5 Tips for Transitioning from Crowdfunding to Ecommerce
August 13, 2018
Congratulations, you reached your crowdfunding goal! Now what?
Once you’ve completed a successful crowdfunding campaign, it may feel like the world of ecommerce is your oyster. And it can be — but it can also take some work to get your footing.
Here are our top five tips for turning your crowdfunding campaign into an ecommerce business.
How to transition from crowdfunding campaign to ecommerce store
Here are the top tips to built out your ecommerce website after you’ve had a successful crowdfunding endeavor.
1. Create a website
We actually recommend creating a website for your brand and product during or even before your campaign. Even though you may not be ready to sell on your own website until after your campaign ends, experts recommend creating a website for your ecommerce company either before or during your campaign.
Shopify recommends treating your Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign page as a way to drive traffic to a platform that you can own and control during and beyond the campaign period. In addition, creating a website before you launch your ecommerce store will make the transition from crowdfunding to ecommerce even smoother.
[Related article: 6 Reasons Why You Need Your Own Ecommerce Website]
2. Choose an ecommerce platform
Once you have a website, you’ll need to add an ecommerce platform to begin selling. An ecommerce platform is software through which online businesses can manage their ecommerce sales, operations, and more.
Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce can simplify the process of selling online and are integral parts of many ecommerce strategies, especially for first-time sellers.
Working with an ecommerce platform that integrates with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help automate your order fulfillment process, letting you focus on bigger and better initiatives instead of the nitty gritty details of shipping.
3. Focus on the long-term
Build any potential ecommerce launch costs and production costs into your initial funding goal. This is especially important if you may have a lapse between when your campaign ends and your ecommerce sales begin.
Once you receive funding to build your product, you need to make sure that you have plans for a consistent cash flow moving forward. Many ecommerce companies find that they have to dip into early sales to manufacture their products, let alone make a profit.
4. Form partnerships early on
We recommend forming partnerships during the crowdfunding process that can help you long after you raise your funds.
For example, finding an accountant who you work well with and who understands your business model will not only help you set the right goal for your campaign but also help keep your business in the black when you launch your ecommerce store.
In addition, finding the right fulfillment provider during your crowdfunding campaign will make sure that you are set up for shipping success for both your backer rewards and the orders that come from your ecommerce store.
Fulfillment for ecommerce can be different and more complex than crowdfunding fulfillment, so it’s important to choose a fulfillment provider that streamlines this process for your business.
Look for a technology-first 3PL that offers features such as:
- Integrations with major ecommerce platforms
- Two-day shipping
- Distributed inventory
- Inventory management tools
- And more!
The above features will help ensure that you’re not only successful for campaign fulfillment, but also set up for success as you move into ecommerce.
5. Keep in touch
If your crowdfunding fulfillment goes well, your backers will be your biggest fans and most loyal customers from the start of your ecommerce store.
It is important to grow your customer base, but don’t forget where you started! Your backer community can help spread the word about your online store launch and recommend your products to friends and family. In exchange, offer discounts or referral rewards to those who have had your back since the beginning.
Remember, your crowdfunding campaign may just be the beginning, but it can and will set you up for ecommerce success — if you play your cards right.
One of the biggest mistakes crowdfunders make is not planning for fulfillment of backer rewards.
To learn how to master the fulfillment process to save money and build customer loyalty, check out our e-guide, “The Complete Crowdfunding Fulfillment Guide.”