In the eCommerce industry, market research plays a key role in ensuring that businesses find out what consumers want and how they are shopping. It also helps them understand how the market is changing and emerging new trends. The use of market research has been on the rise in recent years due to its importance in today’s competitive marketplace. Ideally, many industries such as retail, manufacturing, media, and healthcare have recognized the importance of market research. This post provides the ultimate guide to market research for your eCommerce business. Whether you want to move your local business online or start dropshipping business, it could be a great helper.
1) Understand your target audience
It is critical to deeply understand your target audience to develop a winning market strategy for new product ideas and establish a group of clients who convert. Apart from knowing your target clients, you need to understand what they value, feel, and think about your eCommerce products and services. Understandably, you need to ensure that you speak directly to your clients’ needs and satisfy their expectations. However, conducting qualitative online market research can assist you in delving into the possible internal motivators which prompt customers to make a purchase.
2) Employ different marketing research methods
To help you understand the socioeconomic and demographic details of your ideal clients, you can use the following marketing research methods:
Researchers offer survey questions to the respondents through an online form, email, over the phone, or in-person when it comes to surveying research. Questions might be open-ended or close-ended. In open-ended, there are several types of questions, including:
- Demographic (asking for occupation, age, and gender information
- Matrix- presenting options on a grid
- Likert scale- involved five options starting from strong agree to disagree strongly
- Rating scale
- Multiple choice
- Dichotomous (YES or NO answers)
The best aspect about surveys is that they are versatile due to the different questions formats. It takes a substantial amount of thought and consideration to mix and match different questions to achieve what you need. Also, good questions would contribute to good analysis. If you manage to write concise and clear questions free from value expressions can help your results in reflecting the true identity of the respondents.
ii) Social media listening
People have seamlessly integrated social media into their lives. Since it is a digital extension of an individual, people can freely express their thoughts and opinions. Understandably, social media is a good place to conduct your market research since people share lots of content, and the sharing is instant. For instance, with the help of a social listening tool known as Consumer Research, eCommerce researchers can identify certain topics of their interest and examine relevant social posts. That means you can track brand mentions and the aspects that consumers claim regarding the products and services owned by such a brand.
iii) Focus groups
Even with the unprecedented rise of big data, focus groups have remained a critical part of how brands build their messaging, strategy, and products. The collaborative nature ensures that its members can influence and interact with each other. Normally, the interactive and open groups are between 5 to 12 people chosen based on certain criteria, including occupation, interests, and demographics. You need to ensure that you have diverse participants to receive a range of opinions, reactions, feeling surrounding a product and have adequate representation from numerous market segments. As a smaller startup, you can conduct DIY focus groups and employ video conferencing technology, one of the most time-efficient and cost-effective market research methods. The strength of a focus group depends on the natural discussion and conversation between the participants, provided it is done right.
iv) A/B tests
A/B tests are useful in learning the behaviour of the product user. They involve comparing two variations o a certain element by testing the response of the users to variant A versus variant B and determining the most effective variant. Ecommerce business owners can use the A/B test on their websites, landing pages, and emails to unearth the strategies that contribute to the best actions and responses.
One of the most common A/B tests is having varied messaging on every test version. After that, you can learn the copy that more user interactions. In other cases, you might learn the kind of branding that captures more attention from the target audience and implement the strategies that receive the most impressions to achieve a more successful marketing campaign.
v) Competitor analysis
It is critical to uncover how your business compares with its rivals. It is a highly specific and strategic form of market research online, where the researcher will analyze the competitors of a certain brand. To conduct this kind of research, you can define the market segment, brand, service, and product. You can also compare your business with your rivals in different topics, including social media engagement and presence, PR coverage. SEO structure and content produced.
In this case, it is vital to conduct a SWOT analysis to determine the threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths. Therefore, competitor analysis will give you an overview of the industry, identify potential opportunities and pitfalls, and give you a competitive advantage by understanding your market. Further, you can choose the product perspective by examining the pricing structure and types of offerings. Most importantly, you can look for unique ways to serve your clients better and influence them to switch their loyalties towards your products and services over your competitors.
3) Implement a plan based on the research
After you have understood the research findings, you need to consider them in implementing your plan. You can start by establishing a campaign or employing marketing strategies based on the results. Ensure you monitor the results in your entire plan.
Effective marketing strategies change constantly. That means your eCommerce marketing research cannot be finished. Ideally, your teams must continue following the research process to reach more people and stay innovative. You can also continue to evaluate the results to uncover the aspects you can improve.
Market research is important for any business, especially for eCommerce businesses. It can help identify opportunities, uncover new customers and provide insights into the current market. Marketers use it to develop strategies to grow their business. To conduct market research online, you need a clear understanding of your goals, what you want to find out about your competitors and what information is needed to answer those questions.