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Invented Product: Testing Market w/ Amazon Product Listing and Facebook Ads

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Chibbs

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@Chibbs I think you should first define, what exactly you want to test. a) If the product itself is working for customers (like if they understand the concept, are able to use it, like the quality etc.) or b) if you can sell the product to someone = if there is a market for your product.

In your initial post for me it sounds like a), because you write "I would like to test the concept as quickly as possible, ...." In this case, the numbers about the ads, how much you spent etc. are not interesting, because in this phase, you don't want to test the market :)

I had the same problem: My (digital) product is ready as a prototype and I wanted to test, if people like it. But I wasn't able to sell it. It took me weeks to figure out, that it was the best for me, to first go for b) - if the market is ready and THEN, after I sold a few, to collect the feedback about the product from real customers.

My suggestion:
"My solution" to first go for b) won't work for you, because you want to get quickly reviews for Amazon. I think in this case it's even more important, that you know, that your product works as expected and people like it (meaning a). Otherwise you get bad reviews...

Therefore I'd focus on a) and for this the best way is to give out a bunch of your products for free in exchange for a review via e-mail (based on a questionnaire provided by you). If the reviews are positive, you know that your product works AND you have access to real customers. Ask them, if they can add this review also at Amazon and the most people will do ;)

How to get customers, that you can hand out the product for free? Facebook groups. Just become member of some groups, where you think your target audience is present. Be honest and tell them, that you'd like to test a new product and want to have feedback. Explain the idea of the product with a picture and create scarcity by saying: "Only the first [number of people you're willing to get a free product] until this Sunday will get it" and most likely you will get some testers. Use this chance to also understand demographics and WHY people think, they would need your product. This helps you optimizing your campaigns (targeting, keywords etc.) later on.

When you have reviews you can go on with Amazon PPS and in parallel with Facebook ads and a landing page with real testimonials. You know then much more about your target audience, know that your product works - then you are ready to test the market - it only took you X products for free and time. Testing the market with a product that is proven is much better than the other way around. Because you have lots of options to test the market (channels, price, ads, copy, images etc.) but limited options to change the product ;)

For my product I didn't chose this way, because I was able to test my prototype with people around me. I saw, that it works, therefore I went on with b) and get more feedback from real customers afterwards.

And finally: Congrats that you went this far with your product already! I feel with you - I'm still figuring out, how to place my product in the market (also fitness) correct, but every week there is progress!
Dude, love it!

Yes I think I will need to go the facebook route. I think testing the market for something like this on amazon is not going to be as quick and dirty as I thought it would be. Totally understand the concept from a SW standpoint (day job), so I like that approach. Definitely can still iterate on the design, however, I do not think a design improvement would make a difference for the customer.

I will start looking into these groups. Have you done this before? Wondering if I would join as my business page profile or personal? Anyone have experience with this??
 

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Chibbs

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Interesting product and marketing experiment. Thank you very much for sharing.

- Is this product for an unfinished room such as a basement or garage ? or just any room in a house ?
- If yes above, is there a way to target people as they move into new homes, or when they are looking to install a new gym in their garage / basement ? This must be pretty popular now that many rather not go to gyms.
- Have you considered licensing it ? (I am interested in this path for a few ideas of my own)
Glad you are enjoying it!

Yes, it's intended for an unfinished basement, most modern homes (last 20 years) would be compatible. What piqued my interest in facebook was the microtargeting, I can target people who just moved, for example.

I do not think it would work in most garage gyms, but I could create a secondary offering that works for these, although my guess is it would double my manufacturing costs.
 

FitRay

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I will start looking into these groups. Have you done this before? Wondering if I would join as my business page profile or personal? Anyone have experience with this??
Yeah, I did this before and I'm about to do this again as my product consists of different types (compare it to shirts in different sizes). And I need to test all versions of it as you can imagine :)

I joined with my personal profile and was active in this groups first. Asking some questions, giving hints etc. I wanted first to contribute and then take smth. In the end it was great, because people in the group wrote smth like "I'm applying to be a test user of your product. I would be glad, if I could get a free version and share my feedback". This was kind of strange, because I thought before, that the readers will hate me, b/c I did kind of advertisement ...

I asked them also to only contact me via e-mail and not via facebook/messenger, because I wanted to get them as first users on my e-mail list, too. Worked well, no complains.

Only one hint: A few groups forbid to post advertises. I would respect that, but it doesn't mean to stop here. You could first write to the group owner and ask him for permission. Because you're not selling, you are giving out a product for free ;)

Let us know, how it worked out!
 

Chibbs

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I haven't updated in awhile but things are going fine. I have sold around 10 of the items so far. No thanks to Amazon PPC, which has yielded no results after around 30 clicks. I think the sales are related to posts I've made on facebook groups and organic sales through amazon.

Good news is, I have my first review! So that should help with the conversion rate.

As for the facebook ads, I should have a video ad done today (Fiverr), so should get that going this weekend. I am not planning to do a ianding page, but instead I will use facebook to currate my audience for retargeting purposes. I am expecting sales to pick up once I roll out the facebook ad. Stay tuned!
 

Chibbs

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Well. Everything is pretty much on hold for another couple days. I had a video produced on Fiverr and still waiting on edits to come back. That should help a ton when I start facebook ads. Hopefully the strategy of using Facebook alone for generating my audience scares me a bit and definitely not a long term strategy from a CENTS perspective (control).

I still think I'm going to go ahead with it. Once I've made some consistent sales hire someone to do a proper funnel.
 

Chibbs

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Product video is complete! So I started facebook ads today. I am sending people to my amazon page directly but also think it will help grow my facebook product page. I will let you all know how it goes. Keeping the budget low at $3/day to see where that gets me.
 

Chibbs

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This is quickly turning into a progress thread. Unfortunately, no sales since last week but I have a couple of facebook ads running now, starting to grow the facebook page for the company as well.

1606870542018.png
I'm still running the amazon PPC but it has failed to convert thus far. I'm getting very few impressions right now because I limited to the keywords that would lead to a higher conversion rate. Only got 16 impressions yesterday :( I'm fine with it though, I really think facebook allows me to promote my product and pique interest. Hopefully it will result in some sales soon! I'll keep you all posted
 

Chibbs

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The facebook ad has finally converted. First sale since I started them. Here are my stats so far.

1607128152650.png
I am considering doing a second ad with a different description and see which one get more clicks. The glaring problem I am seeing now is that I am sending people to amazon but don't know if the sale can be attributed to the facebook ad or if it was simply an organic sale from Amazon.
 

Chibbs

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Update: Facebook has deactivated my facebook ads privileges because of "suspicous" activity. Whatever that means!

On the bright side, I did get another sale today. That will help. I am on the verge of being profitable for the month. Still need a few more months of sales at this level to be profitable on the year with all of the upfront costs.
 

Chibbs

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Not that I have any more time!
 

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Chibbs

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Facebook ads are back up and running. Had a decent week this week but might be running into an issue. The Amazon money is tied up. I have around $500 is profit (amazon profit) this month but am only being distributed $150 on the 18th. It will barely cover my costs. Does anyone have experience with the "account level reserve" algorithm on amazon?
 

Chibbs

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Time for a little update.

The product sold fairly well through the holidays. I am making decent margins on the 1-pack variation but the 4-pack is where I am really doing well. I have sold more four packs in fact that I have sold 1's. The problem is, my reviews are all on the single variation SKU.

I'm considering going to FBA for at least the 4-pack variation, since I've sold around 4/month. I did release the product on 11/1, so there is a bit of a concern there about sales slowing post-Christmas. I currently am sending the packages (4 and 1 pack) in exactly the same box, so I get the same price shipping regardless with the Priority Mail cubic option. This helps on the margins for the 4-pack.

This weekend I am going to pick up a bunch of materials and do a production run to send in to Amazon prime. Hopefully can have this fully operational by the end of the month. Unfortunately for me I contracted COVID two weeks ago and can't go pick up supplies until the quarantine window is closed!

A few things on my radar (but not pursuing yet). Any words of wisdom on from you experienced vets would be appreciated!

- Shopify website
- Marketing sales funnel optimization
Currently running facebook video ads directly to amazon, no email capture
- Second new product (working on prototypes for a product that fills a need in the same industry)
- New facebook video ad for purposes of retargeting people who have clicked on my initial video ads

I think the key on my marketing efforts is going to be to find my niche. I have had great reaction to the product, but it's only for a small niche and a lot of people won't have a home gym that is compatible with my product. I have been messing with different targeting options on facebook ads but that is it. I would like to curate a group to use as a "lookalike audience" that converts.
 

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