How many times have you heard that you need to conduct market research? It sounds really cool and official, but what does it even mean? Today, I’m going to break it all down so you can understand it in a way that actually makes sense for your handmade business.
Let’s start with the very basics and define market research. Marketing research is gathering research about consumer needs and preferences.
So basically, you are just trying to figure out what the heck your customers even want.
Cool, now how do we do that?
The first way is to pay close attention to what your target audience is buying. Is there anything that they are going ga-ga over? This can be a color, pattern, shape, texture – whatever is relevant to your market.
You can also take a look at your shop stats to see what customers are searching for. This tells you exactly what customers are looking for within your shop.
Is anything showing up that you don’t have? Are you noticing any patterns of colors in the search terms?
For instance, say you sell baby clothes and you see “lavender baby romper” show up a few times in your search results. This may be a pretty good indicator that you need to either add this option to your shop or add more options if you only have one or two available.
Another great way to conduct market research is to look at what people in your market are posting on social media. People tend to share things that they are excited about on social media, so here’s one way you could do this….
Find a hashtag or hashtags that are relevant to your audience on Instagram and click the follow button. For example, you might want to follow #momlife for the mom crowd. This way you aren’t just following a specific person, you are following everyone who posts under the hashtag. Then, just keep an eye on what is popular within those posts – again, you are looking for common patterns, colors, shapes, possibly animals (i.e., llamas and unicorns) if that’s something you incorporate into your designs, hopefully you get the idea.
So, to wrap-up: market research comes down to taking the time to understand the wants and needs of your target audience. There’s lots of ways to go about this, but the best way to do this is to pay attention to what your audience is currently buying which can be done through your shop stats and social media.
Knowing and understanding your audience is vitally important to knowing what to create for your customers, so be sure not to overlook this part of the product line creation process.