Have you ever been spellbound by a product in a store or walked out with more than you planned to purchase? These unintentional experiences are the result of well-designed and executed retail display stands that incorporate behavioural science principles.
According to Kurt T. Knapton, the CEO of iQmetrix, the psychology of retail is just as crucial as the products themselves. Retailers must understand how customers think and behave to create effective displays that drive sales.
The science behind retail display stands lies in influencing customers' decisions and behaviours. For instance, anchoring, where customers tend to rely heavily on the first piece of information they receive, can be used to make a lower-priced item appear more attractive when placed beside a higher-priced one. Retailers can also create a sense of urgency through scarcity tactics by using phrases like "limited time offer" or "while supplies last." Additionally, displaying popular items or customer reviews can create social proof and influence customers' purchase decisions. By understanding and applying these principles, retailers can create displays that attract customers and increase sales.
Effective retail display stands have significant impacts. In his book, "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping," retail expert Paco Underhill explains that a store's design should entice, direct, inform, and inspire consumers to purchase. Well-designed displays can increase sales of a particular product or group of products, improve customer experience, and differentiate the store from its competitors. Creating unique displays can also offer a memorable shopping experience.
However, effective retail display stands require a combination of science and art. While the science of behavioural psychology provides a framework, the art lies in the execution. Retailers must comprehend their customers and products to create displays that resonate with their target audience. Retail guru Martin Pegler emphasizes that retail design is all about storytelling and creating an environment and a narrative that engage the customers and encourage them to buy.
Incorporating behavioural science principles into retail display stands can have a significant impact on sales and customer experience. By creating displays that engage customers and tell a story, retailers can create a shopping experience that is both memorable and profitable. Herb Sorensen stresses that the design and execution of the retail environment are both a science and an art that requires skill, taste, and sensitivity to the needs and desires of customers. Therefore, combining both can result in displays that attract customers, drive sales, and create a positive shopping experience.
An example of how a mall in a Johannesburg neighbourhood installed a large sea aquarium as a means of attracting customers to enhance their shopping experience illustrates the importance of not only investing in such projects but executing them well. Despite having a two-story tank, the experience is wasted because it is almost hidden in the back and basement of the mall without adequate signage. The same principle applies to display stands; having a modern and elegant display is not enough if it is in the wrong place or does not enrich the experience and allure the customer. As Paco Underhill puts it, a well-designed store should be a place to experience things, not just buy them.
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