Releasing a new product brings with it a sense of excitement. It likely has gone through several rounds of edits, adjustments and redesigns over the course of its inception to finished creation. It’s a proud moment for any business, designer or individual to list a new product online. However, while the new product does bring out pride from the creators, there’s also a considerable amount of mystery. Will it land favorably in the eyes of customers? How will potential clients find the new product? Is there a way to build a following and interest for the new item? All of these questions are important, but by taking advantage of these tips, it is possible to increase sales for a new product.
A number of companies and product lines take advantage of the pre-order stage. A consumer can now pre-order anything from a video game to a vehicle using this method.
The pre-order stage brings about several different benefits. For starters, it introduces customers to a product before it comes out. This offers weeks, if not months of additional buzz. Apple, for example, will announce the release of an upcoming iPhone months before it hits stores. This allows it to market its product well before a customer will physically hold it.
The pre-order stage helps build interest while the business finishes the product. Having a pre-order stage, in a way, buys the company more time. While the hype for the product builds, the company can work on making any necessary last minute adjustments.
The pre-order stage also helps with providing information on the initial interest of the product. If pre-orders are on the higher end, a business knows it needs to increase production in order to meet the growing demands of the product.
Without the pre-order numbers, it’s difficult to know exactly how well a product will do on launch.
Take Advantage of The Email List
A company needs to maintain and grow its email-marketing list. This list is worth its weight in gold. With early marketing emails it helps educate current customers of what’s new to come, before anyone else knows about it.
While it’s still important to market a new product to new customers (one of the reasons a business produces a new product is to attract additional clients and leads to the business), current customers are more likely to make a purchase.
According to Invesp Corp, a business is 60 to 70 percent likely to sell to a current customer, yet just five to 20 percent likely to sell to a new customer. This shows a dramatic difference between sales potential. Additionally, current customers are 50 percent more likely to check out and purchase a new product while spending 31 percent more than a new customer.
Current customers know what to expect from a business, but new customers hold off longer before making a sale. With current customers making initial sales, they can help populate the product page with reviews, which in turn help improve the buying potential for potential clients. There’s nothing wrong with looking to current customers for help in initial sales before increasing the marketing exposure to new customers.
Focus On Video
Video provides an additional means of outreach. It allows businesses to promote content on platforms such as YouTube, while also posting the videos on other social media services like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Video brings with it a number of crucial benefits. In fact, most customers would rather watch a promo video regarding a new product over reading a blog post for it.
According to Fobes (2017), placing a video onto a landing page increases the overall conversion rate by 80 percent, while including it in an email marketing campaign increases the click-through rate by up to 300 percent. 64 percent of customers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video showcasing it, while 90 percent of consumers say a video helps educate them while they make their purchase decision.
Video provides all of these benefits for highlighting a new product, in addition to boosting search engine optimization, is easily viewable on most devices and increases the chance to go viral (according to the same Forbes article, 92 percent of people who watch a mobile video will share the video with their social followers).
Include Live Video Events
Recorded, edited and produced video allows a business to offer a polished, streamlined video, highlighting the benefits of a new product. However, there are major benefits behind using live video in addition to regular, produced video.
Live streaming has become increasingly more popular over the last several years. While the service started with the Twitter backed Periscope, it has spread, so now YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms allow for live video.
According to Sales Force (2017), 81 percent of audiences took in more live streaming video in 2016 than they did in the previous year. 80 percent of consumers would rather watch a live video stream than read a blog, while 82 percent of consumers said they would rather watch a live video from a brand than read the company’s social media posts.
Basically, live video makes staying on top of what a company does that much easier. It isn’t always possible to stop and read a blog post, especially from the smaller screen of a phone. However, it’s possible to watch the live video from just about anywhere.
Live streaming video on social media, which feeds directly to a company’s followers and subscribers, provides a substantially less expensive marketing method for a new product than taking out traditional commercial airtime. In fact, according to the same Sales Force report, a single, one-minute commercial in Los Angeles costs around $17,000. A live video doesn’t cost anything.
The Sales Force report goes further, detailing when Dunkin Donuts released its first Facebook Live video, it generated 40,000 views and over 5,000 social interactions on Facebook alone, all without paying a cent. Plus, the live video records and saves to the company’s profile, making it possible to view at any time, comment on it and interact with it, allowing it to double-down as a published video.
Consider Your Timing
Timing for a product release is everything. Poor timing will stunt the initial sales of a new product instantly. Releasing a Christmas inspired product in the middle of March won’t do much good for the product. Likewise, selling 4th of July products in the United States during the winter holidays won’t result in many sales either.
Not all products are holiday related. However, there are benefits to releasing products around certain times of the year. It may prove beneficial for a company to release a new clothing line a few months before the winter holidays, as consumers are more likely to purchase gifts for others.
According to SPS Commerce (2017), there are three “seasonal” shopping times of the year. During the early portion of the year, such as January through February, buying drops off. Many consumers are looking at what they spent during the holidays and looking to avoid most major purchases. However, there are some items with a buying increase during this time of year.
Health-related items, ranging from workout gear and gym memberships to healthy foods, yoga mats and anything else “fitness” will increase in sales. With that said, gift giving backed buying increases around Valentine’s Day. Jewelry, undergarments, chocolates, and other product lines deemed “romantic” see an increase in sales at this time of the year. At the very end of this period in the United States is President’s Day. Stores often offer substantial deals and discounts. It’s not to celebrate the Presidents of the United States, but instead it’s seen as a time where the consumer spending has recovered and customers are more likely to go out and make larger purchases.
Throughout much of the year’s middle months, buying goes through transitional phases, based mostly on the weather. The Easter holiday does bring about an increase in candy purchases, in addition to lamb and other more traditional meals. This moves into June and July, where patriotic goods reach a sales peak. Picnic goods and outdoor decorations are sold primarily during these months as the weather transitions from spring into summer and then into the early fall.
As the SPS Commerce research points out, the second big tent pole sales time, following late February, is September 14th. The beginning of September represents back to school shopping, which encompasses everything from calculators and pencils to tablets, computers, school clothing and anything else connected to the return of school. With such a wide demographic of school shopping, ranging from small children to college aged adults, this has become an increasingly important time of the year, and a major time to push new products, if it can be connected, in any way, to the return of school.
The third major sales point in the year is December 18th. This marks one week before Christmas and stands as the largest sales time of the year. Everything and anything is sold on the run up to the holiday season, so for a new product, releasing before the holidays provides additional benefits. While the competition picks up as well, a company needs to consider whether releasing a product before the holidays will help end-of-year sales numbers, or if it would prove more beneficial to wait until the February sales period.
Showcase New Products on the Website
As a website grows it lists dozens, if not hundreds of available products. Due to this, when a new item is released, without any extra promotion it will become lost amongst the other listings. In order to prevent this, it’s critical for a business to highlight the new product.
Highlighting a new product shouldn’t rely only on inbound marketing, through email campaigns and promotions posted to social media. Both new and current customers will arrive on the website without any prior knowledge of the new product. In order to educate the visitors of the new product, a website needs to highlight it.
One way to do this is to provide information above the fold. If a single product is released, visual aids and links leading to the product page of this product can be highlighted with a banner. If a host of new products came out, the website needs to provide a “New Arrivals” link above the fold as well.
Product information listed above the fold receives a substantial increase in attention and traffic than anything listed below the fold. “Above the fold” is comes from a newspaper term where a physical fold separated content on the bottom half of the newspaper and the top half. Content “above the fold” became instantly visible to anyone looking at the newspaper. It offered the top headlines and generated sales. On the Internet, “above the fold” now refers to anything above the point where a visitor needs to scroll down on their computer or mobile device.
With so many different screen sizes now in use, the exact location of “the fold” does vary slightly, but in general it’s possible to identify the general placement of the fold. According to Design Hooks, information placement on a website plays a vital role in how long someone looks at it. The top 800 pixels of a website are generally above the fold. Content at the 300 pixel mark, or slightly above the middle of the screen when it loads, receive 16 percent of the website view time, which is more than any other visual placement on the site. The next closest is the 400 pixel mark, which experiences 13.5 percent of the website view time. Content below the fold drops substantially in regard to view time. The 800-pixel mark, which is right above the fold, has nearly a seven percent view time. The 900-pixel mark, which is just below the fold, drops to three percent. In order to maximize exposure for a new product, the highlighted product needs to display front and center, above the fold, between the 300 and 400 pixel mark.
By following through with these tips and suggestions, it is possible to increase sales for a new product. Putting forth the necessary research before even starting the creation of the product is essential, but as long as all the due diligence is executed properly, these steps will assist in drawing in additional interest and boosting sales, no matter the industry, the target audience or the product in question.