What’s Huang Guys?!
It is 2017 and we are in for an incredible ride. The amount of available tools and services to enable any aspiring entrepreneur to start selling online has never been easier. Here are my top 5 tips to help you drive online sales for a strong and successful year.
Tip #1 – Cast a Wide Net
After working in the online ecommerce industry for all of my professional career I’ve come to the realization that it is simply not enough to put your product on your website and rely on it to drive online sales. I think you would be severely limiting yourself of success if you do this. It is becoming more important to be on as many online sales platforms as possible.
Think about how you do your shopping online. Amazon and eBay are way too big to ignore. They have also made it stupid easy to sell your products globally. The reason why its important to sell on these marketplaces is because people only go to these sites to BUY something.
Once you’re up and running at these online superstores move down your vertical and focus on the niche marketplaces. Sell your products on Etsy.com for homemade crafts, touchofmodern.com for sleekly designed products, or thinkgeek.com for geeks. The point here is you need to be on websites that people would typically shop to purchase your product. Creating a product is hard enough, don’t make it even more difficult for yourself by also trying to build traffic to your own website. Go to where the traffic already is.
Tip #2 – Never Stop Selling
Success is very dependent on the amount of work you put into your business. Its always very exciting at the start, but as time goes on it becomes more of a grind. No one likes doing business when things become boring. This is how businesses and products lose steam and fizzle out. Don’t fall victim of this!
One of the most important things to do to sell your product is to get people to know that your product exists. You know what I’m talking about right? You have to do “marketing stuff.” For many, marketing can be a very foreign language. I mean, this is the reason why there is so many websites out there providing marketing advice. Regardless, here is something very actionable that you can start doing today.
- Create a new spreadsheet.
- Start compiling a list of websites that talk or could potentially talk about your product or a product similar to yours.
- Make this list HUGE – could be hundreds or thousands. It should be a never ending list.
- Then contact the editor/webmaster and tell them if they could write about your product and where to buy.
This is an over simplified way of doing PR/Marketing, but IT WORKS. A lot of times you will be ignored, sometimes even lambasted if you sound spammy, but don’t let that discourage you. Keep compiling a list, keep reaching out, and sooner or later you will get the publicity that you need to drive sales to your product!
Tip #3 – Email Lists Still Matter
It is now 2017. You would think we would now have a more efficient way to communicate with our customers by now. We continue to be wrong though. Email just doesn’t seem to ever want to go away. Email lists still matter and will probably matter forever. So, just go ahead and head on over to mailchimp.com and create a free account. Drop the code onto your website and start building an email subscriber list.
Unless you purchased an email list from some shady corner of the internet or send really really bad newsletters, Email subscribers will always be the top referral traffic channel for sales conversions.
Tip #4 – Hone Your Reflexes
Gone are the days that businesses can hide when they mess up. If you deliver a product that is not as advertised, mess up an order, or have a delay in shipment, your customers will become the worst keyboard warriors you have ever met. Worse yet, all of the writing will be on the walls for all to see.
Here is how you must conduct yourself in 2017.
- Set the right expectations from the start. Define how quickly you will respond to customer inquiries. Display it clearly for all to see.
- Beat those expectations as often as you can. Respond fast, effectively, and with a solution.
- Say what you will do and do what you say. Follow through. And do it consistently.
We really have some very high expectations when it comes to support these days. I mean, we are now resorting to developing chat bots to automate this process and the list is growing everyday.
Tip #5 – Make It Look Good
Do I really need to remind you again that it is now 2017? Our expectations for the web is nearing perfectionism. Things just need to be perfect, else we lose interest immediately. If the website doesn’t have good user experience we bounce. If an Amazon listing doesn’t have good reviews we bounce. If an eBay listing doesn’t have good photos we bounce. If your product doesn’t look good we don’t buy. The only person that is losing out on a sale is yourself because oftentimes there will be a different and better choice.
The competitive advantages are in the details, so pay close attention to them. Put in the extra effort to proofread your product descriptions. Spend that extra time to retake photos to get that perfect product shot. Be open to criticism and implement those feedback into making your product better. It is how you will succeed in selling products online in 2017 and beyond.
Wish you the best of luck!