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How to test consumer demand in ecommerce?

My niche is on product designing. If the design is good enough, I manufacture the product. Based on ads metrics, my products(designs) have demands – CTR is high, Users give feedback on when its available etc. Since manufacturing is costly I ended up manufacturing and selling only one product in my ecommerce store.

I dont want my ecommerce store to look bland so I included some other branded products(same niche category) and few (5-6 items) that are my own – not manufactured, just posted in the site with pics and labeled as 'Sold Out'. Currently, most-if not all- of the sales in my store are of my own product.

I want to start manufacturing other products, but I dont want to be in a position where I manufacture and I dont have demand. Reason I want to manufacture other products is because there's clearly a demand – just not sure how much.

Some things I looked into:

  1. Pre Order: PreOrder basically means it will be manufactured and delivered. However, there's min quantity that I need to order. If my min quantity to order is 80 and 10 people pre ordered because they are super interested, then I will have 70 items taking up the storage and costs.
  2. Notify me option: Users subscribe if they want to when the "Sold Out" product become available. I put it yesterday so not sure how effective it would be.

So I want to know your thoughts on how to proceed scaling? Currently, conversion rate is <0.5% because there's no reason for customer to stay. Customer visits my store to buy my product designs which are mostly "Sold Out" and third party ones – they can buy directly from Amazon. So to improve retention and conversion rate, I need to do something other than "Sold Out".

Gracias!

submitted by /u/cowarrior1
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