eCommerce Product Launch Day Checklist: 8 Ways to Make your Launch Day Amazing
Kaya Ismail • 07 December 2022
Launching a new store or product line can be a challenge. When NASA plans to launch a rocket, they undergo years of pre-launch designs and tests to ensure everything works. While you don’t want to wait until 2024 to release your new line of products, the launch day for your eCommerce store should still follow some key details.
We’ve provided a pre-launch and launch-day checklist that you can follow to make sure that your customers are delighted when your new product hits the digital shelves.
Before you even think about launching your new product, there are a few things you should try to have in place. While these things might not seem like make or break in the beginning, they can hugely impact how well customers receive your product at launch and how easily it is to continue driving sales in the future.
Market Research and Positioning
Thorough market research is essential if you want to properly position your product to beat out the competition. Some eCommerce merchants get an idea and immediately put out an MVP, sometimes just a simple landing page with photos, to start testing it.
When done right, this can actually be a great part of your marketing research strategy. However, you should still go deeper to understand how your product might stack up against the competition and the new angles you can take to surpass them.
At this stage, you should also get clear about the audience you’re targeting with your product and ensure that it aligns with their beliefs and the culture of your overall brand.
Have the Right Architectural Approach
Next, you need to consider if you have the right tools to pull your launch off the way you envision it. Modern eCommerce isn’t just about putting a product online and waiting for sales to come in. Customers browse for products on numerous devices, from tablets and mobile devices to smartwatches and speakers.
Depending on the audience you’re targeting, you’ll also need to share content on various channels if you want to reach them. For example, almost 40% of Gen Z, between the ages of 18 and 24 specifically, prefer to use TikTok or Instagram for search rather than Google.
Leading brands have recognized these changing customer dynamics and responded by moving away from traditional commerce that limits the channels where they can build experiences. Instead, they moved towards MACH architecture, which allows them to take advantage of headless and composable commerce instead.
Read More: New Technical Trends In eCommerce Explained
Leverage Headless Commerce to Enhance the Experience
If you have the option of an architecture that allows you to embrace headless commerce, you can leverage that to create a unique shopping experience that ties into market positioning.
With headless commerce, you can be innovative, allowing customers to place orders using a smart assistant like Alexa or Google Home or differentiate the experience in other ways, like with a smartwatch app. You can also compliment the entire experience with several other content assets and channels, with the only limit being your imagination.
Get Ready For Your eCommerce Product Launch Day
Here’s what you can do to ensure that the product you launch next will succeed and avoid major issues from derailing you.
1. Start preparing weeks in advance
Launching an eCommerce product isn’t something you should take lightly. Instead, start prepping weeks in advance so that you have everything you need ready to go on launch day. Hiccups can always happen, so the better you prepare, the better you’ll be able to respond if anything unexpected happens.
You need to consider your USP, budget, your go-to-market strategy (using the research and positioning you performed in the pre-launch checklist), and the personnel who will need to be involved in the launch (likely your marketing, sales, and development teams).
2. Decide on sales channels
Next, you need to decide on the sales channels you will use and the materials you will create for each channel. For example, you can use a promotional ad similar to what the folks at Dollar Shave Club did when they launched their shavers.
With the assortment of social media channels and places to publish videos like YouTube, you need to decide on the channels that matter most to your audience. If you publish a promo ad on YouTube, you can share different versions of that ad to channels like Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and more, wherever your audience will be.
Additionally, you can invest in paid promotion for your products through ads on these social channels as well as by partnering with influencers. Leveraging multiple micro-influencers can also be a better option than partnering with one mega influencer, depending on your niche and the products you’re trying to sell.
3. Test the key customer features
As we mentioned, anything can go wrong on launch day. However, if you want to reduce the chances of anything impacting your launch day and consequently your sales, you need to test all key customer interaction points.
Review your checkout process, payment systems, shipping features, discount codes, etc. Go through the entire purchasing process to ensure that everything works as it should. Sometimes it can be difficult to do all of these things effectively using a single eCommerce platform. However, if you’re using MACH architecture and the API-first approaches that make it up, you can integrate best-of-breed tools from other vendors to fill the gaps.
4. Build landing pages to entice customers
For launch day, you want your product to be as appealing as it can be for your customers. Rather than be limited by specific themes or templates, such as those on a Shopify store, you can create your own gorgeous landing pages using a headless storefront builder like Instant Commerce.
Using a storefront builder to make headless commerce easier allows you to create landing pages that appeal to customers on different channels and provide them with a seamless and enticing experience whether they’re browsing on their mobile device, tablet, or another device.
5. Optimize for SEO
Another thing you need to think about is optimizing your eCommerce store and product pages for search engines so that your customers will be able to find you. This will involve performing a content audit, ensuring your product description and supporting content assets are optimized for your target keywords. Your images will also need to be optimized for these keywords as well.
Read More: eCommerce SEO checklist
6. Prepare your customer support
Next up on the list of things to double-check is your customer support. Customer support representatives, chatbots, an FAQ document, or a combination of all three (recommended) ensure that customers can quickly and easily reach out to you if they have any questions about the product or if they run into any issues.
7. Additional promotions
Once you have everything you need for your launch, you will still need to do some additional promotions. Not only to get your audience hype for the release but to continue generating interest long after launch day.
Some of the things you can do include organizing a giveaway for the first 50-100 customers in your store. You can also create email marketing and social media campaigns around the launch, including prizes for new customers. Make it engaging by adding a quiz or other interactive element.
8. Get rid of Shopify restrictions
Like many other eCommerce store merchants, you might be using Shopify to power your store. Shopify is perfect for eCommerce functionality like inventory management, payments tracking, and more, but it can also be lacking in the user experience area at times.
It could be a challenge if you have too many plugins or try to make edits to themes to create a truly customized experience. Users on G2 have reported issues with Shopify themes and the lack of a user-friendly interface, among other problems.
To remove these restrictions, you should consider streamlining the edits to your eCommerce store using a headless storefront builder. This allows you to not only go headless more easily, but also leverage a user-friendly interface rather than have to deal with the Shopify theme issues.
Also, Shopify can pose a speed problem for your eCommerce website, and given the importance of speed to the customer experience and conversions, these are challenges you don’t want to have to deal with come launch day.
Streamline the Launch Day With Instant Commerce
Making your eCommerce product launch day go off without a hitch is something every eCommerce store owner dreams of. If you want that to be a reality and want to see the conversions keep rolling in long after you’re done, then you need to put a few things in place.
Having the right foundation for your eCommerce business is crucial, and one that allows you to leverage headless commerce is the best option. Instant Commerce gives you everything you need to build your headless webshop using API-first technology.
Create enticing shopping experiences on any channel using a components-based approach that works for technical and non-technical users. With Instant Commerce, you can increase conversions, lower developer dependency, and go to market faster, precisely what you need when launching a new product.
Not sure about headless commerce just yet? Take a look at Headless commerce with Shopify: the complete guide to learn more about the benefits and how to get started.
Get ahead of the latest eCommerce Trends!
Join our newsletter to stay up to date with all things headless commerce, eCommerce best-practices, and Instant Commerce.
Won’t put any spam in your mailbox, we promise :)