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    Market Research Report

    Anyone with plans of starting an online venture should be equipped with a business plan and within it – market research for online business is a critical component determining the viability of the product or service. This exercise is carried out through with various technical research tools. Market research companies helps startups discover its target market based on interest, opinion and demand about the product from its potential customers.

    Apart from this, it gives insights about competitors and their market approach. This makes market research an exercise that cannot be ignored because of the value and insights it offers to online entrepreneurs before investing their time and money into the idea. This write-up seeks to interest readers on how market research companies like YRC conduct research, and if you wish to know “how to do market research for a start-up ?” and what are the types of market research activities, then this is a must-read. The idea is to enlist pointers that will be essential to the creation of an effective document showcasing market study for new business. Let’s explore each one of them one at a time:

    I. Market SWOT:

    As you would know by now that SWOT is an acronym for – strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. It is a combination of internal and external factors that get taken into account in making a judgement about the viability of a business idea. The scope of SWOT analysis can extend to an entire organization, industry or an individual department. However, here we would restrict ourselves to studying the feasibility of the business idea under consideration. Going further into SWOT, we have to understand that the strengths and weaknesses are considered internal, while opportunities and threats are treated as external factors.

    By doing SWOT a company acquires awareness about emerging concerns and it also equips the company with a healthy perspective on things which are going well. You may wonder about the long term utility of an exercise like SWOT. SWOT document can be a handy reference document that provides the company with a bird’s eye view about the company and its position in the market. This makes even more sense to an e-commerce brand where there is a pitched level of competition among the existing players.

    II. Competitor Analysis:

    By the name itself, you would get an inkling that it is a strategy wherein you identify the major competitors and do the necessary research about their sales, products and marketing strategies. This would give you a better perspective on where you stand, and where the opportunities for improvement exist in your business. By doing competitor analysis purposefully and following through will equip your e-commerce venture with a necessary competitive advantage in the market, which can be instrumental in giving a head start to a new business.

    Overall competitor analysis can be an exhaustive document but it majorly covers the following points namely – potential gaps in the market, the scope for new products or services, reveals market trends and develops effective selling strategies. Learning about these parameters can improve your chances of success substantially. Besides this, there are enough competitor marketing analysis tools available that can make the entire process easier.

    III. Sales Channel Analysis

    This pertains to the evaluation of various potential channels for customer acquisition. The crux here is to identify the best sales channels where business has to focus for lead generation activities. Today, for any online business there could be a multitude of sales channels to attract prospects and paying attention to each one of them individually will pay dividends in the long run.

    IV. Pricing Analysis

    Price Analysis is the process of examining and evaluating a proposed price (sweet spot) and how it is going to affect the overall business. From a business point of view, it encompasses activities like analysing the feasibility of specific price points and optimizing pricing strategy for maximizing revenue.

    By undertaking pricing analysis in the initial stage of the business makes it seamlessly integrate into the overall strategy before it becomes a daunting undertaking when the company has grown in size substantially. It is seen that companies that carry a range of products at different price points, cater to different customer tiers or carry complex product bundles cannot evaluate their potential profitability without pricing analysis for every SKU.

    V. Demand Analysis

    This refers to the process of analysing customer demand for a product in a target market. It allows companies to understand whether they can successfully launch a product or service and expect to generate profits. This exercise also enables companies to understand high demand markets and the viability of their investments in each of these markets. Demand analysis is likely to involve the following steps including – market identification, product-line demand, dominating brands in the market and potential investment required to get visibility online to cater the demand.

    VI. Location/ Region Analysis

    Unlike physical stores, the location of an e-commerce store really does not matter, as its virtual. But the location of the customer does make a difference. An e-commerce store must be attuned to locations where there is a demand for products being sold. Such insights can be drawn by doing location analysis which would equip a brand with the necessary information on inherent demand existing in a location and also can help you to gauge the level of competition from existing online players which can be a critical parameter for success.

    VII. Market Prioritization

    This refers to the practice of concentrating and expanding into markets that have the potential demand and our target customers. This is done with a view of utilizing the market budget in the most optimum fashion. Here the budget gets distributed to markets in descending order, with the most prominent market getting the lion’s share of the budget. Overall, market prioritization allows a brand to get its priorities right by focussing on markets with the most potential demand for their products/ services.

    VIII. Market Overview

    This exercise is fundamental to market research for understanding retail consumer and has much to do with vital demographics (age, gender, location etc) associated with the target audience. Based on which an estimation of market size for the product and services is carried out. It allows a brand to forecast the potential of the market before the actual roll out services from an ecommerce store.

    IX. Go-to-Market Strategy/ Marketing Strategy

    Based on the insights and data mining, ecommerce market research experts from YRC will be able to devise a framework for going ahead with the digital marketing strategy. This can be a combination of online marketing strategies that will help the brand with targeted audience outreach, who would be most benefited by the products and services of the ecommerce store. This can involve Paid Social Advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and so on. All these strategies will allow a brand to acquire online visibility allowing it to reach potential customers in a wide geography. The scope of marketing research would be to offer advice on utilizing the marketing budget for digital marketing in the most optimum manner and the roadmap of digital marketing activities/ campaigns.

    X. Recommendations

    Based on market research reports, our market research analyst would be preparing a detailed research paper that would have exclusive recommendations for the business. Recommendation in the market research report will equip the online business with a foolproof launch plan and short-term growth led strategy for the business to thrive and prosper through every business cycle.

    YRC is amongst leading market research companies in Pune, India or business research companies, as we have the necessary resources and essential market research tools to carry out the research exercise with effectiveness. Our business speciality includes market research for online business.

    The recommendations in the research paper would be backed by a call-to-action document which would include practical and implementable steps with associated guidelines to be followed. Ultimately, the market research exercise will allow the business with a better perspective on the market and by closely following and implementing the proposed recommendations the online store is most likely to have an unmatched competitive edge in the market.    

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    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.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    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

    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.

    IT INTEGRATION

    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.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • 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.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    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!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    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 / SOURCING

    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

    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.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    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

    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 & BUSINESS PLAN

    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.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    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.