Welcome back to Dev to Founder!
In the first episode, I committed to sharing my Shopify market research findings and hopefully have chosen a problem to work on. Spoiler: I did not choose a problem yet but I have interesting data that will guide me into making this decision pretty soon!
Regarding The Plant-Based Diet Club, I am happy to share that the 5-Day Plant-based Diet Email Challenge is going to be launched this Saturday!
Make sure to signup for it and share with that friend of yours who would be interested in trying to eat a plant-based diet. That would make me so happy!
Okay, moving on!
Doing Sales Safari on Shopify
To start, the market research strategy that I am following is called Sales Safari. It was created by Stacking the Bricks. Sales Safari is an audience research method designed to learn how people really behave, and to observe them in their native environment.
To quote their page:
Rather than cold-calling with leading questions, when you go on Safari, you find your customers online — forums, mailing lists, LinkedIn, blogs, chat, Twitter. You use techniques to analyze what they post and do, and you’ll learn how they talk to each other and about their problems, what they want and need, recommend and hate, buy and share.
I highly recommend this strategy. If you are curious and don’t want to build products nobody wants, check out their Sales Safari 101 Workshop. I included a link in the show notes and you can use my referral code if you want.
Yes, I am plugging, without a shame, a referral code here because I strongly believe in this strategy.
Here’s how I did:
- I didn’t know what to look at first. But I had to start, so I went to the forums hoping to find some patterns and understand more of the environment.
- I didn’t want to just know which pain Shopify merchants were sharing online. I wanted to find out how they currently solve a problem, and if there were competitors or any current solutions. If it’s a big enough of a pain to go find solutions, then there are more chances to build something they will pay for.
- After a couple sessions, I found 2 patterns that look promising. I won’t give too many details because it took me some time to figure those out and I don’t want to just give them away. But you still can benefit a lot from what I am sharing, that way you can go there and do the same for yourself.
- A few things stood out to me:
- Most of the apps seem to be built very poorly. I may be wrong here but because I saw so many reviews of different apps saying something like having problems installing/uninstalling apps, I believe they are not properly designed. For example, I saw reviews saying that they had to contact customer support to install an app. And, when they want to uninstall the apps, they have to delete some files because apps inject code in their store CSS and leave a mess for them to clean up. This is a competitive advantage, though: if you build app that doesn’t mess up with the store’s styles, I bet Shopify merchants would be super grateful and would recommend your app.
- Shopify merchants want other merchants to succeed. They are really active in reviewing apps, and reviewing Shopify itself. They take some time in sharing how much time and money some apps have saved them, and they give details such as “it helped me save time by editing thousands of products at once', etc. The opposite is also true: they will give pretty detailed bad reviews of why other merchants shouldn’t install a certain app.
- Quick merchant support is extremely valuable. If you think about it, when a merchant is looking for help is probably because they are losing money because their store is not working. The longer you take to answer them, the more they will hate you. And they will give you lots of bad reviews because of that. Now, this got me thinking: how do the app’s creators manage customer support? Do you have to hire people to have a 24h customer support? Maybe this is something important enough to be taken into consideration before thinking of creating an app there.
- Shopify needs a better way to track feature requests and add people to the beta list. I saw a Customer Support representative manually replying to quite a few merchants asking to be added to features requests… in a thread!
Well, I hope that gave you some insights from my market research on Shopify.
So where am I at right now?
I was able to find 2 problems that look promising! But I still have to validate them more before making a decision. And that’s what I will focus on for the next steps.
I will also be promoting the Email Challenge, because my goal is to get 100 subscribers for the newsletter my March!
Something that happened during the process of creating the Email Challenge was that starting with a 7-day challenge was more than I could handle.
I was getting stuck and frustrated. Talking to my husband about it, and how it was making me want to give up, he suggested just doing 5 days instead. Or even 3 days.
It worked! I mean, how didn’t I think of that? It made me realize that we usually procrastinate because we try to do too much at once.
What has helped me is to break my tasks into 30minutes sessions. Simple but efficient!
That’s it for today!
I hope you got some value from it. Let me know what you think.
For next episode, I commit to making a decision between the problems I found. And how I am going to start building a solution for it. I am super thrilled to see it happening!
I hope you’re as excited as I am.
Thanks for listening. See you in 2 weeks!
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