Holiday Retail is Here–Beware!

Eleanor Smith, senior associate editor for The Atlantic, recently wrote a fascinating article for the December issue (just in time for holiday shopping) about the manipulative perils we face as consumers when shopping, most of which we are not even fully aware of.

Interviewed on NPR, Ms. Smith discussed her article and the detailed studies done in which everything from the importance of the middle shelf to a salesperson’s friendly attitude, or lack thereof, can have a distinct impression on a consumer which can influence or resist a purchase. The logic is not what you may think!

Shopping Image 1

The article also covers interesting topics regarding atmospherics—those things that we see but may not put much thought into consciously, such as store/product layout, lighting, wall color, music or scent; and yet those very things are affecting decision making unconsciously, leading consumers to make purchases that may not entirely make sense to them even after the fact.

Touch is also a major factor in consumer comfort while shopping. People prefer to be able to have a tactile experience with a product before purchasing. Being able to touch something can make all the difference between a sale and walking out of the store empty handed.

There is a lot of science to the art of shopping and retailers vigilantly monitor consumers’ habits and tastes and look for ways to tap into desires and insecurities. Shopping goes from simple need to highly sophisticated methods of parting consumers from their wallets’ contents.

To read the article in greater detail visit The Atlantic.