Tag Archives: internet of things

How the Internet of Things is changing the face of retail

By: Ali Newton

This article was originally published on SmallBusiness.co.uk

There hasn’t been an advancement in retail as drastic as the
IoT revolution since the Industrial Revolution. The Internet of Things (IoT) is
the idea that everyday objects can be connected in the same way that computers
are today. And, with consumer adoption of IoT devices on the rise, now is the
perfect time for retailers to get informed and capitalize on the IoT.
Whether it is to improve their overall customer experience,
or to create new revenue streams, the IoT truly is changing the face of retail.
Here are three ways the IoT could be integrated into every aspect of retail ‘
from store displays, to storage equipment, to the shop floor.
1. Smart shelves
Panasonic is currently developing a product called the Powershelf. These shelves
have built-in sensor technology that keeps track of inventory in real-time,
saving businesses thousands of pounds in paid hours that they could reinvest elsewhere.
However, Powershelves also have the potential to be
extremely useful on shop floors, as they can collect data about shoppers based
on the products that they have chosen. In addition, these shelves give
customers real-time prices that are based on demand. The shelf labels are
wireless and can update prices based on the quantities that are left. The
shelves can also detect when the products are about to go out of date, and
alter the price according to this information too.
Jobs like stock counting, market research and stock
replenishment can take human workers hours. Alternatively, they could be
automatically performed by Powershelves talking to each other via the IoT.
2. In-store beacon tech

In-store beacons were set to become very popular for a
while, but they haven’t quite caught on as previously anticipated. Beacons rely
on customers coming within proximity of a shop, at which point they can be sent
a message or an email to encourage them to come into the store ‘ provided that
the shop already has their contact details.
Still, it’s a solid idea in principle. A ’10 per cent
offer when you buy today’ push notification could be sent to the consumers’
mobiles as an incentive to lure them into a shop if they’re nearby.
The issue with beacon technology is that it relies on Bluetooth,
which many consumers don’t have switched on as it is known to drain battery
power. In addition, customers usually need to have the brand’s app downloaded
too. This places several obstacles in the way of the retailer before it can
contact the customer directly.
Despite these obstacles, many brands are using proximity marketing to help drive their retail sales.
3. Smart shopping carts and cashless stores
IoT is a powerful tool for brick and mortar shops to compete
with eCommerce stores that are taking over the retail world. Walmart recently
began to develop shopping carts that can drive themselves to help customers
find their way around its shops. It is also working on a technology that allows
customers to order online and get their shopping delivered by a driverless cart
directly to their car, or Uber, in the car park.
Similarly, Amazon’s Seattle shop has no checkouts. Customers
simply enter the shop, pick up the items they need off the store display, and
leave. Sensors around the shop record the items that customers pick up,
removing the need for them to check out.
Whether or not any of these ideas will become an integral
part of retail’s future remains to be seen. Predicting the future is always
difficult and businesses and individuals are right to be skeptical of anyone
telling them that the future is going to be radically different because of the

However, just because people should be skeptical about the
idea that the IoT may change retail entirely, it doesn’t mean that they should
write the idea off altogether. One IoT development is unlikely to change retail
on its own, but as more of these technologies enter the market and they become
more affordable, a greater impact will begin to be seen throughout retail.

Why You Should Revisit Your Shopper Journey (And How To Do It Right)

This post was
originally published on Kelton
Global’s blog

Understanding the consumer journey has always been (and
still is) a crucial piece to closing the gap between interest and purchase. But
while fundamental needs haven’t changed, the customer journey is much more
layered and multi-directional.
Today’s consumer doesn’t just follow one of a handful of
discrete routes in their journey to purchasing a good or service. With the
Internet at their fingertips, shoppers now bounce around the traditionally
linear path to purchase’easily jumping from an in-store touchpoint to a digital
platform in the snap of a finger, gathering information from multiple sources
throughout the process.
Consumers can now leverage the wisdom of the crowd to
educate themselves before ever setting foot in a store.

Keep these two major shifts in mind when deciding on
research strategy for your next customer engagement journey project:
Consumers are wildly
more empowered in their relationship with brands.

We don’t just live in the age of information. We live in the
age of informational guidance, with unprecedented access to (and
considerable depths of) knowledge about almost anything there is to know about.
This is especially true when it comes to products and brands. Consumers can now
leverage the wisdom of the crowd to educate themselves before ever setting foot
in a store. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to garner awareness
among consumers shopping for their products. At the same time, this also means
exponentially more touchpoints to maintain and track, as well as heightened
expectations of consistent brand experiences across platforms.
Just as every shopper is able to consume information via the
Internet, they are equally as empowered to publish their own thoughts, reviews,
and experiences en masse. An opinion that was once voiced to a handful of peers
can now be amplified 1,000 fold by way of direct input and feedback platforms.
Rapid customer service response has never been more important as a result.
While companies have lost a degree of control over their digital narrative
thanks to bloggers and product/service review sites, the new landscape is not
without its advantages. Adding a digital footprint to brand perceptions offers
a valuable opportunity to monitor and better understand perceptions of your
brand, and what sites consumers are visiting online.
Today’s world is
defined by options.

The market landscape has become significantly more
fragmented and competitive.
Today’s world is defined by options. Consumers now have a
tremendous amount of choice in what products to buy and brands to engage with
in order to serve a given need. The rapid increase in number of options for
shoppers to explore, coupled with more ways to access and consume products,
means that consumers expect a brand experience that fits seamlessly into their
lives (not vice versa). What’s more, people browsing online now have easier
access to information about your competitors’ even comparing their products and
yours side by side. It’s important to visually communicate this aspect of a
shopper journey in a way that is clear and concise, so that your internal team
can understand and activate on consumers’ actual paths.

It can be difficult to capture the complexities of today’s
typical path to purchase, because there’s
nothing ‘typical’ about it
. Keeping to the traditional research model for
path to purchase is no longer an option, because it doesn’t paint a complete
picture of the varied journeys a consumer may realistically take. But
abandoning the model entirely isn’t the solution, either. We believe in a
differentiated philosophy based on key shifts in the landscape, integrating
existing knowledge with newer techniques (like social listening) to give our
clients a complete and accurate picture of the customer journey.

Thoughts On Market Research Data Integration Approaches

By: Mike Page,
Blueocean Market Intelligence Vice President – Client Development and

How does the MR industry keep pace with the overall business
intelligence market in terms of developing an integrative approach? While you
could argue that it is a different discipline, it is still the voice of the
consumer within a business, so the data should be simpler to integrate and use.
A better way to think about this is to think about the flow
of information from one channel to the other ‘ specifically from MR to business
intelligence or vice versa. At the Data Matters conference Martin Hayward made
a very important point. He said: ‘We work from what you did outwards to why you
did it.’ Most market research works from questions about why you do things and
try to predict what you will do. Surely within this there is an optimal model
that will help you ask only the most pertinent questions in the most pertinent
way and not waste effort on information that is better sourced elsewhere.
Here are some examples of how an integrative approach can be
more efficient and help to realize the savings that so many people believe are
out there.
Savings from
redundant research

Organize different research under the same platform to
achieve synergy. By combining various product/concept test research, you are
often able to answer new business questions and eliminate funding superfluous
research. Synergy is obtained through combining data: a) from different time
periods (trending) or b) across product/brands/concepts/ business units.
Better insights from
linking different sources of research data

Additional synergy can be captured from across product
linkages as well as trending. As a case in point let’s use chocolate. Across
the board men associate chocolate with comfort; whereas women associate it with
indulgence, which has great implications for how you communicate with them. 
While an individual study may provide the same information about a specific
concept (e.g., a white chocolate with a bitter orange flavor), we would not
know that, in general for women, chocolates are tied to indulgence. With
respect to trending, only by linking and creating a trend line for appeal, will
we know that chocolate has, over the years, consistently lost appeal among men
but not among women.
Research redundancy

We can also think in terms of research redundancy. If we
asked a question within a category ‘ such as customer satisfaction or new
product development ‘ we are building a picture of the consumer that can be
looked at across the surveys, we conduct. For example, how many times have we
ever asked a certain question and how has the context or relevance of that
question changed over time. From our own experience we have databases with over
half a million responses that show no or little change over time. Using this
knowledge in a structured and data-centric way can give us the tools we need to
manage our research process more effectively and ensure we don’t duplicate
efforts in our research or collect information that is perhaps better captured
elsewhere for the sake of it.
Data sharing

There are equally opportunities for data sharing. If many of
the data points that we collect are static, why should data not be shared in a
way that will, while ensuring confidentiality, provide researchers and their
clients with a window on what is genuinely different and what is genuinely
insightful from a research study. For example, if we know that the primary
driver of purchase intent is age, regardless of the product being tested, then
why do we not analyze what we already have to make a better-targeted research
study and avoid duplication of effort?
Linking research data
with other sources of data

For this let’s take an example looking at doctors’
prescription patterns for a new drug. By linking satisfaction and effectiveness
data to prescription data you can provide insights regarding both optimal
quantity of sales calls as well as the quality of messages to a particular
doctor. So if you know that cardiologists tend to write more prescriptions when
the salesperson is able to demonstrate ‘knowledge and competence about the disease
state and product benefits’ whereas the oncologist writes more prescriptions
when the salesperson could show that ‘he/she cared about the physician’s
business practice’. These types of insights lead to better understanding of
what drives volume and share of prescriptions for different drugs.
In conclusion, it is easy to see how an MR strategy that is
not aligned with other business information streams in a seamless way can make
you spend money that you don’t need to. My advice to those who do not believe
this is to conduct an audit to find out where and by what means each piece of
the research puzzle can be best answered, and by what channel, before another
research study is begun.
You’ll be surprised by what you find and how much you can
save with an integrative research 
Parts of this entry
were originally published under ‘A waste of time and money’ on Research Live.com.

Blueocean Market
Intelligence is a global analytics and insights provider that helps
corporations realize a 360-degree view of their customers through data
integration and a multi-disciplinary approach that enables sound, data-driven
business decision. To learn more, visit www.blueoceanmi.com.

Infusing Cultural Thinking Into Your Business Strategy

This post was originally
published on Kelton
Global’s blog

Understanding culture is crucial for any business that wants
to stick around long term. But culture is a challenging thing to grasp at the
organizational level because it’s big, amorphous, and ever-changing. To
co-opt an idea popularized by the philosopher Karl Popper, culture
operates more like a cloud than a clock: a swirling and
continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a single
Businesses, on the other hand, have a comparatively ordered
structure. They tend to want to use clock-like approaches to tackle the cloudy
cultural challenges at hand. This yearning for measurement and simplicity comes
through in questions like:
When does a trend ‘officially’ become mainstream? If we decide to adopt this tone of voice or design, will
Millennials buy our products? What color signals ‘edgy’?
Many crucial aspects of business benefit from structure, but
this ordered approach won’t help businesses to solve their most pressing cultural
challenges. In the cloudy reality of cultural phenomena, linear cause and
effect and simple divisions of reality seldom exist outright.

Take, for instance, the ever-changing cultural dialogue
around masculinity. There are literally thousands of new images and messages
being shared every day ‘ some of which challenge the more traditional
assumptions, and some of which reinforce them. In the middle, brands like Target
are incorporating a softer, more fluid, set of cues in a traditional ‘patrizate-friendly’
way. In the world of consumer values and brand perceptions, far more of the
challenges that we face are ‘cloudy’ than we might imagine.
Grasping the deeper cultural dialogues around things like
masculinity, femininity, fun, beauty, style, and the like will be
impossible if you’re looking for machine-like predictability or linear cause
and effect. The best problem-solving approaches blend technical, linear
‘clockwork’ thinking with creative, lateral ‘dynamic’ thinking. While a
thorough initiative is best guided by a bona fide Cultural Insights researcher
(shameless plug), there are some things that an organization can do on its own
to infuse cultural thinking into the strategic mix:
1. Pay attention to
the fringe
If a competitive brand feels fresh and new in the category,
they’re likely tapping into something that we can learn from’ even if they’re
small in comparison. The fresh ideas in the category now are
often candidates for its future, especially in quickly-changing categories like
food and beverage, consumer tech, and retail. 15 years ago, how many of us
brushed off the idea of health(ish) fast food?
Action Step: Include ‘extreme’
consumers in your qualitative research, and look at the edgier elements within
your category, including crowdfunded ideas.
2. Use Cultural
Insights for early and exploratory initiatives
Use Cultural insights early on to challenge some of the
entrenched ideas around how your category or brand is working. Then, explore
these hypotheses in subsequent research. For example, if your brand refresh
involves looking at emergent ideas in beauty, use CI at the outset to
come up with a range of territories, and then use consumer insight and
co-creation work to nail the best iteration for your brand.
Action Step: Incorporate Semiotics and Trend Analysis
into your research mix at the outset, expanding the number of ideas in play.
3. Harness
‘Expectation Transfer’
Consumers grow accustomed to certain norms in one category,
and the expectations for these norms are slowly demanded of, and adopted into,
other categories. This phenomenon, known as Expectation Transfer, can
cause categories to disrupt not only their own verticals, but others that
feel ripe for reconsideration. Leverage expectation transfer for your brand by
staying extra observant of shifts in other verticals, and adopt them before
they become a standard to stay ahead of competitors.
Action Step: Widen your scope (in landscape analysis
& consumer research) to more than just your category. Try to intuit what
these brands have captured about the consumer, and incorporate that into your
4. Find natural
places to impact the conversation
In ways that are often hard to measure, brands have the
potential to influence the wider cultural dialogue just as much as they reflect
it. Don’t wait for a good idea to be fully entrenched in the
mainstream ‘ or your category ‘ before acting on it.
Action Step: Look to make public stances in ways that
bring your brand’s point of view & key equities to life, and be bold in
defending those views.
5. Use social
listening to inform hypotheses
The Internet itself is a highly organized system, but the human
activity that takes place on the Internet is much more of a churn.
Leverage powerful social intelligence platforms to make the cloud-like swarm
seem a little more clock-like.
Action Step: Set up a social listening dashboard
following key sentiments and influencers (but be sure to avoid the pitfall of
seeing it as a measurable stand-in for the complexities of the real cultural
Culture operates more like a cloud than a clock: a
swirling and continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a
single snapshot.

With so much to see, hear, and read, culture is
absolutely fascinating on both an organizational and personal level. By
simply reframing how they think about culture and using the available insight
tools in accordance with this new way of thinking, brands can get ahead of the
curve and fully understand where their consumer is headed.

Surveying Tomorrow: 4 Futuristic Research Tools & Their Challenges

Originally posted on
the Field Agent blog.
Survey Research in the
era of ‘The Internet of Things.’ As emerging technology continues to give birth
to new, Internet-enabled research tools, the future of survey research looks
very promising. Yet as promising as tomorrow looks, it also promises
uncertainty and challenge. To demonstrate this duality, the promise and
challenge of future research opportunities, we recently surveyed 500 consumers
to gauge their attitudes toward 4 hypothetical, futuristic survey
Few words hold so much promise and, yet, so much uncertainty
as tomorrow. 
This is particularly true in the field of survey
On the one hand, we can expect emerging technology to
continue to produce a steady stream of new and promising research tools. Most
of these tools will, of course, be enabled or enhanced by the Internet in some
way. On the other hand, the advent of such tools will likely raise new
questions about everything from consumer privacy to survey fatigue.
For a few minutes, we’d like to invite you on a quick trip
into the research world of tomorrow, where we’ll attempt to demonstrate this
duality’that is, the promise and the challenge’of survey research in the
More specifically,
we’d like to introduce you to 4 exciting and promising futuristic product
concepts as well as the research possibilities and challenges that could arise
out of them. Toward the end of the article we’ll also offer 3 quick takeaways
from the study. 
With this end in mind, Field Agent recently conducted a
mobile survey of 500 consumers across the country. Who better to ask, we
thought, about the potential of tomorrow’s consumer products, consumer
research, and consumer apprehensions than consumers themselves?
The sample was divided evenly between males and females. We
further limited the survey to what might be called “future
generations,” in this case, to consumers ages 18-44. Respondents in 48
states completed the survey.
Marketers have long realized that receptivity toward new
ideas and products varies drastically among consumers, with some being more
open to innovation than others. Consequently, at the end of our survey, we
asked a single question that allowed us to categorize respondents into five
groups, the structure of which we adapted from Everett Rogers’ work
on the “diffusion of innovation”: innovators (among the
first to adopt a product), early adopters (before most people), majority (at
the same time as most people), late majority(after most people), and laggards (among
the very last). This allowed us to interpret the data more responsibly and more
4 Futuristic Products
& Research Opportunities
Virtual In-Store Personal Shopper
You’re on aisle 8 at your favorite grocery store, lingering
as you try to decide between three brands of corn flakes. The smartphone in
your pocket buzzes. A message from the store has been delivered to your phone:
‘Do you need help deciding on the right breakfast cereal,’ it asks. You respond
‘yes,’ prompting an interactive conversation with what amounts to a virtual
personal shopper.
No doubt retailers and brands would sense potential in such
an innovation. But, of course, it can only fly as high as consumers allow it.
Will they find this virtual personal shopper appealing?
We asked 500 consumers this very question. Only 27% said
they’d find such virtual assistance either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ appealing.
Compare this with the 38% who said they would find the personal shopper ‘not at
all appealing’ or only ‘not very appealing.’ The X factor in this case might be
the middle 35%, who said they would consider it ‘somewhat’ appealing. 
They could, after all, tip the balance.
Responses followed a fairly predictable script throughout
the survey. Innovators and early adopters demonstrated greater openness to the
virtual personal shopper as well as the other products to come. In fact, 45% of
innovators and 33% of early adopters said they’d consider the personal shopper
either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ appealing. Only 11% of the late majority and 16%
of laggards responded likewise.
May I Help You?
Now imagine the virtual personal shopper has been so
successful that the grocery store and the brands it carries decide to use it as
an opportunity to collect in-the-moment consumer insights.
You leave the breakfast cereal aisle and enter the pet
section. You recall that your dog, Fido, is out of dog food, so you throw a
mammoth 50 lb. bag into the shopping cart. Again, your smartphone buzzes. This
time the message asks, ‘Why did you choose Brand X dog food,’ and a list of
choice options appear on the screen.
We first gauged whether consumers would be willing to
respond to the survey. Only 21% of respondents fell in at the upper end of the
option range, answering that they would be either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely
to respond to the survey. Practically double this amount, 43%, answered either
“not at all likely” or “not very likely.” 
Unsurprisingly, innovators (34% extremely or very likely)
and early adopters (25%) were more willing to respond to the survey than the
majority (17%), the late majority (9%), and laggards (11%).
And what about their general comfort level the survey?
Combined, 39% said they’d be either “very” or “somewhat”
uncomfortable receiving this type of survey while they shopped, one point
higher than the 38% who indicated they’d be more or less comfortable with the
Consequently, it seems, upon initial impression anyway, that
many shoppers would be somewhat or severely apprehensive about responding to a
survey of this nature while navigating and shopping a store. Learn more about
the Point of Influence??. 
The Really ‘Smart’ Washing Machine
You just purchased the latest and greatest washing machine
on the line. Among other features, this smart washer has a compartment for
holding your laundry detergent. When the detergent level gets low, this
Internet-connected washer has the ability to automatically reorder your
favorite detergent brand. There is no need to go to the store to pick it up;
the washer can have a new bottle delivered directly to your door.
By and large, consumers in our survey were excited about
this product concept. 69% responded ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ when asked whether
they found the concept appealing, and only 3% answered ‘not at all appealing.’
Innovators (72% extremely or very appealing) and early adopters (56%) once
again led the pack with their enthusiasm, while the late majority (24%) and
laggards (32%), well, lagged behind.
An Inquisitive Washer
Then, one day, you try a different brand of laundry
detergent, which you place in your washer’s detergent compartment. The washer
instantly detects the new brand and sends a short survey to your phone asking
you why you decided to switch brands.
Would you respond to such a survey? Among our sample, 31%
indicated they would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely to respond, yet only 15%
said they would be completely closed to the idea (‘not at all likely’).
Innovators (54%) showed the highest willingness to respond, and laggards showed
the lowest (21%).
But what about their comfort level with such an inquisitive
washer? Only 19% said they would be ‘very comfortable’ with the idea while
an additional 26% said they’d be ‘somewhat comfortable.” Together, 28%
were “very” or “somewhat” uncomfortable.    
Consequently, consumers appear to be a little more open to
the idea of a smart washer that poses survey questions than a virtual personal
shopper working on behalf of a store. Context matters. 
Wearable Health Monitor & Alert System
An alarm sounds: beep, beep, beep. The signal is coming from
the Internet-connected device on your wrist. The point of the device is to
monitor key health measures such as pulse and blood pressure. After detecting a
series of unusually high blood pressure readings, the device has sent you a
message informing you of the fact and advising you to visit a doctor.
Appealing? Our sample thought so. Altogether, 69% said
they’d find this health monitor and alert system either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’
appealing, while only 7% responded ‘not very appealing’ or ‘not at all
appealing.’ A strong majority of innovators (81%), early adopters (74%), and
even the majority (71%) registered responses at the high end of the option
range (extremely or very appealing).

See also another study on the Staying
Power of Smartwatches.
Taking Your Medicine

Suppose this same health device had the ability to monitor
your medicine intake. It noticed you had taken only one dose of a prescription
you’re supposed to take twice daily. The device then sent you a survey asking
if you’d be interested in a new medication that works as well as your present
prescription but that only needs to be taken once a day.
We asked our sample of 500 whether they’d be willing to
respond to the question.
Significantly, 44% said they’d be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’
willing to answer the short survey, and only 23% said they’d be ‘not at all
likely’ or ‘not very likely’ to respond.

Compare this 44% rating to the 21% (virtual personal
shopper) and 31% (smart washer) ratings from the previous two discussions.
Consumers appear more willing to respond to surveys when the focus is something
as important as their health or, perhaps, when the survey questions pertain to
something as expensive as prescription drugs.
Respondents also demonstrated higher comfort levels with a
survey of this type. 55% said they would be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ comfortable
receiving the question from a wearable health monitor/alert device, while only
37% felt this way about the personal shopper survey and 45% about the smart
washer survey. Regardless of the reasons for their greater receptivity toward
the health survey, once again, it seems context matters.
Remote Atmospheric Control System

You’re four days into your summer vacation when you start
fretting about your home: Did I leave the thermostat too low? Has anybody
tried to break in? Fortunately, your home is equipped with an
Internet-connect atmospheric control system that allows you to change your
home’s temperature and/or lighting level using nothing more than an app on your
smartphone. You turn down your air conditioning’saving you money. You turn on
your lights’leading potential intruders to think someone is home.  
Our sample considered this concept highly attractive. In
fact, wholly 87% said they’d find it ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ appealing. Only a
modest 2% responded with either ‘not at all appealing’ or ‘not very appealing.’
Predictably, innovators found it comparatively most alluring (71% responded
extremely appealing), while laggards found it comparatively least alluring (42%
extremely appealing).
Anybody Home?
This atmospheric control system detects that you’ve been
away for some time. It sends you a survey asking if you’re on vacation and, if
so, to tell it about your vacation
planning and spending.
Though consumers were enthusiastic about the product itself,
they were less so about its surveying capabilities. Respondents admitted they’d
be apprehensive about answering such a survey. Almost half (47%) said they
would be ‘not at all likely’ or ‘not very likely’ to respond. Compare this with
the 31% who would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely.
Seemingly always open to new ideas, innovators showed
relatively high willingness to respond to the question posed by the atmospheric
control system. A whopping 61% indicated they would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’
likely to respond, while even the early adopters (normally a close second to
innovators) registered only 35% on the same measure.  
Nor was the sample particularly comfortable with the
prospect of a system that would monitor their coming and going and pose
questions about their vacation planning and spending. At 24%, the highest
single response category was ‘very uncomfortable.’ In all, 44% said they’d be
either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ uncomfortable, in contrast with the 37% who said
they’d be more or less comfortable receiving such a survey.  
Conclusion: 3 Quick
As we gaze into tomorrow to consider the
possibilities for survey research, context really does matter.
As seen, consumers will likely be more willing to respond to
surveys when they think they’ll derive a meaningful benefit from their
participation. A survey that rewards the consumer with, for instance, truly
useful information or significant cost-savings will receive a warmer welcome
from consumers than one perceived as a disruptive marketing tactic.

As new survey tools emerge, companies and
research firms should consider first developing the tool among, and perhaps
even exclusively targeting, those consumers most open to new ways of doing
As witnessed time and again in this study, innovators and
early adopters are generally more responsive toward innovative surveying
methods. Consequently, companies and research firms may find distinct
advantages in focusing their efforts on these two comparatively receptive
consumer classes before trying to reach markets at large.
A promising future for survey research also
promises challenges.
As this article demonstrated, the future should present
researchers with many opportunities to piggyback off emerging,
Internet-connected products, affording new avenues for collecting consumer
insights. But caution is advisable. As seen, consumers will often relish the
products themselves, yet look on their potential in-built surveying
capabilities with apprehension or disapproval.
Ultimately, survey researchers should embrace the future
boldly. New technologies will produce new and perhaps better surveying methods.
Yet we cannot forget the consumer in ‘consumer research.’
The survey tools of
tomorrow must account for the attitudes and behaviors of consumers’if they are
to realize their promise. 
Mobile research and audits from Field Agent combine mobile
technology and crowdsourcing to
reduce the costs, wait times, and other limitations of traditional methods’all
without sacrificing quality
. Whether you need accurate in-store
information or rich consumer insights, call on mobile research and
audits by Field Agent. 
About the Author:  Renee Brandon is the Vice President of
Research at Field Agent, where she provides leadership and direction to a team
of research analysts. She works closely with clients to clarify their business
problems and to determine the research solutions best suited to their needs.  With more than 20 years of experience as a
market research executive and strategist, Brandon provides expert advice to
Fortune 500 clients across many sectors, including retail, consumer package
goods, technology, healthcare and not-for-profit industries. She specializes in
consumer insights, shopper insights, research methodologies and survey data
analysis. Brandon has a Masters of Arts in History from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelors of Arts in History from Austin College.
Like what you’ve
read? Hear Renee Brandon and other industry leaders speak at the OmniShopper
2015 Conference in Chicago July 20-22 and revolutionize your shopper strategy
to get ahead in the emerging retail landscape.

This Week In Market Research: 6/22/15 – 6/26/15

Social Listening To Connecting With Prospects: 5 Things social listening can do for your firm

The Hat Whisperers: A Boston startup tracks shopper’s habits to help stores make sales

You Need Big Data Now: 5 Professions that can benefit

Facebook Gives 3 Tips For Mobile Marketing: One in three millennials only discover content online

The Future Of Small Business Marketing Will Be Automated: Getting small business out of the stone age

2015 Will Be Transformational Year For Biometrics: Both public and commercial applications

Microsoft Moves Closer to Cross-Platform Domination: Launching office apps for Android phones

Looking Beyond The Known-Knowns: Why only 15% of the Fortune 500 uses big data analytics

Taking Mobile Marketing To The Next Level: From intent to purchase

Analytics App Helps Make Sense Of Marketing Data: Datameer is launching multi-channel analytics app

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

This Week In Market Research: 5/18/15 – 5/22/15

Without Good Analysis, Big Data Is Just A Trash Dump: Making sense of nonsense

Dear Madison Avenue: Set my data scientists free

Creating Smarter Cities: How big data and the internet of things are doing just that

Three Best Practices For Executing On Big Data Strategy

Virtual Reality Is Changing Storytelling, Modern Medicine: Weighing in on how the tech will change

How To Choose The Best Marketing Toolkit For Your Budget: Increasing your ROI while staying within your budget

You Have Died of Dysentery: The Oregon Trail Generation, life before and after mainstream tech

Patagonia’s Anti-Growth Strategy: The company is seeing double digit growth with this strategy

Google Says New Store Data Help Mobile Ads: Better links between mobile ads and retail purchases

Standing Out With User Experience and Creative Affiliation: Rich media, or smart banner types, are essential to become successful

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.


Creating a Millennial-Friendly Customer Experience

Retailers today are striving to make sure that their companies provide a millennial-friendly customer experience. As a millennial myself, I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in a more advanced technological world where I, like many others in a similar age bracket, will have been more tech savvy than their parents by their early teens. Customer experience for millennials has been molded by the increasing number of platforms available for retail and this creates opportunities and challenges for retailers.
Monitoring online social experiences are seen as a must for retail companies; consumers are often flocking to the web to look for answers to issues as well as contacting a call center or an online chat for information. The web has a huge number of forums and communities where consumers go to discuss products and are in my eyes a great resource for gaining first hand insights into exactly what customers want or think about products. Often, companies only monitor comments from customers on their own sites and may miss people’s comments from sites such as TripAdvisor or other discussion rooms.
Social media sites such as twitter are now becoming a popular resource for companies to talk to customers. According to Forbes, millennials take up 29 percent of the twitter-sphere and use the platform for commenting on purchases; leveraging the resource to monitor posts and often responding via twitter can give the customer a sense of being personally looked after rather than having to wait on hold whilst a customer representative at a call center keeps you on hold for three hours.
Giving the customer a more personalized feel is deemed another priority in giving a better customer experience. Repeating personal information that could have been retained by companies I find very irritating. Fundamental information such as contact information and home addresses I expect to be able to be seen across different platforms and having to re-input information could put customers off returning. Being able to access personal information and interests is key to giving a customer a comfortable and easy experience. Online retailers such as Amazon and ASOS retain previous purchase information or what has been searched for in order to give suggestions. I believe the next step would be to take that technique in store.
The world is becoming far more interconnected; so I believe creating systems that register a smartphone when a person has entered a store can bring up information of again past purchases so that a shop assistant would be able to give the customer a more personal experience.
Catering to the desires of the millennial generation could be a great opportunity to boost customer satisfaction. Other strategies could be being more engaged in price comparison or giving more of a story behind a product rather than just it being made for profit. TOMS shoes is a prime example, it helps the consumer appreciate the company for doing something to help rather than just making money. Millennials have grown up in a world where global issues such as poverty and climate change are often at the forefront of discussions; so creating a retail platform that goes beyond wanting to make an easy buck, for me and I’m sure many others, would be the difference in choosing between two retailers.
About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.

Is the Internet of Things the Future of Customer Experience?

Retailers are constantly looking for ways to improve their customer experience and the increasing move from the physical world to the online world means the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming the future of customer experience. The IoT is a network of objects, products and services that are digitally interconnected and can communicate with each other without human interaction. Without sounding too utopian, it means that maybe in the near future your watch could soon communicate with your television which in turn could control how much water your vegetable garden gets. In essence it makes our lives a lot easier.
These advances in smart technology mean that everything we do can become more programmable and personalized, which is a huge benefit for retailers and customers alike. The IoT means that real time analytics will be able to give customers a better and often more efficient retail experience. For example, Internet technology such as Bluetooth beacons will be able to connect with smartphones as customers enter a store and check their movements. When compared to the customer’s purchases, it can help to create an idea of what the optimum layout for the store should be, which in turn will aid the retailer’s future revenue. In terms of customer aid, in one French clothing store Kl??pierre, there is an ‘inspiration corridor’ that means the customers can receive information and images of recommended clothes using a Microsoft Kinect body scanner. The clothes will come up on screen and they can pick and choose what they like and the whereabouts of the clothes are linked with their smartphones so they can easily be found. These in time analytics help to create an easier and more unique experience for the shopper and retailer.
Zebra Technologies have found that almost 96 percent of retail decision makers are prepared to implement the changes in order to utilize IoT technologies. It was found that 67 percent have already implemented IoTand 26 percent planning to use it within the year. More than half of the firms surveyed expect IoT to give them greater information about the condition and whereabouts of items which will lead to a better customer experience and new revenue streams. Already technology such as RFID has given benefits to retailers such as 99 percent inventory accuracy and a 2-7 percent sales increase. Research firm Gartner believes that by 2020 we will have 26 billion smart and connected products in use (around 3.3 devices per person, not including smartphones and tablets).  
However, there are drawbacks – Zebra Technologies found that 56 percent of the companies said integration challenges were a big problem to adopting the IoT and 47 percent were concerned about security and privacy. There may be a lot of people who would not like to have their likes and locations constantly tracked and analyzed.
The Internet of Things does seem to be the future for retail. This divergence of the physical and digital world means retailers will be increasingly providing a service as well as just a product. By providing a better service and improving the consumer’s experience will ultimately result in higher revenue and keep customers coming back.

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.

This week in Market Research, Jan 12, 2015 Edition

Where we bring you the latest, hottest, most relevant Market Research news from around the web:

- Creating internal ambassadors for research and insights across an organization - three essential rules that market research can help a company follow via Quirks

-  Intelligent Billboards, Smell-O-Vision & the future via The Mill

- Using Online Forums for Lead Gen & MR via Envano

- 5 Ways Big Data Will Be Bigger in 2015 via Infinit Datum

- 51 Useful Tools for Conducting Market Research via Zintro

- Why It’s a New Year for Big Data analytics via CA Tech

- Media companies are utilising big data in new ways but they must avoid the temptation to have it drive every decision. Should big data be in the driver’s seat? via FIPP

- 15 Brand Experience Trends for 2015 via Graham D Brown

- From Data to Dollars: 3 Ways to Turn Insight into Action via Social Media Today

- Using Social Media Monitoring to Disrupt Your Competitors via Sendible

-  How social media presents a golden ticket to Super Bowl 2015 fan engagement

- A New Generation of Data Requires Next-Generation Systems via Wired

- Uh oh, Leaked Palantir Doc Reveals Uses, Specific Functions And Key Clients, via TechCrunch

- 3 Ways to Hone Your Data Mining Skills via CyberCoders

- Mining value from unstructured data via Silicon Angle

- B2B Marketing Trends of 2015: The Importance of Customer Experience, Data Quality and Attribution via LinkedIn

- Riding the Customer Experience Big Data Wave in 2015 via John Weisenberger

About the Author

Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo Evans is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event Blog, MyShopper360 Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.