The weeks following the launch of your online store are critical in the formation of your brand identity. To capitalize on all the hard work you’ve done to reach this point, it is important to focus your efforts on the right things in the early days of your business venture.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope of your goals and long-term marketing objectives, especially when you are just starting out. However, an effective business plan will identify realistic timescales for these goals, along with the key performance indicators to which you will need to refer along the way.
What this means is that in week one, your focus should be on a few vital factors that will help your business get off the ground and set it on the path to success. Here are some sensible priorities for your first week in business, and how you can set about achieving these goals.
Spreading the Word
Naturally, one of your first priorities is to make sure people know about your business. Spread the word on social media, consider writing a press release, and encourage friends and family to share your news as well. Inbound marketing is vital in the early days of any business, as it encourages customers to come to you, rather than requiring you to go in search of them.
- Share valuable, insightful content to raise awareness of your brand, and let your audience know what your business stands for
- Monitor your SEO to ensure your website can be found easily in searches
- Target key demographics with tailored advertisements
- Consider launch day promotions or other incentives for you first customers
- Talk positively and informatively about your brand to as many people as possible, and encourage them to do the same
This allows you to focus on creating the best possible experience for your early-adapting clients, securing positive reviews and a good reputation from the start.
Engaging with your Audience
User experience is everything to an online store, so be sure to focus on engagement in your first week of business. As a new ecommerce brand, you are likely to receive a lot of questions from your audience, particularly those who are considering buying from you.
Be prepared to answer those questions, respond to feedback, and handle complaints as promptly and helpfully as possible. Keep in mind the times your audience is most likely to be active, and be available as much as possible during that time. You might consider using a chatbot to help you handle generic queries, and offering round-the-clock support.
Showing interest in your audience and commitment to meeting their expectations is a great way to build trust in the early days of your business, and foster positive connections with potential customers. In addition, their feedback will generate social proof, helping your overall marketing efforts, and increasing your brand’s visibility.
Monitoring your Inventory
While it is unlikely that you will run out of stock in your first week of business, it is vital to keep an eye on your inventory, and be prepared to replenish stock that runs low. This helps to maintain the professional image of your brand, and also prevents you from missing out on sales if something you offer is more popular than expected.
First impressions are important, and customers are less likely to return if they are disappointed on their first visit to your online store.
Getting to Grips with your Ecommerce Environment
Choosing the right ecommerce environment can be another significant factor in the success of your venture. The scope of your chosen platform to facilitate key marketing processes will heavily impact your launch, and underpin your business development strategy as a whole.
For example, platforms such as Magento offer a high level of customizability, but as a consequence can be less user-friendly if you are not familiar with web design techniques.
Meanwhile, Shopify offers a balance of customizability and ease of use, with a wide range of available features, but is more costly than some of its competitors, which may affect your budgeting priorities (though there are different pricing tiers available).
Keep in mind the primary features of your chosen ecommerce environment when determining your marketing priorities. It is important to capitalize on the strengths of the platform, and develop strategies for addressing any services that are not offered.
In your first week of business, you should ensure that you are comfortable with all the functions of your ecommerce platform, and check that it has successfully integrated with any connected services, marketplaces, or social media accounts.
Split Testing and Optimization
Your first days and weeks of business are a great time to shore up your marketing strategy, through continuous testing, and acting on your findings. Split testing is particularly valuable in these early days, as it allows you to make informed decisions on your marketing tactics, which can influence the style and direction of future content.
Pay attention to key analytics, to gain insights into which products, ads, and pieces of content are performing best, and which are failing to hit the mark. Investigate which search queries brought the most traffic to your site, and consider whether you need to adjust your targeted keywords. Everything you learn, whether positive or negative, can inform future marketing decisions, allowing you to optimize your strategies, and give your business the greatest potential for growth.
Your first week of business will fly by, so it is important to plan ahead, and make sure you have everything you will need in order before launch day. Your first impressions on your industry and target audiences will set the stage for your business’ future. Even so, do not be discouraged if not everything goes according to plan at first.
Starting a business can feel overwhelming at times, and after all the work you have put in to prepare for your opening, it can be discouraging if your venture is not an overnight success. However, it takes time, maintenance, and dedication to build a successful online store, and you have already set yourself on the right path by getting your priorities in order.
The first week is often the hardest, but from there on in you will begin to get a feel for what needs to be done. By continuing to manage your time and resources with care, you will be able to steadily grow your business, and achieve the ecommerce success you had planned for.
Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert who loves to help businesses grow. She’s also a freelance writer and runs her own blog at victoriaecommerce. Big advocate of creative content marketing and making the most of social media.