Hong Kong-based retailer and supply chain manager Fung Group has rolled out retail business model testing platform in Shanghai, China, to track consumer behaviour.

About 250,000ft2 laboratory, called ‘Explorium,’ is an omnichannel platform – a combination of ‘bricks and clicks’.

Explorium is a collaborative effort between Fung Group and data and analytics technology firm IBM and brand activation company Pico.

Fung Group chairman Dr. Victor K. Fung said: "Everything we thought we knew about how consumers decide upon what they buy, where they buy, when they buy, how they buy and how they pay is changing."

"Technology is the catalyst empowering consumers. The Internet and mobile communications are disrupting the way consumers behave and, in so doing, providing unique opportunities for retailing to come up with new business models. Nowhere is this more evident than in China, one of the world’s most exciting, challenging retail markets."

The project is based on membership and has about 12,000 members. It is expected to open for public in the near future.

As of now, the active participants are employees and family members of the Fung Group and its business partners IBM and Pico.

The platform will allow retailers and product developers to observe consumer behaviour towards their products, and then according cater to their requirements.

Explorium’s Shanghai-based director Simeon Piasecki said it is a laboratory for quickly testing omnichannel business strategies in a realistic environment.

"We identify and systematically track the changing preferences of consumers. Based on what we learn from each experiment, we move quickly to the next iteration. Explorium is doing all this on a scale and intensity that we believe is unmatched," he added.

Image: The laboratory is based in Shanghai. Image: Photo: courtesy of hezhen_tizi / (PRNewsFoto / The Fung Group.