Category Archives: Market Research

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.

Below is a preview. Download the full 14-page research report here!

5 Ways to Keep Survey Respondents Engaged

survey respondents

Surveys are powerful tools that businesses rely on to learn the motivations of consumers and gain insight into their feelings towards brands. However, if the participants are responding arbitrarily, the survey instrument may need some attention in order to get the actionable data necessary to make accurate decisions. It is important to keep survey respondents engaged in order to ensure a positive experience for both parties involved. It can be difficult to predict the level of participation you will receive, but by following these simple tips below, you should see improved response rates, with more relevant data and better ROI on your project.

KEEP IT SHORT One of the most common reasons for respondent drop-out is survey fatigue.  We conducted numerous research studies on this topic and found that close to 50% of survey respondents are okay spending an average of 5 minutes on a survey. However, only one-third did not show any sign of significant fatigue for completing surveys that are 10 minutes or longer.  Make sure every question you’re asking has a purpose, so you don’t waste your respondents’ time.

COMMUNICATE Set clear expectations of your survey respondents. Progress bars can help the survey respondent to understand where they are in the survey and motivate them to complete it. If you do have to conduct a longer survey, communicate the details, such as why this research is important to you and your organization and how long it will take them.

TEST Ensure the survey is tested over and over again to make sure it is free of programming errors. Good programming that eliminates redundant questions can help the respondent in completing the survey faster and ultimately result in better data quality for your research.

BE ENGAGING Keep the survey interesting—this will keep your survey respondents from wandering while completing your survey. Add variety to keep the survey appealing and engaging to your participants. The use of sliders, emojis and other attractive visuals can make the survey taking experience more enjoyable. Rather than the single select yes or no survey question, which also does not gain as much information from your respondent, consider asking “how”. For example, instead of “Did you like our service?” ask “How did you find our services?”. Phrasing the question this way will provide you detailed data, and allow the respondent to have a voice.

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.

Market Research: Why Every Small Business Needs It

small business marketing

Attention, small businesses! According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are currently 28.8 million small businesses in the United States. These businesses have played a major role in economic growth because they create so many jobs (1.4 million in 2014!), but getting the business off the ground is a struggle. About two-thirds of small businesses survive 2 years, half will survive 5 years, and one-third will make it to 10 years.

Market research is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into your customer base, competitors, and overall market. The goal of conducting market research is to equip your company with the information you need to make informed decisions. Market research is especially important when small businesses are trying to determine whether a new business idea is viable, looking to move into a new market, or are launching a new product or service.  Read below for a more in-depth look at how market research can help small businesses.

COMPETITION According to a study conducted by Business Insider, 72% of small businesses focus on increasing revenue. Conducting research helps businesses gain insight into competitor behavior. By learning your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you can learn how to position your product or offering. In order to be successful, small businesses need to have an understanding of what products and services competitors are offering, and their price point.

CUSTOMERS Many small businesses feel they have an understanding of their customer, only to conduct market research and learn they had the wrong assumptions. By conducting research, you can create a profile of your average customer and gain insight into their buying habits, how much they’re willing to spend, and which features resonate with them. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, you can learn what will make someone use your product or service over a competitor.

OPPORTUNITIES Potential opportunities, whether they are products or services, can be identified by conducting market research. By learning more about your customers, you can gather insights into complementary products and services. Consumer needs change over time, influenced by new technology and different conditions, and you may find new needs that are not being met, which can create new opportunities for your business.

FORECAST A small business is affected by the performance of the local and national economy, as are its’ customers. If consumers are worried, then they will be more restrained when spending money, which affects the business. By conducting research with consumers, businesses can get an idea of whether they are optimistic or apprehensive about the direction of the economy, and make adjustments as necessary. For example, a small business owner may decide to postpone a new product launch if it appears the economic environment is turning negative.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, 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 and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

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.

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.

Why You Should Use Mobile To Conduct Market Research

Market research is a valuable tool, and one that the smartest companies invest in. Companies like Lego, McDonald’s and Apple have been utilizing market research (MR) for years, and dominate their respective markets. But MR is not just for big companies with even bigger budgets; with today’s technology, every company has the ability to conduct research.

In the past, this data took a long time to gather because the only options were focus groups, mailings and phone surveys. Today’s modern technology makes research more accessible to companies than ever. In 2017, there were an estimated 227 million smartphone users in the United States. Smaller companies can use the data to help their growth, thanks to quick turnaround, affordable options and personalized service options. We’ve listed just a few of the advantages to conducting research via mobile.

Cost Effective

We mentioned focus groups previously, but what we didn’t mention was how costly they are—the average focus group project runs $8,000. With mobile, the audience reach is greater, and the cost is lower. Conducting research with a mobile app guarantees results from your target audience, and at a fixed price.

Convenience

Researchers are able to access consumers via their preferred mode of communication, which works best for busy consumers. Additionally, the participation rate of respondents is higher, as the respondent can answer from anywhere.

Speed

The speed at which mobile research can be conducted is a huge advantage. According to eMarketer, American adults are expected to spend on average 3 hours and 23 minutes on mobile media in 2018. Mobile research provides the benefit of instantaneous results and a shorter wait period. Also, it is perfect for surveys when you want immediate reactions. Answers are given in real time, while fresh in the consumer’s memory.

Access to a Larger Audience

Market research companies have access to large panels of participants from all demographics. In addition, they have the ability to gather other pertinent information such as geolocation data and reach your target audience in an efficient way.

QuestionPro’s mobile app, 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.

Top 10 Infographics of December 2017

As an industry leader in market research, people look to us for thought-provoking content. We love sharing insightful data with our readers, so we curated a list of our top 10 favorite projects from the month of December. Enjoy!

1 – Comparing the World’s Money & Markets

By: The Money Project Imagine the amount of detail that went into an infographic that took two years to make. In 2015, The Money Project created an infographic as a way of simplifying currencies, assets and other financial instruments in a way people can understand, and it evolved into a new way to understand the vast universe of global assets. How much money exists? How much does the top 1% really have? What are global assets? Prepared to be blown away by all the money that you do not have.

2 – Best of Prime 2107

By: Amazon This infographic features a compilation of all the data you’ve always wanted to know when it comes to Jeff Besos’ e-commerce giant. From Echo Dots, to the most played artists, songs, and movies, Amazon detailed it all. Also, FYI, people really love their Instant Pots.

 

3 – Mapping Slavery Against US Incarceration

By: Slavery Data/Mapping: Bill Rankin, Code/Story: Matt Daniels
Every now and then we come across reports that completely blow us away. And those reports are usually created by the Pudding, a visual essay website with impressively detailed insights. Most recently, the team analyzed how incarceration rates in the U.S. differ between slave states and non-slave states. It’s a compelling report we couldn’t get enough of.

 

4 – The Evolution of the Retail Shopper

By: CardConnect Retail shopping during the holiday season has been the subject of many infographics, but CardConnect’s take on how mobile is impacting the retail industry provides a breath of fresh air to a stale topic.

 

 

5 – Youtube: The Video Giant

By: Filmora You’ve heard of Youtube, but do you know the data behind it? This infographic starts with a brief history of the video sharing platform, and closes with mind-blowing stats about 2017 such as “1 billion hours of YouTube are watched per day”.

 

 

6 – Visualizing the Journey to $10,000 Bitcoin

By: Blockchain Intelligence Group We recently posted a blog about bitcoin and the craze that surrounds the cryptocurrency market. The Blockchain Intelligence Group breaks down the cryptocurrency’s monumental rise from less than $1,000 to $10,000 in just 11 months.

 

7 – The Percentage of World Debt (By Country)

By: Jeff Desjardins>Have you ever wondered what $63 trillion in debt looks like? Here’s a hint: it looks a lot like the United States.

 

 

 

8 – 2017: The Year in Pharmacy

By Dawn Connelly, Pharmaceutical Journal

It’s fair to say that the pharma industry has had a tumultuous year. In December, the Pharmaceutical Journal detailed every major event throughout 2017 in a clean and easy-to-follow format.

 

 

9 – Walmart’s Top Selling Items of 2017

By: Walmart.com A good map-graphic is always an interesting read when it comes to trends in consumer insights. So when one of the world’s top-selling companies created one, we tuned in to learn something new—and we learned that the most purchased item in Illinois are erasers. With a revenue of $482B in 2016, it’s safe to say Walmart knows what they’re talking about.

 

10 – Land of the Free and Home of the Taxed?

By: QuestionPro Audience The call to reform the tax code was one of President Trump’s biggest promises during the 2016 presidential campaign, and after much debate and fanfare, the Senate passed the proposal, 51-49, marking the first time in 27 years the tax code has been substantially changed. The tax reform bill has been covered by every news channel and political reporter, but how do the American people feel about it? We conducted our own research with our registered voter panel and detailed the responses in a 16-page report, which you can download here.