Why an e-Commerce Brand Should Not Make Assumptions About Market Demand

In this episode…

Has your e-commerce brand been growing slowly since you started? Do you know what new strategies you need to adapt to increase demand for your products and scale? Do you know the needs and desires of your customers?

As an e-commerce business owner, one of the best ways you can grow and scale your brand is by leveraging your customer’s feedback to improve your product offering. Listening to your customers helps you understand their needs and frustrations—and through that, create products that will satisfy them, give them value, and grow your business.

In this episode of the Relationship Commerce Podcast, Dean Dutro sits down to talk with Patrick Stark, the Co-Founder of Endurance Tap, about the importance of listening to—and applying—your customer’s feedback. Patrick explains how his company has grown through leveraging customer feedback and shares his strategies for understanding his target market, finding and working with manufacturers, and converting quality leads.

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Patrick StarkBy day, Patrick Stark is the Vice President of Engineering and Product Strategy at Beta Calco, an architectural lighting manufacturer, and the Co-Founder of Endurance Tap, a sports nutrition brand, by night. Endurance Tap was founded in early 2014 by Patrick and Matt, two friends passionate about sports and nutrition.

For Endurance Tap, Patrick has been manufacturing a product that is currently for sale in over 1,000 retailers across three countries. The company has been featured in publications like Runner's World and the Canadian Running Magazine and is used by thousands of runners and athletes across North America. Before starting his sports brand, Patrick studied Industrial Design at Humber College and Environmental Studies at York University.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

How to Leverage Customer Feedback to Grow Your e-Commerce Brand

One of the best ways to get product feedback is from your customers. These are the people you target with your marketing, and getting their opinion can help improve your product and make it more popular in the market.

Some of the feedback you receive from your customers could be about the general use of your product, its benefits and/or limitations, the packaging used, your product's benefits compared to your competitors, or your marketing message. You can collect feedback from your user through several platforms, including customer surveys, social media channels, your company website, email, or even word of mouth.

So, you’ve collected your feedback. Now what? Based on the responses you get, you can decide whether to make changes to the product or leave it as is. But, if you make any adjustments, you should mention this in your marketing messaging to create a connection with your target audience.

When to Use the Craft Beer Business Approach for Your e-Commerce Brand

One of the methods some new e-commerce business owners use when starting out is using the craft beer business approach. With this method, you work as a craft beer business: you produce small batches of products, label and stamp the logo on the products, and package everything—all by hand. 

Now, this approach may or may not work for your business. It is a labor-intensive method and because of this, it’s really only ideal if you're selling a few products per week. If your e-commerce business is growing fast, this approach won’t be scalable because of the time and resources. The result then becomes an inefficient method. 

To solve this problem, you need to find a method that works for your business to ensure that you leverage your available resources and become more efficient. Finding what works for you will help save you time and make managing the business easier. Patrick Stark was faced with this same challenge and made a decision that works for his business: printed pouches.

Why e-Commerce Brands Should Not Make Assumptions About Market Demand

One common mistake you can make as an e-commerce brand is to make assumptions about what your target market wants before validating your idea.

You must do your research before starting production to ensure that your finished product will have demand in the market. You can do this through surveys, social media, and even conversation with your target audience. Once you have the information you need, use it to make a product that meets their needs.

Challenges Associated with Outsourcing to Overseas Manufacturers

As a new e-commerce business in the US, one common challenge you may face is finding a manufacturer whose minimum order requirements are on the low side. This can force you to look outside the US, and over to the most common country to find a manufacturer: China.

It can seem like an easy solution, but the process of outsourcing involves a lot of challenges. Finding a trusted manufacturer in a foreign country is one; and keep in mind that while the first few runs may work well, issues can arise after a while with your product specifications and more. Then, the products are no longer of the same high quality, which can negatively impact your e-commerce brand.

So, what can you do to remedy this? Patrick Stark says that auditing an overseas manufacturer before engaging their services is essential, although it may be very costly for a new brand. You may need to hire an independent agent to audit your chosen manufacturer to avoid incurring big losses—and ensure the quality of your product.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by Worth eCommerce.

Worth eCommerce is a small mighty team of eCommerce email marketers who help businesses of all sizes dramatically grow revenue with lifecycle email marketing. It is made up of copywriters, designers, strategizers, and marketing extraordinaires who specialize in nurturing relationships and guiding sales through the sheer power of email.

Worth eCommerce's sole focus is creating a lasting relationship between eCommerce sellers and their customers through the most personable form of digital connection: email. Businesses that send personable, interesting, and helpful emails earn the trust and continued business from that same customer. 

Worth eCommerce’s mission is to help small medium sized e-commerce businesses generate more than a million dollars a year each in revenue using their own marketing channels.

To learn more about Worth eCommerce, visit https://worthecommerce.com/pages/home

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