Understanding the market

To develop your export business into a success, ensure you understand your target market(s). This involves conducting research on your export destination(s). 

Good market research should not be an academic exercise of only assembling facts and figures. It should focus on what drives the target market(s) and how to get the best out of it.


Tips to understand the market

  1. Gather basic market information, from import regulations to trade statistics. You can make use of available Market Analysis tools.
  2. Narrow the focus of your research to your product or service to make it more specific.
  3. Research competitor markets. Find out what they are doing right and how they are doing it.
  4. Attend market-specific seminars. Seek practical advice from experienced exporters.
  5. Develop direct contacts with potential buyers. You can make use of several online directories.
  6. Understand the market environment. 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
  • Trade 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 analysed basic information, narrow down the research to your specific product or service.  Gather feedback on your offer by sending data or samples to buyers. Pay attention to analysing the competitors of your target market(s) in this stage.


International buyer directories

How can you find buyers? There are several 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 plan
  • have good understanding of the competitive landscape 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 and find out how NEPC can help!

Alternatively you could also check out the e-learning course 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