Most startups favor a minimum viable product (MVP) approach when it comes to software development. With an MVP, businesses can communicate their products or services to their target audience, collect quick feedback, and iterate the product accordingly. However, while concentrating on MVP, sometimes companies forget to concentrate on validating.
Since MVPs have a constrained target, performing elaborate tests on them is like a waste of time and resources. So, to gain the validation of a customer, the product needs to breeze through starting with one test level then onto the next. In this manner, just MVP development is not enough, having a test plan for an MVP is also important.
Validating Minimum Viable Product
There are many strategies for testing the minimum viable product. But, we will list out a few of the best ones on this blog. So, let’s start!
Number of New Signups
When it comes to checking the user’s interest, signups are a doable way. They, further, get converted to revenue based on the customer’s interest in your product. Your MVP is a product you are offering, and the customer buys a new product in the market only if the product is better quality than its existing competition, falls into their budget, and, well, if they really need it.
If it is reaching out to the right audience and more helpful than the current solution, the customers would love to sign up. The more the new signups, the more validated your MVP becomes.
For example, Mailchimp is a great platform for marketing automation and email marketing. One can use it for sending monthly or weekly newsletters to the users for free signups.
Crowdfunding is another popular way when it comes to testing your MVP as to whether it will do well in the market or not. Websites like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter offer a great platform to run MVP tests. One can develop a product using their own funds to gauge the users’ interest and raise funds. This will further help in launching the final product to the market.
The Pebble e-paper smartwatch and Ouya gaming console are the well-known examples who launched a Kickstarter campaign through crowdfunding. Their success stories were already in the market and raising millions of dollars before their launch.
Like crowdfunding, pre-order page allows you to test your MVP by presenting your product to potential customers. It helps convince the users to pay for the product beforehand, there’s nothing more validating than that.
Nonetheless, some of the users may not be eager to invest their money on the product that has either entered the market or is about to launch. Thus, the presentation of the product must be attractive and appealing. App creators build mock-ups and descriptions about the product for validation.
For example, Oculus Rift – the VR gaming kit, launched a pre-order page for its development kit before they began product development.
The most common way to test a minimum viable product is to get feedback from customers who will use it. Hold interviews with clients or customers who you target in the market, listen to their issues to gain insight that will enable you to take care of recurring issues. This gives the most honest reviews related to your product.
There is all likelihood that people may sugarcoat or lie while explaining their opinion online. But, with a personal interview, there are fewer chances of fake reviews. You can even ask clients to fill out a survey form, asking if the product solved their problem and met their expectations, and enquiring about their future expectations from the product.
Piecemeal MVPs – a blend of Wizard of Oz and Concierge techniques – means building a demo of your product with the help of the existing tools. Instead of investing time and money into building anything on your own, build an MVP using other existing platforms and services.
Groupon is the best case of a piecemeal MVP. Groupon was initially built on WordPress, Apple Mail, and an AppleScript that created PDFs manually as orders were received from the website. In this way, the effort and cost of building an MVP turn out to be less than foreseen.
Landing pages are the pages, where one can showcase their brand’s or product’s core features and ask visitors to sign up. A landing page can show the interest of the potential customers by the way they behave and interact on the page.
Building a landing page should always be followed by tracking visitors analytics via tools like Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, and so forth. Moreover, it’s a great way that lets you test your MVP product against the customers’ expectations from the product in the market. You even need a viable value-proposition and calls to action.
For example, Buffer, a social media tool, created a landing page that would present the idea of Buffer product to visitors with different pricing and features. This approach helped them to convey the right information to customers.
Leveraging videos to engage your customers is a good way to test your MVP. Make a short video that explains your product to your target audience. It demonstrates how customers will use your product and how it will resolve their pain point. This helps increase the number of signups even before the product launch.
Dropbox, an easy-to-use file sharing tool, is a great example who used explainer video to test their MVP and led to success. Dropbox began with an animated explainer video with enough detail to motivate 75,000 people to sign up for the beta version of their product overnight.
Ad campaigns are an incredible way of running market validation surveys. Google and Facebook are the platforms that enable you to drill down demographics to the specific target audience. This gives you a chance to run a low-fidelity test to see what is most appealing about your product.
You can even publish the ads before the launch of a product, or even on your landing pages to see the traction on the ad, and how many users engage with your product. There are even tools to analyze clicks, engagement, and other important behaviors.
A/B testing is an approach to test whether one version is more effective than the other. This test should be best possible for landing pages, Email marketing campaigns, newsletters, apps, blogs, internet ads, and so on. With the help of tools such as Unbounce, Google Analytics, and the like, data can be collected.
A/B testing can help you choose the best out of the given versions, and help increase conversions on your website. For instance, if a few customers like version A more than version B, you will get to know that it is increasingly viable to use for your target audience.
Social Media Surveys
Social media surveys are considered to be the most honest feedback as they are quick and easy to access. But, this only works when you know your persona well. For example, Facebook surveys have a feature, that enables users to include their own options as an answer, which gives interesting insights.
Another good reason to use social-media surveys is to fill out the survey forms so that the users don’t have to go out of their way.
To conclude, building as well as launching a minimum viable product is an extraordinary way to test your idea in its initial phase. But, that’s not enough. One must also focus on testing to gauge market interest and potential profits. Avail the best out these above-mentioned ways to turn your product as the best in the market that your target audience would love to use.