Published by Rebecca Berryman – 96535162
Today more and more purchases are being made online. Online purchases now make up approximately 7% of all purchases, whereas in 1999 they made up just 0.6% of all purchases. (Yadoo, 2015) That’s an increase of 11.7 times in just 6 years. Although 7% may not sound like a lot, you need to put this in perspective as there are many items that can’t conveniently be purchased online.
For example petrol for your car or a meal out can’t easily be purchased online.
It is therefore not surprising that companies would use this information to conduct their market research. A few examples of the data that can be captured includes: how many people visited the website, the time at which people are most likely to visit the website, how long they spend there and whether or not they make a purchase. Searches facilities can feedback to marketers what it is that the consumer is looking for far more easily than multiple staff working in different stores can feedback the information to head office. It can even assist in predicting customers who don’t currently shop on line but are likely to in the future (Fitzsimmons, 2013).
This wealth of information sounds like a marketers dream, does it not?
Unfortunately, this wealth of information it is not without its pitfalls. For example there is a huge volume of data to sort through and this can sometimes be misleading and distracting. The data can be “clunky, messy and full of garbage” (Murphy, 2015). Sorting data into customer behaviours, attitudes and demographic areas can be challenging, but is required before the data can be of any use. (Iacobucci, 2015) Whilst there are many advanced analytical tools available to assist in sorting this data (Vriens and Kidd, 2014), companies can still be unsure of what to do with the vast volume of data and how to use it properly. Another challenge with the large amount of data is that it takes up a large amount of storage space and it can take a significant amount of time to search a large volume of data. (Iacobucci, 2015)
Whilst internet data can be very valuable it is also missing other components usually incorporated into marketing research such as what is motivating people to click on the items that they are clicking on or purchasing the items that they are purchasing online. That is it does not explain the underlying motivation of the consumers’ behaviour. (Fromen, 2014) It is really just recording the present moment as to what consumers wish to view. Therefore it can be difficult to establish what they will purchase in the future and market appropriately. Other market research such as surveys and focus groups can be more valuable as they can ask questions around what a consumer would be looking to purchase in the future and why they would want that particular item.
Today, with the wealth of information at everyone’s fingertips everyone can do market research, however, this does not necessarily mean that market research has actually improved and that the companies now have a full understanding of their consumers and potential customers. Internet based marketing research on its own is really not enough. Other market research is required to accompany the web based data in order to complete market research properly. (Lieberman, 2016). This may include surveys, focus groups and other research. Once the other market research data has been collected this can then be aligned with the web based data collected. From there all the information needs to be evaluated in its entirety to establish a concrete marketing strategy.
Fitzsimmons, C, 2013, “Big data? Big Deal”, BRW, October 2010, [Accessed 17th April, 2016]
Fromen, A, 2014, “Why Big Data Will Never Replace Market Research”, www.greenbookblog.org, [Accessed 17th April, 2016].
Iacobucci, D. ,2014, Marketing Management (MM), 4th Edition, South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason, page 207.
Lieberman, M, 2016, “Big Data and Market Research”, www.greenbookblog.org, [Accessed 10th April 2016].
Murphy, L, 2015, “The Top 10 Challenges in the Market Research Industry”, http://www.greenbookblog.org. [Accessed 10th April 2016]
Vriens, M, 2014, “The Big Data Shift – What every Marketer needs to Know about Modern Analytics”, Marketing Insights, Nov/Dec 2014, [Accessed 10th April 2016]
Yadoo, J, 2015, “E-Commerce sales are surging – Call it the Amazon Effect”, Boomarang.com, [Accessed 10th April, 2016]
“Big Data Analytics”, http://opepiimraipur.blogspot.com.au/ [Accessed 17th April, 2016]
“SmartTools: High Performance Landing Pages”, http://www.marketingprofs.com, [Accessed 17th April, 2016]