Tag Archives: technology

Snapchat’s Got 99 Problems and Kylie Jenner’s Just One of Them

snapchat

It’s safe to say Snapchat probably wishes Kylie Jenner was still under her self-imposed social media hiatus. Last Wednesday, she tweeted to her 24.5 million followers: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” Shares of Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., sank 6.1% on Thursday, costing Snap $1.3 billion (yes, billion) in market value. Can the social media platform bounce back, or are users done with it?

When Snapchat initially came on the social media scene, it was a way to send photos or videos, which after being viewed or played once, disappeared. Since then, it has changed immensely; it now lets you replay snaps an unlimited number of times, screenshot images if you want to save them, and save your own snaps to the Memories section of your account.

To say this recent redesign has users upset is an understatement. 1.2 million people have signed a Change.org petition asking Snapchat to revert to the old version. Common complaints are difficulty finding friends and rewatching Stories, and the Discover page, which has been replaced with featured and sponsored content. One reason why Jenner may be unhappy with the update is because it implements an algorithm to create a division between content from friends and content from publishers and celebrities, leading fewer people to see her posts. Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, Inc., responded to the backlash saying, “…one of the complaints we got was, ‘Wow, I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore.’ And we’re like, ‘Exactly. They’re not your friend!’ …”

Snapchat isn’t the first social media company to upset users. When Instagram changed its logo two years ago from the classic polaroid-inspired icon to its current prismatic, abstract logo, it was largely panned by users and critics alike. Facebook encountered similar backlash when they unveiled the News Feed, leading CEO Mark Zuckerberg to draft a blog post titled “Calm Down. Breathe. We Hear You.”  

Despite the complaints, the re-design’s rollout lead to a surge in the U.S. app store charts. It went from No. 7 to No. 2 in the days after the re-design’s debut. Snapchat is making a big bet that users want to hear more from their friends than celebrities or brands (an algorithm both Facebook and Instagram have incorporated as well). And it will be interesting to see if the gamble pays off.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 20 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.

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.

Why Smart Tech Companies are Focusing on Baby Boomers

There are currently about 75 million baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) in the U.S., and they are the fastest growing segment of technology consumers. Whereas millennials consume the trending technology and move on to the next, baby boomers are different. Once they find a brand that appeals to them, they are extremely brand loyal. Contrary to popular belief, they are not resistant to technology or social media (to the dismay of kids and grandchildren across the country), and according to a study conducted by Forrester Research, boomers actually spend more on technology than any other demographic. Baby boomers control 70% of disposable income, and smart companies are adapting technology to appeal to them. Here are three examples of how the tech industry is focusing on baby boomers.

CAREGIVING The caregiving market is expected to reach $72 billion by 2020, according to a report from AARP, with a total spend on caregiving from 2016 through 2020 expected to reach $279 billion. Many baby boomers are currently caring for elderly family members, which is an extremely taxing and difficult task. Technological advances make it easier for boomers to stay on top of their loved ones’ health issues. An app called Medisafe uses the Cloud to alert family members when someone misses a medication dose. Caregivers also have an option for keeping track of elderly loved ones who may have a tendency to wander off or become disoriented and lost—the GPS SmartSole is a wearable technology that uses a shoe insole to track the location of the wearer.

TRAVEL 84% of boomers book their travel online. This is no surprise since the advance of technology has made traveling easier for everyone. From researching, price comparison, and booking travel, it is all the click of a button away. According to AARP, baby boomers spend around $120 billion a year in travel. For the boomer who wants a more hands-on approach than the typical travel booking site, there is Lola, a travel company that provides on-demand, personal travel service through a smartphone app.

FITNESS Baby boomers are focused on staying healthy, and technology plays a large role in helping boomers achieve this goal to ensure a more active lifestyle and, ultimately, longer lifespan. Evelo, an electric bike company, targeted the boomer market and saw a surge in sales. Boris Mordkovich, CEO and Founder of Evelo, noticed the huge market potential because his own parents, who are baby boomers, found the electric bike extremely useful. The bike is popular because it allows the rider to control how much manpower is used, and is more gentle on joints than traditional bikes.

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.

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

Wearable Technology on the Rise!

What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology encourages wearers to be more engaged in their health and lifestyle choices. In addition to being a fashionable accessory, wearables collect pertinent data that can be sent to the wearer’s physician. This market is growing at a rapid pace, with 1 in 5 Americans owning a wearable tech device. In contrast to a one-time blood pressure reading at an appointment, wearables provide data taken over a period of time, such as sleep patterns, heart rate, and activity levels. This additional data can help alert doctors to issues that wouldn’t have been apparent otherwise.

Initially, wearables such as the Fitbit gained popularity by their ability to monitor the steps a person took throughout the day, and motivate them to reach a certain goal. With obesity being a global epidemic, doctors were particularly excited by this technology because it encouraged wearers to be more active. Many companies, who have an interested stake in keeping their employees healthy in hopes of cutting healthcare and insurance costs, started offering wellness plans to employees with incentives tied to using wearables to achieve health goals. Currently, about 46% of employers offer fitness trackers as part of their wellness programs.

The wearable market has evolved from technology that merely tracks fitness to impacting how wearers with chronic diseases conduct their daily lives. Currently, almost half of all American adults have one or more chronic health condition, which often arises due to unhealthy living, poor diet, little to no exercise and stress.

For example, roughly 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, a disease which requires daily monitoring of blood sugar levels. These levels are typically monitored through daily finger stick blood tests, and adhering to this rigorous care plan is a common challenge among diabetic patients. New wearable technology on the market such as K’Track Glucose may change that. K’Track Glucose is a wearable that allows diabetics to self-monitor their glucose levels without the need for blood-based tests. Wearers are encouraged to keep it on all day so it can monitor blood glucose, particularly during exercising, when glucose levels are apt to spike. The device alerts users to potentially dangerous spikes and lulls in their levels.

Today, the wearable technology market consists of clothing, earware, wristbands, eyewear and clip-on devices, and is expected to expand even further. Now that consumers are aware of the benefits these products can provide, the industry is working to improve and enhance the wearer’s experience. According to data from the International Data Corporation, an estimated 125.5 million wearable devices will be sold this year, up 20.4% from 2016. The wearable industry is anticipating to double by 2021, with an estimated 240.1 million units to be sold.

How Mobile Apps are Changing Travel in 2018

Experts are predicting 2018 to be the year mobile technology officially takes over travel. Gone are the days of making blind booking arrangements and hoping for the best, or using a travel agent. Even sitting down at a desktop computer is no longer necessary. Today, 77% of Americans own smartphones and a recent Global Traveler study found that one in three travelers now books on a mobile device. Companies are using their mobile applications to reach the consumer directly, therefore eliminating the uncertainty that has existed when previously booking travel.

Mobile technology creates a completely different experience at the airport, for both the customer and airline. A good mobile app adds to the customer experience, and creates brand loyalty. Users are able to easily check in and be notified of any flight delays or gate changes. For the airline, apps make it possible to pass information to the traveler immediately, which ultimately eliminates confusion and makes the traveler’s experience less stressful. In addition to communicating with the customer, airlines use mobile apps to create an easy user experience for their customers, with the ability to manage your trips, check-in, and pay for checked baggage and flight extras such as wi-fi, all in one application. In 2018, it is expected that 79% of airports around the world will offer CRM tools in their mobile apps to help track customer behavior and improve personalization and brand loyalty, up from 30% in 2015.

Airlines are looking to extend the customer experience in 2018. They plan to evolve their apps to create a digital travel companion experience, rather than just taking the customer from point A to point B. By integrating third-party companies into their app, they can make the app a one-stop shop for customers. The recent JetBlue and Lyft partnership allows customers to earn JetBlue loyalty points when they use the ride-sharing service, and American Airlines and Grab Food partnered to provide customers with the ability to pre-order food at the airport.

Companies such as TripAdvisor, Expedia and Booking.com have utilized the benefits of mobile technology, using their respective apps to notify customers of deals and flash sales. In addition to booking travel, TripAdvisor expanded its services to let customers grade and review airlines. In 2018, the focus will be on using location, previous purchase history and demographic trends to push last minute offers to travelers while they are in destination, completing the full trip lifecycle.

Industry experts predict 70% of all booking transactions will be via mobile by 2020. As technology continues to evolve, so will the way consumers and businesses interact. It’s important for companies who are serious about mobile communication with their customer to listen to their demands. And it looks like in 2018, consumers will be getting what they want—mobile.

iPhone X – Are Consumers Willing to Pay?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve heard of, used, and/or own an Apple product. When Apple first debuted the iPhone in 2007, it revolutionized smartphones and changed the industry. The touchscreen was unlike anything else on the market, and with a price of $399, took some getting used to for the average consumer. However, over the past ten years, we have become accustomed to and grown to expect a higher price point for the sort of innovation Apple produces. There are now more than 700 million iPhones currently in use worldwide, and that number is expected to grow 13% over the next year.

On November 3rd, their most anticipated product was released, the iPhone X. iPhone release day has become something of a national holiday for Apple fans, and the iPhone X release was no different. In cities all over the world, eager customers camped out in hopes of purchasing the $999 phone. According to Apple’s website, the phones were sold out in Apple stores by day end in New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Austin, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Apple has earned a reputation as an industry innovator, and the iPhone X doesn’t disappoint. The iPhone X has facial recognition so you can bypass the fingerprint entry. Also, the home button has been removed, allowing for the high-resolution screen to cover almost all of the device, and Apple promises an additional two hours of battery life. Now for what all the cool kids are already talking about: Animojis. You can create animated emoji animals that mirror more than 50 different muscle movements of your face.

These features sound very cool, but we wanted to know—does any of that really matter to the average consumer when they are deciding which new phone to buy? We polled over 300 people across the United States to see if features such as the newest technology and brand name outweigh a steep price tag to the average mobile phone consumer. We found that an overwhelming 80% of respondents are most interested in a moderate price point. The newest technology is a selling point for 50% of our respondents, but only 29% feel features such as a megapixel camera are extremely important. 24% are interested in the brand name, and 84% of our audience is looking for a phone with a long battery life.

Apple has assembled a cult of followers, and they are always eager to purchase the newest model. Reception across the board for the iPhone X has been mostly positive, with many users saying this changes what we’ll look for in a phone from now on. Every few years, Apple has come up with a new product that turns the market upside down, and it sounds like the Apple X is no different. But if you’re not interested in the newest technology and features, there are many other great, conservatively-priced options on the market.

Market Research is the Key Ingredient

As usual, Amazon is on the move and presenting even more great ideas. In 2017, we have plenty to look forward to when it comes to shopping. Amazon will be opening the Amazon Go store to the public in early portion of the new year. The store will be like no other grocery store. There will be no cashiers, instead shoppers will use a mobile app to enter the store, gather what they need, and walk out. This takes artificial intelligence to the next level as innovative  “walk out technology” will track what  customers placed in their shopping bags and charge their Amazon accounts for those items. They are also making strides in their drone delivery system as well . The company’s first commercial drone delivery was announced last week. As large companies like Amazon strives towards creating an easy and fast shopping platform for users, these concepts leave room to be explored through market research. Amazon is accelerating technology and influencing consumer behavior. To complete these tasks effectively and keep the momentum going, an intense amount of market research is necessary.

With every new technological update or product release, there is a sense of unpredictability with how the consumer will react. This is where market research becomes pivotal. Conducting research before, during, and after the update can help understand the consumers’ mindset and the market conditions that affect their habits. Market research can also help shape and mold product revamps. Amazon is currently conducting research internally with their employee base. The Amazon Go store is currently open to Amazon employees, this a way to test the store before it opens to the public. Once the store is open to the general population, it would be helpful to gather a diversified sample of people who have been to the store and people who have not. Collecting their thoughts and opinions through an online platform could be beneficial in understanding what would draw more people to become customers.

 

Consumers’ behavior is also being influenced by Amazon’s innovations. This behavior is always changing due to what is made available in the marketplace. We have seen the preference of visiting brick and mortar facilities ebb and flow as online shopping has made great advancements. Amazon has ventures in both of these avenues and because of their impact on the market, it directs consumers towards their products. For example, the drone delivery service fuels the consumer’s’ need for immediacy. Although consumers are constantly shopping online, they still want the sense of immediacy achieved when they are shopping in-store. The drone delivery system marries the comfort and ease of online shopping with the sense of immediate access. However, Amazon will still need to conduct more market research to understand how consumers perceive their idea. With mixed emotions regarding the use of drones, market research could be conducted with a sample of the general population to gather public opinion. Amazon could also gather information to establish a price point for the service that  consumers would find acceptable, whether than the consumer resulting to other delivery methods.

 

Ultimately, market research is the key ingredient for a company to be successful. When new products or services are  introduced into the marketplace, in-depth market research offers insights into the consumers’ mindset and predictions on how the product or service will be perceived. Market research can help a company make changes or updates that fit the consumers’ lifestyle as well as show how much they are willing to pay for it. Companies like Amazon who are constantly releasing new innovations can benefit from collecting information through on-line sample.

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For more information on how to conduct market research with online sample, reach out to sales-team@qsample.com

Does your business have good online reviews? [Survey Data]

 

We recently conducted a survey with our general consumer panel to explore consumer’s online decision-making process, in which over 320 respondents participated in the survey. The findings reveal that the majority of respondents find online review to be a critical piece to their purchasing decision.

Respondents who participated in the survey fall in the following demographic bracket:

– Male (44%), Female (56%)

– Millennial (22%), Generation X (40%), Boomer (31%), Silent (7%)

– Urban (55%), Suburban (34%), Rural (11%)

How do they surf the web?

In general, the most popular platform of web surfing is computer, as indicated by 63% of the respondents, followed by phone (25%) and tablet (12%). When cross-tabulated this particular dataset with age/generation data, we found out that phone usage, in terms of web surfing, declines by increase in age.

Interestingly, when it comes to surfing the web on tablet PCs, the data reveals that baby boomers were far ahead of other generations.  This perhaps should be a sign for businesses to optimize their web pages for various mobile platforms, regardless of their customer base.

Do they trust online reviews?

98% of the respondents indicated that they generally trust online reviews, and they develop higher confidence with the product or service after reading 6 or more reviews, which are posted within a month. Millennials and Generation X respondents tend to read more reviews (11+) before making a purchasing decision.

Furthermore, when they were asked if they trust online reviews as much as peer recommendations, a striking 84% of the respondents agreed that they do.

Where do they read reviews?

42% of the respondents indicated that they find the reviews through major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), followed by Amazon at 28% and major social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) at 21%. Surprisingly, while Yelp is considered to be a popular business review resource, only 6% of our respondents indicated that they use Yelp for business review. Other sources included consumer reports and manufacturer websites.

92% of the respondents indicated that they find better deals as a result of reading online reviews. Our data revealed that social media sites ranked as number one places for discount deals, followed by Amazon and search engines.

Our findings is further illustrated in the infographic below:

online-review