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Get the Why Behind the Wow with Online Communities

May 18, 2022

Recently, I’ve been taking my two-year-old grocery shopping with me on Saturday mornings, and she has opened my eyes to a new level of excitement I never dreamed possible in a grocery shopping experience. As she twirls down every aisle, passing the bakery window, the colorful produce, various eye-catching signs and endcaps, her eyes light up and she yells out “Look at this!” especially at all the cereal boxes! Then she proceeds to talk non-stop and tell me exactly why that cereal box is so intriguing (BTW – it’s usually the colorful rainbow, funny leprechaun and tiny marshmallows).

If only all consumers were as easy to read as toddlers as they walk, or virtually navigate the aisles, then grocery stores would never have to wonder what to display where or how to organize or what’s most important to their shoppers. They’d be awash in knowing exactly what sparks joy, pleasure and frustration.

But, in most cases, when it comes to shoppers, what grocery stores have is data – loyalty card data, survey data, receipt data…reams and reams of numbers and stats and percentages.

Connecting Customer Ratings with Customer Stories

So how do organizations sift through the deluge of data and understand the emotions and the why behind all those numbers, in order to find and leverage the insights that will help create a truly satisfying customer experience?

The answer is to connect the customer ratings with customer stories. Diving deeper into the feelings that accompany various touchpoints along your customers’ journey provides the critical understanding of why an experience is delightful or disappointing. It also helps organizations uncover areas of innovation, competitive opportunity and simply where improvements are needed along with a much better idea of how to intervene.

Big Village’s approach to qualitative research, supported by our Digital Hives platform, provides the right balance and enhancement to your organization’s quantitative research. By incorporating the human stories with their emotion through video and photograph capture (digital ethnography) and employing intimate, authentic, creative storytelling techniques our team at Big Village leverage expertise in moderation with audiences of 100-200 people. These communities provide depth of data well beyond traditional focus groups. The members answer our carefully crafted research questions but also organically have side conversations. With 100 – 200 community members per standard engagement, we are able to tease out nuances between customer segments, generational groups and personas among other unique areas of interest for your brand and organization. Big Village’s Digital Hives provides deep, fast, scalable emotional insights to help understand the why, and even uncover that “wow” factor to transform your customer experience.

Digital Hives in Action

Recently, our client, a large regional grocer was looking to better understand the role of digital across their in-store and online customer journeys. Over a three-day period, we engaged deeply with 140 individual shoppers representing our client’s customers as well as prospective and competitive customers.

Not surprisingly, shoppers shared how they use digital tools to plan their weekly trips. Additionally, they provided their own ideas for how the digital tools at their disposal could be enhanced to aid their journey. It was through the process of understanding their shopping goals, behaviors, expectations and the role of digital tools to aid them in their planning, shopping and payment options that areas of strength and opportunity were uncovered for our client.

Our client used both qualitative and quantitative data to map their post-covid in-store and online customer journeys. The information gleaned from the emotional qualitative deep dive was used to create a quantitative survey to allow our client to prioritize improvement efforts and innovations to enhance the full customer journey with the aid of digital tools and offerings. The data collected across all phases has been used to create a specific digital CX roadmap and inform/prioritize other innovation efforts throughout the organization.

Big Village is here to help companies connect experience ratings with emotions, offering organizations and brands the same front row seat view of their customers’ joys, pleasures and frustrations, with as much clarity as a parent watching their child experience their grocery shopping journey in live action.


Written by Brian Janovsky, Vice President, Digital Hives at Big Village Insights.