Case Study – How can we activate the target group towards shopping in-store?


Client’s challenge

Over the past few years there has been a shift in the world of retail. A rising number of consumers are shopping online, as opposed to in-store. How can today’s retailers optimise the in-store shopping experience, so that consumers are motivated to shop on the high street?


The case

One of the UK’s largest retailers of clothing and homeware asked DVJ Insights to investigate how they could optimise their in-store experience, specifically targeting young families. Our client sought to understand young families’ needs when shopping in-store, in order to improve their experience and increase sales.


The approach

For this study, DVJ Insights designed a concept test focusing on whether our client’s proposed in-store enhancements were accepted or rejected by the target group.

The client proposed 30-40 ideas for in-store enhancements. We grouped these ideas into 4 key concepts, which each respondent randomly saw two of:

  1. Seasonal: Offering in-store entertainment in the weeks prior to a seasonal event, such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
  2. Short-term: Adding fun decorative elements throughout the store.
  3. Medium-term: Offering in-store entertainment, such as play areas.
  4. Long-term: Offering interactive entertainment, such as touchscreen TVs.

Using our Mass Qual techniques, we asked the respondents to describe their last shopping experience with children by sharing free associations and stories. We then used our accepter-rejector methodology to gain insight in which concept was most accepted.


The results

DVJ Insights’ research revealed that one of the most prominent associations with shopping with children is ‘stressful’. The respondent stories showed that the main cause of stress is store layout, as stores are often difficult to navigate with children and/or a pram. 59% of respondents viewed online shopping as a viable alternative that would be less hassle.

Respondents also described difficulties in trying to control and entertain children while in-store. Many felt that there was a lack of in-store entertainment to occupy their children while they shopped. Using these stories, we identified the key ‘pain points’ for parents linked to specific store areas, such as long queues at the tills, low shelves where children can grab products, and changing rooms where bored children play hide-and-seek, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

While respondents accepted all concepts, the short-term concept (adding fun, decorative elements) was viewed most positively, and ranked as the strongest motivator for wanting to spend more time in-store. Respondents felt that fun elements throughout the store would be the simplest way to keep children occupied.



We advised the client to introduce short-term and seasonal ideas to increase time spent in-store. Not only were these concepts strongly accepted, they are also easy and cheap to implement.

Furthermore, we recommended that the client optimise store layout for young families by focusing on the key pain points identified through the stories, to make the shopping experience more convenient.


Client’s benefit

Our client gained key insight into what their target consumers need most when shopping in-store, as well as an understanding of the negative experiences that can drive consumers online.

As optimising the in-store experience of the target group is a key driver in increasing in-store time, the client was provided with insight on how to keep their consumers off the internet and on the high street. The proposed enhancements were warmly received by the target group, which could lead to the store becoming a ‘destination’ for young families.