A lot of companies that often fail in the eCommerce world ignore the step zero, i.e. market research. They do spend quality of time in building their audience or selling/promoting their products but don’t really bother to do a constructive research before taking the calculative risk to prepare few backup plans according to the situations that can arise.
It’s not a bad thing when companies try to satisfy their business needs and try everything in their context to expand their horizon, which includes marketing the business on the different platform even if the business isn’t ready or set up or completing focusing on the platform.
You might think that the first step is the right way to market your product. It’s not. That’s an illusion to live in. The first step is just promoting your business online and offline, but you don’t know the market and what tools you need to fully accelerate your advertising bandwagon to yield better results.
If you are serious about your business, please start researching for better output produced in the future. In layman’s term, if you have a better idea, you start with the research. Without research, it looks like you are trying to escape the dense forest visited first time that no one has even done. You will need a compass to seek the direction and a handy manual to get the signs that can guide your way out. It all starts with research because it paints the picture on the canvas regarding the important things that your eCommerce store might need to have a right amount of propulsion to stand out from the crowd with the eyes of the potential customers/shoppers glued on it.
A lot of entrepreneurs often come up with an idea or ideas and they start developing them. They instantly make social media accounts and develop a website to start promoting it. Only a few of them actually pause the thoughts that keep striking their heads and gain over the temptation to run the business, no matter the result.
What do they? They research to have the best results produced in a given amount of time and understand not only the market but also the human psychology to prepare their business model around the given circumstances.
Identify your Market
Before you run your business, it’s a good notion to identify your market as much as possible as it can. Many amateurs businesses trying to roast the market; i.e., they try to cover the whole market and think that whatever comes from it will actually help them in the long run. The effect is called TAM – Total Available Market.
When you are new and haven’t run or worked on big projects, it’s better to go for SAM – Serviceable Available Market. In this phase, you can serve people in reality and can offer them your services by understanding their needs and portraying the scenario that lures them the most.
There’s even a refiner and even smaller segment called SOM – Serviceable Obtainable Market. In this market segment, you can not only serve the customers but also obtain them.
Starting with your Ideal Customer
Now in the research phase, searching the ideal customer and developing the customer persona on it is imperative. The best way is to knowing your ideal customers, and start developing customer person. I have covered the topic in-depth that can act as the lamp in the dark and help you to understand the real importance of doing customer segmentation and analyzing the market.
What if you build your audience first?
As discussed earlier many times in the post, this scenario happens with the most new-age entrepreneurs that are trying to break the shell without learning the rules and try to formulate their own policies and business agendas. Their habits are molded in a concrete that often derails their marketing campaign, which causes distress and makes them pay heavily by seeing the face of failure in the end.
Mostly when businesses don’t do research, or spend quality time (weeks or months) in the research phase, and start developing content, they develop in-depth articles that underline every important fact of the product and try to build a considerable audience to help them in the buying journey. If the things go well, you end up building a good audience interested in your product and even buy from you.
A lot of Bloggers are earning in millions yearly through their content enriched videos that educate and have different entertaining elements to glue the views on their seats. Now entrepreneurs know that they can become popular by doing this and can even sell their products. There are many YouTubers that are consistently selling T-shirts, pillows, and mousepads etc.
It might work for very small businesses that target teenagers without really developing the customer persona. They do marketing mostly through their videos, and if the video stops giving good content, their business is overshadowed by audacity committed by the angry audience that buys from them when they get entertained.
Nowadays, it’s becoming too common for large corporations to start developing their audience base prior doing the market research. How can someone build a successful market base when he doesn’t know what the audience is missing and what solutions it needs to the problems unsolved and answers to the questions unanswered.
Instead of doing it, try developing your business for the content marketing phase. It needs extensive research to influence the targeted audience.
Things you can do to develop customer persona to use in the business research
• Asking the targeted audience to fill the questionnaire. However, the questionnaire prepared covers the topic in-depth and gives a room to the participants to answer the questions without hesitation.
• You can ask your followers to take part in a quiz addressing their problems to offer them solution when they finish the quiz.
• Writing customer stories on your portal, on different social media handles and sharing it with the others. When others will engage with the content, you will understand how common the problem is and why you need to work on it that seriously needs someone’s attention. You can be the first to doing so.
• There are many writers, filmmakers and other artists that ask the opinion of their trusted people when they create a new piece of art/craft. It helps them to rework the areas that need their attention. Many successful filmmakers such as Peter Jackson ask advice of his team to tweak the screenplay and make changes in the film to win the love of the audience and to perform better at the global box office. You can follow such guidelines and ask the constructive criticism of your chosen audience for the demo product.