Your market research strategy
To create any successful buyer persona that informs your user experience you will need to complete detailed market research in your industry. Market research is defined as 'the action or activity of gathering information about consumers' needs and preferences'. Wherever you are in the business process, research and data can fuel decision making and reduce risk on investments into new product lines and staff recruitment.
There is a lot you can do as a start up to optimise your business for success, creating certainty gives you the ability to cope with rapid growth in your eCommerce business. Once you have clear brand communication on your website and marketing channels you can build relationships with your customers that lead to long term nurturing. Do you currently know where you're positioned in your industry or niche?
Brand Market Research
How does your brand name perform in search engine results pages? Do you know which of your blogs get the most impressions? Understanding your online performance leads to ongoing optimisation, capitalising on brand strength and awareness over time so that the content you add now continues to drive traffic over your website lifetime.
What industry do you operate in? Are you a purely eCommerce website or do you also have a physical store - this would require ranking locally for your brand as well as more globally.
This is one of the central pillars of research to boost your brand strategy. Direct market research into your direct competitors- do they rank for their own brand keywords? Do similar industry keywords bring up results for their brand. There are many great tools for looking at rankings within search - Brand24 as well as SEORush can be used to identify opportunities to increase volume of brand awareness.
Primary Market Research
Market research should always be started with a goal or business objective so that you can generate specific questions. Using SMART goals within research, targets your energy, freeing up time for implementing your findings.
Set your questions, the kind of things you'd really like to ask your customers, if you haven't already created a buyer persona, use this phase of research to ask a broad range of people (the more the better) to narrow your audience for more detailed brand related research.
Aims for broad primary research
It will be beneficial for you to get as many broad trends as possible, with this in mind:
- What are the age ranges of your interviewees?
- What do these people do for a living?
- What is there family status?
- Do they have any other interests and hobbies?
- Do they already buy products or services like yours?
- Are they online shoppers?
- How much might they pay for this product or service?
These questions start to frame your participants into categories that can be narrowed down to really find specifics about your customer persona. With these in mind you can position your brand where it is most likely to be found by your ideal customers.
Customer Interviews or Focus Groups
If you already have customers - that's fantastic! Looking to grow? (Isn't everybody?) In order to make your products and services even more attractive to potential customers with can interview current customers to get feedback on how to improve. Many satisfied customers can become great brand ambassadors so getting their valuable input can tailor future website content and marketing materials. Let them share with you the value they saw in your product or services?
The types of questions will therefore be more specific:
- How did you find using our website and how easy it was to find what you were looking for?
- Was there anything you didn't like about the checkout process?
- Were you happy to receive an email for a review?
- Are there any products you would like to see on our website?
- How would you recommend this product (or brand) to a friend, colleague or family member?
What do you really want to know about their experiences, could you get clues about how to nurture your current customers and offer them opportunities to buy from you again? Having direct information from your current and past customers allows you to 1. Improve the accuracy of your buyer persona and 2. improve your products and services to increase your eCommerce sales.
When we begin to understand our user experience we can create a journey that is likely to help a visitor become a customer. One objective may be around driving traffic and one may be about increase current traffic conversion, whatever your goal allow market research to set a solid foundation of data to build improvements and iterations.
Secondary market research
Secondary market research is all about using other resources to answer your business questions. In market analysis, competitor analysis and industry data we look at information that already exists, someone else has done that hard work for you.
Narrowing down things like, the number of people in the UK that fall into your likely buyer persona age range or how many people in the UK earn over an certain mount per household and therefore could afford your product. This information assists the demographic context of your ideal customer as well as the being able to seeing product trends and consumer's eCommerce behaviour.
We recommend early and direct research at the earliest opportunity in your business growth. Getting to speak to your customers and learning to talk about your brand, will strengthen your why and lead you to develop a business built for success. At every step of the journey you are asking customers and potential customers to give you feedback on how to improve, people will be telling you exactly what they want see on your website that would get them to buy from you - we don't need to guess or make assumptions - we can base it on data!
The power of the buyer persona is that it helps businesses identify their horizon, starting as a semi-fictional representation of a consumer it can be filtered and changed to match what your customers are telling you. By delivering what they want from their eCommerce experiences we turn fans into customers and create loyalty.
I am passionate about people connecting with brands they trust and love. With a fierce desire to see others succeed and upgrade their lives, which came through starting my own business and turning it into a commercial success. My role in Xune is to understand the user experience and deliver tangible results to clients with a focus on a user-friendly journey, consistent branding and modern design. My passion is enhancing user experience and helping entrepreneurs create viable startups, and I believe this means taking the time to understand the relationships that make your business tick.