I have built and launched Many eCommerce stores.
The very first one I did on my own, I coded the entire shopping cart script from scratch. Back in those days, I was still learning how to build eCommerce stores. It took me 3 weeks to write, test and debug the shopping cart script.
It was a very simple cart and it was placed on a manufacturer’s website that had traditionally sold their commercial grade equipment over the phone, or through distributors. Within 2 days we had our first order and I was relieved it worked. That was more than 10 years ago and eCommerce was not as accepted as it is today.
I have launched 11 websites over the past 2 years, and all but a few have generated multiple orders within 24 hours of launch. This is due in part to advertising, I don’t have time to wait around to see if the web store is converting properly, I immediately generate a lot of traffic to see if there are any issues that need to be fixed, or improved.
I cannot find every issue related to marketing until after I have a good bit of data to analyze. So while I am building and preparing the website for launch I also put together adverting campaigns to blast targeted traffic at the website from the first moment it is ready to take orders.
Of course, how long it takes to get your first order will vary a lot depending on the size of your niche, the price range of your products, how well your website is designed, the effectiveness of your sales copy, and how well targeted your traffic sources are.
I do this for a living, so I don’t have time to sit around waiting for the first sale. If I don’t get multiple sales within the first day, I consider the website broken and immediately begin looking for what is wrong so that it can be fixed. And there are almost always things that need to be fixed because you cannot be certain of anything until you have real data to confirm your assumptions.
The truth is that the most work that needs to be done is usually done after the launch. Test everything, and let your data guide you towards maximizing profit. Marketing is measuring and adapting to the needs of your customers. That is where success is determined, it’s your marketing plan that is the key.