When it comes new products, the goal is to reach Minimum Viable Product (MVP). What is MVP? “That version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort,” explains Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup.
During COVID-19 pandemic retailers were looking for an online replacement (or addition) to their brick-and-mortar stores. And what many of them chose was a MVP. Least effort invested to be online. Setting up a shop on Shopify or Squarespace can take a few days and everything is easily solved. Right?
Not quite right. With MVP the customer is able to make a purchase, but the exchange is stripped to the bare minimum. But with Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) you focus on creating the relationship, providing a retail experience, not only the product itself.
MVP of a wedding cake is a just a sponge cake without any decorations, whereas MLP is a muffin: tiny version of the final wedding cake. When it comes to retail, you want to serve at least muffins, not just a bare sponge cake.
When it comes new product, what we should be looking for is always a MLP. Not just the functional minimum, but that version of a new product which “is designed to be loved right away.” It's worth the effort. According to Forbes a new customer acquisition is 5x more expensive that to retain the existing ones.
When you serve MLP muffins, new customers are likely to retain, and the existing customers get the experience they are used to. Even when shopping online.
Video calls are the MLP of retail
Platforms like Call To Shop can provide retailers with an opportunity to provide customers with an online MLP. So retailers can “collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort,” while still maintaining the premise they are “ to be loved right away.”
- It's fast. A custom-designed video sales mobile app can be launched in seven days to App Store or Google Play and the retailer can start selling immediately.
- It's personal. Video calls offer much needed relationship building with the customer. To be able to interact face to face is the closest you'll get to the offline experience.
- It's cheap. With only a 69 EUR set-up fee the service is accessible to anyone. Then you pay only 39 EUR a month.
Curious about how video calls work in retail? Download Call To Shop app from App Store and Google Play and call us. We are excited to meet you. Face to face.