All posts by Rudly Raphael

4 Tech Trends Taking Over the Pet Industry

The way Americans view their pets has changed dramatically in the past two decades. Pets are now looked at as an integral part of our families, and are cared for as such. Currently, 68% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to about 84.6 million homes. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports Americans spent $17 billion on their pets in 1994. By 2016, spending nearly quadrupled to $62.75 billion, and by 2020, it is predicted to reach $96 billion in sales. We took a look at four tech trends that are taking the pet world by storm.

VIDEO Companies are leveraging owner’s codependent relationships with their pets. With web cameras, pet owners can watch and communicate with their pets from anywhere, anytime. Petzi took it up a notch and created a camera combined with a treat dispenser, which allows the owner to use their smartphone or computer to release treats to their pet remotely.

HEALTHCARE The U.S. pet insurance industry is growing as more pet owners invest in health insurance for their animals. In 2015, around 1.6 million pets were covered by a health insurance plan, with premiums hitting $774 million, and some companies are even adding it to their optional employee benefits. Pets are living longer due to improvements in medicine, which leads to more elderly animals who need treatment. VetOnDemand is a live streaming service where owners can consult with a veterinarian 24/7.

WEARABLES Wearables aren’t just for fitness junkies anymore. Pet owners are using this technology to monitor their pets’ health. Current offerings can monitor body temperature, heart rate, pH levels, and respiration rate, and send that information to pet owners and veterinarians.  WonderWoof is a bluetooth-enabled bowtie that monitors dogs’ movement. The app also tells the owner if the dog is getting enough exercise based on size, breed, gender and age.

3D PRINTING The basic principle of 3D printing is familiar to most by now; very thin layers of material are sequentially printing, building up a 3D object. Currently, at least 8 Colleges of Veterinary Medicine are incorporating 3D printing technology into their programs, due to the excitement surrounding this cutting-edge technology. From 3D prosthetics, masks to help the recovery process after surgery, and surgical models for teaching, this technology is a cutting-edge tool that many veterinarians have high hopes for in the future.

QuestionPro Audience has more than 10 niche panels, including our veterinarian panel. Our vet panel is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 40,000 highly engaged, pre-screened veterinarians who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

How the Smart Speaker is Revolutionizing the Home

2017 was predicted to be the year of the smart home, and consumers are slowly integrating the new technology into their homes. With smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the soon-to-be-released Apple HomePod, consumers have many options when it comes to a digital voice assistant, and the ability to optimize and control lighting, heating, energy consumption, electronic devices and security features. Currently, 16.3% of Americans live in a smart home, and that number is expected to increase to 35.6% by 2021.

We polled over 450 respondents from our consumer panel to gauge their thoughts on the smart home. 56% of those polled feel digital voice assistant devices (such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana and Apple HomePod) will have an impact on society in the same way the iPhone has, but only 25% own one. 19% are considering purchasing one, while 60% do not feel they need a digital assistant.

Consumers have apprehension regarding the technology. 60% feel a digital assistant isn’t a beneficial addition to their household, 15% do not like the idea of a device always listening, and 6% are worried hackers could access their personal information. In fact, 55% of consumers are concerned implementing these devices into their household could lead to invasion of privacy.

There have been reports that brick and mortar retail is declining, and our data supports that theory, with only 23% of our respondents purchasing their device in-store. The Google Home was the most popular digital voice assistant (46%), followed closely by Amazon Echo (40%) and the Microsoft Cortana Invoke (7%). As for their decision to purchase a digital assistant? Consumers are hoping a digital assistant will make their life easier (46%), and 38% just think it’s a cool device. Our respondents primarily use their digital assistant to play music (15%) get the weather report (12%), create reminders for themselves (11%), or search online (9%).

46% of consumers are planning to use digital assistant devices to convert their house into a smart home in 2018, by linking up their television (23%), lighting (19%), smart speakers (16%), thermostat (14%), security camera (13%) or kitchen appliances (11%). Move over, smartphone—62% of consumers are using their smartphone less frequently after purchasing a digital voice assistant.

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data quality

5 Tips to Improve Your Data Quality

Every good idea should be supported by extensive research. Businesses can’t afford to go to market with a new product that hasn’t been properly researched. If you’re unconvinced, let us remind you of “new Coke”, which was launched in 1985 after Coca-Cola lost market share to their rival, Pepsi. Coke’s decision to alter their traditional recipe resulted in major outcry from consumers, who inundated the company’s call centers with more than 400,000 complaints. Coca-Cola apologized and took “new Coke” off the market, returning to their tried and true recipe, to the relief of their customers. Where did they go wrong? While they did test the new formula on 200,000 subjects, they tested on taste alone, disregarding the fact that consumers make purchasing decisions based on habit, nostalgia, and loyalty as well.

The only thing worse than no data is bad data, because bad data will lead to bad business decisions. We’ve compiled a list of 5 best practices to improve the data quality of your research.

Keep it short and sweet. Goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds; adult humans have an attention span of 12 seconds. The order of the questions and the time it takes to fill out will play a vital role in the respondent’s answers. Ask the harder questions at the beginning of the survey, and limit open-ended questions, which require more effort to answer. Make sure each question is designed to get you relevant information, so you’re not wasting your respondents’ time.

Have a clear purpose. Before conducting a survey, establish a clear objective. What are you hoping to learn from this research? Do you have a clear objective, target, and the right methodology? Test, test, and test again before deploying your survey to ensure you didn’t lose sight of your objective.

Allow for “not applicable” and “prefer not to answer” where appropriate. 31% of people say they give an inaccurate answer to a survey question because the question doesn’t apply to them. By always giving respondents an option to choose “not applicable”, “other”, or “prefer not to answer”, you can control the quality of your data.

Make it user-friendly. By making the survey accessible both online and via mobile, the respondent rate increases greatly. Put yourself in the respondents’ shoes, and think about what would help you while completing a survey. Ensuring respondents have enough room to easily read and answer your questions, keeping header labels that define sections in view, and making the touch points as large as possible will create a better user experience for the respondent.

Avoid bias. Question bias, or a leading question, is when the design of a question or the way it’s asked leads respondents to answer one way or another. For example, the wording in the following question is leading the respondent: “Do you agree that the iPhone is the best smartphone on the market?” You may not even be aware that you have worded a question for a particular answer, which is why you should always have someone else review your survey with a fresh set of eyes.

Are you ready for your next survey project? We can help! Contact us at sales@questionpro.com.

QuestionPro Audience is the leader in online and offline data collection with access to millions of pre-qualified respondents who participate in thousands of surveys daily. We provide our clients the necessary tools and expertise to conduct 360-degree survey solutions.

Panel Research: Why It Matters

It’s not breaking news that the way we conduct market research is changing. The research industry is evolving with technological advances such as mobile phones, which allow you to conduct panel research and collect data easier and faster than the traditional landline surveys. But, one important thing to remember: the data is only as good as your panel.

WHAT IS PANEL RESEARCH? Panel research is a method for collecting data repeatedly, from a pre-recruited set of people. These individuals generally provide demographic, household and behavioral data, which can make conducting future studies easier. Technology, primarily the internet, has transformed panel research methodology by the ease of which we can access larger numbers of respondents. Panel research provides many advantages for companies including faster turnaround, higher participation rates, and cost savings. The quantitative data can provide companies with insights into pricing, effectiveness and sales projection of their products or brand.

WHY IS A RESEARCH PANEL IMPORTANT? Building a quality research panel is very important because your data depends on it. With a research panel, you are able to build rich profiles of your members, which will help to ensure that your reporting provides quality responses. If you are looking to launch a new mobile phone, you would want to target panelists who are interested in mobile phones and technology to yield more informed responses. Additionally, a well-managed panel of pre-recruited respondents allows for a faster response rate, as the participants have shown interest in participating in surveys by joining the panel.

HOW TO RECRUIT FOR A RESEARCH PANEL? We use many different channels to recruit members who will be active participants in our panel research. The one we’ve found most effective is via the internet, specifically email and social media. Once we’ve recruited a member, we have them fill out a short survey with profile information, which we use to create a better understanding of our target audience.

BUILD YOUR OWN RESEARCH PANEL OR “RENT” ONE? In cases where your customers are considered niche, it makes sense to invest the time into building out your own online panel of respondents. While it obviously takes more effort than using an outsourced panel provider (“renting”), the quality of the respondents is generally higher in self-recruited panels, and in the long term, the cost is cheaper than using external vendors for all your market research initiatives.

At QuestionPro, we understand the importance of panel research. We provide power to your research with incredible sample consisting of 22 million panelists, from over 32 countries with 300+ profile data points. We provide our customers with 360 degree survey solutions. We understand our customers and their needs and provide the answers accordingly.

Super Bowl Impact on Consumer Spending

America’s favorite day to eat wings, drink beer and sit on the couch is nearly here. The first Super Bowl game was played in 1967, and over the past 51 years, has grown into quite a spectacle. This year, more than 188.5 million people are expected to tune in for Sunday’s festivities. If sports aren’t your thing, then you’re part of the 24% of Americans who watch it for the attention-grabbing commercials. And these brands are betting—very large sums of money—on consumers checking out their ads. But brands aren’t the only ones spending money during the Super Bowl. Super Bowl weekend brings in serious revenue from consumer spending for liquor stores, restaurants and grocery stores.

It’s not the Super Bowl without big-budget, star-studded commercials. NBC said it will bring in $500 million in revenue for programming on Sunday alone. According to Ad Age Datacenter, ad spending for commercials during the broadcast is estimated to be around $419 million. The average cost for a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl LII is just over $5 million—that’s $168,333 per second! And it looks like the commercials are worth the expensive price tag. Adweek conducted a study that showed 49% are more likely to buy from a brand after seeing a good Super Bowl ad, and 69% are less likely to buy from a brand after seeing a bad commercial.

Consumers carry the spending momentum through from the holiday season into their Super Bowl festivities. Whether hosting a party or going to a bar, consumers are going to spend on the game. American adults are expected to spend an average $81.17 for a total of $15.3 billion, up from $14.1 billion last year. The average American hosting a Super Bowl watch party will spend around $207.16 on food, beverages, decorations and fan gear.

Super Bowl is the second biggest eating holiday in America, which bodes well for food and liquor sales. In 2017, shoppers spent $502 million on chips, $80 million on chicken wings, $100 million on meat snacks, $60 million on deli sandwiches, and $81 million on deli salads (for those health nuts). Additionally, $1.3 billion was spent on beer, $597 on wine, and $503 million on liquor. Not too bad for one weekend of sales!

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 5 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research.

Mobile Panels Online: Market Research in the Mobile World

The times they are a-changin’. Little known fact: Bob Dylan was singing about market research. Market research is changing, and smart businesses are seizing the opportunity to use smartphones to gather data in a timely, efficient way. There are two options when conducting market research in the mobile world: in-app surveys and mobile-optimized surveys that are housed on a webpage and accessed from a smartphone. According to eMarketer, the average adult spends 131 minutes a day accessing content through a mobile app, yet only 26 minutes using their phone to connect to the internet. Keep reading for more reasons why mobile panels online are the future of market research.

QUALITY The quality of your data matters. According to a report by comScore, the average American adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day. By using mobile panels online, you are able to get reliable data, as it’s in real time, while the information is fresh in the respondent’s mind. They can also use their mobile devices to take pictures and videos that allow you to gather the exact information you’re looking for.

RESPONSE RATE As we’ve discussed, everyone is glued to their mobile phones. Mobile panels online have less than a 25% dropout rate because you’re able to access respondents whenever, wherever, so it is easy for them to take the survey. With mobile, you can send push notifications to your panel that there is a survey available for them, then follow-up reminder emails. Studies have found that survey notifications increase response rates by 4-29 percentage points, and reminder emails have been shown to increase response rates by 3-8 points.

TRACKER SURVEYS Tracker surveys are a great way to gain insight into purchase behavior, brand sentiment, product awareness and customer satisfaction. Tracker studies require ongoing interactions with respondents and getting their feedback over a period of time. In older survey research where landline surveys or focus groups were used, it was difficult to get accurate data, because it was dependent on the respondent’s memory. With online mobile panels, you are able to get real-time responses and ongoing feedback.

QuestionPro provides our customers with an advantage when conducting market research in the mobile world with our mobile app, MyPinion. MyPinion is the fastest market research tool that allows mobile users to provide critical insights to leading brands by participating in short surveys. With our mobile panel of more than 250,000 active smartphone users around the United States, you are able to get thousands of responses within minutes with the highest respondent engagement. Our respondents are pre-screened and highly qualified to participate in a variety of research studies of any level of specificity.

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing eCommerce

The future is here, and the future is artificial intelligence. A technology that once sounded futuristic is now here, and smart businesses have realized it’s not an optional tool in this tech-crazed climate, and begun implementing AI in order to create the easiest possible user experience. Analysts predict that by 2020, 85% of a consumer’s relationship with a business will be managed without interacting with a human. The internet provides consumers with an unprecedented amount of information and options, but it also makes conversions harder for businesses, due to abundant options and price matching. With AI, businesses can use algorithms to gain insight into the wants and needs of the consumer.

PERSONALIZED MARKETING Astute companies know consumers don’t want to feel marketed to, and each interaction with the customer needs to be purposeful, yet subtle. By using AI, eCommerce sites are able to create personalized online experiences and recommend products uniquely suited to each shopper. Personalized marketing using AI has proven successful for companies like Amazon and Netflix, who were early adopters of the technology. Amazon saw a 29% increase in sales when they started recommending products to its customers, and when Netflix created a model to predict its customers might enjoy, those recommendations won 75% of the time.

VISUAL SEARCH Another tactic being used by eCommerce sites is visual search, a technology that uses AI to analyze a photo that the shopper submits. Previously, customers have used a text search to look for their desired object. Today, however, many companies are utilizing visual search to find products that match the shopper’s submitted image. Neiman Marcus is one company who is having great success using this technology. By allowing app users to take photos of objects in the real world, they are then shown similar items in the Neiman Marcus catalog.

VOICE SEARCH Voice search uses AI to allow shoppers to search for items using speech. A study by comScore predicts that by 2020 at least 50% of all web searches will be done by voice command. Voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home allow users to make online purchases, and use predictive retail to anticipate purchases. A partnership between Google and Walmart allows Google Assistant to use your purchase history to remind you to reorder items like toothpaste, then places the order through Walmart.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 5 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. Our Consumer Panel is carefully recruited to target all type of users, but also taking into consideration certain key industry trends, such as online store preference, physical store preference, actual systems, reasons to purchase, etc. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research.

Amazon HQ2: What It Means For the Chosen City

After months of waiting, and proposals from 238 cities, Amazon has announced their short list of potential cities for its second headquarters (HQ2). The company had a few prerequisites: a metropolitan area with a population of greater than one million and the ability to attract and keep strong technical talent. The list of finalists surprised many, as it included locations that aren’t thought to be technology havens, such as Columbus and Indianapolis, and rejected applications from Detroit, Phoenix, and San Diego.

The e-commerce giant decided it needed a second location for its headquarters because it is rapidly outgrowing its office in Seattle, where more than 40,000 people are employed by Amazon. In a company press release announcing Amazon HQ2, Amazon spoke about plans to invest over $5 billion in construction, and create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. It’s estimated that Amazon’s investments in Seattle from 2010-2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy.

While the obvious upside to being named Amazon HQ2 is an influx of money to the chosen city’s economy, detractors have come out, predicting a poorer quality of life. A blogger who has lived in Seattle for 21 years and seen both the positive and negative impacts of Amazon’s residency in downtown Seattle, wrote an article warning of probable issues. One such issue: an influx of commuters can clog even the best-designed infrastructure. Seattle is working to build a mass transit system that can withstand the rapidly growing population, but the city chosen for HQ2 should be prepared for lots of construction and traffic.

Another concern? Housing prices. High demand and high-paying jobs plus low inventory create an increasingly competitive housing market. According to Market Watch, home prices in Seattle have increased by 83% and rent prices by 47% over the past seven years since Amazon first established their presence. Researchers at Apartment List, who studied the 15 metro areas competing for HQ2, predict the Amazon effect alone will add an average of 2% to rental costs. In 2017, homes in one of Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods went for a median price of more than $1 million. The non-Amazon residents who can’t afford the increasing prices will be forced out, and pushed into the outer suburbs.

Regardless of the potential downsides, many cities feel the good outweigh the bad, and will be petitioning for Amazon to choose them. Amazon has the opportunity to directly impact one U.S. city’s economy in a way that has not been seen before. The next phase of the process will include Amazon representatives communicating directly with the final cities, with the winner being chosen later this year.

Below is the list of finalists:

Atlanta, Georgia
Austin, Texas
Boston, Massachusetts
Chicago, Illinois
Columbus, Ohio
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Indianapolis, Indiana
Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Montgomery County, Maryland
Nashville, Tennessee
Newark, New Jersey
New York City, New York
Northern Virginia, Virginia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Raleigh, North Carolina
Toronto, Ontario
Washington, D.C.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including homeowner panelists, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

CES Sum Up: The Top 5 Gadgets We Can’t Wait to Purchase

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual trade show where the consumer technology world goes to introduce their newest innovations to the marketplace. Some of these innovations are not necessarily going to be unleashed to the marketplace, but garner attention for the brand, such as the car-sized drone a Chinese company EHang unveiled in 2016. Here is our list of the most exciting products debuted at CES that we hope actually make it to our homes!

1) Samsung The Wall: This 146 inch TV system merges multiple borderless MicroLED TVs into one giant screen, and measures 146 inches. Due to its modular set-up, it can be customized to be smaller than 146 inches, but isn’t that the whole reason to purchase a TV named “The Wall”??

2) InstaView ThinQ refrigerator: This smart appliance features a 29-inch touchscreen that becomes transparent if users knock on it twice. It allows users to draw notes on the screen, pull up recipes and be notified of expiration dates on food. Additionally, a wide-angle camera inside allows the user to remotely view the fridge to see the current contents.

3) Foldimate: Folding laundry is everyone’s least favorite chore. Enter Foldimate. Simply feed your clothing into the top of the machine, and clothes will deposit at the bottom of the device, perfectly folded. Now if only they could automate it so users don’t have to feed the clothes—but that’ll probably be unveiled at CES ‘19.

4) Sony Aibo: For those who can’t have pets due to landlord restrictions or allergies, or if they’re just into all things robot, this robot dog was a hit at CES. It mimics the movements and activities of a real dog, even responding to touch on three specific areas: the top of its head, back and under the chin. Two cameras—in its nose and tail—help Aibo identify family members and your home environment. It would be a great addition to any household.

5) Kobi Company, Kobi: We spoke too soon; shoveling snow is the absolute worst chore. For those who dread winter and the snow removal that comes with it, Kobi will be your new best friend. This autonomous snow blower is linked with the weather forecast and will automatically begin clearing as snow starts falling, recharge, and go back to resume clearing the driveway. Even better, it comes with lawn mowing and leaf blowing attachments, so you can retire from yard work forever.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 5 million active consumer electronics respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research

“OK, Google…” How Smart Speakers Will Evolve in 2018

Move over, smartphone. Smart speakers are the new “it” device. While not exactly new to the market (both Amazon Echo and Google Home launched over a year ago) consumers are coming out in droves in 2018 to purchase these smart speakers. Consumers are drawn to the ability to use these voice activated assistants to make their lives easier, from creating shopping lists to calendar reminders and beyond. Data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reports that Amazon and Google Home have sold a combined 27 million devices in the U.S., with Amazon holding three-fourths of the market to Google’s twenty-five percent.

According to a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 44% of online adults in the U.S. plan to purchase a smart speaker in 2018. In addition to the growing adoption, the report mentioned that 70% of existing smart speaker owners use it daily, and an impressive 89% report being satisfied with it. One barrier that non-owners reported is poor consumer knowledge and product familiarity, which is a common obstacle for emerging technologies.

A question many people are asking is: How, and when, will brands incorporate advertising into these devices? Google Home tested the waters with Beauty and the Beast audio ads last March when the Disney movie premiered. They claimed it wasn’t ad, but rather, a feature, where they “invite their partners to be a guest and share their tales” with consumers. Regardless of what it was, it was removed within hours. According to CNBC, Amazon is currently in talks with companies like Clorox and Proctor & Gamble to promote their products on Alexa. Some brands already have a presence on Alexa through their own third-party “skills” (Amazon-speak for apps); for example, you can order a Domino’s pizza, or an Uber. Amazon’s ads are unlikely to be as overt as radio commercials; rather, they will be much more subtle and targeted, such as suggesting brands when you go to reorder products.

The world’s largest technology trade show, Consumer Electronic Show (CES), is happening in Las Vegas this week, and attendees are reporting non-stop talk about Amazon and Google, as they vie to be the industry leader in voice-activated devices. Both brands have spent the week showcasing new features and partnerships, such as Google Assistant’s “smart display” device partnership with JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony, and Amazon’s addition to PCs and laptops from Acer, Asus and HP.

The future of digital assistants, and the potential impact on consumers, is still yet to be determined, but if Google, Amazon and the like have it their way, every consumer will have a voice-activated assistant in their house, connected to all of their devices. In fact, a recent report predicts that 55% of U.S. households will have a smart device in their house by 2022.