Consumer insights are like valuable words of advice from a close friend. They may not always be exactly what you expect, but your company needs to hear and use them.
What Are Consumer Insights?
There are different ways people need to mask their true sentiments at work or for real-life socializing, but online, they give the straight dope on how they feel about everything from current events, celebrity gossip to brands and products.
It may be venting or self-expression, but no brand can ignore the value of these consumer insights, whether the data source is from a Facebook page or a review site. When such data is collected for analysis, it can revolutionize marketing and product development.
Why 2020 Saw a Consumer Insights Boom
The year 2020 seemed to be rolling along like any other year. E-commerce was vital as it has been in previous years, with more people shopping online. However, the COVID-19 crisis has created a sea change that no one could have predicted, and the growth in e-commerce was off the charts, rising 129% year over year for the US and Canada in April.
This was due to lockdown and massive store closings, and people shopping online by necessity. In other words, e-commerce became the only channel for retailers.
Those who like to browse the physical shelves and had never done their weekly grocery shopping online, for instance, had to change their habits, which was great news for online businesses.
With tight supply chains and factory closings, the brick and mortar stores that were open were sold out of certain items, and shoppers went online in search of scarce products.
The year 2020 has also ushered in financial crises arising from the pandemic, as unemployment rose to record numbers. The cash-strapped online consumer hunted for bargains online, creating an intensely competitive environment for online retailers.
Even as brick and mortar stores open up, the e-commerce boost was happening before the pandemic has sped up, and the momentum is not going away.
With this increase in online activity, consumers generate more data in the form of social media posts about their shopping experiences, online reviews on e-commerce marketplaces, and interactions with online customer service representatives through chat. This data provides the raw material for a consumer insights platform to analyze and implement.
Online, Customer Service Is Everything
Customer service was always important, but in the online space, it is almost everything. There is intense competition among rival companies for similar products, features, and services, but connecting with the customer provides a distinct advantage (if done right).
The lack of direct, face-to-face interaction has forced companies to find new ways to reach out to customers, whether through chat on company websites, responding to online reviews, or discussing new offerings on social media channels.
These interactions are inherently valuable and also provide valuable consumer insights that fuel innovation.
Have you ever asked yourself why does Amazon retain 91% of its premium customers? Because its focus is the customer. Long before other companies imitated its model, the retail giant used machine learning to recommend products that were similar to previous purchases.
People consult Amazon reviews as a reliable source of information even if they aren’t going to purchase on Amazon (but many do).
Amazon changed the rules for customer engagement and made it clear that it not only listens to customers but evaluates their feedback carefully and makes improvements when necessary to retain their customers. This is the real reason Amazon’s name is synonymous with e-commerce today.
Learning from the Retail Giant
There is no need to fight retail giants such as Amazon. It may be more useful to learn from them. It may have seemed surprising at first to get recommendations from a website based on past purchases, but now, it is expected.
Consumer insights software can help you zero in on what visitors to your site are likely to do based on past behaviors and purchases. This is the essence of fine-tuning your marketing strategy.
Use consumer insight tools to analyze reviews and come up with new social media strategies according to your findings. Interact with customers on these platforms and leverage their insights for product innovation and customer service development.
Customers will notice that their feedback was put to good use and will reward you with brand loyalty and referrals among their friends.
Consumer Insights and E-Commerce Revolution
Your potential customers have a world of choices at their fingertips. Beat the competition by choosing the kind of data that provides the most value, collecting and analyzing it, and generating consumer insights.
This process provides a roadmap to raising your brand’s prestige, winning and keeping enthusiastic customers, and innovating products that stand out in the crowded e-commerce field.