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By Tamara Irminger Underwood

 

With COVID showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, many people’s patterns and shopping behavior are changing. Given the see-saw nature of the pandemic, most Americans are choosing to do as much of their shopping online as possible.  There is no industry or specialty that isn’t affected by shifting consumer patterns.

Many companies are realizing that that these online habits will likely become the new norm, even after the pandemic dies down. While a lot of companies already had a strong online presence, many others are scrambling to figure out how best to transition their services and sales to online platforms while maintaining their brands’ images and expectations.

There is no better time to partner with a nationwide qualitative market research firm to help your company better understand how to serve your customers during the pandemic, and beyond.

Qualitative research seeks to understand how and why people think and behave the way they do. The field has adapted to the digital age, and researchers now have a variety of methodologies to choose from when designing a study. Even though it’s not advisable to conduct in-person focus groups during the pandemic, there are a number of virtual tools that allow researchers to connect with study participants. We can conduct panels online and receive mobile feedback, all while staying true to the essence of qualitative research, which is: Take a small sample size, spend time with the individuals, and learn about their motivations and impressions.

For companies that are seeking to figure out how to stay relevant in a crowded online marketplace, conducting qualitative market research studies can provide insights that can guide UX design, strategic planning, and marketing. The fundamentals of a brand may stay the same, but how you connect with consumers and remain the go-to choice is shifting.

Another reason why now is a good time to drill down into the motivations of your customer base, is during times of upheaval it often prompts people to change their behavior or question why they’ve remained loyal to a particular brand or product. If a customer was feeling ‘meh’ about a product, brand, or service but wasn’t compelled to switch allegiances, they would likely find the motivation and time to do so now.

Established businesses know that it is much harder to play catch-up, rather than stay out in front of shifting trends.  Conducting qualitative market research studies on a regular basis is one way that certain brands continue to exist today. ebay, Apple, Delta Airlines, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, and Target are all examples of companies that remain relevant by staying nimble and responsive to their customers.

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