Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tusk Fairy Feedback

I've been getting some feedback on my Tusk Fairy project, and just posted this response to a group who has been providing a lot of comments. I though I would also share it here:


Many thanks to all of you who have taken time in the last few days and shared your thoughts on Tusk Fairy.

In appreciation of the comments I received, I wanted to share a few of them as I think they are generally applicable, and might be interesting for some others;

Trust - "if you want me to buy something online I have to trust the website" is a comment I heard a few times. In an effort to make Tusk Fairy more trustworthy, I've taken a number of steps which are by no means a lot of effort but can go a long way (I hope); 1) contact details - including a brick and mortar address, 2) an easy way to get in touch - I've implemented a chat window which hopefully means when someone has a question they can speak to a real live human - zopim.com, 3) social proof - in it's simplest form this is the facebook button for liking, which demonstrates other people's interaction with the site (granted 3 "likes" isn't great, but hopefully this comes with time), 4) feedback, which hopefully leads not only to consumer insights but by making it public helps with social proof and community building - uservoice.com.

Lower barrier to customer interaction - i.e. paying for a subscription is a fairy costly step for the customer, meaning that many visitors could be interested, might not want to sign-up yet, and leave the site never to return again. While you could easily implement re-targeting advertising, this assumes you have the budget, and are comfortable "stalking" your customers. Also it misses filtering people who are interested from those who aren't after visiting your site. A lower cost interaction could be a mailing list or again the facebook "like" button - in both cases the customer isn't paying for anything, and is signaling a desire for you to keep in touch - the hypothesis then becomes that these are more easily convertible customers.

Design - "it could be better" or "why don't you do this..." I certainly don't dispute this. My two comments here are 1) design is a question of taste, and yes you want to appeal to as many people as possible, but that can become costly, which leads to 2) a minimally viable product doesn't need to be perfect. I would encourage folks to launch early, cheaply, and iterate - proving the idea - before settling on a final design. 

Product offering - "more please!" indeed it would be nice, but see my comments on minimally viable product above.

Path to customer - "how many people are actively looking to buy a toothbrush online?" This has been an important point for me to appreciate. While initially I was leaning towards online advertising, I am now thinking a different route might be better. In more general terms, experiment to test your thinking and pivot when you identify a hypothesis which is proved false.

Again many thanks to all of you for your comments. I hope one or two of you find some use in my ramblings above.

If you're interested in following the development of the Tusk Fairy, please do signup for the mailing list =o)