If you are in the furniture business, you don’t need our market research company to tell you how challenging it can be.
Factors like daily operations, fierce competition, online retail, and evolving consumer needs are just some of the obstacles to growth in the industry.
Marketing and advertising for a furniture store are especially important components of its growth. However, with significant potential spend in these areas, it is essential to make well-informed decisions.
Market research can take your retail furniture store’s business to the next level.
One common option is to purchase secondary research reports and data on the retail furniture industry.
An alternative to this is to conduct your own primary research to collect insights customized to your business. What better way to inform business strategy than with proprietary data tailored to your unique needs?
An investment in market research provides definitive, measurable, and actionable feedback to guide the next steps with competitive insights, branding, marketing, and strategy.
Using a third-party firm to manage the market research also ensures honest and unbiased responses from the general community.
Here are four primary market research studies that are worth the investment for furniture retailers.
1. Brand Equity Study
The objectives of a brand equity study typically include understanding awareness, source(s) of awareness, perceptions, and image of the furniture store and competitors. The research can also address factor(s) in choice and likelihood to consider the furniture store in its target markets.
Once the survey document is finalized, it is programmed into an online survey software and tested.
The online survey is usually sent to a random population in the target market area for the store (radius, counties, DMA, etc.).
To recruit survey participants in the required geographies, the market research company will typically budget dollars for invitations through email lists and/or social media ads.
Before receiving a full report, the furniture should also expect to receive a real-time dashboard of results which tabulates the responses from the survey.
2. Focus Groups
Focus groups are a qualitative market research methodology that involves group dialogue among 4 to 12 participants with a trained and experienced moderator to guide the discussion.
For a furniture store, market research can explore the overall image, marketing approaches, and ideas to grow revenue at the store through focus groups.
The focus groups may cover a variety of topics including:
- Diving into perceptions
- In-store experiences
- Motivations to purchase
- Competitive differentiators
All feedback collected at a focus group facility can help fuel an improved marketing strategy.
The market research company drafts a moderator’s guide and potential activities for the focus groups.
These documents would ideally be passed to the furniture store client at least one week prior to the beginning of the groups so edits can be made on the document. The market research company also handles scheduling and moderating all sessions.
In addition to a full market research report, a furniture store client could also expect to receive some combination of audio recordings, video recordings, or transcripts of the groups.
3. Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping is a methodology in market research using shoppers to assess experiences in a storefront, office, location, or retail environment.
This approach is a natural fit for furniture stores seeking to evaluate competitors in the market or even themselves.
A key benefit of hiring a third-party to handle the mystery shopping is that the shopping experience remains as authentic as possible.
Mystery shoppers are recruited and trained by a market research company for the furniture store.
Interactions between the shoppers and evaluated stores may come in the form of phone calls, emails, or in-person visits.
Mystery shoppers for a furniture store can assess customer service, store cleanliness, store layout, and current promotions among other aspects.
Following the scheduled mystery shops, a market research company will analyze the collected data to create a holistic view of the market as well as look for key patterns or differences.
These results will help the sponsoring furniture store understand what the competition is doing and how it stacks up. A furniture store client could expect to receive a full market research report and often a detailed log of all the mystery shops that were completed.
4. Online Reputation Management
An ongoing service that may be of value to furniture stores is online reputation management (ORM).
ORM acts as an intercept for online customer reviews for a business to address negative feedback before it becomes public. It is usually an online survey that is distributed to consumers after a recent purchase or visit to the furniture store.
The online survey typically first asks the respondents several questions about their experience with the furniture store and if the feedback is positive, they are routed to sites like Google, Yelp, etc. to leave a review.
This helps boost positive sentiment about the brand on public platforms.
If the survey feedback is negative, they are not provided a link to leave a public review. This provides a furniture store the ability to see and correct pain points for customers without any of the bad publicity of a negative review.
Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in Syracuse, New York. Our team can help execute both quantitative and qualitative research projects for furniture stores located anywhere in the country.
Interested in learning how we can help your team? Contact us today.
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