The Complete Guide to Market Research for Your Retail Business

May, 2018

The biggest challenge any business faces today is to get headway into what your consumer is thinking, the retail industry is no different with buyers not only looking at price factors but going beyond components such as brand, product reputation, return policies, omnichannel, information security and many more.

The emphasis, now, has shifted towards collecting and using data to provision personalized customer experience. Retailers are trying to identify gaps using live data like stores vs. online buying pattern, seasonal buying pattern and many more to help differentiate customer buying behavior and accordingly provide them the benefits.

How Market Research Helps?

Market research provides inputs to understand the reasons behind consumer’s decision to buy. This information is further used to design products, provide solutions to help market the product more effectively. Market research allows understanding the societal, cultural, socio-economic, personal and geographic set up of target customers. It provides an overview of the product demand, factors influencing the demand along with the competitive landscape.

Role of Market Research

Market research provides insights to streamline and validate a product idea. It uses multiple data points to help understand the buyer’s requirement using different marketing programs, effective pricing policies and brand positioning. It further helps to understand who the target customers are and how to present and brand a product to help develop a unique selling proposition.

Different Market Research Techniques

  • Secondary Research: This involves use of already recorded cases. Typically, retailers refer to information relevant to their problem like case studies related to their industry or target market.

  • Primary Market Research: This method of research requires retailers to collect live data from the market by conducting different customer surveys via email or feedback from buyers in the store or online, One to one or telephonic customer interviews, customer reviews analyses and findings from sales associates on commonly asked questions.

Different Tools to conduct Market Research

  • Facebook Page: Facebook business page is used to get audience insights and to understand what kind of updates consumers are following. Information like income, age, basic lifestyle type and spending patterns and frequency visited locations can be sought from the page.

  • Survey tools: There are many online customer survey tools like Google forms, SurveyMonkey that help to engage and interact with the audience.

  • SEO tools: There are multiple tools available which retailers use to conduct market research. Google Trends is extensively used to determine different kinds of popular buying habits.

Capturing Feedback Throughout Buyers’ Journey in Real Time

The e-commerce retail sector has outperformed most of the brick and mortar retail enterprises. The market has witnessed rapid changes in the retail ecosystem driven by digital touch points which allow recording each and every data related to buyer’s behavior. This facilitates for multiple information related to product reviews, comparisons and many other aspects. Retailers further use the information to develop actionable insights about buyer’s behavior covering each and every set during a purchase.

To Conclude

Market research provides inputs which help to mitigate risks in advance. It helps to get a better understanding about the risks involved and how best to tackle them. Further it helps to decrease the risk of investing time and other resources in a wrong business strategy.

- Pavan Mudholkar,
Infoholic Research