With country or regional-specific sites, You.Gov has self-selecting polls on a variety of topics from how many of us fear robots taking our jobs to how many of us eat dinner in front of the TV each night. The results aren't scientific, but the information can present some really nice jumping-off points for doing more rigorous research. Here's a diagram below featuring the countries in the APAC region which feature in the surveys.
The old adage that if you build it, they will come is an adage that as marketer researchers we simply don’t use. Identifying a buyers' need or pain point first is crucial and then build your product or service around that by understanding what is happening in the marketplace. One of the best tools I’ve found to identify rising trends and consumer digital behaviours is the Think with Google collections of studies, analysis and reports. For example, this month I found data from Google as to what Gen Xers are watching on YouTube (turns out it is nostalgia related videos and commercials); and, the declining trends in skincare (skin bleaching, seaweed lotion and coconut oil body wraps) are all losing popularity!
New Zealand is well known for the quality of the food it produces.
Surveys show that around 70% have a clear preference to buy food such as vegetables, meat, fruit and milk which are produced in New Zealand. Around 14% of Kiwis buy New Zealand food products because they are proud of what their compatriots have gown, but 59% strongly or somewhat agree that they buy local brands because they want to support NZ business. Sounds like identifying NZ made products is an important branding tool that food producers need to include on their packaging to attract consumers.
In 2015, New Zealand consumers were introduced to 13,984 new branded products. Nielsen found that only 64 (0.4%) had sales over $NZ1 million, with only 7 products being truly innovative new offerings. The rest were just line extensions. Manufacturers seem to be sticking to rather boring ways of growing their market share and in turn, reinforcing price sensitivity. However, smart, nimble small innovators have a chance to grab a slice of the market if they can look at changing demographics and target those with growing populations. Think Chinese, South Korean, Indian and Pacific Island peoples, as well as the growth in millennials and the over-50s.
Uber and AirBnB are changing the face of not only holiday travel, but business travel too. With events such as the World Cup in Brazil and the New York Marathon, these 'sharing' companies help fill the gaps of traditional accommodation and transport providers by providing personalised experiences. Now companies such as Experient, which is the world’s largest third-party meeting management company, are offering conference attendees the opportunity to book AirBnB apartments close to convention centres as well as hotels. Families traveling on holiday, while Mum or Dad go to a conference come to mind as a segment that will want this option.
Nielsen’s recent online retail report has driven home the message that the online shopping habits of Kiwis are quickly evolving. No longer a remote set of islands unable to access the latest products, New Zealand can now provide consumers who have access to the internet with a variety of unique and often more cost effective products than found in local stores. But what is driving e-commerce for Kiwis?
The ‘Why Behind The Online Buy’ summarises Nielsen’s report into a 40:40:20 split, finding that convenience, price and range are the main driving forces. Using mobile devices to shop is continuing as a growing trend with 23% of online shoppers buying via smartphones and 19% buying via tablets. Online store owners can help meet the drive for value, thanks to not having to pass on the costs incurred with a bricks and mortar store.
Christopher Adams of the New Zealand Herald last year predicted the growth of the retail trends “show rooming" and "click and collect” for online shoppers; this prediction has proven to be accurate, with a continuation of these trends well into 2015. Nielsen’s report confirms these details with 57% of shoppers having ‘show-roomed’, which is the act of finding a product in store, but then purchasing online for a lower cost.
One downfall to the online shopping trend is the large increase in product returns. Much of this can be attributed to the inability of the customer to see, touch and if applicable, try on the object for themselves, often leading to disappointment. theregister.co.nz urges New Zealand retailers to consider interactive website features such as comprehensive zoom functions and dressing room style features to combat these high product return rates.
Here’s a great report from Euromonitor that picks up on common consumer trends around the world. The free report is packed with supporting data, charts, logical analysis, case studies, and specific examples, all written in an easy to understand way. There's a section on how to market to millennials, the growing importance of connected health technology, the consumer as an influencer, and 'sharing' - the rise of lightweight living, where the benefit of belongings such as cars and homes can be shared by others.
If you want to understand how your business can be affected by these big picture trends, this report covers it all.
Market research reports are great to get a feel of a market, but the information can become dated very quickly. A change of government, a competitor goes broke, or new technology can disrupt a market quickly and change consumer preferences. You need to use other information sources to validate what is going on now, and what it might be like in the future. Otherwise, you could be basing decisions on information that is out of date.
So... where do you go to supplement and validate market research info?
Google News is the first obvious place to start. You can search for the keywords pertaining to your industry and set up alerts so that you can monitor the market in the future.
LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to keep up with play. These industry forums are a great place to ask questions about a market. Of course, you need to balance this up with the knowledge that everyone on the forum may have an inkling that you are interested in this specific market, but you can get valuable information and advice.
The info sources above are just a taste of where you can look to check that the information you have is up-to-date. Don't forget to contact any subject matter experts that you might find mentioned in news reports or on Linked In. Most people are only too happy to present their opinions or give advice, providing you are upfront and honest about what you want to use the information for. Competitor websites that have media releases on them are also useful, plus monitoring job websites like Seek over a period of time can give an indication about what new skill-sets are needed to support your competitors' strategy.
When you have a new product or service to sell, it can be very easy to assume that it will be welcomed into the market, and make lots of money. However, sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge that our assumptions and perceptions might not reflect reality. Market validation is about determining whether your new product or service will solve a problem better than anyone else. This is how you will make money. It’s as simple as that.
So, how do you find out whether your new product or service will sink or swim?Read More
In 2014, New Zealand online shopping patterns changed, reflecting pressure on time felt by consumers, improved logistics, globalisation and smartphone ownership.
NZ annual online spending is now equivalent to around 9.5% of traditional retail sales (excluding grocery and liquor).
More and more Kiwis are choosing to shop online at international merchants - around 43% of all online sales.
The number of international online purchases will be more than domestic online purchases within two years.
Daily online deals are on the way out, as consumers get tired/bored with them.
Smartphones are being used more to source and purchase online shopping deals.
To manage and exploit these changes, businesses need to :
Segment customers - target and treat them well.
Use payment systems such as Apple Pay.
Get customers to create content for them - reviews of products for example, which help convert sales.
Give customers info they can use via their smartphone. eg. QR codes, consumer reviews.