Before you blast off fully into your new product launch you want to have a good handle on the demand so that customers are happy and you’re profitable. Markets are fickle like that. You might know in your gut your product is the best thing out there but there may not be a demand for it – yet. Let’s talk about a few ways you can research demand for your product before you take that leap!
These are just a few simpler ways you can start poking around and researching demand!
These two free, easy-to-use tools from Google are a great way to develop a first look for demand in just a few minutes. Using Keyword Planner and Trends, you can see what kind of things people are searching out and at what volumes. If no one is searching for the product you have in mind, that’s probably not a great sign! Though the other case might be true too, there might be absolutely thousands of searches every day for your product
Doing this research can also help you nail down what you want to call your product by finding the keywords most often used to describe what it is you’re offering! For example, if you’re trying to sell a flat sole open shoe that just uses straps to hold it to your foot you might not find a ton of great searches – but turns out there’s this thing called a “sandal.” Ok that example’s a bit out there but you get the idea. There may be more demand than you realize because the market might be looking for your product under another name.
Offering pre-orders is pretty slick option that can help you out two-fold. For one it’ll help you gauge interest and research demand, and two it can help provide additional funding for the manufacturing/stocking of the inventory you’re curious about!
Set up your webstore to talk about the product and take payments before it’s available and drive traffic to see how it goes. You can collect emails to keep the customers updated, building and nourishing your market before you spend a penny on the product in question. If after some time it becomes clear this product doesn’t have any viability in the market you can refund the preorders and move on, no worse for wear but definitely wiser. Careful though, you definitely risk tarnishing your business’s rep with potential customers depending on how you handle it.
This is a bit of a fun one and one your humble author is familiar with (my home is filled with Kickstarted books, games, etc.). Kickstarter is a platform used to raise funds for products to get them off the ground and going. They can be anything from a comic book to a new type of hiking boot and beyond. Campaigns run over a short period of time, generate buzz and FOMO, and can give you a clear sign that the market is hungry for your product. It gives you a platform built for just this purpose, an audience who enthusiastically uses it, and the space to really sell the idea.
If you already have some product available, or you want to run a preorder campaign on your site as we mentioned previously, setting up a test campaign using Google AdWords can be a great way to determine market viability for your product.
Set up an effective PPC campaign, put a test budget in, and start driving traffic. You want to get enough traffic to your site to get a good idea of the real conversion rates of your business and product. Depending on the keywords you’re bidding on this could cost you some real money, but you know the saying!
A tool we use here to do some research for clients and content is working with actual research companies like Centiment or Survey Monkey. Depending on the service you use you can hit a fine-tuned demographic and get their feedback on what you’re looking for. You can build out a robust set of questions, demographic guidelines, set a budget, and then they’ll take it from there. After your survey comes back, you’ll have a better idea of the potential demand.
Here’s an easy one that you can start doing right now scope out the competition! Is there another company in your space selling a similar product? What are they doing? You can do this a few ways. Here’s a handy list.
Obviously analyzing the competition only work if there is competition in the space, you’re in so your mileage may vary!
Getting an idea whether your product can be viable and zeroing in on your target demographic is a crucial first step before you jump head first into a new business venture. Take a beat, do some research, and get ready to make some moves!