How a market research company used mobile ethnography to understand pre-purchase motivations of robotic-lawn mower shoppers. 

The size and landscape of lawns varies from house to house. For this reason, there are many different lawn mowers of various makes, models, sizes and functionality. One such type of lawn mower that has become more common in recent years in the robotic lawn mower. Robotic lawn mowers save on time and labour and can be controlled using smartphone apps, removing the need to even be present at your home to cut your lawn.


The Challenge

Because robotic lawn mowers are such a recent phenomenon, little is known about the key motivations of consumers when deciding to make the switch from conventional push lawn mowers.

Not alone is it difficult to understand the motivations when it comes to their choice of mower, but it is still difficult to really understand the consumers routines when it comes to their lawn-care. Ground-conditions can vary a great deal from country to country, as can the size of lawns and type of grass.

To really understand how the rituals and routines of customers considering the switch to robotic lawn mowers, they would need to gain an insight in various international locations.

The Goals


Our client’s goals were:

  • Understand how the lawn-care routines and rituals of homeowners vary across different countries and continents

  • Identify current pain-points of respondents with conventional lawn mowers

  • Gain an insight into the experiences of recent robotic lawn mower purchasers

  • Understand the motivations of conventional lawn mower owners, making the switch to robotic lawn mowers


The Solution


When our client approached us, we immediately set about assisting them in setting up a project that would place them at the centre of homeowners lawn-care behaviors over the course of 2 weeks. Over the 2 weeks, our client got a window into the everyday gardening and lawn care moments and experiences of the respondents and their motivations when it came to the purchase of a robotic lawn mower. To truly understand how these motivations varied amongst the homeowners when it came to shopping for a robotic mower, they conducted the project in four different countries across the USA, Europe and Scandinavia. This meant that Indeemo provided an extremely cost-effective way of getting a real-life insight into the lawn-care rituals across the globe. Additionally, because of Indeemo’s unique ability to task in any language, they were able to recruit more easily and get deeper, authentic insight into the shopping motivations and behaviors of respondents.

Our client identified 8 separate target groups for the purpose of the project, splitting owners and non-owners of robotic lawn mowers for their research objectives. In doing so, they were then able to analyze each group independently using the indeemo dashboard. As the 48 respondents from across the world then engaged with the project, they were able to identify both unique and common issues, behaviors and expectations of consumers when it came to purchasing a robotic mower.


Ultimately, the ability to engage with respondents in the moment as they documented their lawn-care routines and their research of mowers was very powerful. Both owners of robotic and potential buyers of robotic lawn mowers revealed some fascinating insights into their expectations and motivations when it came to the new garden tools. As respondents went about cutting their lawns, they were uploading media-rich videos and photographs of their own unique gardens. Additionally, they were able to upload photos from stores, screenshots of mowers they were interested in, various stores they looked at online, as well as of forums and information that influenced their purchasing decision. Our client was then able to further probe respondents to truly understand what exactly they were highlighting in their uploads.   

If you’d like to learn more about how mobile ethnography can help a gardening or home maintenance tool brand understand shoppers, please get in touch using the form below.

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Autoethnography is a cost effective, media rich, scalable solution that enables you to witness the split second point-of-purchase decisions that Shoppers make.

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