When thinking about building an online store for the first time, it’s easy to fill your head with doubt. “I’m a nobody. Why would anyone buy from me?” You start questioning whether you’ve got what it takes to succeed. You worry about competitors, pricing, and shipping times, but fail to recognize all the real reasons people would buy from you in the first place.
My most successful online store made its first sale in only two days. I had no followers and a non-existent brand but we executed the right tactics. I’ll share some of the tactics I used, and others you could use to earn trust and make sales. So let’s dive into the reasons why customers should (and will) buy from you.
- Why Should Customers Buy From You: 11 Reasons
- 1. They found you first
- 2. You found them first
- 3. They don’t know where else to buy it
- 4. You solve a problem
- 5. You entertained or educated them
- 6. You offered better customer service
- 7. You have an awesome product
- 8. Customers trusted your website
- 9. A previous customer tagged their friend
- 10. You have a lot of followers on social media
- 11. Your price is competitive
- Want to Learn More?
Why Should Customers Buy From You: 11 Reasons
1. They found you first
If a customer finds you first, before competitors, they’ll be more likely to buy from you. When my store was one day old, I started writing blog content. I’d create quote articles of prominent yoga figures (we were in the yoga niche) and publish them on our blog. I’d then share the articles on Twitter tagging the influencers. We made sure to have a retargeting ad running in the background just in case any influencers wanted to share our article.
And turns out, one of them did. We only got about 100-200 visits from that retweet. However, this tactic led to our first sale. What’s interesting about this too is that we drove relevant traffic to our website so all of our future Facebook ads worked really well because Facebook understood who our ideal customer was.
2. You found them first
Instagram hashtags, or any hashtags for that matter, can be a great way to find customers looking for your product. When I was running my passion store, a pug store, I often used hashtags to build up my audience on Instagram. After posting for a few months, I noticed that pug fanpages often had a ton of engagement on their posts, more than I had. So I messaged a few of them offering to pay to post a picture of my product on their page. I knew that the audience was relevant, so my pug products were a good match.
I ended up getting 12 sales from a single post. And it only cost me $30 to have my product featured on their account. Here’s what my product photo looked like:
3. They don’t know where else to buy it
Whenever I launch a new store, one of the first things I always do is message small influencers on Instagram to take custom photos with my products. Why? So I can have original, professional pictures. A little trick savvy shoppers do to find the best deals is a reverse image search. So by having my own custom images, it prevents customers from finding my competitors. And if they can’t figure out where else they can buy it, they become more likely to buy directly from you. That’s why I always recommend starting your store with only a few products. You can also choose to take custom photos once you find winning products.
Here’s an example of an influencer photo I used for one of my previous stores. It used a mix of AliExpress and print on demand products:
4. You solve a problem
Products that solve problems tend to skyrocket sales. Over the past couple years, we’ve seen fidget spinners, blackhead removers, posture correctors, and similar products take over sales on online stores. Since these products solve everyday problems, they’re exactly what people are looking for.
But solving problems doesn’t only come down to the product. You can create blog content to help them solve their biggest problems. Having stellar customer support can also alleviate some frustration when problems arise. So when focus on building a new store, ask yourself, “What are the biggest problems I can solve for my customers?” Then, take action to solve them one by one.
5. You entertained or educated them
One of the smartest moves I’ve ever made was hiring a social media freelancer to run our social media pages. Even though I had experience running social media for other brands, this freelancer’s performance blew our social media pages up in only a couple of months. Most of the posts were memes or funny videos related to our niche. However, it kept people engaged with our brand and convinced 53,000 people to like our Facebook page. Even though we stopped posting content in 2017, we still see people commenting on random posts to this day. By entertaining our customers, we built up the social proof our brand needed to make sales throughout our store’s peak.
6. You offered better customer service
The brand who treats customers best, wins. Trying out customer service ideas like giving birthday freebies, responding to emails with a personalized video message, and solving the biggest pain point can help you win the sale. I recently tried buying a bridal tiara from a Shopify store. The same product was available on Etsy but at a much higher price. And since this wedding is already costing more than it should, I really wanted to buy it from the Shopify store. The problem with the Shopify store was that they didn’t ship to Canada. So I emailed the brand to see if they can make an exception for little ol’ me. The store responded within the hour, changed their store settings, and I received the bridal tiara I wanted at the price I wanted. Since they responded quickly and appropriately, I happily bought the product from them instead of their competitors.
7. You have an awesome product
Being a dropshipper lets you choose from thousands of awesome products. Let’s face it – if you designed your own product, odds are stacked against you that it probably won’t be the home run you want it to be. However, if you sell the best products that already have an audience, search volume, and Google Trends growth, that home run is a lot more likely to happen. It’s true there’s more competition when dropshipping. But the risk of creating your own products involves finding out there’s no competition because it’s something people don’t want. At least with dropshipping, you can look at order volume and other data points to determine a product’s potential.
8. Customers trusted your website
Store design can be a bit of a challenge. But it’s a challenge that you need to think through carefully as a new store owner. Ask a stranger for feedback on your store to know for sure if your website appears professional. A friend or family member might tell you it looks great to spare your feelings. But a stranger owes you nothing.
It’s important to look through all your webpages to ensure that your pictures aren’t pixelated. There’s no filler text in spaces you forgot to add copy. And your website design is so well executed that no one can tell that you launched your store a day ago. If you aren’t a big brand, you can still play the part. So invest time to make sure your store looks reputable.
9. A previous customer tagged their friend
The biggest social proof for a new brand comes from your customers. When we were running ads on our yoga store, people didn’t just click the ad to buy the product. Nope, in many situations, a single person would tag several friends. We couldn’t believe it. But all of these friend tags resulted in an even higher number of sales and ad visibility. Even though we weren’t one of the biggest brands, our fans would go out of their way to refer us to their friends.
Referral marketing is one of the most powerful ways to gain an edge up on competitors. If your customers are willing to vouch for you to their friends, your competitors don’t really stand a chance.
Some people build out their social media when they build their brand. However, some marketers choose to build their audience first. Let’s say you’ve got an Instagram fan page for a specific niche you’re obsessed with. You’ve spent months understanding what type of content your followers love. You work hard to increase your social media engagement. You gain countless Instagram followers as a result. Now that you’ve got the audience, all you need to do is pair it with a product to monetize your Instagram account.
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By building your audience first, you’re more likely to earn sales on day one. Why? Because people have heard of you, trust has been built, and you have a relevant audience. So if you have a fan page on social media that you’ve built an audience around, build a store around that niche. Here’s an example of a fan page I used for my previous online store:
11. Your price is competitive
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. But the price on AliExpress is lower than what I can charge. When it comes to price, customers are willing to pay market value. Suppose you sell a women’s blouse for $30. Even if that blouse cost $10 on AliExpress, shoppers would still be willing to pay the $30 for it. Why? Well, when you browse women’s fashion websites, you can consistently see blouses for prices between $30-$60. So the retail price makes sense from a shopper’s perspective. Plus, don’t forget the fact that big brands like Walmart dropship, too, so selling products at market value isn’t that big of a deal.
I know it can feel discouraging when you’ve launched a new store. You probably feel like you’re too small to compete. But by building an audience, helping customers find you first, getting your brand in front of your relevant audience, and a few other tactics shared in this article, you really do have a competitive advantage. Don’t look at where you are today, focus on where you want your business to be six months from now.