Staying ahead in the retail space can be tough. In a competitive market where consumers are cutting down on non-essential spending, understanding what your target customers really think about your brand is becoming more crucial than ever.
Are you finding it difficult to know what your customers are thinking? Do you need a great way to stay on top of trends in your industry? Do you want to know more about the market landscape in your industry or vertical before launching a new product?
Online listening could be a valuable tool to help you understand more about your customers and the markets in which you operate, giving you an edge over your competitors.
What Is Online Listening?
Simply put, online listening is an analytical tool that helps you analyze online conversations or comments about your brand or products. Online listening pulls from a wide range of data sources, including social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), online forums (like Reddit), customer reviews, and even audio and video recordings.
6 Ways Online Listening Can Help You
Whether you have brick-and-mortar stores, operate online, or both, online listening can help your retail business in several key ways.
1. Understand Customer Sentiment and Preferences
By using online listening to monitor what your customers are saying online, you can understand what they think about your brand and products, including what they love and where you are falling short. It can also help you understand where your customers’ pain points lie along their customer journey, giving you a window into how to address them to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2. Explore Market Needs
Online listening is a great way to understand market demand before a new product launch and help you tweak your strategy if needed (potentially saving you money and increasing customer satisfaction!). Explore what consumers are looking for in the space, review pain points related to competitors’ products to differentiate yours, or see what customers are saying about your brand.
You could even use online listening during and after your launch to monitor what your target customers are saying about your new product.
3. Conduct Competitive Analysis
The competition in the retail space is seemingly endless. In addition to monitoring what your target customers are saying about your brand and your competitors’ brands, online listening can also be used to monitor your competitors’ activities and strategies, giving you a window into how they operate, and an opportunity to differentiate yourself.
4. Stay Ahead of Industry Trends and Developments
Social media and online reviews seem to move at the speed of light, making it difficult to stay on top of trends. Online listening can help you stay ahead of industry trends and developments by helping you monitor what people are saying about the latest and greatest trends in your sector, helping you to adjust accordingly and tweak your strategies where needed.
5. Conduct Trending Analysis: Go Back in Time and Monitor the Future
Have you ever wondered what consumers were thinking about your brand or products before or after a major event (like a new product launch, or maybe even a controversy)? Online listening can be completed historically, meaning you can dig into the past to uncover what customers were saying about your brand or products in the past to develop insights for the present. And best of all, you can continue your online listening program into the future to monitor how consumer sentiment changes over time.
6. Complementing Traditional Market Research for Richer Data
Market research tools like online surveys, focus groups, VoC surveys and online communities are all excellent ways to measure what your target customers are thinking.
Online listening can function as an excellent complement to your existing research strategy by enabling you to learn more about specific research findings (and see what people are saying about those topics online). It can also help illuminate what people are saying about your brand or products, enabling you to use qualitative or quantitative research to probe further.
Where Can I Start Using Online Listening?
Leger Analytics (LEA) would be happy to support you with developing an online listening program for your company. Our mandate is to use analytics, like online listening, to help retailers like you make better decisions. In addition to online listening, we offer a wide variety of analytics solutions that can help you analyze all sorts of data, from CRM data to market research data and more.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you.