Last time, we discussed how to conduct audience research using a real live audience. Yet, access to in-person feedback sessions is not always preferred or possible in our post-pandemic world, leading to a need for alternative options. While surveys and UAT are two powerful ways to capture live feedback, there also exist several ways to conduct research without the need for an in-person audience.

How to use people data without seeing them in person:

Gathering ecommerce trends to supplement analytics

The numbers we get from analytic tracking tools are often very reliable but only if the tool was set up properly and is tracking what we want it to. In cases where we need to confirm information or prove to our client that we have done our due diligence, ecommerce research comes into play. A big part of business or marketing consulting is answering the question “why?” many times and supplementing our answer with statistics and data. While putting together a report on the performance of a website, ecommerce site, or a specific product or campaign, if there is a noticeable trend that we plan to call out, we anticipate that the client might ask us why this happened. If the negative trend was not due to a development issue, then there must be another reason to explain this phenomenon. This is exactly where market and competitor research add value.

How to do audience research without an audience

At Tahzoo, we will always recommend getting to know consumers firsthand to truly understand their experiences and frustrations. If a client doesn’t want to invest in travel and in person research, it is still possible to generate a user centered site design with analytics and metrics compiled from afar.

User Scenarios for website audit

As consultants, we each have our own opinions on how a website or knowledge portal should look or how an ecommerce site should be set up. While our personal feedback might be spot on or overlap with the experiences of the end user, we still need to combine our feedback with real feedback from end users. In order to simulate the experience of shopping or consuming content across our client’s digital properties and platforms, we pool together and synthesize analytics data to create a series of personas and anticipate their interactions. Through analyzing a site’s analytics and doing market or consumer research on the company, we can develop several different user personas that are likely to reflect the behavior of many of the clients end users. From there, we can simulate their unique actions and unique experiences on the website or knowledge portal in question.

How do we build user personas that embody our client’s ideal or most likely consumer? We start with Google Analytics. For a specified amount of time – let’s say one calendar year – we can see all site traffic related to how many people visited the site, emphasizing some high-level pieces of information about them.

Conclusion – the feedback loop should never end

When it comes to personalization, user experience, and consumer experience, knowing as much as you can about the consumer is key. Continuing to learn from them is also very important. Technology is evolving in front of our eyes every day, so an investment today in redesigning experiences based on current feedback will only last so long. It is important to continue to listen to the needs and experiences of consumers, folding what is heard into the mix. The consumers of today will have different wants, needs, and wishes tomorrow, so keep listening and anticipating them.