What Retailers Need to Know Before Conducting Market Research
Retail, specifically e-commerce retail, has been growing for quite some time, and a lot of companies have taken advantage of this growth as they move toward more digital marketing strategies. In fact, some have chosen to forgo a brick-and-mortar store and traditional advertising completely.
There’s a lot of information available on retail consumer behavior, but retailers and their brands should also be conducting their own research in order to attract more customers. To start, retailers can keep in mind these three things before leveraging market research.
Online Makes it Global
More consumers are turning to aggregate retailers to fulfill their online shopping needs, often due to the greater variety of product and better deals. This usually means that consumers have access to more items than what’s available in their country. Thus they become global shoppers on a much more frequent basis.
Access to global products means more consumers are cross-border or borderless shopping, and that means companies have to account for a potential global strategy to their digital retail marketing and e-commerce efforts. Essentially, a retail strategy can mean a global strategy, so understanding where a product is sold online and testing the success of that product through multi-country research can help improve or develop the right approach.
Omnichannel Strategies Are Influential
Omnichannel shopping refers to consumers who are browsing and purchasing products in-store and online. However, with the rise of online retail, this expands past just brick-and-mortar and e-commerce channels. Today, omnichannel shopping can refer to a variety of digital channels like direct-to-consumer sites, social media, B-to-B retailer sites, and marketplaces like Amazon.com, eBay and Craigslist. This trend is taking hold in a variety of ways, from webrooming and showrooming to click-and-collect to social media in-app purchasing.
As a result, incorporating more market research into a digital and in-store strategy to help understand which channels your customers are using to both browse and purchase products is ideal. For example, consumers usually browse and research online before purchasing in-store for categories like electronics, furniture, automotive, entertainment, apparel, and health and wellness.
Companies, whether they have product online, in-store or both, should look to understand how their customers are shopping or researching online in conjunction with in-store activities. Research tactics like mobile shop-alongs or video response can generate insight into this behavior. Gaining this knowledge and what activities are taking place online and offline allows brands to develop more comprehensive targeting campaigns and increase top-of-mind awareness.
Consumers Are More Than Just People That Buy Your Product
Many retail brands already take advantage of personalization techniques in order to identify and resonate with consumers on a deeper level. Conducting research that explores consumers outside of just buying your product or shopping your category could provide the insights you need to take your personalization and retail marketing strategy to the next level. For example, market research methodologies that combine survey data and big data can gather the information retailers need to not only learn who their customer is, but how to target and activate them by incorporating their key personality attributes and behavioral data related to their media consumption, lifestyle and habits.
Regardless of where retailers are at in their market research strategy, factoring in these three things will help create a multichannel, global but targeted mind-set that could help drive growth in their space.
Cassandra McNeill is senior manager of content manager of content marketing at GutCheck, a global, online agile market research solution that enables its clients to get quick consumer insights to address business questions.
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