A Guide to Market Research

The retail landscape continue to evolve with the consumer having much greater power than ever before to choose a retailer that suits his or her individual needs. Whether a person is looking to buy from the cheapest supplier, have aims for the highest quality, or want free delivery, the Internet has placed pressure on the retail market to deliver. As the owner of a business do you understand your marketplace and consumers fully? And are you doing everything in your power to utilise market research to the fullest? With help and advice from market research specialists you could change the way you look at your operation, increasing standards and delivering an impeccable CX.

The first thing you need to do when conducting market research is to define the characteristics of your customers. It is important to understand the exact type of person your products and services should be aimed at and is the starting steps to any market research project. It helps you to visualise the customer you are aiming to entice, and you should be aware of an age range, gender, location, job titles, family size, and income of your ideal consumer. You should also list any potential challenges you may face in attempting to entice this specific character of consumer.

Once you have achieved this you can move on to identifying a portion of that characteristic to engage. This usually means choosing participants who have recently made a purchase from you, or those who have decided not to purchase from you. Market research can be conducted via an online survey, through telephone interviews, immediately after a purchase journey, or in-person via a focus group scenario. It is good to have a mix of people and to have at least ten people as part of this initial research to gain an insight into the true feeling of your average customer.

Now it’s time to engage with your research participants. By hiring a professional market research company you’ll have immediate access to a wide range of persona types that are suitable for your market research needs, and these could include recent customers, those who were active customers until 3-6 months ago, those who have been incentivised to take part, or asked via social media to offer input. Questions should be set in advance, with open-ended questions that allow for full and frank discussion on all topics in order to elicit honest answers.

Once you have the answers to your questions you should also make an extensive list of all your primary competitors, any competitors on the marketplace where there is overlap with products and/or services. This gives you a chance to compare your service against the marketplace as accurately as possible.

Last, put together your market research findings in a concise, precise, and effective way that helps you genuinely change the way you approach the market and your consumers. It is important that you are working from a base of accurate information, as the more information and data you have to hand the more precise you can be with how you plan for the future and your new marketing endeavours.

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