If a company sells its products only from a website, which is accessible over the internet to customers all over the world, does it still need to worry about having a specific target market?

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Yes, a business should always define their target market, whether they are a brick-and-mortar store or eCommerce. It is necessary to have a target market for marketing purposes as well as to help gauge the creation of new products that your target market will enjoy and purchase.

There are several...

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Yes, a business should always define their target market, whether they are a brick-and-mortar store or eCommerce. It is necessary to have a target market for marketing purposes as well as to help gauge the creation of new products that your target market will enjoy and purchase.

There are several things to consider when thinking about a target market. First of all, the most important thing is to think about the need that your ideal customer has. This will ensure that your products cater to their needs. From here, you can think about the interests and demographic brackets of your ideal customer. These include factors like gender, age, socioeconomic status, and other aspects (for example: do they own a pet? Do they have kids? Are they single or married?).

Even though the store is online, there may also be certain locations in the world that will have a greater demand for your product. For example, if you are a retailer of books written in English, you would be much better-off marketing to English-speaking countries!

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Yes. The availability of a product does not sell a product. In order to run a successful sales and marketing campaign, a company must identify a target market. To determine an advertising market, a specific target audience must be identified. Given the tremendous competition within the Internet space, customers will need to know about the product and be intrigued enough to go to the company’s website to purchase it. Therefore, the company will need to advertise in some way online. This advertising campaign must be targeted to a specific group to grab the customer's attention and motivate them to check out the product. Since companies are in the business of making money, every penny spent on advertising must gain the most profitable returns. A specific target market will allow the company to select the most profitable sites to advertise on. For example, if a company is selling high-end cooking ingredients, it would want to advertise its products to foodies, a specific target market. Therefore, it would buy advertising space on cooking blogs and other food related websites. Spending money to advertise high-end cooking ingredients on a website for classic car enthusiasts would not result in the same number of sales. A specific target market is important for any sales strategy.

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Regardless of a company's dependency on a website, I still think that it must have a target market.  Like any marketplace, the users of the internet are varied.  There is so much divergence in those who actively use the internet that the means of product dissemination is not as important as to whom the product would be appealing.  Research has to be done on the browsing habits of a particular group that would be interested in the products, and to ensure that as much exposure and convergence is present in both the product's appeal and the type of consumer who would want such a product.  In this, companies cannot simply feel that because they are "on the net," their message and product is present and evident.  For example, the advertising space sold on enotes.com appeals to a particular type of individual who would frequent a site like this one.  These companies do not simply admit that because they are on the web, their product will sell.  Companies know of target audiences and determine how digital convergence and product demand can be one in the same in ensuring profit.

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