Any time you are developing a product, almost any product, you can bet that it will become outdated over time.
Even if the product is not outdated, you will surely think of ways that you can improve it.
When either of these things happen, you should come out with a new version of the product.
Think about this, out of all of the products you buy and use, don’t all of them sooner or later say “New and improved” on the label? If you are using a type of soap, don’t they sooner or later change the scent, or add some kind of extra cleaning power? Cars come out with new models year after year. If you buy a Ford Ranger is 2000, you can bet that the 2008 model won’t be exactly the same, right? There will be some extra bells and whistles. There will be changes to some of the things on the dashboard. Maybe a new lumbar support in the driver’s seat.
Why do manufacturers make all of these changes? The answer is easy. Sales. If the Ford Ranger was the exact same vehicle year after year a couple of things would happen:
- It would become outdated. Other vehicles would come out with better features.
- Everybody who wanted a Ford Ranger would have bought one and since no new features were added, no reason to keep buying a new version.
So, if you have developed products and are selling them, are you updating?
My wake up call
Last year, I had an item that I was selling on Amazon through their FBA program. The item sold well and produced some nice income for me. I was very happy.
One day, though, I was checking all of my products on Amazon to see how they were doing, and I saw something that bothered me. My product had received a 3 Star review. I had very few reviews on the product, so getting a “poor” review like that significantly dropped my average feedback score. Well, I thought about it and decided there was not much I could do.
About 2 more weeks passed and I got a 1 star review on the product! Research told me that the person who left the poor rating had not even bought the product! But, bad things happened. I had gotten two poor reviews in a relatively short time. The product went from being a good seller and nice income producer to not selling at all. A product that was selling at a rate of about $200 per week went to zero and stayed there!
What would I do?
I just did not know what to do, I really needed to replace that lost income from the poor product reviews.
The 1 Star review did not give any details on why it was rated lowly, and the person had not even bought it anyway, so I assumed it was just somebody trying to make trouble. The 3 Star review, though, gave some examples and reasons of why he rated the product 3 stars. Previously, I had just been upset that he gave what I considered a bad review. He actually said in the review that he liked the product, but it could be improved and gave suggestions of how that could happen.
The more I thought
The more I thought about that 3 Star review, I realized that I could make the suggestions that the reviewer had suggested and I would have a better product!
I got busy, and I produced a better product. I made the suggested improvements, and I added some other improvements that I had thought of myself. One suggestion left in the review was that the price was too high, and lower priced options should be available. Amazon does not allow reviews about price, and I complained about this to Amazon. They will usually remove reviews if price is part of the problem that is in the review. However, Amazon never replied to my complaint. But, I decided to keep the product at the same price, but to offer 3 other “stripped down” versions of the product at lower prices. So, if the person was on a budget, they could still get a lesser version of the product at a price that was more comfortable to them.
Funny thing is that in 7 or 8 months of selling my “new and improved” versions of the product, none of the lower priced version have sold! But, the high priced product, same price as the first version, is selling well, and nobody has complained at all about the price. So, by offering lower priced options, even if that is now what the customer wants, it seems to have satisfied the market.
Use your Feedback!
So, I would just suggest that if you are selling merchandise on a platform where the customer can leave feedback and reviews, look at that feedback very critically to see if you can improve what you are doing or what you are selling to make for a better experience for the buyer. It has worked well for me, and I bet it will help you too!