Explorer Research

Chicago, IL

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Key Categories
Eye Tracking Packaging Testing Usability Testing Shopper Insights CX/UX-Customer/User Experience

Company Description

Explorer Research is the leading shopper research agency advising the world’s largest brands. Explorer are shopper experts. With decades of combined client-side research experience at brands like Kraft and Pepsico, no one knows shopper insights better than Explorer. Explorer has the broadest range of immersive testing environments. Explorer are partners in your brand growth strategy. Some of the solutions we provide our clients include shopper insights, path-to-purchase, packaging optimization, digital touchpoint improvement, UX and CX and product development. Our online 3D virtual reality is ideal for packaging, planogram, POSM and aisle redesign research. Our online 3D retail platform has eye-tracking and pathway measurement and is a fully interactive environment for testing. For in-person research, we have state-of-the-art shopper labs in both Chicago and Toronto. We are the leading research firm for using biometric research approaches including eye-tracking, EEG, facial coding, GSR and other techniques to measure behavior. All of our immersive testing is used to help measure, predict and influence shopper behavior.

Learn more about our services:

Shopper insights: Explorer shopper insights enable a deep understanding of the shopper, both in the retail environment and along the greater path-to-purchase.

  • Optimizing the customer journey
  • Retail design or store of the future
  • Planograms
  • In-store signage
  • In-store promotion
  • Merchandising and display solutions

E-commerce and usability testing: Test content on live websites and measure behavioral changes via eye tracking and measure the full conversion funnel. Explorer focuses on understanding in-situation reactions and how to drive ROI with different digital touchpoints.

  • New product development tests
  • Improve standout and recall of ads
  • Menu guidance
  • Promotion effectiveness
  • Website evaluation

Packaging research: Our online or in-person packaging research approaches identify packaging that is both breakthrough and compelling for both B&M retail and online. We emphasize in-situation testing with 2D or 3D online environments or in-person in our shopper labs

  • Baseline audits
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative online or in-person validation

Path to purchase: Traditional path to purchase studies focus on the mapping of the customer journey and the importance of different touchpoints. But traditional approaches are missing the action plan going forward. Using our behavioral expertise we create the appropriate interventions to change decisions and improve sales along the path to purchase. Benchmarking versus your competition ensures you will win in the market.

A customized combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies are used to provide actionable recommendations.

  • Online journey mapping
  • Passive tracking
  • Qualitative and quantitative

Shopper Activation Framework

This framework looks at shoppers from a holistic standpoint, not just on a category basis so we can really understand your customers’ motivations and behaviors. In addition, we look at the trip motivators at the individual category level, not just total trip. We go beyond ‘stock up trip’, ‘fill in trip’, etc., which allows us to identify opportunities that may have been missed.

The power of our Shopper Activation Framework works in tandem with your existing segmentation(s), or on its own to optimize activation opportunities at both a strategic and tactical level.

The Shopper Activation Framework can prioritize brand, category, and channel opportunities, based on size of prize.

Available in custom and syndicated product offerings.

Learn more about our tools:

Explorer express – Our EXPRESS services provide agile solutions in a modular approach for packaging and shopper insights.


Quickly validate packaging designs with PackEXPRESS™

PackEXPRESS™ is an online solution to validate e-commerce and physical retail packaging.

Key features include:

  • Results available in days.
  • System one drivers of behavior including eye tracking plus attitudinal metrics.
  • Modular approach based on your needs – speed or a more customized approach.
  • Automated reporting delivering clear recommendations.


Reliable and rapid evaluation of shopper marketing.

Using Explorer virtual environments, ShopperEXPRESS™ is an online tool to quickly optimize shopper marketing strategies both retail and online. Quickly evaluate the impact of POSM, planograms, banner ads and pricing on shopper behavior.

Key features include:

  • Quickly quantify the impact of shopper marketing initiatives.
  • Automated reporting measuring shopper behavior with clear recommendations for improvement.
  • Modular approach based on your needs – speed or a more customized approach.
  • Fully immersive simulations in any channel including interactive e-commerce simulations.

Eye tracking and biometrics

Explorer uses a range of different market research tools to uncover behavior-based insights. With extensive expertise we know how to understand and interpret results.

  • Eye tracking
  • EEG
  • GSR
  • Facial coding

Immersive qualitative

Using 3D environments we immerse a moderator in the store to conduct the research. This creates the proper context to drive the identification of behavioral insights. Having the moderator in the context of the environment replicates being in a real store environment. The moderator can move up and down the aisle to point out different items on the shelf and zoom in on packaging to probe for deeper insights. This is ideal to create context for online focus groups.

Year Established:   2002

Number of Employees:   43

Research Services and Specializations

Industries, Markets and Audiences Served

720 E. Butterfield Road, Suite 110
Chicago, IL 60148
United States
Customer Contact(s):
Anne Stephenson, Partner
  • 855-251-5434
  • 630-519-3486
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Affiliations & Certifications
AMA (United States) | Insights Association (United States)