The shop-along has long been a powerful tool in the market researcher’s inventory. Watching actual shopping behavior while listening in on the deliberations and the decisions, is undoubtedly one of the best ways to understand consumer behavior.
But the shop-along, like so much else, is in a state of flux. Today, in a world in which nearly everyone can shop online and more people are shopping their smart phones or tablets, virtual shop-alongs are increasingly melded with mobile UX research methods to improve user experience and shopping satisfaction.
How does conducting shop-alongs help translate into higher sales? And why is Discuss.io’s mobile screen-sharing app the best tool for conducting such research?
Let’s explore these questions one at a time.
Shop-alongs in a Mobile UX Context
Suppose Jessica works as a market researcher for a shampoo company. She wants to know why and how customers choose to buy her company’s products over competitors’ products. Just as importantly, she wants to know why and how the customers choose the competitors’ products over those of her company.
In the past, questions would have centered around aisle placement, product packaging, and other features related to physical selling locations. But today, in a trend exacerbated by the pandemic, customers are as likely to purchase shampoo from Amazon as they are from their local retailer. Traditional factors, and traditional forms of research, are increasingly obsolete in the realm of mobile e-commerce (aka m-commerce).
Questions about what the product looks like online, if the user read the claims, find the specific information they are looking for, see how your product compares against other products and is it easy to buy are just some of the factor in e-commerce on any device.
So, how can Jessica conduct qualitative research and gain critical insights into consumer behavior in this environment?
Enter Mobile UX Research.
Using mobile screen-sharing technology, researchers can follow along as consumers shop categories or products in their favorite mobile apps or websites. They can see how a product appears in Amazon, how the product image looks on mobile devices versus how it looks on desktop screens, how it compares to the competition in comparison grids, and how consumers evaluate their choices. Best of all, researchers are empowered to ask questions as they occur and probe into the shopping experience in a real-time conversation which furthers their understanding of consumer mentalities.
Even among online shoppers, there exist considerable differences of habit. For example, while older consumers tend to make purchases via desktop, young consumers may use cell phones. Discuss.io’s screen-sharing capabilities allow researchers to speak with users about the difference between the desktop and mobile experiences, helping companies gauge which features impact consumers’ shopping decisions. Considering the low conversion rates on mobile devices versus desktop ones, understanding what moves the needle for consumers on mobile can help brands build a truly mobile experience that meets consumer needs and optimizes the capabilities of mobile devices rather than simply trying to replicate the desktop experience on a mobile device via responsive design.
To solve her dilemma, Jessica can utilize mobile UX technology to conduct a virtual shop-along. Using a screen-sharing feature, she can scan the digital shelves alongside users, noting which features capture their collective eye and prompt buying decisions. She can also see users’ facial expressions as they scroll and read through the product descriptions, and note where users tap on their mobile screens. She can see in real time how long they linger on competitors’ brands or study customer reviews, the factors they consider when evaluating whether a shampoo does its job better than the alternatives. As an added bonus, Discuss.io’s many unique features, such as the ability to mark crucial moments in an interview for later analysis, will help her reap critical insights with minimal hassle.
Jessica understands that the world is changing quickly. Her customers experience will be more satisfying and the company will be the better for it.
Yours can be too.
Want a bird’s-eye view into your consumers’ purchasing mindsets? Discuss.io is the way forward. Schedule a demo today to get started.