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Topic: Research/Metrics

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Determining Market Size For Heated Toilet Seats

Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on 500 Points
Doing some basic market research for a client. He has developed a heated toilet seat with a few improvements over the other products on the market.

Having trouble determining how large the market is for heated toilet seats. I know who the competitors are and have checked them out on business sites like Hookers. Did searches for industry related articles to see if they mention research on market size (couldn't find any). Looked at competitor's web site and literature and annual reports and such for any hints. But still can't get a feel for how large the total market is for heated toilet seats. Any suggestions on how to estimate this?

No geographic focus - open for information on any major markets for heated toilet seats. North America, Japan, Europe, etc.

  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    I'd talk with a few plumbing supply wholesalers and see what they have to say. To get a sense of the market size compare each wholesaler's volume of sales for heated seats with their volume of some known item -- perhaps toilets or "ordinary" toilet seats.

    Plumbing supply wholesalers are dinosaurs, so you may not want to wait too long. I've done a few projects for a client in this business (plumbing supply, bathroom fixtures, etc.), and the big box stores are gobbling up all the business.

    I'd be glad to introduce you to my client, but I'm not optimistic that he'll have much useful input. He's familiar with the industry in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
  • Posted by BizConsult on Accepted
    Careful not to overestimate market size with a focus just on plumbing supply stores - the percentage of specialty toilet seats could be much higher there than in the big box stores that are doing the bulk of the volume – Adjust any findings for channel contributions.

    Would expect large geographic differences – i.e., I believe Japan has a lot more ‘advanced’ toilets than most markets while China has relatively few traditional toilets compared to other countries.

    Suggest doing some research (leverage an online and/or traditional/phone research supplier that fields frequent consumer research – it’s relatively inexpensive to include a few questions in those studies)

    Also, contact trade associations/magazines and/or make it a research project for a college student.

    Good luck!
    Steve
  • Posted by koen.h.pauwels on Accepted
    Hi Peter,

    Can you give us an indication of how large the improvement of your client's product is over other heated toilet seats? I agree with Steve that one should not overestimate the market....and would first guesstimate potential sales for your client as a percentage of the current heated toilet seat market. Conjoint analysis with a sample of current users should help.

    Next the question is whether your client can expand the market for heated toilet seats: does its product overcome any key obstacles that stopped people from buying other heated toilet seats. Does it offer the major benefit of addressing a key concern people have with unheated seats?

    This breakdown in market share and primary demand expansion helped me in a previous project assessing the market for a new technology for permanent eye correction. We first quantified which market share it would get among LASIK alternatives. Next we identified key concerns eye doctors have with LASIK, which would be addressed with our new technology.

    Hope this helps good luck!
  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Author
    Incremental improvement. Heater is a bit more energy efficient, and also makes the installation a little easier (reducing need for some other parts). Has some other benefits, but not one that would do a lot toward overcoming the basic things that are keeping the market from growing.

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