This past year has been great for services that let you create an online store for cheap – like Shopify, Volusion and SquareSpace.
Many of us have seen our Facebook feeds and websites across the internet littered with their ads, touting how easy it is to set up your own online store and start selling online.
People are quick to jump to the gun – set up their store, add their products, but what happens when no one wants to buy your stuff?
Chances are they don’t even know you exist
In the early 1900’s you lived in a village and each village had a corner store, a butcher, a bakery and a blacksmith. No one village had two of the same stores, so people knew exactly where to go when they wanted something. They could walk down the street and see everything that was available to them.
Fast-forward a century and now you have the internet, which has taken this old model, beaten it down and created a much more complicated beast. Without marketing, nobody knows to walk into your bakery or corner store. You need to compete with thousands of other people doing the exact same thing as you do. So how do you make people come to you?
Market your online store just like you would a website
You need to let people know you exist. Not everybody, but your target demographic. Here’s a list of tools you can use to drive more traffic to your site:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) and Pay-per-impression (PPM) marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
What about budget?
I’m going to be straight with you. If you’re serious about selling online and want to grow your business fast, you should set aside a monthly budget. Here are some starting points (minimums) for monthly spend on these programs:
- Already existing traditional business looking to sell online – $1,000+/month
- New business exclusively selling online – $1,500/month
Make sure you’re measuring ROI and constantly tweaking your programs
Online marketing isn’t something you can just throw money and walk away (unless you’re using a marketing agency to manage these things for you!)
Make sure you set up conversion goals so you can measure the effectiveness of each of your programs. Maybe social media advertising works great for your business but Google Adwords isn’t delivering any results? This is information is key to make sure you’re optimizing your budget.
Make a plan before you dive into online sales
The important thing to remember is you can’t count on people to come to your online store by simply putting it online. Think about how you’re going to get people there and what your store does to make them feel they should buy your products over someone else’s.
Want help? Fire me an email or post a comment below.