Whether you’re starting a new business online or looking to extend your existing product range, product release strategies are of the utmost importance. Successful product launch strategies can set you up for long-term success and growth.
Launching new e-commerce products is both challenging and fun. It’s a lot more than just making a simple announcement.
According to research, more than 30,000 new products are launched annually out of which 95% fail because they don’t sell at the frequency required to be profitable.
In many cases, the biggest culprit is the lack of preparation and planning. The key is to pay attention to each product individually.
All in all, as your business grows, your product range will also expand to keep up with the growing customer’s needs.
For your convenience, we’ve created this comprehensive e-commerce product launch guide to help you get started.
Before we shed light on the essentials of a great product launch, first have a quick look at some of the common mistakes you must avoid before you launch a new product.
Common Product Launch Mistakes To Avoid
Relying On Past Data To Predict Future Growth
One of the biggest mistakes e-commerce store owners make is they rely on past data to make future strategies.
If you made $2 million in sales last year, and you expect to receive similar gains this year (with the same strategies and channels for new products), then you’re limiting what you could achieve with updated techniques and advanced approaches.
As a general rule, each product deserves a customized selling strategy that you must curate after conducting thorough market research.
Setting The Wrong Price
Setting the wrong price is another critical factor that can significantly impact the viability and success of your product launch.
There is a lot of research and planning that goes into deciding the prices of new products you have just launched on your e-commerce store.
Ignoring Customer Reviews/Feedback
Customers are the most valuable asset for any business.
You must have received plenty of feedback from your customers if you have already done a soft launch for your new product.
While positive feedback indicates that your new product has been received well by your target audience, negative feedback can highlight issues with your latest offerings and pinpoint gaps that you must fill in to have a successful product launch.
Ignoring valuable customer feedback may result in serious trust issues, which will act as a customer repellant if not resolved in time.
Read our guide on "How To Use Customer Feedback To Improve Your Ecommerce Store’s User Experience" to improve your user experience through customer feedback and reviews.
Not Testing The Market
It’s also essential to test your product first before you launch it officially in your store. You need to know that the product you’re about to launch is something your target audience is looking for. Testing the market will also enable you to gain valuable insights and feedback about your upcoming offerings.
Having No Solid Product Release Plan
You may have to reconsider your business approach if you think that referral marketing is enough to keep your business moving. Having a proper product launch plan allows you to reach your target audience and improve results.
Making Commitments You Can’t Keep
“DO NOT MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP!”
Your new product should be able to deliver what you have promised your customers in your marketing content and product launch plans.
Try to be as accurate as possible so that your customers will receive the same quality they were expecting in the first place.
How To Effectively Release New E-Commerce Products On A Consistent Basis?
Planning a winning product launch requires a great deal of strategic planning, testing, and marketing. It’s a multi-step process and demands lots of time, effort, and research.
Here are some proven e-commerce product launch ideas you should consider before, after, and at the time of introducing new products to your e-store.
Choose The Best Product To Sell
Selecting the best product to sell is the first step in any successful product release strategy. Luckily, choosing a profitable product for your e-commerce store is easier said than done.
Here, the key is to conduct in-depth market research and identify customer’s pain points. Keyword research also plays a crucial role in gauging customer interest. Try to find the best keywords and phrases that customers are typing in the search box while looking for their favorite products.
Apart from that, you can also conduct interviews and surveys to start discovering the latest trends.
Know Your Customers
Knowing your customers is key to a successful product launch strategy. Identifying their goals, buying preferences, and pain points could drive e-commerce store owners to create and deliver personalized solutions.
The good news is knowing about your customers isn’t as difficult as it may sound. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to know your customers either. You can consider just a small group of, say, 12-15 customers to understand what they need.
You can directly talk to them and collect customer feedback about what they expect from your upcoming product launches. These conversations will help you identify the pain points of your customers, and you can work harder to create a more personalized and targeted solution.
Conduct Beta Testing
You must beta-test products and gather feedback before you launch them officially in your store. You can consider your existing customers or friends and family for this process. Send them samples of your product, then collect feedback, and analyze the results.
Have Enough Inventory To Fulfill Orders
When introducing a new product in an online store, the worst thing owners and marketers can do is hype it, only to realize later that they don’t have ample inventory to fulfill all the orders they’re getting after the launch.
Online sellers who have already stocked up a new entry but are getting orders consistently should request customers to pre-order. Alternatively, you can opt for a dropshipping sourcing channel, in which you can directly get your order shipped from the vendor’s side.
Create A Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
No matter how interesting or trending your new product is, it won’t get the customer’s attention if you fail to market it effectively.
First things first, you have to curate a relevant message that you can use to introduce a new entry to your store. Pay special attention to the tone and content of your message so that it can best get through to your customers.
You can also consider creating videos demoing your new product. Last but not least, you can also create a dedicated landing page to send referrals to and sell more products.
Create Relevant Content
Before you officially launch a new product in your store, make sure you have relevant product descriptions, tutorials, and a few reviews handy.
Content marketing is the best way to convince your potential customers to buy from you. And you must leverage this channel to promote your new products.
Organize A Customer Support Team
The customer support team on your website and your live chat agents should be given training before you launch any other product on your store. They should be well-acquainted with all the product details, specs, pricing, and delivery options.
Send Out A Newsletter
Once you have everything in place, inform your customers that you’re all set to launch a new product. Give a sneak peek of your product along with highlighted features, specs, images, and a video (if possible) in your newsletter.
Once you have everything ready, it’s time to officially launch a product on your e-store. There are several steps you should follow at the time of product launch.
The day you have decided to launch a new product is a perfect opportunity to trigger excitement.
Make this moment special for your target audience by hosting a contest or a giveaway. You can also offer a flat discount or coupon codes for the first 10 or 20 buyers. Announcing a free shipping offer for the first month will also create urgency.
Announce special discounts and giveaways to your VIP customers who have always shown interest in your offers.
Excellent E-Commerce Product Launch Ideas
Informative Facebook lives demonstrating the benefits/application of products
Host a webinar and talk about the product you’re launching
Conduct social contests to gather social proofs
The idea is to generate as much interest as possible. Remember, the time, money, and effort you’re investing today can go a long way.
Launch Your Announcement Campaign
Product launch is an exciting moment for e-commerce store owners. Things must be a lot easier for you if you’re already using any type of marketing automation program for your online business.
You can sit back and relax, while everything will be handled by automated software for you.
These automated programs are designed to schedule and send out pre-built announcement campaigns. Also, these platforms can handle sudden traffic upsurges, lead capture, and follow-ups.
With a marketing automated platform, you don’t have to personally thank your customers for making a purchase. Also, it will chase those customers who have abandoned their carts for some reason.
Post Launch Phase
A result-driven product launch strategy isn’t confined to the actual launch process only. Once you have launched your product successfully, it’s time now to follow up with everyone who purchased the new product.
Send emails and ask customers about their buying experience. You may also ask them to rate their experience in a store or leave a testimonial.
Contact Customers Who Didn’t Purchase A New Product
Congratulations! You’re already having lots of traffic to your store. Both existing and new customers are showing interest in your new product. But what about those who have abandoned their carts and left the checkout process in the middle?
You must make efforts to convert those uncertain customers too.
Send these customers an automated cart abandonment email and tell them what they missed out on.
Request A Review
The reviews and testimonials you get from your customers are an invaluable asset that builds trust and persuades other visitors to make a purchase. Once you have successfully converted a few customers, send an email and ask them to drop genuine feedback for your newly-launched product.
You can also offer an incentive (a discount/free shipping) to help those confused customers convert.
Even if you’re getting great reviews, make sure you invest some time and money to measure the success of your product launch campaign.
Analyze KPIs so that you can use that knowledge to create more profitable product launches in the future.
This will enable you to adjust your strategy and become more focused on your selling efforts.
Bonus - Additional Product Launch Tips
Your product positioning should blend well with present-day market shifts. Take a simple example here. Many e-commerce stores have added a range of new products to their existing product range after the Covid-19 crisis. Especially, stores dealing with health and hygiene, beauty, apparel, and pharmaceuticals have introduced a range of products that are in line with the recommended Coronavirus safety protocols
Keep your sales and product teams in the loop to ensure everyone in your team is on the same page
What If You Have To Delay A Product Launch?
You should make every possible effort to follow the schedule you have created for your product launch. However, you should delay a product launch if:
✔ your product isn’t ready for a launch. Make sure you extend a timeline in that case to offer the best customer experience
✔ your existing customers are not happy with your current offers. In that case, you should first make efforts to satisfy your current clientage before you ask them to trust a new product
✔ something occurs on a global level that has forced your target audience to shift their spending priorities
Over To You!
There you have it. We hope this post has cleared some of your doubts about an e-commerce product launch.
Have questions? Feel free to drop your comments and queries in the comments section below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.