How to Make Your First Sale

A step-by-step guide on setting up an online store and making your first sale.

Making your first sale is a major milestone for any business. But before you start selling, it’s important to set up your online store for success. With Squarespace’s all-in-one platform, you can create a digital storefront that is optimized for ecommerce. This step-by-step guide will help you reach that milestone so you can continue to effectively build your brand and grow your business.

01. Set up your online store

To get started, you’ll need to set up your online store. Squarespace offers easy-to-customize website templates that are designed to help you showcase your products at their absolute best. Use our rich product merchandising tools to upload high-resolution images and videos. Then add product descriptions to help customers learn more about each item. Every Squarespace online store has a built-in inventory management system to help you keep track of what’s in stock.
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02. Connect a payment processor

Next, you’ll need to connect a payment processor to your online store in order to be able to enable transactions. You can connect Stripe, PayPal, or both. Choosing which processor to use for your online store depends on a few factors, like where you‘re located and which payment methods you want to offer. Connecting Stripe lets customers pay with their debit and credit card. Stripe accepts payments from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover (US merchants only). You can also accept Apple Pay from customers checking out on a supported device. You can choose the option that makes the most sense for your business. If you’re selling a physical product, you can also learn more about our shipping options to find the one that works best for your business.
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03. Go live

Once you have your online store designed and the payment processor in place, your online store is officially open for business. Make sure you’ve added a custom domain to your account – it’s free if you sign up for an annual billing plan with Squarespace. Custom domains give your site a professional look, strengthen your brand, and make it easier for visitors to find you on the web. And remember, you can always go back and make edits to your online store later. Don’t let your pursuit of perfection stand in the way of your business’ big debut.
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04. Add a discount

You may want to try offering discount to new customers visiting your website. Set up a Promotional Banner encouraging them to take advantage of this special offer. Or you could create a Pop-Up that welcomes new visitors to your store and offers them a discount to encourage them to sign up for your mailing list.
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05. Boost your online store’s SEO

Now that your online store is open and ready for business, it’s time to find some customers. If you’re an established brand, you can announce your new store to your existing fan base. However, if you’re a newer business, you can start adding content to your online store to help boost your Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
SEO is the process of improving your site‘s ranking in search results. While the factors search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use to rank sites are kept secret and change frequently, we build all known SEO best practices into every Squarespace online store. As the host for millions of websites for over a decade, we’ve implemented various strategies to help your site appear in search engine results. We’ve also created this helpful SEO checklist that you can review to make sure you’re taking advantage of every feature we offer.
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06. Get the word out

Make sure you integrate your business’s social accounts with your online store so you can post about new products, sales, and special announcements. If you’re selling physical products on your website, you can even connect your inventory with Instagram to allow your followers to shop directly from your social post.
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08. Drive traffic to your website

One way to increase the number of visitors to your online store is by running advertisements. When you sign up for a Squarespace Online Store, you get a free $100 Google Ads credit when you spend $25 or more. You can use this credit to create online ads that appear in search results and other places in the Google Network.
You can also use Facebook Dynamic Ads to help you target new customers by promoting products in your inventory relevant to their interests. Facebook Dynamic Ads uses the Facebook Pixel to track visitors’ activity, and based on its insights, automatically shows them personalized ads for your products they‘re more likely to purchase.
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09. Use analytics to gain insights

In order to continue to grow your audience, it’s important to understand where your current traffic is coming from. With Squarespace Analytics, you can get a clear picture of your visitors and their behavior through visual reports on statistics like pageviews, conversion, sales, referrers, and popular content. You can also download the Squarespace app to gain access to all of your data from anywhere. For your online store, your Analytics panel is designed to help you understand customer behavior with the help of some of these features:
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  • Abandoned Cart - Get insight into abandoned carts and the success of Abandoned Checkout Recovery emails.
  • Activity Log - See a searchable list of every time a visitor accessed a URL on your site in the past seven days. Includes IP addresses.
  • Form & Button Conversions - Track how visitors engage with your forms and buttons using Form & Button Conversions.
  • Geography - View site visits by country, region, or city.
  • Google Search Keywords - See which search keywords drive the most traffic to your site from Google.
  • Purchase Funnel - See a visual report on your store’s sales funnel and conversion rate.
  • Sales By Product - See how each item you sell is performing.
  • Traffic - Get insight into traffic and engagement trends and track your audience’s growth over time.
  • Traffic Sources - See where visitors come from when they visit your site by channel. If you’re on the Commerce Basic or Advanced Plan, you can see how much revenue each channel—like social, email, and direct traffic—drives to your business.
Making your first sale with an online store on Squarespace

A step-by-step guide to making your first sale

  1. Set up your online store

    Find a template that works best for your business.

    Sample template
  2. Connect a payment processor

    Enable transactions with your customers.

    Payment processor UI
  3. Go live

    Open your online store for business.

    Publishing your website
  4. Add a discount

    Welcome your new customers.

    Discount panel
  5. Boost your online store’s SEO

    Add new and relevant content.

    SEO checklist
  6. Get the word out

    Start marketing your online store.

    Social media promotional post
  7. Start building an email list

    Collect visitors’ email addresses.

    Email campaigns subscription field
  8. Drive traffic to your website

    Create targeted ads.

    Dynamic ads
  9. Use Analytics to gain insight

    Learn from customer behavior.

    Analytics panel
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