A direct relationship with customers is core to British shoe manufacturer Dr Martens’ strategy, as much through its website as through its network of stores, which the brand has worked to enhance through shopper behaviour research.

Why it matters

Behavioural science can provide guidance to making retail spaces more useful places to experience a brand for consumers and make them more effective points of conversion for brands.

The detail

Recently, Dr Martens commissioned the services of the market research company Savanta’s behavioural practice for the task of redesigning the brand’s visual merchandising strategies from a shopper behaviour perspective. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Dr Martens designs for shopper behaviour).

Speaking at the Market Research Society Behavioural Science Summit (online, September 2020), Savanta’s vice president, behavioural science, Mark Pingol, explained how the work was fundamentally straightforward: “Smart designers […] want to surface the true shopper realities,” he said.

The research took a global approach with studies on stores in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, and surveyed customers both on what they said and what they did. It uncovered six particular behavioural effects that would enhance store design.

For this project, two key ideas would help inform the brand: bringing more visual disfluency to the retail stores, and the peak-end rule to focus on making the most emotionally intense moment a good one to remember.

On the brand’s side, one of the main benefits of the research was in dispelling myths that had grown up in different stores and different territories. More pressingly, however, it shone a light on the ways in which the physical store will manifest in the future.

Sourced from WARC