McKinsey recently published a report detailing the changes in consumer behaviour during and post-COVID. The report covers many aspects of consumer behaviour – but shows a clear change when it comes to what customers now see as important.
What’s most interesting about this shift, is that McKinsey predicts it will stick in the post-COVID world.
A change to consumer needs represents a shift at the most fundamental level of every market. If this change holds true, we may see many industry leaders fall, caught trying to serve the pre-pandemic market.
To survive, every business will have to adapt – not just the way they sell, but what they sell will have to change.
We’ve been thinking about this shift at Apadmi and how we can help our clients combat the coming changes in consumer behaviour. The key to success here will be developing an understanding of your customers and so we’ve explored the ways in which mobile solutions and market research can help your business develop a clear picture of your customer’s behaviour.
Why is market research more important than ever?
As we come out of the pandemic, every industry will need to reassess all previous assumptions around consumer behaviour.
This could be a long and laborious process – not to mention the added difficulties of directly canvassing members of the public immediately after a pandemic.
The next industry leaders will be those companies that are able to measure and adapt to consumer trends rapidly. If your company can display a close alignment to new consumer needs before your competitors, you’ll quickly become a natural choice in the new market.
There’s a gap in that market for rapid, mass-research tools, and we believe that gap will be filled by mobile market research.
What is mobile market research?
Mobile market research is the process of collecting data via mobile devices. The data can be both user-generated (i.e. asking them questions in-device) and directly generated by a user’s device (i.e. utilising location data). By combining the two types of data via an easily accessible platform, mobile market research has rapidly become a prefered source for many industries.
There are several mobile market research platforms, including both mobile and web apps, but the majority of out-of-the-box solutions are costly and may require access to your customer data. To ensure the most efficient and safest collection of data, it’s best to build your own mobile market research platform, or integrate an element of this into a pre-existing solution if you already have one.
However, if you’re considering creating your own mobile market research platform, there can be a lot to consider. You must ensure that the solution you create is fit for purpose, capable of gathering all the data you’ll need and offers the right support for your business.
Mobile market research: developing qualitative and quantitative data
Mobile marketing platforms can collect both qualitative and quantitative data. These types of data can be summed up as:
- Qualitative data – Data made up of characteristics and opinions (e.g. answers to the question ‘Why do you enjoy shopping via our app?’).
- Quantitative data – Data made up of definite numbers (e.g. answers to the question ‘How many times a week do you use our app on average?’).
A lot of the data gained from user interaction is qualitative, while the data gained from the user’s device is often quantitative – each type of data has its uses and can provide valuable consumer insight.
It’s even possible to combine the two types of data through a mobile market research platform, by asking for qualitative data from a user that’s based on the quantitative data given by their device (e.g. ‘We can tell that you’re currently in Salford; how would you describe Salford?).
H2: Mobile market research and consumer behaviour
If your company has or is building an app for your services, it can double as a mobile market research platform. Every action a customer makes, including where they click, the amount of time they spend on a page to the moment they close your app, can all generate research that will help refine your solution as well as your service offering.
A step beyond tracking user activity, some mobile apps have built-in surveys that customers can fill out as they’re waiting for their basket to load, or at some other key stage of the process. The data gathered by this method is known as ‘in the moment responses’ and it gives marketers direct insight into a consumer’s thought process at a particular moment of their journey.
In the moment responses also allow UX designers to craft an experience that guides customers through your platforms naturally, by laying out relevant choices at each stage of their journey.
Both customer actions and in the moment responses focus on monitoring consumer behaviour and through their implementation, you can develop your understanding of what your customers want from your business.
Mobile market research and developing a target audience
Post-pandemic, there will be a need for every company to reassess their target audience, as three in five consumers switched the companies they buy from in 2020.
Your pre-COVID customer base may have changed, and even if your target demographic has remained the same, they may not have the same spending habits as they did pre-COVID. Mobile market research is a great way to directly listen to your post-COVID customers and understand their needs, as you can communicate with your entire base through their phones.
Mobile market research for launching a mobile app
When launching a mobile app, market research is a vital tool. Research shows that 72% of new mobile apps fail to sufficiently perform due to inadequate research. This highlights that mobile app research can’t be avoided if an app is to achieve success initially – but also past the launch and beyond.
Whether your business is launching its first mobile app or its hundredth, every app needs market research to ensure it will meet the needs of your customers. This adage has only become truer during the pandemic, as pre-COVID brand loyalty is at risk with 88% of consumers choosing to stick with brands they discovered during COVID over their pre-COVID brands.
Mobile market research isn’t just used to gain insight into how customers perceive a product or which customers are engaging with you. Mobile market research has many advantages for app development, from informing marketers on how to improve brand awareness, through the app to helping sales teams generate more leads through well-placed calls to action.
The differences between market research, big data, and data science
The term “big data” describes data that is so large, fast or complex that it’s difficult or impossible to process using traditional methods.
Big data encompasses a wide range of analytics and data capturing strategies, which can be used to inform business decisions. While mobile market research is also used to collect data to inform business decisions, the amount of data collected is not even close in terms of volume to big data.
Data science is the skill of looking at data, whether in the form of big data, mobile market research or anything else, and producing meaningful analysis. Data science can be intimidating at first, but even small business owners can quickly learn to harness data to improve their business. That being said, it’s important to choose an appropriate data science approach to match the individual needs of a business.
If you want to learn more about data science and how to implement a mobile market research platform for your business, Apadmi can help – get in touch with us to find out how.