Retail and Consumer

What are your customers doing?

Our work is founded on discovering how and why customers behave as they do and where value really comes from. Only on that basis can we work out the best strategic way forward and create value for our clients.

The challenges of modern retail

How do you integrate and balance a multichannel offer? How can you know which customers you want to win - profitably? What are your competitors doing? How will government or regulatory pressures affect your markets?

The answers to these questions affect business strategy and outcomes. We work with our clients and other agencies to provide a joined-up plan for the way forward.


Pulling the right levers

The economics of how consumers and competitors behave is central to how we provide insight. But there are other inputs such as market analysis, financial modelling, consumer psychology and practical research experience. We combine these techniques and data with our in-depth knowledge of market sectors from groceries to clothing, and from casual dining to travel.

With many levers you can pull, we help our clients hone in fast on the actions that will drive the economics of their business.

How well are you doing?

Making better decisions about the future starts with measuring what you do now. Using structured economics together with innovative and penetrating ways of examining data, we help our clients see how their business is really doing. The results are often surprising and always insightful.

Our work assesses a wide range of business performance metrics and makes valuable recommendations for:

  • Channel, basket and customer profitability analysis
  • Store performance and network reviews
  • Franchise and partner economics
  • Supply chain reviews and joint venture negotiations
  • Major procurement decisions
  • Competitive performance assessment
  • Data valuation and partnerships
  • Economic cost and revenue analysis
  • KPIs and better management decision-making
Useful customer research

How much of your customer research is actually useful? Are you building up complicated customer profiles that tell you little about how customers will actually act in real life? Is your focus on what the business wants to sell rather than what the customer wants to buy?

Customers are now very aware of how they are treated. Their trust is hard to win and easy to lose. We use behavioural economics to help clients to understand their customers more profoundly by:

Embedding the customer in decision-making, creating ‘customer plans’, ‘customer in the boardroom’ programmes and ‘customer KPIs’.

Research design and insight capability, from simple ad hoc analysis to annual research plans with multi-million pound budgets – but always grounded in customer behaviour, and the psychology of how customers actually think.

Consumer segmentation that is not simply demographic but behavioural and perceptual, and linked to value drivers in the business

Loyalty schemes that combine economics, psychology and effectiveness.

Data and digital strategies, to support CRM and customer engagement based on what really drives customer loyalty.

Spend analysis and customer valuation from basket analysis, “wallet share” metrics, cross-sales and up-sales measures, and price response analysis.

Real commercial impact

Business is simple. All you have to do is work out what you can do that your customers value and your competitors can’t copy.

Easier said than done, perhaps. But the first step is to stop guessing. A structured approach, using reliable evidence, will lead to better decisions. We help our clients do just that, with:

Multi-channel retailing

New channels are changing the way people shop, eat, travel, consume media and use their leisure time. We look at the economics of these changes and help our clients prepare business models and make better-informed strategic decisions.

Economic model

We bring together financial performance measures, business execution and customer behaviour research to identify whether and how money is, or isn’t, being made. Whether it’s in response to a specific trading problem, or simply hacking through conflicting management information, we get to the bottom of what’s going on and what it’s costing.

Regulatory brand

Understanding the economic impact of changes in regulation is vital. We help clients develop a regulatory stance and brand that gives them commercial advantage.

Data valuation and strategy

New channels shift value around – and data is often the route to that value.  We help businesses understand where the value is in their data, where they need to build more, and how they can use data to build a competitive advantage in their business.

Competition policy

Retail and consumer businesses are always evolving.  Competition and antitrust policy shapes the mergers and acquisitions that are part of that process, as well as core parts of the relationships between retailers, their partners and suppliers.

The stakes are too high not to identify and address the central issues from the outset. We work with clients, bankers and legal counsel to build a case strategy that combines business economics with antitrust realities.

We help pre-empt issues, producing and responding to technical analysis, preparing client submissions and expert reports, giving oral evidence, and giving technical support and advice on case strategy on:

  • Market definition and market power
  • Merger analysis
  • Abuse of dominance
  • Horizontal and vertical agreements
  • State aid

We also help clients design and develop a competition and regulatory position that fits their business and their business environment, providing a ‘regulatory brand’ that can help anticipate and prevent the competition risk adversely affecting the consumer brand.

Read more about our competition work.

Consumer regulation

A number of authorities take an interest in whether consumer protection laws are being upheld and whether markets are functioning effectively. These interests may include market or firm investigations, which can be long and intrusive, and can result in fines or intrusive remedies.  We help clients to navigate these processes and provide critical advice, as well as empirical economic analysis, on the issues central to the case. With digital markets and online activity increasing, these issues are becoming even more important to regulators and authorities.

We provide extensive and flexible support to clients and their legal counsel, helping them to: 

  • Pre-empt the consumer issues that an authority might identify
  • Understand the authorities’ concerns
  • Unpick the underlying behavioural economics behind customer decision making
  • Gather the evidence needed to prove and measure consumer harm