How to Create Product Offerings That Sell
In the ever-evolving world of commerce, staying stagnant is not an option. You need to adapt, refine, and expand your product offerings to stand out, grow, and thrive.
Starting with understanding your target market’s desires and cleverly outmaneuvering your competitors, you’ll discover the magic of product evolution. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s about reaching that point where customers clearly understand the value you provide and are eager to pay for it.
In this Upscribe guide, we explore what makes a great product offering and share our step-by-step approach to achieving product-market fit. From validating product ideas to crafting a compelling value proposition, we’ll help you build a winning strategy and create products that your customers will love.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
What Is a Product Offering?
Products and product offerings are two different but related concepts.
A product is a “thing” (either physical or digital) that your business sells. A product offering is the product plus all of the services, features, and benefits that come with it. It can include everything from warranties and guarantees to how the unboxing experience makes a customer feel.
Another way to think about it is that a product offering includes everything the customer gets in exchange for their money. It’s not just about the item itself—it’s your entire value proposition.
To better understand, here’s Ready. Set. Food! as an example.
This innovative four-stage system is designed to empower parents with a safe and hassle-free method for introducing allergens to their babies as early as four months. The products you receive are the food mixes and mix-ins—but the product offering is more than that.
Parents are also getting the convenience of a replenishment subscription (powered by Upscribe), a complete multistage system, the peace of mind of expert-reviewed guidelines, and the support of the Ready, Set, Food! Customer service team.
Components of a Product Offering
A product offering is anything that adds value to your product. This will vary from product to product, but might include:
- Reputation and status
- Incentives (such as discounts and freebies)
- Subscription options
- Support services (including customer service and warranty claims)
- Extended warranties or guarantees
- Complimentary products or services
These factors combine to create a package (of sorts) that is often much more enticing than your product alone.
Why Is a Strong Product Offering Important?
Wider Market Reach
Product offerings allow you to add bonuses and extras that expand the potential reach of your product dramatically.
For example, if one customer segment is risk-averse, adding a 30-day money-back guarantee to your product offering may entice them to try it. Additionally, bundling products can increase the price point, strengthen customer loyalty, and provide further revenue opportunities.
Enhanced Competitive Advantage
Product offerings are also a key differentiator—especially for e-commerce businesses—that can be used to stand out from the competition.
By offering unique products and services that other brands don’t carry or providing superior customer service, you can leverage your product offerings to create a competitive advantage in the market. This could include offering free shipping or personalized recommendations tailored to individual customers.
Product offerings can help establish a competitive edge and have the potential to increase sales volume.
Consider periodically implementing promotions or running sales to encourage customers to purchase more of your products. Additionally, providing loyalty programs and discounts could incentivize customers to shop more with you rather than competitors.
Brands that solve customer problems through their product offerings can establish themselves as authorities in their respective industries.
By providing the right solutions for customers, your brand will naturally gain recognition and trust from potential customers. Additionally, creating a positive culture of customer feedback and reviews on your products could help build a strong presence for your business among consumers.
How To Create Product Offerings That Sell
1. Identify What Your Target Market Is Looking For
You have a product that you want to sell. Your target customers might want to buy it, but you need to give them a compelling (and targeted) reason to choose you over the competition.
Start by asking a simple question—what does my target market need?
There are probably many answers to this question, so think in broad terms (adjectives and concepts) to start with. For example, some customers are looking for a purchasing experience that feels “premium,” while others are looking for “convenience” or “value.” Many are looking for a combination.
If you have an existing customer base, target them with surveys and analytics to better understand their needs and wants. If you don’t, you have more freedom—choose a target customer (e.g., 18-34 YO runners) and research what appeals to them most in a product.
2. Understand What Your Competitors Offering Looks Like
Do you have competitors that have carved out a place in your industry or space?
If so, research their offerings in-depth to find out what they do to meet the needs of their customers. Examine how they describe the product, what different features they offer, or any bonuses that make them stand out from the competition.
Here are some specific questions you can ask yourself to learn from your competitors:
- What type of language do they use in marketing their product?
- Are there any unique features that stand out among their offerings?
- How expensive or affordable is the price point?
- How does the customer service experience compare?
- Are there any additional services that they offer?
- Do they have any endorsement or certification from industry experts?
The goal isn’t to copy their offering exactly (that’s a recipe for disaster). Instead, the goal is to borrow the best aspects and, improve on the worst… and add your own unique spin (but more on that later).
For example, competitors might offer a 7-day trial window for clothing and a free care kit. If customers love the trial window but generally throw the care kit in a closet and forget about it, you could extend the former and nix the latter. That way, you can make a better offer without sacrificing your bottom line.
3. Identify Value Adds
By now, you should have the rough outlines of your product offering. Now, it’s time to add value by going above and beyond the competitor’s offer. How can you make your product offering stand out from the rest?
Start by returning to the list you created in the first step. What features, benefits, or services would support these needs and expectations?
There are all kinds of avenues you could explore, including:
- Welcome Offers: Athletic Greens offers new customers a year’s supply of vitamin D plus free samples of their travel-friendly greens pouches.
- Subscriptions: Beekeeper’s Naturals offers customers the convenience and savings of subscription billing and fulfillment through Upscribe’s subscription commerce tool.
- Gifts: True Botanicals ships free gifts with certain products, which keeps customers coming back for more.
Your goal with these value adds is twofold—to make your offer more attractive and to capture a more diverse group of customers. For example, a supplement company’s core customer segment may not care about sports nutrition certifications, but adding a few to your product offering may start to attract new segments—like regulated professional athletes.
4. Create Marketing & Sales Assets
Once you have your products and pricing set, you can create marketing and sales materials that will help you attract customers. Consider creating graphics assets for ads, website banners, emails, blog posts, and more. You can also create product sheets to give to potential partners or influencers.
Make sure that your value adds and unique selling points are front and center in your materials.
5. Gather Feedback and Insights
The only way to know for sure whether your product offering is a good one is to launch. This gives you access to a stream of data that can be used to measure success, tweak your offering, and further understand customer preferences.
There are a few sources you’ll want to turn to for this data:
- Marketing tools (e.g., open rates, CTRs, and CPMs from email campaigns)
- Third-party analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, etc.)
- Customer feedback surveys
- Social media monitoring (e.g., sentiment analysis, competitive intelligence, etc.)
- Sales data
Dashboards give you instant insights into customer churn, LTV, and more—perfect for monitoring trends and making course corrections.
6. Realign and Test Your Revised Product Offering
Commit to incorporating changes based on the feedback you’ve gathered.
To improve your business strategy, begin by reevaluating your product offerings. Ensure there is a definite connection between the value you provide and the customers willing to pay for it.
After that, try out your updated approach with potential customers, gather their feedback, and make necessary adjustments. Repeat this process continuously to establish a feedback loop.
Once you have achieved the product-market fit milestone, it becomes clear that your customers understand exactly what you are offering, value it highly, and are willing to pay your price to access that value.
8. Broaden Your Product Offering
You may reach a point where you consider your product offering complete, at least for now. This is the perfect time to explore new avenues and broaden your horizons.
Here are three smart ways to broaden your product offering:
- New Customer: Remarketing and rebranding an existing product to appeal to a new customer base. For example, marketing a household window cleaner as a vehicle window cleaner.
- New Product: Developing a new product that can be marketed to your existing customer base. For example, you might realize that many customers who buy your gluten-free food products from you are looking for recipes. You could create a recipe app to satisfy this demand.
- New Geography: Offering an existing product to a new geographic market. For example, if your customers are only in the US, you could look into selling your product internationally.
Remember, your product offering is never really finished. It’s an ongoing process of development and adaptation. You’ll deal not only with a product’s natural life cycle but also with changes in the competitive marketplace.
Don’t be disheartened if it seems like you didn’t get everything right the first time. Following this process will give you plenty of opportunities to improve and enjoy the rewards of achieving that perfect product-market fit.
Getting product offerings right is key to success in the market. It can take a lot of trial and error, but it’s worth investing the time and resources to ensure your product offering meets customer needs. By focusing on understanding and meeting customer needs, segmenting the market, and innovating new products or services, you’ll be better situated for success in the long run.
Are you looking for an easy way to add value to your product offerings?
Upscribe allows Shopify businesses to offer their customers seamless subscriptions that ensure they never run out of the products they love. With Upscribe, you can offer subscription options directly from your Shopify store—no additional coding required. Plus, you can access several growth and customer experience tools like self-service portals and timed payment retries.