The challenges in this project was time. Time to get product sourced, business operations, and marketing all planned out within three months.
In August of 2017, an entrepreneur and successful business owner had a dream to start an e-commerce store supplying top of the line survival gear to consumers worldwide for disaster preparation. With the world experiencing more severe weather and disasters at a higher intensity, it seemed like a good time to make this move. The owner brought in Digital Marketing Experts, Intl. and other partners to consult on the best way to source drop shipping manufacturers of the best products in the industry, and get a website launched by January of 2018. The owner wanted an aggressive pre-launch and post-launch strategy and had a small budget to work with for startup. The website would be SurvivalGearSystems.com(SGS).
The challenge of this project was time. Time to get product sourced, business operations, and marketing all planned out within three months, with the goal to have a demo test site live in December of 2017. Then create a very strong, strategic marketing plan to drive high volumes of sales in the first quarter. Analyzing market statistics, competitors, and experience with startup niche e-commerce businesses, Desiree Bryant Jones, VP of Marketing, projected an average sale of $120 per customer and 1st quarter 2018 net sales of $18,000 and an annual 1st-year net sales of approximately $300K. The owner was satisfied with this projection, so the team got started on the project.
Jones, working on site with the business owner, hired a product specialist to assist with this project. The first step was sourcing the best products in the industry, and mapping out a pre-launch strategy to get emails and recognition for the launch. This plan included finding a popular survival specialist or expert to assist with the launch. Jones connected with Mykel Hawke, star of Man, Woman, Wild on the Discovery Channel to be interviewed for a first blog article and partner to promote the website on Hawke’s professional pages as well as SGS promoting his upcoming appearances on ABCs The Bachelor and History Channel’s The Frontiersmen. The project consisted of the following strategic moves to create a successful launch.
As we can see here, this launch was well above our expectations and far above our projections. Utilizing a careful planning and aggressive strategy, the business was able to get an ROI from all startup costs and start driving profitability in the 1st quarter. Most e-commerce businesses can take up to a year to go live and another year to reach these kinds of metrics and revenue figures. With the Digital Marketing Expert’s teams, it is clear dreams can become a reality for anyone looking to start up a new business online.
- Build out a social media pre-launch plan with Mykel Hawke and a splash page to connect users with a form to subscribe for launch updates.
- While building out the pre-launch, sourcing the best manufacturers of survival products in the country.
- Build out post-launch strategy and test site engaging with teams for content, development, and Google advertising.
- Test site to go live in December 2017.
- Refine site and build out final Shopify site to go live in January 2018.
- Refine marketing and email campaigns from analytics and customer data from test site for full marketing launch in January 2018.
- Optimize website for SEO and conversion.
- Develop out an aggressive email marketing campaign with complete automation.
- Month 1: $35K in sales
- Month 2: $49K in sales
- Month 3: hit $100K in sales in week 10 of launch
- SEO: During this period $11,000 of sales came from organic searches
- Email: Email campaigns with a 100% opt-in list boasts a 23% conversion rate, 526 automation initiated in the first month of launch
- Status: The website was in the top 2% of all Shopify stores launched the same week and is maintaining this status