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ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS...


And they always speak the truth

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ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS...


And they always speak the truth

Have you ever been frustrated by high intent to purchase scores that didn’t deliver on the promise?

SHOPPER360 is a breakthrough research platform created to predict real shopper behaviour rather than measuring intentions.

Developed by a team with decades of commercial, research and technology experience, SHOPPER360 is changing the world of shopper marketing.

The platform has been made possible by ground-breaking discoveries in the world of cognitive psychology and predictive analytics combined with the gaming industry’s latest VR technology. The result is an entirely new shopper research platform that is a more reliable indicator of in-store behaviour than traditional research methods.

Until now, the gold standard in shopper research has been control versus test in-store trials.  But they are slow, expensive, resource heavy and can disrupt store business. SHOPPER360 delivers all the deep insights of real life store studies, but with a new level of accuracy, flexibility and speed.

It’s a brand new approach for a brand new world.

 
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A deeper understanding of shopper behaviour


 

Researchers and marketers know there is a big difference between what shoppers say they will do and what they end up doing. SHOPPER360 leverages new learnings from cognitive psychology to solve this problem.

Research in this area has proven that emotional, intuitive reactions drive shopper behaviour far more than rational considered decision-making. In Dual Process theory, these two modes of decision-making are referred to as System 1 and System 2. The reactive and emotional System 1 has been difficult to measure with traditional shopper research tools because it happens at a subconscious level. People are largely unaware of their System 1 drivers or behaviours. 

Not surprisingly, traditional research has focused on understanding System 2 behaviour, but this rational considered aspect of shopper behaviour can never explain the full picture.

 

A deeper understanding of shopper behaviour


 

Researchers and marketers know there is a big difference between what shoppers say they will do and what they end up doing. SHOPPER360 leverages new learnings from cognitive psychology to solve this problem.

Research in this area has proven that emotional, intuitive reactions drive shopper behaviour far more than rational considered decision-making. In Dual Process theory, these two modes of decision-making are referred to as System 1 and System 2. The reactive and emotional System 1 has been difficult to measure with traditional shopper research tools because it happens at a subconscious level. People are largely unaware of their System 1 drivers or behaviours. 

Not surprisingly, traditional research has focused on understanding System 2 behaviour, but this rational considered aspect of shopper behaviour can never explain the full picture.

 

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Shopper behaviour has evolved

In today’s ultra-competitive environment, it has never been more important for companies to understand how shoppers will really behave. If your category attracts habitual or ‘restocking’ behavior, SHOPPER360 will deliver a new level of insight to support your marketers and in-store activators.

Consumer behaviour used to be more predictable, because there were simply fewer brands to choose from. Over recent decades, the number of products has increased exponentially, to the point where the choices are now overwhelming. Today, the average supermarket contains upwards of 20,000 SKUs, but the average shopper only has a repertoire of around 500 SKUs. 

When faced with overwhelming choice, shoppers cannot make a considered decision about every purchase. The task is simply too large. Instead, they switch to autopilot shopping, which is driven by System 1 decision-making. In this mode, the shopper applies a subconscious filter that helps them to deselect everything that is not inside their emotionally comfortable, established purchasing pattern.

When asked to explain these purchases, shoppers fail to provide credible answers. Price, value and product benefits are easily post-rationalised explanations and are less embarrassing than saying “I don’t know”. Meticulous observation of shoppers is the only way to learn about their System 1 drivers.

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Old Versus New


 

 

Old Versus New


 

 

The limitations of
traditional shopper
research

 

Accuracy - Traditional research
Most shoppers are unable to explain their purchase decision
Rationale for a purchase decision is typically forgotten within 3 seconds
Post-rationalising causes inaccurate recollections, false claims, flawed data and flawed insights
People post-rationalise their in-store behaviour and fail to identify emotional, intuitive or automatic drivers
Real store trials cannot isolate the impact of single testable variables; the changes in purchases between control and test stores are often confounded by uncontrolled variables such as climate, changes in local trading conditions, competitor behaviour etc

The SHOPPER360
solution

 

 

Accuracy - SHOPPER360
SHOPPER360 observes and records every detail of the shopper's journey
We know exactly what was looked at and what was missed. If a product is noticed, then inspected, then purchased or discarded, we know exactly how long each decision took
Our observations are highly detailed and recorded with perfect accuracy
Through close observation and precise measurement of behaviour, we can identify the balance of emotional and rational drivers
SHOPPER360 can change an individual variable in a set scenario and run an immersive simulation; with a statistically valid sample size, the causal relationship between the change in that single variable and the impact on purchase outcomes can be clearly established
 
Flexibility - Traditional research
If you are testing changes to store layout, fixtures or packaging you need to physically build every scenario
A real-world store does not want to jeopardise business so it will limit your footprint and impact and may not allow certain scenarios that you want to test
Flexibility - SHOPPER360
Every element or scenario is created digitally, never physically, so there is very little cost of failure
You can modify and test anything you want and as many scenarios as you want.
 
Speed - Traditional research
If you don’t own a store you need to find a highly cooperative retail partner or build a physical replica
If you need a control store you will need at least two stores
In-store trials typically take three to six months
Speed - SHOPPER360
If your study is in a category from within the existing S360 catalogue, you have instant access to that store environment
We can usually create bespoke assets within two weeks
You can change between scenarios with a keystroke
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Our Virtual Reality platform


 

 

The gaming industry is driving VR technology with an insatiable appetite for more engaging user experiences. Thanks to the world of gaming, it’s possible to build incredibly life-like 3D digital environments that can be manipulated with a simple keystroke.

With this platform, we can create a truly realistic shopping environment where participants behave just as they would in-store. Wearing the VR headset, they effortlessly step into the virtual environment as if it were real. They can walk, bend, crouch, stretch, pick up products and turn in any direction. The environment responds to their movement exactly as the real world would.

 

 

Our Virtual Reality platform


 

 

The gaming industry is driving VR technology with an insatiable appetite for more engaging user experiences. Thanks to the world of gaming, it’s possible to build incredibly life-like 3D digital environments that can be manipulated with a simple keystroke.

With this platform, we can create a truly realistic shopping environment where participants behave just as they would in-store. Wearing the VR headset, they effortlessly step into the virtual environment as if it were real. They can walk, bend, crouch, stretch, pick up products and turn in any direction. The environment responds to their movement exactly as the real world would.

 

 

Custom-built for you

SHOPPER360 is completely flexible, without the time and logistical restrictions of real store testing. We provide clients with the ability to test extreme scenarios, challenge category norms and take big risks with no cost of failure.

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Environments: We are building a catalogue of retail environments that are available for use on demand. We can also accurately recreate any new category environment that you wish to study.

 

 

Scenarios: Whether you want to research primary packaging, point of sale, pricing strategy, product mix, marketing campaigns, store layout, category layout or any other shopper-related challenge, we can help. We can also reset the real-world context by testing summer products in winter, for example, or performing studies in environments that are difficult to access in the real world, such as duty free shops.

 

Priming: Participants are given a specific briefing before entering the VR environment. If we’re testing multiple scenarios, SHOPPER360 has a unique ability to further prime subjects over time before sending them into a virtual world.

 

Methodologies: SHOPPER360 interprets behaviour through meticulous observation. There is no opinion in the data we collect. It is an exact record of what happened and can be analysed through myriad lenses.

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What we test and what we record


SHOPPER360 is a powerful tool for testing A/B variables. More importantly, it observes, measure and records the entire shopper experience.

What we test and what we record


SHOPPER360 is a powerful tool for testing A/B variables. More importantly, it observes, measure and records the entire shopper experience.

What we test
Store formats & layouts
Fixtures
Relays
SKU optimisation
Pricing
Point of Sale
On pack – brand & promo
Environmental elements
Sensorial elements
Emotional vs. rational drivers
Advertising and brand communication out of store
What we record
Journey navigation
Pace, pause and position
What was looked at, what was missed
What drew attention
What drew further investigation
Product handling in detail
Purchase or discard
Time between stimulus and action
Narrated re-journey
Responses from primed participants
End to end shopper experience
The exact moment of truth
 

Quantitative modelling meets observational data

With statistically significant respondent recruitment, we can predict the impact of changes in individual behaviours on key outcome metrics such as market share, revenue, margin, AWP (average weight of purchase) and basket penetration.

Because we capture key behavioural inputs, we also segment shoppers into ‘autopilot’ shoppers and ‘rational’ shoppers. This insight is critical in the formulation of future shopper strategies aimed at nudging shopper behaviour.

By applying advanced analytical modelling, we are then able to show causal links between the observational data that SHOPPER360 captures and the predicted impacts on the outcome metrics.

 
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What happens, step by step


What happens, step by step


1.     Selecting the right format and methodology

Together with our partners in the research community and academia, we are developing an ever-growing suite of native methodologies designed to maximise the natural advantages of SHOPPER360 technology. SHOPPER360 is also an exceptional platform for executing established methodologies.

 

 

Mission observation

The subject is given a specific mission, such as ‘purchase bread as you would for your regular grocery shop’.

 

A/B testing

Multiple scenarios are designed and individual factors are changed. We compare purchase outcomes to the baseline study and the optimal shopper strategy is designed through a rapid design, test, analyse, retest process.

Priming

A panel of respondents is recruited and maintained throughout the duration of the study, which consists of multiple scenarios designed to isolate the impact of a targeted communication. They are primed using a marketing stimulus, such as a new TV commercial, that is delivered to them at home over time after baseline testing and between test phases. They are then reintroduced to SHOPPER360 and a new scenario that tests their post-priming purchasing behavior. This process identities optimal campaign components and predicts likely sales outcomes.

Narrated re-journey

We developed narrated re-journey so we could drill into each step of the shopper experience. The subject watches their own shopping journey, reviewing their exact first person vision of the journey. This prompts recognition of behaviour they were unaware of while shopping. Because they are sharing their oral review with a researcher who is observing the same playback, it is much harder for the subject to make false claims as their real behaviour is in plain view.

 

Accompanied shop

While the shopper is in the simulation, the researcher engages in a qualitative discussion to uncover deeper insights into their shopping experience.

 

 2.     Orientation

If the subject is new to VR research, we take them through an orientation process that normalises the VR experience. Most people adapt to VR within a few seconds. Our brains are quick to accept high quality VR environments that behave exactly like the real world so there is no need to recalibrate sensory processing.

The orientation process leads the subject through a series of simple movements and interactions. They are then invited to ‘play’ by throwing things, making a mess and generally pushing the test environment’s boundaries. Once they have sated their curiosity and had some fun, they are ready to relax into the VR environment as if it were real.

Our research reflects Samsung’s findings, that there is a very high correlation between shopper behaviour in a virtual store and shopper behaviour in a real store.

 

3.     Anchoring

After orientation, the subject is introduced to the virtual store. The researcher talks them through their shopping mission and anchors them in their real-world shopping routine. The anchoring process feels like a casual conversation, but is a carefully modeled formula to tune in the subject’s real-world shopping mindset. From this point on, the subject is left alone to carry out their shopping mission.

 

4.     Sharing the findings

Traditional research produces data that can be presented as charts and graphs or ‘shopper stories’. With SHOPPER360, we can show your audience exactly how shoppers respond to specific stimuli or circumstances by presenting first person journeys exactly as the subject saw them. These shopper journeys can reproduce exact behaviour as exhibited by a single subject or aggregate the behaviour of any shopper segment.

Seeing the shopper journey and observing proven behaviours or outcomes is a highly compelling experience for your audience.

 
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Frequently asked questions


Frequently asked questions


Can you explain System 1 and System 2 thinking?

System 1 thinking is the kind of intuitive, habitual and instantaneous processing humans do on the run. It derives from the dominant primal, instinctive parts of our brain and is more emotional than rational. This kind of thinking is done on autopilot, with no conscious effort required.

System 2 thinking is slower, considered, analytical cognitive thinking.

 

What is the deselection effect?

With so much choice, shopping has become about deselection, with shoppers employing shortcuts to make decisions. That way they can cut out the chatter and shop on autopilot. For a standard shop, they use markers like brand familiarity, or value signals, or a product’s store or shelf positioning. They only apply rational, considered decision-making when considering a purchase that is not on their usual shopping list.

With deselection, when researchers ask research participants to explain their shopping choices, they post-rationalise their behaviour, distorting what happened through myriad influences. Why? Because they don’t know why they made that choice — they just think they do.

In this situation, asking about behaviour reveals cultural bias, social expectations, the mood of the moment, status projection and other projected reasons. That is why high purchase intent scores promised by marketing research don’t always translate into checkout sales. Only observing behaviour reveals the truth.

 

Does the VR environment truly simulate a real-life store?

Global research by major players such as Samsung demonstrates that VR results really do match the real world, and experience shows that our VR results are perfectly aligned to actual in-store testing.

  • Our subjects report feeling totally transported to the store environment and both feel and believe they are there.
  • The ambience, sound, movement and ability to touch and interact with products make the experience totally immersive.
  • No one is moderating their behaviour so they go where they want and view what they want.
  • They feel in charge of their experience — this is quite different to flat screen VR or even accompanied shopping.

Maintaining subject engagement is a massive challenge for many other methodologies but the SHOPPER360 subject is 100% focused on the experience and cannot tune out or be distracted.

All this makes for means more meaningful insights than it is possible to obtain from other research approaches.