Wondering when to start ecommerce marketing? You may assume that you first need to have your online shop up and running before you think about marketing. In reality, waiting until things are established can end up making it far harder to grow. Treating ecommerce marketing as an afterthought can do more harm than you realise.
Getting Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy Started
When is the best time to get started, then? Here are some things to consider when deciding on the best time to get your ecommerce marketing started.
Ideally, the best time to get started is well before the launch of your ecommerce website. The earlier you start to build a following across your ecommerce channels, including social media, email, and blog, the more easily it will become to plan a successful launch. Building hype, offering exclusive pre-launch discounts and driving other pre-launch strategies will also help you begin to build trust, which is key for ongoing customer loyalty efforts. During this phase, you are essentially focusing on building your brand rather than making sales. Consistency is essential in order to provide a cohesive brand experience that is conducive to growing your reputation and increasing trust.
Once you officially launch, you begin to shift the focus to sales. But even if you wait until launching to start marketing, the earlier you can get started, the better. It is far harder to promote an established store that has very little followers, engagement and awareness. Promoting a new store that has recently launched is far easier. Waiting too long can make it harder to establish trust and reputation. If you may any major changes to your branding or approach after being online for a few months or a few years, it can result in lost sales and lost reputation. Launching with a clear plan in place will help you grow organically in a way that is designed to drive sales and encourage repeat customers. Ideas you could consider at this point include loyalty programmes, informative product videos, helpful guides, referral programmes, email marketing, social media, and many others.
This can be the hardest phase to kickstart a marketing strategy. Obviously, better late than never. But, waiting until you are already established means that you will have to consider rebranding or you will have to approach your strategy very carefully. Reputation takes time to build. If your shop is successful even without any marketing, you are one of the lucky etailers. Most struggle to find customers in the first place, let alone convert those customers into sales. Leaving things until you are already trying to enter the growth phase means including all the other phases into your strategy on top of growth strategies. You will essentially have to drive awareness, grow your reputation and make it easier for people to buy from your store. This can end up taking far more time, effort and budget to see results.
Once you have your ecommerce website or social channels in place and you are preparing to launch, make sure that you start getting your ecommerce marketing sorted, too, before it is too late.