Coming up with a product idea for your new online business can be difficult. More difficult still is building the confidence to make the jump and go through with your idea once you do have one. Will anyone care? Will anyone buy it? These are common questions you’ll ask yourself at some point in your journey. Truth be told, you’ll never know with 100% certainty how well your product idea will do until you actually open up shop. However, by validating your product idea before jumping in head first, you can mitigate risk and build confidence in your idea before investing too much time and money.
Analyze Your Competition
You’re in all likelihood not the first person selling your particular product online. Therefore, a good first step is to look to your competition to better understand demand and potential product appeal.
Although you’ll probably never know exactly how well your competition is doing, there are things you can uncover that can give some indication.
Uncovering Your Competitors
The first step is to first determine who is currently selling your potential product. The easiest way to discover your competitors is to do some simple Google searches for your product idea. It’s important to think like a potential customer and search for terms that customers would actually use.
Once you uncover a few key competitors, you can use free online tools like Similar Web and SEM rush to uncover others.As an example, I searched for “Hair Extensions” in Google. Once I found a few of the top ranking online hair extensions stores, I searched for them in both SEM rush an Similar Web to get the following list of additional online hair extension retailers.
What does their social following/interaction look like?
Social following and interaction doesn’t necessarily correlate to sales but it could be a good indicator of market interest. One of the most important things to remember here is that you can’t take the number of followers for face value. It’s easy these days to purchase thousands of even tens of thousands of fake (robot) followers inexpensively on services like Fiverr. Because of this, you must look past just social following and look at how much interaction they actually receive on posts and the sentiment of responses.
Starting a new business can be a little scary especially when you’re unsure in your product idea. However, taking the time upfront to better understand your competitors, the market and doing some testing can help build confidence and save you time as well as money down the road