For many retailers such as the GWC Valves International, they are always looking for ways to conduct their primary market research along with how to get their secondary research without spending all of their corporate funds.
There are several ways of collecting marketing research in order to have data available to you, to analyze what is going on in your particular industry and what your consumers are looking for in order to take this and make proper insights out of it. One way to conduct primary research is to hire mystery shoppers. Many retailers have been hiring mystery shoppers which are people who pose as customers in order to evaluate all of the store aspects. They will be evaluating things such as the sales presentations, the display maintenance, how clean the store actually is, the types of service calls that are being made, the available products and the most important aspect which is the customer service that they are receiving once they walk into the store to as soon as they check out of the store.
Many companies will conduct experiments which is a research method where one or more elements of a retail strategy mix are manipulated under controlled conditions by the retailer. An example of this method would be by choosing an element such as price, a shelf display, changing the store hours and seeing how people would react to this. Some retailers even like to use simulations which are a type of experiment whereby a computer program is used to manipulate certain elements of the retail strategy mix instead of testing these in a real-life setting. In retail settings, different simulation types that are applied include the virtual reality simulation and a mathematical model.