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—some forgoing 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.

1. Online Makes It Global

More consumers are turning to aggregate retailers to fulfill their online shopping needs—often due to the greater variety of products and better deals. But 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.

2. 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, B2B retailer sites, and marketplaces like Amazon, 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 what channels your consumers 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 consumers 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.

3. Consumers are More than Just People Who 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 multi-channel, global but targeted mindset that could help drive growth in their space.

To see an example of how an athletic retailer used a solution that combines survey and big data to better understand the category as a whole and what opportunities they had to take advantage of with a certain audience, download the infographic below.

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