Observing the experience in the bookshop: a research project within the Mondadori Store bookshops

Share on

TSW alongside Mondadori Retail in a project beyond the boundaries of digital, towards improving people’s experience in bookshops


Neuromarketing test in front of the window of a Mondadori Store bookshop

The project

In a digital and frenetic society like today’s, the customer experience within stores is becoming increasingly important again. Digital, in fact, is bringing back the beauty of doing things in person, and it is precisely in this context that the collaboration between TSW and Mondadori Retail takes place.

The main objective of the research project was to understand people’s perceptions during the in-store experience.

The evaluation of the experience considered several components including:

  • appreciation of the storefrornt
  • lighting and atmosphere
  • information architecture
  • store personnel-customer relationship

On this basis, in light of our experience in the User Experience Research sector, as TSW we committed ourselves to designing a research project that could collect valuable information to guide Mondadori Retail towards further improving the experiences offered in its stores.

Usability test in a Mondadori Store bookshop

The research methodology

To ensure a complete and accurate evaluation of the experience, we planned and conducted a wide range of on-site research activities.

The research project took place through two macro-phases:

1 – Identification with the role of customers

In this first phase of the project, our researchers acted as ordinary customers, experiencing the shopping experience as any store visitor would. This approach allowed us to gain an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the experience offered and to evaluate all aspects of interest to us.

2 – Retail customer experience

In this phase we have designed a specific path within the Mondadori Store points of sale, aimed at actively involving participants and exploring every aspect of the store format. Through detailed observations and direct interactions with storefronts, departments and loyalty activities, we have gathered valuable information on customer perceptions.

The tools used

In order to gain an in-depth understanding of customers’ reactions and emotions, we integrated advanced qualitative techniques and methodologies derived from neuroscience into the analysis.

This multidisciplinary approach allowed us to go beyond the explicit component, penetrating the cognitive and emotional mechanisms that influence purchase decisions.

The different instruments used were:

  • Eye-tracking (for monitoring the ocular behavior of the shop windows and the store)
  • Micro-sweating bracelet (for monitoring the emotional impacts of interacting with the shop windows and the store)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG) (for monitoring moods while viewing shop windows)

Neuromarketing test inside a Mondadori Store bookshop

The stores and users involved

To get a general overview of the stores, the research project took place in some bookshops between the Italian cities of Milan, Padua and Rome. For each store a large number of participants with different characteristics were involved.

These persons represented a broad range of demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral characteristics, allowing us to gain a more complete and nuanced understanding of customer dynamics and purchasing behaviors. For example, we observed how shopping preferences could vary depending on the cultural and social context of the city in which the store was located, as well as local influences on customers’ purchasing behaviors.

Furthermore, this approach allows us to capture individual differences between participants and how these could influence their experiences and perceptions within the stores.

From young students to career professionals, or from families with children to elderly individuals, each participant brought with them a unique perspective that enriched our overall picture of the situation.

The results and possible improvements

The research project conducted in collaboration with Mondadori Retail represented an important moment in the path towards designing the best retail shopping experience. In fact, based on the data collected during our investigations, we have identified several areas for improvement for the Mondadori Store experience: our recommendations have been carefully developed to help offer an even more rewarding and engaging experience to its customers, strengthening thus the brand’s position on the market and customer loyalty.

Share on
11 April 2024 Elena Toniolo

Related articles:

TAG: eye tracking usability test experience design retail analysis The Sixth W approach user testing UX and UI