The Insightful Visit to the Store

shopperception explained

The insightful trip to the store:

Making decisions based on comprehensive and timely information has greatly fueled the growth and optimization of several industries. Recent example is Tesco using big data to save €20 millions per year on cooling costs.

Banking as well as online retail have made great progress in the use of information to improve products, stores, and customer experiences, translating directly into increased market share, higher margins, and more efficient operations. Banking and online retail leading in the use of information could, in part, be attributed to the ease of leveraging data that already lives online.

Offline retail, however, continues to struggle with less than optimal means to optimize their operations, and improve their competitive positions.

For instance, offline retail continues to rely on inferring behaviors by sampling a small set of shoppers pretending to shop, in stores that are not real.

One has to wonder why the reliance on such suboptimal methods, when we can know exactly what happens in the stores?

Allow me to elaborate by inviting you to accompany me on a shopping trip to the supermarket, annotated by some questions triggered by the market researcher in me…

As I enter the store, and select a shopping cart, my eyes browse the produce section.

What day of the week do I typically do my grocery shopping?
At what time?
When was the last time I was in this store?
How long was my previous visit?
How much do I spend on average?


Navigating from produce to personal care, I notice what seems to be a new fragrance of fabric softener in the end cap, maybe worth looking into next time am in the store, if in the mood for change.

What percentage of conversions are generated by the end cap?
What assortment of products in the end cap gets the most shopper engagement?
What is the ratio of aisle visitors to conversions at the end cap?
Which demographic group engages the most with end caps?
How long on average do shoppers engage with end caps?


Get to the shower gel section, proceed directly to locate my usual product, which is not in the usual place, and notice a new product three positions to the right. Nice packaging, but not interesting enough to stimulate the adventurous in me.

Also notice a new hanging display next to shower gel, with deodorant, not the one I use, but reminds me I will need some soon, so continue to that section of the store, after grabbing a bottle of my usual shower gel.

What is the best placement for product launches?
What is typically the first point of shopper engagement or interaction for this category?
How many facings are the most effective for a new product to balance exposure and canivalization?
Is the new product generating enough engagement, interactions, conversions?
What products are being impacted by the introduction of the new product, and how?
Are additional displays driving brand association?
Are my shoppers buying my shampoo and shower gel during the same trip?


Also need some cereal, my kids like the sugary stuff but I like the one with honey. Because the sugary one seems to be out of stock, I have the perfect excuse to get the one with honey.

What product is favored by my shoppers when mine is out of stock?
How is the performance of my product by share of space?
What are the hot and cold zones in the shelf for this particular category?
Is eye level really the best placement for this category?
Which is the closest competitor to my product in the category?
How often is my product substituted, and by which product?
How often are shoppers leaving the category after interacting with my product?


Finish my shopping trip at the checkout, with no additional products selected.

How long was I at the store?
What categories did I visit?
How large is my basket for this trip, and how does it differ from my typical trip?


Getting answers to the questions triggered during my trip was nearly impossible, or cost prohibitive not too long ago.

Today, with the evolution in technology, and its application to offline retail, the answers are very accessible. Assessing a category, testing changes in a sample of stores before chain wide rollouts, monitoring the performance of your categories continuously are some of the reflections of the evolution of market research readily available today.

If curious about details visit our site:, or contact me at

See you in the store!

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