The cold hard currency of business success is information. Information about the market, about prevailing financial conditions, information about your competitors, but most importantly information about your customers. You need to what consumers are thinking. Do they know your brand? Do they care about it? Do they like spending time in your stores, do they come to you first when they have a problem? It’s information like this that could spell life or death for your company, as if you don’t have all that information, you’re making decisions essentially at random.
If you’re launching a new product, for example, you need to pick a price point. If you don’t know how people think of your brand, all you have to go on is the cost of design and manufacture. If it’s a digital product, you don’t even have manufacture to factor in. If you price it too high, you might price people out of purchasing, so you need to avoid that. Pricing it too low could be just as bad – or worse! If you’ve created an image as a luxury, high end brand, a bargain price point is going to confuse your consumers. You won’t just lose the customers who can’t afford the product, you’ll lose the ones who have suddenly lost faith in you. You need to keep your prices consistent with your brand to keep your audience happy and purchasing!
The most important thing you can do is gather data on your consumers and turn that data into insight you action when you’re making decisions! There’s a few ways you can do this.
Watching how customers use your website is very like watching them walk around a physical shop. You can see where they come in – the entrance they use, they page they land on. You might even be able to tell if they’ve come from a google search or social media referral.
You see the paths people take, browsing products or looking for information before heading to the checkout to pay or giving up and leaving. This is the most important one. Finding out the pressure points that make people give up without paying, and defusing them, smoothing them over and otherwise removing them could be the difference between big losses and huge gains!
You can also reach out ask people questions. You could survey your existing customers, handing out paper surveys instore, emailing links to online questionnaires, or even simply asking your customer service staff to ask a few key questions.
You also need to reach beyond the self-selecting group who’ve already chosen you. Starting a full brand tracking campaign, or simply contacting some omnibus survey companies to get some questions out there at minimum expense means access to a wider world of insight and information and therefore better decision making!