OCTOBER 17, 2016 • ARMANDO ROGGIO
You’ve just launched a new ecommerce business. You can hardly stop clicking the links and marveling at your products. But the orders haven’t started to roll in. So now what do you do?New ecommerce business owners often find that orders are slow to arrive when the site launches. It can be hard to figure out why.
It will take time for your ecommerce business to grow. One of the worst parts of starting a new business is the lull after the launch.Leading up to the launch, you were busy getting products ready, working on the website, opening merchant accounts, and creating social media profiles, among other tasks. You had action items on your to-do list. When you launch your business, most of that activity stops or changes. You find yourself waiting for an order. If you’re like me, you visit your new site, clicking, searching, and waiting for someone to buy. Just be patient. Your new site has not yet had the time to earn organic search traffic. Your social media accounts and content are too new to generate many sales, and even your marketing will need to be optimized over time. If it helps, remember this quote from Aristotle, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
Check and Re-check Your Online Store
Since you may have some time on your hands just after the launch, check and re-check your website. Things that you may have inspected or proofread a thousand times before you launched your online store may now stand out. For example, a recently launched online clothing shop had a series of t-shirts featuring letters, like A and B. The shirt titles were descriptive, telling the shopper which letter the shirt featured, what color ink was used for printing, and whether it was printed on a men’s or women’s shirt. All of the titles followed this convention, so you had products called:
- The Letter A in White Men’s T-shirt
- The Letter B in Black Women’s T-shirt
The problem was that it wasn’t clear that “White” modified “The Letter A” and that “Men’s” modified “T-shirt.”
The merchant used a pipe character to make the titles clear.
- The Letter A in White | Men’s T-shirt
- The Letter B in Black | Women’s T-shirt
This is the sort of problem you can catch when you check and re-check your site, even after it is live.
You likely had some content created when you launched your online store, say a blog post or two. The relatively slow period right after your ecommerce business goes live is a good time to work on content marketing. Try to publish evergreen content that will last a long time. And remember, content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content with the express goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. For it to work, your content should be useful, entertaining, or both. The return from content marketing is not often as rapid from pay-per-click advertising, for example, but it may be a greater in the long term.
Connect on Social Media
Immediately after your online store goes live can also be a good time to connect on social media networks. Rather than trying to be on every social media platform, pick a few that make sense for your audience — perhaps Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, as examples. Use these platforms try to engage. Consider these tactics:
- Join or create a group;
- Ask genuine questions;
- Like and follow good content creators;
- Share interesting content;
- Respond to messages or comments;
- Post entertaining and shareable images or videos.
Experiment with Marketing
Ecommerce marketing can often resemble the scientific method: experimenting with ads and offers, measuring results, analyzing those results, and then making changes to optimize your campaign. You will repeat this process over and over again as you try to generate more profit for your online store. Start this process almost immediately after you launch your business. For example, you might experiment with a Facebook shop or buy buttons on Pinterest. You might begin testing pay-per-click ads on Google or Bing. You might even test shared direct mail or other traditional marketing.
Focus Your Efforts
Finally, just after your store launches, remember to focus your efforts. Do a few things really well. Remember what Bruce Lee said, ”I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”