Conducting Online Market Research: Tips and Tools

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Chances are, you’re already utilizing online market research for your business and don’t even realize it🤔. All the necessary tools to help collect data 📊 about your target audience, customers, and potentially new clients can be found easily at a few clicks away – web searches, customer feedback forms or questionnaires. Put these resources into practice today so that gather valuable insights tomorrow!

 With the emergence of the online world, small businesses now have numerous free or accessible resources to utilize when conducting market research.

This written guide will explain all of the distinct tools you can use for your own digital market analysis, review which types of studies are available, and provide tips on how to formulate optimal questionnaires.

Let’s begin discovering more about this exciting new way to gain valuable insights into customer behavior!

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Online Market Research Tools

Gather valuable market data in seconds using these simple yet effective techniques:

conducting online market research: tips and tools
Market research tools by artem_ka

Keyword Search.

To take your online presence to the next level, search for “keywords” that potential customers would use to locate products or services similar to yours. See how much interest there is in these keywords and consider the amount of competition you have in this market. With a simple Web search on platforms like Google and Yahoo, exploring what’s out there has never been easier!  Identify keywords related to your industry.

Before diving into the details of researching your competitors, figuring out the right keyword phrases should be a priority. Your main goal is to discover what words people use when searching for products or services in your field so that you can match those terms in your online research.

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Competitor Links.

Website-links by tevalux11

With a traditional search engine, you have the opportunity to investigate your adversary’s prices and offerings. Why not try typing ‘link:www.[competitor’s name].com’ into Google? You are then able to determine how many other webpages link to that same website.

As Shari Thurow, author of Search Engine Visibility and renowned Web expert states, “It offers an impressive approach for understanding a competitor’s connection efforts in addition to their PR endeavors.” Is there something similar on the market from another manufacturer? Maybe you can get more exposure due to having a superior product or service!

Read Blogs.

Blogs are often updated more frequently than traditional websites, making them a great way to measure public opinion. With blog-specific search engines, you can easily find blogs related to your interests or needs.

Additionally, the informal tone and rapid pace of most blogs make it easier for you to discover conversations about new products or services faster than on standard webpages according to Laycock.

Online Surveys.

To gauge public opinion quickly and cost-effectively, online surveys are the way to go. While not as reliable as in-person or phone surveys based on random sampling of a group, they provide an opportunity for companies to gain insight into whether their product idea is likely to be attractive among consumers.

Numerous services now offer both assistance with conducting online research and tools required for running your own surveying operations.

Research Tools and Techniques

conducting online market research: tips and tools

Many large corporations employ a range of both online and offline market research tools, open to all enterprises regardless of size.

In cases where the study requires human involvement, researchers rely on questionnaires either provided in written form or administered through personal/telephone interviews as well as increasingly popular internet platforms.

Questionnaires can either be closed-end or open-ended. With the former, respondents are given a set of predetermined options in response to a question (“excellent,” “good,” “fair”).

On the other hand, with an open-ended survey people are encouraged to express their own opinions without being restricted by any particular choices. Focus groups provide users the opportunity for direct interaction on various matters such as products, messages and images; evaluators take note of whatever comes out from this exchange.

Broadly speaking, the major categories are:

Audience Research.

In order to understand who is tuning into radio, TV, and print media, audience research provides an avenue for discovering the profile of its listeners/viewers/readers. Additionally, this study is instrumental in determining how popular these channels are among their viewers as well as which ones have been more successful than others.

🛍️ Product Research.

Assessments of products are fundamentally reliant on the product’s usage. For example, sampling assessments to find out what flavors people prefer most and consumer tests involving prototypes of cars or gadgets in order to identify any issue with their design or features.

Company Analysis.

In brand research, profiling characteristics such as “Who uses this brand?” are explored in order to comprehend why customers remain loyal or switch between brands.

Get Psychological.

By constructing profiles of customers based on their personality, lifestyle, and income – amongst other characteristics- psychological profiling offers the potential to understand consumer behaviour and media habits.

📊 Scanner Research.

Scanner research not just allows you to be aware of the availability of your favorite products, but also gives marketers a significant advantage with insights into customer transactions and coupon effectiveness. This data-driven approach assists in understanding consumer behavior more profoundly than ever before; thereby making database research even more valuable for businesses.

Database Research.

Data mining, as it is often referred to, seeks to capitalize on all kinds of data associated with customers – which can offer profound insights. For example, purchase records allow us to identify buying patterns amongst various income groups by correlating the account activity and census tract information from the Bureau of Census. By using this data we can access average incomes for each census tract.

Consumer Satisfaction Research

Post-sale or Consumer Satisfaction Research is the perfect tool to assess customer satisfaction and bolster positive word of mouth. For example, many consumers have likely experienced a telephone call after receiving car service or calling help lines for computer / internet related issues. This type of research provides an opportunity to create brand loyalty while gathering valuable insight into customer feedback in order to improve services further.

Online Questionnaires

To ensure a successful Web-based survey campaign, small businesses should adhere to some critical guidelines:

Brevity is Key

Mary Malaszek, owner of Market Directions—a Boston-based market research firm that works with companies large and small—recommends keeping surveys to 25 questions or less. That’s because lengthy questionnaires will frustrate survey takers, who may quit before finishing the questionnaire or worse still, ignore your next one. This five to seven minute commitment should be enough for you to get valuable information from respondents without wasting their time!

Refrain from Indiscriminately Asking Open-Ended Questions.

conducting online market research: tips and tools

In order to keep surveys as short and efficient for respondents, Malaszek recommends avoiding open-ended questions that require typing out the answer. Instead, close-ended questions which only need a click of the button – such as yes/no options or frequency scales – will make it much more manageable from an end user perspective. Companies may still get accurate in-depth analysis with these types of closed responses by utilizing rankings scales (i.e 1 to 5 or 1 to 10).

Be Persistent.

If you’re trying to gather survey responses from your customers or vendors, it’s acceptable to send multiple invitations – especially if they have expressed interest before. Make sure that you obtain permission from them beforehand so as not seem like spam and annoy recipients. This is what the survey specialists recommend!

Be Patient.

Companies become restive when they can’t get instant feedback from their surveys, according to Malaszek. Although online surveys reduce workloads on paper-based ones, the entire process of designing, administering and interpreting them still requires a considerable amount of time. As such, it is always wise to assign one person in charge who will make sure the survey runs smoothly from start till finish.


In conclusion, Online Market Research provides a number of resources to small businesses: from Database Research and Consumer Satisfaction surveys, to Online Questionnaires. However, for these resources to be effective, small businesses should strive to keep the survey short and efficient by using close-ended questions, as well as gain permission from customers before attempting multiple invitations.

With patience and persistence in mind, Online Market Research can prove invaluable in helping companies understand customer behavior more deeply—ultimately leading to more successful marketing efforts.

Added Bonus:

Of course, don’t forget the most important thing – always remember that data is only useful if you take action on it! Taking what you have learned through your research and putting it into practice will ensure that your  Online Market Research is not wasted. Good luck!



Online market research involves using various digital tools and techniques to collect data and insights about your target audience, competitors, and industry.

Some common tools used for online market research include keyword search, competitor links, blogs, online surveys, database research, and scanner research.

Online market research can help you gain valuable insights into customer behavior, improve your marketing strategies, and stay ahead of the competition.

Market research studies can include audience research, product research, company analysis, psychological profiling, scanner research, and consumer satisfaction research.

To ensure a successful web-based survey campaign, strive to keep the survey short and efficient by using close-ended questions, gain permission from customers before attempting multiple invitations, and assign one person in charge who will make sure the survey runs smoothly from start till finish.

Online surveys can be a cost-effective way to gauge public opinion and gain insight into whether a product idea is likely to be attractive among consumers.

To optimize your online market research efforts, focus on keeping your surveys short and efficient, utilizing close-ended questions, and taking action on the insights and data you gather.

Scanner research allows you to understand the availability of your products and gives insights into customer transactions and coupon effectiveness. It can assist in understanding consumer behavior more profoundly than ever before.

Some key guidelines for conducting effective market research include keeping surveys short and efficient, utilizing close-ended questions, gaining permission from customers before attempting multiple invitations, and assigning one person in charge to ensure the survey runs smoothly from start till finish.

if you’re looking to increase your online conversion but still feel you are not sure where to start – check out these resources below:

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Tsour Lee

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