Estes and Streicher’s work makes it clear that retail design and planning should support use of certain sorts of shopping carts. The research duo reports that “Prior research on ergonomics indicates that standard shopping carts, which are pushed via a horizontal handlebar, are likely to activate arm extensor muscles. Prior research on arm muscle activation, in turn, suggests that arm extensor activation may elicit less purchasing than arm flexor activation. . . .
Floorplanning the way to sales
Soundscaping to boost income
De Groot evaluated how in-store scents influence shopping behavior. He determined via data collected in “a second-hand clothing store [where study participants] could face one of three conditions: fresh linen scent (pleasant and semantically priming ‘clean clothing’ increasing the products' value), vanilla sandalwood scent (pleasant control odor), or regular store odor (odorless control). . . . . that fresh linen scent almost doubled consumer spending vs. the odorless control and the pleasant control odor.
Zhang and colleagues probed the value of physical stores. They share that they hypothesized “that one benefit of the store to the retailer is to enhance customer value by providing the physical engagement needed to purchase deep products – products that require ample inspection in order for customers to make an informed decision. . . . we find that buying deep products in the physical store transitions customers to the high-value state more than other product/channel combinations. . . . Customers purchase a deep product from the physical store.
Otterbring and colleagues researched the implications of the physical distances between salespeople and customers. Design can influence the distance between the people selling and potentially buying goods in a number of ways, for example, via sales/display counter/case dimensions and aisle width. The Otterbring-lead team found via a series of lab and field studies that “store loyalty, purchase intentions, and actual spending behavior are negatively impacted when consumers encounter a salesperson who is standing close by (vs. farther away), particularly in expressive consumption contexts.
Neuroscientists have determined how retail design can meaningfully increase sales in physical stores and online, all while elevating buyers' and sellers' lives.
The design of the spaces where we eat has a powerful effect on what we consume. Design-relevant neuroscience research can encourage preferred eating behaviors, at home and elsewhere.