Consumer research is the who and why of shopping (Algie 2014). In other words, it is the gathering of information marketers do to find out which, what and why people consume certain products/services (Algie 2014). You probably have been part of a consumer research process once in your life before – whether it be a feedback form at an event to text message surveys from your mobile phone service provider – the research is being conducted all the time. But what do they do with the information they gather?
It is to allow businesses to help formulate the different markets in society and which ones best suit their product/service. They can do this using qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research is conducted through interviews and discussions etc. to capture the meaning and significance of markets whilst quantitative research is done using surveys and questionnaires etc. to produce numerical data that describes a market (Schiffman et al. 2014, pp. 687).
Using the data that is gathered from this research, marketers can understand how consumers react to brands and products/services when shopping & can base their marketing strategy on this data. Consumer behaviour varies between each person but in the past 2 decades a new advertising medium has appeared before nearly everyone’s eyes nearly making everyone ‘equal’ in terms of how they decide or prepare to consume – the World Wide Web and more recently, the smartphone.
The rise of smartphone technology in the past decade has influenced our behaviour very deeply as a consumer. You may not even realise how much your smartphone affects your life nowadays. Google details the power of this influence in their advertisement for Google Mobile Ads which uses information from their consumer research study ‘The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Consumers’:
You can see from that video how consumers with a smartphone are behaving nowadays. Can you still remember how you behaved towards shopping before you saw a smartphone for the first time? It probably was through billboards, radio, newspapers and of course, television, which today is still just as powerful at influencing consumers as smartphones and the World Wide Web.
During the Google Mobile Ads advertisement, they stated that 39% of people use smartphones whilst in the bathroom, 33% whilst watching television and 22% whilst reading a newspaper so I’ll conclude this blog by adding another statistic through a quantitative research method – a poll:
Through this poll, I will be able to tell if the viewers of my blog are smartphone users or not. This is consumer research.
Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, NSW
Algie, L 2014, ‘Consumer Research’ powerpoint slides, MARK217, University of Wollongong, viewed 13 March 2014
GoogleMobileAds 2011, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Consumers, online video, 13 April, YouTube, viewed 17 March 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjUcq_E4I-s