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How to thrive in shopper marketing research with a digital-first approach

09 June 2021

Transitioning to digital research was already a trend even before the covid-19 pandemic, and the new paradigm has increased the interest and need of brands and research agencies to opt for the best virtual alternatives to traditional in-person exercises.

Virtual shopping research provides agility and speed, is cost-effective, and also allows marketers to test different product and point of sale variables to determine the factors that influence shopper choice. It basically allows marketers and researchers to develop the research they can imagine without the time and cost restrictions of physical shopping research.

Finding the right technology partner

However, in order to gather accurate and relevant insights, it’s important to simulate the point of sale in a realistic and immersive experience. Here’s where partnering with the right technology solution is essential for a successful transition to online research.

Virtual Shelf - Simulated shelf Shopper

In words of Behaviorally with whom we have been collaborating in a number of projects:

Online research gives you agility, speed, and with the right partner, it gives you the kind of simulation that conserves specific needs for clients. 

Susan Griffin – Marketing Consultant at Behaviorally

ConceptSauce Virtual Market solutions are a web-first service offering, providing an intuitive web browser as the main interface for all the stimulus and shopper activities. This allows our client to create 3D digital shopper activities that vary in form: from in-store shopper journeys to 3D virtual packaging testing, used for standout studies, findability, concept testing, and many others. 

Testing several variables to define shopping factors

As we mentioned earlier, taking your shopper research with a digital-first approach allows you to test several variables and find the right combination that drives shopper growth. With virtual market solutions like ConceptSauce researchers are able to test different packaging, shelf layout, pricing or point of sale materials in a specific context.

The pack could be perfect, but if the PRSM is creating a barrier than motivating the choice, the consumer is not going to choose in a way that advantages your brand.

Susan Griffin – Marketing Consultant at Behaviorally

Context and shopper missions are key, and what could be working in grocery might not be the obvious choice in a small convenience store, multiplying the variables and scenarios to test. With the digital-first approach, we can leverage advanced technologies to enable us to create complex systems for Conjoint analysis. 

The company has decades of experience with how consumers see packs on the shelf, but if we have a robust partner that allows us to simulate different manifestations of the pack on the shelf in an agile way, we are eventually able to find the right solution. So, we need a partner that allows us to simulate different variables – a certain pack in a certain place in the planogram, appearing in context with a certain piece of point of sale marketing material and pricing. To do that in a non-digital way would be very expensive and take a long period of time. 

There are probably more tools that are more binary, and we can test one variable at a time, but it’s the fact that ConceptSauce allows for this three-dimensional variable matrix, that’s a benefit.

Susan Griffin – Marketing Consultant at Behaviorally

Digital-first, shopper growth

In conclusion, having a digital-first approach when it comes to shopper marketing research is not limited to launching online surveys instead of in-person research and benefiting from all the advantages of the virtual research such as time, cost and location independence. It also allows to develop more complex research projects and identifying the best combination of factors that drive shopper growth in a determined context.

Interested in upgrading your product market research? Contact us to see how we can help you gather better insights and drive growth.