The internet has created endless opportunities for entrepreneurs that want to create, scale and grow e-commerce brands. It doesn’t matter if you have a brand new product category or you want to create your own brand in a category that is already established.
If you want to launch a new e-commerce product it’s not difficult. In fact, it’s probably much easier than you imagine. My company, Uber Brands, has multiple e-commerce brads launching in the coming year.
Our very first e-commerce brand, Sexy Smile Kit, a teeth whitening product line, was created and launched in one week. That is idea to pre-orders and revenue generated in just one week.
The beauty of e-commerce is the ability to create product lines and brands that appeal to a worldwide audience, giving you unlimited potential in terms of scaling and revenue.
It doesn’t take long to go from initial concept to launch when you have a detailed plan of action. This is the formula we used to create our first e-commerce brand a couple years ago, and the exact formula we have been following for all of the other health, beauty and fitness brands we have created.
1. Come up with a brand name that is ‘MBA’ and lock it down.
‘MBA’ is what I define as: Memorable, Brandable & Available.
In order for your e-commerce company to be successful you need a name that is easy to remember, has unlimited branding potential and it’s consistent across all platforms, from your website domain name to all of your social media handles.
I am a big fan of .com’s when it comes to domain names, even though there are so many different TLDs available. I still think the majority of consumers immediately think of a .com when they think of a domain, so this is still my top choice. If the .com isn’t available I scratch the name from the ‘maybe’ list.
I also make sure the brand name is available on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, at the very least. Social media is one of the most lucrative marketing opportunities for an e-commerce brand, so a consistent handle across all of the popular social platforms is key.
2. Identify and begin to interview potential manufacturers for your product.
The wrong manufacturer can kill your brand, so it’s important that you understand what to look for when sourcing a manufacturing partner. They are all going to tell you what you want to hear — that they can make what you need and handle the production, even if demand spikes.
When you are running an e-commerce brand you have to run ads, which then generate orders and revenue, but if you are having production delays it will cause cancellations, refund requests and even chargebacks — all of which can kill your brand before it even has the chance to take off.
I always identify multiple possible manufacturers and then grill them with questions, being as specific as possible. My goal is to quickly determine whether or not they understand my questions. If they don’t provide an answer that is 100 percent acceptable or if they take too long to get back to me I move on. They have to impress me and blow me out of the water for me to give them a chance, and consider them.
The trick is to move quickly. If you get a bad vibe or don’t have a good gut feeling then move on. There are plenty of options, so keep plugging away until you feel 100 percent confident putting your brand in their hands. We locked down a manufacturer in under two days when we launched our first e-commerce brand. It was two days of non-stop work, but we did it.
3. Design your branding, logo, packaging, marketing materials and website.
You have to be willing to move at a lightning fast pace if you want to launch quickly.
The minute we had a name identified for our teeth whitening brand one of our freelancer graphic designers was working on logo concepts. We also had someone working on label designs and a wireframe website mockup was in the works as well.
We were going 100 mph when it came to the first-generation logo, packaging and website design. We had everything complete in less than three days. Over the years we made several tweaks on the website and also on the packaging.
You can’t expect to be perfect when you are moving fast. In fact, we are about to do a complete re-brand of Sexy Smile Kit, from an all new logo and brand identity, to all new packaging and website. When done, it will look like an entirely new brand.
But, moving fast and launching in a week allowed us to prove the concept and get it off the ground. Now, we can fine-tune the brand and really scale its growth.
4. Launch your website immediately and start taking pre-orders.
The reason we rushed the website design and development was to go live right away, even before we had product to ship. Not only did we want to start generating orders, customers and revenue, but we also wanted to get our hands on real data as quickly as possible.
The sooner you can access real data, the quicker you can use it to improve your user experience and conversion rates. No amount of guesswork replaces data from real visitors and customers.
So, rather than trying to plan the perfect launch date, go in with the goal of launching as soon as humanly possible. There is never going to be an ideal launch date, so rather than wasting time or delaying, just go live and get actual traffic on your website as soon as you can.
The only way you are going to see how traffic reacts to your offers and how it converts is by pushing highly qualified visitors via Facebook ads or other highly-targeted advertising methods.
Then, test and analyze every single data point you can get your hands on. You have to dive right in, roll up your sleeves and get ready to work your ass off.
The first few days are crucial, so flip the switch “on” as soon as you can. The sooner you can improve and fine-tune your funnel, checkout process and conversion rates, the better odds you have at turning your brand into a successful e-commerce company.
5. Identify the best advertising platforms and create sales and revenue goals.
When you launch you need to push traffic to your website, and not just generic traffic that has zero chance of converting. You’re going to have to spend some money, and you will more than likely be working with a tight budget, so you need to pick the best options in the beginning.
Facebook is usually a no-brainer, as the targeting options are endless, as is the traffic source. Winning ad sets are also easy to scale, which can contribute to hyper growth.
I would suggest mastering Facebook and proving you have a viable product before moving onto other traffic sources. If you can’t launch an e-commerce brand using Facebook ads you are going to be in for a rough ride.
Once you start to see sales and there is consumer demand for your product, introduce some influencer marketing into the mix. Focus on micro-influencers that have very niche audiences related to your product. Then, from there you can explode additional marketing channels like Google AdWords and other PPC platforms.