Taking the guesswork out of buying the right product for your store is a trick every retailer would love to master. Savvy retailers get lots of in-store feedback from their customers on what they like (or don’t) once the product is already in your inventory, but the investment has already been made by that point. In talking with our retailers, DEMDACO discovered this was one area where we could help and add value to the relationships we have with our retailers across the country. HOW? By testing the product early in the product development cycle so we can ensure we bring product to market that the consumers really want to buy.
This new approach helps to reduce the risk retailers take when making their buying decisions and it follows our philosophy at DEMDACO of pursuing business the way it ought to be. In fact it’s a win/win because our product development team can take this feedback to improve upon product before it goes to full production or to stop wasting effort on product that the consumer just doesn’t show an interest in. The retailer and DEMDACO benefit from having more certainty about their product investment.
To help you better understand the testing process, DEMDACO routinely conducts surveys of more than 4,000 consumers and over 1,000 retailers during the product development stage to determine which new gift concepts are most-likely to succeed in the marketplace. Consumers and retailers are asked the same questions so that we can compare feedback. Questions include:
- How likely they are to buy?
- Any likes or dislikes?
- What price would you expect to pay for this item?
“We believe this makes us a more trusted vendor and a stronger partner,” Pete Malone, DEMDACO’s customer knowledge leader said. “Retailers can be more certain they are making a smart investment for their store.”
DEMDACO conducts product testing twice per product cycle — when concepting, with renderings and a description, and 3-6 months later to make sure the initial feedback was correctly interpreted and incorporated. The second round of testing also includes pricing to see how that impacts the product’s potential in the marketplace.
“Our goal moving forward is to test all new products,” Malone said. “We are still learning as we go and refining our process to capture and distribute key inputs to our different internal and external partners.”
We believe that this process brings more objectivity to help our product development teams and our retailers, make better decisions about our investments. Thank you to all who participated in our testing up to this point — we’re trying to use data to make sure that products we put on the market are ones that sell and make great gifts.