A Shopify app for syncing Etsy orders.

How to get your first sale on Shopify in 2022

If you're looking to grow your e-commerce business, find out how to secure your first Shopify sale with this helpful, easy-to-action advice.

How to get your first sale on Shopify

Shopify is a fantastic platform that can help you to launch an e-commerce business quickly and easily. But as with any platform, sales won’t just happen on their own. Sometimes (and let’s be honest, most of the time), you need to give things a little push in the right direction. 

How long does it take to get a sale on Shopify? 

We wish we could give you an exact timeframe on this, but the length of time it takes for you to get your first sale on Shopify will depend on a variety of factors, including: 

  • The quality and depth of your market research – do you know, with real data to back it up, that people are looking for your product or services and do your prices match their expectations? 
  • The authority of your domain – if it’s a brand new one, for example, you would expect for it to take longer to secure a sale than if you’re using an established domain 
  • Whether or not you have an email list of potential customers 
  • Whether your store is user-friendly, search optimised and easy to navigate – are your images clear and professional and do your product descriptions tell the reader exactly what they need to know? 
  • Do you offer any discounts or incentives for customers? 

If you don’t have established domain authority, or an email list to reach out to, don’t worry – it’s still possible to grow your business via Shopify. And we’re here to help you do just that, by optimising your store. 

Growing your Shopify business 

Quality check your product descriptions 

You might think that nobody reads the copy on your product pages, but you’d be wrong. A well-written product description can have a huge impact on your overall sales. But what does ‘well-written’ mean in this case? Copywriting that goes beyond simply describing your products. 

With your descriptions, you have the opportunity to persuade visitors to buy from your store and, if they are pleased with what they read, they will hopefully become repeat customers. 

So write descriptions that keep visitors reading, outline how they will benefit from using your products or services and make sure your descriptions are scannable and easy to read.  

Discount offer code 

We know this one can be difficult to swallow – especially for those completely new to both Shopify and e-commerce. You haven't sold anything yet and you’re expected to offer a discount? ‘No thanks!’, you might exclaim – but this is a tried-and-tested method of bringing in sales. There is no doubt that tempting shoppers with an irresistible offer works. 

Everybody likes a deal, so offering a discount when launching a brand new product or in the run-up to a seasonal occasion such as Valentine’s can bring in visitors and help you to make your first Shopify sale. However, if you’re offering a larger discount (over 50% off), you’re unlikely to remain profitable, so only offer these substantial discounts if your resources allow and only run them for a short period of time. 

Free shipping 

Everybody loves something for ‘free’. 

Research shows that shoppers tend to buy products with less hesitation if they see that free shipping is offered, even when it comes to more expensive items. If you don’t want to offer free shipping on all orders, you can set a minimum order value for when they can get a free shipping offer in your Shopify store.

Add a blog to your Shopify store 

A blog is a sure-fire way to get more visitors to your site. Adding a blog to your Shopify store can, over time, help you to appear higher up the Google rankings. Now the theory is, if they have searched for something on Google and your site has popped up, your store (or at the very least your blog post) might be able to help that visitor with their search.  You are now in an excellent position to convert that visit into a sale. 

If you’re not experienced with blogging, start by offering your readers advice, tips and lists of your best products using keyword research. While adding a blog to your Shopify store is an excellent way to get more visitors to your site, this isn’t a quick conversion option – it will take time to make a sale this way. However, it is definitely worth your time and it a much more sustainable way of gaining sales, compared with some of the more short-term, quick-win approaches. 

Which leads us to… 

Paid advertising 

If you’re struggling to secure that first Shopify sale, your research might lead you into the world of paid advertising. Let us say this first and foremost: only invest in paid advertising if your resources allow and after you’ve done some thorough research. Launching into it without understanding it will likely lead to you spending a significant amount on advertising, without making a single sale. 

Why could paid advertising be the answer? 

  • You can get targeted traffic to your website very quickly 
  • You can often start with a low budget (around $10 or so) 
  • Some platforms, such as Facebook, allow you focus your ads entirely on your ideal customers and they established spending habits 
  • Others, such as Google Ads, work really well for trending products, local businesses and products or services with a high search volume

Once you’ve done your research, you’ll soon realise that each advertising platform is different, so choose which channels are best for the shoppers you are targeting. And always, always keep your social media platforms fresh – that way, if the advertising does bring them in, they can immediately get a good look at what you are offering. 

​​Create a newsletter of value 

Store newsletters are a great way of staying in touch with visitors, whether it’s to showcase a new product or advertise a sale. So how do you drive subscriptions? You have to offer users something of value.  For example, those new to your store would love a 10% off coupon for subscribing – this is one of the main ways in which Shopify store owners build up their email list. Competitions can also be a valuable way to get access to shopper emails.

Ask for help from friends and family

Now we’re not suggesting that you try to upsell to your friends and family and insist they buy something from you, but who wants to see your business grow more than them? They are a fantastic, engaged resource ready and waiting to be helpful! In the beginning, why not ask them to test out your store? They can point out any minor issues that are making their buying journey more difficult. Ask them to share your store on their own social media accounts and ask them for feedback on your products. 

This approach isn’t always likely to convert into a sale, but any opportunity to raise awareness of your brand is one you should take. 

Join free communities and spread the word 

If paid advertising isn’t financially viable right now, explore those free advertising opportunities. Share your store with relevant online communities and give members of those groups a chance to feedback on your store – you could even consider offering them a small discount if they do so. 

Don’t spam these communities with irrelevant links  – always look to provide real value every time you post something, as this reflects better on your business. 

Ready to make that sale? 

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to securing your early sales, there are plenty of things to try. Some take more effort than others and our experience tells us that there’s a lot of trial and error involved – the key is persevering and finding out what works for YOUR business.  

Are you on Etsy too? Check out our guide on making your first Etsy sale

Athlete loads your Etsy orders to your Shopify store, so you can manage them in one place.