When you start out as a business, your main objective for the foreseeable future is survival. Simply selling enough to keep your head afloat is all you have to worry about. As your business starts to expand though, you look at sales figures to tell you more than just if you’re surviving. Sales figures can guide you towards products/services that are working for you and those that are not.
However, insights like these are not enough for a company to succeed in this modern economic world. If a company is going to thrive, it must understand why sales figures are too binary a source of information and one that takes too long to receive for it to be relied upon for a company’s decision making. On top of this, a company must know where to turn to for a superior alternative to sales figures as a source of information.
The first problem with sales figures is the fact they can only really give you a yes or no answer; did a customer buy a product? Yes or no. This doesn’t tell a company anything about a customer’s journey to eventually buy the product, just the very end decision. If you’re going to make positive changes to your company, it is good to know specific aspects of a product/service a consumer likes and what they don’t like. With sales figures alone, adaptations can’t be made knowing they’ll go down well. You can only decrease and increase the production of existing products accordingly.
What stagnates this problem further is the time it can take for a customer to finally decide on a product, and then for that information to trickle in. If you’re a fast-growing business, you might only be able to have accurate sales figures at the end of each quarter. The time lag here can mean decisions are not made fast enough, and a growing company can be caught out by ongoing trends in the market that they’re not aware of.
Consumer insight companies can help overcome this. They specialise in finding out the specifics of what consumers do and don’t like about specific brands and specific markets. This helps to find out more nuanced information of whether something has been bought or not. They can get to the middle of why consumers have bought your products, and also what has deterred from not buying your products in the past. While also being able to make sure this information gets back to you as quickly as possible, not just when the sales figures report is ready.