Pivoting product research methods during times of crisis

Posted by Kelly Jasper on Mar 31, 2020 10:02:09 AM

Shopping Online

We are in a time of ongoing, unexpected changes, with shifts in the marketplace already occurring and many unknowns on the horizon. Brands in many categories and consumer relationships to these brands are transforming like never before, as consumers deal with the reality and anticipated aftermath of COVID-19.

In order to keep up with change, expected or unexpected, we have had to learn to pivot quickly in all arenas of our lives. On the research front, one of the ways we can pivot is by using new methodologies that fit within this landscape. We have the technology available to digitally reach our consumers, nimbly track behavior regarding product consumption and obtain actionable insights during times of change. Conducting research virtually can provide a wide range of benefits, helping to quickly advise brands on messaging, product development and more that meets current consumer needs and resonates with shifting consumer sentiment. 


Online distractions for homebound consumers

With hundreds of millions of people under stay-at-home mandates around the world, there is arguably no better time to collect data. As people seek to navigate a new way of living, many are turning to digital distractions to pass the time with internet connections acting as a lifeline to streaming content, connecting over video chat or working from home. Adding survey completion to the list of “things to do” could be a welcome distraction for many who are unable to go about their normal daily lives outside the home. 


Product insights in a new shopping matrix

One key change to consumption habits is the rise in online grocery delivery services. Instacart alone is looking to add 300,000 gig workers due to increased demand. Typically, shopping online for groceries includes a caveat that users will accept a “similar” item if the one they are attempting to purchase is not available. In addition, shopping in the online environment may cause people to select products that they normally don’t buy in-store. 

Our ResponseCash PFU can be extremely versatile in this environment, as it captures information from purchasers of new products with an on-pack or in-pack survey invitation. The new way people are shopping gives brands access to a greater scope of insights from a new type of audience - one that is captive and engaged in a way we haven’t seen before. This data is going to be really important to understand for new product launches during this critical time.


Planning for today, and the future

Many intelligent people in the industry have written about the impact of this crisis on data quality, participation rates and more in what could be seen as an “alternate” reality. Even more have provided commentary on how vital it is to track data during this extraordinary time, and keep a close eye on consumer insights. Taking an empathetic, thoughtful approach to understanding how consumers are feeling during this situation can be the key in determining how we all fare - brands and individuals - once this crisis comes to a close. 

Remote research techniques and the employment of out-of-the-box methodologies are our new reality as researchers, and if we don’t employ them now, we will fall behind when we come out the other side of this pandemic. In the post-pandemic world, consumers will surely behave differently than before.


We are here to help you pivot, plan your remote research, or just have a video chat/brainstorm as we all try to make sense of our new reality.