Planning a new seasonal or permanent offering for your business requires significant preparatory research to determine the market opportunity, costs, and the projected return on investment (ROI).

Customer demand is another key indicator of performance for the new category or product. Instead of sending a customer survey, or soliciting feedback on your social media channels (all good methods), why not run an anonymous survey at scale using your website? You can run a simple test using a homepage or product category page on your website to track interest in the form of clicks from your audience.

Method 1: The Dummy Button

Debating which new offering to launch, or if launching would benefit your business at all? Preemptively test conversion rates for the product or feature with a dummy button.

The team at Asana tested a feature—Sign up with Google—to determine whether there was enough demand from their web visitors to justify the resources it would cost the company to build the integration. After only a day, the team observed a statistically significant number of clicks to solidify their decision to build the feature.

Method 2: Expanded Navigation

How would your hypothetical new offering appear in your site navigation? Test audience interest by adding links to one or more new offerings in the nav bar, and measuring subsequent conversions.

At uSell, the product team tested whether the introduction of new product categories would negatively impact the core conversion metrics for their existing business. The test validated that the new categories were only slightly detrimental to the core conversion goals, and that the potential benefit of the new categories would offset the negative conversions.

Before you test, set goals and prepare

Introducing a new product or feature is a powerful test, but take measures before running a test to set proper expectations for both yourself, your team, and your visitors.

  • Prepare for cannibalization: A new offering could compete with your current product or category lineup, negatively impacting your current conversion metrics. Determine the threshold for negative conversions your business can tolerate before running your test.

  • Consider a secondary conversion metric: Ensure that you are acquiring conversions for the right reasons. Pick a secondary conversion metric like time on the page, email signups for future notifications, or another measure of interest to track.

  • Build landing pages to provide context: Direct clicks on new links to a message, such as: “Thank you for your interest! This product is in development.” Signal to customers that you value their input, and to look for updates on new products in the future.

  • Badge new offerings: Add a “New” or “Beta” label to signal to customers that the product offering or category is still in development and not complete.