The eCommerce industry is getting more and more competitive. And as that happens, it's crucial for your brand to look for more ways to stand out.
You need to think of new strategies to improve your business. And you can do that through product innovation.
If you have little to no idea why and how product innovation works, we'll discuss...
- What is product innovation?
- What are the benefits of product innovation to your brand?
- Product development process
So whether you're just starting or looking to take your business to the next level... Read on to learn more about the power of product innovation in the eCommerce industry.
What is product innovation?
Innovation means developing something new. So, product innovation means creating or developing new products. Sometimes, you don't need to create an entirely new product.
Because others think of "innovation" as "improvement." It means you can improve existing ones. The meaning might be a bit vague, but it all boils down to one thing...
You are improving or developing products or features that benefit your customers, brand, and society.
So, there are different types of product innovation:
- New Product Development (NPD)
- Incremental Innovation
- New product features
Let's go through each of them. First, NPD or New Product Development.
This refers to creating and introducing an entirely new product or service to the market. This is also called a radical innovation.
For example, your company releases a product that can solve a problem that no one or no other company has ever done before.
Like when the typewriter was introduced centuries ago. It was a new product that allowed people to improve their working lives.
Radical innovation has more risks because you are introducing a new product. There are more costs, and you need more time to research and finish the product. On top of that, you still need to market it.
Next is incremental innovation. It refers to improving a company, product, or service by making changes. These changes can be processes, tools, features, etc.
For example, smartphones. It was a radical innovation. Phones used to be simple back in the day. But now, we can have video chats with our peers or send emails through our phones.
Lastly, new product features. It's about releasing new features of a product.
The best example is Apple. Every year, they release new iPhone, Mac, iPad, and AirPods models with different features. They improve the products every year, which is always exciting for customers.
Knowing the types of product innovation will help you understand how to innovate your products. And before we talk about that, you're probably wondering...
Why is product innovation important for your eCommerce brand?
1. Retain more customers
If you continuously improve your products and solve more people's problems... Your customers will stay loyal to you.
Because think of it this way. They already know you have an efficient product or service. And they also know that you take care of your customers.
These reasons plus product improvement? They can be your brand's biggest advocates because you are always meeting their needs. Not only that, but product innovation can help you...
2. Grow your business
Product innovation allows you to release excellent products and features. Doing so can entice your target market and current customer base.
You can expand your product line if you release new products or features. And as a result, you can grow your business and make it more profitable.
This can also be a way for you and your business to...
3. Find more opportunities
Product innovation helps you find opportunities to solve problems, grow your business, and help others.
This is an excellent time to explore many possibilities, collaborations, and solutions that not many business owners have yet done.
So, these are the reasons why you should invest in product innovation. But here's how to innovate products...
The stages of the product development process
To have a successful product innovation, here are the stages.
1. Brainstorm ideas
Brainstorming is an essential part of product innovation. You don't need to have solid concepts yet. The purpose of brainstorming is to formulate ideas because later on, you'll validate them.
Write your ideas, no matter how broad they are. Because moving forward, you'll figure out whether they're feasible.
After brainstorming, you need to...
2. Validate your ideas
Validating your ideas will determine if they're doable. Here's how to validate your ideas:
- Conduct market research
- Analyze previous or collect customer feedback
- Use blogs, articles, and analyses from other companies
- Analyze your target market
- Conduct a SWOT analysis
This step is crucial because you'll know if this is worth the effort, resources, and time. Once you think your ideas are great, after planning, you can start to...
3. Test the ideas
Testing will also strengthen your ideas. Let's say you already validated and chose an innovative product in the previous step. You need to test if they're viable.
You can do it by:
- Testing the concepts
- See the competitive advantage
- Crafting a value proposition for the product
- Conducting a business analysis
Testing your ideas will determine if your ideas are great for implementation. If you think they are, it's time to move on to...
4. Develop the products
After idea generation, planning, and testing the ideas... You can start with product development. But the product development process itself can be challenging. You need to...
- Source materials
- Create prototypes
- Build an MVP (minimal viable product) and test it
- Test the products
And repeat. Before you can develop the best innovative products, it takes a few trials and errors. So, brief your product development team.
Once you're done with the product development process, you need to...
5. Create a pricing strategy
So, you're almost done with the product. But how much are you going to sell it for? When pricing your products, it's essential to take note of the costs of product development.
That includes manufacturing processes and production costs. Also, you should consider the current market and potential customers.
How much are the customers willing to pay while making your business more profitable? Have you done a competitor analysis? How much are your competitors selling the same product with fewer features than yours?
Find out the best pricing strategy for your brand. And when it's ready, this is time for...
6. Enter the market
You're all set! Now that your innovative product has entered the market, you should:
- Market the products to existing and new customers
- Conduct beta testing to gather testimonials and reviews
- Implement promotional tactics for the products both online and offline
When your product has entered the market, you must continuously improve and promote them.
Develop cutting-edge products and features through product innovation!
No business should be still. Every business owner should be incorporating product innovation into their strategy. And that includes you.
Because having a product innovation strategy in place will make your brand stand out. If you want to learn more, here's...