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Brief Published: 23 Oct 2013

GlaxoSmithKline’s Shopper Lab, UK


Multinational healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has opened a high-tech shopper research centre in the UK town of Brentford, greater London. Billed as the most high-tech R&D centre of its kind, the 10,000 sq ft lab aims to provide retailers with an in-depth window onto shopper behaviour.

 Replicating real-life store environments, analysts at the facility can track the consumer decision-making process using state-of-the-art technology such as mobile eye-tracking equipment.

 Using what GSK has claimed to be the world’s largest seamless touchscreen (one large screen, as opposed to several blocked together) positioned in a control room, live feeds from several research areas can be recorded and annotated in real-time. Dubbed the Virtual Insight and Engagement Wall, it can also be used to create 3D visualisations of store interiors.

The facility will act as a valuable test bed for new products, allowing brands to observe consumers’ responses to items at close range. The in-depth shopper insights it yields can then be incorporated early on in the development process.

GSK hopes this will expedite product development and improve return on investment for retailers.

For more on research and development hotspots, see Product Hubs: Experimentation and Co-creation in our Future of the Store industry trend.

The lab is also equipped with bespoke facial biometric tools that can analyse shoppers’ emotional reactions to products. Emotion detection and facial recognition in retail are further explored in Data Tracking and Response Monitoring, also part of the Future of the Store industry trend.