Ecommerce marketing is something that every soon-to-launch store needs to start selling right away. With more retail businesses looking at online stores, having a proper launch strategy in place is hugely important. Competition has become a major challenge for new stores. Staying ahead of the competition and bringing in potential customers before you open your virtual doors is therefore vital. Many stores who are planning their grand opening assume that once those virtual doors open, customers will arrive. The trouble with this thinking is that customers will only know about your store if you tell them about it… before it opens.
Ecommerce Marketing Tips for Online Store Launches
In this guide, we share some tips on how to plan your ecommerce marketing strategies for your upcoming launch. Get your launch process into gear with the help of these ecommerce marketing tips.
1. Start planning early
The most important tip of all is to start planning (and marketing) as early as possible. You don’t even have to have your website and store up and running initially. You can start with a launch landing page that also acts as a lead form to get people to sign up for updates. The aim of planning before your launch is to know exactly how you will bring in new customers, before and after the launch. You will need to plan and start your social media channels. You will need to get an SEO strategy in place, and an SEM strategy. You will need to look at every other channel you plan to use and start growing your presence across every channel. You will also need to look at content, user experience, and various other factors that will influence your campaign success.
2. Build your email list
While we’re talking about emails, another thing that can greatly help is capturing emails well in advance of your launch. As we briefly mentioned above, a ‘coming soon’ or countdown landing page is a great way to capture emails and keep subscribers updated on launch progress, special offers, product sneak peeks, and any other information that will encourage people to want to shop once your doors officially open. Growing an email list takes time and leaving this until your store is open can end up setting you back a great deal. Starting early will give you an added advantage, with an audience that has already been grown before the launch. If you deliver a consistent, customer-focused experience and add genuine value through relevant blog articles, tips, delivery information, product information, Ecommerce FAQ, and other content, you will also be able to start growing your reputation early.
3. Create hype
One reason to get those emails and social media channels going is to create hype. Your goal with launches is to get as many customers as possible to visit your store when you launch. That means creating plenty of hype. There are many ways that this can be done. You can use your email campaign and landing page to do a daily or weekly countdown. You can get interactive with social media posts that engage your audience. This could include getting followers to guess popular products, using hashtags, doing sneak previews, using influencers to try products and share their input, fun product videos, and various other campaigns designed to generate interest. Ideally, you want your ecommerce marketing plans to encourage people to look forward to your launch.
4. Spread the word
This also means using word of mouth. As much as brand-generated content helps, user-generated content can be even more effective for store launches. Influencers can be very effective here but there are other ways to get people to spread the word about your launch. Offer rewards for recommendations, ask followers to share what they are most looking forward to finding at your store, use custom hashtags, consider blogs from potential customers, publicly ask for questions your audience might have, and make use of smart online advertising to get your ads and posts in front of the right audience at the right time.
5. Use discounts wisely
On the topic of discounts, these are a very good addition to your ecommerce marketing strategy. With that said, be careful about how you use discounts. Special launch prices, benefits for the first x number of customer, points for referrals, discounts on delivery, and various other offers will all help your results. But, make sure that you are clear that these are launch offers. Being clear on how you promote discounts will avoid confusion that may arise if customers expect low prices all the time. You can still make use of loyalty offers even after your store launches, of course. For the initial launch, you aim to attract visitors who will still want to spend money even after the initial reduced prices have been replaced by regular prices.
6. Be authentic and transparent
A common challenge related to launches is that your store has not had customers yet. For potential customers, this can be daunting. It is hard for customers to know what to expect in terms of your shipping process, returns policy, support, and other areas relating to the store. You don’t get have reviews (aside from any influencer or sneak peek reviews you may have). Essentially, it comes to customers having to trust you and accept that you are going to deliver on what you offer. With that in mind, you will need to be fully transparent at all times. You will also need to be authentic and show customers that you are open to questions, actively seeking feedback, listening to potential concerns, and clear about your store and how you will operate.
7. Focus on customer experience
Customer experience is the most important thing for any store – new or old. If you are not able to back your hype and pre-launch strategies with excellent service and a smooth, seamless experience for customers, you will not have much chance of growing your store. As the saying goes, start as you mean to go on. This means kicking off with top-rate service, simplifying your site, making it as easy as possible for customers to find information, keeping product descriptions enticing and useful, and doing anything else that will help the customer journey. Once you have established your store as one that puts customers first, it will be far easier to start growing your reputation. This, in turn, will keep attracting customers (and encourage returning customers, too).
Ecommerce Marketing for Store Launches
As you can see, preparing for your store launch can take a bit of strategising and planning. When you have a solid strategy in place and you understand how best to attract potential customers it will be a lot easier to plan your launch. Marketing your store should be done well ahead of your launch and then continue as your store grows. Starting your ecommerce marketing campaigns on the right note can make all the difference, helping you scale and see results right from the start.