One of the most unusual years in modern history will soon end. However, there is no doubt the challenges COVID-19 pandemic has generated will stay with us. And without a quick solution in sight, we will continue to live through a pandession for the foreseeable future.
While there is no doubt the pandemic has brought a lot of changes to different aspects of our daily lives, I would venture to say that for customer insights, pricing, and product folks – the speed and scale of the shift to online shopping has brought a whole new set of challenges and opportunities to grapple with.
And the change was rapid. During the second quarter, Amazon recorded 40% more sales and doubled their profits year on year! UK’s Tesco saw similar gains – during the first 26 weeks of 2020 their pre-tax profit grew by nearly 29% year on year, while their delivery capacity has been doubled to 1.5 million slots a week! All while COVID incurred significant new operating costs!
Now more than ever there is an even greater requirement to remain connected to customers to keep pace with their preference swings in order to define the best feature & price propositions to maximize revenue and profit we get from our products and services.
The change in speed
Customer needs, habits, and desires have fluctuated much more erratically due to the pandemic. In an atmosphere of uncertainty, we have tended to consider a much wider array of products and services as unnecessary or as a luxury, going as far as stockpiling products we will always need. Just remember the toilet paper shortages in spring 2020. Panic shopping for key household items was high.
Just a couple of weeks later, things were back to (a somewhat different) normal. If you were to start any new initiatives based on data you had gathered before the pandemic hit – they would most likely have resulted in failure.
To ensure your product and service offerings remain aligned with customer needs, an almost real-time, continuous stream of customer insight data is necessary, which is where our quantitative survey platform EPIC Conjoint excels.
While you still have some market research budgets available, make sure you put them to good use and make the best of what remains of 2020!
Last-minute changes using fresh data
Now Q4 is past its half-way point, you want to make sure you maximize your results before the Holidays end. And to make sure you are on the right track you most likely need a fresh batch of data.
How do customers value your current offer? Would any changes to it improve its chances of success? How does your offer compare to the competition in the eyes of the customer? Should we offer a discount or conduct a promotion?
Even if the pandemic didn’t bare its teeth again in late 2020, relying on data from previous years can be misleading. Even more so if your projections differ from what is happening on the ground.
Running a rapid conjoint analysis survey can help you get the answers you need within 3 business days and introduce any necessary changes even before November runs out!
Ensure Christmas success
On the other hand, this is the best time to make sure your Christmas sales initiatives are planned in an optimal fashion.
I am sure many months have gone into your preparations for the Holiday season, but with COVID-19 uncertainties – are you sure nothing has changed in your customer expectations? What about their willingness to pay?
I would say – better safe than sorry! Running a quick conjoint survey now to finetune your campaigns before going live and another one in early December to make sure you are on the right track is the least you can do to ensure 2020 ends on the high!
Early planning for 2021
Even without the pandemic, planning ahead for the whole of 2021 would be nearly impossible. With 2020 being so much different than previous years, it will influence the next year in ways we haven’t seen in recent history.
Customers everywhere have been focused on their bare necessities, and all this pent-up demand is just waiting to burst. Recent vaccine announcements might just provide enough optimism for this to happen, but on the other hand, people might want to make sure they work and are actually available before they sigh in relief and start buying things they have craved for so long.
Yes, COVID-19 is not making things easy, but that this does not mean you should wait. Planning has to start, and as one of our #SurveyTips says – more research equals higher quality customer insights.
So, start asking the right questions now. And ask them again in a couple of weeks. And then again. With a platform like EPIC Conjoint, you can capture conjoint results in a matter of a couple of days. This way, you can capture customer insights as and when your business needs them, enabling you to be agile and flexible with your product offering and campaigns throughout 2021.
The best solution for your Q4 market research needs
As a former Head of Pricing, I have walked in your shoes many times. I am very familiar with the pressure to deliver last quarter targets. Q4 is in full swing now and you want to close out the year on a high. With pressure like this, I often got frustrated with why conjoint surveys take so much time and cost so much. In fact, it bothered me so much that I created the solution!
With EPIC Conjoint traditional challenges with conducting conjoint analysis disappear. As explained on our process page – we can deliver results within 3 business days!
This means you don’t have to rely on Q3 data for Q4 initiatives. Nor do you need to make projections based on last year’s results. Unless you have relevant research from the Spanish Flu pandemic, historical data is something better left on the report cards!
So, put remaining market research budgets to good use and stay ahead of the competition!
Seasoned commercial marketing professional with over 20 years of Pricing, Product, and Segmentation experience. A firm believer in the power of Conjoint Analysis, Matt had grown frustrated with the time and effort it took to conduct studies and how prohibitively expensive they can be. Borne out of this frustration, he founded EPIC Conjoint in 2016.