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Research business design thinking innovation 2
Leading Organizational Transformation
Business Design & Innovation

Business Design & Innovation


With the ‘Shopmob’ project, Smart Mobility researched how consumer travel behavior can be changed. The idea was to reduce peak moments in shops through better spreading in time and over different means of transportation.

Type project Mobility of people
Project partners Bond Beter Leefmilieu, Colruyt Group, Comeos, De Lijn, Fietsersbond, FLOW, Günter Andersen Manufaktur, IMOB, Minerva, Mitiska REIM, STIB/MIVB, TML.
Duration January 06, 2014 - September 01, 2016
Contact person Sara Bastiaensens, PhD


The phenomenon is well-known. As we all go shopping at the same time and use our car to do it, shopping centers and supermarkets have a temporary shortage of parking space. At other times, these parking lots are as good as empty. Shops equally have very busy and less busy moments.


Spreading this peak moment is an obvious solution and can be done two ways:

  • Spreading in time: encourage shopping at less busy times
  • Spreading in means of transportation: ensure more consumers take their bicycle or use public transport to go shopping.
Shop Mob 768x576

Project Development

To map out travel behavior, data were gathered at five supermarkets and a shopping center for several months. This allowed us to determine when and how consumers go to these locations. After gathering the data, we organized several actions to create awareness with consumers and convince them to change their travel behavior. For example, we distributed free tickets for public transport and put bicycle shopping carts at their disposal. Clients were informed about the busy and quieter shopping moments and steering incentives were tested. In the fall, we gathered data for the second time at the same locations to be able to measure the impact of these campaigns.


Both retailers and consumers benefit from this. More space in parking lots as well as in the shops, so consumers don’t have to stress and can shop leisurely. This will cause them to stay longer and creates more opportunity for impulse purchases.


The project demonstrated that well-thought out actions and targeted communication can convince the consumer of the advantages to shop outside peak moments or to use the bicycle or public transport. This presents a gain of money and/or time for the consumer and also has several advantages for the retailer: no overcrowded parking lots, better planning of shop staff, better accessibility for clients who do not (always) have a car to go shopping.

This project had the financial support of the agency for innovation and entrepreneurshi

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Sara bastiaensens phd

A question about this project?

Function Senior researcher at the expertise center “Next Generation Work”
Sara bastiaensens phd

A question about this project?