Emotion AI: The New Attention Currency of In-Store Shopping

Emotion AI can enhance in-store shopping experience by identifying and responding to customer emotions, improving engagement and ultimately driving sales.

Tanvi Moitra
February 22, 2023
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It is no secret that customer experience (CX) can make or break your business; delivering a positive customer experience is no longer an option if you want to win and retain customers. And to deliver a positive customer experience, you need to understand your customers. That's why nearly every business collects and analyzes customer feedback these days.

But, do you know emotions play a major part in determining your customer experience as they actually drive your customer choices? According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchase decisions are made by the subconscious mind, driven by emotions. So, you can never have a complete picture of your customers if you can’t understand their emotions. And that's where Emotion AI can help as it can capture customers' emotions in real-time and equip your business with better customer-related information.

How can retailers transform in-store shopping experiences with Emotion AI?

Well, no matter whether you own a traditional store or a modern one, it’s super crucial that you understand how your customers feel about what they are buying. If they are looking at a product, how are they feeling about its packaging, pricing, and even branding?

Now every retailer wants to understand its customers' emotions but what has been super challenging for them is discovering and evaluating those emotions - not anymore.

Wondering how to analyze your consumer behavior in-store in real-time?

Well, by deploying Emotion AI technology you can capture and analyze your customers' emotions and reactions in real-time. For example, if several customers give mixed response after looking at your product pack you might want to redesign or simplify it. Or, if after seeing your shelf placement, and aisle arrangement your customers are looking frustrated to find the product they are looking for you need to reconfigure your layout.

Here’s how retailers can use emotion AI to understand their customers more deeply

Capitalizing on Shopper Sentiment

Traditional means of testing of the likes of feedback questions and surveys doesn’t give the desired results as they aren’t able to capture the subconscious.  

One of the best ways to sell products is to engage the consumer by resonating with their emotions. When it comes to understanding the buying preferences of consumers, it is important that one understands their subconscious behavior. But the million-dollar question is this: how to tap into the subconscious behavior of a consumer?  

Emotion AI technology is the answer to that question. It leverages the power of Facial Coding and Eye Tracking technologies to deliver in-store experiences that resonate with subconscious consumer preferences.

It assists retailers and brands understand how shoppers really feel about what they are buying — or for that matter, not buying.  

Unlock the Potential of Consumers’ Emotions

With consumer emotions holding the key to purchases, retail brands are harnessing the power of emotion insights. Retailers see a significant value in adopting Emotion AI insights that can help test shop layout, product placement and noticeability.  

Emotion AI technologies such as Facial Coding, Eye Tracking, and Brainwave Mapping are helping retailers dive deep into consumers’ subconscious and drive in-store sales conversions. Let us look at some of the ways Emotion AI can help transform the retail experience for consumers.      

Boost In-Store Sales and Humanize Shopper Experience

As per a recent report by McKinsey, consumers are likely to keep the behavior they have embraced amid the stay-at-home orders. Physical stores are reimagining their requirements as per the attention economy and taking in-store consumer experiences to the next level.  

Emotion AI helps retail brands redesign store outlay by optimizing product placement, increase noticeability, manage pick-up rates, and more. How a consumer responds and reacts to a store layout, products, prices, packaging, and many other such nuances can be determined by Emotion AI technologies and applied to deliver superlative consumer experiences.  

Emotion AI to Enhance Shelf Testing

Improving in-store experience of consumers is of paramount importance for the brands. By measuring the response level of consumers towards different in-store environments, brands can understand what pleases them the most, and keeps them coming back as consumers.

The shelf is the critical point at which customers are engaged in-store. It’s at this point that the magic of placement and products combine, which, in turn, can lead to consumer purchasing a product.

Testing is important to optimize the experience at the shelf. Finding aspects of attraction can help you choose what works and what doesn’t. A better in-store experience for both consumers and retailers can be arranged by having a shelf that attracts consumers’ attention.

Emotion AI technologies like brainwave mapping, eye tracking, and facial coding can track the part of packaging that is drawing the desired user response. Thus, it helps the brand in selecting the favorable packaging that was appealing to consumer taste and preferences

Emotion AI helps brands to optimize product packaging as per consumers’ emotion, cognitive behavior, and their shopping experience. Emotion AI is instrumental in not only testing package design against competitor packages with different shelf placements but also in shelf placement standalone packaging efficacy.

Emotion AI for Point-of-Sale Testing

In an omnichannel world, point of sale empowers brands to deliver remarkable service and build consumer loyalty. Building strong relationships with consumers, creating space for innovation and enabling strategic decisions is at the top chart of brands. Brands want to understand what makes consumers to act and how to anticipate consumer trends.  

Use of Emotion AI in POS systems provide insights on the changing behavior of consumers with recommendations on how to re-engage with them.  

Emotion AI leverages A/B test of PoSM variants to identify the one with highest stopping, holding and sale closing power. It provides insights on the changing behavior of consumers with recommendations on how to re-engage with them.

Planogram Testing

Increasing financial returns and enhancing shopper experience are the two top priorities of brands. Ever increasing number of products available in stores and expansion of retailer brands are putting pressure on overall store and shelf space.  

The shelf is the last opportunity to influence shoppers and to increase sales making it a vital component of any growth plan. Planogram testing is designed to address these challenges.

Planograms have a significant impact on sales. Coupled with Emotion AI, it provides insights on market shares per brand, impact on product sales, fitting the brand image and purchase intent.  

Emotion AI Impact on In- Store Shopping

The value of emotionally connecting with consumers is driving Emotion AI into its next exciting phase. It assists brands in:

  • Lift in Pack Noticeability
  • Identifying Right Shelf Placement  
  • Lift in Brand Equity
  • Lift in Purchase Intent
  • Increase in In-Store Conversions
  • Reduction in Research TAT

What Does the Future Hold for Retailers?

Today's customers are both discerning and demanding; they expect a stellar customer experience no matter whether they shop online or in-store. The retailers who will be able to deliver them a flawless shopping experience will win their loyalty and thrive in a post-COVID world. But the only way to provide a positive shopping experience for customers is by understanding their emotions. So, soon using emotion AI technology is going to be crucial for retailers to better understand their customers' emotion needs.


Whether it is contactless payment, Emotion AI-enabled shop optimization, virtual fitting rooms, or AR/VR-led in-store shopping experiences, technology-enabled solutions are radically changing how consumers interact and shop in the retail industry.


Emotion AI – powered technology, as opposed to traditional consumer research, provide more accurate, deeper, and granular insights. By leveraging Emotion AI to understand consumers' emotions, retail brands can deliver superlative user experiences, and increase sales across platforms.


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Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
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Author Bio

Tanvi Moitra
Tanvi can usually be found anxiously treading the office floor to get her content reviewed, here at Entropik. When not absorbed by researching and writing, she loves to read, go for a swim, play badminton, paint, and otherwise spend too much time bingeing on the Office and cuddling her German Shepherd, Whiskey. An absolute foodie, she would love to cook and bake for you and even give you the best dessert suggestions in the office.

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