Contextualizing Consumer Behavior Using “Pulse” Questions
“We want to get something that is really quick and nonintrusive into somebody’s exploration process, which is why we work as much as we do with a platform like Qualaroo.”
Using Consumer Input at the Intersection of Art, E-Commerce and Technology
Art.com is in the business of democratizing art. They enable people all over the world to enjoy the environments they inhabit by offering a vast collection of beautiful imagery and artisan craftsmanship via powerful technology.
“One of my goals is to figure out how we can address people’s needs in the way they want them addressed and how we can actually solve a problem for them.”
In this space, sometimes even the consumer isn’t sure what they will want, so Art.com must be able to help point their customers in the right direction as their needs shift. “Understanding general pain points that people have in their lives is important so we can figure out where we can step in to solve the problem in an effective, efficient way and a way that makes sense for the business,” says Ajantha Suriyanarayanan, Art.com’s Director of Consumer Insights.
“…Understanding general pain points that people have in their lives is important so we can figure out where we can step in to solve the problem in an effective, efficient way and a way that makes sense for the business.”— Ajantha Suriyanarayanan
Driving Innovation and Positioning with User Feedback
Suriyanarayanan, Director of Consumer Insights, explains :
“When we start building things, of course we want to allow for engineering creativity, but at the same time, it can’t be a product for the sake of being a new product.” Suriyanarayanan and the Art.com team know that the company thrives on solving consumers’ problems, and adds, “We need to figure out, first, what is it that we are solving for? And second, is our product actually doing what it’s supposed to do in the real world? Having ongoing consumer input and feedback is paramount.”
Qualaroo Validates and Contextualizes Product Development
A perfect example of consumer feedback in action is seen in the story of Art.com’s ArtView feature. The much-talked-about ARKit augmented reality tool allows consumers to virtually plan out their own gallery wall using just their smartphone and a blank wall. Blending augmented reality with art helps eliminate all the hassle, stress and Pinterest envy so many consumers face when trying to put together a beautiful gallery.
“When we did our own study on gallery wall consumption, it looked like there was a lot of interest in it. We used Qualaroo to get a pulse on how people felt about gallery walls,” Suriyanarayanan says. “Nearly 70 percent of our respondents said that it was a big challenge for them. So our response to that was, ‘Here is a product that will help solve the issues you’re facing when constructing a gallery wall.’”
“Nearly 70% of our respondents said that it was a big challenge for them. So our response to that was, ‘Here is a product that will help solve the issues you’re facing when constructing a gallery wall.’”— Ajantha Suriyanarayanann
Most companies look for user feedback to help find gaps in a product so that it can be further strengthened. And while the product development team used some of the feedback related to gallery walls and ArtView, Suriyanarayanan explains that it was invaluable to her public relations and marketing team. Hearing directly from customers about their struggles helped Art.com position the ArtView product in both pitches to the media and marketing material to consumers.
“This feedback went directly to our marketing and PR team to help answer the questions: What do we want to talk about? What do we want to tell people our product can do?” Suriyanarayanan explains. “We’ve clearly built this product based on a consumer need, but this product might be have too much technological depth than what some of our users might want. For others, it might be perfectly in line with what they want, so how do we position this?”
“Every point of individual feedback enables us to take action.”
Using Qualaroo to Go Beyond Market Research
Ajantha Suriyanarayanan has a background as a behavioral researcher and values Qualaroo for its nimble surveying style, which allows Art.com to gain quality insights that go deeper than traditional market research. She says that in more traditional survey formats, researchers often ask up to 20 or 30 questions in a single survey—this can be taxing for a website visitor. By breaking down surveys into three or four questions, Suriyanarayanan can introduce variety into the questions and take the user’s pulse on a specific topic related to their experience.
“Today I might ask them for feedback on the new site experience, tomorrow I want to talk about what the customer is searching for and days later I can ask how their ordering experience was,” Suriyanarayanan says. “That variety and the quick pulses help us enormously.”
Art.com is realistic about the company’s place in people’s lives, and obtains great feedback by respecting the consumer’s time and energy.
“We know that customers are not viewing our company as a core component of their lives. If we ask them too many questions with too much of a commitment, we artificially engage them on a subject because they will not be in a natural state of mind,” Suriyanarayanan says, adding, “We are quite keen on establishing more of a pulse format than a long traditional, involved survey format. Qualaroo is powerful when it comes to this kind of surveying strategy.”
Here are a few of the ways Art.com is utilizing Qualaroo to gain powerful, quality insights about their existing and potential customers.
- Giving context to consumer insight data
- Getting a pulse on consumer experiences
- Allowing for variety in feedback focus areas
- Allowing for invaluable exit surveys
- Getting intel to the marketing team for powerful positioning insights
“If we ask them [customers] too many questions with too much of a commitment, we artificially engage them on a subject because they will not be in a natural state of mind. We are quite keen on establishing more of a pulse format than a long traditional, involved survey format. Qualaroo is powerful when it comes to this kind of surveying strategy.”