Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Science of Shopping

Did you know retailers are watching you in their stores...then cashing in on what they've learned from your shopping habits? More and more stores are hiring research companies to help them understand their customer’s buying habits better. In the process consumers are being video-taped while they shop--and much, much more!

Have you ever entered a store and immediately had to slow down and maneuver around a table full of stacks of merchandise? Did you stop, look and possibly consider making a purchase? If so, retail psychologists and researchers are doing their jobs.

A company called Envirosell specializes in the study of human behavior in the retail environment. They are known for video-taping store shoppers and watching their behaviors to help increase a store’s sales.

If you stay longer in a are more likely to make a purchase...

 Here are some of the ways stores get YOU to spend:

Just use the word “Sale”
. Just knowing there is a one-day sale, you’ll be swayed to take advantage of the deals. However, some one-day sales can still be happening days later!

Place the deals at the back. Often the real bargains are at the back of the store. You have to walk through all the pretty displays and “specials” before you reach any real bargains.

Experience pays off. If we enjoy the experience, we’ll pay more. We’re more likely to pay $7.95 for $2 chicken fingers if they are served on a plate w/ a lemon and cloth napkin. Don’t be seduced by the experience to the extent that you forgo value.

Nature vs. Nurture. We are all hunters and gatherers. Retail understands this. So, often you’ll find similar businesses clustered together. Take advantage of this and check out the competition before you buy and get the best deal.

Time equals dollars. The more time you spend in a store—the more likely you are to spend. Enjoy the melodic music, comfy environment and ambiance, but remember your budget!

Let MSP help you with more ways to SAVE big while shopping. Click here to read my previous POST about saving while shopping a sale

There really is a science to how stores encourage you to buy—and buy more than you originally intended to. If you understand some “secrets” the retail industry uses to lure you into a will make you a savvier shopper...just in time for the busy retail season: Christmas!

Leslie, your cyber stylist


  1. Knowing the strategies stores use to hook us is really helpful, Leslie. Thanks! My favorite trick is to head straight back to the sale racks. But I have to admit, all the pretty displays on the way back are usually soooo tempting. Will power must prevail! ;-)

  2. You're so right about similar businesses being clustered together, and I never realized that. In the Staten Island Mall, where I usually shop, in the Sears wing, the Sears home goods section is located right next to Lane Bryant, the budget hair salon and H&M, with Forever 21 a few stores away. Thanks for these tips, hopefully I'll remember them when I go shopping! Any online shopping tips? I find that's where most of my money goes!

  3. Serendipity,

    I think the only online tip I can share is sign up for the website's emails BEFORE purchasing.

    Websites will give you special incentives to purchase from them once you've signed up for their emails. Be sure to do this prior to purchasing and you'll save!

  4. Thanks, Leslie! I do that already ... then you get besieged by sale events almost every day. The wacky thing I discovered with Lane Bryant is that their long sleeve t-shirts on their website are $29.99, and in-store they're $19.99. Go figure! They're having a 50% off sale for Black Friday, so maybe I'll pick up some then, or maybe I'll wait until the after-Christmas sales. They offer you a lot of incentives to shop in-store, including 20% off your purchase if you sign up for a credit card. It seems in this instance, at least, if you can find your size in-store, you might be better off than shopping online.


Thanks for leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy my blog and stop by often!

Love, Leslie

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...