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COVID-19 has thrown worldwide commerce into a tailspin. Businesses in all sectors and across all types of markets and industries have had to scramble to accommodate changing consumer needs, new trade restrictions and limited resources for almost a year now, with little indication that these and many other challenges will abate any time soon. Indeed, barring a crystal ball, we can’t know the full impact of the pandemic nor the exact moment that its effects will end; but we can equip ourselves with reliable information. While not exactly a crystal ball, consumer market research can act like one, helping companies and organizations better assess and predict market conditions so that profitable business decisions can be made. Take a look at three reasons consumer market research is more important than ever in 2021:
The past year’s pandemic has significantly influenced the way consumers shop, including what they need and how they get it. Thus, historical data regarding past consumer behaviors and preferences is useless; current conditions present particular circumstances and constraints that are so unprecedented that no one could attempt to anticipate how any individual market will behave. Because of this, businesses are compelled to track changing policies, medical breakthroughs, financial resources and consumer security as they all ebb and flow if they want to understand consumer behavior as the pandemic progresses. Only with this type of timely market surveillance can they competently prepare for likely shifts in consumer interest and assets and strive to meet consumer demand.
Furthermore, consumer market research is vital in 2021 because consumer needs have changed. In many ways, social distancing mandates have reduced travel and personal interactions, causing consumers to modify their everyday needs. Theater and concert tickets are out. Toilet paper and cleaning supplies are in. And while some of these consumer preferences are obvious, others aren’t. It’s impossible to accurately guess all the items that people will deem necessary and those that will fall by the wayside. Therefore, businesses and other organizations must actively study consumers, asking them directly about the items and actions taking precedence in their lives at this specific point in time so that they can pivot course if necessary.
Finally, good market research can identify opportunities. And during a pandemic, an opportunity represents more than just profit. It can signify survival, allowing businesses to find new niches and new customers and remain relevant with products and services that meet a new type of demand.
With the pandemic still sweeping through communities around the world, businesses have to keep their ears and eyes open to changing consumer priorities and needs. Solid consumer market research, now more than ever, acts as insurance, reducing risk, improving customer satisfaction and identifying opportunities in a time especially rife with chaos and volatility. To learn more about consumer market research and how to harness it for actionable insights that better your reach, as well as your bottom line, please contact our team at Research for America.