Questions to Ask When Conducting Market Research for Export Business

Questions to Ask When Conducting Market Research for Export Business

​Market research is very crucial for a successful export planning. It is not a one-off thing. In a changing world, it is a constant process of collecting information about markets. And sometimes, it looks like a kind of detective work. You should ask right questions, collect as much relevant information as possible and eventually, bring together all clues in order to understand the market. 

I have listed some questions which one could use in conducting a market research for export business.

  1. What is the size of the market? What is yearly consumption? How is the consumption distributed by regions?
  2. Who are local manufacturers for the product you are dealing with? What are the production capacities of those local manufacturers? How many percent of their production is for domestic market? Do they use import input in their production?
  3. Who are local or global importers, suppliers, distributors in the market? What is their yearly import volume?
  4. Which similar products or brands (competitors) are already available in the market? In which segment they are in? What is their market share? Which sales channels they use? What are their retail and wholesale prices? Which marketing techniques they use? What are the advantages and disadvantage of your product when comparing with similar ones that are already sold in the market? Any competitor from your country is already selling to this market?
  5. How is market segmented on the basis of quality and price?
  6. Which sales/distribution channels are available? What are their capabilities and capacities? Identify sales/distribution channels according to their segments.
  7. Are there political or regional risks in the market?
  8. Is there any required specific certification for the product? What is the cost and duration to obtain it? Is any adaptation/modification required for the product in order to comply with the standards of the market?
  9. What is import cost? Identify HS code accepted by local customs office, costums tax, VAT, analysis fee, required certificates/permissions, and any other possible expenses. Which transport ways are applicable? What is transportation/freight cost and duration of transport?
  10. Are financial services compatible with international banking system? Which payment methods are used in the market? Is Letter of Credit applicable? What are transfer cost and commission rates?
  11. What is the information of relevant chambers, associations, business networks and important events in the market?
  12. Finally, who are potential customers for your product range? Identify prospective buyers/partners and relevant sales/distribution channels.
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