Market research is defined as making efforts to collect information regarding the target customers or target market. Market research is an important aspect for businesses as it helps in identifying the areas where businesses need to focus (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2008). Market research plays a critical role in formulating strategies for the business as well. Managing businesses has become highly complex and in this competitive and complex environment, market research helps in identifying and analyzing the characteristics of the target market and customers (Malhotra, 2008).
Market research is vital in developing and introducing a new product as market research will help in identifying the needs and wants of the customers and then products or services can be formulated or designed in order to meet these needs or wants (Malhotra, 2008). Thus, market research is an important aspect of businesses. If businesses are able to properly analyze the market, then they can come up with a product or service that could meet these needs or wants. Market research is helpful in many ways, and some of the most important ways are defined below:
- Gaining information about the market and consumers
- Segmenting the markets in a better way and formulating strategies to meet the needs and wants of these segments
- Identifying and analyzing the trends in the market
- Analyzing and identifying different opportunities available
- Identifying the feasibility and potential of any product or service (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2008).
Marketing research is used by many businesses today. This part of the report analyzes how Wal-Mart uses the market research in its business processes and in how to improve the services offered to consumers. Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in United States. Wal-Mart focuses a lot on doing market research and in knowing what consumers are looking for (Ndaily News, 2010). There are many areas in which Wal-Mart uses market research and market research has played a critical part in knowing more about the consumers and in better satisfying them (The Olinger Group, 2013).
Wal-Mart uses market research to analyze and forecast the sales of different products. The giant retailer offers a range of products for consumers and managing these products can be difficult. However, Wal-Mart uses and collects information regarding the sales of products in different months and seasons and then forecasts the sales accordingly. Wal-Mart also uses market research to know more about each consumer and have better insights of the consumers (The Olinger Group, 2013). Thus, it helps the retailer in formulating different strategies to satisfy the customer in the best possible manner. Moreover, the marketing strategies are formulated after doing considerable market research and knowing about the consumers and potential consumers of Wal-Mart. In addition to this, market research is used by Wal-Mart to identify potential in different markets. If the management identifies the potential in the market, then it formulates strategies to expand its business and capitalize on the market (Craig, & Douglas, 2005). Recently, Wal-Mart identified the need of coming up with a mobile website that could allow online shopping to consumers from mobile phones. After successfully completing the market research, the company identified the need and then invested resources to come up with a mobile website that enables online shopping.
Market research has become an important aspect of business. If a giant retailer like Wal-Mart uses and emphasizes a lot on market research, then it reveals the importance and value of doing market research (The Olinger Group, 2013).
Aaker, D. A., Kumar, V., & Day, G. S. (2008). Marketing research. John Wiley & Sons.
Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. (2005). International marketing research. John Wiley & Sons.
Malhotra, N. K. (2008). Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation, 5/E. Pearson Education India.
Ndaily News. (2010). Wal-Mart holiday sales fall, forecast could miss Wall Street estimates. Retrieved February 17, 2014 from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/money/wal-mart-holiday-sales-fall-forecast-wall-street-estimates-article-1.167385
The Olinger Group. (2013). Jude’s Thoughts: Walmart Proves Value Of Market Research. Retrieved February 17, 2014 from http://www.olingergroup.com/2011/blog/judes-thoughts-walmart-proves-value-of-market-research/