How do I do Market Research to Test My Niche Products?

It’s great that you have narrowed your “Niche” choices and that you are passionate about all of them. The knowledge you have is the best “First Step” in your market research process.

Here is how I would recommend that you proceed.

First points are about your advertising.

  1. Get a sample from each of your Niches. Read the ad copy you are using. Read the instruction manual from cover to cover. Be thorough. Don’t assume you know everything there is to know about your products.
  2. Actually use your products. Not knowing what your categories are I can’t give you more perspective but, hook them up, install them, test out all the features and benefits. Then go back and reread your ad, reread the instruction manuals, and then also read your competitor’s ads.
  3. Did your ad copy miss anything? Are there any features and benefits you didn’t include? Did you miss any details or features in your ad copy? Did your competition miss anything in their sales copy? One thing you may notice is that the ad copy included from the manufacturer or distributor is very heavy on features. They write a lot about size, weight, color, and other everyday details usually only interesting to an engineer or a customer that is already very familiar with the product. Part of your research is to find the benefits that are important to the everyday customer that is not already very familiar with the product. You need to tell customers why they need this product, what problems it will fix, and how it will help them enjoy life, be more productive, have more free time, do the dishes for them, fix the squeaky door hinge, whatever benefits you can discover. It is a simple process but vitally important. Features, benefits, problems, and solutions. Cover all the bases.
  4. Based on your new product knowledge, rewrite your ad copy and Headline. Be unique, be original, be compelling in your description, features, and benefits. Make sure your headline is descriptive and includes keywords to direct the Amazon, eBay, or other search functions to your item. Make your item look different than all the other sellers of similar products. Give customers a reason to notice you, to find you among all the other similar products. Make sure everything is spelled correctly. No Typos, ever.
  5. Photographs. If you are using photos supplied by the factory as your primary image, change now. Most platforms and websites allow several pictures to be used. Use that to your advantage. Take high quality, well-lighted photos of your product. Try to show in- use shots, in addition to detailed primary images, and always use good lighting and backgrounds. Again, the main reason for new artwork is to make sure your item stands out from all the others.

Second Step in the process: Market research.

  1. Talk to your factory or distributor and talk to other factories manufacturing similar products. Find out what is going on in the market. Any new products in development? Any, new materials that will drive down the product costs? Any new technologies that will make your niche obsolete in a few years. Remember VCR’S or FAX machines. Neither do most 20-year-olds. Changes in technology can happen fast, just as changes in consumer tastes, likes, and dislikes can happen fast.
  2. Shop retail stores selling similar products. Check out both brick and mortar stores and e-commerce. Are there new items on the shelf that you are not selling yet? Are your prices competitive? Are there any items on the store shelves that seem to have a lot of space devoted to selling them? Shelf space is often a good indicator of popularity or sales growth.
  3. Join industry groups specializing in your product categories and attend industry trade shows and conferences. There is an industry trade show for just about any product category you can imagine, and shows are an excellent way to see a lot of products all in one place. Subscribe to industry trade magazines to get the latest news and new product introductions. many subscriptions are free.
  4. Talk to your customers. Include the opportunity to allow them to sign up for a newsletter or blog so you can avoid spamming them. Send out an after sale questionnaires to your customers. Ask them about your product. Did they like it? What did they enjoy most about it? You may get a few negative replies but that is part of the learning process, apologize and fix the problem to avoid future problems. Reward them with a discount coupon usable on their next order from your website. If it is something suitable for a picture, ask them if they can send you a photo of the product in use, that you can post on your customer appreciation page on your website.

Third step in the process: Marketing

Build an email customer list. Keep email addresses from all of your customers and send them email promotions regularly. Introduce new products, special promotions, blog type articles about product tips and tricks

Use free methods like social media, blogs, product forums, etc to promote your products. Write a blog regularly about your company or products.

If you have the budget do some market testing using A/B tests of various paid ads. Test variables, measure performance and build on your successful ad campaigns.

After your market research you may find that one niche is worthy of supporting its own website, but maybe all three niches have good future prospects too. Web sites have a pretty low cost to buy domain names and start up.

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