Let's say you've been running an ecommerce business that sells electronics, such as headphones, speakers and other audio equipment. You started your online business with five or ten products, but now you're starting to see your sales plateau, and you're beginning to think about how you can expand your product lines.
A problem arises where you can't find the time or the resources to put in detailed research to locate a viable product, not to mention enough time to launch that product successfully. Therefore, you're stuck with the items you have, leaving you with diminishing returns and an online store brand that's becoming stale.
This is not only a problem for mature businesses, but those that are just getting started up, so it's important to understand how to make a strategy for releasing new products on a consistent basis.
The key is to take each product, or product line, individually. That way, you can research each one, see if it's viable and make a successful launch without an problems. Once your first new product is released using that particular strategy, the process should become easier as you continue to use the process for future releases. With that, keep reading to learn about how to make a strategy for releasing new products on a consistent basis.
Establish What Your Unique Selling Proposition is and If the Product Will Actually Work
Going along with our audio equipment store we talked about above, let's say that you have a field of products to choose from, and you need to select one for your first new item expansion. Chances are some of them will sell well, while others will not. So how do you figure out the golden item without wasting a bunch of time?
Start by evaluating your unique selling proposition, or the one thing that makes you stand out from competitors. Do you provide cheap electronics? Is your shipping faster than competitors? Are most of the products built for working mothers who are constantly on the move?
These questions ensure that you locate a product that has more of a chance of selling when you launch. Narrow your list to just a couple options, then run a test site to see if any of your current customers and friends would consider buying the items.
Research and Locate Marketing Channels for the New Product
If you don't know where you're going to sell your new products before launching, you're already on the wrong track. From pay per click to email marketing, this is all part of your strategy so that you can simply go down the list of tasks to complete during the launch.
Not every product is different. If you choose to start selling a waterproof set of headphones, this opens up a whole new group of potential customers, such as swimmers, hikers, runners and snorkelers. You may have released ads in electronics magazines in the past, but a guest post on a swimming blog or a press release in a camping publication might do you better this time.
Write Product Descriptions that are Detailed and Fun
The product description is not just a list of product features. It is a wonderful way to convince your customers to buy from you, and it's usually one of the last moments you have a chance to convince someone to take their wallet out.
Spend time writing the product descriptions to tie into your company culture. Reveal unique features they wouldn't be able to find on manufacturer sites or fun quotes or testimonials from other people who have used the products.
Think About Which Offers You Would Like to Make for the Product and Where You Want to Share Those Offers
Make a list of the offers you'd like to share in order to drum up business for the new items. Consider how much money you're going to lose from those promotions, and when it's time to think about changing the price back to normal.
Consider Videos Demoing the New Products
Online business is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to visuals. People can walk into stores and see how items work, but they can't see things in action when shopping online. Therefore, videos provide a useful way for them to see another person testing out the products. For example, Zappos is known for making videos of models wearing shoes, walking around in them, twisting them and bending them to show durability.
Develop a Landing Page to Send Referrals to and Sell More Products
Your main product page is generally where people will buy your new products, but a nicely designed landing page is almost always going to convert more sales than a standard product page.
Put lots of time and effort into linking ads to these landing pages, and include an insane amount of details, from multi-angle images to videos, testimonials to descriptions.
Prepare an Email Marketing Campaign to Contact Your Current and Previous Customers
Your current and past customers are already known to shop at your store, so get the push started early by sending out a campaign of emails alerting people about the new products. It's wise to send people from your email campaigns to the landing pages you create.
Get Personal with a Series of Blog Posts
Offer unique looks into your new products with blog posts. These give your customers a more personal view of the items, since you can explain where the product idea spawned from, what types of people have used the product in the past and more. You can even ask for comments and suggestions through blog posts.
Build Buzz and Release Promotions and Giveaways Through Social Media
New products do rather well on social media, because these posts are generally not ad-based, and people get excited about new items. Share promotions and giveaways to ensure people share your links, and ask customers to share photos of themselves using the products after you start selling. This is a wonderful way to add credibility and interaction on your social media pages.
Over to You…
Leave a comment in the area below if you plan on launching a new product soon. Share any other techniques you may use for consistently releasing new products.
Feature image curtsey of ranganath krishnamani