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If you’re contemplating a venture into the world of e-commerce websites to sell your products or services, do your best to avoid making the assumption that if you build it, they will buy. Simply having a site does not automatically guarantee sales. It’s quite conceivable to have the most amazing website in the world yet still receive zero sales. What? How is this possible?

There are many reasons that could cause this and we’ll consider a few, however let’s focus our attention on the proactive solutions that help get money rolling in.

Imagine that your business is a wheel with multiple spokes supporting it. The central core of the spokes is the heart of the business – you and what you’re selling. All the surrounding spokes lead inwards to the heart, each representing an avenue that funnels attention or traffic. You must constantly strive, endeavor and learn to nurture every spoke equally to achieve your desired success. Remember that your site itself is also just another spoke in the wheel – an additional path towards reaching your goal.

A huge reason why people may not be buying from your incredible website is awareness. If the general populace is unaware of your site’s existence, they will not buy from it. Brand awareness is paramount, and creating such is a huge mission all entrepreneurs must undertake. Promote, promote, promote. Consider the largest companies that come to mind; you can immediately and easily conjure up their names because they’ve spent millions of dollars creating brand awareness. Granted, you may not have millions, however you have at your fingertips a multitude of free tools to help you impart your brand into the consciousness of your prospective clients.

What tools you may ask? Well, SocialMedia is one fine example. We’ll presume you’ve heard of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Google +. These are all spokes in your wheel. You must engage and interact with the public on these avenues to create brand awareness, learn about what they want and how you can fulfil their wishes. Have a look at this Hootsuite blog for some great advice: http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-social-media-to-engage-customers.

Now that you’re engaging on social, remember that awareness alone will not entice people to buy. You must have a unique selling proposition… or several propositions; why should I buy your product instead of Joe Blow’s down the Google search list? What makes you a better option? Is it quality, ease, customer service, price, location, free shipping, size, colour, reputation, selection, design or all of the above? If you do not put your features out there, no one will know so get them on your site.

If your website is built on Shopify then you already know how valuable the platform is. Shopify wants you to succeed so they regularly publish an incredible e-commerce blog to help you. For inspiration, check out this great article on making your first sale: https://www.shopify.com/blog/11415817-50-ways-to-make-your-first-sale.

Let’s consider how your service or product is presented. Do you have large, high resolution images on your site? Are you exhibiting the best features of your product? Does your content engage and stimulate? Is your unique selling proposition front and center? Do you answer any possible questions people may have regarding your product? How easy is it for someone to actually make a purchase on your site? Is it just a few clicks away? How easy is it for them to return your product if they’re unsatisfied? Is your site fully mobile friendly and ready to use on all mobile devices? These questions you must answer, along with any that are specific to your business.

Every entrepreneur realizes that in order to make money, they’ll have to spend money. If you’re willing and able to further invest in your business, then perhaps consider putting your money into SEM or Search Engine Marketing through a Google Adwords campaign. Adwords is a great way to get your product in front of customers who are actively searching for it. Think of Adwords marketing as a long term investment that will appreciate over time. Follow this link to learn more: https://www.google.com/adwords.

You’ll also want to have systems to monitor and measure your success; Google Analytics can easily take care of this for you: http://www.google.com/analytics/features. With Analytics, you can see exactly what’s happening with your website. For a secondary study of what your visitors are doing when they browse your site, you can install an app called Crazy Egg: http://www.crazyegg.com/. This will give you a heat map showing exactly where your visitors clicked with their mouse. You can see which features visitors liked the most, or if and where they dropped off the page.

Another powerful spoke to your wheel is email marketing. Create an email sign up form on your site and build your list of potential buyers. Next, put together promotional emails that you send out on a regular basis. Be sure to link back to your shop page from the email. For content, try to produce quality, educational copy that inspires your readers. MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com/) is an excellent, easy-to-use email platform that integrates beautifully with Shopify.

One of the best ways to help Google index and rank you site higher is by continually generating superior content for your visitors to absorb. This can be achieved by regularly injecting your site with a uniquely written blog, or you can be a star and shoot a short video blog. You’ll want to promote your products for about 25% of the time; the rest, try to compile captivating, educationally informative content. A blog is ideal for connecting with your audience, showcasing your expertise, highlighting your products in detail, and of course boosting your search engine ranking.

Ultimately, you are your best marketing and sales agent. Your ability to sell yourself and your product is the greatest asset you possess. Through word of mouth, you can generate exceptional marketing success by talking to your friends and family. You don’t have to sell to them, just ask them to share your site within their circles. Research the top bloggers in your field, send them free product and ask them to review it. Hit up your local newspapers and magazines (both online and print) to see if they’ll do a story or feature on you; they’re always looking for new interesting angles.

This may seem like a lot of work to complete, but if you love what you’re doing then it’ll be a breeze. Besides, no one ever said launching your online business would be an easy walk in the park (unless you happen to be a dog walker). All you have to do is your absolute best and everything will unfold nicely. If we’ve missed anything here, please let us know. We at Satel Creative wish you the greatest success along your journey.

Here’s a checklist of items you can work through to help improve your sales:

  • Clean Website Design
  • High Resolution Lifestyle & Product Photography
  • Mobile Responsive Site
  • Unique Selling Propositions
  • Call to Action Buttons
  • Shopify Platform
  • Google Analytics
  • SEO
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Google +
  • Word of Mouth
  • Friends and Family
  • Google Adwords/ SEM
  • Crazy Egg
  • Captivating Content
  • Your Blog
  • Your Video Blog
  • Industry/ Partner Links
  • Contact Bloggers
  • Contact the Press/ Magazines
  • Contact News Sites/ Newspapers
  • Email Marketing

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