How to Make Your First Online Sale in 2019

How to Make Your First Online Sale in 2019

When it comes to the online eCommerce stores in the US that are raking in the most revenue, macy’s got the biggest piece of the pie (by far!) in 2018, generating 3.6 billion USD.

But you know what? Even macy’s had to start somewhere…

SunglassHut big banner advertising online sales

We understand how thrilling it is to set up your own store. You have an inventory you’re passionate about, you kinda’ like your website and you may have even honed in on a niche.

So you wait...watching your computer screen...for that first sale to ping.

Then you wait a little more.

The process can be disheartening. But, in true Impressive style, we’ve put together our tips on how to make your first online sale, so you can bring some excitement back into your life and start the journey to eCommerce domination!


Attract targeted traffic


That first sale is as symbolic as it is crucial and it’s easy to waste time trying to perfect your website. Trust us; this isn’t where you’re going wrong. No one is coming to your website with their wallet out and then bouncing because they didn’t like your font type.

The most important thing is getting people through that virtual door and you achieve this by driving targeted traffic to your site.

Once you have that, you can monitor their behavior to figure out if there is any interest in your products and if your prices are right.

There are two pathways to go down to find your targeted traffic: free and paid. Paid traffic mostly comes from pay-per-click advertising and paid social media marketing.

For now, we’re going to assume you want to start with the freebies, so here’s how to make your first online sale using the resources available to you.

  • Tap into your social networks. Offer a discount code to people you know on social media and other circles if they sign up to your newsletter or make a purchase. Paste your store’s URL in your bios to latch onto extra opportunities.
  • Ask family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and your dog walker. It’s not a bad thing to bag your first sale from someone you know - and that’s how many successful stores start. While it might not be as satisfying as getting a sale from a complete stranger, it’s a good way to get feedback on your products and sales process.
  • Join online communities. Getting yourself out there is important, so join forums such as Reddit to find people talking about your niche.


Don’t Just Connect With Influential Figures Become An Influential Figure


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2019 has seen the influencers become even more powerful.

There is a pool of social media figures, bloggers and journalists just waiting to be tapped into. Make sure you only connect with those relevant to your niche, or you risk seeming ungenuine. When you find the right ones, send them a free sample in exchange for promotion. That’s how almost 70% of influencers in the US get involved in a brand partnership.

An influencer’s follower base tends to trust their recommendations, so this could lead to your first sale as well as a spike in your own social following.

You could even seek out strategic partnerships to create one all-powerful entity.

By working with a non-competitive brand, you could set up a contest or an event, or even create a new product together. It helps if you’re already on good terms with someone in a relevant organization and that both parties understand the benefit. BMW and Montblanc got this right when they merged their passions for quality and luxury to create a high-end “Montblanc for BMW” collection.


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How do you become influential in your industry? You show everyone that you know your stuff with an informative blog. Ideally, one that doesn’t just regurgitate what’s already out there and instead showcases your unique point of views and original advice.

The potential of content marketing is limitless and it’s something that no modern business should skip.

Not sure where to start? Consider the questions your ideal customer would ask and then answer them. Use your blog posts to link to your products, highlight the lifestyle they offer and provide tutorials.


Give your products the best possible start in life

There’s no huge mystery to how to make your first online sale.

You need to big up your products in every way possible. They’re beautiful, right? Make sure everyone else thinks so with high-quality photography and well-crafted product descriptions.

A Waterford on sale online demonstrating how to make your first online sale
macy’s capture the luxury of this crystal glassware set with both the photography and description. Source:

Generally, smartphone snaps just won’t cut it. Invest in a good digital camera and take your shots against a consistent, quality background in good lighting. Otherwise, you risk looking unprofessional next to your competitors that gave a s***!

The same rule applies to your Instagram page, which has to showcase beautiful images that have a theme connecting them, such as a core colour palette. Plan the posts in advance to be confident the page looks good as a whole.

When it comes to product descriptions, we know it can be daunting if you’re not an avid writer.

Follow these simple rules to write product descriptions that help accelerate that first sale:

  • Don’t copy text from similar products out there
  • Use a clear layout - such as bullet points - so it’s easy to scan and draw the most important info
  • Write for your audience: is your brand young and fun, or professional and high-end?
  • Optimize with keywords
  • Tell a story so the audience knows why they need your product
  • Include details where necessary, such as sizing or materials


Ready to make your first sale?

Now you know the best way to make your first online sale and you’re ready to keep kicking goals to grow your business (maybe even work towards macy’s status...who knows!)

This is where things get daunting. How do you scale up and ensure you’re managing your budget in a way that will keep sales coming and grow your revenue? Impressive has a wealth of new and established eCommerce businesses under our belt and we’re here to help you achieve mega-growth.

Contact our strategists to find out more and to receive our tailored proposal.