When you open a store, either online or offline, you always have products to sell and customers to buy them. In almost all situations, there are always competitors who have similar products to yours and they would targets similar range of customers. In order to sell your products more than your competitors and grow your business, it is very important to consider differentiating your goods at the beginning of your business planning.
Market research is a powerful tool to understand the current situation of the market you are joining and helps to define where and who your customers are, and even when they are likely and willing to purchase your products.
Basic Idea of Market Research
Failure of doing market research before launching your service is like going on a trip from Jakarta to Paris without maps and flight tickets. By planning well before you start, you can reduce risks which might happen during your business and direct your products to grow much faster.
When you conduct market research, you can use the results either to create a marketing plan or to measure the success of your current plan. By asking the right questions, in the right way, to the right people, more accurate prediction becomes possible. Here are some market-research basics that can help get you started and some mistakes to avoid.
Types of Market Research
The primary research represents data collected and conducted by himself/herself. Data obtained by conducting questionnaires and interviews. This is also called qualitative research. The research focuses on when, where, and to whom you should sell your products.
- SNS Messaging/Calling: Finding a source from social networking services is super effective to collect audience. By looking up on profiles, you can define a right person before conducting research. You can search different SNS platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube depending on your target customers’ preferences.
- Online Survey Tools: Like Survey Monkey, some companies provide a online survey service to help you conduct it easily. You can customize the questionnaires and answer-lists as you wish. Also you can target your preferred audience.
- Gathering Audience: By posting an event on a meet up platform such as, MeetUP, Eventbrite, and Peatix, you can hold an event to gather a focus group to get feedbacks on your products. These services are very effective to provide opportunities to connect and share the same interest.
- Visiting people: I need to say that. “This is always a great way to find a right answer for you.” Let’s visit experts to gain useful insights and visit stores and bazaars in your target area and see how people react to your competitive products. You can always obtain deep understanding from person-to-person conversation no matter how the world changes.
Secondary Research is to find data that already exists in the world. Data obtained by investigating past data such as statistical survey and corporate IR information. The secondary research works as a quantitative research. It is a great tool to know market trend and consensus among your target market.
- -Government Official Site: Your local government official often open sources of information about population transition in your target area, also showing their demographic data such as age, sex, income, family status, and so on.
- Economic Journals: Economic Journals are also very useful method for collecting market consensus. Nowadays, most of the journals are willing to open their articles online so you can easily access to the numbers you need.
The secondary research is so useful to find where and how to go on your business journey, you still need to keep in mind that the statistic only work as a pointer. Just as weather forecasts are not always hit, the statistics are only forecasts for the near future. It is important to conduct both of the research effectively to find the right target for your business.
Where to start?
As you are about to start an online store, a recommended way is that you do the secondary research first to capture overall market size and trends. After conducting the secondary research and understand the field, you should take a primary research to narrow your target and differentiate your service to others.
Lastly, please keep in mind that market research is useful not only for the beginning stage of business planning, but also you should keep conducting to check if your business is on a right track at any phase of your activities. If the market climate changes, you gotta adjust to it quickly to survive in your battlefield. Market research would always help you to predict a market condition and to choose a right decision making.