Dine Discoveries

Retail Therapy

Purchase drivers and detractors


This big-name retailer invested strongly in the design details for one of its major departments, and the expected ROI just wasn’t there. They needed to know why their expanded product offerings and fresh, new environment wasn’t being fully embraced by customers. Not only would informed changes be needed to fix the present problem, they would be crucial to future design in the store. A partnership between Dine Discoveries and Dig Insights was formed to tackle this problem.


Field ethnographic sessions to explore factors that impact retailer choice started in the homes of a sample of target customers.

We continued with in-store shop-along sessions in our client’s store and at the store of a major competitor considered by the participants to be a worthy alternative. These sessions were used to identify drivers and differentiators that would have an impact on store choice.

In-store consumer intercepts were used to drill into specific reactions by active shoppers to the merchandising angle and overall feel of the department.

An online survey was launched to confirm our hypotheses with the Canadian population. The survey examined key levers in detail to understand what tweaks could be made to optimize excitement, exploration and purchase.

A return to sample for the survey participants sent them back into stores hunting for examples and photos of what inspires and excites. The visual database was an inspiration in itself!


The findings indicated that specific categories, specific brands, and some aspects of the customer experience could be optimized by our client. They also pointed to the key consumers to be targeted.

We were further able to show ways that excitement and ‘buzz’ could be generated within those key targets that could prove useful through word-of-mouth endorsements in social media.


Through the optimization of all of the marketing pillars, improvements in effectiveness were seen. As a result of the in-store exploration, ideas for improvement have been discussed and new design concepts are under consideration for the ongoing development of this client’s retail environment.