Nowadays consumers have so much information at their fingertips; with just a few keystrokes they can learn anything they need to know about a product or service they’re interested in. They can look up reviews and they can even talk to their own network of friends and colleagues for referrals and recommendations.
Now you have to ask yourself: How can your marketing strategy keep up with the research and shopping habits of today’s consumer?
The short answer to that question is conducting market research, the long answer is the rest of this article. So sit back and relax as we take a quick look at some things you need to know about market research.
What is Market Research and Why Should You Do It?
Market research is the process of gathering information about your customer base and target market to gauge the success of a new product or service. It is a vital component of a successful marketing strategy.
By conducting market research your team can get a clear understanding of demand, market size, and even the pricing of new products.
Overall the main benefit of doing market research is being able to know what your audience wants, needs, and how best to deliver it to them. This is especially valuable for eCommerce to get the best results possible for your products.
With that out of the way, let’s go over a few things you can do for your market research.
How To Do Market Research for ECommerce
There are two types of market research: primary information and secondary information, both are used in tandem and provide vital information for your marketing strategies.
Primary information is first-hand data gathered from original sources. You can personally collect this data or you can hire someone to do it for you. This type of research consists of data and analytics that have been done internally such as customer behaviors, demographic, KPI, etc. Basically, you control everything about your primary sources.
Secondary information on the other hand, is information you have no control over. This information is gathered by others and is publicly available online or offline. You can find this data in articles, blogs, newspapers, journals, reports, and even on social media.
Competitor Analysis and Trends
Despite what we’ve discussed so far, market research doesn’t start and stop at just your customers. If you want to make the best out of your market research, it helps to understand your competition. If you have a winning idea for your product, chances are it’s been done before so go take a good look at the who’s who in the industry.
Have an understanding of where you are in the industry, how much competition you have, see who the key players are and find out what they’re doing. This is important because not only is competition healthy, it also helps with your marketing strategies. But doing competitor analysis you’ll be able to gauge what their strengths and weaknesses are, as well as how best to use that information.
Another option you can approach in marketing research is by examining trends. When you have a solid idea for a product or service you can easily find out what the reception for that is through trends. Whether you’re using Google trends or other tools, analyzing trends can give you a good idea on how to approach your target audience. By utilizing trends you can find relevant keywords, customer demands, and find out whether what you’re selling is a rising trend or just another passing fad.
Social Media Analysis
There’s no better way of understanding how your customers feel about your products than simply asking them about it. Monitoring and reviewing your social media is another part of market research because you’ll be able to engage with your core audience.
You can visit different social media platforms to get a good idea of how your product is being received. You can even discover more information about your customer’s wants, needs, and pain points.
There are tools that allow you to gather the data you need from comments, most searched keywords, most viewed pages, key trends, as well as related topics. You can even use surveys to understand your audience more.
Although using tools and surveys can save you a lot of time it is also worth manually reviewing these groups, pages, and comments.
The main advantage of doing this is that you get to have a solid understanding of who your audience is and what they want. You use this information to understand your audience’s “language” and use that in your messaging.
Understanding Your Customers
While there are many ways to reach out to your audience, social media is perhaps one of the easiest and most convenient ways of doing it.
Regardless of whether or not you’re using social media you’ll need to do market research to fully understand your niche. This means taking into consideration the socioeconomic, geographic, and internal makeup of your ideal customers.
There are a myriad of free tools at your disposal to help you with this. You can send out consumer surveys, consumer reports, and even use Facebook Audience Insights to build detailed customer profiles of real people who are interested and willing to buy your product. Keep track of relevant information such as age, income, lifestyle, shopping habits, and more.
Now that you’ve implemented your marketing strategies, determined the viability of your product, and have a good understanding of the industry’s standards it’s time to look inward. As your eCommerce goes into full swing it’s important to monitor data and conduct marketing research around your performance.
This can manifest in a variety of ways such as customers wanting to make the shopping process easier, making a curated feature list, and maybe even providing them recommendations on the page or their email.
Regardless of how you use your data it’s important to keep track of the internal workings of your business to provide a better experience for your users. By doing so you’ll be able to provide your solutions to your customer’s pain points.