The negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic couldn’t be more apparent. Millions of peoples’ health, financial state, and routine lives have been affected, and many continue to struggle. For businesses worldwide, a critical task is understanding how to make the best decisions in the current economic climate, navigating this sensitive situation.
One of the tools making this possible is quality market research. Always an essential part of launching a new feature set or product quickly and efficiently, product market research now plays an even more critical role. Here’s why.
No Holding Back: Confident Customers Know What They Want
The most fundamental goal of customer research is figuring out what your target audience is after. During the pandemic, customers gained a clear sense of their needs and offered more feedback to businesses for several reasons:
- Increased online proficiency: When everything moved to online channels, many audiences discovered the power of researching to find the perfect product. 40% of US customers used technology in new ways. Conducting online research to check availability, reviews, and features became a significant part of their journey.
- Shifting needs and demands: People’s needs have changed dramatically during the pandemic, including the need for contactless solutions and enhanced safety. Some customers had to be more careful and accurate when it comes to spending. As a result, research found that customer expectations from brands reached an all-time high during the pandemic. In-depth customer research to study new market demands and cater to them became that much more crucial.
Ready, Steady, Go: The Race to Product Launch
Speaking of fast market shifts, companies also had to adjust to the new reality as supply chains and entire industries shifted. The need for quick and effective feedback via qualitative and quantitative research became more evident, making product market research an expected norm.
Companies could no longer afford to meticulously plan every detail of their product before launching it. Quick, bold decisions had to be made and immediate feedback was needed. New solutions addressed emerging market demands, and timely responses often separated massive hits from irrelevant products.
Market research has also accelerated in the past couple of years, as businesses needed their research platforms and teams to move a lot faster without losing an ounce of accuracy. In fact, there’s been a lot less room for error lately because researchers have almost zero time to revise their conclusions. The pandemic pushed every limit, bringing out the best from those able to keep up.
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Breaking the Mold: How Product Market Research Has Changed
Let’s move from theory to practice and discuss specific changes in the market research world since the pandemic.
- Facing reality: Health concerns, travel restrictions, and other pandemic-related limitations made face-to-face interviews a no-go. Every market research trend we’ve experienced took place online and relied heavily on video-based interviews, email surveys, and texts that offered a realistic experience while remaining safe. The tools we use and how we use them shifted instantly and profoundly.
- On the record: People became more open to video conferencing and gave it a shot despite lack of experience and fear of the unknown. In Canada, nearly 20% of senior citizens reported using video conferencing tools for the first time. Those who discovered this channel often realized how convenient and valuable it is, embracing video communication for multiple use cases, including remote market research interviews. Survey found that 74% of scientists and researchers want to keep using video channels after the pandemic.
- No space needed: Physical facilities previously used to conduct many market research-related tasks became obsolete. This enabled research teams and the companies hiring them to save a lot of money on rent and utilities.
- Online at a moment’s notice: Since customer feedback became essential and was only available online, companies that up to this point hadn’t had a clear online presence had to adjust ASAP. Gathering and analyzing data regarding online shopping behavior was a required part of the deal .
Customer research can be done from a much larger pool of users and there is more opportunity to expand your sales and marketing to other countries with this feedback. New eCommerce platforms with strong data capabilities for market research and ongoing feedback quickly formed. Existing platforms changed, tracking new parameters around health concerns and delivery preferences. Companies “reported being more price-conscious, healthy, data-conscious and local.”
With everyone in the same Covid boat, the world has become smaller and more focused on user feedback. Market researchers now have access to a broader pool of users who help them understand the logic behind a wide range of behaviors.
Even after the pandemic is over, these changes will continue to impact product market research, customer research, and buying behaviors. Consumers and businesses have discovered a world of possibilities that is impossible to take away, and we will all reap the benefits. Take the first step right now to understand how to create better Market Research with many tools but all on one platform by scheduling your demo today.
Synopsis: The pandemic has changed the world as we know it, impacting buying behaviors and market expectations. To succeed, businesses must ask customers what they need to make their jobs, homes, and lives easier.