Whether you’re just starting your Ecommerce journey or if you’ve been in the game for some time, you probably appreciate the importance of having a unique selection of products. After all, if you try to make it big in a general, highly-competitive market, you’re most likely to generate mediocre or underwhelming results. Why? Simply because you’re just one of many Ecommerce businesses out there selling the same things.
And there’s always someone out there with a higher discount. So, you need a better strategy, and that is to pick niche products that will attract and convert a very niche audience. The same goes for SaaS startups, which need to make their software products unique and game-changing enough to generate sales and build brand authority and trust.
So, how do you innovate your product strategy and find better opportunities out there to take your business to new heights? Follow these best practices and you will discover the products that your target demographic truly wants and needs.
Use social listening to your advantage
People discuss important issues online all the time, across a plethora of social networks, forums, and other websites. They also talk about brands and entire industries and product niches, all of which is invaluable data a small business can use to gain a competitive advantage. Maybe you don’t even need an advantage over your competitors so much as you need a stable industry and niche where you can develop your brand and grow safely.
You can find this and discover unique product categories that people don’t have access to by investing in social listening to increase customer retention and acquisition at the same time. Social listening works by tracking and monitoring social mentions and interactions about your brand, or even competitor brands, products, niches, and other keywords.
You can personalize and create a highly-targeted social listening strategy to find out what your audience is unsatisfied about, and what they’d like to seem more of in your industry or niche. This is your opportunity to develop new products that are in high demand but low availability.
Analyze your sales process for valuable product data
Anyone who has been selling anything online for a while will tell you that your sales process is a treasure trove of useful information. No matter if you’re selling physical or digital products on your site or through online marketplaces, the data you pull from your sales process and sales touchpoints will fuel your innovation strategy and help you build your online reputation.
This is the time to involve your sales experts into the product innovation process, but also your support and marketing staff. All of these teams have their unique take on lead generation and nurturing, and the sales process as a whole. Your customer service experts will prove especially valuable in uncovering cross-sell and up-sell opportunities when it comes to developing complementary products.
For example, you might not need to invest in brand-new products if you simply need to develop supplementary products to boost the value of your flagship offering.
Boost new product sales by focusing on security
It should go without saying that security is one of the most important elements of online shopping. Modern customers want and need a safe and secure online shopping experience to become repeat customers and eventually turn into lifelong brand advocates. However, when you start selling new products, it can be difficult to earn their trust.
That’s why it’s important to complement new product releases with a boost in transactional security, and create a secure shopping environment for your customers. This goes for Ecommerce businesses but it is especially important for SaaS companies.
SaaS businesses sell software, and that means that new products need to go through rigorous security testing. It also means that whenever you create a landing page for a new product, you need to emphasize security as a key selling point. After all, individuals and organizations are putting their sensitive data in your hands.
Leverage data science to uncover new product opportunities
Data science is constantly evolving and is becoming an important process in the modern business world. Companies from every industry and niche are using data science to extract valuable information, make sense of big data pools, and create accurate projections and forecasts.
Data science means using AI and data scientists to sense the demand for new products and services. You can leverage data science to innovate products quickly or to prepare a new product strategy for the next quarter when you know they’ll be in high demand.
Consider hiring a data scientist for your SaaS business or your Ecommerce venture, or use comprehensive analytics software to generate meaningful reports. Based on customer behavioral data, conversion and churn rates, as well as niche trends, you will be able to identify new product opportunities.
Extract valuable data from your customer service department
Another valuable source of data is, of course, your customer service team. These experts have a plethora of knowledge and hard data on your customers and leads, and can help you identify the most common pain points, needs, and wants of your core customer base. Your goal is to use their data to develop new products that will better convert qualified leads and transform them into lifelong brand advocates.
In fact, there are many customer service goals to work towards, ranging from improving conversion rates to better brand reputation and much more. In this case, your customer service experts can tell you exactly what your customers like and what they don’t like about your current product offering.
You can then leverage their insights and findings to fuel your innovation strategy. What you will typically find out is that many customers want improvements to your existing products instead of a completely new selection. Consider boosting your up-sell and cross-sell potential through this kind of horizontal innovation – coming up with products that complement your existing line.
Develop new products as an SaaS business
In the SaaS industry specifically, it’s important to remember that good content marketing strategies can help you sell more and inspire renewals, but sometimes you also need to innovate. Customers need you to create supplementary products and improve your flagship offering over time in order to boost the value of your brand as a whole, and the entire brand experience.
You will only be able to sell early and sell often while incentivizing product renewals if you innovate vertically and horizontally, and that means improving existing products and developing new ones.
To identify new product opportunities in your SaaS niche, you need to look for common pain points people experience with your and similar products, and in the niche as a whole. Once you have created a robust solution, you can then start identifying common pain points beyond your niche and start innovating to expand into other SaaS fields.
Look to your SEO strategy for product opportunities
Any company that sells physical or digital products online needs an SEO strategy to rank high in organic search, build brand visibility, and generate social proof for the brand in the online world. What you might not have known, however, is that your SEO strategy can serve as a valuable source of data, which you can use to come up with new product ideas.
For example, you can check all your backlinks and see where they lead to get fresh ideas, or to see how competitive certain product categories are. If you have been doing backlinking correctly and have built links within your industry and niche, you can use a backlink checker to identify other brands and online platforms where people go for complementary products and even some of the same products you’re selling.
Next, identify your best performing landing pages and product pages, and then plug them into your social listening campaigns and analytics tools to create more meaningful insights. You should also use the keywords that are not performing too well to identify common problems and missed opportunities in the market.
Give your new products a brand of their own
You know about personal branding and corporate branding, but are you familiar with product branding? Whenever you’re developing a new product or if you’re deciding to add new physical products to your Ecommerce store, you need to consider the product’s unique brand.
It’s important to change the way you approach creative designs and consider the brand identity of a product, the problems it solves and the narrative it creates. This helps the customers identify with the product and what it stands for, and it helps create a deeper connection. If the new product doesn’t have it’s own brand identity that complements your corporate brand, then the customers will have no problem going for a cheaper option somewhere else.
Monitor the chatter and get notified on new opportunities
By now, you understand that social listening and monitoring your niche as a whole is important for the growth of your brand. You can leverage social listening tools like Notifier to watch for keywords your potential customers might mention, allowing you to identify new product opportunities but also to recommend your own products.
It’s important to get notified in real time about specific keywords that are relevant to your company and customers, but also the keywords that are relevant to your competitors. This will uncover opportunities to innovate new products for your brand, build customer relationships, and capitalize on the mistakes of your competitors.
When in doubt, look to your competition
And speaking of your competition, make sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Your competitors will tell you a lot about your target demographic, what they want and need, and what they like or dislike about the products currently in circulation.
If they’re not making good visual content and that’s what your audience craves, then you can make an infographic and other visual content to boost your marketing strategy, and convert more by educating your audience. You can also invest in more free digital products that will act as powerful lead magnets and generate qualified leads.
The possibilities are endless here, so make sure to keep a close eye on your competitors to drive your product innovation strategy forward.
Over to you
To sell online efficiently and effectively, you need a unique brand identity, a powerful marketing strategy, and a selection of niche products to dazzle, inspire, and motivate your customers. Choose a niche where your brand can thrive unencumbered by massive competition, and use these tips to identify the product categories that you can capitalize on in 2022 and beyond.