Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsI think research is definitely not something that businesses maybe put enough effort into. And certainly, when I started the business, it wasn't something that was high on the list. When I make purchases, I do think about what I would like. And I think maybe arrogantly thinking that I knew what other people wanted. So we got stuck with an amount of product that just I liked. I think we sell to a lot of mothers who buy for their children as well, so that's not something that I realised. And then lately we've been noticing that a lot of the customers are women and at a certain age that are buying for their husbands, or buying for their children, their teens or whatever.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsAnd we should be marketing towards them, as well. Definitely trying to understand the customer is something that I didn't do early on.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsBe flexible. It's probably the best advice we could give is to try and be as flexible as possible. Because your customer's going to change and the online space is changing every day. So you want to be able to change with them and to grow with them. If we look back at how our website was when we first started, and you presented that website in today's environment it-- It wouldn't stack up. It wouldn't stack up. No. Whereas now, we tried to learn from what customers like and how they can navigate through the site to tailor it to make it an easy shopping experience. It is exciting to see the evolution of our customer and how useful our website's been in that.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsWe can see it change every day. People are wanting more and more parts. And return customers are coming back to us getting different parts for different services on their car.

Skip to 2 minutes and 10 secondsWell, a lot of people might think that starting an online store is easy. Once it's up and running, you can just go away on holidays. But unfortunately, it's not like that. It's pretty hard work. It's flexible hours, but it's long hours. You've got to always keep on top of what's changing. So you're constantly thinking about it and constantly talking about it. So it consumes you, but it's really rewarding at the same time.

Entrepreneurs’ reflection

We’ve taken a journey with our online entrepreneurs and together we’ve discovered with them the many aspects of profiling success.

They’ve talked about the ways they gather research data, why it’s important to use market research when starting out, and they’ve given you some ideas about how you can access data about your customers and consumers.

They show that you don’t necessarily need a lot of money to profile your customers and to conduct good market research, but you do need to know both your product/ service and your customer inside out!

Our entrepreneurs have shared what they learnt and how they’ve adjusted to new and evolving information so that they are able to effectively meet their customers’ and consumers’ needs and expectations and drive sales.

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This video is from the free online course:

Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success

RMIT University