Shelf Score – July 2014

Instantly Shelf Score

We recently launched the Concept Testing platform, designed to be a rapid and easy solution for companies that want to test new concepts early in the product development process. With 95% of new product launches failing, it’s important to look for early warning signs and market indicators of success. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are constantly launching new products. It’s been estimated that 50% of revenue for food-based CPG companies comes from products that weren’t on the shelves five years before. It’s easy to see why more than 20,000 new products hit the shelf each year. Being data geeks, we love tracking trends and helping our clients follow developments in the CPG space, which is why we’re publishing Shelf Score™.

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5 Tips for Developing Insightful Research Analysis

data analysis

How you analyze and visualize data makes all the difference.
Image source Flickr user Marc Smith

Many companies set out with a research agenda that’s focused on a specific goal: should we move ahead with this new product design, is our customer service organization functioning effectively, or what direction should our company go next? Others simply know that it’s time to get access to market data, ideally directly from their customers, and so they create a research design and initiate a survey or concept test.

There are several elements that go into a successful market research effort, from asking the right questions to going after the right sample group. But one area that we haven’t discussed in a while is how to develop insightful research analysis. Your ability to extract impactful insights from your research is what will determine whether it’s a success or not. Here’s a closer look at five tips every company should keep in mind for developing insightful survey and market research analysis.

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What’s the Difference between a Concept Test and a Product Test?

shopping cart with items

Which product concepts will make it into consumers’ carts? Concept testing lets you know.
Image source: Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker

For brands that are introducing testing into their product development process for the first time, it’s important to understand the different types of testing that apply throughout the product development life cycle. Understanding what testing options are appropriate at each step in the process can keep you focused, and ensure that you get the kind of feedback you need from your audience to be successful in the market. Here’s a closer look at the differences between concept testing and product testing. More importantly, here are some key takeaways every brand needs to know about concept testing and why it needs to be a central aspect of your product development testing plan.

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Why Now’s the Perfect Time to Shake Up Your Market Research Efforts

changing market research

Is your research agenda stuck? It may be time to mix things up.
Image credit Jake Hills via Unsplash

Is your company doing all that it could and should be doing with regard to your research agenda? Many marketers and managers have their doubts. It’s often a case of not conducting enough research, not doing the right research, or not pushing the boundaries of innovation. In a few cases, it’s not doing any market research at all! Yet more than ever, companies are coming to realize that the market’s voice can transform everything – from how they choose which concepts to develop into full-blown products to how to manage and deploy those in the market. Many companies find that their research agendas go stale over time. There’s never been a better time to shake up your agenda and tackle new challenges with market research. Here’s how to make that happen.

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3 Ways Real-time Mobile Market Research Can Improve Your Customer Service


Customer service

Are your customer service reps asleep on the job?
Image credit: Flickr user Jo Tagliatella

Mobile market research has been a game changer for many organizations, helping them to gather real-time feedback that offers a unique perspective on every aspect of doing business. Whether it’s faster product iterations, event feedback, or the inside scoop on how your team is performing, mobile market research can be a business’ best tool for identifying and fixing problems before they affect the bottom line. Here are three ways that businesses are creatively using mobile market research – and market research in general – to improve their customer service.

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4 Fundamental Aspects to Include in Every Concept Test

concept testing

Which cookie concept will respondents prefer?
Image source: Flickr user oskay

The application of testing to innovation may seem counterintuitive. After all, isn’t innovation about inspiration? However, concept testing is a core aspect of the product development discipline. It’s important to take a closer look at where the concept test process fits into the overall product development lifecycle. Each concept test should ideally contain at least four fundamental aspects in order to be a success. Here’s a closer look at how to write an effective concept test brief.

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5 Reasons Why Focus Groups Aren’t Suitable for Concept Testing

concept testing

Concept testing can now be done in online in a consumer’s home.
Image source: Alejandro Escamilla via Unsplash

Focus groups have long been a staple in the market research world. Even though the introduction of survey technology and online research has reframed our entire market research paradigm, some myths persist about focus groups. Some researchers feel – especially for specific kinds of research – that you can get particularly deep insights by gathering a group of similar consumers in a room and asking them questions. In some cases, a focus group may be a logical choice for one piece of your research design. But for most brands, especially those thinking about concept testing, focus groups are the wrong format. Here’s a closer look at the reasons why focus groups don’t work for concept testing and what companies should do instead.

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Important Takeaways from the 2014 Mobile Path to Purchase Survey

Mobile Path to Purchase

The 2014 Mobile Path to Purchase Survey shows changes in mobile behavior.//Image source: Unsplash by Jay Weddington

For marketers that are seeking to understand how to capture and leverage customer attention at all points in the mobile buying cycle, there are numerous types of data that need to be collected. From concept testing to determine the early viability of a product to ongoing feedback about product performance and customer service, the world of client data collection is rich and vast. Another important component of building a strong relationship with your customers is understanding the path to purchase process. A new report, the 2014 Mobile Path to Purchase Report, shows some major shifts in how people are using mobile devices to interact with brands and make purchases online. Here’s a closer look at the report’s finding and what implications that it has for your marketing, mobile research, and concept testing efforts.

Changing trends in the way people use mobile devices

There have been significant changing trends in the way that people use mobile devices. Today, mobile devices have completely overshadowed desktops and laptops. The report estimates that mobile devices account for up to 64 percent of the time spent on the internet. At the same time, 42 percent of mobile users believe that mobile devices are the most important devices that they are using during the purchase process, whether that’s for doing research, interacting with brands, or actually making the final purchase.

In fact, it’s estimated that as many as one-third of mobile shoppers buy exclusively via mobile devices. At the same time, more than half also visit physical locations to check out the products in person and up to 64% make their purchases online. Mobile conversions are also high, with 2/3rds of mobile users making an immediate purchase and another twelve percent planning one in the near future. Some categories, mainly restaurants, convert at astounding levels near the 80% mark. These numbers show that interested mobile customers represent an important segment of the market for many businesses.

Takeaways for businesses on their own mobile strategies and buying funnels

There are several key takeaways for business from this study that are worth noting.

Opportunities are early in the cycle: Only 20% of respondents noted that they knew exactly what they’re looking for when they start the shopping process online via mobile devices. As a result, it’s important to remember that there are numerous opportunities to influence buyer behavior – as long as it’s occurring early in the process. In traditional buying funnel terms, you’re looking at the phases of raising brand awareness and gathering more information.

Two factors come out ahead: There are two factors that come out ahead in terms of importance with mobile shoppers. These are price and location. Whether you’re conducting research on how best to connect with a mobile audience or testing these factors in a new concept testing initiative, remember that as overarching themes these two points are disproportionately important.

Four things you can do to increase the chance of a conversion: There are four things that you can do to increase your chances of a conversion. More than 50% of mobile shoppers call a business, so ensure that click to call features are enabled. 75% look at reviews, so make sure you’re making the most of review sites. 55% care about easy to find phone numbers and contact information. One third want to find coupons, sales, or another kind of deal.

Understand timeline and context: 65% of respondents wanted to make a purchase within one day. It’s important that your research points you to the speed of your client’s buying cycle and that you understand the potential for timely interventions. At the same time, 64% ultimately purchase offline. What can you do to move mobile shoppers into the store?

What the report illustrates, especially when compared to various points in the same survey year over year, is that the mobile context is quickly evolving. As a result, it’s critical that businesses are implementing mobile market research initiatives to understand how the changing context of mobile usage and behavior affects their business. It’s also crucial that managers and marketing teams are taking the steps needed to translate this into their mobile marketing and research strategies. What worked a year ago may no longer be sufficient to get and keep prospective customers engaged and buying in 2014.

If you are thinking about developing a new product or service for your business, can serve as the platform for your market testing. Our mobile market research application can also help you connect with your audience more effective on mobile platforms. Contact us today for more information.

Keurig Coffee Makers: How Smart Concept Testing and Market Research Put Single-Serve Coffee Machines on the Map

Coffee cup

Single-serve coffee pods have become wildly popular in recent years.
Image source: Flickr user wonderferret

Over the past few years, Keurig’s single-serve coffee pods and machines have been popping up in homes and offices across the country. These relatively new products put a new spin on an old staple, and they’ve taken the ground coffee industry by storm since their introduction to the market. What’s behind this niche product’s skyrocketing popularity? In today’s post, we’ll take a look at how single-serve coffee makers and pods came to be, how the idea caught on, and what your business can learn from their success. Continue reading

A/B Test Your Way to Success: How This Practice Can Help Refine Your Product Sales Strategy

A/B testing

A/B testing can help you increase your sales conversions.
Image source: Flickr user mil8

What do some of the biggest e-commerce businesses have in common? They are constantly testing out different versions of their sites in order to see which ones result in the most conversions. Amazon, eBay, and Google all rely on A/B and multivariate testing to encourage customers to take action. But split testing isn’t just for e-commerce giants. Split tests can help small business owners build better websites, refine their marketing messages, optimize their mobile efforts, and increase their sales. If you’ve been struggling lately with poor conversion rates, here’s how A/B testing can help refine your product sales strategy. Continue reading