E-commerce is a booming industry: 2021 saw $215 billion worth of sales in the first quarter alone. Nailing your e-commerce site launch can be crucial to cornering part of the market. Fortunately, you can leverage preemptive research to make a splash in the digital marketplace.
In this article, we’ll cover why a powerful e-commerce site launch is essential. Then we’ll take you through three helpful tips to ensure that your store starts on the right foot. Let’s get to work!
Why Your E-Commerce Site Launch is Important
It’s hard to overstate the importance of a first impression. When you launch your site, you’re not just opening up for business. You’re also introducing your brand to customers, competitors, and search engines.
In a world where more than 70% of consumers have linked a purchase to a positive brand reputation, this introduction is crucial. Image management can be hard, especially if you can’t establish your reputation early on.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you plan an impactful launch. When you’re revealing a new page, there are countless marketing opportunities. This can include anything from advertising new products to inviting customer reviews. As such, launches are a prime opportunity to establish your brand:
Furthermore, redesigning an e-commerce site after an unsuccessful launch isn’t easy either. One company put the timeline anywhere from six months to a year or beyond. Additionally, this consideration doesn’t even include the monetary cost of redoing your store.
Therefore, getting things right on the first try can be critical. It helps you take advantage of new customer relations, provides several marketing opportunities, and prevents costly redos in the future.
How to Nail Your E-Commerce Site Launch (3 Essential Tips)
Fortunately, you have a lot of control over whether your launch will sink or swim. Here are a few tips to help you prepare a dazzling debut.
1. Understand Your Niche Competitors
Regardless of your store, it’s probably safe to say that you have a niche. However, it’s extremely rare to be alone in a specialty. Artisanal coffee, handmade scarves, digital products—whatever you sell, you probably have at least one similar competitor.
Understanding your customers’ other options is key to a successful launch. You need to know what you’re up against to effectively market to a relevant audience. Without knowledge of similar established brands, you risk being unable to stack up to their performance.
This is a well-proven point, too: 37% of e-commerce stores that fail during the first 120 days cite poor online marketing as the reason. A keen awareness of competitors can resolve this by guiding your promotional efforts.
Moreover, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your niche competitors. For example, what does the biggest name in the business do well? Furthermore, what do they do poorly, and can your company improve upon it? Research like this can help your brand stand out from the crowd.
A powerful tool to help with this preparation is the Google Keyword Planner:
Keywords represent topics that people are searching for. The Google Keyword Planner can help you find terms that are popular, but not as commonly covered. It’s an excellent way to find and fill a niche that your competitors have yet to dominate.
2. Reach Out to Influencers Early
New websites face unique challenges. For example, 92% of consumers will hesitate to make a purchase if there aren’t any reviews. This can pose a problem if you can’t send out beta versions of your products.
Fortunately, early product launches aren’t your only option. Influencers can offer authoritative support too. In addition to the other benefits of working with an influencer, establishing early contact with them can legitimize your brand.
Therefore, it’s smart to provide influencers with your offerings as early as possible. This will give them time to thoroughly understand your products and build an effective marketing plan for their audiences.
Furthermore, an influencer doesn’t have to be purely supportive of your site. On the contrary, soliciting an unbiased review can demonstrate your confidence in your store. You can consider the running shoe enthusiast Kieran Thomas as an example:
Nearly 1,000 runners follow Thomas for his shoe reviews. Micro-influencers like him can help you reach niche markets and grow buzz around your site’s launch. Additionally, using smaller-scale creators can increase the authentic feel of your brand.
If you decide to reach out to influencers, you might also want to consider setting up an emailing list. An influencer can redirect potential customers to sign up for news about your site. That way, you can send out notifications to increase interest as the launch day approaches.
When the day comes, your customers will know exactly where to find your products. Moreover, the influencer’s relationship with their followers can also provide you with a valuable marketing resource of interested shoppers to support your site in its early stages.
3. Demonstrate Your Focus on Security
Addressing security issues ahead of your site’s launch can prevent a lot of grief: 52% of consumers wouldn’t consider making a purchase from a company that’s experienced a data breach. Preventing it in the first place can thus help you avoid negative association.
When setting up your page, we highly recommend that you use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) instead of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The difference may seem subtle, but HTTPS is vastly more secure. This is especially important for e-commerce sites that accept payments.
Fortunately, it’s also fairly easy to set up. Many web hosting providers like WP Engine include Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) certificates in their plans. You can even get the same resources for free from Let’s Encrypt. Having your site’s security sorted out before you launch will demonstrate your dedication to a safe shopping experience.
Nevertheless, you might not have your own secure checkout ready in time for the launch. Instead of rushing the setup, you might want to consider using a trusted payment method, such as PayPal:
Customers will be able to easily see that PayPal is safely handling the transaction. If you don’t have much of a reputation yet, this can encourage shoppers to purchase. You don’t have to use this tool forever, but it can be a lifesaver early on.
Finally, you might also want to consider creating stellar blog content before your launch. A knowledge base may not improve your security directly, but it can demonstrate your authority in the field. This can in turn make your site appear more credible.
Starting an e-commerce website can be a daunting task. Nailing the launch can be even harder. Fortunately, you can help your store succeed with a little bit of research and preparation.
Do you have any questions about nailing your e-commerce site launch? Let us know in the comments section below!