IRI Leveraging New Technologies

Market research firm Information Resources Inc., of Chicago, is pushing onward to lead the marketplace in consumer research panel innovation, namely through the continued development of new techniques and technologies such as panel-based Virtual Shopping, Web-based individual usage surveys, price monitoring and more.

IRI said it’s shedding new light across the four stages in the product cycle, starting with the time the product is placed on the shelf: in-store consideration, purchase, inventory and consumption.

The research firm has recently introduced several new solutions and capabilities, including the panel-based Virtual Shopping, Web-based individual usage surveys, needs-state analytics, price monitoring and optimization and new applications of scanning technology. The capabilities are all designed to unlock new insights and identify fresh growth opportunities among high-potential consumers for CPG manufacturers and retailers.

“IRI recognizes the enormous obstacles our clients face,” said IRI Business and Consumer Insights President Sunny Garga. “When the average consumer is faced with 45,000 SKUs in a grocery store, 30,000 new product introductions a year and exposure to 3,000 marketing messages a day, it is more difficult than ever for our clients to reach the right consumers with the right messages at the right time. By continually researching combinations of new technology and techniques, IRI is devoted to helping our clients win the challenge of connecting with consumers and increasing loyalty.”

While most panels focus on the purchase stage, IRI is applying emerging technology and advanced analytic techniques in new ways to show clients what happens across each of these stages. IRI is partnering with leading clients to fill knowledge and capability gaps in these areas:

Advanced understanding of the consumer decision-making progress

IRI is working with leading virtual shopping experts to help its clients evaluate various merchandising programs – plan-o-grams, adjacencies, in-store advertising, price points, shelf talkers, end-caps and more – at a critical point-of-the-decision process: the shelf. Tying the IRI Consumer Network household panel to Virtual Shopping technology enables clients to gather reactions from hard-to-reach respondents, such as category or brand buyers, brand switchers, specific retailer shoppers, loyal or heavy shoppers and competitive shoppers. In addition to being cost-efficient, the unique IRI methodology provides the added benefits of speed, ample sample sizes and a high degree of flexibility.

Deeper, faster individual usage insights

In keeping with their strategy of maintaining a low-burden panel, IRI has introduced personalized Web-enabled surveys through its Individual User service. IRI has further enhanced the service by developing analytics to quantify the loyalty of the individual beyond the household level, which is the focus of most loyalty analytics today. IRI is now able to tell manufacturers a richer story of how devoted each household member is to specific brands. These insights enable clients to spend their marketing and advertising dollars more effectively to reach actual end users.

Needs-state consumption intelligence

IRI has also repurposed its panelist scanners to capture the variety and quantity of products within the home at a given time through the Inventory and Consumption Panel service. In addition, IRI can now reveal how, when and why these products are consumed. By determining how marketing programs impact overall consumption and uncovering the needs states that trigger consumption, IRI is helping clients maximize their return on marketing investments.

Continuous Price Monitoring and Optimization

In today’s inflationary environment, price sensitivity is dynamic and constantly changing with evolving market conditions. Pricing strategies must be continually evaluated and modified using a systematic and real-time approach to more effectively manage profitability. IRI’s new pricing and promotion solutions, including Web-based IRI Price and Promotion Simulator are enabling companies to dynamically evaluate and simulate key tactical and strategic pricing issues in real-time and optimize the impact of price changes on sales and profits.

“Our clients’ needs are constantly evolving and it is our responsibility to be innovating to address those needs,” Garga said. “IRI is consistently leveraging and integrating new technologies into its existing panel and store-based offerings to improve the speed and quality of the insights we provide to our clients. These latest developments reflect that ongoing commitment to innovation.”

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