by Contributing Author
Retailers have been struggling to stay competitive in a shopping environment that has overwhelmingly shifted online over the past few years. Companies ranging from small businesses to mall centers have all experienced difficulty in attaining sales and remaining profitable. However, using new market research techniques can provide insights into the ideal business decisions to meet customer needs and improve the customer experience, which in turn will help increase retail sales.
Identify Emerging Trends
Market research can reveal new trends that your target audience is interested in. For example, a marketing research company could track customer behaviors online and in-store to better identify what customers are interested in, what they actually purchase, the amount of time they spend buying, and many other factors. This data is then analyzed to determine the current demand for your products, who is primarily buying your products, and what products customers are choosing instead of your offerings.
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Retail stores can then apply these results by offering new products that better meet customer demand, pursue current trends, and adjust current products to better compete with competitors. Additionally, market research can improve the customer experience by identifying areas of improvement, such as reducing wait time in lines.
Find New Target Customers
In addition to analyzing your current customers to better understand their needs and wants, market research can also be used to identify new customers that might be interested in your product offerings. Research can discover customers who buy similar products and suggest how to target them with specific advertising or adjustments to existing products. This technique works best if you have an online store to accompany your physical retail store, because it is much easier to track customers and acquire a wider variety of data. Online integration can be made easier by using remote inventory management to handle merchandise storage and distribution. The types of customers interested in your product offering will likely change over time, so always having up-to-date data to make quick adjustments can be a serious advantage over competitors.
Tailor Your Marketing and Advertising
After accumulating market research data, you can utilize these insights by incorporating them into targeted marketing and advertising campaigns. Retailers can appeal directly to market segments based on demographic data, consumer interests, previous purchases, and many other data points. Targeted marketing achieves much better results than traditional mass-selling that uses generic messages and graphics. Having continual market research can identify advertising and promotional materials that best perform at generating sales from particular audiences, and also show what needs to be improved. This can help you better reach your target audience and new audiences, which in turn will increase sales over time.
Overall, marketing research can help struggling retailers by providing crucial insights into customer needs and wants. It can discover new trends to incorporate into your product offerings, find new customers who will be interested in your products, and help you improve marketing that is tailored to your specific audience.