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15 Ways to Sell or Promote your Products Online

Tom Howlett

by Tom Howlett on 16th April 2012

Lemonade standIf you run a large ecommerce website or just sell products online in your spare time at home, there have never been a greater number of places to promote or even sell your products online.

Some of these platforms work well alongside your main website, some have replaced the need for an ecommerce site entirely and work as a standalone solution for Internet-based sales and promotion.

Social Websites

Facebook

Facebook is a site many of you should be familiar with. One of the most effective ways of selling products if you can make it work is to be active on Facebook. Sharing news, connecting with fans, throwing competitions and persuading your fans to share information is great for getting your product in front of the right eyes. This is generally more time consuming, you have to keep at it to see significant increases in sales but it can work if you put the time in.

Twitter

Twitter is another popular social site you can use to increase sales and promote products. Once you have a number of followers, you have people who are interested in your brand or your products and you can promote any new products or information to this audience. If they like what they see then there is a good chance that they will then share the information you tweet with other followers. Similar to Facebook, Twitter requires a lot of time put in for it to have a significant effect on sales. You also have to be sure to avoid being too self promotional so as not to annoy your followers.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a relatively new platform that has exploded onto the scene lately. The whole platform enables users to create theme focused boards to which they can pin images to from across the web. Considering the ease of creating a new pin and the number of people who use and are willing to re-pin things they like, it can be great for exposing your products and website to a whole new crowd. The platform is completely free and is easy to set up which means that it is worth regularly posting; even if you do not see much from this initially, it only takes a few people re-pinning your pins to get a decent level of traffic from it.

Daily Deals

There are quite a few daily deal sites around nowadays, the most notable being Groupon and Living Social. These sites are centred on offering consumers great deals on products, gifts and holidays based on a certain number of people purchasing. If companies choose to use the platform for promotion, they can create a lot of sales in a fairly short period of time and also increase the awareness of the brand. There is a good chance that these people may return to purchase again after the initial daily deal purchase. It is worth noting that there have been times where people have underestimated the number of sales that can be achieved through these types of platforms and have found themselves in a position where they cannot fulfil the orders.

All in One Platforms

Shopify

Shopify is a complete ecommerce and hosting platform that allows you to set up your own shop, selling whatever you like without having to attempt to build your own site or to spend lots of money getting this done. You can easily build your store and customise it as you like and there are various pricing solutions available to you to suit your needs. It is more expensive than hosting your own site, however you can potentially save a lot as the development cost of an ecommerce site can be quite high.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is much the same as Shopify however it is mainly aimed at clothing designers, jewellery makers, bands etc. This solution offers full customisation of the sites and does not take a percentage of the sales generated through the site which makes it a good solution for smaller, independent, from home-based businesses.

Google Shopping Results

If you are actively selling products online, one great way of promoting the products is to get them listed to display on the Google shopping results. These results are sometimes displayed on the Google search results pages for various product queries. It can be a great way to gain more business and send more traffic to your website, especially if your business offers products cheaper than your competitors.

To start using the Google shopping results you will need to be signed up to the Google Merchant Center and upload data related to the products you sell.

Product Videos

The power of videos is still largely underestimated. There is a huge audience on sites like YouTube and other similar platforms where people are likely to search for products and related reviews. If you create some well thought out, informative and good quality videos, you may be able to capture the attention of an audience that previously might not have found you.

Videos also appear in the search results within Google and other search engines. They typically get shown on the first page which could be a good way of gaining an audience for more competitive keywords or just dominating that page if you are already ranking for that keyword.

Reviews

Reviews can help send traffic to your site, they can also persuade someone to make a purchase once they arrive. There are various ways in which reviews can be utilised for your benefit. Firstly you can make sure you are listed on the many external review sites so happy customers can find you if they wish to comment on a good experience, some examples include Review Centre and The best of. This can help send visitors to your site if people are using these directories.

You can also display reviews on your own website to help improve the number of sales you are likely to receive. People are much more likely to purchase if they can see that others have previously used the site and have been happy with their experience or products. If you have a number of good reviews on your website or other external sites, you can draw attention to these by using Rich Snippets. This will display the average rating within the search results and help encourage searchers to click through to your website.

Ebay

Ebay is still a great way to sell products online. You can run an Ebay shop alongside your other sites and methods of selling products. It will cost you a bit more for the privilege of using the Ebay platform, but it will help get your products in front of more people, especially as it has millions of users.

Email

Even though email is a comparatively old technology within the internet world, it can still be a great way to build awareness of new products to existing and new customers. Usually if someone has given you their email, they are already interested in your products. This gives you a chance to entice them with special offers or highlight to them products that they might like.

Free Products

Everyone loves to get something for free; this can be a useful way of gaining new customers. There are various ways of doing this; some platforms enable the user to get the free item if they enter their email or if they send a Tweet to their Twitter followers. Free products can easily lead to organic promotion if done successfully and gain you long term customers. The food company Graze do this well by offering people who sign up a free first box with an easily acquirable voucher code.

Affiliate

Creating an affiliate program can help expand your reach to gain more sales and customers. Why not have people interested in your products do some promotion for a bit of commission for referrals that result in a sale.

Landing Pages & PPC

Pay Per Click (PPC) offers a guaranteed way to get visitors to your website. It ensures that you have full control over the amount of money you spend and if you have a rough idea of the percentage of visitors that convert when visiting the website, you can make sure that you always return a profit. By combining a well optimised PPC campaign with targeted landing pages you can make sure that each visitor is likely to be interested in the products you are selling. It is then down to the landing pages to convince them to make the purchase.

Remarketing

Remarketing is a strand of PPC. It will create a list of visitors to your website and is able to track them with a cookie. Once you have built up a list, these people can be targeted with ads on other websites they visit. As they have previously visited your website, you can be fairly confident that they are interested in your products. Targeting these people with a banner campaign can be a useful way to build awareness of a promotion or sale, promote any new products or just create a second chance to convert them into customers.

Image Source

Girl holding bowl of lemons via BigStock

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett

If you’re looking for information on Link Building then read Tom Howlett’s posts. Tom has a specialist insight into link building strategies designed to improve website’s visibility and ranking. He will help you become a master in finding new link sources.

32 Comments

  • Ross Chapman 16th April 2012

    Hi Tom,

    Great article – and yes, the value of video is largely under-estimated – pretty much due to nobody trying it. Yes, it doesn’t have the traditional ROI metrics of, say a PPC campaign, but like you say – original, thoughtful videos can bring in the customers – without seeming “hard-sell”.

    Reply to this comment

    • Tom Howlett

      Tom 17th April 2012

      Thanks Ross.

      I completely agree, the only drawback is the time it takes to create them. I think there is also a pressure for companies to create videos ‘viral’ in nature and they don’t have to be at all.

      Reply to this comment

      • Ross Chapman 17th April 2012

        Yes, unfortunately “viral” has become a bit of a buzz word. Popularity comes with being a good video and if it’s good enough it will be shared.

        Time is an interesting consideration – normally I find that budget is the deciding factor.

  • Oliver Ewbank

    Oliver Ewbank 30th April 2012

    Great post Tom. If I had the time I would do all 15! If not I would stick to PPC.

    Reply to this comment

  • Samuel Troy 11th December 2012

    Hi Tom, this is simply great, so informative and if anyone use some of these to promote their product online, then sell comes automatically. Will look forward for more article

    Reply to this comment

  • Darren 6th March 2013

    Hi Tom

    How much book marking do i need to achieve to help with ranking ?

    Reply to this comment

    • Tom Howlett

      Tom Howlett 8th April 2013

      Hi Darren,

      Bookmarking can be helpful for promoting your content – it is suggested that other link building activities are carried out on top of this.

      Creating lots of bookmarks, and having links from low quality websites is unlikely to do your site any favours.

      Try to think about sharing your content on industry specific bookmarking websites to find your target market.

      Reply to this comment

  • Stella Wilson 22nd March 2013

    Hey Tom ..thanks a lot for bringing this bool for us. Every SEO or Internet Marketer has the same problem of building backlinks for their website. You have brought lot of great information for us.

    Regards
    Stela

    Reply to this comment

  • Pio 6th April 2013

    Hi Tom, great article. What are your thoughts on sites like Shopzilla, Etsy and other like it? I have a Website where i sell my products but i was wondering about these other sites to increase my sales.

    Reply to this comment

    • Tom Howlett

      Tom Howlett 8th April 2013

      Hi Pio,

      If you are using these external platforms as your main website, the best thing would be to ensure that they are easily optimised – whether you can create a unique Meta structure for each page and easily manage and organise the content.

      If you are talking about creating a presence on these websites in addition to your main website – it can certainly be useful to help you reach a new audience who may be interested in your products. Just take care to avoid duplicating the text content from your main website (to prevent duplicate content issues). Ideally these platforms would be tailored to the new audience and should have its own unique content and value.

      Reply to this comment

  • wasy 9th May 2013

    Thanks tom, your advise are very useful since I am starting my business soon and has opted to sell online mainly.

    Reply to this comment

  • tenoras 14th May 2013

    Try http://www.keapo.com, its a mobile app free for sellers and buyers

    Reply to this comment

    • Tom Howlett

      Tom Howlett 15th May 2013

      Thanks Tenoras,

      Looks like a useful app. Could be useful for some businesses, particularly small businesses and those who are just starting out.

      Interested to find out how the payment works for this app (couldn’t see from browsing the site), do you know?

      Reply to this comment

  • Hango 28th May 2013

    Good article, but what are some good sites for selling digital products?

    Reply to this comment

  • Jessi 1st August 2013

    Thanks Tom. Useful article. Please write an article and let us know how to earn some money from a deal website. What strategy to choose.

    Reply to this comment

  • Geoff 13th August 2013

    Hi Tom. Thanks for the useful List. As well as shopify and BigCartel which are good for people with large amounts of inventory you could use http://www.Selz.com which is an easy way to sell online for bloggers and website owners who want to sell digital or physical products. It has automated delivery of digital downloads so good for ebooks, videos, or music. You just need to cut and paste a snippet of code, like embedding a YouTube video. Best of all, customers do not have to leave your site to complete a purchase.

    Reply to this comment

  • KP 25th September 2013

    Hello Tom. This is good. but how we get relevant using facebook, twitter….

    My product is Android monitoring software which helpful to all parents to monitor minor. Then how i give this message to all parents.

    Reply to this comment

  • adsauto 26th September 2013

    I think one good way to promote products it is using classifieds advertising … one ad for each product!
    take a look at adsautosubmitter DOT com tool … it is a different approach , it is not a universal spam tool …it is dedicated to a certain category and country

    Reply to this comment

  • meron 30th December 2013

    Hi tom your advise is so good. how can i Creating an affiliate program?

    Reply to this comment

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  • May 10th June 2014

    I use Bigcommerce to power my online store.
    It was with oscommerce, but I’m short of time on selling, wasting too much time on programming.
    With hosted solution, I can focus on selling. :)

    Reply to this comment

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  • Cat Mario 5th July 2014

    I liked your article. I agree with link building as an important promotional method. I also think that having the proper analytics program on your website (we use the free Google Analytics package) that can help shape your on-page SEO can be a way to promote your webstore. The reason being, if you are optimized well you will likely be attracting higher quality, more targeted, and often prequalified leads to your website. For businesses that do not have much of a pay per click budget, optimization is a good long run strategy.
    Leveraging a social media strategy that is right for your business can also be a powerful way to promote your products and deepend relationships with customers. Which social media is appropriate depends on the individual business and their customer’s behaviors.

    Reply to this comment

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