Is the minimum viable product the way to releasing a successful eCommerce site or product? We think, yes!
Imagine this: you have crafted the perfect plan for an app, a web service, or a new business line. You’ve got all details defined, and you are absolutely sure that users will love your product. Next, you develop it, be it with your in-house team or an external one.
Now, you may be thinking about what could possibly go wrong, right? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but literally everything could go wrong.
Maybe the features you thought that your users would find interesting will actually not be that engaging. Or the backlog may be overloaded with “essential” elements. Or, maybe the features you’re so confident about will mess with your budget and make your CFO avoid you. Now, there might not be anything wrong with your product idea. But the strategy and its execution may cause everything to go wrong.
Well, that’s when MVP comes to rescue.
Businesses these days are dealing with higher competition, technological innovation, and increased consumer demand. These things have called for them to present market-ready products and services more efficiently and cost-effectively. Fortunately, when there’s a problem, there’s also a solution. And, here, the solution was the minimum viable product, a concept that focuses on the importance of learning in new product development.
Minimum Viable Product, explained
Minimum viable product is the current best practice in releasing anything new on the market, be it an app, a website, or other product.
Yet, if this is your first time hearing about the minimum viable product, you may be a little bit confused. So, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what MVP is.
An MVP is basically a “test” version of a product that helps the development team gather the maximum amount of data about customers with the least efforts and investment. In other words, it is the most simplified version of a product or service that aims to provide some value to the customer.
So, think of an MVP as a minimal manifestation of your idea which is ready to be validated by the market and consumers as soon as possible.
Now, let’s make sure that you understand the difference between the final product and its MVP. Mvp development aims to create a product that is ready for use on the market, but that only performs the main function, without having all the variety of additional features initially designed by the team.
Why does MVP matter? Well, it’s easy: it makes no sense to spend a lot of money on mass production of a product that users may not even need without testing the waters. Plus, it also makes no sense to spend more money on adding the secondary improvements to the product without making sure first that its key function works as expected or doesn’t meet the users’ need. In other words, you get the validation and insights on improvement you need without investing a lot initially.
The benefits of MVP
Still on the fence on whether or not you need an MVP before launching your product? Read below the benefits of using an MVP:
Get valid market data
Like it or not, your target audience may be lying to you when asked whether or not they would purchase a certain product you are thinking about launching. But make no mistake, they aren’t deliberately lying to you. They might be lying without even know it. How is this possible? Well, many studies have shown that surveys about the intention of purchasing a product gave different results when compared to the final results of purchase.
So, when you survey your database asking whether or not they would pay for your product, you’ll get a lot of positive responses. But when you actually launch it, you notice that only a few units are bought. Why can this happen? Because there can be some deviations in the approach of conception and practicality of your product, making consumers no longer want to pay that much for the product.
So, the most accurate and relevant indicator for the intent of purchase is the purchase itself.
Helps figure out your value proposition
Remember back in 2007 when Apple released its first iPhone? A revolutionary product that created a lot of fuss back then. Yet, despite being a revolutionary product with all its new features never seen on mobile before, the iPhone also made the traditional things that other phones did too.
Now, most companies do the very same things, both in the way they do business and their products. But what can set one apart from the others is the value proposition.
Luckily, creating an MVP can help you discover that value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors. When you eliminate all the “noise” of endless features, which your competitors most likely also have, you can focus on what really makes your product and business special.
Provides customer feedback
The very purpose of an MVP is to help you understand the improvements you must add to your product or service to make it more desirable for consumers. And, there’s no better way to learn how your consumers will use your product or service than by analyzing real-world data.
An MVP allows you to put your product on the market for a few weeks to be able to see what consumers are saying about it. Based on the feedback, you can improve it.
You can be the first one
Do you believe that your idea is revolutionary and no one else has ever thought of it? Do you think you’ll disrupt the market and get rich as soon as you launch it? Put your feet on the ground for a second: what if someone else is already working on the same idea you have? And, most importantly, what if they launch it first?
Well, the good news is that creating an MVP can help you launch your revolutionary idea on the market within days, helping you make sure that you are the first one launching it.
Helps save resources for other projects
Working on a new project takes a lot of business resources, including time, money, effort, and in-house or external employees. This is absolutely normal if you want to make sure you get everything right. But what if you invest all these resources and you still don’t get it right, and your product fails?
The benefit of using an MVP is that you invest the minimum effort, time, and money in creating it. Thus, you save on resources you can invest in other projects.