Top Retail Market Research Options


Top Retail Market Research Options retail market research
Table of Contents

It’s no secret that the retail sector is crowded and cutthroat.

Customers are consequently given a wide range of options, giving them the freedom to decide where they wish to spend their money.

Retail brands must therefore perform retail market research to learn about their target consumers’ tastes, routines, behaviors, interactions with rivals, and other factors.

Your retail store, whether it is online, physical, or a hybrid, will be able to better understand your target market and make better business decisions by surveying or chatting with customers.

The following market research methods for retail are available to retailers who want to use customer data to influence sales, marketing, and strategy.

What is retail market research?

Market research in retail is the investigation of a target market, including the businesses and individuals involved, to ascertain its requirements and preferences.

Retailers who perform market research can steer clear of conjecture. Brands obtain useful information to inform their decision-making, whether it comes from market research or customer surveys.

It also helps you understand the demographics of your target market in terms of their geographic location, socioeconomic status, and cultural background. 

Read how Voxco helped Walmart expand its Online Grocery PickUp Service & increase product variety to 7000 on customer need. 

How to conduct retail market research?

Primary and secondary market research are the two fundamental categories. Primary is based on the information you have personally accumulated over time. It includes the information you gather using a variety of methods, including online and offline surveys, in-depth customer interviews, consumer evaluations, focus groups, sales data, and employee feedback

On the other hand, secondary research entails examining other people’s case studies, market trends, and other data that are pertinent to your organization.

However, each of these types has the same objective: to give you insight into the market you’re going to enter. Every successful retail market project has three main goals: general industry knowledge, target segmentation, and competitor analysis.

Also read: Different types of market research tools

Why conduct retail market research?

Top Retail Market Research Options retail market research

After defining what market research for retail is, you must then explain why it is important.

Making strategic decisions is the ultimate goal of any kind of market research. You can certainly continue to make your real estate, marketing, and operations decisions based on your prior knowledge and gut instinct, but doing so would be like to trying to drive a big truck in the dark on a back road without headlights.

Retail market research helps identify the optimal course of action and identifies risky spots for you to stay away from. It provides you with the assurance needed to make significant business investments when coupled with your knowledge and experience.

1. Gather data about your industry

Conduct a thorough analysis of your retail market to ascertain whether there is a demand for the kind of store you want to open. You can then gauge the market’s size and rate of growth or contraction. 

You must pay attention to secondary sources of information, such as trade magazines, research companies, statistics from local governments, and research hubs if you want to find the answers to these questions.

2. Know who your target customers are

Learn more about your clients to effectively give a customized approach and fulfill their wants and preferences. Create your buyer personas as that is the best method to go about it. 

Take into account a wide range of things such as psychographic data about your customers, such as their personality, values, beliefs, lifestyle, and values, as well as demographic data like their age, race, sex, education, and income.

Learn about who your target audience is and their needs and expectations to develop better strategies to win them over.

3. Research your competition

For a store to stand out, conducting competitive retail market research is essential. Finding your competition is the first step in this direction. Once you’ve identified who your rivals are, you need to focus on a few crucial factors, such as the caliber of the goods they sell, the quantity, efficiency, and motivation of their workforce, the general layout of both their online and offline store, and their marketing initiatives.

This will help you provide a personalized approach, provide superior client services, and avoid the most common mistakes your competitors make, and this further helps you in establishing a competitive edge unless you first identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.

4. Validate product ideas

Since the market is saturated with numerous services and goods, you must differentiate yourself from the competition to increase sales. A crucial tool for businesses wanting to introduce new services or products is market research. It aids in determining the product’s viability, marketability, and success.

You can learn about the market, customer views, and thoughts on the product by conducting retail market research. It also helps in the development of successful marketing strategies for the service or commodity.

5. Identify business/product opportunities

Market research is useful in determining customer needs.  Brands can use this information to develop goods and services that satisfy the wants of the customer.

Brands can use surveys to identify business expansion or product development opportunities. 

6. Make key business decisions

Market research for retail businesses gives marketers hard facts to make effective business decisions. By gathering customer feedback you can learn what strategies are working and double down on those. 

MR ensures that the company has sufficient knowledge about the state of the market and the problems affecting its operations

The research data also helps marketers and executives make decisions with confidence.

7. Align customer expectations with company services 

Learning about the needs, desires, wants, and expectations of your customers helps you align the products/services you develop and deliver. 

Retail market research prevents you from investing in product concepts that may not be accepted by the target market. As a result, you prevent risky investments, decrease the chance of failed launches, and increase profitability.

Looking for new markets also improves the profitability of the business.

See the true power of using an omnichannel survey platform to conduct online, offline, & phone surveys along with a built-in analytical suite.

Top 5 Retail Market Research Options

Top Retail Market Research Options retail market research

You don’t have to stick with just one research technique; there are a variety of ways you can gather customer data and do market research. In this section, we will discuss the top market research tools;

1. Intercept Surveys

You can use this research technique to get feedback from website visitors as they interact with your goods or service. It offers perception into what appeals to your customers, what drives them to purchase from you, and what their problems are.

The questions are meant to probe client behavior and purpose in relation to website usability. The gathered data can be used to create marketing plans that will boost sales and consumer satisfaction, among other things.

  • Taste-testing: What did you enjoy most about the product?
  • Product testing: Which features are most important to you?
  • Brand recognition: Have you ever heard of the aforementioned brand?
  • Packaging opinions: What details concerning single-serving packaging are necessary?

2. Mystery shopping

There are a lot of factors influencing consumers’ experience in a retail setting, whether it be the knowledge or friendliness of a sales associate, store cleanliness, customer service expertise, store management, product options or availability, or something else in a retail store.

How to conduct mystery shopping research?

  • Contacting individual departments by phone or email (ie., customer service)
  • Wearing a camera to record the experience while shopping purchasing, or returning goods through a specified channel, department, or procedure (ie, brick and mortar or eCommerce)

3. Customer surveys

Since it is hard to read a customer’s mind, retail brands must regularly survey their customers to differentiate themselves from rivals in a crowded and competitive market.

  • NPS® (Net Promoter Score®): How likely are you to tell friends/family about our brand?
  • CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score): How satisfied are you, on a scale of 0-10, with the customer service at [Name of Store]?
  • CES (Customer Effort Score):  How simple was it for you to locate the item(s) you needed at [store name]?

4. Competitive research

Retailers are continuously competing with one another since there are so many options available to customers. Retailers of all sizes ought to carry out competitive research.

Following are the aspects that come under competitive research;

  • Pricing
  • Products available
  • Promotions or sales
  • Marketing techniques
  • Use of social media
  • Scores for client satisfaction
  • Plan or arrangement
  • Ratings or reviews

Here are some competitive research questions you can ask your customers. 

  1. What made you choose our product rather than the competitors?
  2. Which features do you like better in our [product name] in comparison to [competitor’s product]?
  3. Rank the following products in the order of best to worst purchase. 

5. Social monitoring and listening

Retailers must be informed about online comments, especially in a market that’s competitive in your sector.

Nothing is worse than a dissatisfied consumer venting on social media about their bad experience with your business for all to see.

A social media firestorm can start with just one bad retail customer experience. To put out the fire before it’s too late, it’s critical to set up warnings for certain circumstances.

  • Tracking and analyzing trends
  • Crisis and reputation management
  • Marketing’s influence on society
  • Competitive awareness

Also Read: Customer experience transformation in retail

Voxco is trusted by 500+ global brands & the top 50 MR firms to gather data, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

See how Voxco can enhance your research efficiencies. 

What are the key parameters of retail market research?

You need to comprehend the following crucial factors when studying marketing research in retailing:

1. Demographics

This describes the sex, age, and way of life of the target clients. This criterion is relevant in retail because, from the perspective of the store, the position and contents of the product will be determined by the aforementioned elements. The lack of knowledge of the dynamics is the key element affecting retailing today.

As an example, a store selling men’s clothing would need to remain open on Sundays as well as during peak business hours to accommodate male customers. Therefore, it is vital to establish an environment that will encourage customers of all ages to visit the store.

2. Competitive analysis

You can learn where your company is succeeding, where you need to make improvements, and which trends you need to anticipate by conducting a competitive study.

When your business isn’t developing as quickly as you’d like it to or when rivals are obtaining orders from your ideal clients, conduct a competitive analysis.


Never forgets that the retail industry is continuously changing and growing. You must routinely perform retail market research and keep track of these developments if you want to stay on top of it. Even while it may seem like an endless process right now, perseverance will pay off in the long term with improved conversion rates and increased ROI.

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.