Reframing the shopping experience during Covid-19 with McArthurGlen.

Case Studies

10th November 2023

Walnut Unlimited


Applying behavioural science to thoroughly analyse human behaviour in this unprecedented context, and offer insightful strategic recommendations backed by science.

In the wake of Covid-19, there has been widespread social distancing guidance issued, and normal behaviour has been disrupted. Many shoppers are struggling to adjust to what is now required of them. McArthurGlen recognised the need to ensure their shoppers abide by any new restrictions whilst also enjoying their shopping experience, and all while retaining the brand’s reputation for luxury and style.

In order to achieve this, Walnut ran a behavioural science audit of McArthurGlen’s current communications in-store and online. Walnut also conducted a competitive review to bring in learnings from other competitors and other industries. Furthermore, we brought in key thinking from behavioural economics, neuroscience and semiotics. We identified many biases at play, and were able to advise McArthurGlen on which nudges to strategically deploy, and warn them about the potential pitfalls of human behaviour and how to avoid these.

Moving forward, McArthurGlen had a playbook of strategic nudges, designed in order to subtly encourage shoppers to observe social distancing and other Covid-19 precautions, whilst not disturbing their luxury shopping experience at a conscious level.

Seeing the results of Walnut’s Behavioural Science audit has been incredibly helpful to see what we are doing right, but more importantly how we can continue to improve. This area of communication is critical right now to reassure all our guests in our 25 Designer Outlets and the audit allows us to really focus on a number of specific improvements. It’s given us things to think about such as layout and flow, humour and different styles of communication that will be even more effective. Our aim is for constant improvement, and we will be applying these clear and structured learnings into future communications.

Written by Walnut Unlimited Email Walnut Unlimited

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