The need to accurately quantify a customer’s purchasing behavior is now part of being competitive in the business world. Identifying consumer purchasing patterns impacts a company’s product design and marketing efforts. Technology is now being used to provide the detailed purchasing behavior of consumers.
According to an article on Retail Solutions Magazine, “Retailers must remain competitive by delivering the products, shopping experience, and service that the shopper values. Insight into consumers’ preferences and value systems has become the Holy Grail for retailers.”
A benefit of online surveys is conditional branching. Based on the response to a question, a computer can automatically take a person to the next set of questions. This avoids the problems of instructions on a written survey. Participants no longer have to manually skip to the next set of questions when they answer a certain way on one question. Using conditional branching permits a company to more easily identify response to a brand choice, and then choices within a brand. Survey results can show how consumers feels about the maker of a certain clothes, and also what specific clothing items are preferred from the maker.
Online Search Data
This provides data on a consumer’s website visits. It also provides information on the pages they viewed. The types of searches conducted by consumers can identify what search terms are being used most often. It is valuable information that needs to be carefully analyzed. When a company knows what parts of a website are most frequently used by consumers, they can then design their website to accommodate. It also enables a company to remove search terms that are not performing as desired.
Many consumers belong to shopping clubs. They get a card from a business, and present it to the business each time they make a purchase. Consumers are rewarded for using the card with a variety of discounts for specific products. Most businesses located in an area will share this type of purchasing information. It provides a very valuable historical record of consumer purchases. Many companies take this information and combine it with the demographics of a specific area. Some even include television watching information from a specific community. This provides companies with a detailed view of what these consumers want and need.
Focus Group Technology
A popular type of marketing information comes from focus groups. Participants are now often asked to wear a small camera attached to plain eye glasses. They are then asked to watch certain advertisements. Doing this enables companies to determine where on a computer screen or other type of ad display, the participant is focused. The company also learns the amount of time a consumer spends looking at the advertisement. This makes it possible to identify if a person is actually following the intended sequence of an advertisement. It’s information that can increase the accuracy of a company’s marketing programs.