Shopper & Consumer

Experiencing retail from every angle

We believe there’s more to understanding shopping behaviour than accompanied shops. Customers are complex; if you want to understand how a person shops, you need to appreciate their needs as a consumer.  We take a holistic approach, starting with culture context and the home environment. Only then do we observe people shopping in stores – and we follow them home again to see the process through.

We use a variety of techniques – both innovative and traditional – to look at the issue from different angles. From ethnography in the home to wearable cameras and mobile apps, to the academic principles of behavioural economics, we leave no stone unturned. 

We are proud to work with some of the world’s biggest retailers and have helped them create initiatives that have changed the face of shopping. We offer top-level strategic guidance combined with on-the-ground tactical solutions because we know that in retail, small changes can reap big rewards.

Examples of our wealth of experience in consumer and shopper behaviour research - from an ongoing store development programme with a major supermarket to understanding the duty free experience for diageo; from identifying retail touchpoints for a household-name drinks brand to understanding customer dynamics within retail banking and defining young shopper behaviour for Topshop.

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Our Work

Check out some of our work

Marks and Spencer: The Chinese fashion consumer

As part of the strategic development of clothing in seven key global markets, Firefish managed M&S’s multi-phase brand audit. We identified China as a rapidly growing market ripe for further development. The Firefish team researched the Chinese fashion buyer using fashion diaries, group discussions and intercept interviews. The result? We identified a key fashion occasion – work wear – for the brand to develop.

Furniture Retailer: Experiencing the customer’s journey

We worked with a major, global furniture retailer to improve the store experience and layout in three key international markets. Using FishEye cameras combined with research from traditional interview techniques, we brought the customers’ in-store experience to life. The result? Recommendations on ways to make the store experience and navigation better, and new shopper typologies that have become a core part of the brand’s marketing strategies.

The Paralympics: Building a lasting legacy from successful sponsorship

Following a very successful partnership with the Paralympic Games, one supermarket wanted to establish a long-term commitment to supporting people with disabilities. They wanted to start by improving their service proposition, in and out of store. We followed the shopper journeys of people with a range of disabilities to understand their experience. The Result? Findings steered the overall strategy and individual initiatives.

FHM/Bauer Media: All about men

Once known as a ‘Lads mag’, FHM wanted to understand what today’s young men want from the magazine in the future. Our research included video blogs, diaries, depth interviews and groups, and uncovered 4D man – Firefilms brought him to life in a movie. Then we explored men’s role in society. The Result? FHM have used the findings to inform its strategy and future direction.

Segmentation for strategy

We created a new brand segmentation to use as the basis for strategy. Following more than six months of qualitative exploration of all the segments, we created a segmentation ‘toolkit’. Using a variety of media, including pen portraits, an online portal and archetype films, we brought each segment to life. The Result? Our segmentation approach has been central to the business strategy.

Marks and Spencer: The Chinese fashion consumer

As part of the strategic development of clothing in seven key global markets, Firefish managed M&S’s multi-phase brand audit. We identified China as a rapidly growing market ripe for further development. The Firefish team researched the Chinese fashion buyer using fashion diaries, group discussions and intercept interviews. The result? We identified a key fashion occasion – work wear – for the brand to develop.

Furniture Retailer: Experiencing the customer’s journey

We worked with a major, global furniture retailer to improve the store experience and layout in three key international markets. Using FishEye cameras combined with research from traditional interview techniques, we brought the customers’ in-store experience to life. The result? Recommendations on ways to make the store experience and navigation better, and new shopper typologies that have become a core part of the brand’s marketing strategies.

The Paralympics: Building a lasting legacy from successful sponsorship

Following a very successful partnership with the Paralympic Games, one supermarket wanted to establish a long-term commitment to supporting people with disabilities. They wanted to start by improving their service proposition, in and out of store. We followed the shopper journeys of people with a range of disabilities to understand their experience. The Result? Findings steered the overall strategy and individual initiatives.

FHM/Bauer Media: All about men

Once known as a ‘Lads mag’, FHM wanted to understand what today’s young men want from the magazine in the future. Our research included video blogs, diaries, depth interviews and groups, and uncovered 4D man – Firefilms brought him to life in a movie. Then we explored men’s role in society. The Result? FHM have used the findings to inform its strategy and future direction.

Segmentation for strategy

We created a new brand segmentation to use as the basis for strategy. Following more than six months of qualitative exploration of all the segments, we created a segmentation ‘toolkit’. Using a variety of media, including pen portraits, an online portal and archetype films, we brought each segment to life. The Result? Our segmentation approach has been central to the business strategy.