Emotionally charging your retail CX

Smarter Retail Design:
Tapping into Customer Emotion

In an age of omni-channel retail, rising costs and inflationary pressures, it can be hard to balance commercial demands against consumer expectations. Despite shifting trends, models and priorities, one thing remains the same: CX leaders are faced with customers who expect superior shopping experiences.

So where do you start?

The future of CX in retail requires a deeper understanding and application of human behaviour and decision making. By harnessing the power of neuro-, data and behavioural science, you can get to grips with how the human brain works and reacts to different stimuli, and crucially how to create experiences that excite as well as deliver commercially.

From activating the senses and delving into biases and personalisation, to driving category and product line sales, find out how to elevate the customer experience in retail by tapping into emotion.

A Single Shopping Trip
Makes the Brain Think


Decisions Every Day


Miliseconds to Judge a Person


Items Bought on Average


Products Rejected per Second

Specialising Across the Retail Industry


Local Activation

We activate retailer and franchised networks with local insights, heat maps and sales data, individual dashboards, tools, services, support and coaching to drive market share from the grass roots.

Brand Strategy

We are experts in building brands that employees and customers really buy into. We inform brand strategy, category positioning and messaging through human understanding.

Custom Research & Trends

We tackle go-to-market, competitiveness, pricing and more across the customer journey. Our teams specialise across brand & comms, shopper behaviour, claims, pack and product testing.


We drive value through customer engagement that taps into the emotional and behavioural connection to brand preference, brand experience and purchase frequency and interaction.

Customer Experience
& User Experience

Our teams offer award-winning digital design & development, service design, product design and technical build for all digital touchpoints.

Creative & Content Design

We blend proven creativity with deep understanding of channel complexity to deliver integrated, insight-driven creative, purposely designed for multi-channel and multi-market.

Social & Influencer

We work with influencers, building reach and relationships and provide best-in-class community management for a multitude of global brands.

Performance Marketing

We are full-funnel specialists across search, pre-funnel brand building, top of funnel acquisition, through the funnel CRO, nurture, intent and analytics.

retail brands that trust us



Following our session at the CX Retail Exchange, catch panellists Paul Porter (LEGO), Suzanne Calder (New Look), and Ben Ireland (UNLIMITED) discuss bringing brand experience to life, insight-led strategies for the omnichannel, and sensory activation in the metaverse.

Resources for Retailers


Reinventing Shopper Research: The ‘triple Win’ Driving Growth For Retailers, Brands And Shoppers

Someone call the '90s and give their clipboard back – shopper research is ready for an overhaul! We talk to Lab Leader, Ivan Browne, Shopper Research Consultant who sets out the blueprint for category growth of up to 10%.

Reframing The Shopping Experience For Covid-19

During the pandemic new government restrictions on public and enclosed spaces meant normal consumer behaviours were disrupted. McArthurGlen needed to ensure their shoppers abided by the new rules while also enjoying their shopping experience - all while retaining the brand’s reputation for luxury and style. Find out how we helped them apply behavioural science to understand and nudge their customers.

Strategies to Optimise CX Through Human Understanding

Human decision-making is complicated. The brain is a web of complexity, but driven by underlying needs, emotions, contextual meaning, and actions. Every brand touchpoint can shape memories, emotions and ultimately brand consideration, which is why we believe it’s important to keep human understanding at the heart of CX measurement, exploration, strategy and implementation.

Unsniffed Potential: How Scent Creates Memorable Experiences

In this episode of Lab Leaders Faye Hawkins speaks to eminent neuroscientist Dr. Andy Myers, Director at Walnut UNLIMITED, about the power of scent and how smell can make a difference for brands. Hear how we can use our senses to trigger emotions, apply neuroscience to visual marketing and more.

The City Of The Future: Reimagining Our Relationship With City Centres

As lockdown restrictions eased, businesses reopened and we collectively started to think about the future, we looked at how the COVID crisis started a new conversation around the location of where we live, shop and work, and how those spheres of activity overlap.

HFSS Advertising Restrictions

Out of sight is out of mind for brands that have a strong advertising presence. In order for consumers to make better decisions they need to be guided by the brand. What are the new drivers? How do you reformulate your product and maintain that all-important taste? How do you make changes without impacting the P&L?

Six steps to sustainability: a positive approach for brands

Sustainability remains top of the public agenda. People are concerned over the future of our planet and the world we are leaving for the next generation. But is concern enough to drive change? We conducted some research with UK consumers to find out.

How Deeper Human Understanding Unlocks Better Customer Journeys

We’re firm believers that Customer Experience is rooted in one thing: decision making. In order to optimise CX, it’s important to first understand the how and why of decision making. The holy grail for marketers is to create CX that works on many levels but, ultimately and most importantly, influences choice.

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To our team

Our people are at the core of how we drive results for brands. We have 120 scientists across the Human Understanding Lab, bringing the latest techniques from neuroscience, behavioural science and data science into solving our clients’ challenges and unlocking opportunities. Whether you’re looking for help with digital activation, CRM or custom research and analytics, our award-winning teams will be able to support you with best-in-class solutions. Connect with us to find out more.
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Chris Bland

Managing Director

Leading the CX experts across UNLIMITED from an insight and analytics perspective.
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Benedict Ireland

Chief Experience Officer

Bringing CX into the digital experience. 
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Dan Bowers

Chief Strategy Officer

Strategy and CX go hand in hand, from planning to execution.
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Steve Garside

New Business & Marketing

Got a question or ready to give us your CX challenge? Get in touch with Steve.