As a business entrepreneur, you finally came up with what you think is a billion dollar idea! Your instincts say go after it. Before you jump on the bandwagon take a step back and ask yourself some very important questions that will be covered throughout this post. Why is product validation so important? The success of your e-commerce business is based on your initial market research. Let’s get started!
How to choose what to sell?
How do we actually come up with ideas? Generally, you offer a solution to a problem or provide entertainment or a combination of both. It’s a tight balance between need and a want. Print-on-demand is not necessarily where people shop for basic necessities, however, it is a platform of self-expression. Self-expression is an individual’s identity that is highly valued in today’s society. Think of designs that resonate with a particular group of people such as dog lovers or fishing enthusiasts.
Why test your design idea?
If you remember only one thing from this article, let it be this – don’t rely on your gut feeling to launch a new design idea. Conduct a thorough market research to understand trends and market demand. Make sure there are people who are interested in what you sell and are willing to purchase the product.
Ways to validate products & designs
Although print-on-demand doesn’t require large overhead and inventory you don’t want to waste your precious time with a product with no potential demand. There is a wide variety of sites you can visit to get the feel for the market saturation, demand, and design ideas.
Allows you to see what topics do people search for on Google. For example, if you are thinking about selling dog lovers tee designs you might want to make sure that dogs are trending or are displayed as most searched on google. Then you can take it even step further to see what particular dog breeds are trending in real time and non-real time.
Amazon Best Sellers
Amazon Best Seller list is updated hourly and it contains bestselling items in real-time. Discover the best sellers and top 100 most popular products on Amazon. Browse any department to compare the trends. Furthermore, check out Amazon Reviews for valuable customer feedback to spark another great idea.
BuzzFeed delivers news and entertainment to millions of people all around the world offering anything from breaking news to DIY hacks. Get real-time insights into news and trends all over the world to help you design your next best seller.
Browse POPULAR Pinterest boards to see what’s trending. You don’t necessarily have to start from scratch instead figure out a way to add a new feature – cheaper, faster shipping or modify the original design to fit your brand needs.
Reddit is a go-to source for trending news, trending videos, meme content, and puns. It’s a great place to find ideas for your designs whether it is the actual image or the copy Reddit never disappoints. Stay ahead of trends with Reddit Charts.
Figure out what companies are selling similar products and determine how they are doing. Check out their social media following. How many followers do they have? What does their engagement look like? Are a lot of people commenting, liking and sharing their posts? How do their reviews look like – good or bad? Reviews are a great way to get ahead of your competition by determining the gap where you can jump in and differentiate yourself from the competitors, whether it is by offering cheaper, more comfortable, or faster shipping times. Figure it out and run with it.
How long have the competitors been in business? Has it been a while or very short period of time? The easiest way to find out how long the business has been up and running is to check their website. Well-established companies tend to pride themselves with a rich history on their “About” page. Another way to check is through – Who Is, use the company’s URL to quickly find out the origin of the company. You will be able to find out the exact date of the creation of the website. Remember, if the company has been on market for a while that generally means the business is doing well but it isn’t the most accurate. The general rule of thumb is to do as much research as you can, to gather every bit of detail to get the full picture of the company and market.
Analyze website appeal
While you browse through sites, jot down notes about design appeal, start gathering information that will help with how you want your selling platform to look. How does the webpage make you feel? Does it make you feel excited to buy? Is it sloppy or crisp? How is the flow? Is it hard to navigate? Analyze the good and the bad. Generally, you’ll find that successful websites with high traffic and great conversion are very minimalist looking sites that get straight to the point of action (selling).
Create a landing page
Start generating buzz around your product within your niche market. Create a landing page to build an anticipation around the launch of the website. Ask for emails to see who is interested in being contacted when the website launches. That will not only allow for building an email list but get a feel for the demand of the product.
Continue to talk to customers
Continue to educate yourself through your customers, they are your best advocates for the upcoming hits and trends.