Congratulations, you’ve launched an eCommerce site! Now it’s time to sit back and watch the sales come in; if you build it, they will buy, right? If it were that easy, there’s no way you would be reading this blog.
Whether it’s a redesign or a brand new launch, there are a few things you can do to make a splash with your new site and continue to collect data. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but generally, here’s what you can do to begin marketing your new eCommerce site.
How to Market an eCommerce Website
STEP 1. Start by engaging your current audience.
STEP 2. Then launch a promotion with an incentive.
STEP 3. Seek out criticism from new users.
STEP 4. Send out a press release.
STEP 5. Finally, write about it often.
Step 1. Engage your current audience
We’re hoping that you’ve built up an email list prior to launch. If not, you can learn how to here. The key is to make your audience a part of the launch. Send a message out to your subscribers letting them know the new site is up. Give them some tips. Show them around. Make sure that they know they were part of what inspired the redesign.
Open it up for feedback. You undoubtedly did your research prior to launch — now’s not the time to stop collecting information. Send out a survey to gauge reactions of the redesign and ask for suggestions. Continue to ask if certain pages are helpful. Two great services to use here are SurveyMonkey and Qualaroo. The next part is where we can get creative.
STEP 2. Launch a promotion
You’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours preparing a website that’s optimal for your audience. But when you launch, there’s a key difference between how your organization feels about it and how the rest of the world feels about it. It’s tough to get anyone else excited about a website launch or redesign unless there’s something in it for them. The truth is most people don’t care about your new site launch. Even worse, some may be annoyed.
So, let’s flip it around. The redesign was never about you, remember? It’s about your audience. Get your subscribers and followers as excited as you are. There is no shortage of ways you can promote your new site. You can run special sales, social contests, and even sweepstakes with services such as ViralSweep. Your only limitation is your creativity.
STEP 3. Constantly seek out criticism from new users
Reaching out to new users for criticism post-launch might bruise a few egos, but the information is invaluable. At the end of the day, you’re striving for perfection, and you won’t be able to reach it without some critical feedback. Critique of your website shouldn’t end with a site launch; it’s not a one-time upgrade, it should be a constant improvement. You can use services such as Criticue and UserTesting to get new eyes on your site and gain valuable feedback. If you’re lucky, you might get some great feedback and a possible customer.
STEP 4. Send out a press release
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Make sure any sort of promotion is included in the press release. Make a bold statement with your press release. Let’s say you believe that your new eCommerce website is the best around. Try sending out a press release such as “(Company XYZ) Is Now the Easiest Way to Buy Shoes Online.”
STEP 5. Write about it
Plenty of websites do this wrong, but the New York Times and ESPN did this right. Don’t just talk about your site, show people how to use it! This is a great way to highlight the best features of your new eCommerce site. At the end of the day, a “redesign” page is a great way to chronicle your site’s look throughout the years. As an added bonus, this can serve as a page that can be crawled by search engines and served up in the results pages. If you’re a big company, you’ll want to make sure that your page shows up for “(Company XYZ) redesign” on Google (just like I searched for “New York Times redesign”).
Data collection shouldn’t end with the launch of a new site: it should be a continuous process. In fact, you can also use it as an opportunity to gather even more data. You wouldn’t check your website analytics every few years, would you? Don’t ask for feedback every few years. Go forth and launch your website and never stop improving.