Research Methods before starting Online Business

Quantitative survey

The quantitative survey conducts statistically representative interviews using standardized questionnaires and is used to test assumptions about relationships and hypotheses.

The standardized questionnaire forms the basis for a quantitative survey. Its design influences the quality of the subsequent results to a great extent, so that careful questionnaire design is of particular importance.

First, a so-called measurement model is developed that maps the assumptions and hypotheses to be tested to previously defined characteristics and variables. By examining the relationships between these features and variables, the verification or falsification of the assumptions and hypotheses takes place later.

The corresponding characteristics and variables are measured using standardized questions. For this purpose, closed or half-open questions are used, for which the answer options are already given.

This ensures that the questionnaires can be statistically evaluated and the measured values ​​can be categorized later. When creating the questionnaire, there are additional points, such as B. to pay attention to the appropriate structure of the questionnaire and the understandable formulation of the questions.

When carrying out the survey, it must be taken into account that all questions are processed in the specified order.

The quantitative survey can be carried out either in writing, face-to-face, by telephone or online. It is important that the surveys are carried out under the same interview conditions.

In this way the comparability of the answers can be guaranteed. The duration of the survey should not exceed 20 minutes. In this way it can usually be ensured that the interviewee’s concentration does not decrease significantly.

Sample Selection

The sample selection must be made in such a way that the interviewees are representative of the population with regard to the variables to be measured. The selection of the sample and the determination of the sample size can be carried out using various methods, which, however, will not be discussed in detail here.

Conducting a quantitative survey only makes sense if statistically representative statements are actually desired and, in addition, a sufficiently large number of participants is available who can evaluate the subject of the investigation. In most cases, this only applies in the context of a strategic market analysis if a B2C market is being analyzed and the end customer’s attitude towards a certain product is of great interest (this is mostly relevant for products for the mass market).

When creating a strategic market analysis for B2B markets, the prerequisites described are not always met.

A representative survey is also associated with a great deal of time and money, so that a realistic assessment should be made in advance of the implementation of the extent to which this is actually necessary in the context of a strategic market analysis.

Secondary market research

The implementation of secondary market research is based on the analysis of existing data. These can come from internal or external information sources.

Analysis of internal sources

When analyzing internal sources, information material that is already available in the company is used. These documents were created by the company itself and are based on the evaluation of the company’s own database. They can include the following categories:

The interaction of primary and secondary market research

When carrying out a strategic market analysis in practice, it is usually neither possible nor sensible to rely on the methods of primary market research or secondary market research. Only the combination of both methods enables a holistic recording of the target market to be analyzed.

The methods of secondary market research are used to collect basic information and existing data and studies. In this way a good understanding of the target market can be developed.

Using the methods of primary research, in a second step, in-depth, technical and qualitatively extremely valuable information about the respective market can be generated through interviews with experts or the target group, and general industry information can be broken down into the specific object of investigation.

In connection with the data from secondary market research, this creates a comprehensive picture of the market.


The stock of methods of a strategic market analysis extends to the areas of primary research, whose methods generate new data in the course of an analysis, and to the areas of secondary market research, whose methods use existing data. It turns out that only the combination of these two approaches allows a holistic penetration of the market to be analyzed.

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