4 Ways To Test Your New E-Commerce Product Idea

ways test ecommerce product ideas retail bootstrap business

There are many factors that contribute to creating a hugely successful e-commerce site, however, proper product selection would surely rank among the top ones to consider. 

You can’t run a successful business if you’re not offering anything valuable or relevant to your target buyers. So, before you sink your time and money into fully marketing a product, it’s always best to test how that product might perform on the market before it officially goes public. 

In this guide, we’ll be sharing with you exactly how you can test out your best ecommerce product ideas to make sure they’ll attract the sales you want. 

Moreover, these tips don’t require huge investment costs on your part, and you can try them out as soon as you have a neat product idea in mind. Let’s get into it! 

4 Ways To Test If Your Product Ideas Are Profitable 

Regardless if you’re a dropshipper or a small company that’s setting up your own brand of online products, it’s crucial for you to know how to run a testing procedure on your product ideas. 

Here are the best and most cost-efficient ways to do that: 

1. Check Your Competition 

In the product ideation stage of your online business, it’s always good to check out what your competition is doing. You want to analyze both the small ecommerce stores and the ultra-successful ones. 

Find out what they’re doing that makes them generate great conversions from their ecommerce website. Compare it to what you’re planning to do with your own product, and get some rough validation on whether there’s indeed an existing demand for your product idea(s). 

This may not sound like ‘testing’ for you, but it’s one of the fastest ways to confirm whether your products have a chance of selling. If there’s competition, then there’s demand. 

2. Start A Crowdfunding Campaign 

Hold up. Why are we talking about crowdfunding? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about e-commerce? Give us a chance to explain. 

Crowdfunding can be your ultimate weapon for selling top-notch products on your online store for two reasons: 

A.  It’s a great way to check if there are people out there who like your product idea. 

B.  You can get some cash from interested sponsors that you can use to improve your product or set the wheels in motion for the production stage. 

If you’re thinking of starting a campaign now, there are two popular platforms for crowdfunding that we highly recommend: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. 

Just a quick tip for setting up crowdfunding campaigns: focus on content. The same way e-commerce sites rely on valuable content to drive sales and build customer relationships, you need your campaign’s content to really communicate the vision and goal of your product. 

The biggest difference you need to know between these two platforms is that they have different approaches when it comes to funding and when you can get a hold of the money. 


kickstarter funding crowdsourcing bootstrap business blog ecommerce

Kickstarter’s funding scheme can be described as ‘all or nothing’. They’ll only release the funds after the campaign reaches its target amount. Indiegogo, on the other hand, has a more flexible funding system. 

With Indiegogo, you can choose to receive and be able to use the funds as they come in, or you could wait until you also hit your target amount. 


(Image from Indiegogo)


There are plenty of pros and cons to using either of the two so we encourage you to do your research first before choosing a platform. 

Kickstarted is pretty transparent about their number of successful and unsuccessful projects, so this might help you set more realistic expectations as well. 

3. Conduct Targeted Polls Or Surveys 

Before we explain further how you can use these tools, we’d like to first elaborate on how one differs from the other. 

When you’re conducting a poll, you’re asking one basic question, which may or may not be multiple choice. On the other hand, when you’re conducting a survey, you’re asking multiple questions. 

Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s talk more about how they can be used for validating product ideas. 

It sounds fairly obvious, but asking your target buyers for feedback about your ideas is one of the best ways to tap directly into their psyche. And there are various online tools that can help you achieve that: 

• EasyPolls.net 
• Survey Monkey
• DirectPoll 
• SurveyPlanet 


survey monkey test ecommerce site store online poll bootstrapping businesses

Survey Monkey offers a wide selection of different survey templates to choose from depending on your field and research needs. 

(Image from Survey Monkey

4. Conduct A/B testing 

We saved this method for last since it may end up being the costlier of the bunch. 

If you’re confident you have a killer product idea for your e-commerce business, then why not put it to the test, literally? 

A/B testing (or split-testing) can work wonders for getting plenty of actionable data to help you determine the profitability of your product. 

But there’s a lot to test, so bear in mind that this method is also going to be a bit more tedious. So make sure you do your research on how to do them properly, or hire someone else to do it for you if you’d rather not deal with the stress and anxiety. 

Examples of what you can test: 

• Video vs. Image Display 
• Variations of CTA 
• Storytelling vs. Long Product Descriptions 
• Adding Trust Symbols 
• SEO: Long-tail vs. Short-tail keywords 

Should I Still Test Product Ideas If I’m Only Going To Be Dropshipping

Of course, you do. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re someone just starting a dropshipping business or have years of experience in the industry. You’re doing your business a favor if you test your product ideas first before you immediately pump some gas into marketing them. 

Is this the first time you’ve heard of dropshipping? Don’ worry. Dropshipping is basically a type of business model where sellers don’t have to keep products on hand to sell them to customers. 

They ship them directly from supplier to buyer, making it one of the best ways to make money online because you don’t have to worry about actual inventory tracking or warehouse storage fees. 

Almost all of dropshippers are online business owners who have their own websites. In fact, we’re willing to bet that more than 80% of you reading this are dropshippers. 

Final Thought 

The fact that our generation manages to churn out thousands of product ideas every day is a great sign of where our market economy is headed. But the majority of those ideas just never get the limelight they deserve. 

For this reason, we strongly encourage ecommerce store owners to check the demand of their product ideas first before investing huge amounts in marketing them. 

Find out how your products can fit in the customer journey map so you can provide them the best experience while generating sales. 

So what are you waiting for? Have a great e-commerce product idea you’d like to test out today? Choose from the four tips we’ve shared with you above and you’ll soon have the data you need to make sure you’re putting out valuable, in-demand products to meet your target customers’ needs and preferences.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about methods of testing your new ecommerce store product ideas on a frugal budget.

Interested in more articles about ecommerce marketing?

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