Pre-launching E-commerce Store: Preparation & Strategies

Clair Feng

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Here's the thing, starting a successful e-commerce business is challenging.

Just think about it, you have to convince strangers to become customers with little to no social proof. It's hard, but once you get over this stage, your store (whether built on Shoplazza, Shopify, or other platforms) will be flooded with new sales every day.

There's one method that helps you get over this stage as quickly as possible and skyrocket your growth: Pre-launch.

What is a Pre-Launch & Why Should You Care?

To put it simply, pre-launch marketing is hyping your audience up before launching your eCommerce store. It's basically rocket fuel for launching your successful business. The benefits include:

  • Quick Social Proof: One of the biggest problems with new eCommerce businesses is that they don't have any social proof, because most people won't buy anything when they don't see any reviews.
  • Sales from Day One: Imagine launching your store and receiving hundreds of orders in just a few days? Isn’t that satisfying? Everything is possible if you do your marketing correctly.

But do you want to know the best thing? This strategy can be repeated over and over again. Anytime you launch new products, you can use a pre-launch strategy.

4-Step Formula to Skyrocketing Your Business With a Pre-Launch Campaign

Step #1 - Market Research & Create an Irresistible Offer

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The first step in creating a magnificent pre-launch campaign is understanding what your market is like. If you don't know, the best you'll do is make a mediocre offer that piques the interest of your potential customers.

So start researching your market. Find information about their desires and fears by:

  • Observing competitors: Look through your competitors' websites and social media channels! What are they saying in their sales pitches? What fears do they mention? Write all of them down.
  • Examine Amazon reviews: When you look at both positive and negative customer reviews, you may learn a lot about what products people are looking for. You'll also learn what type of language they use, which helps create an irresistible offer.

There are many more ways to do market research, but these should help you find information about your clients and what types of offers they like.

Step #2 - Build Your Waiting List

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Once you've got your irresistible offer ready, it's time to build a list of eager buyers. But how do you do it? Here's what I would do:

  • First, I'd build a presence on one of the most popular social media platforms. It's easy to get some followers with ads.
  • Then, I'd direct these followers to a simple landing page with my offer. All I'd ask for is their email address.

Step #3 - Cultivate Your Waiting List

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Building an audience isn’t enough. Remember, you don't have any social proof, so you’ll need to warm up your audience and earn their trust before they whip out their credit cards. You can achieve this by:

  • Live Streams: One of the best ways to build trust is to show your face and product live. In those live streams, you can show off the product and engage with your audience by letting them choose which design works best for them.
  • Updates: For example, you can send some emails or social media posts about how your business is going every week. It doesn't matter if it's going bad or good; if you're transparent, people will trust you more.

There are many other ways, but remember one thing: You need to engage with your audience; otherwise, they won't care about your product.

Step #4 - Launch Your Campaign

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A few days before your Shopify or Shoplazza business goes live, you should begin hyping up your product. Remind the audience about your irresistible offer and mention the time it will be available. Then launch it, and see the sales flood in. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Use FOMO: FOMO (also known as Fear Of Missing Out) is a powerful tool to make your customers buy now instead of later. For instance, you can tell them that there is only a limited quantity of products available (scarcity) or that the deal will expire soon (urgency).
  • Send Abandoned Cart Emails: Did you know that 3/4 of customers abandon their cart? That's crazy, right? With the proper tools, you can reclaim some of those customers and increase your profitability.

Conclusion

To recap, a pre-launch campaign is necessary because it makes it easier for you to jumpstart your eCommerce business by providing the first purchases and essential reviews.

For this to work, you need to do four things:

  • Create an irresistible offer;
  • Grow your audience;
  • Warm up the audience by engaging with them;
  • Launch your campaign correctly.

(Contributed by Andreas Ojala; Co-author: Clair Feng, Ethan Tang)

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