Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Target market - define yours for more visits and sales

Who is your target market?When you build a house, you need a solid foundation. When you form a business of selling, you need to figure out who your typical customer is. Build your business on that foundation of your target market.

Many sellers feel that their target market is "everyone." But no one shop's appeal is that broad. You must delimit your potential audience. If you do not, you can get discouraged very quickly when sales are slow.

Besides, if your target market is "everyone" you need to market to them. No one can afford to market to everyone. No one.

With a clearly defined target audience in mind, it is simpler to determine how and where to market your items. In fact, small Etsy shops can easily compete with large shops by targeting a niche market. 

This does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific slice of market, the people that are more likely to buy from you. 

The goal is to reach other people like them who could also love your products. Tailor your marketing to them. 

Most shops have a small market. How can we get seen by our best potential customers?

Defining your target customer is essential for effective selling. It is the most affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.

To define your target market requires detective work. Ask yourself some questions:


Who is your current customer base? What are their common characteristics and interests? Which factors bring in the most business? Why do they buy from you?

What products do you sell? Make a chart. Include your types of products. Next to each feature, list the benefits each type of item provides (and the benefits of those benefits). For example,

Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your items fulfill.

What about your competition? Who is their target market? Who are their current customers? It is not necessary to copy them, but you may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

What details do you need to concentrate on?  Figure out not only who has a need for your items, but also who is most likely to buy it. It is time for some market research. Here are some demographics to consider:
target audience for our vintage etsy shop
Who are your peeps?
  • Age - 20's? 40's?
  • Gender - male or female?
  • Occupation
  • Location - USA? Worldwide?
  • Income level
  • Education - high school? college?
  • Family status - single collectors? Married mothers?
  • Ethnic background

varied look of target audience
Target markets come in many shapes
Try getting even deeper, consider things like:

  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Lifestyles
  • Behavior

How do your items fit into your target's lifestyle? What types of things are most appealing to your target? How and when will your target buyer use your items? 

Does your target market use social media? Other websites? Should you expand to another selling website? Should you start your own website?

Do not break down your target too far... You can have more than one niche market.

Signs that you may have broken down your target market too far:
1. You can reach more than one niche effectively with the same message.
2. If there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria.

Find a balance.


How do I find all this information?


Educate yourself about your target market. Read magazine articles and blogs that talk about your target market. Read material that talks to them. Peruse blogs and forums where people in your target market express their opinions. Look for survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own. You could ask your current customers for feedback.

Once you have determined your target market, evaluate your decision. Consider these questions:
  • Are there enough people out there who fit my criteria?
  • Will my target market really benefit from my items? Will they see a need for them?
  • Can they afford my products?
  • What drives my target market to make decisions?
  • How do I reach them with my message? Are they accessible?

Whew, that is a lot of work! Defining your target market is the hard part.

Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out how to reach them and what message will resonate with them. Visits and sales will follow.

So, who is your target market? How can you reach them with your message?

 Here is more reading. Here is a recent forums discussion on the subject.

Still stuck? Here is a great case study on finding your target market. (More information on the subject from Etsy.)

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