Saturday, February 25, 2012

8 Ways to Increase Traffic & Sales for Your Online Shop {PART ONE}

Hello everyone!!
Today I bring to you a mini 2 part series that has been in the works for a few weeks now.
I am excited to share my "wisdom" and advice with you on how to increase traffic & sales to your online shop.

But first I would like to say that I am in no way an expert on this stuff!

I am still on the "new-ish" side of this stuff. And My shop has just over 125 sales... Just so you know!
I decided to write this post after I had been asked by a few different people just starting out about how I gained "so many" sales, and for advice on how they could gain more sales too.
So I put a lot of thought and A LOT of time into the posts I will share today and tomorrow on the subject.
I really had to look back through out my time being a shop owner.
I asked myself what it was that brought me the most sales, what did I do to gain traffic and attention?
And in doing this, it really helped myself get perspective.

I came up with 8 things, that I have found through trial and error, as an online shop owner,
 that have helped me most to gain traffic and sales.

Today I will be sharing the first 4 things and tomorrow I will be sharing the last 4 things.
So be sure to come back, to check that out! ♥

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1. Use Great Photos
This one is no secret. You have probably heard it many times. 
Or maybe you have not heard it yet, either way I still felt it was important to include in this post first.
The reason this one is so important is because well, you are an ONLINE shop (duh) and people like to really SEE the product before they buy it. If someone is iffy about something, chances are they wont commit to buy if there is only one crummy cell phone picture. 
So you need to really show off your product as BEST you can through your photos. 
You need to take photos that really grab the attention of potential buyers.
I usually try to follow these 3 guidelines when taking pictures:
  • Take a pulled back shot of the entire item.
  • Take an up close shot of the details
  • Take a few photos of your item in use
Now I know this may seem intimidating!
You may say "well I don't have a big expensive camera or a nice studio area!"
Ok thats no problem, you dont need a big expensive camera to get good photos of your product.
You can use any point and shoot camera, just make sure you have good lighting.
Take your pictures in natural light and use a simple free editing service to help spruce up your shots.
And just set up a simple clean space using a poster board or pretty paper for your background!
Little Miss Momma has a great tutorial on how to take pictures for a blog tutorial, 
but it is also perfect to use for photographing your products too.
Check it out {here}.

2. Tell A Story
Everyone LOVES a good story. 
So tell YOUR story!
When you create... what ever it may be, tell the story of how or why you created it.
If it was something personal that inspired you to create, then share it!
If it was a special gift for someone for some special reason or cause, share it!
A lot of my jewelry has a story behind it and love that, because it MEANS something to me & to others.
It makes what I do and create, special, unique, personal and memorable.
And that is the kind of items people WANT to purchase.
You can read the stories behind some of my jewelry here:
The story behind my Birds Nest Necklaces {One} & {Two}
The story behind my Water Of Life Necklace {here}.
The story behind my Faith Jewelry Line {here}.
The story behind my Carried Necklace {here}.

 Since we are talking about sharing let me tell you about number 3 on the list:

3. Take Advantage Social Media

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

If you are not connected to any social site like facebook, blog, twitter, pinterest etc.
Then I encourage you to get with it and acquire one or more of them!
Use these sites to share your stories, and new items and connect with your fans and buyers.
 Post about new items in the shop,  Post about sales you have going on, promote giveaways and such!
Ive heard several people say they don't feel the need to use facebook or anything.
They don't think they are ready and/or they feel they need to grow their business more FIRST
before getting themselves a fan page or what not.
Well HELLO free advertisement! 
People are on facebook and twitter CONSTANTLY because of smart phones.
If you want to grow your business, connecting through those kinds of sites are KEY to doing so.
Its fast, instant, and easily accessible.
Anyone can easily connect with you!
It makes you seem more personal and people like personal!
I really like personal. And I love connecting to and chatting with new people.
So go, CONNECT, Share, take advantage of these great social sites.

4. "Pay for" Advertisement
Ok so if you are like I was when I was first starting out, this may scare you!
It took me a LONG time before I actually paid for advertisement, AKA "Sponsoring another blog".
I did a couple ad swaps with some people with the same number of followers as me.
But the idea of paying for it, just scared me.
I thought things like:
~I couldn't afford it.
~What if it doesn't help?
~My Shop isn't good enough or ready yet.

Let me tell you, don't let those kinds of thoughts stop you!
Don't even let those kinds of thoughts enter your head!
They will hinder you from any kind of progression at all. You need to think positively.
For one, make a budget of what you can afford for advertisement each month and just go for it.
There are lots of blogs who give special discounts for advertisers on certain months, or even do giveaways for an ad spot!
Take advantage of those times!!
For two, do not be afraid to ask those you sponsor to promote & advertise for you!
That's what you are PAYING THEM to do!
So if you are advertising with someone, and you have something cool going on at your blog,
or if you are having a sale in your shop.. email the person you are sponsoring and ask them to help you spread the word about it!
When ever I got something big or new going on I will email my advertisers and ask them for help.
And I also encourage those who advertise with me to do the same!
I'm always trying to check out my sponsors' stuff and promote them any way I can.
But if they have something specific and email me about it, I am more than happy to share it for them.

For three, DON'T THINK BAD about yourself or your stuff.
If YOU don't like what you do, or if you don't take pride in what you do, then why even do it!?
LOVE what you do! Think positively about your work and what you create.
Be EXCITED about what you do, about your blog/shop and others will get excited too.
Now, with that being said I'd just like to say one more thing; Be sure to choose where advertise wisely. If you are going to spend your money on advertisement, make sure you are advertising with someone who's audience fits with who you want to sell to. Like if you sell childrens clothing, advertise on Mommy Blogs, If you sell Jewelry or Accessories advertise with Fashion Bloggers, etc.
Of course most any place you advertise, you will see some kind of traffic if the blog you advertise on is a popular one. But as for actually making sales, advertising with the right people really does make a difference in sales!


Alrighty, well that is it for today!
Come back tomorrow to read part two of this mini series where I will cover:
  1. Giveaways & why you should limit them
  2. Reviews & Why you should give them a try!
  3. The importance of Being Unique
  4. Great ways to use Sales & Promotions!
 Hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions, concerns, tips or suggestions
please post them in the comment section!
I'd love to hear from you. ♥
*UPDATE* Read part two {here}
Much Love & Hugs,
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