Monday, October 26, 2009

The Science of Shopping

1. The main focus of this article was to communicate that store layouts must cater to the whims of the customers, not try to control them. In order to do this, those designing store layouts must pay close attention to analyses of customer habits. Paco Underhill was able to describe many of these habits. The Decompression Zone, as Paco describes, is an area in which layout designers should not put products, as this is the area where customers are readjusting to the environment of the store, and therefore not likely to pay attention to merchandise. Paco also makes observations such as the invariant right and the butt-brush theory.
Paco Underhill does not explain why people behave the way they do, and as far as designing layouts go, it does not matter why people act the way they do. The important thing is understanding the trends, and designing accordingly.

2. The layout of a store can either have very little influence on me or a great influence on me. It all depends on my mission for that particular shopping day. On a "let's go shopping day," in which I'm just there to browse, I suppose that a store's design would have a huge influence on me. However, if I know exactly what I want, and I'm on a mission, a store layout is likely to sway me or deter me from my path.

1. Is my store located in a place that is more or less likely to be passed unnoticed?
2. Is the decompression zone clear of any merchandise I really want to sell?
3. Does the atmosphere comfort the demographic I am trying to appeal to?
4. Is there an adequate amount of space? Will my customers feel comfortable or claustrophobic?

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