Mobile News Mix

Competitive Retail Insights from Margaritaville: Who's Winning Florida's Alcoholic Beverage Battle?

Posted by MFour on Sep 25, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Every consumer insights study should tell a story, and there’s quite a story market researchers could tell about a classic retail competition between two beer, wine and spirits chains that are fighting it out in Florida.

It’s the story of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, which was founded in 1935 and operates only in the Sunshine State, versus Total Wine & More, which opened its first store in Delaware in 1991 and now operates in 23 states.

Telling this or any other consumer insights story requires the right tools. And the only one that really can do the job for competitive research is Path-2-Purchase® Platform. Created by MFour, it gives marketers and market research pros unprecedented, day-by-day, at-a-glance data on which validated consumers are visiting which retail locations. One of its most important uses is visualizing and understanding how competition in a given business category is playing out among retailers across the United States.

The battle between ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & More is particularly intriguing because of the two companies’ differences.

  • One is home-grown and indigenous to Florida, while the other treats Florida as an important market, but only part of a nationwide growth strategy.
  • ABC’s stores tend to be smaller, averaging 8,000 to 12,000 square feet and carrying 3,000 wines, 1,000 beers, and 2,900 spirits, according to the company’s website.
  • Total Wine & Spirits calls its locations "superstores," typically stocking 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits, and 2,500 brands of beer. It advises prospective real estate partners that the “optimal” store size is 20,000 to 25,000 square feet.

Users of Path-2-Purchase® can get a quick overview of this and any other retail competition by calling up a visualization of all visits made by real, first-party members of the world's largest all-mobile consumer panel. Depending on your needs, you can look at nationwide totals, or break data down by state or DMA. In an instant you'll see visitation patterns segmented by age, gender, income, education, ethnicity and dozens of other variables.

So how did this summer's battle for alcoholic beverage shoppers go between ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & Spirits? Let's look at the Path-2-Purchase® data. 

  • ABC had one of its busiest day of the summer on July 4, while at Total Wine it was just another Wednesday.
  • Having discovered that data point on Path-2-Purchase®, an interested researcher could have quickly fielded a survey to ABC’s validated July 4 visitors to ask what had brought them in.
  • A quick look at the Path-2-Purchase® dashboard shows that over a 90-day period through Sept. 17, ABC drew 61% of the two chains' combined foot traffic, to 39% for Total Wine & More.
  • But looking at weekends only (Fridays through Sundays), Total Wine & More raised its share of combined foot traffic to 43%.

Path-2-Purchase® also reveals that something happened in mid-summer that shifted the competitive dynamic.

  • From late June through July, the battle for weekend foot traffic was closely fought. ABC accounted for 53% of weekend visits, to 47% for Total Wine.

  • But from August through mid-September, ABC gained 7 percentage points, increasing its share of combined visits to 60%, while Total Wine's share slipped to 40%. 

Having observed this shift on Path-2-Purchase® Platform, a researcher could target and survey validated store visitors to discover the "why" behind this observed reality. Did ABC Fine Wine & Spirits introduce special discounts that led to the August-September boost in traffic? You'd be able to ask the exact consumers who could tell you the story. For example:

  • ABC shoppers who had visited earlier in the summer, but visited more frequently after August 1.
  • Total Wine shoppers whose Path-2-Purchase®  journeys showed they had switched to ABC.
  • ABC customers who hadn't shopped at either store before August 1. 
Here are some additional at-a-glance Path-2-Purchase® data points that researchers could use to visualize the competition between the brands:  
  • ABC’s average weekend visitation rose 9% after Aug. 1, while Total Wine’s traffic didn’t budge from earlier in the summer. Again, what had ABC done to boost its performance?
  • Because Total Wine saw neither a gain nor a loss during weekends after Aug. 1, was it keeping its customers while ABC grabbed market share from other alcoholic beverage retailers, such as C-stores, groceries, and smaller, independent liquor stores?
  • When it came to per-store foot traffic, Total Wine’s “superstore” model gave it an advantage. It attracted  slightly more than twice as many visits per store as ABC. But ABC had strength in numbers, with more than three times as many Florida locations as Total Wine.
  • For ABC, 55% of visits were from customers with incomes under $50,000, compared to 49% for Total Wine (the 104% visitation total includes brand-agnostics who shopped at both stores – a group you can identify, track and survey with Path-2-Purchase®).
  • The most pronounced income differential between the two brands' visitors was among shoppers earning $25,000 to $34,999. ABC received 21% of its visits from that group, compared to 11% for Total Wine.
  • Total Wine received 15% of its visits from consumers earning $100,000 or more, compared to 10% for ABC. 
  • There was little racial/ethnic difference between the two brands' clientele. Whites made up 64% of ABC’s consumers, and 60% for Total Wine. Hispanics accounted for 14% of ABC’s foot traffic, and 18% at Total Wine. And 14% of customers were African American at both retailers.

The thing to remember is that Path-2-Purchase® Platform truly is a platform – a comprehensive, constantly updated database that captures the observed purchasing journeys of a validated, first-party consumer panel. By visualizing journey patterns, some researchers will identify important new consumer segments they may not have been aware of before. Many will design and field surveys that will efficiently capture responses from precisely the consumers they most need to understand. And still others will append observational data from Path-2-Purchase® to existing survey results, providing the context they need to bring their reports and presentations alive with the most compelling storytelling.

For a productive discussion about how Path-2-Purchase® can meet your projects’ specific needs (and perhaps earn you a special, congratulatory champagne toast from your colleagues and stakeholders), just click here. Until then, Salud!

Topics: geolocation, market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, competitive insights, in-store, data visualization, passive data

Case Study: Tackling the Mystery of the Non-Buyer with Mobile GeoIntercepts

Posted by MFour on Sep 5, 2018 9:17:40 AM

Blog Intercepts 4Sept18

Football season is back (yessss!!), and with it comes a tip for consumer insights pros: one of the key performance indicators for a market research team’s success is how well it can intercept consumers during their natural buying journeys.

In the NFL, interceptions are often game-changers, and it takes a rare combination of talent and skill to intercept. The key attributes are quickness and anticipation, and an uncanny knack for being in just the right position when the ball is in the air.

Quickness and being in the right place at the right time are also crucial to collecting quality consumer data that will give decision-making stakeholders the field position they need to advance their companies’ or brands’ marketing and sales goals.

In theory, retailers can get reliable (albeit seldom timely) data on what’s actually being bought. But they get no real insight into customers' motivations – the "why" behind the "what." The problem becomes exponentially harder when the subject is non-buying behavior. Who entered a store but failed to buy everything they’d intended to purchase? What did they not buy? Why did it happen, and how much revenue did the store leave on the table?

The answers, and the ability to defend against non-buying, won’t be forthcoming unless customer experience research teams learn how to intercept.

There’s no better way to collect premium data than by intercepting it from consumers naturally, and in real time, as they go about their daily buying journeys. So in the spirit of NFL players poring over game film to get a competitive edge, let’s look at a case study that illustrates how natural intercepts work.

The Problem: Researchers for a leading retail chain that does a huge volume in CPG sales were trying to tackle one of their business’s most frustrating problems: losing revenue because many customers who entered a store didn't buy everything they had intended to purchase.

The Answer: For the retail chain in question, all it took was a discussion with MFour reps about GeoValidation® – a proprietary capability driven by the advanced GPS technology embedded in the Surveys on the Go® research app. Clients track app-using U.S. consumers’ movements and verify when they arrive and then leave a location of research interest.

  • In this case, all members of MFour’s first-party consumer panel who entered one of the client’s stores were located on arrival, and received a push notification of a survey opportunity upon departure.
  • When they responded – with a 25% response rate within an hour and 50% within 24 hours – the process of intercept followed by data return was complete.
  • Qualifiers for the study were 400 consumers nationwide, who said they had not purchased everything they had intended to buy.
  • In beauty products, 31% of non-purchasers cited price as the factor that discouraged them from buying; 37% said they had simply been unable to find the item they wanted, or that it was not available.
  • For shoppers looking for personal care products, 31% cited price and 28% cited unavailability or inability to find the intended item.
  • Among candy and snack intenders, 20% said they didn’t buy because of pricing, and 24% because what they wanted wasn’t there or couldn’t be found.
  • Among grocery and beverage shoppers who said they had left without an item they had arrived intending to purchase, 44% cited price and 24% said items were not available or couldn’t be found.
  • Asked whether they were satisfied with their overall shopping experience, 57% of non-buyers rated their visit as an 8 or a 9 on a nine-point satisfaction scale. 24% graded their experience in the poor to middling range (1 to 6 on the scale).

The study gave the client clarity on factors that were costing it millions in revenue each day nationwide, and potentially alienating many customers. The previously unobtainable data from natural intercepts gave researchers their first clearly-informed look at the problem, so they could recommend a game plan to win back the sales and revenue that the chain’s stores were letting slide through their hands.

For an informative and productive conversation about how to program natural intercepts into your research game plan, just click here.

Topics: non-buyers, location based survey, geolocation, market research, consumer insights, retail, in-store, GeoValidation

Taking the Fear Out of Halloween Consumer Research

Posted by MFour on Aug 30, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Blog Halloween early bird 29aug18  

Have you ramped up your market research yet for Halloween? Trick or treating commences in just two months, so it’s time to review whether you’re equipped with solutions for harvesting accurate, reliable and representative consumer insights on candy and costumes, pumpkins and decorations, and the season’s scary movies. After all, quoth the Raven, the early bird gets the revenue.

  • The National Retail Federation estimated that 179 million Americans of all ages celebrated Halloween in 2017, spending $9.1 billion, or $86 per household. And 30% of those the NRF surveyed said they had begun their Halloween shopping in September, with an additional 6% starting even earlier.
  • The NRF estimated last year that about 37% of consumers expected to do their shopping at a Halloween specialty store, second only to discount stores (47%) and ahead of grocery stores (25%) and online shopping (22%).
  • The NRF study found that 35% of consumers planned to search online to get ideas for their Halloween purchases and celebrations. 30% would do reconnaissance in-store, and that 10% to 18% would look for ideas on social media, depending on the platform.

With those stakes in mind, here are some ideas for marketers and market researchers who are gearing up to collect consumer insights leading up to Halloween.

In-Store Shopper Experience and Satisfaction (Have You Been Tricked?)

Your research data will be nothing but empty calories If you rely on stated answers from surveys taken days or weeks after a shopping experience. In market research, recall bias spoils the candy, producing dubious data that’s unfit for consumption by your stakeholders and clients. Here are some of the questions for which you need consumers to answer with certainty, not guesses.

  • Are Halloween product displays at groceries, party-supply stores and crafts stores capturing shoppers’ attention?
  • Are displays and promotions having the desired, in-the-moment effect by driving spending from in-store consumers who hadn’t even intended to make any Halloween purchases?
  • Is the holiday candy aisle enticing shoppers? Or is it a mess that makes it hard for them to find what they want?

Now Here's Your Treat

In-store and after-visit mobile location studies are the way to go to understand the shopper experience. It’s the only cost-effective way to know what’s driving them at the Point-of-Emotion® where buying decisions are made.

  • Follow your audience into a store by using mobile geolocation. Survey them right there, or wait until just after they’ve left. In either case, the data is fast, fresh and free from recall bias.
  • Mobile respondents also will use their phones to create stills and videos on the spot, showing you exactly what they see while they tell you exactly what they think about displays, placement, service quality, store environment, and whatever else you need -- including whether you’ve stocked big enough pumpkins.
  • Media captures also give you ironclad validation of visits and purchases. When already validated members of a first-party consumer panel photograph purchase receipts or store displays, there can be no doubt as to data quality.

Advertising Effectiveness (Have You Been Tricked?)

Advertisers and agencies suffer frustration year-round when it comes to finding real, dependable metrics for awareness, lift, and attribution across all media.

  • The lack of actual data from real, ad-exposed consumers is downright scary for anyone who has an advertising budget to allocate.
  • Until now, there’s been no choice but to resort to voodoo: trying to dress up location data from unvalidated consumers by adding mere inferences about who they might be. Algorithms that sift through third-party data spit out a profile, but can you trust it? You need actual data from known, first-party consumers.

Now Here's Your Treat:

Intelligent-OOH™ is the new market research product that finally provides a way to talk with real, first-party consumer panel members who actually have been exposed to out-of-home advertising.

  • First you validate their exposure via advanced mobile geolocation.
  • Then you survey them to understand how well the OOH campaign has succeeded.
  • Ascertain their brand and product awareness versus an unexposed control group.
  • Learn whether they intend to buy.
  • Then track their subsequent location visits and send a survey after they’ve been to a store that carries the advertised product. Do they cite the billboard or other OOH signage when you ask why they bought a product?

Entertainment Industry (Have You Been Tricked?)

Halloween is synonymous with horror at the multiplex, but theater chains need to be sure their customers are experiencing movies as a treat. There has been no good way to get reliable data on how moviegoers view their experiences with concessions, lobby displays and on-screen advertising. To get people into those seats, film studios need to create effective trailers, and test them on the target audience for each film.

Now Here's Your Treat:

  • In-store and after-visit location studies put cinema owners in touch with validated moviegoers, for fast insights into their experience of the movie and of the theater’s amenities. If something’s not right on opening weekend, you’ll correct it by the next.
  • MFour is the acknowledged leader in mobile film-trailer and television episode testing.
  • Special smartphone technology enables entertainment clients to show clips or entire trailers on the same smartphones most consumers use to scout movies and decide which ones to see.
  • Security is crucial in trailer testing, and MFour’s system prevents respondents from downloading or sharing test images or video clips. In other words, no unauthorized spoilers.

Whether your research needs are in advertising effectiveness, shopper experience, or path to purchase, let’s talk about how mobile research solutions can satisfy your projects’ specific needs. Just click here.

 

Topics: mobile research, geolocation, market research, consumer insights, Halloween, in-store

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