Making sure there’s demand for your product before starting to build it is crucial. Think you have a good product idea? Don’t assume that your product idea is something consumers will purchase, know for sure.
You might have heard this over and over before, but you need to validate your ideas before you start investing your time and money. So how do you properly validate your ideas? It’s one thing to discuss new product ideas over a meeting with your colleagues or friends, but it’s a completely different thing to tap into your potential customers’ perspective by measuring and testing your assumptions with some actual market data.
These 3 methods will help you understand whether you have a market of consumers to sell to, where that market exists, and whether they’ll actually be interested in purchasing your product idea.
Method #1 – Research potential keywords volume to understand buying intent
One of the first and very foundational steps you can take to determine whether there’s a viable market to sell your products is to research the keyword volume. This can show how many people search for your particular keyword per month, which gives you an indication of how in-demand your product idea might actually be.
There’s plenty of keyword research tools and Google has one of them for free – Google Keyword Planner. You don’t need to spend any money on Google Ads to gain access to this tool, however, you do need a Google account. The first step in using keyword volume research to validate your product idea is to create a list of keywords or phrases your audience might use to search for your product. For example, if you’re selling shoes your keywords could simply be “Sneakers,” or “Shoes” You could also get more specific by including key phrases like “Tennis shoes,” and “streetwear sneakers”, which are useful when researching the demand for a possible niche. Once you thought out the keywords, you can enter them directly to keyword planner tool and you will instantly see average monthly search volumes as well as the level of competition for this keywords in google adwords field (this also serves as a good indicator when choosing a niche).
It is worth noting, however, that keyword analytics tools don’t always get it right. The keyword volume data they generate is a good indicator of what the true search volume is, however, there is a potential for error as it’s not an exact science. Depending on the keywords you use, it likely won’t be an exact representation of how many people are looking to actually purchase the product every month, but just a general overview of the interest in the product idea itself.
Method #2 – Check Google trends to understand market situation, product seasonality and popularity
Part of your product validation process should be to run your product idea through a tool like Google Trends to understand the market forecast and seasonality swings for your product idea. When you enter your product keywords into Google Trends, it will generate a graph that represents the keyword volume data over time which will give you an indication as to when and how often your particular keyword has been searched throughout the years. This can show whether the market for these keywords are growing or declining, as well as their seasonal appeal. You can enter multiple keywords at the same time to see their relative comparison as well as choose different countries to better understand the popularity of these keywords geographically.
This method will help you in understanding the market situation, seasonality of your product and its appeal compared to other potential products that you have.
Method #3 – Try selling a few product samples online to see the product demand and marketability
There’s tons of other ways you can potentially research your products, however, at one point you just have to find out and see whether the data you have gathered proves to be right. Depending on your type of product and even your risk tolerance, ordering some samples to start selling to customers might be the right way to start off. We recommend starting small if you try this step out — don’t get too carried away and definitely don’t order more samples than you’d be okay storing in your basement or garage if you can’t actually sell any of it. If that’s not possible – you can try product pre-orders.
If you have a few products you can sell or market, you can try running a small set of ads to see how they perform. This is likely something you could start testing out with Facebook Ads to promote your product on both Facebook and Instagram and the results could give you an indication of what kind of demand there is out there for your product and even where that demand might be coming from. Make sure your ad is convincing so that you can grab the others’ attention as much as possible. Additionally, consider trying to A / B testing your ads to see if some campaigns are performing better than others.
If you have chosen to use this product validation method, you might face difficulties to get people to buy your sample products. This will also require you to accurately define your target audience to find those key customers who are really interested in what you do and will support you from the beginning. If you have worked out this part, it will help you a lot in the long-run, once you have started actually incorporating the new product of yours. Alongside the methods mentioned above, we’d like to also list some additional ideas for product validation:
• Consulting in online Forums
• Launching a crowdfunding campaign
• Observe social media and trending hashtags
• Competition research
• Successful Case studies
• Consulting influencers
Having all that said, we suggest trying at least a few of these methods to validate your product ideas before fully investing yourself into them. They can be very helpful in creating better plans and strategies for your new product releases. Once your idea is validated, it’s all about the execution and making your plans a reality.