products. Although it may seem counterintuitive to use an online marketplace when you’re trying to build your own business, it can actually help you grow your online presence. Think about the kind of exposure you can get from all the active users on these platforms.  Once you manage to secure some orders through bol.com or amazon, you may choose to direct them to your webshop. Offer coupon codes or other incentives that will make them purchase directly from you. Learn more about how to list your products on Amazon here. Bonus tip: social media platforms such as Facebook have recently launched their very own marketplaces. Use Facebook and Instagram Shops to expand your webshop reach. Listing in these marketplaces is completely free, you only pay when you make a sale. Check out our post on how to list your product catalog on Facebook and Instagram.

4. Connect with existing audiences

Reach out to popular online blogs and magazines to become a contributor. Writing guest posts can help enhance your brand, boost your reputation, get exposure, and drive traffic to your webshop. Make sure your blogs provide value to your potential customers. Write a quality post and include links with helpful information that redirects readers to your webshop. In marketing, backlinks act as citations and they can help with your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is a long term investment. Writing evergreen content that stands the test of time will continue to attract traffic for as long as the post is useful and relevant. If you’re looking for results in the short term, send out your products to popular bloggers to review them. Positive reviews can help build trust in your brand and validate your product. 

5. Paid advertising

Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money. If you’re struggling to close those early sales, paid advertising can be the answer. Investing in paid advertising can allow you to target specific audiences. However, keep in mind that each advertising platform is different. For best results, choose the most relevant channel to target potential buyers.  Facebook is the most used social media platform in the Netherlands, but is it right for your business? Well, it depends… Consider the demographics of your target audience, their habits, and behavior. Facebook active users are between 25 and 29 years old. If you’re selling acne cream, then Facebook users are less likely to be your customer.  Focus your ad budget on the platforms where you can maximize your chances of acquiring your first customers. If your product is good and you allocate your advertising budget efficiently, you’re well on your way to your first e-commerce sale.

6. Learn and adapt

The overall theme of all the strategies we have discussed so far in this blog is aimed at driving traffic to your webshop. Now it’s time to evaluate the efficiency of your efforts. Are you getting a lot of traffic with a low conversion rate? A reason for high bounce rates could be a poorly designed website or low quality leads. Is the shopping cart abandonment rate high? Maybe it’s time to consider free shipping or other incentives for your visitors to convert.  Don’t be discouraged if initially your webshop is not performing as you expected. It takes time to find the right strategy for your business, but continue trying because success can be just a click away.

Use your time wisely

It’s easy to get bogged down by endlessly adjusting your webshop striving for perfection. Instead, invest your time where it matters the most – getting customers to your store. Build an powerful WooCommerce webshop using Woosa’s premium plugins. Our plugins can help you expand your reach, build customer trust, manage your inventory, and optimize online payments. We can also help you develop a custom plugin for your website that meets your specific needs. Reach out to us for more information!