Are you thinking of launching an online product? If your answer is yes, then you are in the right place as we are going to provide you essential information on how to successfully do it.
We now live in an era of digital technology and the internet. Back in the days, we do our day-to-day activities, including jobs and businesses without the need for the World Wide Web.
Today, it has become a vital part of our everyday life. It’s even perhaps safe to say that some people cannot even last a day without having their smartphone or laptop with them.
Well, while technology has its downsides, they are certainly overpowered by the benefits that people get from using them especially these days when have been limited to certain activities only.
Since the pandemic emerged, let’s admit it, the online world has become our best friend. It helped keep us sane. It enabled us to buy our needs and wants, too, without having to leave home.
But what’s more surprising, it has brought unexpected opportunities to a lot of people.
Thanks to technology and the internet, many people have started out their own online businesses.
Technically speaking, though, online business or launching online product is not a new thing. It has been there since the boom of social media, and other online platforms.
The internet has definitely changed the way of doing business. Thus, it is not surprising that as reported by Fundera, eCommerce has steadily increased since 2007. In fact, experts believe that global eCommerce is bound to reach $4.8 trillion revenue by 2021.
In addition to that, as of last year, 1.99 million people were recorded to have shopped online. In the United States alone, 60% of millennials preferred shopping online than in a physical store.
Truly the time and trends are changing. Thus, now is the perfect time to start working on launching online product.
But how do you launch a product online? How do you start off an online business?
Well, as mentioned earlier, you are in the right place as we are going to provide answers to these.
PROCESS OF STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS
Launching online product can be very challenging if you do not know exactly what to do.
But the good thing is, we are here to help you successfully start your dream of an online business. In the next paragraphs, we are going to share with you some important tips on how to successfully start an online business or better yet, how to successfully launch an online product.
1. Decide on a Business Idea
It’s actually given. In any business out there, it all starts from one common thing — a business idea.
However, some entrepreneurs in the making do still fail to include this in the process. They just jump to branding or web development without thoroughly deciding on a business idea.
So, to avoid making the same mistakes, here are a few things you need to consider to help you come up with a firm business idea:
- Know the reason why you are doing this.
Ask yourself, why are you doing this? It may be a simple question, yes, but your answer to this question will help determine the success of your business.
Remember this, every good business has to have a mission and a purpose behind it. Otherwise, it won’t last long.
While making money is part of the equation, it will not sustain the business. Your business has to have a mission and a purpose to make it last. People will love your brand, your product for that.
Having a passion or drive may also be important, but then again, it’s not enough to make an online product or business last.
Hey, the competition is huge out there. So, you better work on standing out.
- Leverage your strengths.
Launching online product or launching an online business is easier if you leverage your strengths. Meaning, you have to have the capability, you must be equipped to handle your business idea.
So, it’s best to develop a business around something that you are passionate about. It could be based on a hobby, a skill, a talent, or it could be a side hustle that you consider yourself an expert of.
One of the major mistakes of some potential business owners is that they build or start a business without having the expertise or the skill themselves. In a lot of cases, some businesses are born not because the owners are passionate about it but because it’s the trend.
Remember, trends end. When it ends, your business might just end as well.
Before moving on, for some insights and inspiration, below is a video by TopThink about the top five business ideas for this year:
- Determine the problem you are solving.
The best products and businesses out there are the ones that address certain needs, issues, or problems.
For an online business or any business to succeed, you need to be solving some kind of a real-world problem. At the same time, make sure that there are potential customers who are looking for solutions to the problem.
Another problem that you need to face is competition. Yes, you have a business idea, but there are other online businesses that are doing the same. What then will make you unique? What will make people choose you over your competitor?
Now, if you want to get more formal in this process, the best thing to do is to walk through market analysis and confirm that the problem does exist and that there is room for your online business to grow. From there, you can think of ways to make your solution the better option for your target market.
- Determine if your business idea can function solely online.
Here’s the thing, you have to know and understand that eCommerce business requires physical shipping, distribution, as well as the potential for a physical location.
Meanwhile, businesses like SAAS business or online learning, these types of online businesses do not require physical structure to operate.
Make sure to take all these into consideration to avoid future problems.
2. Confirm the Business Idea
Once you have determined already that it’s time to start your online business, and that you have a firm business idea in mind, the next process is to confirm the worthiness of your business idea.
Before you even freak out, don’t worry, this process is not as tricky as you think.
You can do this by simply conversing with potential customers, asking them about their needs, and the solutions they consider or if they consider having one.
Additionally, since we are talking about launching online product or business, there are additional methods that you may do to be able to test your target market. This includes:
- Customer Reviews
One of the methods to help you gauge the interest of current customers is to look into customer reviews on businesses that offer solutions similar to yours.
Take note of how people respond to the product or service, what they particularly like and what they do not like, and also, check the volume of feedback. By doing so, it gives you an idea of how big or small the active market is.
More so, this will also give you an idea of whether or not your product has the same kind of offering as your competitor or if it has the features that your target market is looking for.
- Landing Page
Launching online product or launching an online business is useless if you are not going to set up a landing page.
Of course, the end goal is to set up a full website. But since you are just starting, a landing page will do.
The page has to have essential information about the product you are selling. It must include a product overview, a quick rundown of features (highlighting what makes your product unique), pricing, and many more. Also include an email subscription signup prompt so you get to start building a mailing list.
The validation of the page will all be up to you. You can base it on email sign-ups, visits, traffic, social shares, etc.
- Do a Survey
Ideally, talking to potential customers is the best way to validate your business idea. However, in cases when it’s not possible, running an online survey will do.
You can do it by running an ad that promotes your survey to be able to gather responses and come up with the data you need.
Consider sending the survey to potential customers in your email list as well.
3. Develop a Business Plan
Once you are done with the first two steps in the whole process prior to launching your online business, it’s time to start working on developing a plan.
It doesn’t have to be tricky, unless you are planning to start big.
You basically just have to look into the validations you get from the previous steps to be able to come up with a business plan that’s bound for success.
Ideally though, if we are going to really follow the process of developing a business plan, you have to do lean planning, conduct a market analysis, as well as consider funding and success metrics.
For now though, a basic business plan will do, which consists of the following:
- Background of the Business
- Market Opportunity
- Management Overviews
- Competitive Advantages
- Financial Highlights
4. Build a Website
As we have mentioned earlier, an online business is not an online business without a website.
While you can opt to use social media platforms or online marketplaces initially, the end goal should be to be able to set up a website.
When building a website, you need to consider the following:
One of the popular website hosts we know that is also affordable is Bluehost. There are a few other options out there to choose from. If uncertain about which fits best your website idea, it’s better to ask for an expert’s advice.
Meanwhile, let’s talk about platforms. What’s nice about these days is that you have lots of platforms that are reasonably priced. To give you an idea, Shopify is a popular platform used by most online businesses, WordPress is another. Needless to say, both are user-friendly.
As with the design of the website, consider something that effectively represents what your business is about. Ideally, keep it simple and easy to understand and navigate. Make it as customer-friendly as possible.
5. Legalize Your Online Business
Online shoppers look for legit and credible online businesses to buy products from, and this will only become possible if you legalize your business.
To know more about the process, we recommend checking out online. Usually, it depends per state. However, generally, the requirements for a brick and mortar business usually apply too to online businesses.
TIPS ON SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHING A PRODUCT
Now, we’re done sharing information about starting an online business, which is very important. After all, you cannot launch a product without having a business, right? Unless you want another business to cater to your products?
Anyway, moving on –
In this section, we are going to share with you some important tips on how to successfully launch a product online, which include:
To be able to come up with the right strategy, you have to know your target audience first for that particular product.
Once you have known your target audience, build an email list, a social media list, as well as mailing lists — all of these are important so you are able to build a relationship with your target market.
Then, by now, you will be able to determine the most suitable and most effective sales hooks. Slowly, you get to be able to position yourself as a trusted authority through repeated contact as well as valuable content.
From there, it’s just a matter of building up the momentum prior to launching online product.
2. Come Up with Tactics
To be able to build your authority with your target customers, you have to be able to develop tactics, which will keep their attention to your product.
Some of these tactics include:
- Telling a narrative.
The best way to connect customers to your business and products is by telling them a story that will help them understand the context of the brand, the products you offer, and your services as well.
- Offering customer value.
To keep your customers engaged with your product, you need to offer them something valuable. It could be a discount, valuable content, bonuses, etc.
- Holding events for potential customers.
Holding events help keep your target customers excited. More so, it helps build up their sense of anticipation for the launch of the product. Since physical restrictions are in place at the moment, online events will surely do.
- Showing social evidence.
Unfortunately, customers, these days are smarter. They no longer trust in advertising. So, the best way to earn their trust is to show social evidence through testimonials, as well as social media sharing. This helps build your credibility, which is very important if you want customers to keep coming back and to love your product.
- Interacting with customers.
Do not just send messages, interact with them. Answer questions professionally and in a timely manner. Connect with your customers on a personal level through social media and email.
3. Determine your Launch Path
There are a lot of different product launches depending on the product and the type of company or the kind of business you have.
However, in an eCommerce launch per se, you have the option to create a lean launch. But then again, it will also depend on your customer base. Like if you have an established one already, you may not need a lot of money to pay for paid advertising. But, if you are totally starting, then you have to set aside a good reasonable budget for that.
Ecommerce launch paths are usually streamlined and simplified. Normally, a significant part of the advertising happens through the internet as well as through content marketing.
The moment you have developed your customer base, the online launch can happen in just a few minutes. That’s actually what’s nice about online businesses, you can easily make your products available in just a click.
4. Launch Your Online Product
As mentioned above, online products can easily be made available in just a click. As long as you have established your customer base and you are a hundred percent ready to roll, you’re good to go.
By the way, prior to launching, it’s best to create buzz online especially through social media platforms. That will surely help a lot in building your customer base, at the same time, make more people interested in the launch.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON LAUNCHING ONLINE PRODUCT
Technology and the internet have definitely made a lot of things possible, including making businesses. In just a few steps, you can come up with an online business and launch your online product.
As we have said earlier, while for some people launching an online product can be tedious, in reality, as long as you know and understand the process and you follow it, it should be a breeze.
But more than understanding the process, understanding your product and knowing your target market are keys to a successful launch of an online product or launching an online business in general.
So, having learned all these, do you think you’re ready to start your online business and launch an online product soon?