How mobile ethnography helped a major retailer to understand the shopper journey of consumers in the run-up to Christmas


For many retailers, the festive season can be the make or break for their financial year. With record-breaking spending in recent years, understanding the motivations and behaviours of consumers is a must for all in the retail space.


The Challenge

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When our client approached us, they wanted to truly understand consumers in the run-up to Christmas.

As has become the norm, Christmas now begins in earnest, once Halloween has passed. Our client wanted to understand every experience of consumers not just in the days before Christmas, but in the months leading up to the big day.

With key events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday a month ahead of Christmas, understanding your consumers required a longitudinal study of their lives.


The Goals

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  • Understand the motivations and behaviours of consumers in the run-up to Christmas

  • Gain an insight into routines and traditions of consumers during the festive season

  • See what types of products consumers purchased for Christmas and where they purchased them


The Solution


As a family holiday, our regular behaviours and feelings can alter significantly and become much more personal around the Christmas season (we all know rationality can take a back-seat during silly season!). Our client knew this too, but they wanted to embed themselves within the lives of consumers in order to tailor their offerings accordingly.

Our client decided to upon a scheduled task list that would have respondents completing 9 tasks over the course of 6 weeks. This took in Black Friday/Cyber Monday and brought them right up to the second week of January. In tasking respondents over this period, our client was able to gain an authentic insight into the shopping journey respondents took over the season.

Our client started by having respondents introduce themselves in a selfie video and an additional on-going task that requiring them to diary any Christmas related moments they had in the month leading up to Christmas day. 

Over the course of the 6 weeks, respondents recorded their thoughts on Black Friday/ Cyber Monday, their festive timeline, gifting, holiday events they attended and ended with some in-the-moment insights into the big day itself and a post-Christmas reflection.


By using Indeemo’s ability to segment targets, our client was able to identify themes amongst both customers and non-customers of their store. Given the personal nature of Christmas, the influences in choosing a store for a Christmas shop can be very personal and nuanced. By giving both customers and non-customers a convenient opportunity to record their feelings over the season, it allowed our client an unprecedented insight that could be used to tailor their in-store offerings and promotional materials.

Over the course of the month, our client received over 1,800 videos, photos and text notes from parties, family-outings, shopping trips and many more personal events that respondents experienced.

If you’re looking to learn more about how Indeemo can help your retail organisation to understand consumers Christmas shopping journeys, please get in touch using the form below.

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