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Black Friday preparation: How to conduct market research for your e-commerce site

Black Friday preparation: How to conduct market research for your e-commerce site

As summer draws to a close and the excitement of the holiday season approaches, ecommerce brands need to start thinking about their Black Friday strategies. Conducting research early will give you insights that will provide you with more opportunities for success.

Survey your current customers

No one knows what your customers want better than they do. Your existing customer base represents an untapped source of market data. As suggested by Shopify, ecommerce stakeholders should develop surveys that seek to understand how customers feel about a brand and the products and services it offers. The information gained from a survey can help guide future decisions and mitigate risk.

To encourage a greater number of customers to participate, consider offering an incentive. For instance, you could offer a discount code to anyone who completes the survey. Make sure you tell survey takers why you're asking these questions so they understand the broader context of the survey.

Look for trends in sales data

If you're not currently analyzing your sales data for anything other than financial reporting, you're missing out on an important opportunity. Sales figures can offer so much more than a snapshot of your organization's fiscal health.

A review of your sales numbers will not only show you which products are most in demand, but also which have the potential to become more profitable. For example, if you notice that a particular item is selling well despite receiving no support from your marketing efforts, you may be able to boost sales higher by giving the product more attention on your organization's social media feeds.

Examine search trends

Google Trends is an extremely valuable tool for ecommerce, and it's completely free to use. The tool gives you the ability to track the volume of search requests for a given keyword. Then, you can compare keywords to see which is more popular. If you want, you can narrow your search to specific regions.

If you were selling shoes and wanted to know if people are more likely to search for "tennis shoes" or "sneakers", you could compare the two. Google Trends will show you which regions of the country are more likely to use one or the other.

Watch your competitors

To be fully aware of market trends, you cannot ignore your competitors. Watch them carefully to see what they have to offer and how their customers respond. Then, look for ways that you can do better. For instance, if a competitor is outspending you on marketing, you may be able to leverage your superior customer service to attract new customers. If you don't keep an eye on the competition, you won't be prepared to react if they start to go after your customers.

Once you have conducted your research, it's time to decide how you will display new merchandise. Learn more about how our membership program can help you save on display costs. Members receive 10 percent off all purchases year round. Some exclusions apply.