E-commerce 2022: Getting off the ground – by PiWheel’s Shashank Singh

PiWheel’s customer success manager, Shashank Singh, lays out strategies for a new product launch on e-commerce marketplaces

Product offering and optimisation in the e-commerce marketplace is crucial to growing your business. If the products being offered are not strategised properly, keeping the changing market dynamics, shifting consumer demand and competition in mind, this can lead to product stagnation and loss of sales in the long run.

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Launching a new product is just as crucial as creating a remarkable product in the first place. It can enable a brand to increase its share of shelves, serve as a medium to offer higher value to the customer, tap into the evolving customer need, and be at pace with the competition in the concerned marketplace. Not to mention the effective increase in sales and brand awareness. Therefore, strengthening the product portfolio by augmenting and launching new products is essential for success.

Brands often struggle to understand which types of products to launch and what strategy can be employed to do so on the marketplaces. This article covers the aspects that brands can use to strategise a new product launch on online marketplaces.

What should be the primary product launch goal?

Bridge the existing product gap in the market to serve the customer who could not be catered to with the existing line-up of the products.

Improve the product assortment and share of shelves for the brand to be more competent.

Create a halo effect to boost sales by leveraging the sales of top stockkeeping units (SKUs) already live in the marketplace.

Drive sales and build product awareness. In the long run, this helps to boost the reputation of the organisation.

Find a product-market fit to optimise and streamline the offering from an organisation’s point of view.

What is a product launch strategy?

A product launch strategy is a planned effort to launch a new product in a market. The goal of most businesses is to launch something and get as much growth and traction as you can as quickly as possible. These product-launch strategies aim for user adoption and brand growth.

Steps for effective new product launch strategy

1. Define your launch goal: Be clear about the story you want to tell before anything else. The story is what sells, regardless
of the goods. Addressing the launch objectives entails putting the product
in the correct context for the consumer and explaining how it will affect their daily lives.

2. Know your customers and their needs: Market research is critical to ensuring that your product is what customers require or want. Here we try to address questions like how you can serve different types of customers and how many customers have an unmet need that your product can fill at this point.

3. Competition benchmarking: Who are your competitors? What is their value offering? Understanding the products and marketing tactics of your competitors enables you to capitalise on their flaws and persuade buyers to choose your product over theirs.

4. Define your target audience: Identifying who you are going to sell your products to helps you to channel the effort in the right direction. It will help you divide your broader market into smaller segments, and it helps you focus on those who will be interested in your product.

5. Plan your expenses: The success of the launch depends on carefully planning the budget required for product design, production and marketing. Carefully consider your spending strategy and account for any potential modifications to the schedule for the product launch.

6. Differentiate your offering:

  • Through fantastic product packaging;
  • By incremental addition to product functionality;
  • By improvising product design;
  • Through engaging visual appeal;
  • By offering superior customer value through product bundling;
  • By providing superior customer service.

7. Benchmark and optimise: Check your product ranks on Amazon for significant keywords so you can understand where you stand and how to get up the rankings. Optimise your product listing to include high-traffic keywords, changing trends within the operational category and engaging visual content with clear communication of your points of difference over your competition. This will help you drive more traffic and have better conversions, and will subsequently result in higher sales.

Once you have these strategies in place, the execution of these by having a well-defined blueprint of the actions and tactics that you will follow is the next step that organisations need to decide on.

Top tactics to succeed with the new product launch

1. Drive traffic and improve product ranking: The first thing that you need to focus on is to drive more traffic to these newly launched products and improve their product ranking on the marketplaces by fusing in high-traffic keywords and USPs in the indexed description of the product, and mapping reviews and rating for the parent product (if applicable).

2. Leverage your existing customer base: Try to sell this new product to the existing customer base and inform them about the new launch through emails or messages.

3. Build the new customer base: Do this by targeting desired audiences through campaigns and promotions.

4. Use deals to lure customers: Running discounts and promotions in the initial phase of the launch can help you to get that initial traction for these newly launched products. Later these deals can be customised depending on the sales and traction the product can garner.

5. PPC campaigns: Setting up pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on marketplaces such as Amazon can help improve the product ranking in search appearances above organic results. When configured properly, it can assist in accelerating sales velocity and boosting your revenue.

6. Take pre-bookings: Pre-booking assists in providing your company with the clarity and visibility needed to more accurately forecast sales and anticipate demand.

7. Drive traffic from other sources: Running ads on other platforms outside of a marketplace such as Google AdWords or Facebook can help to redirect traffic to your product detail pages (PDPs).

8. Limited-time deals: Creating FOMO among customers about your new products through various promos and campaigns can result in spiking up your sales post-launch.

9. Collaboration with influencers: In the current digital age, it’s very important for organisations to connect with important links like influencers, which directly gives you access to the existing subscriber base of influencers who can potentially be your future customers.

10. Incorporate customer feedback in successive product improvement: To remain in the game and be sustainable, it is important for you as an organisation to listen to the voice of customers and what they have to say about your products, and take the positive feedback as an appreciation for your good work but consider the negative feedback on priority to rectify the pain points of the customers.

As important as it is for an organisation to introduce new products at different stages, it is equally important for them to figure out the avenues where they won and lost over the competition. After all, in modern times organisations need to be more dynamic in their approach to take corrective measures. What if one of your launch strategies fails? What if, at the execution level, you are not able to drive the desired output from any tactic that you adopted? In any such situation that might happen, the organisation much actively listen to the actions of the competition, sensing the market and customer behaviours, and swiftly act on these to stay relevant and competitive in the current market scenario.