Understanding the market

To develop a successful export business, a good understanding of your target market(s) is essential. This involves conducting research on your export destination(s). 

A good market research should not be based on facts and figures only, It should also focus on factors that drive the target market(s).


Tips to understand the market

  1. Gather basic market information regarding import regulations, trade statistics, tariff regimes and much more. Various Market Analysis tools can be handy in this respect.
  2.  Focus your research on a specific product or service.
  3. Research on your competitor’s market(s). Find out what they are doing right.
  4. Attend market-specific seminars.
  5. Seek practical advice from experienced exporters.
  6. Develop direct contacts with potential buyers. You can make use of authentic online directories.
  7. Understand the market environment (culture, demography, religion, currency…)
  8. Relevant Trade Fairs and Embassies are good sources of information.


Research Areas

Some of the important areas of market research include:

  • Trade statistics and trends
  • Trade policies
  • Regulatory framework
  • Business environment
  • Business culture
  • Distribution channels
  • Logistics
  • Risk assessment


Tools for market analysis

There are numerous online Market Analysis-tools available. Some of these tools can be accessed for free. These tools will enhance understanding of your target market(s). Check out a list of the relevant tools 


Product specific market research

Having gathered and analyzed basic market information, you are to narrow your findings to the specific product or service. You can make an offer, send samples to buyers and await feedback.


International buyer directories

There are international buyer directories available (some free, others require paid subscriptions). Check out a list of buyer directories 



Benefits of Market Research

A good market research enables you to:

  • Identify your most promising market
  • Obtain inputs for your Export Marketing Plan (EMP)
  • Have good understanding of the competitive environment of your target market
  • Minimize risks and maximize prospects





Do you have any other questions with respect to understanding your market(s)? Please contact us.

Alternatively, you can also check out the e-learning courses from ITC. Find more details below.

SME Trade Academy

Powered by the International Trade Centre, the “SME Trade Academy” provides free online courses on lots of export topics. Courses are tutored and include lectures, exercises and case studies on topics like:

  • Considering export markets
  • Setting-up an export marketing strategy
  • Introduction to cross-border contracts
  • Introduction to standards and sustainability