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TAM SAM SOM: Calculate Market Size For Your Business [With Templates]

By Storeplum Editorial

Posted | 10 min read

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How to calculate tam sam som?

Have you ever wondered how much potential market is available for your product and whether it will be profitable from day 1? This article is written for readers who are directly selling their products to consumers, often termed as D2C.

Market size refers to the number of customers who might buy your product. Before launching your startup, it’s a good idea to get an estimate of how many people could buy your product, and whether or not there’s enough demand to support your planned sales volume.

In this guide, you will see how to find market size for a product that you want to sell online- indirectly paving the path for your startup success.

Table of contents

  1. Finding right market size
  2. Is market potential too big or too small?
  3. Understanding Total Addressable Market (TAM)
  4. Importance of TAM
  5. Understanding Serviceable Available Market (SAM)
  6. Understanding Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)
  7. Maximize SOM in your business plan
  8. TAM SAM SOM Template
  9. TAM SAM SOM Example
  10. Calculate market size for your business

Why is finding the accurate market size important?

When you're trying to sell a product online, it's important to know what the demand for that product is. If there's not enough demand, then it can be hard to make money and you could even lose money if your inventory costs too much.

On the other hand, if there's too much demand (more than you can handle) then your sales will suffer because you won't be able to fulfill all of your orders.

The good news is that it's possible to figure out exactly how many people might want to buy your product. In fact, Google Trends make it a bit easy for you. Here is a trick to get a rough idea to find out the right market size for your product:

Go to Google Trends and search for a description of your product. For example, "trendy clothes" or "fast food restaurant market"

You'll see a chart showing how many people have searched for that term over time. You can change the settings at the top of the page (under "show search volume") to show searches from specific countries or regions of the world, which can be helpful if you're only interested in selling in one place.

google trends to understand what people are searching

Your market analysis will directly affect your business plan

Calculating the market size of a particular niche is essential to deciding whether you have a viable business idea on your hands. If your niche is too small, there won't be enough customers to make your business successful.

A good rule of thumb is that you need at least 1,000 potential customers in your target market who will spend money with you or subscribe to your service. If your potential customer base is smaller than this, you'll probably have a hard time growing.

So how do you know if the niche you're thinking about jumping into is too big? The way you can tell is by looking at the number of competitors in the market. If there are more than 10,000 competing companies in the space, then it's time to consider something else.

Those numbers aren't etched in stone and you may be able to easily stand out without doing anything special in terms of branding or marketing if there are less.

Metrics like tam, sam, som can be helpful in identifying opportunities and assessing whether a business has the resources to pursue them. It is also a useful metric used to convince investors that a given opportunity is a good market to invest in.

They can also be useful in defining target markets, market analysis and determining how to best allocate marketing resources.

Understanding Total Addressable Market (TAM)

TAM stand for total addressable market. It is the total revenue opportunity for your product. It is a key point used by businesses to determine if the market volume is large enough to justify the resources (time, money, people) required to capture that opportunity in every country.

Total Addressable Market (TAM) = Number of potential users who can buy your product X Maximum product price.

The TAM is typically expressed as a dollar amount or an estimate of the number of customers. Sometimes, it is also referred as just total market.

For example, let’s say you are planning to start an ecommerce website for a new category of shoes and slip-ons named “Healing Shoes” that helps people with wide feet and arthritis to walk and jog without any pain. You believe that these shoes would be valuable to people over 40 with knee pains and arthritis. If you calculated that there are 10,000,000 such people in US and that they spend an average of $40 annually on such solutions, then your TAM would be $400 million ($10m x 40)

While it may seem straightforward to calculate TAM, it’s often more complicated to accurately measure the total market demand.

You need to make a lot of assumptions about how large the market is now and how it will grow in the future. You also need to make assumptions about how much of that market you can potentially capture with your product (see below).

A thumb rule is to rely on thorough market research to make sure that the assumptions are not way off than reality.

The total addressable market (TAM) is a metric that prospective investors can use to gauge a company's potential growth. It takes into account all segments of the market that a company could potentially tap into with its current product portfolio and business model.

It is the basic building block while writing a detailed business plan for your product. Check out the below template to get a rough idea on calculating TAM.

Why should you include tam sam som in your business pitch deck?

There are a few reasons why the total available market (TAM) is still included in most pitch decks, even though it may be difficult to obtain an accurate estimate.

First, large TAM provides a helpful way to think about the potential size of a market.

Second, TAM can be used as a tool to help identify potential customer segment.

Finally, even if the TAM is not perfectly accurate, it can still provide valuable insights into the potential size and growth of a market. That is why there are other metrics like sam and som.

how to calculate total addressable market

Understanding Serviceable Available Market (SAM)

A serviceable available market (SAM) is the total amount of a product or service that can be sold to targeted customers. This is different from the total addressable market, which may also include different portion of the market like potential customers who wouldn't purchase your product or service.

Serviceable available market (SAM) = Targeted segment TAM X Maximum product price.

It's important to understand what your SAM would help you with. Your serviceable addressable market (SAM) is the share of market that your company can actually serve. In other words, it’s the maximum potential revenue your company can generate.

SAM is a function of multiple factors, including:

The number of potential customers

This is a function of population and income levels. If we continue with our example of “Healing Shoes” your SAM will be very different if you're in New York than if you're in a local market of a lower-income country like Zambia.

Distribution channels

Your SAM is limited by the channels that you can use to reach customers and by your ability to meet their demands. For example, if you depend on distributors and they won't serve a particular geographical region or type of customer, then that market segment is out of your SAM equation.

how to calculate serviceable addressable market (SAM)

Understanding Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)

SOM stands for serviceable obtainable market.

It is a market that is both accessible and able to be serviced. It is fraction of your sam which is important for businesses to consider when expanding their operations, as it ensures that there is both a demand for their products or services and that there is an ability to reach your som and address your customers in a market.

Serviceable obtainable market (SOM) = Revenue of previous year X SAM for this year.

To assess whether a market is SOM, businesses need to consider factors such as the size of the population, the level of economic development, infrastructure, and regulations.

In an ideal world, you’d like to capture 100 percent of the market share for your product. But that is rarely the case. SOM or serviceable obtainable market determines how many customers you can realistically obtain with your current GTM or go to market strategies. SOM is most useful to determine short term business targets. SAM and SOM are acronyms which are used interchangeably in some cases.

Simply put, estimate your SOM as a multiplication of last year’s market share with this year’s SAM. SOM also helps in defining revenue goals for your business in the coming year.

how to calculate serviceable obtainable market

Maximize SOM in your business plan

Can your SAM and SOM be ever equal? Ideally, every business would like to but it's almost always impossible. Indirectly it means that your business has the entire market share without any competition.

Even if you target a well curated specific market, it's crucial to understand that there will eventually be competition which will make it difficult to hold that position.

Focus on below areas to gain maximum market share-

Acquisitions

Big brands often deploy these strategies to increase their overall market size. It's better to acquire smaller competitions who have a loyal customer segment. Acquisitions help to put the competition out of market and assume their market share.

Not just that you'd be getting their piece of the market but your business would also have a loyal customer base at your immediate disposal.

If your business is not in a position to acquire your competition, you can think of acquiring some of the key employees, decision makers who can help you expedite your growth by bringing in more business opportunities.

New Innovations

Innovations set you apart from everyone else in the market. It's necessary to keep innovating to tap the true market's potential. As an example, Allbirds created a brand new category of shoes made out of sustainable merlin wool.

They found like minded customers who needed comfortable shoes and at the same time care about the environment. With their constant innovation in footwear, Allbirds was able to set themselves apart from the competition. Several new brands followed the same merlin wool shoe tech but Allbirds already had the majority share in this segment. Market size metrics and highly driven by innovations.

Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers are indirectly flag bearers of your brand. Such customers tend to stick with your product or offerings irrespective of the competition. Not surprisingly, they reduce the overall customer acquisition costs, leaving you more room to push on your marketing plan to bring in new customers and generate revenues.

TAM SAM SOM Template

This template will help to keep things simple for you. It includes the formulas and examples needed to find total market volume, calculate sam and estimate som metrics.

Download our TAM SAM SOM template

TAM SAM SOM Example

Let's take an example of one of the world's most valued brand- Nike. We will evaluate it's primary footwear business where Nike dominates much of the market by leaps and bounds.

Nike is the world's largest manufacturer of athletic shoes and sportswear with annual revenue in excess of 46.71 billion U.S. dollars in global market as of 2022 according to Statista. After its humble beginnings in 1964, Nike has grown into a global brand which produces footwear, apparels, accessories, primarily catering to a target segment of people with active lifestyles.

Target persona characteristics

  • Men and women between the ages of 18 to 40
  • Primary hobby - running and casual sports
  • Average income - above $55,000 annually.
MarketSize
TAM of NikeTotal addressable market for footwear in USA is $79.9B as of 2021
SAM of NikeNike targets a Serviceable Addressable Market of $19.94B through it athletic footwear
SOM of NikeNike’s percentage of market share from its SAM is about 48%, which comes to $12.2B

We have also compiled a massive list of tam, sam, som examples for popular D2C brands for your reference. Check it out!

nike tam sam som

Calculate market size for your business

As a matter of fact, all of these numbers- TAM, SAM, SOM will be an estimates which help you in building a solid strategy for your business.

Your success in building the strategy largely depends on what factors you consider in calculating the size of the market.

Chances of coming up with accurate estimates is directly related to the amount of research you do in understanding your target market and the market demand for a product.

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Storeplum Editorial

Storeplum Editorial

Storeplum's in-house editorial team brings to you the best content when it comes to growing your online business on the Internet. We write about growth hacks, case studies, government schemes and other related information for e-commerce business.

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