Ethnographic approach gives retailer peek into customers' research process
A national home furnishings company struggled to understand the process consumers follow for researching upholstered furniture as well as how they determine where to buy their furniture.
The company also wanted to identify at what point its catalog impacted the research process and how it was used as a research tool.
To assist the home furnishings retailer, RRD Marketing Solutions conducted interviews in participants’ homes so that they could better describe what impacted their recent upholstered furniture purchase. Purchases were split evenly, made with either the client or a competitor.
The in-home interviews — 12 in total — were conducted in three large-market cities in the U.S.
Participants referenced a variety of things (e.g., room size, catalogs on hand, etc.) in their homes impacting the research experience. Thorough analysis of those interviews delivered 25 findings that revealed purchase motivators, catalog use, the ordering process, and perceptions of the client’s catalog.
RRD then created buyer profiles (based on lifestyle) and examples showing shopper research patterns, including all the furniture stores, websites, and catalogs referenced during the shopping process.
The analysis also identified when the client’s catalog was referenced during a participant's research. Actionable recommendations were also provided to help the client positively impact a shopper’s research experience and show the benefits of purchasing an upholstered piece from them.