A COMPREHENSIVE COMPARISON
CrowdMall vs. Kickstarter
A comprehensive comparison of pre-selling products to customers and rewards-based crowdfunding.
Exploring the reasons for using CrowdMall and Kickstarter reveals significant differences in the features and benefits of each platform. You should ask yourself the question “What job do I need to do?” when deciding when your product lies on the journey of getting an idea to the marketplace. Here are some key differences between the two platforms that will help you decide whether CrowdMall or Kickstarter is a better fit for your product at its current stage of development and if you are a buyer how shopping on CrowdMall differs from backing a Kickstarter campaign.
Which platform do you need to use right now?
Where is your product in the production cycle?
Kickstarter is used in the early stages of product development, where an individual creator or company is seeking funding to develop a prototype or take a product from concept to reality. Crowdfunding campaigns usually involve offering rewards or perks to backers, such as early access to the product or exclusive merchandise. This helps to generate buzz and build a community of supporters around a product, which can be useful when it comes time to launch the product. There is often more risk for buyers backing a campaign due to the early stage product development plus there are no delivery guarantees.
CrowdMall is used after a product has been developed and is ready to go to market. Creator campaigns are designed for testing the market by pre-selling products to get customer validation before scaling production which can be costly, time-consuming and resource heavy. This allows individual creators or companies to get real-world sales data from customers and then to make any necessary tweaks before investing significant resources in production. As products are at a later stage, production timelines are much shorter.
What is your main current objective regarding your product?
Kickstarter campaigns focus primarily on raising money to seed fund the early concept development of a product, which may include covering expenses such as design, manufacturing, marketing, and operations. The success of a crowdfunding campaign is measured by the amount of money raised from backers, rather than the ultimate success of the product in the market.
CrowdMall campaigns focus on generating product-market fit data. The product is ready to make at this stage: the main goal is to test a product in the market, by gathering pre-order sales data from customers, to determine if there is viable demand for it and de-risk its scaled up laucnch. This data is used to inform creator decisions: if there is not sufficient interest in a product to meet its pre-sales targets, all money received is returned to its buyers; if a campaign meets its pre-sales targets, the product gets the green light to fulfill its pre-orders.
What do buyers want to purchase?
Kickstarter campaigns offer perks or rewards to backers in exchange for their support. These perks may include early access to the product, exclusive merchandise, or other incentives. While perks can be a great way to generate interest and build a community of supporters, they may not necessarily reflect the price point or value proposition of the product in the broader market. There is also no guarantee when or if these perks will be delivered introducing risk to buyers.
CrowdMall campaigns offer the first opportunity for buyers to be exposed to new product launches and the chance to pre-order them before anyone else. By testing the product in the market and gathering data on customer behavior, creators can reduce financial risks and better understand the value proposition of their product and the customer profile of consumers willing to pay for it.
Who are your customers?
Kickstarter campaigns focus on generating buzz and funding for a project, rather than collecting data on customer segments. This means that individuals and companies have limited information about their core audiences or how to reach them effectively through targeted marketing once the product is ready to go to market.
CrowdMall campaigns collate data patterns about buyers that are used to create customer personas for helping creators understand the demographic and psychographic profiles of their core audiences. This data is used to inform future marketing strategies and product development.
Do you want to reduce the risk of your product failing to sell in the market?
Kickstarter is used to raise money to develop a product from any backer interested in buying a perk. Crowdfunding campaigns are designed to optimize the funding generated by a project, irrespective of the profiles of the people making financial contributions. Successful campaigns reach their funding targets without providing data useful to validating product-market fit. Customers often wait long times for products to be fully prototyped and produced and unexpected challenges may lead to missed promises.
CrowdMall is used to validate market fit for products by pre-selling them to early-adopter buyers eliminating financial risks in inventory and manufacturing. Creator campaigns are designed to generate pre-sales data that optimizes the accuracy of customer personas for core target audiences for products. This data is used to choose the most appropriate channels to promote products and to plan tailored marketing campaigns. CrowdMall reduces the risk of products failing in the marketplace for a lack of customers as well as lessening the danger of customers experiencing long waits or unexpected disappointments with rewards.
- CrowdMall involves a customer pre-ordering a product before it is available, while backing on Kickstarter involves buying perks to support the development of a product.
- CrowdMall campaigns benefit new-to-market products as creators can test the market and evaluate the demand for a product before investing in scaling its manufacturing and sales functions. This can help to reduce the risk of overproduction, unsold inventory and investments in setting up sales channels.
- Kickstarter campaigns benefit products that can build anticipation and create buzz by offering backers exclusive rewards.
- CrowdMall is a platform that combines the benefits of pre-ordering with a crowdfunding component to offer a reliable, transparent way for buyers and sellers to do business. Sellers reduce their risk by setting pre-sales goals for products; buyers benefit from the guarantee they will either receive the product they have pre-ordered or all their money back.
- CrowdMall provides validation for new products yet to hit the market, which determines if there is enough demand to justify scaled-up production for the commercial marketplace.
The missing link in the production cycle
The most important factor in determining the success or otherwise of a product is whether or not it sells to a sufficient number of customers in the marketplace to make a profit.
1. In the first stage of the production cycle, a concept needs to find sufficient seed funding to realize the product. Crowdfunding is useful for raising money to make this happen.
2. Once a product is created, it needs to find a viable market. All too often, creators start to sell their products to potential customers without finding out in sufficient detail the personas of their core audiences. Products on offer before customer validation is established run the risk of not making enough sales to cover their costs.
3. CrowdMall provides the bridge between developing a product and selling it in the market by generating data to find target customer personas and to validate product-market fit. The platform reduces the risk of failure when a product launches in the market.