Marketing Strategy Help Needed! Funded on Kickstarter and Taking Pre-Orders Until Inventory Arrives

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Tourist
14 0 2

Hey Shopify Community -

We recently launched our watch brand Sasqwatch Company via Kickstarter in November, and after a lot of blood, sweat and tears were able to hit our funding goal and production is under way.

Since then, we have been working to refresh our website and update our products to allow for pre-orders, which we went live with a couple weeks ago.  Our first run of inventory is currently being produced and set to arrive at the end of May.

We are now working on our holistic marketing strategy for both the next couple months (pre-orders, before inventory) and then from June onwards (once we have phycial inventory to sell and ship).  Currently we are focused on organically posting / growing our social channels while also experimenting with some targeting ads on Facebook / Instagram / Adwords.

A couple questions that you may be able to help with:

  • Should we save paid ads (mainly FB and Instagram) for when we have inventory, or optimize our on-site experience to better convert traffic?  We don't want to waste $ if most consumers won't be interested due to having to wait months for their purchase to arrive
  • What would the best marketing tactics be for driving pre-orders?  We don't expect the same conversion as when we will have physical inventory, but want to drive whatever business / traffic we can - efficiently
  • Any recommendations for the best referral program through our Kickstarter customer base?

Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Sean

 

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Tourist
3 0 2

Hello Sean,

Your site should be optimized with conversion optimzation and user-experience best practices from day one. But it is not the best use of time and budget to run A:B testing and ongoing conversion optimization tests until you have enough traffic to justify it. Typically this is around 50,000 visitors per month, depending on many factors, such as your existing conversion rate.

It sounds like you are in the brand-building phase. In that case, your paid social ads should be based around goals like: Getting people to sign up for email alerts, coupons, etc... basically just getting email addresses into your database so you can market to them without paying Facebook or Instagram. Going from Unknown to them to First Purchase takes time. At this point, maybe focus on getting them to your site with awesome content or a giveaway.

The best channel for you right now in terms of ROI is Publicity. You have a great story to tell: High-Quality Watches Under $100. It goes well with any story in the news about getting the price down on consumer electronics, such as efforts by the Gates Foundation or One Laptop Per Child: http://one.laptop.org/about/mission . It also goes well with stories about Craftsmanship, KickStarter Campaigns, etc...

Here's a great article to help you get started there:
https://moz.com/blog/advanced-guide-online-publicity-campaigns

Another one by the same person:
https://moz.com/blog/integrate-traditional-digital-marketing

Ads will not drive enough pre-orders to pay for themselves. Either adjust the purpose of those ads to "Brand Building" and your key performance indicators to Visits and Contacts - or use another channel.

Buzz WILL drive pre-orders. And your site, products, story and brand are all Buzz-worthy.

Good luck!

Director of Marketing at Inflow - www.GoInflow.com
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Tourist
14 0 2

Bumping this one - would love to hear if anyone has had success with pre-orders, or if we should focus on our plan for when we have physical inventory on hand and ready to ship.  Thanks, all!

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New Member
2 0 0

Hey, Sean,

Cool watch. Congrats on hitting your Kickstarter goal!

Great questions. I'd be happy to answer a couple of them.

Paid ads-you should do an experiment. Figure out your profit margin per watch. Then see what a paid ad pre-order costs you. If your cost per conversion is low enough, it might be worth it to drive ahead with a campaign to generate pre-orders. 

Driving pre-orders: create a limited time offer. A discount should work. Make sure you have retargetting pixels installed on your site, so that anyone you get to come to your site who does not convert can be retargetted with a PPC campaign later when you have inventory on hand. 

Make sure you have a chat app to make it easier for visitors to ask you questions and give you feedback/suggestions. Make sure it's multichannel, so that mobile visitors can start a conversation easily. Make sure you have analytics on site visitors and the ability to start a chat with them, too. This will give you the invaluable ability to find out what they really want/are thinking. The other thing it will allow you to do is to capture leads, for later followup via whatever channel they prefer. This is something our app can help with.

Bontact https://apps.shopify.com/bontact
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New Member
4 0 0

Nice watches.  I wish I had some tips but I'm looking for some myself.  I will say I think having to wait months is tricky for sales conversion from ads.  Perhaps your ads could be focused on generating other effects, like growing your email list or instagram following?  Wholesale might be an additional idea for your business if you have such long lead times too.  The men's market seems to be growing and there are trade shows that specifically appeal to menswear.  Best of Luck! 

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