One of the driving factors behind the fast-paced world of e-commerce is the introduction of new products. More product variety attracts more sales, revenue and brand awareness. Customer demand is also very high; no less than 75% of consumers searches online for new products every month. That's why it makes perfect sense for your company to add something new to your range. However, before you get lost in the excitement of an impending ecommerce product launch, it's important to evaluate your readiness.
WHY IS PLANNING SO IMPORTANT TO THE PRODUCT INTRODUCTION PROCESS OF E-COMMERCE?
According to Harvard Business School, 95% of the 30,000 new products launched annually ultimately fail. The same study attributes lack of or poor preparation as the biggest reason for failure. Therefore, the planning phase may be more important than the product a company is about to bring to market. Preparing for an e-commerce product launch is a time-consuming and cost-intensive process that should be approached with caution.
The forces that determine the success of an e-commerce product launch are many. In addition, some are out of control; a few moments of bad luck can derail a good plan. Therefore, every business department needs a coordinated team effort to launch a new product. Everyone, from sales to marketing to customer relations, has to push their limits for the best results.
STEPS TO ACHIEVE A SUCCESSFUL E-COMMERCE PRODUCT LAUNCH
CARRY OUT A MAJOR MARKET RESEARCH
First, the important questions that define your ecommerce product launch strategy should be asked and answered early. Detailed research will reveal the demand for your new product and the demographics of the customers most in need of what the company offers. Moreover, at this stage it is also crucial to map out your competitors.
Ideally, you want minimal competition so that you can easily gain a stronghold in the market. However, your new product can still thrive in a crowded space if it solves problems that existing options don't solve. Remember that 84% of the customers value business innovation, so look at the flaws of the current market offering and design your new product to be better.
PREPARE YOUR POSITIONING STATEMENT
After you've noted the key findings of your market research, it's time to write the positioning statement for your ecommerce product launch. This should include information such as:
- What do you offer?
- Who you offer it to, and
- What distinguishes your new product?
This positioning statement is the foundation on which most of your marketing will be built. Therefore, make sure that it is carefully and professionally made.
CREATE A GO-TO MARKET STRATEGY
Creating your go-to-market strategy is the next step to a successful launch of e-commerce products. This is a written action plan that clarifies how the product gets into the hands of the end users. Therefore, this proposition should include distribution models and touchpoints, pricing, advertising plans, and more. With this go-to-market strategy in hand, your business will be better equipped to deal with challenges that may arise later.
DESIGN YOUR MARKETING CAMPAIGN
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of good marketing for the e-commerce product launch. Even undersized new products can sell massively on day one thanks to their marketing campaigns. Therefore, your team cannot afford any mistakes at this stage. Set a launch date and decide on strategies that maximize sales and conversions. For example, email marketing can be a great way to reach existing customers, while social media marketing can attract new customers. Additionally, affiliate marketers, social media influencers, and partner brands can be helpful. So make sure you find a place for them in your plan.
GENERATE A BUZZ
For your ecommerce product launch to go well, there needs to be an air of excitement around it. Interestingly, 1 in 3 customers discover new products on social media first. That's why platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are great places to generate a buzz. Tease audiences with photo and video content that showcases clips without giving too much away. Also, the countdown to the launch date on your website is a handy way to keep your new product in everyone's mind.
CONSIDER A SOFT LAUNCH
While this is not a critical step, a soft launch can be very beneficial. It involves distributing your new product – for free or at a discount – to a select number of people. By doing this, you can achieve two things before your ecommerce product launch. First, you'll receive feedback that can be used to improve your new product before it's released. Second, the individuals involved in this test launch can create excitement by talking about your product online and offline.
RELEASE, EVALUATE AND REVIEW
The launch date you've been working so hard for is finally here, but that's not the last step for the ecommerce product launch. Evaluate results using analytics tools to track impressions, sales, and other key metrics. These will help make decisions to change marketing strategies and also improve future launches. Keep in mind that it takes about four months for most new products to reach 75% from their distribution peak. So make sure you don't make any panicky decisions in the first weeks after launch. Take your time and stick to the long-term plan.
In short, launching a new product is a challenging process for any person e-commerce company. However, if you use the above steps as a guideline, your ecommerce product launch should go relatively smoothly and succeed.