Observation, field tests, and surveys have been the mainstay for measuring how shoppers respond to changes in packaging, shelf placement, claims, pricing, and more.
The traditional research toolkit includes approaches classified as qualitative vs. quantitative AND behavioral vs. attitudinal. Behavioral techniques (especially direct observation) are considered the gold standard. The downside is that they are very difficult to scale; the resources required to quantify observed behaviors is untenable.
Surveys are a bit easier to scale. In most consumer research, it is fairly easy to get 400 people to respond to your questions. The downside: surveys only measure perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes. . . not behaviors.
There are options: simulations. We now can set up online shopping simulations to test out how hundreds of consumers behave to changes in consumer-facing elements. The business case is more solid when you can show how proposed changes impact simulated purchases. Traditional approaches propose a change and ask people their intentions on doing something.
Chooseology is an online tool to evaluate your ideas and concepts in a simulated e-commerce environment. This is much closer to how people research products and make buying decisions today. The tool collects over a dozen behavioral metrics which are highly linked to choice. Far more than what you can collect in a survey.
Now, that is something that’ll make your CEO smile.(Maybe.)
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