In the past, entrepreneurs created products and services first, and then, with the help of advertisements, convinced consumers to buy them. In 2018, consumers rely less on advertisements and more on their own research and the opinions of those they trust when making buying decisions. For your products or services to be a hit, it’s important to gauge whether consumers are actually interested in what you’re selling as part of the planning process.
Researching Consumer Preferences
Asking consumers what they want to buy is one of the easiest ways to learn about their product and service preferences. You want to know their answers because even if you offer a product or service that has universal appeal, there are a variety of reasons your target market might not go for it. Pizza Hut, for example, found this out before launching in Ahmedabad in 1996. Pizza has universal appeal, but the company helped the restaurant succeed by adjusting the product to suit the needs of the market — in this case, by opening the first vegetarian Pizza Hut to accommodate the area’s large Jain population.
Most people are open about sharing their opinions of products and services when a reward is involved. If you’re testing a new food product, offering free taste tests and asking for feedback is an effective way to learn which flavours and textures your customers prefer. Other ways to gather market intelligence to make your products or services more appealing to your target market include in-person interviews, online surveys and focus groups.
Adjusting Your Business Model
In some cases, it’s about what you’re selling and how you’re selling it. Rapid changes in the way Indian consumers buy products and services may require you to rethink your business model as well as your offerings. For instance, more consumers are turning to mobile phone-based payment solutions for fast and easy transactions.
As e-commerce increases in popularity, consumers across India also expect free and affordable delivery options. Once you pinpoint which products or services appeal to people in your target market, the key to success may be offering multiple ways to pay, as well as pickup and delivery options to convert them into repeat customers.
Measuring Your Success
Increases in the following areas can help you measure the effectiveness of your efforts to offer products and services that consumers want.
- Vendor orders
- In-store foot traffic
Online accounting software offers a highly effective way to get a quick handle on how your customers are reacting to changes you’ve made to increase their interest. Software like QuickBooks gives you access to reports showing how your company is doing financially with a few clicks.
If website, social media, and online advertisements are included in your marketing strategy, you can turn to web analytics tools to get more insight about where increases in sales are coming from. Analytics can shed light on which pages on your website attract the most attention, and you can use the information to offer more of what your customers want.
You can also use analytics tools to gain insight about customer responses to your advertisements and the content you post on social media, but there’s great value to be gained from simply reading customer comments and questions. Seemingly insignificant comments about a product size, flavour, colour, shape, and ease of use can help you make changes that result in sales.
Selling what your customers want helps you grow your revenue and build brand loyalty. It also has the power to help you beat your competition, which is vitally important for your business to thrive over the long term.