“An understanding of consumer purchase behavior must be based on knowledge of human emotion and include the paramount influence that emotions have on decision-making.”
That’s the fundamental takeaway from “How Emotions Influence How We Buy,” an article in Psychology Today. It carries direct significance for consumer insights pros, especially those who gather competitive intelligence. To understand why people buy one brand over another, or shop one store over another, you have to connect with them while their feelings about a shopping experience are still running high. We call it the Point-of-Emotion®. To accomplish this you don't need to stand with them physically, side-by-side. Instead, you join them by leveraging advanced mobile market research technology that lets you find and survey shoppers through their smartphones.
Here's how it works:
When your targeted consumers naturally enter a store – yours or a competitor’s – they automatically receive a survey invitation on their phones, via an in-app push notification. Invitees respond far more quickly and attentively to pushes than to the old method of requiring them to check their email for a link to an online survey.
- You can ask shoppers to take a survey while they’re still in a competitor's store, for feedback on experiences they’re having right now with product placement, selection, promotions, service and overall shopping atmosphere. You’re meeting them at the crucial Point-of-Emotion®.
- Or you can hold off while they're still inside the store, and invite them just after they've left. Within minutes, survey responses will start streaming in, telling you what your competitors' customers experienced in the aisles and at checkout, while it's still fresh in mind.
- After-visit surveys get response rates of 25% within one hour of notification, and 50% within 24 hours. Nothing else gets you as close to the moment of purchase and the Point-of-Emotion®.
- To get the most intense emotional feedback, you can ask respondents to make “video selfies” on their phones, in which you’ll see the emotional impact of their experiences on their faces, hear it in their voices, and listen as they put their experiences into their own words.
- When it’s time to present your findings and recommendations to decision-making stakeholders, mobile video puts them, too, at the customers' Point-of-Emotion®. Seeing and hearing opinions from actual consumers grabs their attention and makes the consumer story you're telling more real.
- Smartphone capabilities also give you reliable validation of purchases. Just ask respondents to photograph or make screen shots of receipts, or take pictures of the products.
Follow Consumers All Along the Path-2-Purchase®
In competitive intelligence, as in other forms of consumer insights research, you can't afford to ask people about shopping experiences they had more than a day or two after the fact. By then, recall has faded and answers turn unreliable. Commonplace screener questions such as “Have you shopped at Target in the past 90 days?” or “Recalling the last time you bought toothpaste, which of these brands did you consider?” will get you recall-biased data that is mainly just guesswork on the respondents' part.
Until now, the research industry has settled for guesswork instead of data because there was no better alternative. But thanks to Point-of-Emotion® mobile geolocation research, the guessing game is over.
Now you can start your competitive intelligence projects by instantly visualizing your targeted consumers’ actual journeys to more than 12.5 million commercial locations in the U.S., including the top 1,000 retailers.
You’ll see their validated visitation data on Path-2-Purchase® Platform, a unique tool that identifies who shops at your competitors’ stores, how often, on what days of the week and times of day, and for how long.
Path-2-Purchase® tracks members of a demographically and geographically representative, first-party consumer panel of more than 2.5 million U.S. smartphone owners, ages 13 and up.
They’re all strictly validated, because they’re all being tracked on mobile. Every member has joined by downloading Surveys On The Go® (SOTG), the definitive mobile research app, to his or her phone. All research activity, including location tracking, takes place via the app. Consumers have opted in to allow tracking, in exchange for the location-specific survey opportunities you'll be sending their way.
It’s been said that a big part of success lies in just showing up. By applying in-app mobile solutions to competitor insights, you'll show up when and where it matters the most -- standing next to your competitors' customers, asking questions at the Point-of-Emotion®. To learn more about how to connect at the right place and time for the most accurate, most revealing competitive intelligence insights, just complete the form below.