Here at Metacake, we’re always coming up with new ideas. We even have a division called Metacake Labs, where we research, test, and validate new ideas to our hearts’ content.

If you’re considering building an ecommerce website, that means you have an idea, too, and you’re confident you can make money off it. But before you hire a web designer, it’s imperative to conduct ecommerce market research.

At the highest level, ecommerce market research will tell you how much time you should spend on a project. On a more granular level, it can guide your strategy by answering questions and validating or invalidating your assumptions.


Ecommerce Market Research Defines Your ‘Why’

If you’re building an ecommerce brand, start your market research by determining whether your idea is original. Search for similar products using different keywords that describe what it is or what it does.

Your idea doesn’t have to be unique. Market research can help you determine if you can succeed by creating a better product than a competitor or targeting a different audience.

If someone else is selling a similar product, ask yourself:

  • Are they doing well? Why are they doing well? What is it about the customer experience that motivates people to buy?
  • Are they doing it poorly? Why? Is there a problem with product quality, customer service, marketing? Are they targeting the wrong audience?

If you have an idea that nobody else is using, don’t assume you’re a genius just yet. Determine why nobody else is using it. Your ecommerce market research should answer the following questions:

  • Has someone else tried this idea before and failed?
  • Did they determine it couldn’t succeed, or did they lack the resources to execute the idea?

Ecommerce Market Research Defines Costs and Strategy

Ecommerce market research should define your costs and go-to-market strategy. Ask yourself:

  • How much will your idea cost to develop?
  • Are you marketing and pre-selling an existing product, or are you still in the design and prototyping phase of something brand new?
  • How will you find customers? How do similar businesses find customers?

Developing and marketing a product costs money. Market research helps you understand the variables that may affect your website, product offerings, and marketing strategy and how they’ll affect your cost structure and business model.

The more data you gather during your market research, the more reliable your projections will be.

Ecommerce Market Research Develops Your Brand Story

When you start to consider names for your ecommerce site and products, conduct market research to make sure nobody else is already using them.

Investigate available domain names and look for a few strong options. You can also search for trademarks and patents registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Once you settle on a name and purchase your domain, you can start building your brand message. Reference your market research to:

  • Explain how your product makes people’s lives better or easier
  • Differentiate your product
  • Clarify what you want your products and your ecommerce website to mean to people
  • Determine how your products and website should make people feel

Everybody loves a great story, and ecommerce market research can help you tell one that motivates people to buy.


Ecommerce Market Research Tips

Be sure to document your ideas and keep your market research organized. Take notes, record conversations, and store information in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere.

Need help developing your idea for an ecommerce website? Contact us for a free consultation. We’d love to help get your ecommerce market research off the ground, and interpret the results for your brand.

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