Researching export markets


Alison Gowdy, Director of Trade
Invest NI
Jun 06, 2017

Market research is the key to identifying the export markets which offer the greatest opportunities for your business.

Researching your markets before you start exporting will greatly reduce the risks involved in selling into a new market.

The benefits of expanding your export markets can be substantial, providing consideration has been given to the costs, time and commitment required to be successful at exporting internationally.

Good market research is critical to your export success.

The purpose of market research is to collect information from a variety of sources to help with decision making when deciding which market to target.

Before you begin any detailed market research you should shortlist four or five of the most promising markets.

So what research do you need to focus on for potential export markets?

  • Is there a market for your product or service?
  • What is the potential market size?
  • Will you require product/service adaptations?
  • Who will be your competitors be?
  • What distribution channels are there for your product/service?
  • Are there any legal/regulatory constraints?
  • What is the environment like for doing business?
  • Are there any culture/language considerations?
  • Will it be profitable for your business?

Access to market information

Internet research can be used to gather market information, research specific markets both geographic and industry, inform yourself about country cultures, network with potential partners and identify contacts that will be useful to you in the market.

Get general advice on researching customers and markets abroad on the nibusinessinfo website. It can be valuable information for companies in the early stages of market selection.

Ask the experts

Our Business Information Centre, at our headquarters in Belfast, has extensive market research and worldwide company directories that you can use.

Explore Export

The upcoming Explore Export event is the perfect opportunity to research markets. The event provides the opportunity for Northern Ireland businesses to meet with Invest NI’s 31 overseas trade experts from 60 markets and benefit from their “on the ground” experience and knowledge.

Find out more and register for Explore Export 2017.

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