Target Market: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Target Market: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

What is the Target Market? How to Choose a Target E-Commerce Market?


If you are thinking of opening a new e-commerce site or if you want to diversify your existing service area/product groups, then you should decide which market your potential customers are in. This decision may be to target a whole market, or you can target a specific part of the target market you choose.

Targeting the right market with your products will be one of the most important introductory studies for your business's success. The work you need to do for this discovery is target market research.

What is the Target Market? What is Target Market Definition?

It is only possible for your e-commerce site to appeal to "everyone" if your product range is extremely wide. In cases where your product range is narrow, appealing to a specific audience is one of the main factors that will increase profitability.

Target market; It consists of all potential customer groups that may be closely interested in your product groups on your e-commerce site, are more likely to make a purchase, and that you would like to address directly for your brand.

By definition, the target market is a term that allows to be specific rather than generalizing. Therefore, it is important to adopt this definition when starting on e-commerce. If you know the characteristics of the group you will target in your marketing strategy, you can draw a more efficient and accurate roadmap.

 Choosing your target market is included in the segmentation - targeting - brand positioning triangle during the marketing strategy creation phase, and you need to do serious work on this.

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What is E-Commerce Target Market Selection?

Determining the target market in e-commerce is the act of determining the target audience to which you will market your products and services, depending on certain strategies. When you determine the target market, you can see the status of your potential competitors, estimate the profitability rate and discover the products and services needed in this field.

In addition, when you make your target market selection, you can focus on the wishes and needs of the audience in the group you have determined and your positioning strategies in the eyes of your target audience.

In other words; the Selection of the target audience paves the way for you to determine the strategies for your target audience directly in the product, price, and promotion steps in the marketing mix.

What are the Target Market Selection Strategies in E-Commerce?

Before determining a target market for your e-commerce site, you need to determine the path you will follow in this process. The target market you choose and the processes of positioning your brand are also related to each other. Therefore, thinking about the future can help you take the right steps. We can talk about 4 different accepted strategies for target market selection.

1. Whole Market (Undifferentiated Marketing) Strategy.

All market strategy focuses on perceiving the target market as a whole. E-commerce sites that want to reach the widest possible network usually employ this strategy. It is effective in markets where there are masses that sell standard product groups and do not seek significant quality differences in products.

IKEA is one of the companies that use the undifferentiated marketing strategy.

Read Article: IKEA's Marketing Strategy and Success Secrets.

Since this strategy focuses on the target market as a whole, you can only work with a marketing strategy. This can provide an advantage in terms of cost savings. 

However, although this strategy targets the entire market, it may not be possible to reach/dominate all of this field. Because the number of competitors is high, the market share may decrease. 

That's why we recommend making sure that it's workable for your business before deciding on an entire market strategy.

2. Multi-Market (Differential Marketing) Strategy.

In a multi-market strategy, it is preferable to focus on parts and select multiple segments, i.e. multiple target markets, for which product sources are available. As each target market is segmented, different products and marketing methods can be developed.

It is especially effective in markets with product groups where price variability is possible. With this strategy, it is possible to reach a stronger position in the e-commerce market and to reach high sales figures.

If we take the Nike brand, it was a brand that only sold sports shoes, but started to sell sports t-shirts, shorts, socks, and even accessories. The important thing here is to be in the same sector and to be able to address different needs.

3. Single Market (Concentrated Marketing) Strategy.

A single market strategy requires concentrating on only one segment of the segmented market and that segment is considered the target market. It is an effective method that helps e-commerce sites that want to gain the upper hand in the target market reach a selected audience for this purpose.

Marketing methods are developed and applied for people who will be interested in products in the same class.

Although it is possible to become stronger against competitors with this strategy, competition - and risks in the same direction - may increase. For example, an e-commerce site that sells cosmetics is applying an intensified marketing strategy if it only sells products of "cruelty-free" brands that do not test on animals in any way. 

His focus on only one point within the cosmetics industry can be explained in this way.

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4. Niche Market (Narrow Slice Marketing) Strategy.

The niche market strategy focuses on the smallest unit of the target market. It is the marketing of one or a series of products that can meet the specific needs of a specific group. As a result of the smaller segments each time, gaps are found in the market and these gaps are filled with new products and services.

Niche market gaps are often found in target market segments that large-scale e-commerce sites do not find worth entering or because they are new. In the beginning, the number of competitors is small and the profit margin is very high. But over time, competitors can multiply rapidly, and the risk increases.

Therefore, e-commerce sites that implement this strategy mostly operate in more than one niche market. For the strategy to be successful, it is necessary to collect data continuously, analyze the collected data and diversify the products.

How to Do Target Market Research for E-Commerce Sites?

There are some data sets you should consider when doing target market research for your e-commerce site. By focusing on the sectors you want to serve and the groups that are likely to be related to your product resources, you can find the most accurate target market you can turn to. 

At this point, market research methods are divided into two main groups as primary and secondary. Companies generally evaluate the needs of e-commerce sites in terms of primary or secondary research methods and concentrate on one of the two methods. Applying both research methods always yields richer results.

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1. Primary Research.

In the primary research, the status of current methods is examined, their efficiency is measured and analyzed to obtain information. It is customer-focused and analysis of valid sales is also included in this process. It is an important process in terms of recognizing the target audiences, as research will be conducted based on the data directly affected by the customer profiles.

In the first stage of the research, the target market is discovered rather than customer behavior. In this process, surveys can give important ideas. The specific research to be done after the discovery is made through the target audience analysis and gives direct information about the current situation. 

You can also evaluate the social network analysis option to measure the behavior of the target audiences, and you can conduct the survey process in these channels.

2. Secondary Research.

Secondary research is a research process that takes into account recently published data. Analyzes of customer, competitor, price, product, and sector data carried out by other companies are also included in the research. 

In this process, you can use the data in public sources or you can benefit from the reports compiled by private research agencies. You can also consider your research if any.

In the secondary research process, you can make comparative evaluations about both the market and your competitors by analyzing previously researched statistics, trend reports, and sales charts.

You can also use some web tools for your primary and secondary research. You can use these tools for your target market research, where you can see the actions of your potential customers and potential competitors.

How to Choose a Target Market for E-Commerce Sites?

During the determination of the target market; The dynamics of the market, the features of the products to be sold, and the expectations of the customers are among the data you need to take as a reference when creating your target audience.

1. Consider the Features of Your Products.

Since you will be showcasing your products and services in your target market, you should consider the status of your current products. Markets where the distinctive features of your products can come to the fore should be preferred. Having a product range that can be developed and diversified allows you to act more freely in market selection.

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2. Analyze Competition Conditions and Your Competitors.

The market means plenty of competitors and fierce competition. When choosing your target market, you need to know what kind of competitive environment there is. By analyzing your competitors correctly, you should be included in the competitive environment with strategies that can put your e-commerce site ahead. 

Competitor analysis is one of the determinants of target market selection. In this framework, you can use basic techniques such as SWOT analysis.

3. Carefully Examine the Conditions of the Target Market.

If there is a market that you think might be your target, it would be useful to take a look at the conditions of that market. You need to be sure that your e-commerce site will be successful in the field you are targeting in its current state. 

Even if you are in a position to be successful in the beginning, you should also remember that conditions may change in the future. Therefore, it is important to keep your e-commerce site and marketing strategies developable.

4. Review Your Existing Business Resources.

Your strength in the market in which you will operate is directly proportional to your existing business resources. In this process, you can accept your production network, stock status, personnel wealth, and material assets as business resources, if any. Before starting the studies, making sure that all your resources will finance you, even for a certain period, will help you achieve a more successful result.

5. Research the Expectations of the Target Audience Who Shop Online.

As an e-commerce site, the most important factor affecting your current situation is your customers. If you know what your current or potential target audience, consumers or businesses, wants based on your business model, you are more likely to choose the right market and be successful there. You can use primary and secondary research methods in this process. 

For example, your target audience may be demanding a product that you haven't sold yet but may be suitable for your e-commerce site. In this case, you can add this product to your e-commerce site and make your customers shop from you.

6. Consider Your Target Market's Online Shopping Rate and Market Demand.

If you are serving as an e-commerce site, the market you choose should appeal to an audience with online shopping habits. Therefore, it will be risky to enter a market with a low online shopping rate. You can create a more effective strategy by considering the expectations and demands of the market from online shopping.

What are the Target Market Examples for E-Commerce Sites?

When choosing a target market for your e-commerce site, it is also useful to take a look at leading companies that set an example. There is a company that can grow successfully in the market it enters and can inspire you. Amazon, which we cannot deny has inspired the majority of e-commerce sites, is an example that has implemented different strategies in different periods since its establishment and has achieved success in almost every market.

Read Article: 15 Real & Proven Ways to Make Money on Amazon.

Going to the starting point, for example, we all remember that Amazon operated in a niche market by selling only books. Therefore, Amazon is one of the companies that moved from the niche market in which it operates in its adventure, which started by appealing to a customer group whose focus is on a single area, to a wider market.

The most important dynamics of Amazon's ability to serve in the entire market is that it serves in more than 100 countries and has approximately 120 million product types. There are also many different customer groups in Amazon's target market segmentation. 

Regardless of age and gender; The fact that it can appeal to almost all basic and sub-groups such as married, single, working, and student is a reference example for the correct selection of the target market and the timing of the transition between markets.

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