Episode 14

Early Stage Planning

Hosted by Simon Bruno

Chapters

00:00
Introduction
02:03
Importance of Pre-launch
06:46
Pricing Strategies
17:09
The Power of Branding
21:35
Simon's Call to Action
23:56
Ending

Summary

This episode featured our host, Simon Bruno! In this episode, Simon talked about some ecommerce topics that he had learned during his stay at KeepSpace. Those topics are helpful for new ecommerce startups, so make sure to take notes if you’re starting an ecommerce business!

The first topic is the importance of a pre-launch for your ecommerce store. Simon said that pre-launch doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical launch. Although, physical launches are also effective. He mentioned setting up a pop-up store at events. It is a great way to start up your branding.

For a digital pre-launch, Simon recommended reading a book called Growth Hacker Marketing, written by Ryan Holiday. This book talked about Dropbox’s digital pre-launch. They made an email list of people who wanted to use their product. Before creating the email list, they posted a video on Twitter. The video highlighted what their product does. People showed their interest, and Dropbox got an email list. So, when they launched their business, they already had a customer base.

Simon shared the procedure leading up to a pre-launch. He used the fashion industry as an example. Let’s say you had a creative idea for a t-shirt. However, you don’t know whether people will be interested in it. In that case, test your product by selling it on Facebook. Simon also recommended trying out a Facebook Ad. If you’re gaining some traction, start your pre-launch.

During pre-launch, Simon recommended launching your website with a coming soon page. Create content that will catch your potential customer’s interest. Make them come across your website. Let them have the ability to sign up for your email list. When you are prepared to launch your store, you will have an audience that already wants to buy from you.

Simon said this procedure is still related to an established ecommerce business. For example, you can test your new products or product categories. Prepare content and a coming soon page. Tell them to sign up if they are interested in updates or discounts. Again, you will have an audience ready to purchase from your online store.

The next topic was pricing. Simon shared a few pricing strategies that he saw implemented in other corporates. The first one was from Udemy. Udemy always has a special offer in place. For example, their courses are always over $100, but they apply a discount of 50% to 90% off during their special offer. Simon said this is an effective strategy to get first-time buyers. They usually wouldn’t know that the site always has special offers. Therefore, they will think they got on the website at the perfect time. This strategy also works well for returning customers. If they enjoyed their first course and know that they can always find an offer, they will likely buy another course.

The second strategy came from Coca Cola. They sell a 24 pack and a 30 pack of cola. Each size would take turns each week being on discount. However, their strategy doesn’t end here. Similar to Udemy, Coca Cola makes their recommended price inflated. Therefore, their discounts will look attractive to consumers. In reality, their discounted prices are the recommended prices for the company.

The last strategy is from an ecommerce brand called Blacksocks. They take a SaaS model approach to their pricing strategy. In other words, it is a subscription. A positive factor of subscriptions is that you will always have repeat customers. One point to keep in mind is that this model is better for consumables. That way, the buyers will more likely continue their subscription.

The last topic of this episode was branding. The first tip is to start describing your brand in three words. Quoted from a Shopify blog, Simon highly recommended this for people who have just started their ecommerce business. He said to take time to brainstorm the top three words for your brand. That will be the base of your business’s core message. Simon quoted from Gavin McInnes. “Having a strong brand with compelling messaging helps customers connect to the clothing and accessories they wear.” What you want is for customers to relate to your brand message. Have your brand message in place when you do your pre-launch.

However, remember to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Otherwise, no one will notice your ecommerce store.

The last tip for branding is to do digital marketing. Digital marketing is cheap and is the mainstream today. Utilise social media and paid ads. Simon recommended Instagram for ecommerce. It is an excellent platform to showcase your products asĀ it is heavily based on photos.

Simon ended this episode with two calls to action. The first one was for those who are beginning their ecommerce journey. Focus on branding. Brainstorm the three adjectives that describe your new brand. Keep those words at the core of your marketing and message. The second call to action was for seasoned ecommerce businesses. When you’re releasing a new product, create content that piques people’s interest. Get the details of people who have shown interest. When you’re ready to sell your product, your sales will be an email away.

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