The worst time of the year to launch an online store
I have been working on my new product launch for months. If you’ve ever launched a product-based business, you know.
There’s inventory to source
Product descriptions to write
Website to build
Photos to take
And a hundred other things before you feel vaguely like you have it all in place.
All of that takes ages.
Which means that, like in my case, your brand launch may be delayed by a week… or 4. And that it may fall on what is effectively The Worst Time Of The Year To Launch.
I’m talking of course of the Black Friday week. The hottest time of the entire year for online shopping, where almost everyone buys something they wouldn’t normally buy.
Why is this the worst time of the year to launch, if everyone is buying, then?
The reason why is simple, and a good lesson for anyone wanting to sell products online:
Don’t offer a discount to someone who doesn’t know you
If the person landing on your site never heard of you before, has no reason to trust you and can’t even be sure if they want your products to begin with, no amount of discount will convince them to buy.
The only thing it will do is permanently devalue your brand in their perception.
How you communicate with your audience must depend on where in their customer journey they are with you – or if you use marketing speak – where in the funnel they are.
If they are top of the funnel – they just don’t know you – your content needs to introduce your product and its benefits. It’s a good time to offer a free sample (or a lead magnet) so you can guide them down your funnel.
In the middle of the funnel – once they’ve joined your mailing list, followed you on Instagram or did something else to show they would like to hear from you again – you can hit them with more detailed and personalised information about how your product can change their life.
Only at the very bottom of the funnel, once the visitor already knows they want your stuff, but they may still hesitate a little because of price or risk, is it a good idea to offer a discount.
Reason number 2 why Black Friday (and probably all of November) is the worst week to launch is the general marketing noise around this time.
It’s enough that you open your mailbox in the days before Black Friday to convince you that this is the time when every newsletter list you’ve ever signed up for is sure to pop up inviting you to their sale.
And then, worst of all, is the advertising. There isn’t a more expensive time to try and promote your products on Google, Facebook or any other paid traffic platform. In fact, I would only recommend advertising on Facebook during this time to your retargeted traffic. Don’t even try to reach new audiences in November, it’s not worth it.
Yet, knowing all this, I’ve decided to launch my new brand this week anyway.
Because I bloody can’t wait and I want to share my new product with the world! And if you feel this way about your brand, the best moment to launch it is NOW.