From closed restaurants to curbside pick-up and lines outside of shops with reduced capacity to empty shelves, consumers are experiencing the effects of COVID-19 in retail in real-time.
As we approach the end of 2020, national guidelines and restrictions are still in flux, and extended disruptions mean significant changes in the way we conduct business worldwide. Some of these changes will even become permanently interwoven into social norms.
But how will businesses make the right decisions in these objectively challenging times? Historically large-scale crises show that companies that continue investing in market research stand a greater chance of coming out on top. The reason market research and development are so crucial regardless of the specific crisis, effective solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Every company has to find its own niche solution to not only survive, but drive their future success.
Back in July, Premise hosted our first webinar with Quirk’s Media. Co-presented by Ted Pardee, chief revenue officer, and Lou Paladino, director of data analytics, Premise offered an overview of innovation in data collection in the time of COVID-19. By tapping into real-time insights via mobile phones, the resilience of the gig economy, and developments in technology, businesses can get the information necessary to improve current performance and secure future success.
Among the starkest changes due to COVID-19 prevention measures are social distancing guidelines. Social distancing mandates disrupt traditional research techniques like focus groups, mystery shopping and in-person surveys. Premise is and always has been mobile-based, meaning we do not face the same challenges as traditional data collection companies. Our surveys and tasks are sent to a virtual marketplace where individual contributors use their phones to access in an instant, and similarly, submissions are one screen tap away from being collected, QC-ed and verified.
Another key to innovation in market research is the gig economy. Increasingly accessible and popular, the growth and resilience of gig work during the pandemic provides a diverse source for contributors. More contributors mean more responses and a better ability to track the rapidly changing market landscape, monitor success and identify issues with new clarity. Yet another key difference is how from the beginning, we have striven to tap into the power of crowdsourcing to get the ground truth and in-the-moment insights from contributors in their local communities.
Mobile phones are also better than email and computer-based research due to the increased sophistication of technology like geolocation capabilities. Geolocation alone enables customers to identify changes in foot traffic, with location-tagged live photos of product facings and storefronts and the in-store status of various products.
Even a Fortune 500 client is not immune to poor or invalid data. Internally collected data of one such company placed several estimated locations of shops all the way up in the Arctic circle and the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Premise directed contributors to conduct location-verification tasks, placing many of these “floating” wrong locations back onto solid ground. Satellite imagery and, worse, blind map coordinates can ultimately be lacking in crucial accuracy. Additionally, infinitesimal differences in locations in two different neighborhoods can drive decisions that create increased revenue or reduce risk.
COVID-19 is rapidly changing consumer sentiment and behaviors. Consumers are navigating drastic changes in their most common activities and are subsequently changing their habits and the future of many markets. You can continue to keep a finger on the pulse with new methods like those provided by Premise. For example, see how contributors see their holidays going amidst the continued pandemic, visit our Special COVID-19 Holiday Report.
For more information on how Premise can help you with your market research needs contact us at email@example.com.