How do I research the market

to go: Tip to go: market research made easy

Tip to go: market research made easy

There are tons of options and tools for market analysis - from free and simple to professional and paid. For a simple research start, it is advisable to first fall back on free, but nevertheless powerful means. Google offers a whole set of tools with which you can determine both sales potential and the market price situation.

Determine the search volume
To analyze whether products are requested on the Internet - and if so, how often - it helps to research the corresponding search volume. This gives an impression of the potential that a certain range has on the Internet. The easy-to-use, free Google Keyword Planner from the search engine market leader Google makes it possible to determine the average search volume per month for different terms - for market analysis, i.e. for generic terms, product names or brands.

Recognize trends and seasonal effects
In addition, it is crucial not only to know what is being searched for and how often, but also when it is being searched for, even during operation. For example, to estimate when the demand for certain items is likely to be highest. Especially when entering online trading, there is usually no empirical data as to which month the demand for certain products will be highest. However, this information is crucial in order to be able to stock up on stock goods in good time - and also to plan marketing campaigns accurately.

The Google tool “Insights for Search” provides the answers. Various filters can be set here, which allow a temporal, local and thematic limitation of the search behavior.

Research market prices
Anyone who competes with others - and today, even with an absolute niche strategy, there is hardly any online trade that is completely free of competition - must know their competition very well. For this purpose, it makes sense to use a matrix to compare the competitor's offers according to quality, prices, product presentation and compliance with customer requirements. For the prices, both the current market price and the cheapest price in each case should be included in this comparison.

The cheapest price must be kept in mind - but for your own calculation it is less important than the market price. Because while there will always be someone who - for a variety of reasons - offers at least one product from their own range at a lower price, the market price is an important indicator of the sales price that can usually be achieved.

Since it is impractical to sift through all the thousands of offers available on the web individually, one should concentrate on a few price search engines when researching, for example on Google Shopping or one of the major price search engines. So you only need one research source to determine the prices of many retailers.

Determine sales figures
For every retailer - and especially for prospective customers - the most interesting market data is real sales figures in the form of sales price and sales. Companies have established themselves on the Internet that offer a professional analysis of marketplace transactions, sales figures and success rates. The number of sales processed there is immense and the amount of the associated sales continues to rise. The sales figures determined should therefore give good indications of the general market situation, so that the findings can usually be applied to the entire online business.

For the eBay marketplace, for example, tools like Terapeak can be used to determine how high the optimal price for a product is, on which day the product is sold at the best price and which quantities are sold in a certain period of time. In addition, so-called Top10 lists for various key figures are usually included, as well as various trend reports.

Identify popular products
Interesting conclusions can also be drawn from the so-called Top10 product lists. These are certainly often found in the online shops of competitors. However, it should not always be guaranteed that these are actually their top products. Possibly these are just "bum" products or products with high stock availability. However, this can certainly be determined easily with the appropriate range of know-how.

Nevertheless, it seems better to rely on supposedly more reliable sources that also have a broader database. Marketplaces and price portals are particularly suitable for this. What many online retailers do not know: these platforms often offer corresponding product lists for their end customers. Since these are publicly accessible, these lists can of course also be used by dealers. Some of the providers even provide their retail customers with detailed product evaluations, such as a research by the shop provider to go-Editing revealed.

In the following Tip to go: Free market research at marketplaces and price portals We not only present where research is particularly worthwhile, but also which platforms support your retail customers.

Observation of the competitors enables a variety of insights
Regular observation of the 3-5 most important competitors not only allows conclusions to be drawn about the current market prices, but also for your own product range: Have new products or brands been added to the range by the competition, which marketing channels are used, how is the positioning in the market? Are products specifically advertised in the online shop - are they finished products or presumably well-performing products?

The following points should also be checked at least once on the websites of the various competitors:

  • Does an expensive dealer possibly offer special services or advice?
  • Is a low-cost provider perhaps characterized by a particularly loveless web design?
  • Or is one of the competitors not or only rarely available at the phone number given in the imprint during normal business hours?
  • Can advice be given to the competitor on the products?

Conclusion: As a rule, a monthly look at the tools and websites presented is sufficient to gain valuable knowledge for purchasing, marketing and pricing.

The text on hand comes from the first edition of the free online retailer magazine shophaben to go. The complete edition with all articles can be downloaded here free of charge as a PDF file.

Please note: The original article in the magazine may contain helpful graphics, images or charts that are not shown here.

Peter Höschl has been working in internet trading since 1997, is considered an e-commerce expert and has extensive practical experience. He is the author of several specialist books and a variety of specialist articles on all aspects of online business. Today he mainly advises and supports medium-sized companies in e-commerce.