The amount of time it will take for your Shopify store to start generating income will vary a lot from person to person. You may hear stories of people making sales within days of opening, and others that never gain traction. So, how long does it take to get sales on Shopify, typically?
The answer to the time taken to get your first sale is not always to be patient! Creating a product, a brand, and a website is only part of the equation for getting sales on Shopify. Getting the right people to your store will make all the difference, and it's an active process. Read below to find out how long it takes to get sales on Shopify, and how you can improve the time to first sale.
How Long Does It Take To Get Sales On Shopify: Factors To Consider
Here are a few of the vital factors that you’ll have to consider when it comes to making your first sale(s) on Shopify:
1. If You Have An Existing Network Or Email List That Fit Your Target Customers' Profile
Having established a customer base is going to jump-start your sales!
Not having this information at the start will most likely stall your progress. Many stores will already have a network of potential customers. Without this, you’ll need to do more marketing to start getting your brand out there. This is what many brands focus on distribution (how you are going to get your product to your customers), and audience generation from day 0.
2. The Age And Authority Of Your Domain
This is a factor if you’ve taken over an existing web domain. The popularity, age, and existing SEO attributes (such as backlinks) that the domain has will all make your shop easier to find! If you have a high authority domain, then any blog you publish will immediately start getting traffic from Google, which you can then direct to your Shopify store. It'll also be easier for your products and collection pages to rank for their appropriate keywords.
3. Depth Of Your Market Research
You should know your market inside and out, especially if it's a competitive or niche market. It’s important to consider the pricing, the qualities the customer is looking for, and what extras other competitors may be offering.
4. How You Present Your Products
Having a fantastic product is essential- but it’s only effective if new customers can see how great it is. Remember, it's an online Shopify store, so all they have to go by are pictures and videos.
Also, think of the webpage as a shop front. If it's messy, dated, or just plain boring, people aren't going to want to shop there. Using Shopify's latest version 2.0 themes (including the free Dawn theme) will help you get ahead on this front.
5. The Incentives You Have In Place For Visitors To Buy From You
Shoppers love to feel like they’re getting a deal. Offering sales, freebies, or things like free shipping can all entice shoppers to shop with you.
There are many really good marketing and conversion Shopify apps, that can help you on this front, and help you promote deals, freebies, discounts for your first customers.
Tips To Improve Sales On Shopify
Is your traffic well targeted?
General traffic may seem great. More people visiting your store means more sales, right? Well, not quite. Getting a lot of views but no sales can be confusing. You may think you don't have a good product, when really, you're selling a product not meant for them. It's all about getting the right people to your store. So, if you are targeting 1000 or 2000 plus keywords via SEO or Google Adwords, narrow this list down to the crucial buy-intent 20-50 keywords and target them well to get your first sales.
Going After The Low-Hanging Fruit
Google Adwords or other paid traffic can get people to your store, but starting with free traffic (SEO) can help you to analyze the customers and their shopping habits. This way, you can target the right customers that will actually be spending money in your store. But the problem is that SEO takes time to see results especially if your store is new. Therefore it is recommended to do a small test paid campaign for a limited budget first for 30 days to drill down and find the high performing keywords which have good conversions AND are low competition, and to then target them via SEO also.
Tap Into Your Personal Networks
Starting with family, friends, and your social media circles can be a great initial step. People that know you will be more willing to support you. Advertise on all your social media accounts and get friends to share your posts. Your first few sales could very well likely come from your immediate network. Your friends (or their friends) could need your product - so it makes sense to share it with them via social media.
Join Online Communities
Your social circle may not always be the same as your target customer. Therefor find websites, groups, or forums where your ideal customers would visit and talk about your new business. Many forums, especially Reddit groups, will ban you for outright selling, so look into the rules first and work with them. If you can't talk about your business there, you can still learn more about your customers. You can also post on local Facebook groups for people that want to support local businesses if your target customers are local.
Build Your Social Media
Create a social media presence that will make strangers want to follow you. Maybe you never thought being an influencer was for you, but people selling their own products need to sell themselves as well. Your store should be linked to everything you use, and you should mention it often in your posts. In 2022, and going forward, there is more and more importance to your personal brand - your personal social media profile. The bigger your profile is, the more people you reach, and the higher your sales can be.
Google is the go-to place for people searching for… well, anything.
You’re probably aware that getting to the top of the Google search results means you've made it, but buying a Google ad is similar to being a top result (even if for a limited time). Your ad will only appear for customers searching for your type of product, so be careful to pick the most relevant keywords. Another huge benefit with Google ads when compared to Facebook advertising is that someone searching for your product on Google is specifically looking for a solution (your product) to their problem. The buy intent is high. Where as on Facebook or other social media platforms, you cannot measure buy intent. They may see your ad when randomly browsing through their friends profiles, or looking at their last holiday photos! So, the buy intent is less, but on Facebook you have more opportunities to create brand awareness.
Facebook is a great place to start out for paid advertising. You don't have to spend a lot or need much marketing expertise. You can generate enough revenue for a small eCommerce business using Facebook if you’re clever about it. The advantage of Facebook adverts is that once you identify your target customer, you can keep showing them your adverts to educate them about your brand, so that when the need comes you are top of mind for them.
Instagram ads can get you a huge reach and massive returns. Building followers and using clever hashtags can help to grow your business. Shopify and Instagram even have a partnership, which allows viewers of your advertising to purchase right from Instagram.
Ads on Pinterest are a great way to find customers actively searching for products like yours. Pinterest users are primarily women, so if you have a female target audience, this may be a good solution for you. Pinterest is also particularly good for businesses selling things like home decor, skincare, fashion, cooking, or homemade items.
Create An Engaging Newsletter
One of the great features of a Shopify store is creating a newsletter right in the software. A newsletter is a great marketing tool. It’ll remind your customers of your product and extend special offers!
Offer A 10% Off Coupon For Subscribing
Get customers to sign up for your newsletter by rewarding them with a 10% off coupon. If they were planning on making a purchase, they will likely sign up to get the discount. Having them on your mailing list will increase the chance they will make further sales in the future!
Offer Deals For Those Who Are Subscribed
Offer deals in your newsletter to encourage customers to return to your store and shop more. Think of the newsletter as a free ad, and reward subscribers with good content and offers. Otherwise, they will likely unsubscribe.
Getting your Shopify store to make it's first sale, and generate income isn't easy. If you aren't starting out with a solid foundation, it may feel like you’re treading water at the start.
While it's possible to get started for free, it won't be easy if you don't have a substantial social network. Paid advertising can be a good way to get the ball rolling.
Remember, once you develop a loyal base of customers, your business will spread organically if your product is fantastic!