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Market Research vs. Testing: Where Should My Company Invest?

Female Avatar Author Nikki Lanzer December 19, 2019

Market Research vs. Testing: Where Should My Company Invest?

Before you decide to take that final leap by putting your new product on the market, investing in a few trial runs could be the difference between your product’s success or failure. “Pushing your product to market is about more than just making sure you’re ready,” writes the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, Scott Gerber. “It’s about ensuring the market is ready, too.”

To “test the waters” before an official product launch, most businesses rely on one of two strategies: market research or product testing. If you’re not sure which one is right for your business (or if you don’t know the difference between the two), this quick guide offers tips that will help you make the best decision.

Pros and Cons of Market Research

In terms of launching a new product, market research involves collecting and analyzing information from your audience by conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups, or similar tactics. Market research, unlike product testing, also aims to gauge the potential success of a product by “soft-launching” the item for a limited time. Business leaders can track how their item compares to similar products on the market based on key indicators

However, market research can be expensive, time-consuming, and there’s the potential for “practiced bias” from regular survey respondents. It can be a complicated process to figure out when, where, and how to launch your product for the greatest results, and it can only give you a general sense of the average consumer’s reaction. For more in-depth data, product testing is the way to go.

Main Benefits of Product Testing

Whether you create computer software or baked goods, product testing will allow you to gain helpful feedback from people who will actually try out your product and report their reactions to the item’s design, features, usability, etc. Also known as “beta testing,” this strategy aims to:

  • Identify and fix problems with the product.
  • Acknowledge and address consumer needs.
  • Improve marketing campaigns before the official product launch.

Testing can also be done right on your eCommerce website if you want to boost mobile conversions or decrease cart abandonment, for instance. A/B testing, much like product testing, makes it easy for you to see results in real-time, and you can even join communities like the Mobile Optimization Initiative to view and share data with other online retailers.

If you’re interested in learning more about product testing, you can check out a step-by-step guide by clicking here!

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