Asian woman wearing face mask and rubber glove push shopping cart in suppermarket departmentstore.

You probably need to rethink your Decision Tree

With the massive change in shopper behavior driven by the pandemic, we are seeing a change in Shopper Decision Trees.

Shoppers have changed how they shop, when they shop, and what they buy — and that means they are making different decisions at the shelf.

We have seen different phases during the pandemic that have changed behavior. First we saw out of stocks, massive trial of new products and a changing path to purchase with the adoption of online and click and collect purchasing.

So how has all of this changed the shopper decision tree?

  1. Category shifts with the Trial of new products has changed shopper buying behavior. Many of these shifts will result in long-term category changes.
  2. Changes in at shelf assortment. With reduced at shelf assortment, shoppers are making different trade-offs. When they might have traded within a brand they now might trade by variety or size across different brand offerings. Understanding this switching behavior helps inform the decisions shoppers are making.
  3. Growth in Private Label. As shoppers look for value we are seeing a growth in private label brands. This impacts the decision tree as shoppers are trading off based on price.
  4. Increase in online buying. We find different decision trees with online purchasing. With automatic filters in online purchasing, the need to understand how to present your product becomes increasingly important.  
  5. New lifestyles resulting in changing importance of different categories. We have seen this across many categories from a boom in used car sales to comfort foods to at-home fitness products.

How can you better understand and activate the shopper decision tree moving forward? Through Online 3D virtual shelf simulations with eye-tracking we can measure the decision tree and trade-offs. How do we do this?

  1. Eye tracking informs the Implicit Decision Tree
  2. Shelf trade off exercises help understand switching behaviors
  3. Attitudinal interviews rank the importance of different decisions at shelf

Our online 3D shelf Virtual store is the perfect solution to quickly and cost-effectively understand your shopper decision tree.

Also, our DecisionPATH Path to Purchase helps understand the broader changes in the Path to Purchase.

Contact us to learn more.

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