Driving growth from shopper insights

TNS Retail & Shopper

TNS has spent over 30 years observing shopper behaviour. We know where shoppers go, what they do, what they look at and how they feel. Finding ways to apply the understanding of shopper behaviour, to better connect shoppers to your products, is fundamental for growing brand and category sales. We know that the primary drivers of shopper behaviour and product choice are shopping missions and consumer usage occasions. We know that you need to meet the needs of both ‘Open’ and ‘Decided’ shoppers. We know that making it faster and easier for shoppers to find the products they want is proven to increase shopper spending.

We apply these principles across all elements of the shopper purchase journey using in-store observation, virtual reality stores and a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques, to devise strategies and tactics that drive category and brand growth.


Explore our Retail & Shopper solutions below



Read our case studies


  • Drive growth by winning loyalty from repertoire buyers in-store

    Business issue

    Our client, a premium ice cream manufacturer, wanted to grow market share by increasing spend amongst their less loyal repertoire buyers.

    They needed to understand the conversion rate of frozen desserts and luxury ice cream categories and establish how merchandising could be improved to trigger increased spend among existing customers.

    An ethnographic approach combined filming, eye tracking and interviewing shoppers. The focus was on the precise interruptions that would trigger conversion and increased sales within the category.

    Precise insight

    Previous research indicated decisions were based on price, but actual at-fixture decision-making focused on flavour variants which were not easily seen, hence our client’s brand suffered from poor visibility. Shoppers fixated very little on the point of sale and only a fifth who interacted with the category actually bought. While loyalists sought out the client brand, repertoire purchasers often missed the brand.

    We established exactly how to improve the fixture to trigger higher conversion and provided recommendations for location, merchandising and structure of the categories from entrance to exit.

    Precise plans for growth

    Brand signage was improved from a distance and at the fixture. The pack was re-designed to improve visibility, particularly the variants, and there was increased communication of variants off-shelf.

    Our recommendations were implemented and the POS design and format was rolled out to top grocery multiples.  Sales increased by almost a third in the test region.

    For more information please contact Barry Lemmon.

  • Increase sales by targeting non-purchasers and encouraging impulse buying

    Business issue

    Our client, a global confectionery brand, wanted to drive growth through increased sales in convenience stores by helping retailers to improve their sales by attracting new buyers. They needed a detailed understanding of how point of sale material and packaging could be used to stimulate impulse purchasing in the category and how to improve merchandising.

    Precise insight

    A combined approach of in-store observation and interviews at the aisle revealed that over a third of shoppers who visited the confectionery fixture did not buy anything, often due to too much variety. Point of sale material focused on price, but in convenience stores price was not the most influential purchase trigger. A further opportunity identified that most confectionery impulse buyers visited the store to buy a beverage.

    We recommended that the confectionery aisle be located on the way to the beverage fixture. To simplify consumers’ purchase decisions and reduce shopper confusion we advised the client on how to reduce the number of SKUs so as to focus on high volume lines. We also suggested they should display the lines vertically. Guidance on how point of sale material could trigger impulse purchasing provided clear focus on craving and indulgence messaging and less emphasis on price.

    Precise plans for growth

    Our recommendations were implemented in a controlled store test and category sales soon increased by over five percent. The recommendations that led to success were promoted across the convenience store network.

    For more information please contact Barry Lemmon.