Do you feel you have a brilliant and innovative idea but are iffy about going ahead with it because you are not sure if it is going to sell?
If only one had some kind of a crystal ball to look at the future and remove the doubts, fears, and uncertainties!!!
While it will never be possible to be 100% sure of how well your product /service will sell, you could surely do a couple of things to minimize the uncertainties. As they say ‘education is the largest mitigator of risk’. So doing some groundwork before you set off to sell products online. It will go a long way in saving your precious time, energy and money. Here’s what you can do-
Test the appetite before you create it
You think that it’s a brilliant idea, but do others think the same? Try to find out what your planned target customer really wants – An easy way would be to speak to potential buyers about their current pain points, understanding their buying habits and get their feedback.
It’s a simple and inexpensive way to gauge the interest in the product or idea before spending too much time and resources on it.
Make use of social media
It makes sense to research various relevant forums in the market and join in the chats/conversations. Observe closely the topics gathering the most comments. This can often provide valuable leads regarding the most popular topics/ ideas on the minds of many. If you choose, you could set up a test website or a Facebook page (set up to test the marketability of the product) to get an indication of the interest in your offering. Do remember though that visits to a test website may not adequately reflect interest purely because not many people will actually know about you in your testing stage.
Research the competition
Once you have an idea that you have created a sellable product, research on similar existing products. Don’t be scared of competition as their presence only proves that there is a market for your idea!
Research the markets well as that helps in spotting market trends and also helps uncover potential gaps in the market. Know your industry and ask for feedback – you can learn lots from what they say.
Make sure that you provide value to the customer and being able to define how your product is different always helps. Sometimes, it helps to take a step back and ask yourself if the value of the product is obvious. One cannot undermine the importance of learning enough about the market and the target audience before launching the product
Make the product or service simple and productive
Most people like products that are unique, simple and productive. So learn to differentiate your offering from others. A meaningful product is one that solves a problem that people care about and something that can probably do the job faster, easier or cheaper. This offers convenience to the customer and increases his productivity and hence is most likely to sell.
Also, a good product name that is easy to grasp and related to the product does help to make an impression in the mind of the consumer. For example, Rotimatic, the automatic Roti making a machine which promised to produce soft Indian flatbread at the click of a button was a huge hit and had long order lists even before the company started producing it.
Change their wants into needs
Talk to the customer regarding their wants and needs. Your challenge will be to convert their wants into needs. The winning stroke will be the one when you are able to make you’re offering a ‘necessity’ rather than ‘a nice to have’.
How useful is your product?
Your success will often depend on the nature of the product that you are offering. Does this product or service fulfill a need and how urgent is that need?
Also, it is important to identify a target market and focus your resources to reach, address and sell to this segment. How urgently does the customer need your product? If the product is more of a luxury than a necessity then it is likely to take more effort to sell. You can try to sell a test product to get a reality check.
Make use of your network
Let friends and family use your products/services and be open to whatever feedback they give. Use such feedback constructively to modify and relook at your offering. Another way of gauging genuine customer interest would be by asking people if they are willing to put some money for the product. If you are starting your business online you can use ready-made e-commerce website templates.
As for everything else in the marketplace, correct pricing for the product/service is extremely important. People are ready to pay as long as the product/service is adding value to your life but who doesn’t like a good deal?
Speaking to people also gives you an idea of what they would be willing to pay for the product.
Believe in yourself
Be focused and positive and believe in your product. Very often, in our endeavor to survive in the short run, we tend to wilt and wither….perseverance is critical. It is important for yourself to believe and have faith in your product/ service before you can expect others to support it.
And there you are….you’ve got some very valuable pointers here. None of us have that crystal ball to guarantee that the product/ service that we have chosen to sell will take the world by storm. Fortunately, however, there is a method to the madness. By keeping a lookout on the areas listed above, one can substantially minimize the risk of failure if not eliminate it!
Armed with this knowledge, you are ready to fly. All the best!