I was sitting in my office sweating while staring at the countdown timer. Time itself seemed to have stood still. I was both excited and nervous, after weeks of preparation and hard work I was about to go live with a new product I helped my brother launch.
This was the moment of truth. Would I fail miserably? Crack under the pressure?
3, 2, 1.
I hit the publish button.
What happened next still blows me away as I write this. Orders starting pouring in. One, Two, Ten, Fifty, Hundred. By ten minutes we had sold $3,348 of the new product. And by the end of the week we had sold $10,000 worth. It’s still sold out on the store: http://recycledfirefighter.com/products/field-notes-case-the-inspector
I know everyone has read success stories of ecommerce businesses, but this post is different, this will show you practical steps that you can take to have a successful ecommerce store.
Step One – Clear Brand
The best thing you can do for your ecommerce business is to have a clear and strong brand. Who are you? Why should I as a potential customer care? I want to connect with your story, and see myself in your narrative. So talk directly to me, and bring me in.
Part of that narrative is the visual assets of your brand. You need to have a logo that is well designed and memorable. I’m partial to my own branding designs of course (which range from $750-$2,500) but if you are strapped for cash pay $299 with http://99designs.com/ and thank me later.
Step Two – Ecommerce software and Web design
I’m combining these two because they go hand in hand. It’s in your best interest to have a quality ecommerce software system that can handle the traffic as well as order volume that you’ll be generating. Don’t just spring for an online store because it’s cheap. I recommend Shopify (this is my own affiliate link to signup). Shopify is the main reason why we sold $3,348 in ten minutes. I can’t overstate the fact that if your online store software sucks, you are literally losing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. I’ve helped dozens of stores become successful online, and if you’re interested in hearing more drop me an email josh at solidgiant.com No pressure though. :)
Step Three – Build a Community
This is arguably the hardest step, but the most valuable. In order to successfully launch a product, you need to know where your community is. In the case of my brothers business, he’s done a great job building his Instagram community: http://instagram.com/recycledfirefighter But your community might be active on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or others. In order to have a successful ecommerce store, your community must be online, have money, and be willing to spend it. It takes time to build a community, but as you do it helps you validate new product ideas, and launch successful ones as well.
Step Four – Build Anticipation
After you’ve built your community, you need to build anticipation for the product launch. I accomplished this by putting in a countdown timer on the homepage of the ecommerce store as well as the product page itself. We then told our community on Instagram when the product launch was. We set our timer for 7 days. This allowed us time to get the word out, and was soon enough that people wouldn’t forget.
10 minutes before the launch I logged into Google Analytics to check on the active user count, and there were over a hundred people waiting on the product page to buy the product. Crazy!
Step Five – Launch and sit back
Now that you have a clear brand, awesome website, online community and you’ve built anticipation for your product, you are ready to launch! Congrats if you’ve made it this far! It took me weeks of work to get to that point before we sold $3,348 in ten minutes, but this blog post will shortcut that time for you!
Have you had a successful product launch?
Have you had a failed product launch?
I’d love to hear your story, leave a comment or email me directly josh at solidgiant.com