Shop Builder is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for conducting research into shopping and consumer behaviour. It’s a sophisticated tool built for rigorous research.
In a nutshell, to your participants Shop Builder looks like a normal online shop, but behind the scenes you wield a powerful research tool.
Here’s what Shop Builder looks like to your participants…
And here’s the back end research tools for you…
Built as part of the Gorilla ecosystem, participants can be given Shop Builder tasks alongside elements from our Task and Questionnaire Builders. This means you can add a personality questionnaire or a priming task before or after the shopping task, allowing you to answer complex research questions.
Here we describe 4 easy experiments using the Shop Builder, to help you started.
1. Manipulating Psychological Distance
According to psychology researchers at New York University, reducing psychological distance is an easy way to increase sales. An easy way to do this is to change product images, so that they compelling convey the benefit of the product rather than the features of the product. Let’s take a concrete example, when you buy shampoo, are you buying the bottle or (the hope of) luscious, luminous hair? If you’re like me it’s the latter! In essence, lower psychological distance makes it easier for consumers to imagine the concrete benefits of your product.
All great in theory, but how do you test and measure which product image will lead to the greatest conversions? Typically, online stores just show a picture of the product, but research by the decision behaviour experts at SKIM have shown that replacing product images with hero images, sensorial cues and product claims can increase sales by over 26%. WOW!
The next challenge is to work out which product claim will be the most compelling? Which hero image? Which sensorial cue? That’s where Shop Builder comes in.
With Shop Builder, it’s easy for researchers interested in product marketing to test different images, claims and sensorial cues and see which ones lead to greater purchasing intent.
2. Can you successfully prime purchases?
Priming is an interesting psychological concept — the idea that being exposed to a stimulus will influence later responses. Priming is being increasingly investigated in relation to consumer behaviour with researchers interested in whether priming a consumer will influence their purchasing behaviours. The Shop Builder can be teamed up with the Task Builder to produce a great experiment to assess this!
Imagine showing participants an advert designed to prime a certain brand of fizzy drink, then asking them to complete a distractor task such as a Stroop test. Participants could then be shown a shopping list featuring the general term ‘fizzy drink’ before being told to purchase items from their list in a shopping task. Comparing the items in their shopping baskets with the primed products would allow for an assessment of various priming techniques!
3. Deal or no deal?
Imagine that you have been shopping for a new television; you’ve narrowed your choices down and are considering the price of your favourite. How do you know that you’ve got a good price? We often think about value in relative terms using a starting point as an ‘anchor’. Sometimes the anchor is something we decide like our budget, often though it’s the seller telling us how much an item is worth.
You may be shocked when a television is priced at £1000, but if it was £5000 reduced to £1000 then that’s a bargain! Within Shop Builder you can add discounts to products, allowing you to see how participants assess the quality or attractiveness of a product depending on the starting price point. This could be a great experiment to see whether participants value a product more if it’s discounted from a higher price rather than simply starting at the cheaper price.
4. How can we make the most of a shopping list?
Think about when you’re walking down the aisles of a supermarket. How do you remember the items you need to buy? Do you think about generic items, or in terms of specific brands? This is a great little experiment to investigate memory in applied real-life settings.
Participants could be given one of two shopping lists — either a generic list (such as orange juice, ketchup, and tissues), or a branded list (Sunny D, Heinz ketchup, and Kleenex). They would then be taken to an online grocery shop in the Shop Builder and told to purchase as many things from the list as they remember.
Your next project
So there we go — four simple ideas to help you get started with Shop Builder! Hopefully that’s given you some idea of what’s possible, and got your creative juices flowing.
As you’d expect, there are a whole host of manipulations that are easy to use to test your hypotheses. You can upload your own product set, change branding, apply taxes and subsidies. Change labels and apply nudges. And many more features.
Ready to learn more?
- Discover the benefits of Shop Builder
- Read the support material for a more in-depth exploration of the features
- Watch our CTO Nick Hodges give a walkthrough of building a simple Shop Builder task
- Dive into an introduction to consumer psychology and Shop Builder with Professor Gareth Harvey
- See how Professor Pasquale Rummo from NYU Grossman School of Medicine uses Shop Builder to understand nudges towards healthy food choices
- Or contact our sales team to discuss a subscription