Skip to content

How to Make Your First eCommerce Sale

For any type of business, that very first sale is a momentous time as it marks the transition of real live revenue. However, unfortunately, brand new online retailers often open up their business to the sounds of crickets chirping which can be very underwhelming. So, with that in mind, here are 17 ways to make your first eCommerce sale, even before Google and Bing have bothered to notice you.

Tell Everyone!

Literally, tell everyone you know about your newly created eCommerce store. Encourage them to share a link or two on their social platforms. Remember you aren’t asking them to actually make a purchase, your only asking them to share your store with their network which can be extremely valuable.

Use Google Adwords

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, at its core, is the act of buying site traffic. Now, although PPC marketing can be nuanced, it’s a pretty sure way to get site visitors and thereby, sales. Using Adwords drive targeted traffic to your online store but finding the right audience across millions of websites can be difficult and when you’re paying per click, that cost can add up so be sure to learn some Google Adwords practices before ramping up your spend too much.

Giving Away Freebies

Giving your products away might not seem like the smartest way to sell something, but there are two clever ways to turn giveaways into real sales.

You can gain hundreds, if not thousands of email subscribers by hosting product giveaways before or after your online store first opens. Ask visitors to register in order to end the contest and give bonus entries for sharing the contest on their social media networks. Once the site launches, or when the contest ends, send a promotional email offering a discount.

Another great way is to get influencers involved in your brand. Let’s say your selling sunglasses, find the reporters, blogs and magazines that may be interested in your product and send them over a free sample with a short description of what your product and online store is all about. Big businesses have been doing this for donkey’s years, and it does work if done correctly. Remember not to get a huge response from this tactic, even if you only get 1 article as a result, the campaign should be considered a great success for you and your business.


Informational graphics, better know as infographics, visually display data in a way that will make it easier to understand for the reader. This form of data communication has become very popular indeed. If you want to go down this route then it’s best to get a designer create it for you which is relevant to the products your store carries. For example, if you sell hiking boots you could publish a graphic about the best public trails in the area for example.

Embrace Video

Video can be a very powerful way in order to promote your business, and in the case of an eCommerce business can help generate those sales. You can even consider adding eCommerce product videos to your online store to better display some of your most popular products.

eBay Your Stock

Online retailers should be comfortable selling via any number of channels. Including eBay or similar auction sites. Now, don’t be afraid to put a few products up to see what happens. You can even include a coupon for 10% off a purchase, this way its entices your potential customers that little bit more to make that purchase.

Ask Vendors For Some Love

Distributors and manufacturers will often help new retailers by including the startup in dealer listings or mentioning the new retailer on social media sites. Don’t be too afraid to ask them for some assistance while you’re building up your business.

Get Interviewed

Merchants are frequently experts in a particular industry. If you sell handmade shirts and you know your stuff when it comes to men’s fashion, why not approach media outlets about providing them with an expert comment on fashion. Reporters are often on the hunt for industry experts and you’ll often get the opportunity to mention the company you own or are representing.

Write On Your Own Blog

Content marketing is the technique of attracting site visitors and potential customers by providing good quality content, like ‘how-to’ blog posts such as the one you are reading right now. It’s important that you offer good and relevant content and make it’s visually appealing, show your products in action, keep it short and snappy and also give them a sneak peek behind the scenes on your business.

Use Amazon Product Ads

Amazon lets online retailers place ads right in the context of an Amazon product detail page. Since the people who see your ad are already on Amazon and looking to make a purchase, the conversion rates on these ads can be much higher than traditional PPC.

Go Old School With Business Cards

Every online store owners should have their own business cards. Get some cards made and make sure they’re stylish and reflect your store design. Remember, your store URL should be front and centre. You may think that business cards are irrelevant now but you would be mistaken as they are still very much a key part of networking.

Rev Up Social Media

I’m sure you’ve read a million different blog articles about social media marketing for a reason – it just works. Make sure you have a strong presence on all the usual suspects: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These are the best places to start conversations about your industry, and also inject yourself into conversations that are already happening. From this, you can quickly grow to become an influencer and it’s amazing how much traffic you can drive through social media. If you keep growing your social presence it won’t be long until your following will start to convert into customers.

Create Coupon Codes

Everyone loves a deal, that’s obvious but you may be surprised by just how many people by typing “(insert company name here) coupon code” into Google. Creating a coupon code for your online store then heading over to sites which let you post your deal is a quick and easy way to spread the word of your current discounts.

Consider an Affiliate Program

With an affiliate program, you can pay people to share and promote your products. Essentially, you can sign up for a service such as Commission Junction or ShareASale and then you’ll pay the “affiliate” a certain commission on each sale they bring you. These sorts of sites can be expensive and also time-consuming so they’re not for everyone, but for certain products, it’s definitely worth a shot.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising can be a great way to access a very targeted audience. As an example let’s say you sell jewellery, with Facebook Ads you can target people who have “Jewelry”, “watches” or “bracelets” with custom banners that have a message specifically to their interests. Similar to Google Adwords, advertising on Facebook is PPC.

Be Patient

If you were launching a brick and mortar store you probably won’t expect your business to be super profitable for the first little while. That is the exact same approach as eCommerce. Like everything in life, it just takes time, so just be patient.