Mobile News Mix

Just How Big Was Black Friday? We Followed Shoppers from Store to Store to Find Out.

Posted by MFour on Dec 5, 2018 12:13:32 PM

Black -1

Retailers’ and product manufacturers’ bottom lines hang in the balance on Black Friday. We followed validated, first-party consumers from store to store during their buying journeys on the big day, and here’s some of what we discovered:

  • Consumers did their part for retailers by going bargain-hunting instead of going to the gym.
  • With their refrigerators stuffed with Thanksgiving leftovers, they understandably avoided grocery aisles.
  • Faced with those leftovers at home, they were not entirely averse to eating out, especially at chains commonly located in shopping malls.
  • However, as KFC can attest, quick-serve meals featuring poultry with biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy can be a hard sell the day after Thanksgiving.

Here are some highlights that can be observed on MFour’s consumer-journey visualization tool, Path-2-Purchase® Platform. It continuously tracks the daily location visits of 2.5 million first-party U.S. consumers who have downloaded the Surveys On The Go® mobile research app. Members doubly opt in to allow location tracking via their smartphones across 12.5 million locations, enabling them to receive in-store and after-visit survey opportunities for location-based research.

The figures compare observed retail visits on Black Friday, Nov. 23, with the average number of visits to each retailer or restaurant over the five previous Fridays from Oct. 19 to Nov. 16.

  • About those absences from the gym: top fitness chains experienced drop-offs of 20% (at Anytime Fitness) to 66% (at Equinox). LA Fitness was in the middle with a 38% decrease in foot traffic.

Instead, shoppers flocked to the stores en masse, and many retailers saw foot traffic soar by factors of two, three, four and five over their recent Friday averages. However, to see those results you will have to wait for in our 2018 Black Friday Study webinar on December 12th at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern (which you can register for below). In the meantime, here are some other insights we gleaned from Black Friday:

  • It was a more normal Friday at club stores: Costco saw a 12% increase and Sam’s Club a 10% boost.
  • If working off calories in a gym wasn’t on most consumers’ agendas, they were certainly thinking about getting active in the future: Dick’s Sporting Goods boosted its foot traffic 483% above recent Friday norms, and Bass Pro Shops enjoyed a 474% upsurge.
  • It was generally a down Friday for quick-serve restaurants, with Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Subway off 13% to 19% from their recent norms.
  • But some restaurants that typically are inside or in close proximity to malls succeeded in refilling stomachs that had gotten over their Thanksgiving heroics. Johnny Rockets (278%), Cinnabon (147%), Sbarro (89%) and The Cheesecake Factory (55%) were busier than their usual Friday.
  • And chicken didn’t seem quite so alluring as usual after a day of poultry overload. KFC’s foot traffic was down 41% and Chick-fil-A was off 19% from recent Friday averages.
  • Grocery stores were down, with Albertsons, Kroger and Winn-Dixie stores averaging an aggregate slacking off of 31% from their recent Friday norms.

While it’s well worth targeting, tracking and observing demographically profiled consumers’ visitation patterns, there’s more to be done to understand their motivations and their shopping experiences. The key is being able to locate and survey them in real time, during or just after a shopping visit. That will be the subject of “Black Friday Consumer Study – the `Why’ Behind the Buy,” a webinar MFour is offering Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern. To sign up, just complete the form below.

 

Topics: black friday, geolocation, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, mobile data, mobile research

See How We Watched Consumers Flock to Starbucks for a Holiday Cup Giveaway

Posted by MFour on Nov 7, 2018 11:47:33 AM

Blog P2P Starbucks giveaway 6Nov18

Three weeks ahead of Black Friday, Starbucks Coffee found itself with its own unique doorbuster on its hands. The coffeehouse giant was offering a free, reusable cup with cheerful holiday designs featuring the Starbucks logo to any customer who came in on Friday, Nov. 2 and ordered one of Starbucks’ special seasonal coffee drinks.

The result? A whopping 41% spike in foot traffic over the average Friday. There was even an apparent echo effect: on Saturday, Nov. 3, the day after the one-day offer, foot traffic was 16% greater than the average Saturday.

Market researchers interested in gaining insights into coffeehouse chains and quick-serve restaurants can see the spike in foot traffic for themselves in chart form on MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform. Plug in “Starbucks” on the free Path-2-Purchase tracking tool, and you’ll see the big surge that occurred on Nov. 2-3, and how visits on the day of the cup giveaway compared to every other day in the preceding three months.

Path-2-Purchase is unique in its ability to track validated, representative U.S. consumers’ visits to 12.5 million locations, including all of the top 1,000 retail and restaurant chains. On the technology side it’s powered by advanced GPS location technology and MFour’s unrivaled Surveys On The Go® (SOTG) mobile research app. On the people side, SOTG gives researchers the ability to connect with the 2.5 million first-party consumers who have downloaded the app.

SOTG users give double opt-in consent to have their movements tracked using their smartphones’ GPS features, in exchange for opportunities to receive location-specific surveys that earn them cash rewards. It’s these demographically profiled consumers’ engagement with SOTG that makes it possible for marketers and market researchers to see where they go, when and how often – and to gain otherwise unobtainable insights into events such as the Starbucks cup giveaway.

Tracking is only a means to the most productive research end: connecting with the consumers you’ve tracked to survey them about the experiences they’ve had at any stop along their paths to purchase. For example, a researcher interested in the competition in coffee could use Path-2-Purchase data to identify validated Starbucks customers and send them surveys. You also could overlay Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts locations to compare visitation and identify important consumer segments. Segments might include coffee-agnostics who go to both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, or loyalists who are customers of one but never the other.

Once you've identified your segments, you can survey those consumers to understand the all-import “why” behind their coffee buy.

We know there's no shortage of GPS visitation tracking providers, but all the rest are only capable of counting footprints and spitting out numbers. The location data they give you ends there, leaving the actual consumers who've left those footprints all but invisible.

But when you conduct location-based mobile research using Surveys On The Go, the validated, first-party consumers you track are profiled, real and reachable, so you can connect with them for the "why" behind the buy.

As it turned out, Dunkin’ Donuts managed to hold its own during Starbucks’ big Friday cup giveaway: nationwide, its traffic fell just 1% below the Friday average.  

In fact, Starbucks’ cup giveaway actually turned out to be a little too successful. The Today Show reported on its website that supplies quickly ran out at some locations, leaving customers disappointed. 

If you’re so inclined, we can identify and put you in touch with members of the SOTG consumer panel who went to a Starbucks on Nov. 2 (or on any other day). Ask them about their experiences with the special giveaway. Are they in love with their free cups? Are they miffed because the Starbucks they went to had run out? Did they try one of the special holiday brews? Was it delish or just so-so? And how did the cup giveaway impact their overall satisfaction with the Starbucks brand?

When it comes to coffee, or anything else in the consumer realm, Path-2-Purchase® Platform gives you a heaping, caffeinated cup of quick-turnaround research you can’t accomplish anywhere else.

Topics: market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, consumer panel, geolocation, mobile tracking, foot traffic

Why Is `Why?' the Market Research Question Your Geolocation Provider Can't Answer?

Posted by MFour on Nov 6, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Blog Toddler Why 2Nov18

Toddlers do it incessantly. So why can’t virtually all of the location-research providers who’ve been trying to sell the market research industry on their ability to track consumers’ store visits?

We’re talking about being able to ask the fundamental question, “why?” As anyone who’s spent much time with little kids can attest, it’s never far from their tongues.

Why?

Because “for children, `why’ questions help them make sense of the world around them….These `why’ questions also help spur and accelerate learning,” says Rebecca Palacios, one of America’s most respected experts on early childhood education, in a Huffington Post article titled “Why Do Children Ask Why?”

So here’s our own “why” question of the day:

Why can’t those location-research tech and analytics providers let you do as a consumer insights pro what you did almost nonstop when you were knee high to a Great Dane?

Why won’t they let you ask the “why” behind the buy?

Here’s why: technology and data analytics providers don’t really know market research.

They know how to find undifferentiated people, and tell you how many of them have gone to a given location. They’re able to collect footprints, but they can’t help you connect with the actual human beings who are leaving them. They can’t help you ask “why,” the most important question when it comes to understanding and influencing consumer behavior.

Yes, footprint data can be illuminating to an extent as a standalone, but its most advanced use is to point you in the right direction in your quest to truly connect with consumers and understand the many whys behind where they go – and what they think, feel, see and do while they’re there.

MFour creates location technology, but we do it in the specific context of perfecting it for the sake of market research. We pioneered building location capabilities for market research, and we’re the only company to have simultaneously built an all-mobile, validated first-party panel for that technology to track.  (with their double opt-in informed consent).

You’re in the business of obtaining a 360-degree view of consumer behavior, and so are we. Not just the “where,” but the “why.”

  • Why did a consumer we located as he passed in view of a billboard for Target visit a Target store three days later? 
  • Was it attributable to the ad exposure, or just a coincidence?
  • Why do some consumers alternate frequently between Target and Walmart – as reflected in their location footprints?
  • Why are some big box shoppers loyal to one while completely rejecting the other?

The moral of this post is that you should never let any market research provider sell you short by not permitting you to unleash your inner three-year-old. Don’t settle for footprints and algorithmic models that can’t begin to give you the “why” to questions like the ones above.

Always insist on the “the why” behind the buy.

Why?  Because you can’t afford not to.

To learn more about how to target, track and survey mobile consumers by using MFour's Path-2-Purchase® Platform, just click here

 

Topics: mobile app research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, geolocation, market research, mobile research, surveys, in-store surveys, consumer survey, consumer panel, mobile consumer panel

Press Release: MFour Teams with MarketSight To Innovate Display and Analytics of Premium Mobile Data

Posted by MFour on Oct 17, 2018 9:30:48 AM

October 17, 2018 - Irvine, CA. MFour Mobile Research, the leader in mobile market research, is partnering with data analytics platform leader MarketSight on a comprehensive, A to Z solution that gives users unprecedented quality, speed and customizable options throughout the research process, from data collection to visualization and analysis, to creating reports and presentations.

MFour and MarketSight’s joined capabilities address one of the most pressing problems businesses face in the Information Age: how to extract crystals of revenue-driving or cost-saving insight from mountainous slabs of raw data.

Clients who already turn to MFour for the industry’s most accurate, representative and revealing consumer data now can maximize its value by exporting it in SPSS or Excel form to the MarketSight platform. There, users can visualize their results in whichever formats will be most useful for tackling data analysis and data presentation. You’ll instantly create crosstabs, and just as quickly translate crosstabs into charts and other graphic representations. Whether a project is simple or requires customization, the same value proposition prevails: quality data, sorted and arranged rapidly and efficiently into its most readily understandable form.

“It’s natural for MFour and MarketSight to work together on behalf of mutual clients,” said Chris St. Hilaire, MFour’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re both completely committed to technical innovation, quality products and excellent service. We share the same core value of making consumer data more reliable, more intelligible and more useful.”

St. Hilaire noted that MFour and MarketSight’s combined capabilities will be especially helpful to users of MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform. Path-2-Purchase® enables clients to harvest masses of location and survey data from pre-profiled mobile consumers whose buying journeys are tracked across 12.5 million U.S. locations, including all of the top 1,000 retailers.

At first glance, some researchers might wonder whether Path-2-Purchase® provides more consumer data than can easily be understood. But by exporting MFour’s data to MarketSight’s system, they’ll quickly see patterns emerge and gain a deeper understanding based on real, first-party consumers’ observed behaviors and survey answers. Additionally, the multimedia content  MFour collects for its clients gains even more utility when it’s displayed in easily searchable form on MarketSight’s platform. Instead of having to sift through footage bit by bit to find the most relevant commentaries that respondents have provided by making “video selfies,”, users can call up the most powerful moments of testimony in an instant. Those can go directly into presentations that stakeholders find more persuasive and tuned-in to consumer sentiment, because seeing is, in fact, believing.

For more information visit www.mfour.com or request a demo by contacting us at (714) 754-1234 or solutions@mfour.com.

About MFour
MFour serves major brands and advertisers who rely on us for high-quality consumer data obtainable only through innovative mobile research technology. More than 2 million users have downloaded MFour’s pioneering Surveys on the Go® app; their unique engagement and representation of the U.S. population give MFour its edge in a hotly competitive industry. Users enjoy the app’s smooth performance and respond with the honest, timely consumer feedback clients need for smart decision-making in the Smartphone Era. Learn more at https://mfour.com

About MarketSight
MarketSight offers a cloud-based data analysis and visualization platform and provides professional design services that empower researchers to discover and share key insights to drive business decisions. MarketSight seamlessly integrates with PowerPoint, Excel, and all major survey platforms and data formats. It is an intuitive and robust reporting solution that offers the unique ability to easily collaborate with colleagues and enterprises anywhere in the world. The company is headquartered in the Boston area and works with thousands of customers worldwide. MarketSight is part of the Reimagine group of companies. Learn more at https://www.marketsight.com

Topics: spss, excel, marketsight, partnership, press release, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, mfourdiy

How To Watch Every Move Your Competitors' Customers Make

Posted by MFour on Oct 9, 2018 12:09:51 PM

Blog Competitive Intel 3Oct18 

The theme music for today’s consumer insights discussion is “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, which was the biggest hit of the year in both the U.S. and the U.K. back in 1983.

“Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you,” sang the trio’s front man, Sting. He was talking about following a love interest everywhere, to the point of obsession.

We’re talking about following your competitors’ customers everywhere, day by day, week after week and month after month, to gain the competitive intelligence that can help you turn them into your own customers.

How? Not by shadowing them step by step on foot or in a vehicle, but by tracking them remotely and round the clock with complete precision, by leveraging advanced mobile GPS location technology – and much more. Beyond the right technology, you need to track and know the right people – in this case, members of a validated, first-party, all-mobile consumer panel who have given informed consent and opted in twice to allow researchers to track their physical buying journeys in exchange for opportunities to participate in mobile location surveys and earn cash rewards.

  • Every move they make across 12.5 million U.S. retail locations is tracked and archived on MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform.  
  • That includes almost every store of the nation’s top 1,000 retailer chains, amounting to about 750,000 store visits each day.
  • Each visit is archived in a Consumer Data Center you can tap into to gain context for observed journeys.
  • And every consumer who’s tracked can be surveyed at any time, to gain a clear understanding of what’s motivating his or her observed buying journeys – especially visits to the businesses you’re competing against.

Say, for example, that you’re conducting competitive intelligence research for a convenience store chain, and want to focus on Hispanic American Millennials who have incomes of $50,000 to $75,000.

First, you’ll plug in the name of the competing c-store chain(s) whose customers you’re trying to convert.

Then enter the characteristics of the people you want to track — in this case, the above-mentioned ethnicity, age, and income stratum.

The platform automatically shows daily visitation by the targeted group to each competing location, with a graphic visualization comparing it to your own visits on the same day or range of dates. You can see the nationwide competitive picture, or narrow it down to a single DMA. Among the consumer attributes and segments you can study are:

  • Brand loyalists: who regularly visits the competing c-store chain, but never comes to one of your own?
  • Brand agnostics: who’s going to multiple c-stores, marking them as consumers you can try to win over, if you can understand reasons for their c-store polygamy.
  • Frequent shoppers: who goes to c-stores every day, or nearly every day?
  • Daypart shoppers: who’s going in the morning, who at lunch time, and who on the way home from work?
  • Complete daily journeys: where were c-store shoppers coming from before making that stop? And where did they go next?

Observed location behaviors will tell you a great deal about your competitive landscape, but for the deepest insights you also need to understand the “why.” And for that, there’s no substitute for talking to the same consumers whose buying journeys you’ve been observing.  You can send them a notification of a mobile survey opportunity at any time. The ideal solution is to move from location-observation to location surveys. Respondents are detected when they enter your competitors’ stores, and receive a survey notification as soon as they exit. Response rates are typically 25% within an hour and 50% within 24 hours. The incidence rate can be as high as 100%, because you’ll always have certainty that you’re sending surveys to people who’ve are exactly where you need them to be.

  • Do your competitors’ loyalists have different motivations than your own loyalists (who you also can identify, observe and survey by using Path-2-Purchase®)?
  • Is there some pattern of attitudes, preferences and behaviors that differentiates your competitors’ customers from your own?
  • Or are they similar enough to be reachable and changeable, given the right messages or incentives?
  • What are the characteristics and motivations of brand-agnostic consumers who ping-pong between different stores? And how might they be susceptible to special offers or specially-targeted advertising? 

To sum up, there’s now a tool called Path-2-Purchase® that for the first time lets researchers combine observed location-tracking data with survey data. The data is ultra-reliable because surveys are answered by the same actual consumers whose location journeys you’ve already tracked and observed. The process gives you quality data from real, validated consumers who all take part in your research via Surveys On the Go®, the groundbreaking app that has harnessed the immense capabilities of smartphones for receiving and sending information.

This look at mobile-app location and survey research just skims the surface. For example, we haven’t mentioned how smartphones’ ability to display and transmit photos and videos can bring real-time survey data truly alive and make your reports all the more vivid and impactful. 

In competitive intelligence research, every move you make and every step you take should bring you and your decision-makers closer to the goal of prying away customers and market share from your competitors. To learn more about how Path-2-Purchase® and other mobile capabilities can bring more accuracy and intense meaning to your specific projects, just fill out the brief form below. 

 

Topics: competitive intelligence, mobile market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, path to purchase

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

11 Tips for Uninterrupted Connections with Mobile Black Friday Shoppers

Posted by MFour on Sep 18, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Black Friday 12Sept18

Steely Dan has spun many a memorable tune in a pop music career that earned it a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and one of them is right on target for every marketing and consumer insights pro who's gearing up for the big Thanksgiving shopping weekend: “When Black Friday comes, I’m gonna stake my claim.”

Steely Dan released its song, “Black Friday,” in 1975, when the title evoked disaster, not the biggest shopping day of the year. When Black Friday comes, brands and retailers need to claim as much market share as they can, and that means high stakes for the researchers whose data and analysis feeds product and marketing strategies.

A new report from Salesforce underscores why it’s especially important to make your research fast and flexible to obtain data day-by day-during the holiday shopping season. The key takeaway is that consumers will be using their smartphones moment-by-moment to shop and buy, just as they use them moment-by-moment for nearly everything else related to accessing, creating, and exchanging the information that drives most aspects of most mobile citizens’ economic and personal lives. Among the findings:

  • 71% of consumers will use mobile devices while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store this holiday season, according to Salesforce.
  • That’s a significant increase over the 62% who used phones in-store in 2017.
  • In-store smartphone use will rise to 83% for consumers in the key 18- to 44-year-old age demographic.

Those uses will vary – from buying on mobile for future delivery, rather than plucking a product from a shelf or rack and taking it to the checkout stand, to researching products, to calling mom for advice on whether striped or solid is the way to go for dad’s new shirt.

To keep up with today’s fast and flexible mobile consumers, consumer insights pros need to be fast and flexible themselves.

Think of shopping as a process that used to run on a monorail from physical store to physical store, but now runs on two train tracks, mobile shopping and brick-and-mortar stores, that continually overlap. To maximize success on Black Friday through Christmas Eve, retailers and brands need to keep close watch on consumers’ movements along both tracks. And to fill that need, MFour created Path-2-Purchase® Platform.

For the first time, clients are observing mobile consumers’ physical journeys through 12.5 million U.S. locations, including all stores of the top 1,000 retailers and restaurant chains. At the same time, they’re aligning seamlessly with the new reality of smartphones as consumers’ most important shopping tool at every step along the path to purchase, whether in-store or lying on the living room couch.

  • With Path-2-Purchase® you’ll target the consumers you need to understand, you’ll track their movements from store to store, and you’ll survey them at critical moments during or after a shopping visit. You also can reconnect with validated natural purchasers for in-home product use-tests. 
  • You’ll also gain unique context by appending extensive historical data that reveals your targeted consumers’ location journeys stretching back in time.
  • Besides knowing exactly where they’ve gone, you’ll get a head start on knowing who they are, thanks to extensive profiling surveys that the 2 million-plus consumers who have downloaded the Surveys On The Go® mobile consumer research app have answered. You’ll see who fits the consumer profiles you need to understand, and target your research accordingly.
  • For example, to prepare for Black Friday, you could start by identifying validated, first-party consumers who are observed regular visitors to your stores. No need to ask them whether and when they have visited relevant locations, because with Path-2-Purchase® you’ll have seen where they’ve been and know who they are.
  • When consumers in your chosen audience enter or exit any of your relevant research locations, they’ll be identified through mobile GeoValidation® and you’ll push them a survey notification on the spot.
  • If you need speedy data, you can expect a 25% response rate in one hour and 50% within 24 hours. Or you can stagger fielding if that’s the way to go, assured that the completes will arrive on schedule.
  • Ask about the shopping experience your consumers are having right now, or just had. Ask about their plans for Black Friday shopping. Ask whether they plan to shop for a shirt for dad, or any other product or category that’s relevant to your research.
  • Are your respondents already making a list and devising a strategy for holiday gift shopping? Who’s discount-oriented and planning to batter down doors or tap and scroll starting at 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday? Who hates fighting crowds and would rather shop when it’s less hectic, even if it costs more? If price isn’t their foremost motivator, then what is?
  • Now field a location-based survey asking the same kinds of questions – except this time targeting your competitors’ observed shoppers. Knowing them gives you your best chance of prying them away from the competition.
  • Once the holiday shopping season begins, you can keep a finger on consumers’ pulses by using quick-turnaround research options that will help you spot trends or address shopper-satisfaction issues in time for your stakeholders and decision-makers to press an advantage or correct a problem on the fly.
  • You can visualize and identify audiences for your study with Path-2-Purchase®, then execute a quick-turnaround project with MFourDIY®, the only all-mobile do-it-yourself research platform (and the only one where “DIY” is a bit of a misnomer, because you can count on prompt, live support when you need it, from an MFour staff specialist).

For more ideas on fast-turnaround research that connects you to validated, first-party mobile consumers in the mobile and physical spaces they inhabit, and in time to make a real difference in sales, you can take a look at a holiday-specific case study by clicking here.

And for a productive talk about how Path-2-Purchase® Platform and other mobile-app research tools can power your specific projects, just click here.

When Black Friday comes, you’ll stake your claim to the advanced, fast-reflex mobile research approaches you need to understand consumers whose mobile and physical worlds haven’t just collided, but melded into one.

Topics: holiday retail, black friday, mobile research, path-2-purchase, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, consumer insights

4 Mobile Data Points Reveal How Income Impacts Gasoline Preferences

Posted by MFour on Sep 6, 2018 11:35:13 AM

Blog gas pump 6Sept18 

Gas stations are perhaps the most common ground for American consumers. The U.S. was home to 222 million licensed drivers as of 2016, according to the Census Bureau. They all need to buy gas, and any brand on the market will take them where they need to go.

However, gasoline consumers’ income can have a big impact on where they buy. There is a gap between ARCO, known for low prices and for not accepting credit cards, and Costco, which also features low prices, but requires a $60 membership fee.

  • During the 90-day stretch from early June through Labor Day, consumers who earned less than $35,000 per year accounted for 49% of ARCO stations’ traffic.
  • The same income bracket made up just 27% of Costco’s gasoline business.
  • At the other end of the income spectrum, Costco drew 37% of its gasoline business from consumers earning $75,000 or more.
  • Only 18% of ARCO’s visits during the summer driving season came from people whose household incomes topped $75,000.

It’s not just a matter of price differential. According to a report from Business Insider, Costco was the least expensive gasoline option, per gallon, in 17 states. And in California, which has the greatest number of ARCO stations, anecdotal evidence suggests that Costco competes well on price, although there are far more ARCO stations – six times as many in the Los Angeles DMA, for example.

  • How heavily does that $60 membership fee figure into Costco’s consumer profiles?
  • Is the membership fee the biggest hurdle keeping lower-income drivers from making Costco their brand?
  • Or, for drivers in DMAs where ARCO and Costco compete, is the convenience of having more stations available a stronger factor in lower-income drivers' preference for ARCO?

The data on gas station visits, and on who those visitors are based on income, age and many more demographic characteristics, comes instantly into view for users of MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform. You’ll observe and track the daily journeys of validated, first-party consumer panel members who have opted in to participate in location-based research.

Knowing precisely who they are, and exactly where they go, gives you unprecedented opportunities to identify in an instant the population segments you need to study and understand.

But Path-2-Purchase® isn’t just for collecting data from known audiences. It takes you a step further by arming you with instant data visualizations that help you identify new, research-relevant audiences to approach, and new questions to ask.

Studies based on Path-2-Purchase® segmentation and targeting will get you fast responses from real consumers whose characteristics you’ll know before you even field your survey. You’ll come away with a real understanding based on observing and talking to real people who'll tell you the "why" behind the observational data you already have.

With the launch of Path-2-Purchase® you finally have a choice. You can continue to depend on third-party data and settle for inferences and assumptions rather than direct knowledge as to who consumers actually are and what really motivates them. Or step up to validated, first-party opinions that reveal the motivations and emotions of actual, carefully-profiled mobile consumers. 

There’s lots more to explore on your way to premium data and high-octane consumer insights that dispense with inferences and put you in touch with direct reality.  To check out the Path-2-Purchase® dashboard, just click here. And for a productive discussion about how the platform can power your projects’ specific needs, get in touch by clicking here.

Topics: Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, GeoValidation, geolocation, market research, consumer insights, data visualization

A 46% Surge at Staples? It Must Be Back-to-School Season.

Posted by MFour on Aug 9, 2018 12:03:32 PM

Blog P2P Back to School 8Aug18

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when many youngsters’ hearts sink a little under the knowledge that they’ll soon be Back to School, and many a consumer insights professional’s work day becomes more pressured (one hopes after having first recharged with a nice summer vacation)MFour’s Path-2-Purchase™ Platform has been observing shifts in retail trends critical for consumer insights professionals who need an immediate understanding of shopper behavior this time of year.

  • At Walmart, nationwide store visits over the first three weekends in August were up 17% over the last three weekends in July.
  • Target saw a 22% jump during the same period.
  • Staples stores witnessed a whopping 46% gain in average weekend visits, coinciding with the August Back-to-School season.

Back to School is a big event for retailers and brands. The National Research Federation predicts that this year's sconsumer spending will reach $83 billion by the time school bells ring and college campuses come back to life. It’s a short window from now ‘til then, and sellers must hustle to maximize their share. Hence the pressure on the consumer insights teams they're relying on for data, analysis and guidance.

Are you up to the challenge of helping your clients or your brands’ decision-makers recognize problems and opportunities right away? Being able to make on-the-fly adjustments is crucial to succeeding in todays complex and competitive retail environment.

One very applicable quick-turnaround use case for Path-2-Purchase™ from now until school starts can help your decision-makers right-size seasonal staffing. When you can see and quantify actual surges in traffic, you can put more customer service representatives and checkout personnel in your stores to give your shoppers an experience that they’ll consider efficient, successful and relatively stress-free. They’ll love you for it – and they’ll be back when Halloween comes around.

How does it work? A key value of  Path-2-Purchase™ is the ability to instantly identify consumers as they visit a store, and push them a mobile survey while they’re still shopping, or just after they’ve left. You get your data from validated, first-party consumers, segmented not just by where and when they shop, but by detailed demographic profiles based on more than 200 data points. It beats trying to infer who people are from third-party data whose uncertain sourcing often makes it too much of a not-so-good thing. And it lets you understand your competitors’ customers and their paths to purchase, in ways that can help your brand convert the other guy’s shoppers into your own.

Because you’ll identify and survey shoppers while they’re still in a store, or just after they’ve left, you’ll get feedback while their emotions and recall are at a revealing peak. Researchers can expect a 25% response rate within an hour, and 50% within 24 hours. Identifying shopper satisfaction issues in the first week or two of Back to School shopping gives you your best shot at helping your stakeholders correct them in time to avoid alienating shoppers and taking hits to the bottom line.

You can school yourself by taking a free spin with the Path-2-Purchase™ dashboard, so just click here. And to learn more about how first-party mobile consumers engaged with in-app mobile research capabilities can meet your specific projects’ needs, just click here.

Topics: consumer insights, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, mobile research, back to school

The Best Screener Qs Are The Ones You Don't Even Have To Ask

Posted by MFour on Jul 31, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Question Mark 2 blog 30July18 

Louis Armstrong, whose 117th birthday falls this week (Aug. 4), is one of the most recognizable and enduring personal brands in popular culture. But one of his most famous sayings seems to contradict the very concept of market research’s role in building brands.

“If you have to ask, you’ll never know,” the brilliant trumpeter (and singer of the hits “Hello, Dolly,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “What a Wonderful World”) replied, when asked to define “swing,” the term for the freewheeling jazz rhythm he pioneered.

But now Satchmo’s saying is beginning to make more sense in consumer insights terms, thanks to Path-2-Purchase™ Platform. This transformative new visualization tool lets you obtain a wealth of data about a representative, first-party consumer panel, without even having to ask. The result is faster, far more precise segmentation of the people you most need to talk to, and, when you do start asking questions, a leaner, more efficient survey process.  

Path-2-Purchase™ lets you eliminate most of the screener questions that bog down your research and cost you time in filling quotas and fielding your questionnaires. Now respondents  don’t have to go away frustrated and alienated from the research process because they were screened out. That keeps  them very much alive as participants for all your future projects. Meanwhile, consumers who do qualify get right to the point because they only have to answer the truly substantive questions that focus on what you really need to know. Research becomes much faster. Engagement intensifies. Data quality attains new heights. And so does the level of assurance with which you can present your findings and recommendations to your clients or stakeholders.

Take a look and play with Path-2-Purchase™ by clicking here. You’ll get a quick understanding of its potential for segmenting, targeting, surveying, and mining historical data from the consumers you most need to know.

  • You’ll select among 2.3 million first-party validated consumers, based on their journeys across 12.5 million U.S. locations.
  • No need to ask where they’ve been and trust their recall.
  • You’ll also know them by more than 200 first-party demographic and psychographic profiling characteristics, enabling you to select validated, relevant consumers to interview without having to ask numerous screener questions.
  • When you are ready to ask, you can reach them at any time and place.
  • To acquire deep context for your survey data, simply append historical location, profile and survey data from our Consumer Knowledge Center.

So take a few moments to explore what a wonderful world it could be if you jump on board to select, track and gain unprecedented contextual understanding without even having to ask. Set up a live demo and conversation about how Path-2-Purchase™ can help you fulfill your projects’ specific needs faster and more efficiently than ever before, just by clicking here.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday to Louis Armstrong, who is now at least half right about market research. Here’s something swinging from the man himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: survey, mobile surveys, consumer insights, market research, survey design, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform

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