Observation LabCrash Course on Creativity 2012 Professor Tina Seelig, Stanford University
The „temptation“ or the science of unnoticeably influencing our buying decisionsWhat do most shops have in common?● Most stores display some special offers already at the gate of the store● Once inside, a shelf with some selected articles is mostly one the first things you see● Most shops are oriented to the right, meaning the customer is guided to start the shopping tour clockwise● Products are displayed functionally● Red is a preferred color used by many stores and brands, especially from the „lower“ or „daily supply“ segments – like discounter, supermarkets or drugstores. Red is a color that one cannot just „oversee. As „attention grabbing“ color it influences the way we react and acknowledge the presence of the shop. When used inside, it is generally in relation to some „special offers“, bargains and speed („get it now!“). Red is used in logos and places which encourage us to take action, grab a product, etc. Red is also used to mark „special offer“ price tags (although, if you happen to know the usual price, youll notice that sometimes there is NO difference, so the „special offer“ price tag is obviously just to make us believe we are dealing with a bargain). The fact that discounter shops use red with predilection, points to the same „bargain“ concept.
Beauty is yummy!Food stores always push forward boxes where fruits, vegetables,natural drinks are „artistically“ displayed and the colors of theproducts are all in harmony, very pleasant and inviting. Green,orange, red and yellow dominate in these arrangements,inducing the pleasant feeling you are buying something healthy.
The Path outside entry „bite“ displayHmm, it smellsso nice here! Last „bite“ while waiting in line at the cashier
See? We are so popular! Come check us out!„OH, thats a shop – looks pretty crowded, look how many peopleare waiting in line at the cash register! Maybe I should check itout ?“Cash registeres at many shops are located near the entry / exit,and mostly very visible from outside (through the mostly largewindows). That way, the line of people waiting to pay is so visiblefrom outside, stressing the impression that the shop is popular (ornot!), influencing in this way new prospects and „convincing“ themto get in and check it out.In clothing / shoe stores however, I have observed that the cashregister is rather „hidden“ somwhere in the middle of the store,obviously encouraging some „extra browsing“.
Come & GoShopping habits vary according to the type of shop we are in.In supermarkets we mainly notice people in the 30+ agegroup, mostly alone and mainly searching for pre-definieditems. Exception teens who tend to only come in groups,mainly shopping for „junk food“ and drinks. Shop workers doalways wear some uniforms and do not engage in dialog withshoppers unless asked.Different is the situation in fashion shops for ex., wherepeople mainly „browse“ without a specific target and wherewe notice the sales people getting into action. In these shopsthe sales people do not wear a uniform, maybe just a tag.
As Peter M. Leschak once said …All of us are watchers — of television, of timeclocks, of traffic on the freeway — but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing.