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HOT TOPIC 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 C0VlD 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.
 

FitRay

New Contributor
I've Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 17, 2020
12
10
18
33
Berlin, Germany
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 C0VlD 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.

Any update on your latest progress?
 

Chibbs

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Thanks for the prompt @FitRay ... Here is a little update.

I've still been selling pretty steadily over the course of the year. I've pretty much stopped advertising as I haven't had much success with it. All of my sales are organic through amazon, meaning I have no idea about the customer journey to finding my product. I'm really not sure what else to do with it other than just let it ride and take the $200/month it makes me. (Happy to listen to anyone that has had success selling straight from amazon. )

With that being said, I've been putting my profits back into product development. I have a second product that I am going to be releasing before the holiday rush. It is another specialty fitness device and targets hardcore fitness people (home gym and professional/athlete type people). The cost of this product is much more than the previous and the market is once again niche. The product allows customers to strength train more efficiently than with standard weights or bands. So my R&D and first batch cost has got me cash strapped at the moment. I'm hoping to get this product launched soon! My guess is I can make around $200/unit with a price tag between $5-650.
 

Vadim26

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Great progress @Chibbs. I am just tuning in.

Sounds like we have remotely similar products and the same target audience.

I recently launched a fitness accessory product on Amazon as the first product of my brand. It's doing just fine in the launch phase, even though I am not profitable just yet. There are several strategies, techniques to use when it comes to launching products on Amazon.

What specifically haven't worked with your amazon PPC, so I could offer more tailored advice?
Feel free to msg me or just reply here.
 

FitRay

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Cool, that you answer quickly and nice to read about your success here!
I'm really not sure what else to do with it other than just let it ride and take the $200/month it makes me. (Happy to listen to anyone that has had success selling straight from amazon. )
I'd say there is a big opportunity to set up some funnels and e-mail campaigns.
I'm currently in a similar process - but my products are 100% digital. There we some successful sales and now I try to scale it. I'm currently setting up sales funnels and e-mail campaigns and reading your message it appears to me that it could be also an option for you.

You create basically a one-pager landing page for your specific niche and you explain/sell it to your customers. Then you lead them to your amazon-page. This Funnel would consist of an Ad, the Landing page and your amazon product page.

You mentioned, that you stopped campaigns. What campaigns where that? Directly within Amazon? From Facebook and then directly on the amazon-product? If so, setting up a sales page in between could work wonders.

Second approach would be setting up a landing page and then collecting e-mails addresses in exchange for a free e-book, video or stuff. Then you sell your product to your e-mail-list. The final sale would happen again within Amazon.

Both approaches take time (I'm currently suffering here :D ) but might be an option.

If you are interested, this 2 books can give good input:
Jeff Walker - product launch formula
Russel Brunson - dotcom secrets

--> I can't guarantee, that they work, because I test it by myself, but just reading them was a great help for me. Maybe for you too.

As you are setting up an additional product, I think this book can also give some advise (especially first 25 - 40 %):
Michael Masterson - Ready, Fire, Aim

What do you think? Might work for you or do you have other experiences?
 

Chibbs

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Great progress @Chibbs. I am just tuning in.

Sounds like we have remotely similar products and the same target audience.

I recently launched a fitness accessory product on Amazon as the first product of my brand. It's doing just fine in the launch phase, even though I am not profitable just yet. There are several strategies, techniques to use when it comes to launching products on Amazon.

What specifically haven't worked with your amazon PPC, so I could offer more tailored advice?
Feel free to msg me or just reply here.
Good to hear I'm not the only one in this niche!

I've done some PPC but only had a handful of sales come from it. I think a lot of people are interested in my product but they don't have a house with the construction that the product requires. So I am basically wasting money driving them to my site when even if they wanted it, they couldn't use it! I'm too niche!!
 

Chibbs

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I'd say there is a big opportunity to set up some funnels and e-mail campaigns.
I'm currently in a similar process - but my products are 100% digital. There we some successful sales and now I try to scale it. I'm currently setting up sales funnels and e-mail campaigns and reading your message it appears to me that it could be also an option for you.

You create basically a one-pager landing page for your specific niche and you explain/sell it to your customers. Then you lead them to your amazon-page. This Funnel would consist of an Ad, the Landing page and your amazon product page.

You mentioned, that you stopped campaigns. What campaigns where that? Directly within Amazon? From Facebook and then directly on the amazon-product? If so, setting up a sales page in between could work wonders.

Second approach would be setting up a landing page and then collecting e-mails addresses in exchange for a free e-book, video or stuff. Then you sell your product to your e-mail-list. The final sale would happen again within Amazon.
I did try a landing page earlier in the year (landingcube) but didn't have much succcess. Drove a few people to the page but wasn't able to get them past the landing page to the amazon page. Most of my success getting them to the landing page was from facebook ads. I tried youtube ads too but it didn't work out.

I really like some of your ideas from earlier in the year where you suggest using facebook groups. I just recorded some videos and photos of my prototype for the new product and will see what kind of response I get from them. I'd like to find a way to get people to use the product in exchange for the reviews when I launch.

So for now, I'm pushing to get things to launch with the new product but I won't get parts in until late October, after which I will need to take product photos and get that listing up ASAP. Need to try to get this off the ground for the holiday rush!
 

Chibbs

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 9, 2020
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If you are interested, this 2 books can give good input:
Jeff Walker - product launch formula
Russel Brunson - dotcom secrets

--> I can't guarantee, that they work, because I test it by myself, but just reading them was a great help for me. Maybe for you too.

As you are setting up an additional product, I think this book can also give some advise (especially first 25 - 40 %):
Michael Masterson - Ready, Fire, Aim

What do you think? Might work for you or do you have other experiences?
I will definitely check out the Jeff Walker book. I develop products as part of my actual job, but our distribution channels are already solidified. This eCommerce stuff is new for me. I'm confident in my ability to identify problems and find an innovative solution, but getting the word out is another thing!

Thanks for the recommendation. What would you say were your takeaways from the dotcom secrets book? I am very interested in the software side of things in the future. I have some offshore connections to developers that I could partner with given the right resources.

If I'm able to get some steady cash flow from these first couple simple products, I will use that money to finance future products in the domain of sw/hw/human interfaces, which is where my experience is professionally.
 

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FitRay

New Contributor
I've Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 17, 2020
12
10
18
33
Berlin, Germany
I will definitely check out the Jeff Walker book. I develop products as part of my actual job, but our distribution channels are already solidified. This eCommerce stuff is new for me. I'm confident in my ability to identify problems and find an innovative solution, but getting the word out is another thing!

Thanks for the recommendation. What would you say were your takeaways from the dotcom secrets book? I am very interested in the software side of things in the future. I have some offshore connections to developers that I could partner with given the right resources.

If I'm able to get some steady cash flow from these first couple simple products, I will use that money to finance future products in the domain of sw/hw/human interfaces, which is where my experience is professionally.

The dotcom secrets book is nothing related to software - although the name. It's more a bot marketing and selling things online, how you set up landing pages funnels and create a relation with your potential customers. For that there is software needed, but nothing big - a wordpress website is enough or if you want to spend a bit money on that, there comes a software with the bug, that you can use.

Depending on your knowledge for most of the things you won't need professional developers via offshoring. It's mostly configuring websites and tools. If you want or need to oursource it, I think services like upwork etc. will do the trick...

I'm a software product manager in my day job and development agencies you usually need only for software products from my perspective. Only for sales and marketing the tools out there are more than enough from my experience - but I'm happy to discuss!
 

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