How to Conduct Market Research for Web Development?
First, let's understand why it is essential to do in the first place, before diving into how to conduct market research for web development.
Why Is Market Research Crucial for Business Success?
Market research for website development is a reconnaissance that the Military does before the war. Reconnaissance helps the Military to gather all information about the battlefield, enemy, and power to make a war-winning strategy. Similarly, market research is an activity that web developers must perform to make a customer winning website.
All phases of the customer life cycle, i.e. Awareness, Engagement, Evaluation, Purchase, and Experience, requires a seamless and precise exchange of information between business and customer via a medium. And today, the website is one of the primary management systems of all necessary information and exchange of it. And thus, it acts as a two-way bridge between business and customer.
Now, let's consider an analogy of bridge construction for a two-way information management system. Construction of bridges can never happen without a prior in-depth study of the surrounding environment and shortest distance possible. But if not done correctly, it can fail catastrophically
Similarly, in business to construct such crucial informational bridges, web developers must understand needs, pain points, and industry via in-depth research, else it can backfire business, and an asset could become a liability.
It could become a liability by following ways:-
Conversion rate falls, i.e., when users cannot connect to information in any of the stages of the customer life cycle, the user simply leaves the platform and never turns into a customer.
To ensure that users do not go away, web designers and developers must know What business has to offer and What users are expecting.
Increase in Bounce Rate
The increase in the bounce rate can either happen for the following reason.
- Irrelevant information
- Wrong placement of information.
- Irrelevant design leads to wrong brand communication. Thus users could not connect to the brand.
- Unavailability of a lite version of the website if the target audience doesn't have a proper infrastructure website would not load in time.
- Not available for Cross-platform and Cross-device.
- Not available in a language in which the target audience can speak, read, and write.
With the right data during development, the Bounce rate tremendously decreases.
Loss of Interest
If engagement throughout the digital platform is not according to audience psychology, then the audience may lose interest.
Fall of Brand Value
Any lousy customer experience during the life cycle leads to a fall in brand value. Engagement in digital form is also an experience. And If digital experience is designed not to engage the target user, then it would lead to a fall of brand value.
Losing Customer to Competitors
Concluding all the above, the business will end up losing customers to competitors.
Web developers can make highly converting and high-performance web platforms when research has been done correctly. And It would become a great source of exponential growth.
Now, this lands us with the central question "how to do it?". How to get the answer to numerous questions like Who, Whom, What, Why, Where, When, and How. Market research can help to get all answers, and the following is how to do that.
Methods to Conduct Market Research for Web Development
Domain Name Research
For starters, it starts with a domain name. Sure, it has nothing to do with development, but it does have an SEO advantage; thus, it is worth mentioning it here.
Through keyword research, businesses can land on proper domain names, which would eventually have SEO benefits. Hence, it becomes a crucial starting step.
Internal Research: Define the objective of a website.
Web development market study starts primarily from Internal Research. Define the objective of the website regarding its nature of the business and User Intent.
By considering the following data points, the objective of the website can be defined.
- Goals for the Next three years
- The vision of the company
- A unique selling point.
The core objectives of a site are as follows.
- Lead generation
- Point of sale for products or services
Now, audience research for the goal begins.
Audience Research: Know your audience
Audience research is the most critical and crucial analysis, as it gives an exact picture of how and what the target audience wants through a website. So audience research enables websites to be customer-centric and consequently highly converting.
Audience research includes various elements like surveys, buyer personas, demography, background analysis, and behavioral study. Data collected here is helpful for each bit of the website.
Competitor Analysis: Know Your Industry
Through competitor analysis,
- One can understand gaps and pain-points which enable developers to fulfill them into websites.
- It can also help developers understand industry standards, thus making websites highly prototypical.
As the customers are already familiar with standards, switching over gets easy for customers. And the fulfillment of gaps and pain-point also becomes an advantage for customers to switch over.
The brand analysis helps designers to depict brand value via the color scheme, web elements design, and placement of copy.
Brand Analysis is both internal and external analysis.
- Internal analysis answers what values the company wants to deliver and how customers should get the perception of the company.
- External analysis answers what perceptions of the brand does the customer hold in their minds.
The website design should be in-line with both the analysis. Like in case of a brand selling adventure, if a customer gets a sense of strength upon listening to the brand name, then the website should play along with it.
Search engine optimization is more like catching up with the latest technical SEO trends, which helps to make a website user friendly and search engine friendly as well.
Collating all data-points and after an extensive study, a development agency can come up with a research-backed, highly converting website.
Now, Let's take some simple cases to understand how the above study can change the approach of development and design.
CASE 1: How Geography can make an impact?
We would consider some fundamental Factors only: Connectivity, laws, and Literacy.
Urban areas have access to High-speed Internet to 24/7. Thus web developers can make beautiful websites to enhance the overall experience and deliver brand value through design.
Rural areas have necessary internet facilities; thus, heavy web elements can never help to achieve the objective.
So, if the development team does audience research well in advance, then they can decide technology, code, and design elements strategically to achieve the objective of the business.
Country law is an external factor, but crucial, as every country has different rules, and if not followed, it can jeopardize the business.
Here, the question arises: what if the target audience is global?
Well, the web development company should consider globally accepted standards while crafting.
Language can be a barrier between information and the user. The best way to tackle language barriers is to make a multi-language capable web platform. Audience blueprint can avail of this data over target geography.
CASE 2: How can a business model or industry make an impact?
In this case, factors that matter are industry-standard, prototypically, level of personalization, and information structure.
To understand the difference here, we would study model wise.
- For B2B Model:
B2B websites may have different objectives, but mostly it's the business query. Thus, the landing page mainly contains the Query form. Check out the live B2B website to understand.
In the B2B model, it is also vital to meet industry standard design here; else, visitors may not take it seriously and end up losing interest at the first touchpoint itself.
- For B2C Model:
Here, business tends to serve a large customer base. Every customer only wants to engage with companies that can help personalized services to them. Thus, it may require dynamic infrastructure and elements to deliver a personalized experience.
How to Perform Market Research?
There can be two ways to perform the above research.
Lean Market Study
The Quickest Way to perform market research is as follow
- Internal Research is conducted through a written Questionnaire.
- The audience, competitor, and SEO analysis are done through Market research tools.
- Brand Analysis is conducted through brainstorming with the team.
The lean study is an excellent way of research, and It does not take more than two days.
Deep Market Study
A Deep Market study needs 15-20 working days to study.
- The internal study involves extensive brainstorming sessions with teams.
- Audience Research: Apart from Data analysis, it may also involve face to face interviews with the audience for understanding their overall perspective from different locations, different gender, and different age groups. It can be very extensive.
- Competitors Analysis: It is an observational study of how users use competitor's websites and finding opportunities to serve users better. For other factors, developers have to rely on data from tools.
- Brand Analysis: It becomes part of an Internal and Audience research itself
- SEO Analysis: This remains a tools based study.
Here, to understand user behavior during engagement throughout the cycle, the customer story is crafted. Thus, information is delivered when the user expects it to be in the right place. When the flow of information is consistent throughout the user web experience, business wins the customers.
Market Research is not just a beforehand task. We all know that optimization is a never-ending process for business growth. Once constructed, even bridges need regular maintenance for longevity. And thus the MR, it remains a continuous process.
Let's call it "After development market study" to optimize.
After development, the market study like multivariate testing, customer journey mapping, heat maps, content flow, inventory mapping, analytics, and behavior Flow is performed. All these studies help continuous optimization.
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