Undoubtfully, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused global economic concerns and it is nearly impossible to predict when consumer behaviors will return to normalcy. In fact, it seems, for the time being, our current state will be the “new norm.”
When dramatic shifts happen in the market, it is important to seek feedback and data directly from your target market. It is better to hear straight from the source, rather than rely on national, global, or even industry data.
Through consumer research, your company will be able to better gauge when your customers’ shopping habits will return to normal, concerns with digital business models, and more.
Understand consumers' new purchasing habits and preferences during this time of uncertainty. Here's a simple and cost-effective way to measure shifts in customer behavior during COVID-19.
Benefits of Conducting Consumer Research During COVID-19
COVID-19 is dramatically changing the way consumers shop. Consumers who primarily did their shopping in-stores, now have no choice but to turn to online capabilities. Let’s take a look at two examples of shifting consumer behaviors.
A mother of three goes to the grocery store every Monday to buy her family’s groceries for the week. To maintain proper social distancing, she utilizes the grocery store’s delivery services where she chooses her groceries online or on an app and is handed her groceries two-hours later.
A 67-year old man pays his car loan in-person each month at his local credit union. However, due to concerns with COVID-19, all credit unions have closed their doors and are only offering online or over the phone exchanges. In order to pay his monthly loan on time, he calls customer service and completes the transaction over the phone.
As a business that has shifted their business model, what can we learn? A LOT.
- After doing business online or over the phone rather than in-person, which does the consumer prefer?
- Once restrictions are lifted, will their purchasing methods return to normal or continue with remote methods?
- Are there concerns with the current digital or remote business model?
- What were consumers most satisfied with? What improvements can be made to the digital business model?
By measuring shifts in consumer behavior, organizations can better understand where they most need to focus their attention on to maintain a positive customer experience during this time.
Be prepared for a new market of online shoppers post-Coronavirus.
Additionally, there is a huge market of consumers who had never used a digital platform for their everyday purchases before – but now that they see the convenience of doing so, this will be their primary method of shopping.
If this is the case, consumer research can help prepare your organization for this shift. Now is the time to understand what consumers are least satisfied with and what improvements can be made with your digital platform.
Once purchasing patterns begin to ramp up post-Coronavirus, your team will be ready to offer a tested and streamlined service or product to a whole new market.
The Best Approach to Measure Consumer Behavior During COVID-19
There are many approaches an organization can take to collect consumer feedback. However, during COVID-19, online surveys serve a greater response rate than other market research methodologies such as focus groups or in-person interviews.
As a country, we are unclear when regulations of social distancing and self-quarantine will be over. Most consumers are sitting in their homes looking for something new to do.
People are more likely to jump at the chance to complete an online survey, especially if for an organization they like to support now more than ever.
Another reason online surveys would be the best approach to measure consumer shifts due to Coronavirus, is because this methodology offers the fastest turnaround time. As you know, the impact of this virus changes almost every hour. It is important to capture and act on consumer feedback as soon as possible.
Our consumer research company can build a survey, launch fieldwork, and have results within a few days to a week, so working with out-of-date data should not be a concern.
Setting COVID-19 aside, online surveys serve a multitude of benefits for consumer research including high quality and cost-effective feedback.
How Does a Consumer Survey Project Work?
An online survey with our consumer market research company follows a streamlined process to offer quick and quality results for your team. The process can be broken down into five simple stages.
1. Project Kickoff
After receiving a signed proposal, Drive Research will schedule a quick phone call to further discuss your project objectives and needs. Primarily, the call will help guide our team in drafting an online survey with the best questions pertaining to your goals.
After speaking with your team, Drive Research will send a workplan that outlines each stage of the online survey project.
2. Survey Drafting & Testing
From there, we start drafting a unique survey with questions recommended by our team of experts. No two surveys are the same with our market research clients.
Rest assured, your dedicated project team will create a survey best fit for measuring shifts in purchasing and consumer behavior within your specific target market and industry.
After your team approves of the consumer survey questions, Drive Research will program the questionnaire into our online survey platform. Your organization will also receive a test link to view or take the survey as if you were a respondent.
Once your team approves of the programmed online survey, the survey can be launched in minutes. As responses start coming in, your team will be able to see up-to-the-second results with our client viewing portal. We weren’t kidding when we said an online consumer survey provides quick results!
Depending on how many responses your team is looking for, fieldwork can be closed in a matter of days.
Once fieldwork is closed, our online survey company will begin our analysis process to confirm all responses are from legitimate consumers, there are no duplicate responses, and review skip patterns.
This assures the data and consumer feedback you receive is 100% reliable and you are making smart business decisions. This is critical at a time where every budget dollar must be spent strategically.
When working with Drive Research, you will also receive a major level of data interpretation. By this I mean, we don’t just send you charts and graphs to make sense of it on your own.
Your dedicated research team will send you a full report with recommendations, a summary of key findings, and any next steps with market research.
Our online survey firm will also take the time to meet with your team, post-fieldwork, for a debriefing meeting where we go through the report page by page and talk through any questions you may have.
In these uncertain times, it helps to have all the backup and fact-based evidence you can get. Drive Research can help achieve that for you.
Drive Research is a national consumer research company located in Upstate New York. Our team can execute a variety of research studies to measure shifts in consumer behavior including online surveys, online focus groups, and web interviews.