You have created your website and uploaded your products and written product descriptions? Congratulations, you are now ready to receive your first orders! Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you promote your shop online and offline and reach the first customers.
1. Tell friends and family about your website
Talk about your website in your circle of friends, acquaintances and with your family. Even if they only buy something because they like you and want to support you – sold is sold! Also, ask people from your environment to tell others about your store.
2. Offer vouchers
Distributing coupon codes is a great strategy to attract new customers and strengthen customer loyalty. You can distribute the vouchers via social media or print flyers with a QR code on them so that customers can land directly on your website using the camera of their smartphones, for example.
3. Be active in communities and forums
Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and be present wherever they may search for information about your website. In relevant internet communities you can reach the right audience for your business. Participate in the discussions in the communities and help the other members with useful tips and ideas. This way you can become part of the community and create awareness of your products through time. Through the last several years, Facebook has established itself as a platform for communities, where members get together in closed groups and exchange ideas with one another.
4. Be found on Facebook and Twitter
If you haven’t already done so, you can create profiles for your business on Facebook and Twitter to promote your products there. Find out which social networks are most popular among your (potential) customers and focus on them instead of trying to be present everywhere.
5. Expand your network via LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the most important professional networks. Connect with people you already know and people whose profile might be interesting for you. Join active LinkedIn groups and regularly publish posts in your feed. These can be links to your products or useful content – the main thing is that it is relevant and interesting for your following.
6. Post visually appealing images on Instagram
Instagram is one of the best platforms to boost your online store’s sales. Post visually appealing images on your profile for your followers. Use 5-10 suitable hashtags and include a link to your website in your bio. You can place multiple links in your bio using services such as Linktr.ee, which gives you the possibility to, for example, link to your seasonal offers on your website.
7. Get in contact with bloggers
Find out which bloggers cover similar products like you offer. Ask them if they are interested to try out one of your products and present it to their following. If they are, send them a free sample.
8. Use an email signature
Draw attention to your website in your email signature and include a link to it. This way, every email you send out will make people aware of your online presence.
9. Send newsletters
Send out regular emails to your customers to keep them informed about your products and engaged with your brand regularly. Try to send the mails with the same frequency and offer useful information that your customers want to read.
10. Produce YouTube videos
On YouTube you can reach many potential customers. For example, you can present new products, give a tour behind the scenes of your store or introduce your team.
11. Optimise your website for search engines
A good ranking on Google and other search engines is very important so that your customers can find your website. Therefore, optimise it by including keywords relevant for customers in the URL, category pages and product descriptions and use all the search engine optimisation options your website offers.
12. Take advantage of local networks
Local business networks can be found in almost every city. Check with your local chamber of commerce to find out possibilities to be listed locally and participate in the local events they organise.
13. Conduct online advertising campaigns
Google Ads campaigns deliver fast results and bring visitors to your online store who are interested in your products. Select suitable keywords, write appealing ad texts and test which ads work best.
14. Place ads on Facebook
Your Facebook page can also help you generate sales. You can place ads and target a specific audience, for example a certain age group or people interested in certain topics, etc. In preparing texts for your Facebook ads, ask yourself the following questions: What do I want to sell? What makes my online store unique? Who are my products intended for? If it feels difficult to answer these questions, a SWOT analysis can help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your business
15. Promote your website via outdoor ads
Outdoor advertising with posters or billboards can appeal to many potential customers, especially in your local area. Keep in mind that these ads often require a larger budget.
16. Publish a media release
Use the reach of the local media publications and write an interesting media release to announce the launch of your products on your website.
17. Participate in events
Find out which trade fairs or conferences are available on the field of your business. Establish contacts with suppliers, competitors and retailers and raise awareness among them about your website and products.
18. Organise a launch event
Perhaps this is an idea that you may want to consider post-COVID-19: Invite friends, relatives and even potential customers to your physical store to announce the launch of your website. Don’t forget to promote the event via your website, social networks and your newsletter beforehand.
19. Sell your products on a local market
Even if you only sell your products online, it may be interesting for you to book a stand in a local market to score first sales and encourage your customers to shop with you online.
20. Sell a unique product
Especially if you are in a highly competitive environment, this is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and ensure that customers only shop with you.
21. Tell stories
Another great way to stand out from the competition is to tell the story behind your website. How did you get the idea for your store? Why should customers shop with you? This way, you will stay in the memory of your customers and show the human side of your company.