Market Research Client Analysis

This final part of market research analysis looks at the third ingredient to the marketing plan. The client.

The ultimate e-commerce website will be able to cope with the needs of existing clients and all the needs of your new online visitors. Finding the requirements of your existing customers is the easy part. You can simply chat to them about your new up-and-coming website, hold a survey, just about anything that will get them to tell you their needs from a website. When you begin to hear the same requirement a few times, you will know there is a demand to be addressed.

Dealing with your new online customers is slightly more involved. For this task we need to divide the visitors into 6 distinct categories.

Bargain Hunters: These people visit sites to search for something cheaper or better value for money than they could get offline. They are not impressed with swish web-designs but are likely to wait a little longer for a page to load than other visitor types.

Brand Hunters: These people know exactly what they want to buy because they are searching for the exact brand. They can be swayed to a new product if evidence is available that the new product is in someway better. These people generally like to associate themselves with their own idea of quality and prefer websites that appear to be continually updated. Professionalism of design is a must and are likely to be less patient for a page to load unless it is the homepage of the actual manufacturer of the goods they are searching for.

Convenience Seekers: These people are only prepared to buy online if it is more convenient for them than the offline alternative. This category includes those that do not like physical interaction and many types of disabled visitors. Typically they appreciate fast loading pages that contain few graphics and plenty of information. In the case of the disabled, many use audio browsers , Braille readers and other devices. These people require a design that works on almost any platform.  

Net Surfers: These people continually surf the the world wide web in order to gain a level of knowledge of "what is out there". They are generally likely to talk about the internet with offline friends and pass favourite URLs (web site addresses) to them. They have seen many stunts (Flash5 opening pages, pop-up & pop-under window scripts, browser redirects and so on) thus many surf with all their browsers scripting readers disabled. They do not stop at pages that take more than around 6 seconds to load, or have a large graphical content. Websites that use JavaScript, Java, Flash etc are not always rendered on their browsers, thus they leave as fast as they came. They only stay at websites with a great deal of text information in HTML form.

Quality Seekers: These people only stop at websites that have a professional look and feel to them and that provide plenty of product information. Once you have them on your site you must fight to keep them there as they are more likely to notice a spelling error or grammatical error than other types of visitor and click away on finding the second and subsequent ones. If you can keep them satisfied, they are most likely to buy from you when they are ready to make a purchase.

Topic Hunters: These people only visit websites that fit within the category of their chosen subject. This group is mainly made up of "net savvy" surfers that have only a limited time available for surfing, for one reason or another. They are most likely to read through your entire web-site and bookmark your page to make a purchase at another time. Unless they find your competitors website and product is better than yours.


The important thing here is to ensure your e-commerce website caters for all these people, both on and offline. The categories most likely to buy from a website are the bargain hunters and the brand hunters. These must be catered for at ALL costs. If your product is in competition to a famous brand, highlight the benefits of your product against it. Furthermore, remember that if you do cater for all the above online visitors and offline customers, this will perpetuate the globalisation of your own brand.

Next, we look at the business effects

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