The science of shopping

We invite real consumers into our Shopper Science Labs - which are designed to look like shops - and collect insights about how shoppers behave.

Every day millions of consumers use our products. Different countries have different needs and consumers’ shopping habits vary hugely. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t always best, so how do we adapt the shopping experience to meet each consumers’ needs?

Each consumer has their own unique challenges, priorities and preferences so we want to make shopping as easy as possible for them. We need to understand consumers as individual people with unique challenges, priorities and preferences for us to gain valuable insights that can help them in a meaningful way.

Our answer is the Shopper Science Lab (SSL). The SSL is designed to look like a real shop, supermarket or pharmacy, which allows us to track consumer behaviour in real time. We invite real consumers into the lab to do "shopper missions" and use cutting edge technology – such as mobile eye tracking – to analyse their behaviour. We then ask them about the reasons behind their decisions.

All the data and insights we collect help us better understand consumer needs so that we can make smarter decisions about what new products, promotions or packaging will really make a difference.

To get the inside scoop, we spoke to Vanessa Warner, Manager of our new Shopper Science Lab in Singapore about why she is so excited about our newest lab.

All the technology used in SSLs is portable. For example, we can collect consumer insights from our lab in Singapore and use them to supplement our research at our UK SSL. This allows us to map consumer insights across countries, spot trends between them and recognise similarities.

The data and insights we collect help us to better understand consumer needs so that we can make smarter decisions about what new products, promotions or packaging will really make a difference. Once we have collected consumer insights from our SSLs, we work with retail shops to ensure that our shoppers are receiving the experience they want.

Chih-Siang, Shopper Science Technology & Digital Projects Manager, tells us about his role managing hardware within the SSL, such as the mobile eye tracking tool.

SSL’s put consumers at the heart of how we deliver our consumer products to shoppers. Insights gathered from labs across the world allow us to generate a detailed representation of how consumers’ needs vary from country to country. Our new SSL in Singapore will help us continue building this picture.