Every business needs to identify its audience and find out specifically what that audience wants. Without this knowledge, brands won’t be able to cater their messaging and other content or products to them and their needs. eCommerce brands, in particular, face a lot of competition today, with many competing online businesses taking the time to conduct thorough market research.

In short, if you want your business to succeed online, market research is critical.

What Is Market Research and Why Do You Need It?

Market research involves collecting information about potential customers and their characteristics. The process begins with determining who they are, followed by figuring out what they want and need. Market research can also help pinpoint competition levels and overall market size.

By conducting this research early on, you can get a good handle on your target market and deliver content they truly like. You’ll also get a feel for your audience’s behavior and learn how to anticipate their actions based on this behavior. However, it’s important to know how to properly conduct market research to get the most from it.

How to Conduct Market Research for Your eCommerce Brand

When beginning eCommerce market research for your brand, there are several approaches you can take. Here we’ll review some specific steps to guide you through the process.

1. Start with Initial Keyword Research

One way to begin market research is to conduct some keyword research. This will help indicate if people are actively searching for your products. For example, if you’re selling frozen food products, you will want to use a keyword tool to enter some sample keywords and see what kind of volume they have.

If you can find some relevant keywords in your industry that people are entering, this could indicate that there’s a viable target market for your products.

There are numerous tools out there you can use for keyword research. A couple of cost-effective options include Google Keyword Planner and Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. If you have a larger budget, you can get more in-depth results with your searches using a tool like SEMrush.

2. Take a Look at Competitors and Trends in Your Industry

Another method to employ in your market research involves looking at what top industry players are doing. You can also identify certain trends that you may be able to take advantage of in your efforts.

You can look directly at competitors and how they’re marketing to audiences. They may also have a level of visible engagement on social media and other platforms like YouTube. Additionally, look at industry reports and other media to get a better sense of what’s trending in your industry. For instance, in the food market, more and more people are turning to vegan options, including vegan frozen foods. A tool like Google Trends can further help identify what’s popular in your market.

3. Build a Customer Persona

The next step will be to paint a picture of your target customer. Think about the ideal person you want to sell to and build your marketing around that individual. You may also have multiple types of customers you want to target based on specific demographics, psychographics, and behaviors.

You can begin to research your target market by conducting surveys of existing or potential customers. Surveys offer a great way to gain some insight into what people want or need. Be sure to offer some type of reward for completing surveys, such as discounts or free points. This will encourage more people to complete them while generating honest answers.

Your customer persona will take into account what your customer is like, including details such as occupation, lifestyle, age, and other traits. This hypothetical customer will then help guide your marketing efforts, including your messaging, content, and even the types of products you offer.

4. Use Social Media 

You need to make full use of social media to reach your audiences. This will be one of the most integral channels in connecting with potential customers.

You can use multiple strategies on platforms from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and TikTok. Some ideas include:

  • Keeping track of industry hashtags that you can connect to your products and brand
  • Following and connecting with influencers in your niche, including micro-influencers who are popular in specific markets
  • Looking at what competitors are doing on the platforms you use and looking for any gaps in the market that you might be able to fill

By getting active on social media, you’ll have the chance to gain heavy exposure for your business while engaging your target audiences.

5. Measure Your Website’s Success

After conducting market research and gathering sufficient information about your audience, you can launch your website and track its success. Google Analytics and other similar platforms can help you keep track of user behavior on your website.

Based on what you find, you can then start optimizing your website or marketing to yield even better results. Looking at metrics like site visits, conversion rates, and cart abandonment rates, you’ll get a good idea of how well your site is performing.

You can also look at customer reviews, including on- and off-site reviews. Depending on what people are saying, you might find ways to further improve your offerings or make changes to your website content.

If you set some specific goals and continually track your site’s performance, you’ll be able to gradually improve it as your business grows.

Conduct Market Research to Achieve the Success You Want

When launching an eCommerce business, market research is among the most important steps to take to get off to a great start. Taking the right steps will help you identify your ideal customer and give you the chance to speak more directly to them.

For more guidance as you grow your eCommerce business, turn to Gray Growth Logistics. We can help put your business in the right direction with top-tier consulting services.