What we learned from launching an e-commerce brand on Black Friday weekend
What we learned from launching an e-commerce brand on Black Friday weekend.
This article looks at the main things we learnt when we launched Nut and Noggin, a plastic free haircare brand in the UK that gives back with every sale.
A year ago
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. This article looks at the main things we learnt when we launched Nut and Noggin, a plastic free haircare brand in the UK that gives back with every sale.
Lesson 1: Have an email list to launch to.
We took inspiration from Harry’s and created a giveaway to grow an email list of our target audience who we could launch to. Without this, we would have launched to no-one!
Launching the giveaway using King Sumo, we grew our list in two weeks to over 500 contacts. This meant when we launched our Shopify store, we could email our list of contacts and let them know. This was one of the things that worked and led to thousands of £££ worth of sales in our first few weeks.
Lesson 2: You’ll never be 100% ready.
Our packaging and product arrived on actual Black Friday. Unless we’d pushed ourselves to press go (which in practice means a hundred small actions like unlocking passwords, enabling payment platforms, sending emails, tweets and Instagram posts), we would never have launched the next day (Cyber Saturday). Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and do it. Have faith that your planning, research and hard work up to launch will pay off.
Lesson 3: Use social media wisely
When you launch an e-commerce business, a thousand podcasts will tell you that the best way to grow is by using Facebook and Instagram paid advertising. We found quickly that the most sales came from influencer marketing, PR and referral links. These aren’t the fashionable shiny objects that everyone’s talking about, but they work. Send me a note or comment if you want to know what we’re focusing on here in 2020.
Lesson 4: Learn from businesses who’ve done what you want
Podcasts are best when they’re speaking to people who’ve achieved what you want. Get your notebook out and write down what worked and what didn’t for founders across different industries. We learned what not to invest in and what to focus on and refined our (limited) budgets accordingly for this year.
Lesson 5: Invest in your mission
Having a strong purpose (we give £1 from every purchase to charities helping young people with mental health challenges) will help you to push through difficult times. When we hit a road block (there have been many) we connect to giving back and how our work can help people, which gives added fuel to our business fire.
Lesson 6: Invest in your branding
We had some basic design capability in house but we knew we wanted to create a brand that really connects to our target market. To do this, we recognised that having an expert brand designer was the way forward. Yes it was an investment, and yes it was worth it to bring to life what Nut and Noggin stands for.
Lesson 7: There’s always another mountain.
Miley Cyrus was right - there’s always gonna be another mountain. The work doesn’t stop after launch, it just becomes a case of repeating more of what works and ditching what doesn’t. Adopting a growth mindset and staying flexible to customer feedback is essential.
We hope this gives you some value if you’re thinking of launching an e-commerce or direct to consumer business. Let us know your thoughts and we’ll try to update this as we learn.
Cofounder, Nut and Noggin