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Thread: Market Research: Your Opinions Count

  1. #1

    Default Market Research: Your Opinions Count

    Hey all.

    I am in the beginnings of opening my own business. This business will cater to the AB/DL lifestyle. Depending upon how successful it will be, I will be expanding to other areas too, such as, furies etc down the line. The purpose of this business is to provide AB/DL with products that they can buy and have delivered online at reasonable prices. Having completed some pricing research of my own, I know that the prices I will set will provide AB/DL's with an excellent deal over my competitors. I can't go into specifics too much, as I'm at the early stage and want to keep everything under wraps until the launch. So, it is from this, I am looking your opinions on certain questions. I look forward to reading your comments.

    Thanks,
    FlightSimPro


    Q1) Would an AB/DL business based within the UK be of any value to you? If you are outside of the UK, would you be willing to pay for international shipping?

    Q2) Who would be the company that you do most of your dealings with at present and why do you use them?

    Q3) What is more important to you as a customer; feeling valued as a customer, lower prices, discreet delivery or being able to contact the business owner quickly?

    Q4) The product range I am aiming to sell is; Nappies (both adult & baby) Pull-ups (both adut & baby) Plastic Pants, Onesies, Dummies (both adult & baby) and Dummy Clips. Depending on how successful this business is, the product line will be expanded in due course. Does any of those products interest you? If so, which one(s).

    Q5) Which dummy would you prefer to purchase; A baby dummy (6-18m & 18m+) or an adult dummy (nuk 5)?

    Q6) What is the highest price that you would be willing to pay for a NUK 5; 14.99, 15.99, 16.99 or 17.99?

    Q7) Do special offers make you rethink your shopping trolly? For example, if you were to purchase a dummy and noticed that you could get a dummy clip at a reduced price alongside the dummy, would you be interested in adding it to your shopping trolly?

    Q8) What is more important about the website; bright and colourful, ease of access, inclusion of pictures/video or contains no adverts?

    Q9) If you have ordered online before or would like to order online, which delivery timescale would you usually go for; next day delivery, 2-3 working days delivery, 1 week delivery, 2 weeks delivery or a Saturday delivery?

    Q10) Does getting a personalised response from the business owner when you place an order matter to you, or do you prefer computer automated responses?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and please now take the time to answer the questions. I look forward to reading your responses. There is also another market research thread on the diaper talk forum. If you could fill that in too it would be great.

    Many thanks,
    FlightSimPro

  2. #2

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Hey all.

    I am in the beginnings of opening my own business. This business will cater to the AB/DL lifestyle. Depending upon how successful it will be, I will be expanding to other areas too, such as, furies etc down the line. The purpose of this business is to provide AB/DL with products that they can buy and have delivered online at reasonable prices. Having completed some pricing research of my own, I know that the prices I will set will provide AB/DL's with an excellent deal over my competitors. I can't go into specifics too much, as I'm at the early stage and want to keep everything under wraps until the launch. So, it is from this, I am looking your opinions on certain questions. I look forward to reading your comments.

    Thanks,
    FlightSimPro


    Q1) Would an AB/DL business based within the UK be of any value to you? If you are outside of the UK, would you be willing to pay for international shipping?

    --This would depend on if the business had what I wanted at a fair price and easy to work with. I'm in the colonies...

    Q2) Who would be the company that you do most of your dealings with at present and why do you use them?

    --I'd say xp and bpants...---But I don't order too much ab stuff more just nappies

    Q3) What is more important to you as a customer; feeling valued as a customer, lower prices, discreet delivery or being able to contact the business owner quickly?

    --For me value isn't just in the price of a product...it's also in good business practices...not worried about discreet...

    Q4) The product range I am aiming to sell is; Nappies (both adult & baby) Pull-ups (both adut & baby) Plastic Pants, Onesies, Dummies (both adult & baby) and Dummy Clips. Depending on how successful this business is, the product line will be expanded in due course. Does any of those products interest you? If so, which one(s).

    -- well, I order nappies quite often...and the other products from time to time...

    Q5) Which dummy would you prefer to purchase; A baby dummy (6-18m & 18m+) or an adult dummy (nuk 5)?

    --I have a nuk5 and others...I usually order a new one every year...I dont use them too often...

    Q6) What is the highest price that you would be willing to pay for a NUK 5; 14.99, 15.99, 16.99 or 17.99?

    -- about 25bucks...

    Q7) Do special offers make you rethink your shopping trolly? For example, if you were to purchase a dummy and noticed that you could get a dummy clip at a reduced price alongside the dummy, would you be interested in adding it to your shopping trolly?

    -- not often, if it's something I was going to order anyhow, else I rarely add things on I wasn't looking for...

    Q8) What is more important about the website; bright and colourful, ease of access, inclusion of pictures/video or contains no adverts?

    --two fold, ease of use, and correctness...

    Q9) If you have ordered online before or would like to order online, which delivery timescale would you usually go for; next day delivery, 2-3 working days delivery, 1 week delivery, 2 weeks delivery or a Saturday delivery?

    --Usually standard or econ shipping.

    Q10) Does getting a personalised response from the business owner when you place an order matter to you, or do you prefer computer automated responses?

    -- If a computer response if built well enough...you can't tell it's not directly from the owner...

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and please now take the time to answer the questions. I look forward to reading your responses. There is also another market research thread on the diaper talk forum. If you could fill that in too it would be great.

    Many thanks,
    FlightSimPro
    I wish you the best in this niche business...

    As someone that has started, sold, failed, and closed many businesses over the years.

    Be very dilligent in your research and try not to become too emotionally attached...

    Not that it will happen, but sometimes the business goes on a direction you didn't intend...this happens and just let the business find its own way to some degree...

    Ive had businesses people said will never work...make it great...

    And others that people say are a slam dunk!...but failed...

    B

  3. #3

    Default

    Having seen some of the prices of things for AB/DL life styles out there there needs to be more competition out there to drive the prices down. I know I would never be able to afford to furnace an adult baby nursery

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q1) Would an AB/DL business based within the UK be of any value to you? If you are outside of the UK, would you be willing to pay for international shipping?
    Yes/depends... As I used to live (still spend a lot of time) in the UK... I still have a forwarding account.. thus that would not be a big issue.
    Besides I order about 80% of my IC Supplies from a company in germany... Why? even with import taxes & shipment: they're still cheaper than any other place around my area where I could get the goods.
    So yes, as long as the prices of the items (in my case only medical grade incontinence products... I don't care for AB items) are priced competitively, shipment and handling charges are moderate AND the SHIPMENT is PACKED UP NICELY AND DISCRETELY than, I would indeed consider ordering from the UK.




    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q2) Who would be the company that you do most of your dealings with at present and why do you use them?
    SAVE/Airoliver (Save Express GmbH)
    Why? cheap prices and usually punctual shipment and well wrapped /discrete.
    What I do dislike: stupid website. The page is a bit bad to navigate around, find products, etc...
    A LOT of room for improvement.




    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q3) What is more important to you as a customer; feeling valued as a customer, lower prices, discreet delivery or being able to contact the business owner quickly?
    1. LOW PRICES & DISCRETENESS (not just Shipment, BUT CONFIDENTIALITY WITH PERSONAL DETAILS!!!)
    2. Feeling Valued / being able to contact the business owner.




    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q4) The product range I am aiming to sell is; Nappies (both adult & baby) Pull-ups (both adut & baby) Plastic Pants, Onesies, Dummies (both adult & baby) and Dummy Clips. Depending on how successful this business is, the product line will be expanded in due course. Does any of those products interest you? If so, which one(s).
    Yes - Nappies (only the adult IC/Medical variety), Pull-Ups (again only adult IC), Plastic Pants (NON AB Stuff.. high tech like the suprima bodyguards... etc.)



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q5) Which dummy would you prefer to purchase; A baby dummy (6-18m & 18m+) or an adult dummy (nuk 5)?
    NO - None (I am not into AB Stuff)




    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q6) What is the highest price that you would be willing to pay for a NUK 5; 14.99, 15.99, 16.99 or 17.99?
    (No Answer, as I wouldn't buy one at any rate)



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q7) Do special offers make you rethink your shopping trolly? For example, if you were to purchase a dummy and noticed that you could get a dummy clip at a reduced price alongside the dummy, would you be interested in adding it to your shopping trolly?
    Depends - if the offer is interesting (again, not for AB items... but for example a bonus system with diaper purchases... like purchase 10 bags, get one free.., you get the idea... or every 50th pack of the same diapers - free...) stuff like that would be taken into consideration by myself.



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q8) What is more important about the website; bright and colourful, ease of access, inclusion of pictures/video or contains no adverts?
    NO ADVERTS (I consider this highly important for ANY professional website... Ads = Amateurish stuff imho).
    Important Aspects: SECURITY!! (especially as I value my Privacy & my credit card.. ). EASE OF USE ... I'd prefer a highly professional layout, NOT COLOURFUL...
    I would value: GOOD Product description (not just a copy of the marketing bs from the manufacturer), Good Product photographs.




    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q9) If you have ordered online before or would like to order online, which delivery timescale would you usually go for; next day delivery, 2-3 working days delivery, 1 week delivery, 2 weeks delivery or a Saturday delivery?
    2-3 Working days / 1 week is fine... next day? sometimes nice... 2 weeks+ ? too long.



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q10) Does getting a personalised response from the business owner when you place an order matter to you, or do you prefer computer automated responses?
    Personal (if professional): would be truly appreciated.

  5. #5

    Smile

    Hi FlightSimPro! Just thought I'd add my responses in case they help at all...



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q1) Would an AB/DL business based within the UK be of any value to you? If you are outside of the UK, would you be willing to pay for international shipping?
    Sure. It's a strange question to ask here, though. Only a minority of users are from the UK, so since international shipping can be seen as a "negative", it would be better to simply market yourself to cater for the UK AB/DL community, rather than just ADISC users... Have you thought about how you will promote your site?



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q2) Who would be the company that you do most of your dealings with at present and why do you use them?
    I have bought one-off items from lots of different companies. For diapers, I've used several companies. The most important things for me when deciding who to buy from are that the shipping policy is clear (it's easy to see shipping fees up front, and there is a clear guideline as to when the parcel will arrive), it's clear that the shipping will be discreet, and that there is a physical address and geographical telephone number displayed on the site. The website should also have a "clean" design, be easy to navigate, and use professional well-written descriptions.

    A good experience (being given a delivery date in advance which is adhered to, discreet shipping, and the use of a courier who is happy to leave the goods in a pre-arranged secure place if I'm out) would mean that I would be much more likely to re-order from that company, even if they are a little more expensive than a site I haven't used before.



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q3) What is more important to you as a customer; feeling valued as a customer, lower prices, discreet delivery or being able to contact the business owner quickly?
    I would hope never to have a need to contact the business owner at all -- hopefully it should be a couple of clicks, wait a couple of days, and take delivery! I expect reliable & professional service, but beyond that I don't care whether or not I feel "valued". Discreet delivery is paramount -- I wouldn't use an AB/DL company that didn't guarantee it. After that, low prices.



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q4) The product range I am aiming to sell is; Nappies (both adult & baby) Pull-ups (both adut & baby) Plastic Pants, Onesies, Dummies (both adult & baby) and Dummy Clips. Depending on how successful this business is, the product line will be expanded in due course. Does any of those products interest you? If so, which one(s).
    Adult nappies primarily, plastic pants, onesies. But I'm very brand-specific with my nappy choices!



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q5) Which dummy would you prefer to purchase; A baby dummy (6-18m & 18m+) or an adult dummy (nuk 5)?
    NUK5... although even they feel small...



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q6) What is the highest price that you would be willing to pay for a NUK 5; 14.99, 15.99, 16.99 or 17.99?
    Don't care so long as the price is competitive... Although I doubt I will buy one. I have one already, but I rarely use it... it's not really "my thing", I guess... but they sure look cute!



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q7) Do special offers make you rethink your shopping trolly? For example, if you were to purchase a dummy and noticed that you could get a dummy clip at a reduced price alongside the dummy, would you be interested in adding it to your shopping trolly?
    Of course.



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q8) What is more important about the website; bright and colourful, ease of access, inclusion of pictures/video or contains no adverts?
    A clean, logical layout is most important. Photos are great. Videos unnecessary (unless you have some particularly fancy stuff to show off!). I don't care about adverts so long as they are not invasive (no pop-ups, don't stick 10 different adverts at the top of every page, etc.).



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q9) If you have ordered online before or would like to order online, which delivery timescale would you usually go for; next day delivery, 2-3 working days delivery, 1 week delivery, 2 weeks delivery or a Saturday delivery?
    For AB products, next day or 2-3 days would be ideal. For custom products that aren't available elsewhere (or are made to order), I'd wait a couple of weeks. I wouldn't be interested in Saturday delivery (although I might when I start work again!).



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Q10) Does getting a personalised response from the business owner when you place an order matter to you, or do you prefer computer automated responses?
    I expect the business owner to write a personalised response, to hand-deliver my items personally, and pop in for a cup of tea... No -- seriously! An automated response is fine! Many AB/DLs are nervous about "who knows" what they order online. It's probably more reassuring to have an impersonal machine processing their orders than to actually think... "Some real person knows my secret and has written to me personally! Eeek!"

    Hope this helps... Good luck in your venture...

  6. #6

    Default

    Answered a subset:

    Q1) Would an AB/DL business based within the UK be of any value to you? If you are outside of the UK, would you be willing to pay for international shipping?

    I'm Canadian. Willing to pay shipping for something that I can't get in North America if it's something I really want.

    Q3) What is more important to you as a customer; feeling valued as a customer, lower prices, discreet delivery or being able to contact the business owner quickly?

    Definitely discreet delivery and to expand on it I want to know that my personal info is handled securely and preferably as little data kept around as required.

    I'm not rich but I'm willing to (and do) spend a fair bit on this little hobby, so prices arn't a huge concern unless they are obscene.. and I'm cool with just being a number in someones sales report.

    Q4) The product range I am aiming to sell is; Nappies (both adult & baby) Pull-ups (both adut & baby) Plastic Pants, Onesies, Dummies (both adult & baby) and Dummy Clips. Depending on how successful this business is, the product line will be expanded in due course. Does any of those products interest you? If so, which one(s).

    They do but these are all currently easily available. What is your business edge? Why should I buy these from you instead of an already established company?

    Q8) What is more important about the website; bright and colourful, ease of access, inclusion of pictures/video or contains no adverts?

    Contains no advertisements is a big one unless they are for your own products. Running adds on a site that primarily sells a product is very sketchy.

    As I said above, protection of personal information would be my big concern. Who is handling your CC, are you just doing paypal or using a payment processor.. and what's their privacy policy.

    Q10) Does getting a personalised response from the business owner when you place an order matter to you, or do you prefer computer automated responses?

    Prefer automated as long as it works. Sounds anti-social, but when buying things (in general) I like to deal with as few people as possible. If I have to deal with a person it probably means something, somewhere has gone wrong and you're already fighting for future business. I accept that mistakes happen, and how a business deals with them is actually how I judge a lot of companies I do long term business with.




    Best of luck!

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for all the answers so far guys. i appreciate it. although i cant answer every question, I have mentioned personal details being secure and payment methods etc below.

    I will adhere to the data protection act and no information shall be given out anywhere, I have no reason to do so. Any receipts of purchases will be held in accordance with the data protection act and will be held for no more than 30days. After 30days, they will be shredded and discarded, like other business do. I need to keep them 30days to complete my P&L at the end of the month. After that, they will be discarded as mentioned above. My own privac policy will be made in accordance with my lawyer.

    As many of you have mentioned about security and confidentiality, I will be using only PayPal to begin with and then depending upon the success of the business, will be introducing cc payments online. I too know the risks of online payments and so if I were to introduce online payments via cc or dc, it would not only already be a secured, encrypted site but it wouldn't hold any cc/dc details once you process the payment and to process the payment, you will need to complete additional checks from you bank (such as Halifax secure for example), however that is in due course. I do realise that this may limit my custom (only using PayPal) for a few months, however, like every business, you need to start somewhere and then grow it from there. Of course by using PayPal to complete transactions, you will be adhering to their privacy policy too.

    Thanks for the feedback so far.

    FlightSimPro

  8. #8

    Default

    Well,

    So far you've done well...responded and as of this point have an a+

    As for PayPal...I have a couple of merchant accounts with them...and just warning...try to keep the fees to a minimum...

    Also, not trying to be a nag or anything...have you figured your demographic and quantity in the uk...is it at a sustainable level say in the lower teens share for yourself?

    There is always going to be competition and such in the market...just how it is...

    As for a niche market, which this is, I'd expect a nickel share say +6 month and growing if doing good!

    Hit that teens level in say +24 give or take...

    I really like seeing people going out and starting a business...it's a learning experience at the very least...and cheaper than college usually...

    As for your primary focus...

    Are you trying to be the premier, best, spot on supplier...with a decent price...

    Or are you going for the price leader...

    I've done both types of business models...and have found over in the eu...it seems the price leader starts out great, but after say +36 months start to dwindle...

    So, my philosophy was to jump out with cheap...but focus on customer service and order numbers...

    I hate Walmart but they have even hit the eu over there...I know you know they own that brand too!

    Anyhow, they do advertise low price...but really focus on keeping products stocked...and decent customer service...keep checkout lines ok...

    Anyone would stop going to Walmart after a bit if they were out of stock often...

    Here in the states we have cheap based food stores like aldi and such...they are not able to pull much share despite being considerable lower on every item...they are just not as well stocked...and a bit too cheap...some places charge for bags!...no one likes to be nickeled to death either...

    So, of the many businesses over the years, the best long term have been a customer service focused business despite what the advert says...

    Advertise cheap...be reasonable...fulfill beyond what is expected and you'll have a customer for a long time...

    Cheap gets customers, customer service keeps them...

    If your product is give or take 5-10% withing the market and the people ordering have been happy...most of them won't go looking for another source...

    Even if some do go try a cheaper place...they will most likely be back when the other guy can't fulfill thier needs or wants...

    People don't goto the gas station for stuff cuz its cheap...it's easy...convenient...and if you notice most successfully run ones are well stocked...they don't need 3 cases of juicy fruit gum...but they have it...just in case...

    Just my rumblings.

    B

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbabybret View Post
    Well,

    So far you've done well...responded and as of this point have an a+

    As for PayPal...I have a couple of merchant accounts with them...and just warning...try to keep the fees to a minimum...

    Also, not trying to be a nag or anything...have you figured your demographic and quantity in the uk...is it at a sustainable level say in the lower teens share for yourself?

    There is always going to be competition and such in the market...just how it is...

    As for a niche market, which this is, I'd expect a nickel share say +6 month and growing if doing good!

    Hit that teens level in say +24 give or take...

    I really like seeing people going out and starting a business...it's a learning experience at the very least...and cheaper than college usually...

    As for your primary focus...

    Are you trying to be the premier, best, spot on supplier...with a decent price...

    Or are you going for the price leader...

    I've done both types of business models...and have found over in the eu...it seems the price leader starts out great, but after say +36 months start to dwindle...

    So, my philosophy was to jump out with cheap...but focus on customer service and order numbers...

    I hate Walmart but they have even hit the eu over there...I know you know they own that brand too!

    Anyhow, they do advertise low price...but really focus on keeping products stocked...and decent customer service...keep checkout lines ok...

    Anyone would stop going to Walmart after a bit if they were out of stock often...

    Here in the states we have cheap based food stores like aldi and such...they are not able to pull much share despite being considerable lower on every item...they are just not as well stocked...and a bit too cheap...some places charge for bags!...no one likes to be nickeled to death either...

    So, of the many businesses over the years, the best long term have been a customer service focused business despite what the advert says...

    Advertise cheap...be reasonable...fulfill beyond what is expected and you'll have a customer for a long time...

    Cheap gets customers, customer service keeps them...

    If your product is give or take 5-10% withing the market and the people ordering have been happy...most of them won't go looking for another source...

    Even if some do go try a cheaper place...they will most likely be back when the other guy can't fulfill thier needs or wants...

    People don't goto the gas station for stuff cuz its cheap...it's easy...convenient...and if you notice most successfully run ones are well stocked...they don't need 3 cases of juicy fruit gum...but they have it...just in case...

    Just my rumblings.

    B
    Thanks for that advice!

    At this moment in time, I am unwilling to go into specific business information. Im sure you and others will understand why.

    My mission statement and core value as a company is:

    "To provide a safe, confidential, effective and highly customer focused business to allow growth, expansion and to develop and drive success wherever possible"

    FlightSimPro

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by FlightSimPro View Post
    Thanks for that advice!

    At this moment in time, I am unwilling to go into specific business information. Im sure you and others will understand why.

    My mission statement and core value as a company is:

    "To provide a safe, confidential, effective and highly customer focused business to allow growth, expansion and to develop and drive success wherever possible"

    FlightSimPro
    Oh, I know you don't have to share any details...That good!

    I'm glad your responsive to input...

    My feeling is that if you can leverage your already accomplished social and peer relationships to "Jump Start" the business I'm sure there are many that will come aboard...

    For instance, Once you up and running just lightly mention and even post what it is and what you want to accomplish there will be many that will go your way...

    Word of caution...Make sure BEFORE you state anything your ready...

    I've seen social networking suicide over a very minor issue, but was blow into the he said she said stuff...then it was all down hill...

    If you put a direct face on a business which has been done here lately as well...Take you knocks...If your heated take a bit of time...even run your response by a third part if possible...

    It's that people are all different...There is always the one that complains endlessly about a mis spelt word or something...Everyone has thier own thing...

    Anyhow,
    When I think Of things I'll post them and let you know my thoughts...

    Others may even disagree,

    And above all keep everything above board...I caution you to on doing any PM's on things like this...People will feel left out, or singled out, or become heated that there is secret PM's going to take over the world...OOPS not quite...

    Best of luck and a speedy return!
    B

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