You’ve done it! Your shop is ready and waiting to make its first sales. Just sitting back and waiting, however, is not recommended. In cooperation with our business partner Flagbit, we have put together a few tips for you on how to make your initial sales quickly. And how to ensure your brand makes a lasting impression on your customers.
#1 Organise yourself and your team
Good organisation not only ensures clarity for you and your staff, thereby creating a pleasant working atmosphere, but it also results in a smooth shopping experience for your customers. A lack of defined structures within an organisation can also negatively affect customers.
Consider how you can divide up your corporate structures and set clear responsibilities for you and your team in order to guarantee that everything runs smoothly - from the first customer contact to the acknowledgement after the purchase. Decide who will guide the customers at which points on their customer journey and what rules need to be observed in doing so. This helps to ensure that the customer feels well looked after during contact and doesn’t feel lost. Responsibilities therefore facilitate the quick and straightforward processing of orders.
#2 Measure and optimise your shop’s performance
Consumer behaviour in your online shop can be measured. Collect this data, evaluate it, draw your conclusions, and try to continually optimise your shop. Your online shop data enables you to better understand your customers and their behaviour. The most important measurement values in ecommerce include visits (number of visitors to your shop), the conversion rate (visitors who make a purchase, CR), the average order value (AOV), and the return ratios (amount of returns, RR). Find the right levers for them. Play around with them and see how the figures change. Over time you will dynamically adapt your shop both optically and functionally to the needs of your customers. Regularly keep an eye on the KPIs in order to continuously optimise your shop. Ultimately this leads to an improvement of the KPIs, more sales, and therefore an increase in turnover.
#3 Know your target market and attract them to your shop
It is extremely important that you get to know your customers, their motivation and their needs, but also to find out where and how they spend their time online. This way you can introduce targeted marketing measures which draw precisely the right visitors to your shop. You can get to know your customers by measuring their behaviour, conducting surveys or using empirical values you have already obtained. Don’t rely too much on your intuition. In addition, personas can help to classify your customers and adopt optimal measures.
Now you need to reach out to your customers, in the place where you are most likely to find them, and bring them to your shop. It is also important to think about the medium and the right channels. Every advertising channel, be it a social network, a trade magazine or newsletter, offers advantages and disadvantages for your target market. Familiarise yourself with all forms of online marketing and develop the marketing mix that is right for your customers. Here too, you need to measure your success and perpetually optimise the individual channels and marketing mix.
#4 Offer the right shopping experience
Depending on the product line and target market, there are other needs that need to be satisfied in your shop. If you sell screws, lots of filter options are definitely important so that the customer can find the desired product quickly. If you’re in the fashion business, then the customer will want to browse more and above all, will use visuals to decide. It’s not enough just to bring customers to your shop, they also need to buy something. That’s why it is important to offer customers a user-friendly and easy-to-use shop. Make sure you have a good search function and easy, logical filter options. Guide your customers through the shop with visual aids, for example. Also use cross-selling or up-selling to show them additional products which optimally complement the desired product or offer them alternatives. Moreover give them the opportunity to browse your shop easily, without being interrupted by technical or visual interference. This way your customers will find exactly what they need or are looking for and will not be overwhelmed by your range.
#5 Be authentic and competent
You will generate more trust in you and your brand with both authentic and competent product content as well as availability and service. You can use blog articles or short videos, for example, to present and amplify the advantages and uses of your products. Make sure that you remain reliable as a seller by responding quickly and straightforwardly to queries about your shop and your products. Show customers that you really know your field and that you can advise and support them with your expertise, despite the fact they are purchasing online. It is important that your customers can recognise your competence and authenticity across all touchpoints. Even if they do not make a purchase straightaway, they will still remember your expertise which can reinforce their purchase intention even further.
#6 Give the customer enough product information
Certain product information really influences the decision to buy. Nobody will buy shoes or clothes if they don’t know the size. But there is also soft information such as certain features of a technical device or missing images of clothing
If customers are unsure, they will continue to look for the missing product information and therefore come across other shops. The probability that they still buy from you then decreases significantly. So give them as much detailed information as possible. Give them the option to make comparisons with other products in your shop as well. Offer an optimal mix of text, images, videos, etc., in order to convey all the details and functions in an as informative a way as possible.
#7 Motivate customers to buy
The main aim of your shop is to turn visitors into customers. Therefore create a vibe which encourages buying and also apply it directly to the products. Provide appealing images, write emotive copy which not only describe the product, but also advertise it.
Customers are happy when they choose what they believe is the right product. Visual stories and appealing copy can help here. The aim is to communicate to the customers that this is exactly what they need and that they have made the right decision. If they are able to identify with the story, images and videos shown, then they are more likely to be prepared to make a purchase and feel good about it. But don’t miss the mark. If something is suggested to the customer which turns out to be wrong when the product arrives, it will be returned. And confidence in your shop will decrease.
#8 Be contactable
No matter how good your shop is, your customers will still have questions! Ask yourself these questions. Encourage your customers to get in touch with you. Give them an email address and telephone number, perhaps even a chat function and make sure that queries can be responded to quickly and competently. This applies not only to your shop, but to all the so-called touchpoints. So if you have a Facebook page, respond to queries there too. If there is a comment on Trusted Shops, you can also interact with your customers there too. The option of making contact and receiving a quick reply also creates confidence. And you have the opportunity to speak to your customers directly and thus understand them even better.
#9 Optimise the checkout
Once the customer has decided to make a purchase, things need to be quick, easy, and pleasant! A complicated purchasing process has prevented many a customer from making a purchase despite an otherwise good shopping experience. Customers are used to being able to buy their desired product fast and with few hurdles. Therefore the process should take just a few clicks. At checkout you have the option to take your customer by the hand and guide them through just a few steps. Avoid excessive data requests, endless forms or too many steps. You should also offer your customers various and straightforward payment options. This way your customers quickly get what they want and their desired product.
#10 Think about afterwards
The first ten sales are just the start. Then things really get going! Measure, learn, and optimise your shop’s performance.
The purchase has been completed. Is that everything? Not quite. Don’t forget to continue to look after your customers once they have made a purchase. Offer them comprehensive customer service regarding questions or complaints about their purchases and the overall ordering and shipping process. Furthermore, focus on customer satisfaction by enabling easy returns or exchanges. Moreover you can thank them for their purchases and once again confirm to them that they made the right decision. This confirmation can be backed up with discounts on future purchases, for example. In addition, use the contact you have established to tell them about suitable products later on. If customers feel good after a purchase they are more likely to consider you again for future purchases.
Put yourself in the customer’s position, create an easy, straightforward shopping experience, and be a subsequent point of contact for the customer. Now nothing can stand in the way of your first successes in ecommerce.
We wish you every success in your first foray into online retailing.
You are not even so far and want to set up an online shop first? You can start here for free: