The apparent signs of an economic downturn are making its presence felt inside both boardrooms and households these days, manifesting in the form of rocketing interest rates, the rising cost of living, supply chain disruptions and much more.
Businesses are feeling the pinch as budgets tighten and as a result, transactions have to be deliberated hard to gauge the ROI as well as the direction of the economy before being signed off.
At the consumer level, though, the pandemic's compounded effects and a changing digital landscape mean that the consumer’s appetite for a quality online shopping experience remains strong. Global e-commerce is set to grow at a percentage point increase each year. This is further evidence to show that even in the face of an economic downturn, there is always a demand for quality products and services that continue to remain competitive and perform well.
So what does this mean for digital experiences?
As economies tighten, every company will set their sights on providing its customers with an unparalleled digital experience for business survival. After all, no brand can afford to risk a bad customer experience or a disengaged audience base in this economic climate!
This is why even small incremental changes that are thoughtfully designed can have a massive impact on how customers engage, convert and remain loyal to the brand.
In order to be able to achieve this, it is imperative for brands to accurately understand their customer’s context, behaviour, motivations and needs to be able to effectively build trusting relationships with their customers and deliver what they want. So how can businesses that want to continue evolving their needs and customer experience do more with less money, time & resources?
Introducing Rapid Research
Rapid research involves a structured and systematic approach to conducting research quickly and efficiently without raising high costs. In addition to providing essential customer insights, rapid research allows businesses to target quick wins and opportunities through efficient research and testing cycles.
Here are some specific ways that rapid research can be beneficial for companies who want to ‘make their digital assets sweat’:
1. Prioritising resources: Rapid research can help companies identify the most critical areas of their business, allowing them to prioritise their limited resources where they are most needed.
2. Reducing costs: By conducting research quickly and efficiently, companies can focus on immediate priorities and reduce the costs associated with traditional research methods, such as conducting extensive interviews or surveys.
3. Identifying new opportunities: Rapid research can help companies identify new opportunities for growth and expansion, even in a recessionary environment, allowing them to make strategic investments in their business.
4. Improving decision-making: By having access to tangible customer insights, companies can make informed decisions, even in the face of budget cuts and economic uncertainty.
Given its nature and process, Rapid Research seems best suited for tactical projects where designs and assumptions are tested and validated. Therefore, your Rapid Research framework would be most efficient in terms of time, scale and budget if it utilised the methodologies below:
Usability Testing: An in-person or remote observation of participants in a live setting to understand the behaviours, goals, pain points and motivations that they may experience when using a product or service.
Interviews: A shorter version of the traditional interview that centres around asking focused questions to understand the users’ experience, feelings or sentiments around new or improved products or services
Concept Testing: Sharing and testing early stage or new ideas through prototypes or even sketches with participants to understand reactions and responses to it
Here’s the framework that Google uses for a 1 - week sprint:
Overall, if you are an SME that is looking for ways to be agile, efficient yet innovative, setting up a Rapid Research framework might just be the way to do it. It could be the integral research tool that could provide immeasurable value to businesses of all sizes, but especially smaller businesses that want to make informed decisions, respond to market changes, and identify new opportunities for growth, all while reducing costs and improving the bottom line.
Check out our research projects