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Market Access

Tariffs & Quotas: There are at least three major reasons why a market researcher should check a country’s import tariffs when he is investigating it as an export market:

-    Tariffs can affect the competitiveness of his product against products made within the market.
-    They can affect the competitiveness of his product against hose of supplier from their countries who may be subject to different tariff rates.
-    They must be taken into account in calculating possible selling prices.

Internal Taxes: A variety of internal taxes can play an important part in Cost/Price build-up for a product, and thus in its market prospects. In some cases internal taxes are imposed in such a way that they discriminate against foreign goods, so that their effect is similar to that of an import tariff.

Currency Restrictions: Many governments impose controls and restrictions on the expenditure of foreign exchange for imported goods or services. Sometimes such retractions can effectively seal off a market to all suppliers and for all but the most essential goods.

Health and Safety Regulations: Many countries impose strict health and safety regulations on the import or sale of products particularly food product. These regulations may concern the raw material from which a product is made, the conditions under which it is processed, how it is packaged and labeled. Failure to learn about and conform to such regulations would exclude a supplier from a market.

Political Factors: The market researcher must also know about the political forces that may influence policy. Sometimes religious or ideological pressures can result in restriction son the import of certain products, such as alcoholic beverages. Apart from such internal political factors, the politics of international relations can play a role in creating or eliminating tariff barriers and in shifting the relative position between competing supplying countries.

Market Size, Pattern & Growth: Studying the official trade barriers tells the market researcher whether his product can gain access to particular market. The researcher must also find out what sales potential his product really has in the market. He must asses the present size of the market, how it is likely to grow and what share of it his particular product can win.

Imports: The researcher has to find out:

-    How much of the product is presently being imported.
-    From where the imports have been coming.
-    How the market share of the various foreign suppliers have been shifting and are likely to develop.
-    The prices of exports from various sources.

Consumption: Besides imports, it is also necessary to know how much of the product, the market actually consumes and is likely to consume in the future. The researcher must also study:

-    The size and trends of production within the market.
-    Export from the market
-    The factors that will affect the share of imports in consumption and in particular
the share that his products might be able to capture.

When studying the size and pattern of consumption of particular product, the archer must investigate the following characteristics.

-    How much of the product is consumed annually?
-    Who consumes it?
-    Where it is consumed?
-    How often is the product bought by an individual purchaser?
-    How is the product used?
-    What other product are competing for the same usage?

Market Segmentation: In any national market, only a certain portion of the total population or the total number of industrial users are buyers or potential buyers of any particular product. These people/firms tend to share certain characteristics. In case of consumers, these shared characteristics might be related to such factor as income level, age, level of education, profession, ethnic background etc.

There are three reason why market researchers should identify segments:

-    By identifying the segment or segments within the total market which are most likely to buy the product (the target segment), the researcher can arrive at a more accurate estimate of its potential consumption and sales that he could by merely lolling at the market as a whole.

-    Identifying target segment in a market is necessary step in collecting information that will help decide how to market a product. People in different social and economic groups often tend to purchase products in different kinds of shops, read different publications, watch different television programmers and respond to different sales argument.

-    Selecting target segments and understanding their characteristics provides a basis for adapting the product to the market in order to increase its changes of success.

-    Once the target market segment has been identified, it can be very helpful to draw up an end-user profile” to bring together relevant characteristics of the ‘typical’ user, the people or organizations that make up the target market segment.

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