We here at ecomdash spend a lot of time sharing ways our readers can increase their sales by making changes in the way they run their business. You could spend time improving the photography on your website or following our inventory management tips, but it’s all in vain if you are selling to the wrong target market.
Being able to identify and sell to your market is a vital ability. In a Huffington Post survey, 72% of businesses stated that they have a difficult time finding their target market online. It’s the common cold of ecommerce. What can you do to cure it? Investing time into finding your target market will help you be more focused and effective in your marketing, and ultimately receive a better return on your investment.
Our team put together five tips that can help you find that target customer base with ease.
1. Look For Trends
You don’t have to play hide and seek with your target market. What if they’re already right under your nose? Often times, your most profitable block of customers is hidden somewhere in your current customer base.
Your product could be a hit among older women, or college-aged males, or young professionals in hip cities. You could miss out on sales by not actively courting those buyers.
One effective way to find demographics is with Google Analytics, a freemium analytic service that is provided by Google to track your website traffic. Web activity is a great way for your business to gain insight on your customers. Google Analytics’ audience reports tool can provide you with information on your customer demographics and location. You can also discover what demographic spends the most money with your company, your first step in zeroing in on that demographic.
2. Go In-depth
If you find that you can’t pinpoint your target market through your current customer base or would like to target a different group than the one you currently sell to, then you need to go deeper. Ask yourself some driving questions.
Who will benefit the most from your products or services?
It is nice to think that you can be helpful to anyone, but that’s not usually a feasible goal for a business. Think about who would find your product useful in their everyday life.
Will selling to this group help you achieve your goals?
If you have a particular financial goal or conversion goal in mind, you need to assess if targeting this potential market will be profitable. Targeting new mothers between the ages of 25-30 in Alaska who want green parkas for their babies might be a market that is too small to pay back your marketing efforts.
What does this niche struggle with?
People buy in order to solve problems. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think more deeply about the problem they are trying to solve. If you know what your customers are struggling with, it’s easier to relate to them and communicate your product’s value.
What are they passionate about?
Passion is a powerful tool to leverage when selling. Once you appeal to your target market’s passions and interests, you make them want to purchase the product. A customer who is eager to buy is more likely to stick around and become a repeat customer.
Can they afford your product/service?
Don’t price yourself out of your target market. Young adults with disposable income can spend more than new parents. Considering pricing in tandem with your target market is an effective way to not only attract customers, but to maintain them throughout the sales process.
3. Go Social
A report from Pew Research Center states that over 60% of people living in the U.S. are using social media on a daily basis. Over 180 million people message friends over Facebook, follow the news on Twitter, and scroll through selfies on Instagram. Social media is no longer a “savvy” or “trendy” business tool. It’s a necessity. Learning which social media site your target audience calls home is paramount to success. For instance, 8 out of 10 moms use Pinterest. If you’re targeting this market, you need to be on Pinterest.
Quick tips on how to use social media to sell to your target market
- Find out where your potential market likes to hang out online. Not everyone is on Facebook. Take advantage of Pinterest and live-streaming sites like Periscope and YouTube.
- Research hashtags used in your ecommerce niche. What are people saying about your industry?
- Get familiar with words or acronyms that are popular in your industry.
4. Ask Away
It can be tiring to research on your own about your potential target market. One method to get a look at the psychographics of your target market is to ask them yourself. It’s a little old school, but it works.
Here are some great ways to foster those conversations
- Start discussion threads on forums.
- Ask students who major in areas related to your industry.
- Research professionals or experts in your niche.
- Meet people through trade shows and other networking events.
- Call or stop by local businesses in your ecosystem.
5. Check Competitors
Who are your competitors targeting and who are their current customers? Instead of going after the same market as them, you may find a niche market that they are overlooking. Sometimes a touchdown pass can come from busted coverage. What gaps have your competitors left open? There’s profit in those gaps that’s yours for the taking.
Think about the ways in which your product or service differs. Obviously, you believe your product is superior. Make sure you are communicating that to their customers. If those consumers discover that they are being underserved in a way that they wouldn’t be with your product, you may have just discovered a new target market.
Finding your target market is no easy task. You need to first understand your current customer base and your goals. Then, you need to look deeply into your market’s wants, needs, passions, and habits.
You must do all of this while ensuring that your business stays profitable. Sounds tiring, right? Most worthwhile ventures are. But with these tips, you can begin the process of making your product and your customers a match made in heaven.