“Humanizing” Retail Displays (04-14-22)

Research by Londono and de Maya indicates how attentive we are to human-like design elements.  The duo share that “The current research focuses on how anthropomorphizing [providing them with human characteristics] retail cues such as dump bins influences consumer behavior. . . . Using eye-tracking technology in an ecological shopping environment, we tracked shoppers' gazes through the store and analyzed their visual attention. Results show that attaching anthropomorphic forms to dump bins positively affects attitudes toward the displayed products. In addition, we demonstrate that displaying a vice product in an anthropomorphic dump bin increases both attitude toward the product and purchase intention, compared to the display of a virtue product. These findings suggest that anthropomorphism has an empathy-helping underlying psychological mechanism that, when applied to retail communication activities, can contribute to justifying the purchase of vice products.”

Juan Londono and Salvador de Maya.  “The Influence of Anthropomorphic Cues in Retailing:  The Moderating Effect of Vice Versus Virtue Products.”  Psychology of Marketing, in press, https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21655