A new University of Florida study finds that buyers want stores to be turn-ons when they browse for fun but prefer sedate environments when seeking mundane merchandise for everyday life.
In the brick-and-mortar world, retail stores may need to resort to satisfying their customers’ competing demands by tailoring design schemes by department, Weitz said. In Circuit City or Best Buy, for example, the section of the store carrying cables and connectors, where shoppers are not likely to want to spend much time, might be quite starkly decorated, while the home entertainment department could be more elaborate, he said.
Or stores could change digital signage to suit customers’ needs at different times of the day, using full motion videos in the morning if early shoppers like to be entertained and simpler messages in the evening if the priority is on saving time, Weitz said.
Unfortunately, many retailers hire interior decorators who are more interested in winning architectural awards than making stores useful to consumers, Weitz said. “I think these people lose sight of the fact that the reason for designing a store is to sell more stuff,” he said. “Sometimes making it more exciting and beautiful doesn’t help.”
Michael Levy, a marketing professor at Babson College, said Weitz’s research has significant implications for retail managers. “Past research has lumped all theories about how store environments impact the shopping experience into one bucket,” he said. “Professor Weitz’s research prescribes specific actions for retailers depending on the type of shopping trip they expect their customers to take or what types of products they are selling.”
Read the article here: UF study: Jazzy store environments not always best for consumers.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
UF Study on In-Store Environments
A new study poses questions for retailers considering digital signage. Many relevant benefits and disadvantages were identified. We believe the disadvantages can be mitigated with a proper digital signage software system and the retailer's understanding of their customers. Here are some highlights.