How to Sell Online

The Shopify Ecommerce Blog has over many articles about selling products online. From learning how to sell online to advanced tips and tricks, we cover everything you need to know to run a successful online business. Here are some recent posts that talk about selling online:

The Beginner's Guide to Simple A/B Testing

For nearly a decade now, A/B testing has been the not-so-well-kept secret of the web world only known to the pros, the initiated and the curious. It’s the method of choice for startups and growth hackers when it's comes to improving online conversions and achieving growth.

But more and more ecommerce merchants are making the leap and starting to use A/B testing to improve sales and get the most out of their hard earned traffic.

You can use it to test anything from landing pages and web copy to emails and search ads. The advantages are substantial, and more than enough to compensate for the time it takes to run an experiment on your site.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, most people aren’t as aware of this measurement tool as they should be. What this article hopes to do is walk you through the processes and advantages of using A/B testing in your business.

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7 Ways to Leverage YouTube Marketing to Improve Sales

Have you built a loyal following around your products? Have you been gaining followers steadily on social media? Already consistently putting out great content on your blog?

Then maybe it's time to move on to video marketing.

Video adds a whole new dimension to your marketing mix. Done properly, you can use video to add depth to your product’s features and stories, tell the history of how your company has come to be, or explain how your product might be used in ways that can’t be captured in web copy or in print. And that translates to more sales. According to MultiVisionDigital, a video production company, consumers are 64% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.

When your product is just too cool, or you want to make sure that people really get the best use out of it, it’s time to grab a camera.

Before we get too deep into the specifics of video and YouTube marketing, it’s important to understand that you don’t need a viral hit to see results. You’re telling a story about yourself or your products, not producing a viral hit for personal fame. Focus on engagement, not on simply getting a huge number of views.

In a future post we’ll share some common traits of compelling videos produced by ecommerce businesses. In the meantime, here are YouTube strategies that get views.

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The Ultimate DIY Guide to Beautiful Product Photography

 

This guest post is by Jeff Delacruz a founding member & photographer at Products On White Photography.

If there’s one thing that’s true when it comes to ecommerce, it's that the perceived value of your products and the trustworthiness of your business is often judged by the quality of your web design. And big part of having an attractive website these days also means having high-quality, beautiful product photography.

But it's not just aesthetics we're talking about. Showcasing your products with high-quality images can also be the winning difference between a conversion and no sale at all. This is particularly true if you’re also distributing your products on marketplace sites like Amazon where they are displayed alongside those of your competitors.

But when you're just starting out, getting your product photos shot can be an intimidating prospect because good photography can be expensive. There are hundreds of product photography tools to help you get the job done yourself. As business owners with lean start-up roots, we understand this more than anyone, and as a company that works with small businesses everyday, we also know that sometimes the money’s just not there. If that’s you, and your budget is tight, have you thought about taking the DIY approach to taking your own images? It’s not as hard as you might think.

There are lots of techniques for shooting successful product photography, but the one I’m going to show you is commonly known as The Window Light Technique.  From someone who photographs products everyday, this tutorial has been specifically crafted for business owners on a budget, and it’s been designed to be simple while producing excellent high quality results with most product types.

Enjoy!

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5 Ecommerce Pricing Experiments that Will Make You Want to Run an A/B Test Today

When we last examined some research on pricing and behavioral economics the topic was very well received, but apparently I raised as many questions as I answered, because I got a ton of emails that day!

Perhaps that is somewhat my fault — in addressing topics like 'bundling,' I definitely left out a large majority of online store owners who will never deal with that issue.

This time around, I compiled a list of five pricing experiments that I believe will have every ecommerce entrepreneur taking notes for a future A/B test.

Should you compare your prices to competitors? Are similarly priced products on your store cannibalizing sales? Does the number '9' really work that well?

Keep reading!

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4 Principles of Social Proof Every Ecommerce Store Owner Needs to Know

Social proof, one of Cialdini's famous six pillars of influence, has become a very important part of selling given the open nature of the web.

More and more often, we look to the opinions of others and additional "signals" to evaluate our potential purchases. Perhaps this is best expressed in the rise of the online review:

  • Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.
  • Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

But social proof isn't as simple as slapping up a 5-star rating system on your website.

There are a few principles for social proof that marketers and entrepreneurs should never forget, and today we'll go over how they can impact your sales.

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50 Ways to Make Your First Sale

You've got a product. You've taken product photos and written product descriptions. You've designed your website, populated it with great content and launched it to the world.

Now what?

Now it's time to sit back and watch the traffic and sales come flooding in, right?

If only it were that easy.

For many first time ecommerce entrepreneurs, it can be frustrating to work so hard getting your business ready only to to hear crickets when you finally launch.

Well that's exactly what our latest guide aims to fix. With the help of Sean Work, Director of Marketing at KISSmetrics, we put together this comprehensive guide to help you make your first sale. You can read this guide like a book from start to finish, or feel free to jump into whichever chapter interests you.

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8 New Year's Resolutions Every Ecommerce Entrepreneur Should Make

It’s that time of year and yes we know you probably have a ton of personal resolutions revolving around health, fitness, relationships, and self-fulfillment, but let’s take a moment to shed some light on what you could focus on to improve your business. 

Maybe you've already started, which puts you ahead of the curve, but for everyone else who’s curious about putting together some goals for their online store, we thought we’d put together this handy list. Feel free to pick and choose your favorites and focus on the ones that matter most to your business.

So, let’s start with “As a ecommerce entrepreneur, you resolve to…”

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5 Ways to Optimize Ecommerce Product Pages for Humans and Search Engines

The battle for a sale can be won or lost on a product page.

Structuring and presenting your products correctly for both search engines and humans is absolutely vital when it comes to ranking well and converting browsers into buyers.

Listed below are some simple, yet hugely effective ways to optimize product pages to increase sales, and rank higher in the search engines.

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Are These 6 Ecommerce Copywriting Mistakes Costing You Sales?

You’re writing, and writing, and writing.

You’re polishing your category pages. You’re slaving over endless product descriptions. You worry about keywords and Google.

But let’s admit it. Sometimes you wonder… is your copy working hard enough? Are you persuading web visitors to buy?

Let’s look at six ecommerce copywriting mistakes that might be costing you business (and how you can fix them).

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How to Get a Date With George Clooney (or Write the Perfect Ecommerce About Page)

Let’s imagine for a second that you’re trying to get a date with George Clooney, I know it might be tough to do, but do it anyway and pretend you have a chance. The fact is, he's single and has plenty of options. Now, if you’re hoping to court Clooney and get him interested, what’s that “x-factor” that’s going to get him to bite? 

You’re probably wondering, how does this apply to crafting a compelling About page for your ecommerce store? Simple, online consumers are the George Clooneys and they have way more options when it comes to shopping than ever before. Now it’s your job to convince them to buy from you. 

A lot of store owners end up underestimating the conversion potential of their About page. Have a look at your own Google Analytics and you'll find your About page is either the second most visited page or in the top three.  

In fact, one study looking at an online store selling surf gear found that shoppers who visited their About page converted 30% higher than shoppers who didn’t. Another study found that visitors to an About page were five times more likely to purchase a product, while spending on average 22.5% more on their purchases. 

Now, there’s no one size fits all solution to creating the perfect About page. It should be as unique as your brand, your products, and your story. But, there are some key elements you can put in place to establish a connection with your customers, build trust and ultimately boost conversions.

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