Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Retailers use psychology to sell more

NEW YORK (UPI via COMTEX) -- U.S. retailers have studied various ways to get customers to stay longer in stories and buy more -- using psychology.

"Most shoppers turn right, probably because most are right-handed. The right-hand thoroughfare attracts the highest traffic anywhere in the store," reported Psychology Today. "It is the perfect location for high-profit merchandise."

Retailers have also found that stores such as Target and Old Navy that provide a shopping cart or basket sell more than those that don't.

Shoppers want to move quickly through stores, but to slow them down they stores provide mirrors which give customers the chance to check their hair.

In addition, those neatly stacked piles of clothes intimidate some shoppers so some stores require the clerks to leave some clothes unfolded to encourage shoppers to touch the clothing, the New York Times reported Saturday.


  1. That is funny. Mirrors to check your hair and unfolded clothes. It is true...I probably would go right more often than left if going into a store where I had that choice....except at Walmart. The Wal-Mart I frequent has two entries . I choose the one on the left as I start my shopping with going through the drug isles and then up through hardware and around through electronics, stopping off in the fabric/craft section.. as I finally make my way to the food area. I dont want to start with food which is on the right in this store. Interesting that Target has one entrance, that either starts at the right or left, where all I have to do is walk straight unless I have something very specific in mind to buy there. I do not recall many mirrors-and generally am not that hair obsessed that I would check it in a store LOL. Unfolded clothes just look messy. I am not intemedated by folded clothes. LOL
    Interesting article though as retailers try to figure out how to get us to spend more of our time and money in their stores. Maybe I've just learned how to resist their mind control. ;) Generally I just buy what I need-and do a lot of window shopping. My kids know Im famous for picking up stuff along the way, only to put it back as I check my basket or cart. And yes, I love carts. I especially like the new smaller blue ones Food Lion has.

  2. I've read articles like te one posted before, and I never realized before reading them how much or shopping is suggestion (or if you're more cynical, manipulation).

    A lot of things make sense when you think about them. The best trafficed entrance in a department store is where the cosmetics and fragrances are. Down escalators rarely ever face an exit. Home departments are almost always tucked into the least desirable real estate in the building, as is childrenswear and plus-size.

    I usually enter by food at my local Wal-Mart, because the general merchandise doors are usually locked at night. If I'm not buying food, I'll tend to either pass in front of apparel on my way to HBA, Seasonal or Electronics, or gravitate to Housewares, which is opposite groceries at my store.

    Target typically only has two paths one can take, so I usually pass in front of the registers towards the home and seasonal departments, occasionally drifting into apparel.

    Carts have little to no resonance with me typically. I'll get one in Wal-Mart or a supermarket, but everywhere else, I don't get one unless I have to. It tends to be in the way and they tend to be cumbersome. Ditto with the mesh shopping bags that some stores use.