How to Understand your Target E-commerce Market

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is a Target Market?

A target market is a group of consumers most likely to buy a company’s products or services, hence a sound marketing strategy would be to focus on this market.

You need to identify the people who really want or need what you’re offering. You must have a cohesive answer to the question, ‘What problem are you trying to solve’?

Why define a target market?

Well, how can you market effectively unless you do not know who you’re marketing to? Different products appeal differently to different people. Some consumers may have absolutely no need for your products. It is a futile attempt to try and sell to those consumers.

Every business has a “target market.” How well you can define it, would determine success or failure for your e-commerce business.

Knowing your product well is of utmost importance in identifying your e-commerce market. What pain-point does your product address? How does it benefit your customers?

  • Figure out the need for your product.
  • Focus on the problems it can solve.
  • Refine your target market.
  • Focus on who has brought your products and services.

Understanding your target e-commerce market

  • Use available data

If you are an established business, you will have invaluable data available. Data is as good as the analysis you make of it. Do not start from a clean slate, use the information you have.

Who are your existing customers? The demographics, are they stay at home dads, pumpkin-spiced latte sipping millennials, gov-ed organisations, shopping centres or corporate offices?

While detailed information into income groups or age may be difficult to obtain, gender and location, the two most important factors, should be easy to access. Location is crucial to your SEO efforts.

This information can also be insightful in creating a buyer persona and establishing the type of people who buy from you. Base all your predictions on data and not assumptions.

Customer feedback forms and customer surveys are an excellent way of getting information from your existing customers.

  • Create buyer personas

Visualise your potential customer based on the data collected. Try to be as specific as you can. Creating a detailed buyer persona will aid you to make educated marketing decisions. Understanding your potential customers’ age and gender is only skimming the surface, you need to get deeper into the demographics and psychographics.

Demographics are statistical factors that affect the buying decisions of the customers.

For example:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • Marital or family status
  • Occupation
  • Ethnic background

Psychographics are more in-depth factors that influence how customers think when they make a purchase or take a decision.

Some examples of psychographics include:

  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviours
  • Lifestyle preferences
  • Personal values
  • Emotions
  • Preference and personal taste
  • Ideologies about purchasing and behaviour
  • Evaluate your competitors

Analyse your competitors to see what is and what isn’t working for them.

A few questions you must ask:

  • How are they positioned in the market?
  • What products are their customers buying from them?
  • What is their pricing strategy and how much are customers willing to pay?
  • What are their reviews on social media?
  • Which social media channels are they active on?
  • Who are their followers?

Based on the data collected, you may not want to go after the same market, or you may find ways to fill the gaps left by your competitor’s weaknesses and capitalise on that market.

  • Review your business plan

Once you have a better idea of your e-commerce target audience, go over your business plan and review it.

Your e-commerce target market should benefit from your products and truly appreciate its existence? What drives their decision-making process and how often they can afford to make purchases from you?

Answers to these questions will help you identify your target audience and create a business strategy based on figures and data.

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