7 Websites You Must Check Out Before You Enter a New Market

Whether you are lucky enough to be armed with a new product idea or you have yet to crystallize your thoughts, you’d be mad to put any serious money into the project before you had a good understanding of the market. Knowing about your chosen market environment and what makes your customers tick are vital to the innovation process.

But before you launch into costly primary research there is plenty of secondary research you can undertake from the comfort of your desk.

Here’s a guide to some good websites that we regularly use for research as part of our product development process.

Amazon http://www.Amazon.com with its extensive, searchable database of books, products and magazines (on the US site) is a great place to generate ideas for products if you are looking for inspiration and / or to establish how competitive the market is. (Similarly www.magazines.com shows the list of the most popular titles in any chosen field. Generally, the more magazines that exist in any one category, the bigger the market).

Ebay http://www.ebay.com is the largest online marketplace making it a great place to get ideas about what people are searching for and ready to buy. Check out Ebay Pulse http://pulse.ebay.com (or your geographical version) which provides “a daily snapshot of current trends, hot picks, and cool stuff on eBay“.

Alexa http://www.alexa.com/ What’s hot on the web right now. Find out about the most popular websites and gather detailed traffic and rankings stats from your competitors’ sites.

Keyword Research http://www.wordtracker.com/ tells you what people are searching for online by showing you exactly which keywords and phrases they’re using. This can help you identify profitable niches in the first place or to optimize your website.

Article sites What are people writing about in your subject area? There is a wealth of article-based websites out there where you can read up on pretty much any topic you dream up. Some good article sites are http://ezinearticles.com/ http://www.articlecity.com/ http://www.articlesbase.com/

Blogs If a subject is worth talking about, you can bet there’s a blog out there already. http://technorati.com/ is the “leading blog search engine and most comprehensive source of information on the blogosphere “. Find out what people are thinking on any virtually any subject via this search engine.

Espacenet http://www.espacenet.com Visit the website for the European Patent Office to establish whether any prior art (existing work in the public domain) exists. Or http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/search/national_databases.html for a full list of national office databases.

And a final one thrown in… Google. Need I say anymore…… Oh and by the way, Google is also excellent for checking out patents at: http://www.google.com/patents

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