(Established in 1988)
A Neuro-Behavioral Medicine Clinic
Dr. Gautham's Neuro
The Psychology of Shoppers
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has identified four kinds of Shoppers. The first is the "Dasher"
This shopper hates to shop but on the other hand knows it has to be done,
dashing into the store, quickly throwing a few things into the basket, and
dashing out. The next is the "Economist" This shopper frequents
sales and the big warehouse type stores with big cardboard boxes in the
floor to rummage through. The third is "The Pro." This is
the shopper who like to take time and find the best deal looking for
quality but at a reasonable price. To this kind shopping is almost
like an art. The last and by far the most , is "The Candy Store
Kid" This shopper is very impulsive and loves to shop immensely
and is the target of the store psychologist.
us examine a classic scenario. On her way home from work, Shahnaz decides
to make a quick stop at the grocery store just to pick up some milk and
bread. As she enters the store she sees there is toilet paper on sale, so
she grabs some. As she walks through the aisle to get the milk, she passes
a display of fruit juices and remembers her family is also out of soft
drinks so she picks up a few bottles of mango Pepsi. Next she passes
the fruit, and cannot help but notice the bright red apples. They are too
shiny to pass up, so she gets a few of those too. Making her way to the
bread, she notices fresh chocolate fudge from the bakery. She knows it
will make a great dessert for her family that night and fudge just is not
the same without ice cream so she gets both. After finally getting the
bread, and reaching the checkout line Shanaz is amazed because she ends up
spending about ten Riyals more than she meant to.
researchers spend much time monitoring consumer behaviour so they will
have knowledge to persuade consumers to buy more. Shanaz does not know
that she was suckered into spending more than she planned.
shopping is a leisure activity. We're trying to combine leisure and
necessity and social needs all into one. When we walk into a shop we do so
with the intention of buying something. But, somewhere between 60
and 70 percent of what we buy, we had no intention of buying when we
walked in. That is no mistake. The experts on shopping psychology know
where to place things, how to place things, what colors to use, and just
the right music to play to make you buy. The actual architecture of
the store can bring you to the items the store wants you to buy.
E.g. the racks along the checkout lanes always hold goodies that you would
not have thought of to buy off the shelf in the store like magazines and
candy and batteries, all that stuff that's right up at the front to
distract you. In many grocery stores the checkout lane is the most
profitable square footage.
layout of stores is the result of years of research devoted to getting you
to spend as much of your hard-earned cash as possible. The entrance
of a store is very crucial in persuading consumers to buy. The area near
the entrance where all shoppers arrive is called the power alley. This
power alley will not only give an image of the entire store, it also gives
the customers their first enticement for impulsive buying. It also caters
to all categories of shoppers. . For instance, there may be two displays
in a power alley. One could be a large cardboard box highly staked with
toilet paper rolls that are on sale; while the other display could be a
beautifully decorated table displaying Asian Pears and Chocolate. These
two displays will accommodate all four types of shoppers. The toilet paper
would persuade the Economist and the Dasher while the fruit and chocolates
would attract the Pros and the Candy Store Kids. The paper towels show the
store offers bargains and the wine and strawberries show quality and
goods that the store want to push are always placed on the most accessible
and prominent shelf and those that that are essential to everyday living
are on the lowest shelf in the back alley where customers have to pass a
vast display of tempting goods before reaching them. Products that are
necessities or commonly bought are placed on the top and bottom shelves.
This leaves the space for the products they want consumers to buy on
eye-level shelving. Marketers will also conveniently place products that
compliment each other close together.
was running in just to pick up bread and milk which are basic
necessities for every household. These basic necessities are deliberately
placed in the opposite or back ends of a store, causing a shopper to walk
through the store to get to these items. The reason behind this is to get
the shopper to notice the "Luxuries" like candies, cookies and
many other items that one could live without. If Shahnaz had found milk
and bread in the first aisle, she probably would not have noticed the
other items that she purchased. Shanaz was a victim of shopping
longer a consumer lingers in a supermarket, the more they will buy. Judy
Graham, an associate professor of management at St. John Fisher College in
Rochester, NY, says, "You'll spend about one dollar for every
additional minute you're in the grocery store" But how can the
store make the shopper linger? Making use of our five senses can do
this. The first is the sense of sight. Colourful displays aided by
extra halogen track lighting to enhance the colours e.g., of fruits and
vegetables. The light makes them appear more shinny and luscious, making
them almost impossible to pass up. The second is the sense of smell. You
can slow customers down by playing a pleasing relaxing tune to lift
spirits and calm consumers while shopping. The third is the sense of
smell. One technique is to place aromatic foods in open displays.
This sends a scent through the entire store luring shoppers to the source
of the aroma and to linger there. It takes a very strong-willed
consumer to resist this temptation.
how do you get the customer into the store in the first place? Bait
and hook is the best way to describe this issue. Advertising being the
bait and to lure consumers into the store and hook being the strategies
within the store that persuades consumers to spend impulsively.
Advertising targets the consumer even in the home. Advertising is slipped
into our everyday lives without us even realising it Advertisements are
out homes weekly through newspapers and weekly circulars. An
advertisement may show something, such as orange juice at a very low
price. When a shopper goes to the store to purchase the juice, a
complimentary item's such as cereal may be offered along with the juice at
a combined price that may been upped. In fact, it probably would have been
cheaper to buy both products at reasonable prices in larger economy
it may seem unfair, there is nothing illegal about the tactics adopt. So
what hope is there for consumers when they are faced with so many
strategies? Can we outsmart the store psychologists? Well, they say
knowledge is power. By knowing about the tricks of the trade, consumers
may be able to overcome impulsive buying behaviour.
And are only women gullible? Embedded notions of gender shopping psychology have encouraged a flagrant dismissal of men, in favour of women, in the retail arena. This is not, however, the only option. Retail Intelligence has recently investigated the issues surrounding the male as a consumer of untapped potential and its published report attempts to show retailers how to encourage the spending power of men, through store design, product placement, advertising and marketing. It comments on the marked disparity between the consumption habits of men and women, and analyses the distinct aspects of the male shopping psychology, to establish whether the male shopper is a source worth targeting.
shoppers often establish themselves through material possessions. Though
they remain a relatively small sector of the consumer base; and buy only
on a needs must basis, impulse food shopping trips make them more
receptive to new commodities that satisfy curiosity. This can
obviously be utilised in a positive way for retailers; impulse buys are
the product of boredom, in a sex not trained, or necessarily tuned into,
the art of searching for a bargain, or the best deal.
Moreover men are not likely to spend time searching for bargains, as for them time is money. Attention will be focused on blatant special offers, and retailers could also focus here on encouraging good consumption habits for later fulfilment.
Intelligence focuses on the minor changes that can be made in any retail
establishment to make male shoppers more comfortable; to encourage a
male familiarity with the shopping arena particularly in terms of
shop floor layout, product placement, marketing and advertising
terms of the actual store layout, the Retail Intelligence report has
revealed the necessity of an easy and quick exit. For Mr Average, it
seems that the ideal shopping trip is characterised by its
speedy conclusion, and this is especially the case of the pre-family
man, who gets easily frustrated in the checkout queue carrying a
basket of impulse purchases behind the family shopper. Similarly,
the dulling impact of the food shop may be softened with a buffer
zone, a neutral area in which men may linger, between the real world
and the business of shopping.
male areas within stores is a common strategy. Many UK supermarkets
now have much in common with the continental hypermarkets in their
provision of extra zones, with CDs or masculine electrical goods. They
satisfy a distinctly male need for distraction in the shopping
environment. It also seems that many stores are attempting
supermarket lifestyling for men, providing subtle suggestions of
necessary items, whispered through adjacencies in the product
placement of lifestyle items with masculine products. Such displays
show, but they do not tell e.g. the six packs (of beer) situated next to
the barbecue paraphernalia in American supermarkets
emotions and affect have a fundamental role in consumers' motivation
one would expect these factors to be a major determinant on buying
behaviour at discount sales. Research into consumer behaviour
suggests that emotional arousal can be an important motivational
element in sales promotion. For example, gifts, discounts, and vouchers
have commonly been used in sales promotion. Manipulation checks have shown
that these sales promotion strategies have produced positive affective
states. Consumers who have received sales promotions are 20% more likely
to purchase than those who did not.
complex relationship exists in the influence of affect on an individual's
purchasing behaviour. Individuals in which a positive affect has been
evoked through receiving a gift or discount, are more likely to be risk
taking (the risk of the product being defective or of no practical use).
Also, subjects induced by positive affect are willing to pay more money
for a product (e.g. the cost of a promotional pack of a shampoo, along
with a complimentary cake of soap is likely to more - gram for gram
- than an economy pack of shampoo and an economy pack of soap purchased
have generally explained the influence of affect on risk-taking on the
"congruency between mood and memory, learning and behaviour".
This theory suggests that individuals experiencing positive affect try to
maintain and protect their positive state. The relationship
between affect and shopping behaviour is mediated by an individual's
cognition, in that, a person in a good mood (produced by a discount) will
think about positive events (related to the product) and cognition which
threatens their positive condition, will more likely be avoided. For
example, a shopper in a positive affective state would try and avoid
thinking of the faults of the product as the thought of making a bad
buy is incompatible with their positive state.
a cognitive loop exists between affect and sales shopping behaviour. i.e.
Sales promotion strategies (bargains, discounts, gifts, complimentary
products etc.) evoke a positive affective state in the shopper. This
results in the shopper turning a blind eye to possible defects in the
product on offer. This is turn results in a heightening of the positive
affective state. This is most likely to successfully influence:
"Dashers" who are carried away by the positive affect and have
no time to think
"Economists" who are influenced positively by that aspect of the
"candy store kids" whose impulse is played upon.