As the world begins to relax lockdown and stay-at-home orders, consumers may continue to be hesitant about in-person purchases for some time. Perhaps you have a niche that will not be affected, but either way, it’s important to read the social mood and develop potential new lines of business and advertising – just in case. Let’s run through a quick analysis of emerging trends in retail to demonstrate the consumer and market intelligence potential available.
Making the Most of New Intel
Whether restructuring services, furloughing employees, or even permanent closure, most businesses have been impacted in some way. While many countries around the world continue to grapple with increasing COVID-19 deaths and others wrestle with when and how to reopen businesses and schools, business owners are facing intense pressure to find the balance between caution and commerce.
According to the Washington Post, “The number of coronavirus deaths in Europe surpassed 100,000 this weekend. Many European nations, including Britain and France, remain under tight lockdowns and are expected to stay under heavy restrictions for weeks. But leaders must weigh the economic impact. Unemployment could almost double, as tens of millions of jobs on the continent are at risk.”
With unprecedented times comes unprecedented measures. And this makes it necessary for businesses to understand how consumers feel about in-person purchases. Beyond that, it’s even more important to identify new needs your brand may not have been meeting before.
A recent US Chamber article stated, “When brick-and-mortar businesses are able to reopen their doors, consumers may be wary about being in an enclosed space with other individuals, regardless of the health and safety protocols in place.” Even digital businesses that have remained fully operational may find it difficult to boost sales with so many customers facing lost or limited income.
So how can brands determine consumer direction and sentiment, as well as map out a game plan for long-term success? It all starts with having an exceptional understanding of a category and spotting new, potential new lines of business early.
Identifying New Lines of Business
In the Quid product, brands can perform emerging trends analysis on a variety of data sets. Using “Retail” as an example in our “Companies” view, we are able to create an overview of key segments and industries.
Looking at this visual map, we can view the breakdown of retail companies and services by clusters and percentages to share how much of the conversation each is capturing. If we isolate a specific cluster, we can explore key information, such as number of companies in a given segment, top geographical locations, and unique keywords found in online mentions.
Is there a new category attracting attention? Where and what kind of conversation is it generating? Also, what sort of investment money is it attracting? There are endless ways to slice and dice this data to get at super valuable insight.
Brands can identify any number of new business opportunities to support the “new normal” that COVID-19 has created around retail and shopping.
And while acknowledging and reacting to trends in business is paramount, especially as consumers stay wary of brick and mortar shopping, it’s also crucial for companies to recognize social mood and net sentiment. Our social listening tool capabilities, powered by next generation AI, enables brands to receive real-time input on consumer mentions, as well as alerts to shifts in passion.
Social Mood Monitoring
Once an emerging trend or opportunity is spotted and implemented, how does a brand know what consumers are saying or how they feel about their products? Using NetBase’s social media listening, companies can detect brand and customer excitement.
Let’s look at the net sentiment for “online retail” for the past month.
Over the past 4 weeks, there have been over 870,000 posts regarding online shopping/retail, with a net sentiment of 38%. Clicking on individual dates within the graph gives us a quick snapshot of consumer mentions and possible influencers.
Analyzing demographics of consumers enables companies to plan successful marketing campaigns based on their targeted audience.
Knowing who is shopping and where they are shopping from gives brands an added edge in what countries/regions to focus their advertising efforts.
And, in NetBase, we can explore the “social mood” itself as well!
Finally, brands can stay on top of consumer attitudes, by evaluating sentiment drivers and word clouds, and being alerted to real time changes in mentions and net passion.
This insight offers brands the ability to not only prepare for the eventual reopening of the global economy, but the capability to ride out any potential crises that may arise.
Rebranding, Rebuilding and Reopening
As the world slowly begins to emerge from months of shutdown, uncertainties abound. Businesses are in a precarious spot to reinvent not only their presence and profit, but their marketing as well. Smart brands need to not only analyze current business models, but also look for new opportunities and strategies to reach untapped (and “trapped”) markets. Reach out and we’ll show you how!