Sensors - what experiential can learn from retail...

Sensors 3


Although the technology to monitor shopper behaviour has been around for a while it is only very recently that we have been able to develop this further for use in experiential campaigns and pop-up shops.

The big boys in retail have for some time been able to monitor shopper flow throughout their stores by using sensors. However this technology has now advanced to help brands know:

  • When is the busiest time of the day to ensure correct distribution of staff and stock control
  • Which POS designs and displays are most – or more importantly least effective
  • Which staff engage with the most customers and covert sales

However I don’t see why this technology should remain a privilege of the retail giants. All this information would be incredibly useful and potentially game changing for many of our experiential clients not just our in-store ones.

Thierry Sequeira (iD’s Creative Technologist) has developed discreet sensors (a little bigger than a £2 coin) which can be built into existing or temporary fixtures. Invisible to consumers and easily transportable these sensors can monitor almost any activity in a room. The data is then aggregated via an online platform ready to populate user friendly, customisable reports.

And all of this can happen in real-time!   

                       Sensors Graphic

It’s this immediacy that I think will be of particular use on experiential campaigns and pop-ups. In these environments where campaigns only run for a limited time it is even more important to be able to get the most out of the investment – as there isn’t always a second chance. Nowadays every experiential agency worth their salt monitors campaigns throughout; ideally via independent research (we use 2CV). However brands often still have to wait until the end of the campaign before they get any useful data or feedback about how to make improvements for the following years experiential budget allocation. Now this information can be delivered as the campaign is taking place so it can be optimised in the field.

With the use of these sensors brands will be able to:

  • Compare data from sensors in different geographic locations as part of a national roadshow
  • Begin A/B testing at the beginning of a campaign and receive instant output allowing decisions to be made instantly
  • Get a real sense of dwell time and length of engagement
  • Monitor trends across locations, times of day, stand design etc            

We are now be able to provide insights on trends in consumer behaviours as well as recommendations for optimisation in real-time. This can only mean that our experiential campaigns will become more responsive to the needs of consumers. The brands that can be the most reactive to their target audience are surely going to be the winners when it comes to campaigns in the field.

I for one am looking forward to seeing the range of data these sensors are able to produce – we’ll keep you posted with any new developments.

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