A new method of collecting and analyzing information on buyer behaviour

How to help consumers, businesses and the State at the time of crisis

By Romir Research Holding, one of the largest independent Russian research holdings.


The study of changes in buyer behaviour that have occurred during the recent crisis

The Russian economic crisis of 2014-2015 was accompanied by food product sanctions against a number of European countries as well as a depreciation of the ruble. How should retailers and manufacturers react to all those crisis-related changes, how do they keep their share of the market and maintain customer loyalty? How should the state support population that’s getting poorer?


Quantitative research using panels

The platform for research implementation was the consumer household panel ROMIR SCAN PANEL which now comprises of 10.000 consumers, 3 600 households in 52 Russian cities with population of over 10.000 thousand persons. Each household is equipped with a PC, a barcode scanner and Internet access. The panelists scan barcodes of all products and goods they bring home. During the scanning process the product is automatically recognised at the SKU (stock keeping unit) level with the following description of each purchase’s parameters: time of purchase, place of purchase, price per unit, total price, etc. Scanned data is transmitted in an online mode to the Scan Panel database.

So what?

Accurate evaluation of Russians’ level of life for stakeholders

The results received over the course of the research showed that only 16% of all buyers are not involved in some kind of economizing mission in the time of crisis. The rest of the consumers can be divided into various segments according to their different saving strategies. When the project launched, there had been a hypothesis that the main driver of buyer activity during crisis would be price promotion. However the research revealed that the main buyer group (28%) are people whose saving strategy consists of optimization of their portfolio.

That research allowed manufacturers, in their negotiations with retailers, to highlight cooperation and the creation of loyalty program options for the end consumer aimed at intensifying consumption and increasing of the repeat purchase rate among the chain’s consumers.

State statistical and analytical institutes have already used and continue using the research data for their evaluation of the Russians’ way of life as well as regulate the pricing policy on the basis of price tracking data. Specifically, growing prices compelled the government to ponder the unprecedented raise of the country’s subsistence level which was increased by a whole 17% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.