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Pay ‘Tention!(observation Lab assignment) What difference does it make to Observe one’s environment?
Pay ‘Tention Summary My daughter likes to say “pay tention”, or when I am driving, “pick a lane”. And I always thought I paid attention and was observant. I found that different stores have different motivations for shoppers – some want you to get in single file and follow the rules, and some want a more abstract way of interacting with their store Some want you in and out as soon as possible and some want you to linger, to “shop” Generally the department stores cater to women, as evidenced by their product placement at the entrances But all stores have one things in common: they want our money before we leave the store.
Store #1 A UPS Store All about business Printing: What do you want to print, how many, color or B&W, and one-sided or two-sided, and when Shipping: how big, how valuable, and when do you want it to arrive Some self-service capability Very helpful staff (they want you in-and- out asap)
Store #2 Target Department Store Well lit First thing you encounter are the shopping carts Mostly women shoppers All items presented in a clear and compelling way, with Target Brand placed near the hi-margin movers, at eye-level I went mid-day and most women had a child in tow First thing, next to the carts, was a small food service area – get something in the kids before you continue your “shopping”
Store #3 Home Depot What can I say – it’s a warehouse A bit overwhelming when first entering the store No matter what you are looking for you have to either pay very close attention to directional signage or ask the greeter Rarely a choice between brands High dollar items, such as appliances and cabinets, are closest to the entrance (Unlike Lowe’s that has seasonal items near the entrance) Helpful staff, sometimes, when available first real person you encounter, if the greeter is not there, is someone wanting to sign you up for a Home Depot credit card (free popcorn)
Store #4 Rite-Aid Once you enter the store the aisles are spoke- like – the entrance being the hub of the spoke Impulse items “every where” Security mirrors in the ceiling (the only place I observed this) Easy to get around, in no way overwhelming Signage was easy to read Help was friendly and accessible
Store #5 Macy’s Two entrances: both targeted at women shoppers One entrance included mostly cosmetics and the overwhelming “fragrance” from same The other entrance was all about women’s shoes, handbags, accessories The men’s wear/shoes were upstairs and in the back, furthest from the entrance Housewares (pots and pans) were closer to the entrance than men’s departments
Store #6 Safeway Two entrances: floral and produce at one entrance and deli at the other entrance The floral departmtent was a pleasant place to begin shopping (or hunting) Both traditional check out and self-check- out registers Brightly lit, helpful staff, easy to go around No samples (unlike Costco where they are abundant)
Store #7 London Heathrow Terminal 5 This was the most interesting of all There is an area for departing passengers that has a bank of escalators, several very long escalators I found a place to sit where I could observe an “endless” stream of people going up and going down The most remarkable thing was 1) the number of passengers that I observed and 2) virtually no similarity whatsoever among all of the people All were taller, shorter, fatter, skinnier, blonder, blacker, whiter, browner than the other. Short hair, long hair, ornamental hair, ornamental clothes, etc., etc. The most interesting of all observations for this assignment was this (observations were made outside of this specific assignment timeline Did you know: London Heathrow have103 escalators?
Insights and Opportunities Summary Big stores have big carts, higher ceilings, more inventory Department stores cater to women shoppers (no carts – seems funny don’t you think) Security, such as mirrors in the ceilings, are more obvious/prevalent in smaller stores I am a hunter, not a shopper – go purchase what I need and move on (no shopping for me) #1 insight: In the future, I have resolved to look where I am not going! This includes conversations, f2f or otherwise, when I am driving, and or when I am in presentations or meetings. I assume a lot, and going forward, I will try to assume less.