With so many choices, how do consumers decide?

Have you ever wanted to get into the mind of the consumer to know exactly what products or services they need and plan to buy? Consider that if you did know this, you’d be able to put that item right in their faces and instantly make the sale with little to no resistance.

Consumer research is an element of business that very few individuals divulge enough time to accurately implement in their own; this article will explore a variety of options and tips for finding what consumers are looking for …

Understanding the Consumer

There are multiple factors which determine whether an individual buys:

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Social influence
  • Budget
  • Desires and wants

The list can be near infinite especially when there are other influences such as trends, lifestyle, and day-to-day choices for the consumer.

To aid in your consumer research, you can use a variety of demographic tools, best sellers lists, market research, and consumer reports, such as:

  1. Demographics tools like Quantcast will give you insight about popular websites, the people who visit, and the general demographic make-up of the website’s consumers.
  2. There are multiple best sellers’ lists such as the Amazon Best Sellers and Ebay Pulse; each of these report the weekly (and daily) top sellers within a market which can be used to determine your price points, consumer interests, and size the completion.
  3. You could conduct market research through a variety of tools or hire a company to compile data, run reports, and give you an accurate depiction of your most valuable customer.
  4. Consumer reports are created by multiple, trusted companies which many people trust; use these to find the best products and types of consumers for each.

Using a combination of these will give you a greater picture of consumers that buy.

Understanding the Market

The second element of consumer research is the external factors, such as:

  • Competition
  • Product releases
  • Degrees of service

Again, the list goes on and on.

The main item to address here is to size up the competition. The competition will have already spent a majority of their time doing market research which gives you a head start by examining what they’ve found. You can do this by browsing their website, becoming a customer to understand the sales process, contacting customer support, and talking with the competition’s customers.

Alternatively, you could run small campaigns (in combination with the consumer research tips, above) that do split tests on offers; the item with the highest feedback will generally “win” your decision. Your research can utilize polls, small-scale advertising, contests, social media, and much more.

Putting Two and Two Together

Following the research on both fronts, you’ll pair them together by matching data. The data will reveal the bestselling products, where people buy these products, and how they react to the buying process.

All of it pooled together will reveal your customer “avatar” which is the ideal individual (right down to the look) which will guide you forward when developing products, promoting affiliate offers, or launching a brand new business.

How do you conduct market research?