What motivates shoppers to come to a store?


How do they migrate through the store once they're there? Once they're in the product aisle, what catches the shopper’s attention? How do they sift through display information and product selection to reach a decision? These are just a few of the questions a leading retailer wanted to answer.




We set out to find those answers via a two-tiered research program. In phase one our ethnography team held a series of one-on-one discussions with selected consumers. They also observed consumers in their homes, documenting they way they researched products and picked stores.  

The team then accompanied the consumers on a series of shop-alongs, capturing migration patterns, signage awareness and signage recognition. In the process they also evaluated the effectiveness of display signage, in-aisle signage and POP. Shop-along’s were conducted across several different product categories, from high-ticket, high-involvement products to low-ticket, commodity-type products. Once the data was gathered we created a roadmap of the consumer's purchase decision journey, including the in-store experience. 

The second phase of the project validated the work we did in phase one. In it we conducted a large sample online survey of consumers who had recently purchased products across a wide range of categories. Shoppers were segmented into two groups: those who shopped at the client's store but bought elsewhere, and those who shopped at competitor store but bought at the client's store.



The outcome of the combined phases was a set of statistically reliable findings on how shoppers made decisions, and a list of the factors that influenced those decisions both inside and outside the store. 

With this data in-hand, the client was able to determine which customer touchpoints were working well and which needed improvement. They were also able to identify several competitor best practices that they later incorporated into their own consumer experiences.


Case Studies

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