The excitement of building a new ecommerce website and uploading it to the internet is one of the things our Cardiff web design team lives for.
Before any successful ecommerce entrepreneur even starts to build a new website, however, they will have done a significant amount of market research to make sure all the right decisions have been made in the lead up to the design and publication of their site.
Good research helps you build a strong foundation for eventual success.
One of the mistakes we often see as a Cardiff web development business is budding ecommerce entrepreneurs rushing over this stage, sometimes even ignoring it, and going straight for the web design itself.
Market Research with a Purpose
The first thing that our Cardiff website team would say is to make sure your research is meaningful. New ecommerce owners can get overwhelmed with statistics and information which make it difficult to set goals and find solutions. Too much research can be just as bad as too little.
Start with deciding what you want your research to uncover. At the very least, this will save you a lot of time and effort.
- Who is your customer?
- Where do they hang out?
- What are their wants and needs?
- Why would they buy your products?
- What could your brand offer them that they appreciate?
- What support or value-added extras are they looking for?
A lot will depend on your products and what niche you are in but it’s also important not to think that you know who and what your customers are looking for without any evidence to back it up.
Get it right and your market research will inform every stage of your ecommerce development including your Cardiff web design, brand development and product selection.
Carry Out Some Keyword Research
If you are operating on a limited budget, one of the easiest pieces of research you can do is exploring the keywords relating to your products. There are plenty of different resources for this online including Google Adwords which give you lists of keywords along with the volume of monthly searches.
If you want to market your ecommerce store around the world, this type of research can also give you a good idea of where to find the main regions you should be concentrating on.
Who is the Competition?
Another vital part of your market research will be to understand the landscape for your product line. There are between 12 and 24 million ecommerce stores out there on the internet, according to some statistics, which means you’ll have a competitor or two whatever your niche.
Look at how the competition ranks on searches, who they’re targeting, how they’re marketing and what products they have which are different from yours. Don’t be afraid of copying ideas that you think will make your site even more successful.
The key here is to see what the competition is up to and then find a way to positively differentiate yourself that is going to resonate with your customers.
Look at Current Trends
There’s no point in choosing a group of products if they are likely to be usurped by something new with your listings quickly become yesterday’s news. It’s all very well jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trend but if it’s just about reaching the end of its journey, you’re wasting your time.
Google Trends is a useful online tool that will give you an idea of how certain products are performing and what level of interest there is in them. Also, check news and industry-specific websites – you’ll often find a ‘what’s in the future’ post or two that will give you a heads up.
Ask Around: Industry Players and Influencers
There are plenty of different ways to reach out to people who are in the know. Social media is a brilliant opportunity to find influencers in your niche area and ask for their advice as well as potential industry players who may be willing to have a chat.
These people usually have a handle on what’s coming up in the market and whether your offering is likely to cause a splash or not. They may also be able to advise about the best people to target.
Forums and Groups
Other good sources of information are forums and social media groups that are related to your niche. For example, let’s say your setting up an online store selling sci-fi memorabilia. You could join sci-fi groups and forums and start a conversation to learn what people are interested in. If your niche is in fashion, there are literally thousands of groups and forums that you can explore.
Another way to get more information about your audience and how they might feel about your product is to carry out online surveys. Again, this is relatively easy to do nowadays with sites like SurveyMonkey.
The key to great surveys is to keep things as simple as possible:
- Make sure you know what you want to achieve from your survey and keep the parameters narrow.
- Don’t ask questions that get you non-essential or useless information.
- Align the questions with your business goals and what you want to achieve.
- If you find good areas where you are getting responses, create other questions to explore these issues more fully.
Bringing Your Market Research Together
Done well, market research should shine a light on who your customers are, their wants and needs, what the opposition is up to and how you can position yourself in the marketplace and offer something new and exciting.
It’s important to bring everything together and put it into a business strategy and understand how your research is informing decisions. This can be challenging for new business owners but it can certainly help put in place the strong building blocks that allow you to move forward with confidence.
Where Can I Find Cardiff Web Design?
Once you’ve done your market research, the next step is to build your ecommerce website. Nick Walsh Studies is a Cardiff web design company that offers the personal touch. We’ll work with you to create an attractive, well-constructed design that ensures your ecommerce site gets the best start.
Want to find out more? Contact our Cardiff web development team today.