How To Create Buzz Before Your e-Commerce Store Launches
Picture the moment your e-commerce store goes live. After so many weeks and months of preparation, your business will finally be open to the web surfing public. You’ll have your fingers crossed, maybe literally, that every single decision you’ve made up until this point pays off. How can you create enough buzz to ensure a successful launch? As Inc. points out, many entrepreneurs have unrealistic expectations about their launch, thinking they’ll click to go live and start racking up millions. “If you build it, they will come” should not be your guiding mantra as you work toward getting your website up and running.
Here are a few ideas for generating the hype that your online store needs to start out on the right foot so you can make your first e-commerce sale right off the bat:
Leverage Social Media
Social media is your friend when it comes to creating a presence for your business before launch day. In the months leading up to your e-store’s grand opening, create a calendar and content posting schedule that keeps up a continuous line of communication with your future customers. Waiting until your site goes live to start interacting with your audience means that you’re missing out on a precious window of time in which you can build anticipation.
You can make customers feel like part of the launch process by giving them a glimpse behind the scenes with video, photographs, and blog posts that balance compelling information with a little dash of mystery. Get interactive and meet your target audience on their favorite social media sites. You can rotate which social media channels you target each day to see what works for your business. For instance, extremely visual pre-launch content may work best on Instagram, while Facebook may be the best place to post links to your blog posts.
Post Preview Teasers
You can also rely on a splash page that piques future shoppers’ interest without giving away too much juicy information about your brand and your e-commerce store. Smashing Magazine offers a few tips for creating a “coming soon” page that will tap into the very human desire to be in the know and generate leads before your big day:
Create a strong brand identity. Use imagery, language, and content that matches your store’s branding. Make it creative and totally unique to you without going overboard.
Tell a story. When people click on your teaser page, they’re going to have questions. Why not answer some of them with your company’s story? Connect with users on a deeper level.
Tap into viewers’ social circles. The power of referral can make or break your launch. Provide incentives for potential customers to refer their families and friends.
Provide future credit. Offer users an incentive to sign up, refer their friends, or shop on your launch day.
Make customers want to buy in. The key is to provide enough information so users understand what type of site they’re looking at, but not so much that they lose interest and never bother to revisit your store.
Work With Influencers
Vouching for your own future e-commerce store only goes so far. Sure, you’re confident in your product selection and your branding, but why should customers trust you to tell them the truth? Working with influencers can help you grow your audience precisely because influencers already have authority over their loyal following. Getting opinion leaders on board as early as possible is key, according to Kissmetrics. It’s up to you forge relationships with the thought leaders, industry experts, social influencers, or media personnel who can help drive traffic and hype ahead of your launch.
Your launch may signify day one of your web based store being open to the public, but you should work hard leading up to the deployment to build an audience and a brand. Just like movies have trailers and albums have exclusive preview tracks, your e-commerce site needs content out in the world that gets your future customers as excited as you are about your store.