Whether you’ve been working to make your small business’ products available via an online store for some time or you’re re-launching an existing online business, the “grand opening” of your online store may not be the same as a grand opening of a local location, but it has the potential to attract even more customers. These customers can become repeat visitors and fans of your company who will spread the word about your products, so it’s important your online store gives the right first impression.
Target the Right Visitors
Business 2 Community reports that 50 percent of small businesses spend less than $300 a month on online marketing. For your online business launch, you’re launching a company out of obscurity, so you need to be willing to spend more. However, who you target is more important than simply throwing a lot of money at your marketing efforts. Do your research and come up with a profile for the average customer of your shop, including age, gender, interests and location. Then target your marketing efforts to sites that cater to these same demographics.
Once you get the traffic to your website, you need to get the majority to become paying customers. Come up with special promotions to celebrate your online store’s launch, promotions that will not only work to convert site visitors into shoppers but even help bring them to the site in the first place if you draw attention to them in your marketing efforts. For example, according to Hosting Facts, eight out of 10 consumers will shop online because of a free shipping offer. Free shipping, coupon codes and limited edition products are all popular methods of converting visitors into customers.
Social Media Sharing
Even the largest online marketing budget can only stretch so far. Create an organic social media sharing campaign so that your customers repost links to your online store and do much of the marketing legwork for you. The best way to do that is to craft social media posts likely to be popular by:
- Sharing information about a special limited deal or product for the event
- Including photos of your products or people using your products
- Making use of hashtags; don’t overload a single post with hashtags, but do incorporate one or two relevant terms into your posts
- Engaging the public with the post; for example, by holding a giveaway that people enter simply by following your social media accounts and reposting a link
When it comes to a successful online business launch, there are three things to keep in mind: attracting the most visitors possible from your targeted demographic, converting those visitors into customers and encouraging those customers to spread the word about your business. While it’s never too late to hold a special sales event and do all of these things, your online business’ first few weeks and months will prove most crucial to your company’s success, so it’s important to consider these things right from the launch.