Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Shopper Insights Research: The Good and the Really Rather Bad

First the good stuff: OgilvyAction have conducted a comprehensive study on in store decision making. They clearly have some good insights from this. It is being pitched as refuting the now urban legend "70% of decisions are made at point of sale" claim that came from the 1995 POPAI study done by Meyers Research.

Actually it doesn't refute it at all. It says that 72% of decisions are made at the point of sale. It simply cuts that figure a little finer - breaking it into brand switching, brand decisions, category impulse purchase etc. This clearly makes sense. The 70% figure was always very woolly. You could argue that 100% of decisions are made at point of sale. The other point that the OglivyAction research makes is that it varies by category. Another rather obvious point that needed making.

And this research was done Old Skool. They asked people what they intended to buy when they went in and asked them what they bought when they went out. No broken beams, RFID and video-mining. Nice.

Now the bad stuff: TNS did a survey in Canada and asked people how important a bunch of things were when they bought products - including price and corporate reputation. And guess what? Corporate reputation is nearly as important as price! Wow! I guess that explains why Wal-Mart is so unsuccessful and why Fair Trade and sustainable products have such huge market share in Canada. C'mon guys - this is the kind of stuff that gives market research a reputation for being ...well....useless.

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