Nielsen launches “ShopperLAB” for manufacturers and retailers to test consumer reactions

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st May 2013

Global market research organisation Nielsen has launched the first Australian ShopperLAB research facility, which has been installed in the Company’s Sydney head office.

Nielsen said the lab, which will be announced this week at the Consumer 360 conference in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, will enable manufacturers and retailers to better understand shopping behaviour and test concepts through “observation, interviews, eye tracking and neuroscience”.

Aimed primarily at marketers, category managers and sales directors, Nielsen said the intereactive and private environment will deliver “genuine and dynamic insights into how shoppers react to packaging, point of sale, range alterations, layout changes and aisle activation”.

“Nielsen research shows that 25 per cent of new products fail in market,” said Rachel Shaw, Associate Director of Nielsen’s Shopper Practice. “However, proper testing can dramatically increase a new products’ chance of success. Shoppers generally spend just 15 seconds interacting with a product category, so brands need to know how, when and where to communicate their strongest messages to shoppers,” she said.

Nielsen said the ShopperLAB will include neuro-technology to understand what shoppers think, eye-tracking equipment to determine what shoppers see, and virtual shopping devices to comprehend what shoppers do when faced with different products and shopping conditions.

Nielsen said that research of this kind is particularly useful because 99 per cent of behaviour is subconscious. The Company said that this means it is important to observe and analayse shopping behaviour in real-life situations, and that the ShopperLAB would allow brands to test concepts without encroaching on a working retail store.

“How shoppers feel when they interact with products can even impact on buying rates,” Ms Shaw said. “Designs based on neuro-shopper research have seen uplifts of up to 7 per cent just by making point-of-sale marketing friendlier to the human brain,” she said.

David O’Brien, Customer Marketing Manager for confectionary company Wrigley, said that working in the Nielsen ShopperLAB had allowed Wrigley to explore consumer behaviour in a level of detail they had previously been unable to.

“Nielsen Shopper’s unique approach and cutting edge technology uncovered exciting new insights into shopper behaviour at Front of Store that identified significant growth opportunities for Wrigley and helped to enhance our position as experts in this area with our retail partners,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien will present a case study on Wrigley’s ShopperLAB experience at the Consumer 360 conference, which is being held 1-3 May 2013.