One of the first questions you get when you start an eCommerce store is how to get your 1st Shopify sale.
You have created your own products, written your product descriptions, built your Shopify store, and set up your payment providers. Now you wait… and wait… and wait…
This is a terrible feeling and is often the exact time when most people give up. But there are so key steps you can take to get your first sale.
And before you know if you will hear that magical sound from your Shopify app:
I have put together 5 different methods for getting your first sale. These are not magic get-rich-quick schemes. These are methods that take work, money, or audiences. But if you are looking to build an online business these concrete steps are a brilliant first step.
Table of Contents
- 1 Checklist of Actions to Complete to Get Your 1st Shopify Sale
- 2 Post to Your Personal Facebook or Instagram Page
- 3 Utilize Built-in Audiences like eBay or Amazon
- 4 Join Online Communities (But Don’t Spam!)
- 5 Set up a Pinterest Business Account
- 6 Reach Out to Influencers and Bloggers
- 7 Why I Don’t Recommend Ads
- 8 Conclusion
Checklist of Actions to Complete to Get Your 1st Shopify Sale
There are plenty of people who set up a Shopify store and immediately expect the sales to pour in. It doesn’t work like that.
You need to have a trustworthy store that people would be willing to put their credit card into. Plus a product that they actually want.
Make sure you have completed all of the following before increasing your expectations of a sale too high:
- At least one product with a comprehensive product description including features, specifications, and benefits
- Product photography that looks somewhat like it was taken professionally – good lighting, multiple angles. Use an Instagram filter to make it look better if you are having trouble.
- Clear Shipping costs and expected delivery date shown upfront
- Shipping page to explain the details
- Shipping set up in the Shopify backend to your target locations
- At least one payment provider that you have tested is working
- An About Us page explaining your journey to build trust – don’t pretend you are a large conglomerate if you’re not. Most people who prefer to buy from a bespoke craftsman than an anonymous company
- Clear and Easy Returns Policy
Once that is done, then let’s step through a few initial marketing exercises.
Post to Your Personal Facebook or Instagram Page
Store owners often dismiss their own social media accounts for a few reasons – they don’t think they friends would be interested in the product, they are embarrassed to share their store before it is successful, or they don’t see the value in their own relationships.
Just remember, that you have been building your own personal relationships for decades. These people already believe in you, trust you, and want to see you succeed.
If you truly believe in your product (which you should), then you should be enthusiastic about being able to help your friends out with their problems. Don’t push it down their throats – but there are probably some people who might enjoy your creation.
It is also a great opportunity to start understanding what viewpoint your customers want. People don’t just buy a product for one reason, however, one reason often resonates more than others and will result in the highest conversion rates – figuring this out is the key to building the largest business you can.
For example, take your product as a shaving razor. Some people buy Gillette razors because they are easy to use and work well, others signup to monthly razor deliveries as they don’t need to think about replacement blades, and finally other use straight razors because it is no waste and lasts for generations.
Learning which approach works best for your product is something you will need to figure out over the next few months.
Utilize Built-in Audiences like eBay or Amazon
Building a Shopify store takes time, primarily to build traffic through social media, search engines, or offline marketing techniques. One thing it doesn’t come with is an audience of ravaging fans – this you have to build yourself.
But there are other places that do provide a marketplace you can access.
This is a similar method to taking your products down to the local market – which is also a create idea to get some initial sales and customer feedback (as long as your product is similar to the types of products people expect to see at the market).
Shopify has the ability to add additional sales channels. This means you can duplicate your product descriptions and keep a common brand message all over the internet.
One easy one to set up is eBay. You can send your products directly through to eBay and start getting your product in front of some eyeballs.
This is a great way to get your first sale. It is also a powerful sales channel you will want to build over time to supplement your business’ revenue.
Amazon is a massive sales channel on its own with its own optimization requirements. There are plenty of large eCommerce companies that get the majority of their sales from Amazon.
Get setup on Amazon early and start to optimize your product listing.
Join Online Communities (But Don’t Spam!)
It doesn’t matter what you sell – there is an online community for it. This could be a dedicated forum, facebook group, or reddit page. It is a good idea to join a few of the larger ones that suit your store.
There are a few things to learn from this exercise:
- The kind of things that your community are interested in
- The language that they use that you can add to your product pages and future advertising copy
- Build yourself a reputation
Don’t spam your products – that is a quick way to get banned and damage your reputation amongst your most valuable customers.
Answer questions comprehensively, and when appropriate suggest your product as an option – be open and honest about your affiliation. Even if you don’t get a sale straight away you will get some feedback on how you are going.
Some key areas of feedback to be looking for is:
- Quality of the Photography
- The Price compared to other products
- How the product solves their problems (or doesn’t!)
You don’t have to join a community focus on your product – you can also join one that focuses’ on your demographic.
For example if you sell photography equipment you could join a community about photography equipment, or you could join a community of outdoor enthusiasts who might use photography equipment.
Start thinking outside of the box.
Set up a Pinterest Business Account
Pinterest is a searchable social media service that can a great way to build an audience and get traffic. But it does work much better with a certain type of product.
These are generally those popular with mothers based on their demographics or products that are highly visual.
Although you can also make your products more visually appealing through photography and some editing.
Like all audiences, building your pinterest boards takes time. There are ways to make it faster – primarily by pinning frequently and by making sure your photography is compelling and appealing to your potential audience.
If you already have an existing profile then this is a great way to boost your audience.
If you anticipate Pinterest is a suitable social media platform for your store going forward then you will want to set up a Business Account as this gives you more flexibility and control. It also gives you more analytics and insights.
Reach Out to Influencers and Bloggers
When I mean influencers I don’t mean the largest celebrities or Instagram accounts. You are just starting out and will have to start small.
If you have any spare inventory then giving some for free to small to medium sized Instagram influencers or bloggers in your niche is a great to start building some relationships in your industry.
Having recommendations outside of your own website also builds trust amongst your customers. This is something that you will never be able to measure but certainly contributes.
If you focus on smaller accounts then you can get some powerful marketing at just the cost of producing a single product. As soon as you progress to larger accounts you will quickly find requests for payment which becomes a much more complicated procedure.
Getting links from bloggers is also a great SEO tactic to build authority. Search engines like Google and Bing use links as votes. So building links, while might only get a few sales at first (which is our current goal), also gives long term benefits that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Why I Don’t Recommend Ads
Advertising on Facebook or Google is a fantastic way to scale your business… but only once you have already organized email newsletter signups, abandoned cart emails, dynamic retargeting ads, optimized copywriting, and professional photography.
Otherwise you will certainly flush a lot of money down the drain.
You will want to have confidence in your product, your marketing angle, and your customer retention before embarking on expensive advertising.
However, once you have started seeing a trickle of sales coming through the door with a decent conversion rate then I would certainly suggest trying high converting paid ads as your next step.
That brings us to the end of this article to help you get your 1st Shopify sale. If you follow the actions expressed here then you will get sales – I am certain of it.
Shopify have put together their own list of things to try to get your first sale in 30 days that is worth a read. But remember at some point you have to stop reading and start doing.
If you have tried any of these and have gotten your first sale then I would love to hear it – please leave a comment below. I would also love to hear how you got your first sale. Sharing this with our audience will help all new starters get that first sale which is a major stepping stone towards building a Profitable eCommerce store.