Appealing To Retail Shoppers With Multi-Sensory Engagement

Although many of today’s shopping activities occur online, a significant portion of sales still happens in brick-and-mortar stores. Shopping in-person differs greatly from online shopping, so what drives a customer to make a purchase in a physical store? What strategies can business owners and managers use to encourage shoppers to engage with a product and make a purchase? Understanding in-store shopping behavior can significantly impact both foot traffic and the bottom line.

Contrary to popular belief, physical retailers have a substantial advantage over e-commerce stores: the ability to appeal to shoppers’ senses. Multi-sensory engagement — involving more than one sense to draw in and retain attention — is an effective way to boost sales. Research indicates that shoppers who are engaged through all five senses tend to spend more time in a store and are more likely to make a purchase.

Of the five senses, sight is the most commonly used by retailers, who leverage lighting, design, color, and style to appeal to shoppers. Uncluttered, well-designed displays that present products attractively can draw shoppers’ attention.

Sound is another powerful sense that retailers can utilize. Customers who purchase products from online retailers cannot touch or try out the products until they receive them; many shoppers are hesitant to buy items online for this reason. For instance, in clothing stores, it’s crucial to ensure that an item not only fits well but is also comfortable and flattering. This is impossible to gauge online. Encouraging shoppers to touch and handle products in-store increases the likelihood of purchase.

Scent can also enhance the shopping experience. Some retailers use fragrances to create a pleasant atmosphere and draw customers into the store. Utilizing sound is another method to maintain a welcoming environment. The type of music, beats per minute, and volume can influence whether patrons linger to browse or feel rushed to leave.

It might not be practical to use taste in every retail setting, but food retailers can significantly benefit from offering samples to showcase their products. This approach often yields the most business benefits. Industrial electrical contractors, for instance, can apply similar principles to engage potential clients. For more information on how to tap into the senses and influence customer behavior, check out the accompanying resource.

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