Consumer app spending is up 73%.
Consumer app spending is up 73%.

Download the infographic to get visibility into digital buying behavior. See exactly who's buying on apps now—and why.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
The ultimate guide to a customer survey.

You’re peeling back layers.

With each customer survey, you uncover a new trait. And as you place all of these characteristics together, like a box of crayons, you create a colorful—and complete—image of your target market. 

Yet, research is so much more. 

You’re building a relationship. And, just like in life, relationships are built on trust. And love. And they take time. The same can be said for your customer experience. 

Look at Disney. Walt knew what he was doing when he created this unique universe. As a Disney Princess, working at an amusement park, you’re expected to greet 172 guests per hour1. Wow. That’s pretty rigorous. But, have you ever seen a kid look up at that princess, in-person?

I have.

It’s magical. And it’s why so many loyal parents, teens, and kids flock to Disneyland year after year. Disney’s brand includes everything from streaming movies to merchandise to TV. It’s very broad. But they excel in each, because of their consistently unique customer experience. 

That’s the point of every customer survey.

You’re building a customer experience. Slowly uncovering—over time—exactly what buyers want from your brand. Yes, it’s a massive task. But, by meticulously pulling all those pieces together, you’ll create an exceptional experience that can’t be easily replicated by the competition.

And that’s the goal.

To have something so beautifully unique that it can’t be copied. It’s a consistent trait among all the best brands: uniqueness. To get it, you need to invest in three things: time, passion and trust. The thing is you can’t build these without knowing your audience. That connection has to be earned.

So, you invest in research.

And using the insights from that research you create a memorable customer experience.

Now, in a perfect world, research would allow you to walk up to every customer and say, “So what do you think of…?” But, it’s not that simple. That process sounds a bit creepy. Instead you send out a customer survey to hear what they think of your brand, product, and customer experience.

But, there’s a problem.

You want to be personal. And a customer survey isn’t. At least not a traditional one. It’s usually filled out online: days, or even weeks, after the customer experience takes place. By then, your customer’s feelings and emotions have faded. Your brand is a memory. Not a real-time event. 

That’s not personal.

And the feedback isn’t relevant. Because it isn’t in-the-moment. You’ve lost all the magic of hearing from someone who’s just witnessed what makes your brand so unique. 

What if you could research in real time?

You’d bring in the best of both worlds. Your customer survey would give you insights into everything your buyer experiences in their path to purchase. And the opinions would be fresh. You’d get the benefit of an in-person interview without the challenge or scale or deploying one.

But how?

Their phone. 81% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone2. And, here’s a secret. Their phone goes with them everywhere. Into stores, online, and in apps. 

Picture this. 

You can ride along in their pocket.

Or purse. As your buyers walk into a location you want to learn about, or see a website you want to track—you can connect with them directly.

Here’s how.

Their data goes straight to their phone. Where they are, what they’re doing, even what they see.

It gets better.

That same phone knows what they think. In real time. Here’s how it works. The nation’s largest, highest-rated consumer panel, Surveys On The Go® is an app. It’s sitting on your customers’ phone right now. They use it to get paid to take surveys. 

You use it for real-time data.

And, because it’s an app, it can travel anywhere. The app sees your buyer’s location—whether physical or digital. It collects data on their behaviors. And asks them questions about your brand. They get cash for their feedback. And you get fresh, quality feedback. Everyone wins. 

So, what kind of insights can you get?

  1. In-store.
  2. Online.
  3. In an app.

#1: In-store.

Let’s start here.

woman taking a customer survey

Sarah has an app.

It’s called Surveys On The Go®. And it pays her to take surveys. Today, she’s headed into the store to look for a laundry product.

As she walks down the aisle, she spots your brand. Sarah picks it up and takes a whiff. Mmm. Smells good. As she heads to the register her phone buzzes. It’s a survey. Asking about her path-to-purchase that product.

Cool, right?

That’s how an in-store Point of Emotion® survey works. It gives you insights as they’re happening. While the consumer is in-the-moment, your brand is top-of-mind and the experience is still fresh. It’s as personal as a customer survey gets. 

#2: Online.

Before Sarah entered the store, and picked up your product, she looked online.

In fact, she was shopping for that same product on your site. But, she couldn’t find it. Wouldn’t you like to know? You can. With an online customer survey, you can see what Sarah added to her cart and what she looked at. Or, why 53% of respondents abandon their online shopping cart3.

Spoiler alert: they couldn’t find their products either.

Interestingly, 45% will then try to find the product in-store. That’s what Sarah did. And she’s happy, because she found it. But, what about everyone else…did you know that many people were omnishoppers? You need the online and in-store behavior together, for a full picture.

#3: In an app.

Yes, there’s one more place to look.

Sarah didn’t pick up an app before she shopped online. But, plenty of other people did. In fact, there’s been a 73% increase in app spending this year alone4. Why? They’re easy to use and to order from. And a ton of people have picked up the habit as a result. 

Here’s an example of a customer survey on an app. We just researched Best Buy and found that 68% of people started their in-store journey on the website or the app5. Now they adjust their ad strategy. You can too. Find out who’s researching online and going in-store to make a purchase. 

Here’s the truth: 76% of people are omnishoppers6.

If you want to see what they’re doing, you can’t just be sending out an online survey. You need to be speaking to them while they’re in-store, online and in apps. This is how you get all the facts. And it’s how you keep insights relevant, accurate, and fresh.

A customer survey example.

It’s a cannabis brand. They want to enter a brand-new market. To do that, they needed to ask cannabis consumers what caused them to choose a certain brand.

But, there’s the catch. 

Cannabis consumers don’t just shop at dispensaries. They also use apps. So, we helped them speak to buyers on apps and inside dispensaries. Using an omnichannel customer survey they were able to see the full path-to-purchase. What’d they find? 59% research on apps first7.

That meant a massive opportunity to influence buyers before they ever went to a dispensary.

They did it. With the data from their omnichannel customer survey, they pivoted their approach. The team went back and crafted a better go-to-market strategy—suited to the competition.

This omnichannel view is one every brand needs to have. It’s how to gauge true satisfaction, by knowing all parts of the consumer journey—and influencing it in your favor.

And it’s how you create a unique customer experience.  

Sure, creating a great experience takes time. But, good things come to those who wait. And don’t worry, with a 95% completion rate in 24 hours, we promise the research won’t hold you up.


How Coronavirus is impacting consumer spending.

Coronavirus is a consumervirus.

It’s as deadly to the economy, as it is to people.

In less than two months, COVID-191 has ravaged the U.S. economy, savagely infecting consumer behavior as it spreads around the world. And, according to Oxford Economics, it’s estimated the virus will likely lead to $1 trillion in global losses2 before it’s stopped.

Here’s why that matters.

Consumer spending in the U.S. accounts for about 70%3 of the economy. That’s a massive amount of balance precariously placed on the health of consumer behavior. Any move in the wrong direction, and we find ourselves in a very painful predicament.

Our economy depends on China. A lot.

The U.S. supply chain is very closely tied to China. And the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai has found that 78% of American companies don’t have enough staff to resume full production4. Nearly half said the shutdowns are impacting their global supply chains.

On Feb. 1, Apple closed all of its retail stores, and offices in China 5.

The impact on consumerism is clear, especially in technology. China makes roughly half of the world’s LCD panels for TVs, laptops, and computer monitors. Its economic impact6 is expected The longer Coronavirus is in play, the greater the impact will be worse than:

  • 2003 outbreak of SARS
  • 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster
  • 2011 Thailand floods

We’re seeing the early impact on consumer behavior. Eighty-six percent of our consumer panel is limiting social interaction. Travel is social. So, we’d expect other high-traffic businesses to feel the effects3, as the outbreak continues.

Jeff Harrelson, COO at MFour.

What we found in researching consumers

Research highlights from the Surveys On The Go® consumer panel:

  • 38% airport decline was observed through GPS tracking on panelists’ smartphones
  • 72% of panelists expected the concern of Coronavirus to last more than two months
  • 86% planned to limit social interactions, or visits to public places, as a preventive step

This means COVID-19 caused a 38% drop in U.S. consumer behavior.

In early January, the first death7 linked to COVID-19 was reported. Consumers took notice. Two weeks later, MFour traced its consumer panel’s visitation to the top 10 U.S. airports. Using the market research app, Surveys On The Go®, the company found a 38% decline in airport visits. The drop correlates to the first reported Coronavirus case in the U.S8.

The behavioral data tells us travel was much more impacted than what was stated in the surveys we ran. This is why watching what consumers do is more important than just surveying. As we tracked people, we saw up to a 38% dip in travel, compared to the 23% that was stated in surveys. That’s a 15% shift in behavior, observed by tracking their locations.

Research was conducted comparing visitation to top 10 US airports by MFour’s consumer panel.  Examined Jan – Feb 2019 vs. same period 2020.  

For a full copy of the Research Reports click here to contact MFour.



Talk to your buyers, right now.

  • Get projects done fast.
  • See 10 million, daily journeys.
  • Collect in-store + online behavior.
  • Talk to real, first-party consumers.

You'll get a reply in minutes.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Start a Project