Understanding your market is key. Without a market, products flounder, or worse, fail.
I've conducted research on markets where a product didn't exist yet. The research doesn't have to be expensive or lengthy. The purpose of research is to understand the true needs of the market.
Based on the gift box idea, have you identified a user type or persona that this product would be suitable for?
That is where I would start.
Draw out the different types of users and scenarios there are for the product and start talking to them. Get an understanding of their current gift giving habits:
- Who are they buying gifts for? Is it someone they buy for regularly? How often? How much do they typically spend?
- What are they buying?
- Where are they buying (online/physical retail store)?
- When are they buying? Is it last minute?
Hone in on where they're having problems. If you start noticing patterns in their answers, this becomes the pain point(s) your solution/product can address. Towards the end of the conversation, you could run the gift box idea by them and see how they react to it, but gathering their current habits before biasing them towards a solution would help you in the long run.
After conducting the research and you feel that you've nailed it, then you can set up a website that gathers email addresses before you create the product. This begins the iterative process, and as you work through each step, you're gathering interest and insights from potential customers and working it into your new product.
If you have any questions about getting this started, please contact me.
I would look into the story of Buffer and how the founder got a lot of interest with no product. I would create a landing page with a simple email sign-up and drive traffic to see if anyone is interested. Then use that email base to refine the actual product.