Category: Research

Findings that can guide communication efforts.


Research Shows COVID Impacts on Buying

Numerator has been providing continued analysis on consumer behavior and sentiment during the pandemic by conducting ongoing surveys of shoppers.

As COVID-19 cases are rising across the country, shopping behaviors are changing.

  • More than half of consumers are eating and drinking at home more frequently (56%)
  • People are going out to restaurants and bars less frequently (60%)
  • 51% of consumers have increased their use of online shopping
  • 52% have decreased how much they shop in person at stores

What Changes Will Stick?

Consumers say they expect these behaviors to stick. What will really happen will only be known over time.

Asked what they will do when COVID restrictions end, Numerator found:

  • 26% say they will continue to eat and drink at home more frequently
  • 23% expect to shop online more frequently
  • 18% will continue using click-and-collect / buy online pick-up in-store services more
Marketers need to stop waiting for it to be over so things can get back to what “normal” was pre-pandemic. People have changed.

Plan for Things to Stay the Same

When asked how long they expect it to take before they can return to normal activities, about a third of people said they anticipated 6-12 months and another third thought it would take a year or more.

People have largely moved on from thinking that COVID is a blip on the radar. They see it as something that will last a while, so they see changes in their behaviors as being long term rather than temporary.

Marketers need to help consumers to navigate these changes. Those that do will likely generate connections that will last long past COVID restrictions.

How to Approach a Website Competitor Analysis

Before you get to the fun stuff like colors and images, your website project should start with a competitor analysis. You need to understand the market and your place in it.

Researching what competitors are doing is an essential step in your business strategy. When you conduct a competitive analysis, you evaluate your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses and use that to inform your online strategy.

By looking at your competitors, analyzing how they sell, and monitoring what’s said about them, you’ll also be able to anticipate the market. It will help you to build a web presence that engages your audience.

Fundamental Elements of a Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis research could easily grow into a full-time job, so it’s important to set parameters while making sure the basics are covered.

Benchmarking SEO

Start by typing your company’s name or industry into Google. The results page will show you what else people search for under those terms, which could include other companies. It’s these companies that you should look into if they’re not already on your list of competitors.

When you conduct this search, you’ll also see  terms related to your business. These could be good keywords to include in your website’s content. These terms – keywords – are words that people use when searching for your products or services.

Tone and brand voice

Look at how your competitors present themselves. The way content is presented sets the tone and voice. Customers use this to judge who to buy from.

Content strategy

Building an audience involves more than just publishing a website. Understanding where competitors are sharing information online will show you what your audience expects.

Conducting a successful competitor analysis

These are just some elements of a successful competitor analysis. You should dig in, go as far as you think you need to in order to inform your business strategy.

Through competitive analysis, you’ll be able to get the measure of the market and use that information to help your site stand out and get noticed.

Research Shows Emojis Don’t Help Email Opens

Nielsen Norman Group recently did some research about those emoji that are increasingly part of the clutter in all our inboxes. I was surprised to find that the research shows that emojis in subject lines increase negative sentiment toward an email and do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened.

They looked at the negative sentiment elicited by an email, defined as the difference between the average number of negative words and the average number of positive words that participants associated with that email.

In general, people selected more positive reaction words and fewer negative reaction words for the emails without emojis compared to those that had emojis. They found that adding an emoji to an email subject line increases the negative sentiment towards that email by 26%.

Overall, key findings were:

  • Emoji emails were perceived more negatively than no-emoji emails.
  • Emoji emails were seen as less valuable than no-emoji ones, but there was no difference in participants’ perception of trustworthiness for these 2 email types.
  • Emojis attracted attention in a balanced inbox containing both emoji and no-emoji subject lines. On average, emails with emoji subject lines were considered for opening more often than different emails without emoji subject lines.
  • Emojis made people more likely to say they would open that email for its visual qualities rather than for its meaning ones.

To gauge how these findings impact your email marketing, see the complete research results.