Online Market Research: Finding out What Your Customers Want

Online Market Research

Sometimes customers and what goes on in their collective minds can seem like this mysterious puzzle that marketers and business owners are constantly contending with.  There is no easy answer and sometimes, it seems, no easy way to get it.

Surveys, and particularly online surveys, are a good way to find out what your customers are thinking.  But there are drawbacks.  Participation rate is one that leaps out.  If you get about 5-10% of your list to complete the survey then generally that’s considered a win but what about the other 90% – what are they thinking?  Are they too annoyed to even respond?

Or perhaps the survey has arrived at an inconvenient time in the recipient’s life and the last thing they feel like doing is devoting 10 minutes to answering questions about some company they think about only when they need something.  Even if you throw in an incentive like a prize or discount, you are still interrupting their day.

The other problem with surveys is wording the questions appropriately.  Issues like are the right questions being asked, are they being asked in the right way and is there an appropriate space for them to answer adequately are all things that need to be dealt with in order to get useful and actionable feedback.

Thankfully with a bit of creative thinking, a full blown survey isn’t the only way to gauge customer feedback.  kikki-K, the fashion stationary brand, have taken a different approach.  If there is something that they are unsure about, they ask their customers one question directly after they have purchased a kikki-K product in one of their 62 stores across Australia.

This a great strategy for a couple of reasons.  The first is that with that many stores and thousands of transactions each day, they can very quickly build statistically significant data.  They are not making it a big ‘have you got a spare 10 minutes’ kind of event.  And they are directly surveying customers who have just purchased, customers who freely entered one of their stores and got out their wallet to buy something.  In other words, they are asking their hottest prospects to give them feedback.  They can also change what they’re asking if they find that they aren’t getting useful information in return.  It’s a more dynamic and personable approach.

Online stores can also take the same approach and do their own online market research by adding a simple question after a transaction is completed.  It may not yield the same participation rate as being directly asked a question by a shop assistant but is likely to be well above the 5-10% participation of a full blown survey.

Why not add a question to your order confirmation page and see what you can learn?