As convenient as it may be, it’s unrealistic to believe an e-commerce website can be developed overnight and start the revenue producing a few days in. Website development is a long-term process including design, content creation and a well-implemented structure that requires extensive development and testing. However, while your website structure is in development, there are other ways to begin generating traffic before the official launch.
Blogging a Vital Buzz
In the months prior to your website’s launch, generating that interest in your online presence deserves to be a vital component of your marketing strategy. Here, you can inform consumers of the products you plan on selling and what they can expect from your company.
The benefits of blogging in the early stages of your website can not only help build consumer awareness but can also help you build a foundation for SEO. This is particularly important for a brand new website. As the strategic planning, design and development may take many months, this time can be utilized to “age” a website through content and links. At full launch, you’ll have a head start on optimizing your website for search-engine traffic.
Taking Advantage of the Social Network
Another great method to start generating buzz is through social networking. Developing and actively promoting profiles on such websites as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be a fun way to reach your customers and develop a community. However, don’t ignore B2B networking if it may generate interest in your business; evaluate services like LinkedIn, Slideshare, Digg, Delicious, MySpace, Stumbleupon, and FriendFeed.
With strong competition across the social networking spectrum, registering your business name early—as in: the moment your business idea takes form—is a smart, proactive, tactical move to prevent competitors from acquiring these valuable assets. However, be strategic in allocating resources; you may find that more traditional marketing efforts such as email and affiliate marketing may lead to a better ROI for your ecommerce business.
ShoeInn.com is an up and coming women’s designer shoe website for a company that’s been in business for over 35 years. Their official website is yet to launch, but in the meantime, they’re being proactive in generating traffic and buzz while the site is in development. Take a look at some of the ecommerce strategies we’ve implement for them:
- A gift certificate raffle for newsletter sign up
- Store locations integrated with Google Maps for local customers
- An optimized, yet interesting blog that discusses upcoming fashion trends using brands carried by Shoe-Inn
- A Contact-Us page so consumers can easily email or call for any questions or concerns.
- Profiles registered on Facebook and other social networks
Remember: all of these tactics may be utilized before you’ve even launched your e-commerce site. Build links, generate buzz, work the social networks and grow your online business before you even take your very first order.