Customers are no longer solely concerned with price. More factors, such as brand differentiation, reputation, and customer-centric return policies, are now considered when making a purchase decision.
However, it isn't easy to read a customer's mind. It is also tricky for retailers to determine where they fit when compared with their competition.
Many decisions, especially for new retailers, may appear to be based on instinct or guesswork. Market research can help you understand your industry, target customer, competition, and product, removing much of the uncertainty. And once you know all of that, your chances of success are a lot greater.
Let's dive deeper into these steps on how to conduct market research.
1. Define your Objectives
Begin with your goals. Make a list of the main detail. The market research data you want to collect and how you plan to use it. Describe your business' issues lowing are some examples of the goals.
- Compare the prices to your competitors to discover whether you have room to raise yours. You may visit other clothing stores that sell similar items to yours to check their pricing. Or, if your competitors have an online shop, you may check it on their website.
- Identify your ideal potential customers so you may offer a product that is designed for their specific needs. Include your customer's age, gender, location, income, and particular issues your customers want to be addressed.
- Determine the size of the market of your clothing business.
- If you already have a business, improve customer service to increase word-of-mouth recommendations.
2. Create Your Research Questions
Create a list of research questions for your market, customers, and competitors once you've selected an objective. Here are some examples of questions:
Questions for your market:
- What are your market's key demographics (age, gender, occupation)?
- How will the introduction of a new business or product affect the market and customers?
- Is the economy in the area where you operate stably?
Questions for your customer:
- What is your age?
- Where do you spend your free time?
- How likely are you to tell your family and friends about our brand?
Questions for your competitors:
- What is the profile of a typical competitor for your business?
- What are your competitors' strengths?
- What are your competitors' weaknesses?
Remember to gather information from customers who are fans of your product/service and from those who did not have a positive experience. Inquiring about feedback from infrequent or lost customers is an excellent way to identify gaps in your product/service and opportunities for improvement.
3. Conduct the Research
It is usually simpler, to begin with, secondary research, which means that you have to look for research reports, case studies, and leading publications in your field.
Primary market research necessitates a different approach to data collection. You'll have to do your research. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, including:
- Customer satisfaction surveys can occur via email, feedback, or survey forms on your website or polls.
- In-depth Customer Interviews: One-on-oneinterviews with customers over the phone or via video chat.
- Customer feedback: Find out what people are saying about your brand, products, competitors, and similar products.
- Contextual Inquiry: a user research technique that involves observing and interviewing people while performing tasks in their natural environment.
- Focus Groups: Hire a company or agency to conduct in-depth research with 8-10 participants
- Sales records: Review the customer and sales information you already have on hand.
- Employees: Inquire with your sales associates about their observations on the floor, whether they are frequently asked questions from customers or observations of customer behavior.
4. Analyze and Summarize your Findings
The data analysis phase can be challenging. A marketing research specialist is invaluable in compiling results in this situation, especially when conducting qualitative research such as customer interviews and statistical modeling.
Here are some tips for analyzing your market research findings.
- In your analysis, group similar responses together. For example, research participants may describe a product you provide in various ways and referring to the same item. In this case, you should add responses in the final analysis.
- Create visual representations of the data: Once you've grouped responses, you can start building tables or charts with the information you've gathered. Creating a visual compilation of research findings is critical because this is the primary means of communicating the research findings to stakeholders and others within the company.
- Make assumptions explicit: If your research results necessarily require some assumptions, make this clear in your analysis. Separate the main takeaways from underlying assumptions.
- Write understandable results: The final report should be written in an easy-to-understand format. Avoid technical jargon and instead concentrate on insights, answers, and recommendations rather than a list of facts and figures. Summarize findings visually, such as graphs and tables, to assist report recipients in digesting the information.
- Provide information that serves the research goal: Consider what each chart, fact, or table in the report means and the implications. Consider whether that piece of information effectively communicates the research findings. If it isn't, get rid of it.
5. Put your Research into Action
Now that you've adequately understood your findings, it's time to put them into action.
Start developing a campaign or implementing marketing strategies based on your findings. Keep track of the outcomes throughout your plan. You might discover that your information and data were not accurate predictors of the actual result.
For example, suppose your research indicated that increasing your Facebook ad spending would result in more website views, but it did not. In that case, your strategy may need to be revised.
Because effective marketing strategies are constantly evolving, your marketing research process will never be complete. To remain innovative and reach more people, your team should continue to follow the research process.
Continue to evaluate your results to learn where you can make improvements. Take note of your growth and success if your marketing strategy is working well.
Marketing research, like any other project, requires planning.
The marketing research project will provide insightful information to inform your business decisions if you have the necessary resources and support.
The key to conducting and applying market research successfully is to remember that it never ends and conduct it regularly. The market changes, and you must stay on top of it to stay ahead of the game.