Digital Products are mobile apps, websites, web applications, and more. Essentially, if it’s made of lines of code and lives on a computing device, you’ve got a digital product on your hands.
As you can probably tell from this description, there are lots of different kinds of digital products for just as many kinds of applications and uses. But they aren’t always the right fit for some use cases.
Today we’re going to cover three reasons you should build a digital product and one good reason you shouldn’t.
A digital product will create new market opportunities for you and/or your company.
For startups or even mature companies looking to break new ground, a digital product might be the best solution to access new markets and deliver value.
Consider the now-infamous disruptors we all use on a regular basis today: Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify…these companies all leveraged digital products to open up new (and massive) market opportunities for themselves.
The key distinction for each of these examples is that there was a problem worth solving and they built a solution that could integrate seamlessly into their customers’ lives using technology.
A digital product will allow you to add exponentially more value to your customers.
Successful products add value by solving problems. Period. Think long enough about even the most frivolous products and the problem they solve for the people who buy that product will become clear.
If a digital product can help you solve more problems or solve problems better for your customers, then it may be a good idea.
An example of a digital product adding value and solving problems is Domino’s Pizza’s mobile app. Want to select, customize, and order a pizza from anywhere without having to get on the phone? Want to track your pizza from the time you place your order to the moment it arrives at your doorstep?
Domino’s has you covered and the company’s technology shift has been bearing some serious fruit for the company.
A digital product will help your internal team do their work faster, better, and easier.
You don’t always have to build a digital product for customers. Sometimes you need a new tool for yourself or your team and that’s a perfectly good reason to look at digital.
Maybe you need to receive and respond to customer communication on the go or perhaps access to assets needs to be opened and available to team members so they can work with them whenever and wherever they need to (a big plus in the COVID-19 era). A digital product might just be the solution to these problems.
Even better, in most cases, your customers will benefit from you and your team doing your work faster, better, and easier, too!
These are three reasons you should build a digital product.
However, plenty of people build digital products for bad reasons, and we want to highlight the most common one here:
You’re looking for a quick and easy business idea or solution to a business problem.
Digital products are expensive and time-consuming to create. Even more importantly, they require a fundamentally different approach and way of thinking to get right and to de-risk.
Most average Joes and Janes don’t have the training or experience to pull this off without some help and even then, it’s now easier to build a digital product (or the business around it) than traditional physical products.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, look elsewhere. Digital products require discipline, patience, an open mind, and a willingness to learn new ways of thinking and operating to get right.