What is concierge MVP – When is it the right approach?
Being in business, it is natural to head straight to building your product or service. However, validating the idea before investing capital, time, and resources in development is a good idea. It helps you ensure that your idea is going to work in the market. This is exactly what the concierge MVP approach does.
The battle to find customers and build a loyal customer base is fierce. Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states, around 20% of startups fail to survive their first year of establishment and go out of business.
A major reason why it happens is that they design their initial product based on the assumption that their product prototype will solve a problem better than an existing solution in the market. Not just that, they assume that a visitor would care enough to spend money on that particular solution. However, this is not the case.
To be successful, startups need to find customers fast and efficiently to establish their loyal base. This is where developing an MVP or a Minimum Viable Product comes in.
Importance of MVP in Product Development
An MVP is a basic version of the product with minimal features to describe the basic idea of the product. What it does is give beneficial insight into its advantages and shortfalls. Simply put, with just basic features and functionalities, it tells the product owner if the product will work in the market as well as the necessary changes required to release a better version of it in the market.
But there are 3 types of MVPs that you need to understand to get started with your project. Today, we will be getting into Concierge MVP. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
What is a Concierge MVP?
Concierge MVP is an approach that entrepreneurs use to test the concept of the product. This method allows the product owner to connect with the users and learn how they respond to the product. It is a manual technique where a startup would manually perform the tasks of their eventual products or service would automate. It is simply testing the idea of the product without actually building it.
Just like hotel concierge services, you offer personalized services that imitate the functions of a fully developed application. By manually performing every function, you can validate whether or not your product can have a strong standing in the market.
How does it work?
- Determine how you will be offering a manually designed, personalized walkthrough of your product or services to potential clients.
- Provide concierge services to a specific number of people, to determine the potential of the idea. Since it is a manual approach, there are only a handful of people you can provide services to.
- Gather their feedback through surveys to understand the changes to be made for a better experience.
Let’s just say, you are creating a mobile app that gives book recommendations to customers. But instead of building this app, you manually test the idea by handing out surveys to some people to know their preferences and history to provide a book recommendation manually.
Doing this, if the service proves fruitful and there is a demand for it in the market, you can start developing a more automated version of the idea. Not only will you know it works, but you’ll be sure if it is worth the investment. Plus, you’d know exactly what your audience expects from your services.
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Concierge MVP Case Study — Food on the Table
Food on the Table is a grocery shopping service that started with Concierge MVP. It provides its users with personalized shopping lists and menus every week. It started with the founder Manuel Rosso personally locating coupons and creating a shopping list for the customers to provide them with discounted rates for their weekly grocery purchases.
Starting with concierge MVP helped him gain insights into what the users like to eat and their shopping behavior, helping him create shopping lists for a variety of stores that will save his users money. Eventually, the demand was so strong that he developed an automated service to provide users with personalized services.
When to use Concierge MVP Approach
Where concierge MVP can be a valuable approach for startups, it is not for everyone. There are three things to understand before deciding on the approach.
- How complex is your product or service? Concierge MVP is particularly good for projects providing a complex product or service.
- Do you have the time and resources to test the idea manually? Performing the functions manually can take more time that an automated service or tool. Make sure you have the time and the resources to manually perform each task to make experiences.
- Know that other options are available! Before deciding on concierge MVP, make sure you weigh the cost and benefits of each type of MVP or prototype for your project.
Pros and Cons of using Concierge MVP
The concierge MVP is a great way to get deep insight into the market to mitigate initial risks when stepping into the market. Here are some pros of using the Concierge MVP approach
- It enables the product owner to learn about what customers expect from the product or service.
- It provides an idea of how well the target market will respond to the idea.
- It gives an understanding of the features that will work and which ones will not when you develop the business.
Where this approach has its benefits, it also has its cons
- It is time-consuming and meticulous as you are offering manual services. The disadvantage here is you’d be able to provide services to a handful of people manually.
- It could be difficult to create an online portal that provides the same level of experience as the MVP. There is a chance that the automated version of the service you provide the same experience as anticipated.
Wrapping It Up
Understanding what the people require is the first step to starting a successful business and testing the idea is one thing that you need to do to make sure it will work in the market. Concierge MVP allows you to do just that. Make sure you test the water before you jump into it for the swim and suffer its consequences. Plus, understand that not all businesses require concierge MVP. Analyze your idea and talk to an expert to get started with your business.