So the economy is struggling and I open an online store. What was I thinking? I have friends who shake their heads about my refusal to believe I could fall short of success, but I practice FINOM the acronym for FAILURE IS NO OPTION METHOD philosophy!
Just read the June 18 2011 post on Handmadeology about identifying YOUR audience to find customers. I encourage you to read Anne Burton’s terrific post because she offers a list of useful exercises through questions for a shop owner to answer.
I thought I’d work through the exercise questions and see what I discover while sharing the outcome with my readers.
Defining the product:
1. Describe your product: I sell glass hearts that
- Are a USA product
- Is a business located in Oregon
- Through a simple game create a non-verbal message of ‘Love’ for family or friends
- As a gift express compassion
- Reinforce relationship nurturing
So, the customer base seems pretty broad to me.
2. Who does your product appeal to? Glass hearts appeal to men and women.
3. What would a customer search to find my product? Customers seeking my products would most likely search ‘Gifts’ ‘Romantic Gifts from the Heart’ ‘Hospital Gifts’ ‘Bridal or Wedding Gifts’ ‘Marriage or Relationship Enrichment’ ‘Romantic Gift Under $20.00’ ‘Love Notes’ ‘Purple Glass Heart’
4. Where do my customers live? All over the US!
5. To what customer personality would my product appeal? A person in a relationship seeking a unique gift for someone who has dietary restrictions, allergies to flowers, likes a gift that is sustainable, to whom games appeal. A person looking for a unique get well gift for a patient that cannot have flowers or candy.
6. What might stop a customer from buying my product? I don’t know! Hesitation from buying a product from an unknown source, which is why I have HAH listed on Amazon.com which I buy ‘credibility’ for $39.90 a month!
7. What percentage of my customers buy my product as a gift? 90%
- What description improvements can I make
- What more can I offer
- What can I blog about that would drive customers to my product
- Would it be cost-effective and would I realize ROI by purchasing advertising on other popular sites
- What question have I NOT thought of..yet
- Description can always be improved upon and is always a work in progress–revisiting is absolute
- I offer special wrapping for holidays and personalization/customization options on some products, but maybe it needs better emphasis–take a look at placement
- Doing so on Everything Etsy already and with a limited budget, this is a ‘stress point’ for me
So what have I learned from answering the questions that will be useful?
- I spent some time Googling the search terms and had ‘reasonable’ luck finding my product, but I changed a couple of listing’s search terms that my customers might use
- I added a new product post to this Hide A Heart Blogger site and think it will also be useful when pitching HAH to press outlets
- I have partnered with Hospital Gifts for my purple hearts
- I have always used this blog to share what I learn about being a boutique home-based business entrepreneur and now I plan to occasionally include some ‘product’ stories, especially those that customers have shared with me
- With the monthly cost I am already spending for Amazon.com credibility and Everything Etsy, I am reluctant to spend more capital. However I want to let you know that because of this exercise, I discovered when checking my listings on Amazon.com….some klipkrazy person has listed the XOXO heart…how’d THAT HAPPEN????? Good thing I checked so I can get the correction made ASAP!
- I will continue to look for other outlets that may identify and create customers without spending more money. I recently signed up to be a guest writer on She Writes and if I think of something really great to share, I’ll be submitting something to Tim for approval that may be seen Handmadeology soon
- The search for the next unknown question of high importance is a quest path I am ALWAYS treking