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online business  |  websites  |  strategy   |   branding

How to get your FIRST Shopify Sales (Video!)

Full transcript below:

Shopify sales, where do you get them? Where do they come from?

Welcome back to my channel. Your place to learn all things Shopify.

After my last video, I polled my audience and asked what they wanted to see next, and the winning answer was “how to get your first sales on Shopify”, so here we go. Let’s get into it!

If we haven’t met before, I’m Shelley, your friendly Shopify pro. I have an e-commerce design studio called Launch Party. And I have a course called Shop School, designed to teach you how to go from start to finish to launching your own Shopify site.

Many new Shopify store owners don’t know how to actually get their first sales. Ultimately, that is the whole point of our Shopify stores — making sales, building relationships with our customers, and building a long lasting brand and business. And getting your first sales on Shopify is the starting point of all of that.

There are three things that we need: brand clarity, an email marketing system and visibility.

But first, let’s back up. A lot of businesses creating their Shopify store may have started on a different platform, like a marketplace, like Etsy or Amazon. And marketplaces are very, very different from standalone Shopify stores. Etsy and Amazon are doing everything they can to get traffic to Etsy.com and Amazon.com, not necessarily your specific shop. With your own standalone Shopify store, getting traffic is entirely up to you.

Let’s talk about how sales work on Shopify. Here’s how a lot of people think Shopify sales go: a new customer lands on your website, they find a product they want, they add it to their cart, they purchase it, you’ve made a sale. But there are many other components missing in that sales process. So let’s talk about the three foundations to getting sales on Shopify.

Let’s start with number one: brand clarity, which is the easiest to overlook, but also the most important. A mistake that so many business owners make, including myself, is trying to appeal to everyone. Trying to maximize your sales by maximizing the amount of people who can potentially buy from you. It makes sense, kind of, but it does not actually work in progress. The saying is “appealing to everyone appeals to no one”. So by trying to maximize who can buy from you, you’re actually pushing away most people. Instead, you want to get really specific into who your target customer and audience really is. And you can do this whether or not you’ve had a single sale.

Let’s use the brand that I’m creating as an example. I’m working on launching a kids clothing brand called Wildly Bright. I’m working with my own kids to create the designs, they are all animal-related, and they’re specifically for kids that are obsessed with animals. But not just any kids, they’re actually for elementary school aged children, since my kids are elementary schoolers. There’s also a really defined aesthetic, so it’s very bright and bold and playful, and that is one of the features of the brand as well. We’re already starting to narrow in here. We’re talking about elementary school aged kids, who are obsessed with animals and also like bright, bold and colorful designs. Thinking about the specifics of my brand helps narrow it in and helps me define who my target market is so I can talk specifically to them.

The brand clarity step takes time and takes thought, but it also takes the knowledge that it will evolve and change as time goes on. As you get to know your customers better, you can become more and more specific with your brand strategy. But it’s important to choose a starting point so you can know where to move from there.

Next, let’s talk email marketing. Most of the store owners that I meet have not put email marketing at the forefront of their business and don’t realize just how helpful it is to getting more sales. I’m a huge fan of email marketing automations that you can set up ahead of time, and can just be running in the background of your business. And I’ve seen the power of them in action. Automations that you want to have in place right away are a welcome sequence, an abandoned cart sequence, and a new customer thank you. There are a lot of different platforms that you can use for email marketing, the three that I like are Klaviyo, Mailchimp and Mailerlite. They work really nicely with Shopify.

When you take up the time to set up these automations, they essentially act as follow up for anyone who has visited your store. When we’re thinking about sales, it’s important to remember it’s not always a straight line from someone visiting your store to purchase. They may have visited the first time, got distracted, but they signed up for your email list and then they remain on your email list for a while before they will eventually purchase. Or the type of product you sell may just need some more education, and someone isn’t able to make that purchase right away, and your email list can be such a great way to follow up.

Lastly, let’s talk visibility. This is the step that I think most business owners think of when they think of sales, this is kind of the “marketing” step. But remember, you really need to have those first two steps in place before tackling visibility. And visibility is going to be something that you will be working on for the whole lifetime of your business. Visibility is the mechanism for customers to actually find your website.

The first step I suggest taking is to tell your personal network about your Shopify store. You can do this before or after your Shopify store has launched. You’ll be using that information that you came up with for your brand clarity to tell people what your store is about.

The reality is, for most Shopify store owners, your first sales will come from your friends and your family. By doing this step, you’re helping that process maybe happen a little bit faster.

The next step I suggest taking with visibility is setting up on a social media platform. You’ll have to again come back to your brand clarity and your target audience to think about which social platform would be best for you to start on, because there are so many, I suggest starting with only one. Try to think of it as an experiment, that you’re seeing what is going to connect with your audience and what’s going to actually bring people to your store.

Beyond social media, there are so many ways to bring visibility to your business. There’s all of the other social platforms that you may not have started with, like Youtube, Tik Tok, Reddit, Facebook, Pinterest. Then there’s SEO, content marketing, giveaways, SMS (or text) marketing, and also paid advertising like Google shopping, Pinterest ads and Facebook marketing.

And I know there are so many options I just listed, but just remember, stick with those first three steps to get started to your first Shopify sales: brand clarity, email marketing and visibility. Let me know if this video was helpful for you. I would love to hear in the comments how you got your first Shopify sales or how you’re working towards that goal. And be sure to subscribe to my channel to keep learning about Shopify.

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shelley easter for launchparty.live
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