The COVID-19 outbreak has shaken the world in various ways, and the market research industry was not an exception. But, the post-pandemic world is now steadily returning, with mass vaccination distributions, the reopening of retail sectors, offices returning to normalcy, and the relaxation of other pandemic-related limitations.
Market research aims to better comprehend numerous market developments, like customer needs, customer response, expenditures, loyalty, and every other element related to customers.
Consumer purchasing behavior is the most popular transformation witnessed in the market. With the start of the pandemic, numerous consumers have reconsidered their purchasing habits, and many have switched brands according to their requirements. The number of consumers switching brands has doubled since 2019, indicating that consumer loyalty is temporary. Several consumers are willing to support new firms if their products or services suit their needs efficiently.
Such shifts in consumer shopping behavior, along with the market as a whole, have prompted even more transformation in market research, many of which require evolving or falling behind.
Adjusting to a Post-Pandemic World
The reforms introduced by the pandemic did not spare the market research sector. Even though the technology was upgraded and optimized, it was being built in reaction to customer behavior, which was being significantly influenced by lockdowns and health issues. When the vaccination programs were completed and the world has returned to normalcy, the post-pandemic market research sector may continue a number of the technologies, insights, and practices learned during the pandemic.
The Post-Pandemic Transformation in Market Research
Since the pandemic, there have been countless cases of visible and quantitative shifts within the market research industry. They encompass shifts in consumer behavior, obstacles to data and research gathering, growing digitalization, automation, and the shift to mobile market research.
This section delves into each of these shifts, their associated obstacles, processes of adjustment, and much more.
The world is bouncing back quickly from the COVID-19 outbreak, but its impacts, notably the social alienation caused by quarantine and economic damage, have left an everlasting impression on customer behavior. Based on a recent survey, 45% of respondents have already shifted their brand preferences due to COVID-19, and 62% anticipate permanent changes.
The pandemic has influenced consumer habits in a variety of businesses, ranging from video-on-demand to the tourist industry. The way consumers are responding to various pandemic solutions shows that people are recognizing the comfort of receiving what they need in the security of their homes, while still eager to go outdoors to enjoy themselves with relatives and friends.
Market researchers, particularly those working in the B2C sector, must be more attentive to small adjustments in customer behavior and demand, particularly as the market is returning to normalcy. Anything that is happening at the moment will determine whether everything will return to normal or customer would prefer to live with the new standards of life. 2020 might have served as a chance to slow down and focus on the developments, but for 2021 and beyond, all that matters is anticipating the next big step and capturing the next market opportunity.
Automation is in Charge
Based on a McKinsey analysis, 60% of employment include over 30% of technically automatable activity. Regular and repeated operations, like survey taking and data analysis, may be done automatically by more powerful equipment, making it a gift and a curse for the market research sector.
Also on the positive side, AI can efficiently handle and evaluate huge quantities of data, and machine learning-driven pattern identification is frequently utilized to assist different marketing evaluations. Chatbots are also being used in online market research to increase the number of responders.
However, there's a chance that these devices will substitute some of the industry's researchers. Dependency on agencies will reduce because market research and survey tools will be widely accessible to clients. But, data translation would still require human intervention in order to construct useful narratives from research outcomes.
Due to the pandemic situation, the market research sector is being pushed to evolve and adjust to shifts in human behavior. As the world returns to its "new normal," careful monitoring is required to determine what has to be changed in order to accomplish tasks securely and effectively. It is an excellent opportunity to comprehend our participants' perspectives to offer critical insights and informed guidance to decision-makers.
A Shift to Mobile
Market researchers were striving in 2020 to find methods to communicate with clients and participants, and they all discovered a middle ground using online research. As most consumers interact with one another through laptops and smartphones the trend of online research will most probably continue even beyond 2021. In 2020, it was estimated that 51% of the world's website traffic will originate from mobile platforms. Therefore, it is not merely a coincidence that market researchers decided to take advantage of this circumstance, creating more online surveys and conducting research solely through mobile devices to gather data. While dropout rates are more in mobile research, this is balanced by the reduced expense and a larger panel coverage.
The market research industry is also turning toward ethnographic research, in which researchers monitor respondents in their natural context. Once more, digital phones have aided in the advancement of this methodology by allowing researchers to watch the activities of the participants in their natural environment using observational research apps.
With shifts in consumer behavior and tastes, technologies, techniques, and processes have also changed and innovated. As a result, in order to successfully implement their next significant step, market researchers must remain aware of developing trends, market research methods, and, their target market.
As a result, firms and researchers require a robust market research instrument to manage any post-pandemic adjustments. To attract a wide set of participants, a robust online survey platform provides a mobile-first design, random device engagement (RDE) sample, AI, and machine learning to perform quality control checks on the data, and easy distribution throughout mobile and other digital assets.
If researchers employ an online survey platform like this, they are well prepared to monitor their unpredictable consumers in a post-pandemic world that is continuously evolving.
Aparna Dutta / LinkedIn
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Hello, I am a content writer with 3.5 years of experience. I have experience in various fields of content writing. For example, I have worked in a market research organization where I had to write content related to the reports that the company used to generate to improve their Google ranking. Other than that, I have also worked in website content as well as technical content for print and digital media magazines. Apart from this I am very flexible as a person and can adjust easily.