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A Complete Guide to Market Research For Your Indian eCommerce Brand

India is swiftly on its course to become one of the world's largest economic powerhouses in the coming years. And, with a population that is roughly four times that of the United States, it is no surprise that India, like China, is an attractive market for global businesses.

However, as large and complicated as India's growth potential is, so are the problems merchants have in gaining a clear handle on the inclinations of Indian customers. But no one said understanding the aspirations and desires of 1.3 billion citizens of a country with 22 official languages would be easy.

The lesson here is that we should not presume we know what our clients want. Instead, we should base our conclusions on both quantitative and qualitative research. Furthermore, we should strive to comprehend the market as a whole, particularly the competitive environment and developing trends. Fortunately, all of this has never been simpler since anybody can now perform market research of the most extensive sort.

What is the function of online market analysis?

Proper online market research necessitates both time and money. However, allocating such funds to eCommerce research makes perfect sense for the reasons listed:

Improve your understanding of the consumer

Knowing your target audience is essential for developing fresh product ideas, devising a strong marketing plan, and writing copy that converts. eCommerce identities also assist in ensuring that you are referring specifically to the client’s requirements and meeting all of their expectations. Remember - analyzing the demographic characteristics of your target group is vital, but it is not sufficient in and of itself. You should grasp who your target consumers are and what customers perceive, feel, and value. Online consumer research, mainly qualitative market research, may assist you in delving into the organization and drive purchases.

Recognize customer behavior

Analyzing your target clients’ purchases online may help you enhance your platform's functionality and give a better consumer experience. Each point of resistance in the buyer's journey lowers customer happiness and raises the probability of cart abandonment, missing upsells, or missing retention opportunities. Online market analysis may assist you in identifying issues of contention and typical deal-breakers. Then, apply this newfound knowledge to enhance gross margins, simplify usability, and enhance product identification.

Look for new growth opportunities

There are several eCommerce business options available that can help your company succeed:

  • Introduction of new products

  • Cross-border transactions

  • Membership services

  • Or even new market opportunities

Doing online business research to understand market data might assist you in identifying opportunities that are hiding in the shadows.

A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis looks at your internal strengths and weaknesses, and your external opportunities and threats within the market.

SWOT analysis highlights direct areas of opportunity your company can continue, build, focus on, and work to overcome.

Data Analysis Methodologies

The concept of doing an "eCommerce market survey" may seem easy. However, when it comes to achieving success, you just need to learn business research methods. Here are the popular methods -

Conduct primary research

Primary data is the process of collecting data (on your own) using your resources. Here are three ways in which you can do that -

  • Online polls and inquiries

  • In-depth questionnaires

  • Focus group discussions conducted online

In other words, using original research, you gather information and then analyze it to obtain meaningful and useful information.

Conduct secondary research

Secondary research makes use of data and ideas generated by someone else. Here are the different sources of secondary information -

  • Information from the Public Sector Departments: For instance, if you work in medicine, the National Center for Health Statistics might be a great source of information.

  • Industry Statistics: Statista is an excellent starting point for understanding more about a specific market. The Big Four management accountants also do a significant amount of unique industry research.

  • Industry News: HubSpot, for instance, offers an overall "State of Marketing Survey" in which they disclose their online sales research and offer an overview of the most recent business strategies.

Many market research companies work extensively as market business research companies. If you are not tight on budget, you may consult them.

How and when to undertake an online market survey?

Evaluating the target audiences, market circumstances, and competitors requires deep market research. Here are the different steps involved in conducting an online market survey -

Perform keyword analysis

Search Engine Optimisation may assist you in determining whether or not there is a demand for the goods you wish to offer online. Although large search numbers do not imply that the product's concept is profitable, they suggest genuine customer interest. Furthermore, keyword research is essential when developing an inbound marketing plan since it helps you find their potential in a search engine.

The following are some of the most popular free keyword planners:

  • Google Keyword Planner

  • Keyword Researcher

  • Ubersuggest

Paid tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush give businesses even more in-depth information.

Examine the industry

Monitoring the rivals may teach you a lot about a market, so figure out who your biggest competitors are and investigate them. It is important to note that even if you are conducting eCommerce consumer research, one should not solely look at eCommerce firms.

LARQ, for example, offers water bottles online, but they also compete with online marketplaces and specialized internet retailers. Justin Wang, the founder of LARQ, conducted thorough market research before starting the company to ensure no direct rival is present with the same service.

Once you've identified the top players in your business, you should investigate their:

  • Business model: You need to find answers to questions like - How do they get their products? Are they drop shippers, or do they have inventory? Do they make use of third-party logistical (3PL)? What are their prices? What is the business marketing campaign? What is the company's refund policy? Make a list of all the answers

  • Sales funnel: Find answers to questions like - How do they entice potential buyers to visit their website (digital marketing, affiliate marketers, SEO, and so on)? How do they turn site visitors into subscribers? Do they try to upsell? Is it possible to cross-sell? Downsizing? Do they automatically send empty cart email addresses? You might want to look over their complete sales funnel to see what is being put out.

  • Website: Understand what kind of online marketplace do they use? How long does it take to load their website? Is their internet store's design consultant? What components of branding do they employ? What is their checking flow (number of stages, amount of field forms, etc.)? Do they, on the whole, deliver a satisfactory service?

Investigate emerging research

When conducting product research for eCommerce, you should constantly consider the most recent customer trends. Use Google Trends to find them. Here are two things to ask while conducting internet market analysis:

  • Is enthusiasm in this product decreasing, steady, or increasing?

  • Is this item's popularity transitory, or does it last all year?

Simply enter an applicable term and select a time frame.

Make use of social media

One can find consumer information in abundance on social media. It's where individuals air their grievances, desires, interests, and aspirations. To locate those nuggets of information, though, you must embark on a deep dive. To prevent falling too far down the internet rabbit hole, limit your internet marketing research to:

  • Influencers in your sector: Examine their perspectives, dialogues, and previous brand connections

  • Keep an eye out for related hashtags: Determine the most relevant hashtags for your items and make it a practice to watch them regularly

  • Examine the feelings of your competitors: Keep an eye out for what others are discussing about your competitors

Create an online eCommerce business to gauge the reaction

There comes a moment when it is necessary to transition from theory to practice. Once you've gathered enough information, put your business concept to test by pitching it to the market. In the end, the only thing that matters is the attitude of the targeted audience. So here is how you do it -

  • Choose an eCommerce site: Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, and more popular alternatives are available. Conduct your study and select the finest option for your needs.

  • Create your e-commerce webpage: You'll need to figure out website design, copywriting, and PPC advertising. You may do it all yourself or engage agency partnerships to assist you.

  • Increase the number of people who visit your online marketplace: SEO, content marketing, and social networking sites are all excellent long-term techniques that take time to implement.

Make use of forums and client feedback

Niche internet forums provide another avenue for learning about your client's inclinations. Do all the right steps to obtain the best helpings:

  • Determine which internet forums are the most prevalent in your industry.

  • Register for them and return frequently.

  • Participate in the debates to increase your reputation.

Gauge the competitiveness of your business by utilizing Porter’s Five Forces analysis. It helps you become more observant of the space you move around in, allowing you to make sound decisions for your brand. The tool is meant to maximize profitability by providing a clear picture of the environment, going beyond the behavior and activities of competing companies. The major factors to identify are competitive rivalry, supplier power,  buyer power, the threat of substitution, and the threat of new entry. By naming these, you can arrive at a proper strategy and assess long-term goals.

Basic rules to follow while conducting a market research

Structure your research well.

Your research's effectiveness can be improved by following a proper structure. For example, if you are conducting primary research, keep the survey simple and short. This will help respondents to complete the survey genuinely. Studies show that eight minutes is the maximum time one should take to complete a survey.

Easy to interpret questions will help you reach a much large audience. Also, most of the users these days tend to answer the survey through mobile devices. So try avoiding description-type questions. Also, never have one open-ended question following another. Keep them spread across the survey to get proper answers from the survey takers.

Use the right scales to conduct surveys

9 out of 10 surveys will have a question where people are asked to rate the quality of a product or their eCommerce experience. Collecting such data is important for knowing the overall performance of your business. Such data is often collected in one of these two ways:

  • Semantic scale: very good, good, average, bad, very bad, etc.

  • Numeric scale: ranging from 1-10 with 1 being bad to 10 being best.

Out of these two approaches, it is found that the first approach has shown better results. This is because people perceive numbers differently. For example, an average performance can be weighed as 5 by one person while 7 by another. So having semantic scales makes it easier to keep the surveys uniform.

Talk to the right audience

Rember India is a diverse country, and researching a large sample of people can greatly improve your research output. On the flip side, planning your research on the wrong target audience can turn catastrophic to your research.

The first thing to keep in mind is to find the right target audience for your research. It could be people purchasing products from eCommerce websites or people who purchase a specific category of products. Whoever you talk to, ensure that you choose people who have a rich eCommerce history. There is little use if you conduct your research on people who are very new to the market. Pick people who are avid users of eCommerce or people who are part of the eCommerce industry.

Traditions must be respected while conducting the research

Before beginning a research study in India, one must examine a variety of cultural factors. For starters, having a female interviewer is always beneficial when evaluating female responders. This is done to make respondents feel at ease with their comments, especially if the study involves a house visit or critical feminine issues.

Another factor to consider is religious beliefs. Religious beliefs always have a major effect on people’s opinions. Any nationwide survey on Indian respondents should be religiously diverse.

Keep tracking your ROI

Market research is not cheap. Researching and getting different layers of data will often cost a lot. Also, as the number of respondents rises, so does the cost. Analyzing these data requires various tools and resources, which also costs money.

Unfortunately, some businesses spend money on a lot of resources that might not add significant value. Keep track of the expenses you incur daily. Compare it regularly with the value that the research results will provide. If, at any point, you think the ROI is not up to the standards, take a pause and identify and remove all the unwanted resources.

Don't depend heavily on technical surveys all the time

When dealing with the Indian market, don’t be heavily dependent on digital data. India has probably the lowest per capita number of internet users in the world. Even if there is access to the internet, it is not necessarily dependable. Outages in data connectivity and power are regular events that interrupt surveys.

When it comes to access to technology, only the population in cities and towns is covered. People from rural lands are still not fully capable of taking online surveys seamlessly. So ensure that your research has a good mix of technology-dependent and traditional in-person surveys.

Be wary of scammers

In-person interviews may be a more trustworthy research approach, depending on the nature of your topic. However, since the interviewer is paid based on the number of interviews conducted or possibly due to a short time frame, they may feel pressured to rush through interviews or, worse, fabricate interviews entirely.

A 45-minute survey might easily take two hours or more to complete due to travel, wait, and screening periods. Interviewers might also want to employ invisible programming markers to capture interviewers who display a habit of "straight-lining" queries or directing the interviews toward the quickest route to accomplishment.

Analyze and reanalyze

The surveyed data should not be left idle for long and should be shared with various departments like a warehouse, sales, and HR, who can analyze this data and use it to gain their department. It is also important to combine the research data and the company data before interpreting the data.

Analyzing the data multiple times is important for strategizing your next steps. This deep analysis will also help you understand the customer's perspective and provide them with what they want instead of what you have. In other words, it will help your brand improve customer loyalty. The best part is, such deep analysis will also shed light on missing data and identify what the next survey should concentrate on.

Taking your brand to the next level with just the right partner

While these above points are a good starting point for researching in India, there will always be complexities and problems. As the economic and financial conditions inside the nation continue to vary, it is critical to collaborate with partners that are up to date on these developments to provide the most comprehensive views. If you engage the market carefully and with the utmost respect, India may provide a wealth of financial opportunities.

Powerhouse91 was created with a singular goal in mind: to assist eCommerce brands in reaching their full potential. We acquire and operate eCommerce brands and scale them up to the next level. To push these acquired merchants to the next stage, we use substantial growth capital in conjunction with our comprehensive eCommerce experience.

We are here with over 30 years of cumulative expertise in eCommerce, Marketing, Technology, and Supply Chain Management to grow your brand. We can help you overcome the obstacles your brand might face and guide you on how to solve them. We also acquire brands that have category-winning products on eCommerce marketplaces. Reach out to us to know more.

To know more, contact us now.

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