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Rethinking the ROI of Your Launch Part I: Increasing Revenue

April 30, 2024
Mitchell Holder
Head of Marketing

If you’re launching your hottest products with a first-come-first-serve model, making people queue (online or in-person), or running a raffle free-for-all — you’re throwing revenue away. 

Product launches provide a unique opportunity for brands to generate buzz, connect with fans, drive value, and yes, additional revenue — but only if you can maximize the moment.

Since we founded EQL in 2021, we have helped the world’s biggest brands run more than 5,000 launches. And while our initial goal was ensuring that brands were able to manage the heat (still an essential foundation) our focus has shifted to helping partners fully realize the revenue opportunities that come from launches.

Meet Stellar Collectibles

To help visualize the ROI partners can expect from an EQL launch, we’re going to follow the launch journey of Stellar Collectibles, an action-figure brand whose products are always incredibly hot and in demand (if only it were this easy). While Stellar Collectibles doesn’t exist, the examples below come from real brands and their launches, and they’ll help us illustrate the point. We’ve seen brands from Crocs to McFarlane to Funko and more use EQL’s unique features to get more from every launch.

Let’s explore how EQL launches unlock more revenue for your brand in three important ways, using Stellar as a proxy.

Sell more by understanding true demand

Stellar’s action figures always have more demand than inventory. Like many retailers, this happens for a variety of reasons, many out of the brand’s control. So, sell-through has never been an issue. A problem they did have, before EQL, was the uncertainty of how high demand actually was.

Running launches through EQL has solved this problem. Our partners get to see the full scope of who showed intent to buy a product (enough intent to put their card details in and expect to be charged), not just who clicked on a page, or joined a queue. This allows them to pinpoint much more accurately how much inventory they can sell, and how it balances with scarcity.

We’ve seen this benefit several of our ‘not-made-up’ partners over the years driving significant revenue gains. One of the most notable use cases was with a footwear brand that was able to 2x the amount of inventory on a launch without sacrificing sell-through. Then, they were able to confidently 5x inventory on a restock, leading to 10x the revenue. And because the demand data included sizing information, they were also able to better inform production. 

For many brands, this also means less waste. No need to devalue the brand with heavy discounts, or worse, have products end up in a landfill. 

Acquiring more legitimate customers

Back to Stellar. Their collaborations are some of the most sought-after in the industry, creating a buzz that piques curiosity outside of the normal fanbase, unlocking a new group of potential customers. Before EQL, they ran a first-come, first-serve launch model. Fans would eagerly refresh their browsers waiting for the launch to open, only to be disappointed seconds later when all the stock sold out, an all too common occurrence.  By shutting new fans out of the launch, not only was their first experience a poor one, with no record of their interest, but Stellar still had no idea who they were. And they probably won’t be back.

Not anymore. EQL launches create a longer window for existing customers and new fans to express their intent to buy. Winners are chosen, and whilst not everybody wins, they have all had the opportunity to purchase and nobody had to waste time in a queue, (which I’d say is a bit of a win on its own). Those who were not selected are not invisible. You’ll have the opportunity to engage with them in the future (EQL launches see an 80% marketing opt-in rate). Also, gathering new customer profiles means nothing if over half of them are bots — it just fills your CRM full of junk. EQL filters out the bots and bad actors, leaving you with clean data on who is motivated to buy.

Last year one of our luxury brand partners released one of the hottest launches of the year. There was 50x the demand vs the products available. Due to the nature of the collaboration over half of the entries were customers that were new to the brand.

Capturing additional sales opportunities

Finally, let’s circle back to the massive cross-sell opportunity that comes on launch day.

Stellar’s figurines sell out every time, it’s inevitable - where they look to increase revenue is with additional product sales alongside the main release. There are 3 main tactics they use to maximize sales both online and offline. 

  1. Utilizing EQL’s post-entry CTA to cross-promote other products to their fan base - converting at 30% of total entrants, which has become a major incremental revenue driver
  2. Consolation offers to fans who missed out on the main release but still want to purchase from the brand and are ready to spend
  3. Reserving inventory for in-store pick-ups drives footfall in-store, creating cross-sell opportunities without the chaos of a FCFS in-store release

What can you earn with EQL?

So, how is Stellar’s ROI looking after its latest EQL launch?

Over $1 million in additional revenue (62:1 ROI) from demand-informed inventory and post-entry campaigns + 125,000 new fans at a $0.13 CPA. Not too shabby. (With a legal disclaimer here for our lawyers this is an example for illustrative purposes only. You get it.) 

In a world where most products launched on EQL sell out, the heightened value to brands comes from decisions on how much to sell, who you sell, and the opportunity for additional sales around the launch. 

We’ve built a platform that makes it easy for brands to take a smarter approach to launches — one that’s ready for the challenges and primed to capture the opportunities. EQL lets you sell more products now, make smarter decisions in the future, develop more rewarding ways of engaging with your fan base, and increase the lifetime value of your customers. All without worrying about bots, crashing sites, or frustrated fans.

So what’s your potential ROI with EQL?  Let's find out together. Work with our customer success team to maximize your next release and start increasing the return on your launches.

In the next article of the series, we’ll explore how EQL provides ROI through increased brand sentiment. Coming soon… ®
Mitchell Holder
Head of Marketing

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Get more from your launches
✓  Chaos-proof technology helps you manage demand
✓  EQLizer gets products to fans, creating even more fans
✓  Revenue maximizers connect launches to your future growth
✓  Fan-first experience turns product passion into brand loyalty

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