How to Start Selling Online with a Single Product

Jumping into the world of e-commerce can be a scary thing. If you’ve created a single product that you think can sell, you might be hesitant to sell it online for a number of reasons. You might be thinking “who sells only one product on their website?" The truth is that plenty of companies do exactly that and some have been extremely successful doing it. In today’s blog, we’ll be giving you some guidance on how to get your single product online and the best practices to get shoppers to buy it.

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Know Your Niche

In order to sell your single product, you have to know who your audience is. To have your single product succeed, it either has to be very unique or it has to be targeted towards a specific niche.

Keep your marketing persona in mind when designing your site. A customer persona (aka Marketing /Buyer Persona) is a description of your typical customer. Creating this persona can be very helpful when creating marketing material as you’ll have a detailed summary of this person’s lifestyle, income, education, hobbies, and concerns.

For example, let’s say you sell a unique kind of herbal tea. With some research, you might discover that your typical customer is a middle-class, university-educated, 40-year-old mother of two, who does Yoga three times a week, reads two books a month, and eats organic food.

Knowing this information makes marketing your product much, much easier. Many decisions can be made easier once you look at the problem through the eyes of your customer.

Market Your Product

Knowing your niche can help you design your website. It also helps with online marketing. When using Google or Facebook ads, knowing your audience is important. Not only for the tagline and image of your ad, but also for the targeting options available to you. Remember, Google ads helps your customers find you and Facebook ads help you find your customers.

Don’t forget to A/B test your ads, especially if your business is new. You might come up with an amazing concept for your ads, but the reality is you never know how successful it’s going to be until you put it out there. Sometimes, an ad you love is going to bomb, and the one you thought was the weakest actually resonates the most with your audience. Forget your ego, and let the numbers guide you.

Besides Google Ads, Google also offers it's Google Shopping platform to retailers. It can be a great tool to complement your other marketing efforts.

Read more about Google Shopping in our free whitepapers (part 1 is an intro, part 2 is about optimisation).

Download Google Shopping whitepaper

Don’t just build a website, build a brand

I wanted to get back to what it means to build a website. Of course, your homepage is the shop window to your e-commerce business. So, naturally you want to build a “beautiful” website. However, as you’re selling just one product, you’ll really have to make the most of your page.

Don’t be scared. This can actually be advantageous. By selling only one product, you’re distracting your customers far less than a website selling 1,000 products. You can actually put all of your information on the homepage if you want. However, be sure to tell a story and have a good balance of design and information.

If you design your website yourself and use one of the popular SaaS shop softwares to build your site (like Shopify or Magento), there’s a good chance that they offer a “single product website” theme. It might be worth investing some time to see what these layouts look like and if they make sense for your product.

Many websites that sell a single product will use the “hero image” strategy for their homepage. A hero image is a large photo used on your landing page (in this case, probably your homepage) that conveys what your product is clearly. A hero image can grab a visitor’s attention and some clever copy will hook them in. This is a perfect strategy for single product websites.

Soma_hero_image.pngSoma’s “hero image” focuses on the product, but also on the lifestyle of their customer. These are tech-savvy people who are often out and about. The to-go bottle fits perfectly to this persona.

And because your website isn’t cluttered with heaps of products, you can also take this opportunity to display some other information. You could explain how you came up with the idea, or talk a little bit about the founders/employees. You could even show the process involved in making the product.

Storytelling

Speaking of showing the process, storytelling is a huge part of e-commerce these days. The story you tell could be about inventing the product (we created this cider because we couldn’t find any decent ones in this part of the country) or how you make it (we make this cider with organic apples grown by local farmers). It can even be the stories that your customers are telling (“We’ve been searching for something like this since forever!”).

Recommended: Check out our webinar on writing texts to convert customers

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No matter which angle you choose to take, stories engage their readers and paint a certain picture in their minds. This can make your company seem more relatable and people get an idea of what they’re buying and who they’re buying it from. 

squeeze.gifThe Seattle Cider Company created a website that tells the story of how they produce their product.

Along with building a brand and storytelling, you should strongly consider including video content on your site. This could be a story of your product and what inspired you to invent it. Another could be a video explaining the proper use of the product or the science behind it. However, that doesn’t mean you have to make a dry, boring video about your product. Have fun with it! Squatty Potty famously used a unicorn to explain how their product works.

Squatty_Potty_genius.pngSquatty Potty took a risk with this video, but made a funny, informative video for a product no one would normally want to talk about. (Click on the image to see the whole video)

Build trust

One of the reasons Amazon is so successful is the level of trust people have with it. It has become a household name partly because of the amount of reviews that customers leave on their site.

Getting shop reviews (and product reviews) on your site is a great way to build trust and carries a lot of benefits. Firstly, it gets people to trust your business more because other customers are singing your praises. By hosting these reviews directly on your site, you’ll also prevent a potential customer from searching for reviews elsewhere (never give a shopper a reason to leave your site!).

Secondly, a constant flow of reviews is equivalent to a constant flow of content as far as Google is concerned. And Google absolutely loves fresh content. New reviews will help your company rank higher in search engines.  Not only that, but with the right review system, you can even display your star-ratings in Google’s search results (in both Google Ads and organic results).

To see how Trusted Shops products can help your online shop, check out our webinar that will walk you through a demo of our products!

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Finally, by getting a closed review system, you’re ensuring that only real customers leave reviews about your shop, which, in essence, prevents fake reviews from popping up in your review profile.

Another way to build trust is to offer online certifications (like a trustmark). Third-party certifications can do wonders, especially for smaller online shops. The certification comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, helping to put a shopper’s mind at ease. If your company lacks a global reputation, let past customers and reputable certifiers back you up!

Pricing

You’ll have to consider the pricing of your product carefully. If you sell on marketplaces as well as in your own shop, you’ll probably want to make the prices a bit cheaper on your site. This will mean that no one else is eating away at your profits, yet you’ll still convince them to buy from your shop instead of the better-known marketplace.

Think about the future

Like any good one-product company, eventually you’ll probably want to expand your product line. Don’t invest too much money in R&D until you’re turning a healthy profit. After you’ve reached a point where you’re really making some good money, it won’t be as risky to invest in producing new products, variations, or accessories.

Conclusion

You don’t always need an entire product line to be a successful brand. Sometimes it takes one great idea to make you set for life. With the right planning, you can use your initial idea to help you create your entire empire!

BONUS MATERIAL: Check out our free whitepaper on using a marketplace like Amazon to sell more on your own website (and keeping more of your profits!)

Download Marketplace whitepaper free

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