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What is eCommerce Keyword Research?

Gauging the popularity of a product or service in a target market is a prerogative before venturing into it. It is a very simple but essential step. There could be many ways to get relevant answers. For example, it would not be difficult for you to make knowledgeable guesswork about whether a certain product or service or type of business would sell in your locality. You have lived there. You have a fair idea of the market. But the same would not be true for, say, a business based in Egypt and want to expand to the GCC. This is where keyword analysis (as a part of market research) chips in and could provide an educated perspective.

In keyword analysis for market research, the popularity levels of a product/service are determined based on online search activities. Extending the example used above, the Egyptian business house could assess the general popularity of the same or similar products/services in the GCC market. Say, the Egyptian business here deals in carpets. Keyword analysis will help the company assess the popularity of carpets in the target region on various parameters. Say, for example, keyword analysis could reveal that textured carpets are more popular than plush carpets.

As productive as keyword analysis seems to be, its use comes with the requirements of ingenuity and expertise. For instance, a product (say mobile chargers) may show a relatively high search volume for a region but people commonly go and buy what is easily available from the local stores. There could be many reasons for such online search behaviour. Adding another instance, no matter what the search volumes indicate, it is almost a certainty that customers would prefer buying frozen food from quick commerce dark stores or any grocery or supermarket store than from other online stores that would take days to get delivered.

In this blog, we shall delve into how to read keyword analysis reports. The focus will be on drawing insights for business decision-making.

Drawing insights from eCommerce keyword research

Brands-based Keyword Research for a particular industry

Knowing which brands are doing well in the target market region helps businesses compare themselves with other brands. ‘Doing well’ here simply means in terms of search popularity. This assessment is important because it sheds light on the possible competitive positioning of a business in the target market. For instance, if the analysis shows that the top ten brands are multinational giants and your business is a relatively new brand, breaking into that list would be difficult. You may check the next 10 positions. The objective is to determine an achievable position in that list.

Visual 01

The chart above (Visual 01) shows the search volume data for different brands in the beauty product industry in four countries. The numbers against each brand show the jump in the popularity of that brand over a given period. Except for maybe a few names, there are hardly any similarities in the data across all four countries when it comes to pinpointing any market leader for the region. Many brands have similar popularity levels whether we consider one market or all four markets. These top performers need not be the market leaders. It simply indicates that these brands (and their products) have been widely searched for.

Another interesting highlight of this data point is the wide difference between the top performers and the rest of the players. And considering the hikes in the search volumes of the top performers in the list, these brands must have done something differently to have this effect on the data for this period. It is also possible that some of them are new players that made a name over this period. And this is not just in one country but all four. A distant but possible inference could be also drawn that the consumer behaviour is tilted towards novelty and experience.

Market-based Keyword Research for different product categories

An industry-wide keyword research reveals only certain broad estimates. This is good for starters. But after this initial assessment, it becomes imperative to ascertain what is happening in different product categories across the targeted regions. In this analysis, the focus shifts from competitor brands to the market-wise popularity of different product categories. This information is useful for businesses to improvise their focus – not all product categories would perform well in all markets. The chart below represents a market-based keyword analysis for different product categories in four different country markets.

Visual 02

In the above data point (Visual 02), individual search volumes for product categories are shown for each country’s market. Broadly speaking, the UAE market captures the top slot in every product category except the make-up category where Saudi Arabia leads. Compared to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the search volumes are relatively low in Kuwait and Qatar for all the categories. Although the UAE and Saudi Arabia appear as relatively more promising markets, the competition could be also expected to remain at high levels in these two countries.

The high search volumes in three product categories namely skin care, makeup, and hair care shed some light on the popularity of the products in these categories in all four countries. It is natural to assume that these categories also exhibit higher demand levels. We are saying this because intent is a vital consideration in keyword analysis. When people search for products online, certain keywords show that the intent is to buy. How many people you know would search for a beauty or personal care product for a purpose other than for a purchase consideration!!

Market-based Keyword Research for an individual product category

So far, we examined keyword research analysis for an entire industry and different product categories against different market regions. But every brand does not deal with every product category. For instance, a beard care brand would be interested in knowing what is happening in the beard category. It would be further interested in a country-wise assessment in the same niche. This gives rise to the need for carrying out a keyword research that focuses on selected product categories. This helps businesses further narrow down their assessment of the popularity of the types of products within a category. Extending the same example, it is not sufficient for a beard care brand to know that the search volume is highest in one particular market for beard care products. What if the brand specialises in beard oil and not in beard shampoo/conditioner?

Visual 03

The chart above (visual 03) shows the search volume data for different product types in two selected market regions. The names of the product categories as it appears in the chart can be ignored in this analysis as the focus is on what is happening inside the categories. From the chart, we could read that hand wash products have overwhelming search figures, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The same could be said for the detox drinks category. But that assessment is quite obvious. We can consider the foot cream category. Here also, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the tallest bars with the former doing slightly better. So, for a brand that specialises in foot cream products and if one market has to be considered for further evaluation, it would be Saudi Arabia. No final decision regarding market selection could be made from this data interpretation alone. Research on other parameters must also be considered for business modelling, business planning and business strategy formulation.

  •         ECommerce Competitor Research
  •         ECommerce Customer Research
  •         ECommerce Pricing Research
  •         ECommerce Demand Research
  •         ECommerce UX Research

Key Takeaways

Without keyword research, it can get extremely challenging to peek into the trends of an unknown market region. Sitting in one country or another state, it is nearly impossible for brands and businesses to make a learned assessment of the popularity of the same/similar businesses and products in another country or state.

Today, the cost of eCommerce market research is seen as a short-term but critical investment. And carrying out a keyword research analysis has become a part and parcel of eCommerce market research. It helps businesses predict with a high degree of certainty about the popularity of products in another market.

But on a reiterating note, keyword research alone is not sufficient. But combined with research on other elements like consumer behaviour, competition, pricing, demand, and UX, keyword research can prove to be a powerful tool.

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Author Bio

Rupal Agarwal

Rupal Agarwal

Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Rupal’s “Everything is possible” attitude helps achieve the impossible. Dr. Rupal Agarwal has worked with 300+ retail e-commerce brands and companies from various sectors, since 2012, to define their growth strategy, push their limits and improve performance efficiency. Rupal and her team have remarkable success stories of helping brands achieve 10X growth.

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    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.