A Guide To Market Research Solutions

Good market research is an essential tool for your e-commerce venture. You will need to know what products sell on the internet, how to study your competitors, how to target the right audience and the effects on your bricks and mortar business.

Firstly, you will have to analyse exactly what it is you want from your new e-commerce venture. If you are planning to sell freely available goods, then you will need to find a "niche market", if it is a new invention or concept, then the niche market will be very different. 

To better explain the term niche market, We will use a mythical company selling Magazines. We will call the company mag-world.

Mag-world have a business which is essentially a small newsagent outside a school. Their Bricks and mortar business is predominantly Mums buying mags on their way to and from school. 

Given that an internet presence would effectively globalise the company, they begin to look for a niche market.       

Niche Market

A quick search on some of the search engines for "magazine suppliers" shows over 200,000 businesses around the world claiming to supply magazines. So what does mag-world have that they don't? 

For a start a wide selection of magazines. This eliminates 40,000 of the online competitors immediately. Those 40,000 were all selling their own magazine or group of mags. 

Furthermore, mag-world has a good knowledge of the demand for national magazines. That could come in useful. 

The day to day business of the newsagent store frequently has Mums talking about missing editions whilst on holiday. 

A niche market is beginning to unfold. Whilst internet access is currently low for those on Holiday (probably not for much longer with all the portable devices on the market), it most certainly is not for expatriates a quick search for "magazine suppliers for expats" returns only a little over 200, weeding out the 20% or so of magazine owners means the competition is now down to around 160 companies. 

Investigating the average age of expats in a few different countries reveals the wealthy retired 40 somethings as 35%, the retired 50 somethings at 40% and the 60+ at 25%. Internet usage by the 60+ is currently low at about 15%, the 50 somethings at 25% and the 40 somethings at 40%. 

Working the figures simply we can use a 100 population model.

40 somethings are 35 people with a 40% internet access figure = 14

50 somethings are 40 people with a 25% internet access figure = 10 

The 60+ are 25 people with a 15% internet access figure = <4

Therefore the niche market is selling magazines online to the "40 something" expats around the world.

In this example we have covered the issues of what you want to sell online, who you are targeting and how this is different from your day to day business. Now you can begin to plan your market research.

Next, we will look at the details of Market Research Plan

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