Online Retailer Customer Survey: Using Customer Feedback to Grow Your Product Offerings

With 96% of U.S. consumers shopping online it should come as no surprise that the online retail industry is booming. The surge of online shoppers however has caused new retailers to pop up every day making it more competitive than ever. 

For this reason, more and more online retailers are looking to conduct online surveys with their customers. The goal is to learn more about their buyers, how brands can improve their experiences, and generate ideas for new products.

Take a recent customer survey conducted by our market research company for example. Our team partnered with an online retailer to explore ideas and thoughts around potential new products.

Keep reading to learn more about the survey approach and results.

Online retailer  customer surveys


Challenges of the Online Retailer

The client is one of the largest independent distributors of home appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, and more. The company distributes a wide range of products to top online retailers across the country.

As a distributor, the client wanted to make a shift to partner with more home and decor brands.

In order to do so, the online distributor wanted to first learn more about their target market and the level of interest around expanding into indoor and outdoor living decor.


Solution: Conduct a Survey with the Online Retailer’s Customers

To address the objectives of the client, Drive Research recommended conducting a customer survey where we would collect feedback through email. 

A customer survey is the perfect type of market research to learn more about the needs, wants, and preferences of your target market. It is especially important when brands are looking to grow their products or services into a new industry. 

The customer survey would include custom-written questions to meet the online retailer's objectives such as:

  • What are the top 5 most important factors when purchasing home furnishings?
  • Which of the following best describes the style/decor you prefer in your home?
  • What word or phrase comes to mind when you see or hear [CLIENT NAME]?
  • Thinking about home furnishings in general, where are the top products or pieces you are most interested in purchasing if offered by [CLIENT NAME]?

Looking for more customer survey question examples? Watch the video below where the Drive Research team shares their top recommendations. 


Approach to the Online Retailer Customer Survey

Our market research company specializes in both retail market research and customer satisfaction surveys. As a result, Drive Research is able to follow a customized, yet streamlined approach to deliver quick insights for our clients. 

The process of conducting an online customer survey includes the following steps:

  1. Scheduling a kickoff meeting
  2. Creating a project workplan
  3. Designing the survey
  4. Programming and testing the survey
  5. Sending a pre-survey notice
  6. Sending a customer survey email invitation
  7. Cleaning and analyzing the data
  8. Creating a market research report
  9. Hosting a debrief meeting

For a full, in-depth look at our approach to customer surveys, read the Ultimate Guide to Conducting Customer Satisfaction Surveys.


Example Pre-Survey Email Notice Sent by the Online Retailer

To help boost the response rate, a pre-survey notice should be sent by the client before the first survey invite is sent. Below is an example of a pre-survey notice.

Subject Line: Upcoming Customer Survey for [Client]

Dear [Insert first name], [Client] has partnered with Drive Research, an independent market research company, to conduct an important customer survey to help improve our offerings. Within the next week, you will be asked to participate in a short, 5 to 7-minute survey to collect your feedback.

Your feedback will provide relevant insights to help us improve our offerings. Your responses will remain confidential and anonymous with Drive Research. I want to thank you in advance for your participation in this upcoming survey.

The invitation will come from Drive Research at invites@mailer.surveygizmo.com with the subject line, “We Need Your Feedback on [Client]”.


Email Invitation Sent by Drive Research

Below is an example of an email invitation sent by Drive Research. 

Subject Line: We Need Your Feedback on [Client]

We are conducting a short 5 to 7-minute survey about [Client]. By participating in the survey and completing all questions, you can enter to win one of five $50 Amazon gift cards as a thank you for your time and feedback.

Check here to start the survey.

Your feedback will provide relevant insights to help improve the offerings at [Client]. Your responses will remain anonymous with Drive Research, an independent market research company. Also, your responses will be combined with hundreds of other respondents to be reported in total. 

If you have any questions or comments about this online survey, please contact Drive Research at surveys@DriveResearch.com. Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to help us!


Findings of the Online Retailer Customer Survey

The survey took an average of 13 minutes to complete and included 33 questions. The survey received 285 responses. Fieldwork for the survey began on July 20 and lasted until August 27, 2021. 

A total of 285 responses at the 95% confidence level offers a 6% margin of error. If the survey were conducted with another random pool of 285 consumers, the results would yield within +6% or -6% of the stated totals in the reports.

Lastly, the online retailer client requested a topline report which includes a bullet-point style deliverable in a Word document with only the key insights to tell a quick story. The report also included online report links.

The report was broken down into the following sections: 

  • Factors of Importance When Purchasing [Example Industry]
  • Perception of [Example Brand]
  • Future Purchasing and Appeal of [Example Brand]
  • Interest in [Example Products]
  • Habits and Shopping Preferences
  • Sources of Awareness
  • Respondent Demographics

Conduct Retail Market Research with Our Team 

Drive Research is a full-service market research company, specializing in customer surveys. Our team partners with in-person and online retailers across the country.

We are strong believers in using data to guide business, marketing, and strategy decisions. 

To learn more about our experience in the retail space or to receive a project quote, contact Drive Research today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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