The Post Office has been quietly recruiting customers passing through its transformed Oxford branch for biometric experiments in a bid to better understand the stress points in the customer journey.
It has been strapping heart monitors and cameras to consumers as they wander around the store, noting the points where the body reacts badly to things such as poor signage.
It comes as part of a complete overhaul to the way it gathers and uses data from the 17 million customers it serves each week. Chief marketing officer Pete Markey has previously revealed how it turned to neuroscience to gauge what customers think about its brand purpose or the messaging in-store or in campaigns.
Explaining why biometric testing was the next avenue to explore, Markey told The Drum: “If I fill a survey in I might not tell you or even realise I was stressed in that moment. We want to really find out what the customer experience is really like and to find out areas where customers – consciously or unconsciously – are feeling negative or stressed. We’re able to see any points of stress or delight and target those areas. It’s really interesting.”
The Oxford branch is part of a network of stores which have been created as it continues to forge ahead with its transformation plan. The Drum has previously revealed a design lab – not open to customers – where Markey has been able to test new technology. The next phase of this has been a concept branch in Kennington which is open to the public and has introduced some of the more advanced technology it has been testing to see how customers react.
“It’s a live environment – the test lab was great but it was only ever a lab,” Markey added.
For example, screens have been introduced which can track age, gender and how you move through the branch.
James De Souza, former soutions director at Dunnhumby, joined the company in January to help unlock the data’s potential.
The Kennington branch is the first of three concept stores planned for 2015.