Product Launch Strategy: Aligning Product Marketing & Back-End eCommerce Operations
New products fuel the retail market. Sometimes, the introduction of a new product to a company’s offerings can lead to a significant uptick in customer traffic – just look at when Apple launches a new iPhone or how people lineup just for a chance to buy the hottest toy during the holiday season. It should go without saying that perfecting the art of a product launch is the first thing merchants should master if they want to be successful in today’s hyper-competitive retail market.
Nailing the product launch is important. Selling out a new item out quickly may show the manufacturer that the merchant is capable of offloading large volumes of product, which can lead to greater trust and better relationships.
Selling a new product category may also help retailers expand to new audiences without seeming artificial. Finally, and above all else, being able to sell a new product effectively is beneficial to the merchant’s own bottom line, as it helps them the company regain capital invested in inventory.
Generally, there are two things merchants must create a strategy for when they launch a new product: product marketing and the operations of their eCommerce software.
Getting the customer engaged with the product launch
The most important part of selling a new product is getting the customer involved and creating excitement. After all, if people don’t care about the product merchants are selling, why would they buy anything from them, even if the item was brand new?
Bolstering excitement starts with crafting great new product pages with comprehensive descriptions, videos and high-quality imagery that help customers understand why they want the new item and what makes it unique.This content shouldn’t just be a sales pitch, either: It should inform. In the case of clothing, for example, the page should let customers know it may fit a bit smaller than the size indicates or contain information about the availability of other sizes and colors.
Product marketing is also important. Effective promotional efforts not only bolster awareness of a new product but can even create a sense of anticipation among customers. A well designed campaign can have people checking a retailer’s website for days on end, eagerly awaiting the launch of a product.
“Consider producing blog posts and articles, videos, podcasts and similar content to support the product launch,” Practical eCommerce added. “It is important to remember that good product marketing doesn’t always talk about the product or even focus on selling.”
Shoring up backend eCommerce Software
Adding new products to the assortment can be an exciting time for merchants, but the process requires thoughtfulness and tact. Selling new items means retailers have more to keep track of, whether it’s the new content used to market the product, placing orders to replenish sold-out inventory or distributing products throughout different marketplaces and channels.
As retailers add new items to the mix, it’s crucial they are using eCommerce software, such as SalesWarp, for product information management and inventory management.
Accuracy is paramount to the success of modern retail operations, so merchants need to know precisely how much inventory they have and where to allocate it. Inaccurate information can lead to long periods of out-of-stocks and poor customer service, which in turn may hurt customer loyalty.
The content created to engage customers in the product launch needs to be consistent across all of the channels the product is sold on. eCommerce Software that centralizes this information ensures that data is accurate and complete and uses one source to distribute the product information to every channel.
All in all, creating a successful product launch strategy is best executed by aligning product marketing and back end eCommerce software to deliver or exceed customer expectations.