FEATURE10 July 2017

When people are willing to try new products

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Features Impact Retail UK

Scientists at UCL have developed an algorithm that can predict when shoppers will try new brands. Lead researcher Professor Bradley Love explains the study to Jane Bainbridge 


People are creatures of habit, buying the same brands week after week. While loyalty works in a company’s favour for a chosen brand, for new products – those trying to build market share or break into a new category – it’s a force against them.

But scientists at University College London (UCL) and customer science company dunnhumby have created a new model that can predict when people are most likely to try different brands or products. 

The researchers – led by Professor Brad Love of the UCL’s Department of Experimental Psychology and The Alan Turing Institute – drew on the Tesco Clubcard database to look at people’s purchasing habits.

They looked at six categories: beer, bread, coffee, toilet paper, washing detergents and yogurt, and examined the choices of more than 280, 000 anonymised individuals in supermarkets over several years. 

People with at least 50 purchases within a specific product ...