We are far from stability with new uncertainties ahead

We are far from stability with new uncertainties ahead

Hope that while the world is entering the endemic phase, this will bring some stability to the market and to demand and supply chains, but this is far from the case.

This statement is from In an interview with Julie Ng, CEO and co-founder of Vase.ai, whom WorldFuture asked about the importance of consumer research in the current market trend.

“As evidenced by what happened during the pandemic, consumer behaviour is extremely volatile – what consumers want is constantly changing. Many people believe that this will bring about some stability as we enter the endemic phase, but this is far from the case. 

Aside from local factors, global factors such as product scarcity and inflation are causing additional uncertainty.

“All of these uncertainties have resulted in low consumer confidence and ever-changing consumer needs and preferences, contributing to inconsistent purchasing patterns,” she adds.

This begs the question, “How does the company continue to grow in the face of inconsistent purchasing patterns and ever-changing consumer needs?”

“The fundamental and proven way to grow is to create a product that the consumer requires and market it in a way that resonates with the consumer, something traditional research will not be able to predict.”

Julie Ng, CEO and co-founder of Vase.ai

Traditional market research has long been used by businesses to help them lay the groundwork to identify market gaps and determine how to position themselves to attract their target audience. However, consumer research has evolved.

As traditional research methods typically take two months to complete and cost at least thirty thousand ringgit, which is a barrier for most businesses. It’s too slow in comparison to how quickly consumer behaviours change, resulting in the insights being out of date by then. 

Stability of consumerism

We also asked about the importance of consumer research in today’s fast-paced digital economy and how brands need real-time data to make decisions.

Today, brands and researchers alike have access to a wide range of market research tools, all of which are capable of meeting the demands of quantitative consumer behaviour, often at a lower cost and in less time than traditional methods.

While extensive testing outside of traditional media is still required, paper surveys are no longer used because they are no longer considered relevant in predicting consumer behaviour, she says.

“Customers’ expectations are constantly changing.  The main benefit of utilising these constantly changing consumer insights would be to reduce the risk associated with their decision-making. Each business decision usually involves two key elements: a monetary or manpower investment, or, more often, both; and a decision to choose one path and trade-off the other path.

“Most business decision-makers make decisions based on gut feelings, which frequently result in huge losses, a waste of investment, and a suboptimal decision that does not contribute to the company’s bottom line.

“Aside from gut instinct, many business decisions, according to some, are reversible and could be subjected to A/B testing. However, relying solely on the A/B test to pivot out of a decision has a number of drawbacks, including a significant time and resource investment,” says Julie.

These problems are solved by utilising new consumer insights. It reduces the risk of making a bad decision by analysing data to find the best option that meets the needs and preferences of the customers. Furthermore, it cuts down on the amount of time and resources needed to arrive at the best decision.

This is referred to as “Agile Consumer Research” at Vase.ai. Businesses can avoid making costly mistakes by utilising Agile Consumer Research, which acts as a form of “insurance” in the decision-making process.


On Vase.ai, she says the use of artificial intelligence specifically machine learning provides brands with an integrated consumer research process.

“Companies will need to evolve to succeed by improving their design process with a much deeper understanding of the individual customer context while also accelerating the pace at which they develop and bring products to market, learning quickly from customer responses to scale or fail, which is where we come in.

“We use artificial intelligence, Gone are the days when a decision-maker had to jump between multiple software and apps to complete a research project, from a form-building tool to a data collection tool to an analysis tool to a charting tool. Our consumer research services help businesses become more flexible when it comes to gaining a deeper understanding of their customers,” she says.

Second, most ASEAN brands lack in-house data analysts and researchers, despite the fact that all brands want to be data-driven.

“Our platform includes research best practices, allowing a marketer, a product owner, or a strategist to be data-driven and use consumer research. We also provide research assistance to ensure that every study conducted on our platform is a complete success.”

While marketers want things now in order to keep up with consumer trends and stay ahead of the competition, the AI-powered platform recommends real-time insights to businesses even when the researchers aren’t available.

“We can also deliver our research in a variety of formats. Consider this scenario: a company that only wanted to ask ten questions to a total of 400 people might believe that conducting consumer research is a waste of time.

“However, they could do so for less than RM5000 if they chose us – larger decisions necessitate a larger investment in research, whereas smaller decisions may necessitate a smaller investment. Regardless of the size of your company, we are here to assist you with every step of the process.”

Growth plans

After receiving funding the company is serving 100 different brands but our goal is to become the growth engine for millions of ASEAN brands and plans to hire people who know about consumer psychology, product management, and tech engineers, as well as those who are interested in and knowledgeable with data analysis, data visualisation, and machine learning.

"We believe we are in the midst of a consumer research revolution, in which everyone, whether a brand marketer, a small business owner, a mid-size product owner, wants to be data-driven in order to excel in their business and work. Despite this, there is no consumer research tool designed specifically for non-researchers or non-data analysts."