How retail stores impact your spending

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that retail stores, at least well-designed ones, optimize lighting and colors to impact shopping behavior. But, they may be missing an opportunity to stimulate shopping activity, and here’s why. While walking home the other evening, I heard two ladies discussing how one didn’t like to go clothes shopping after work because between the store lighting, and her hunger level and exhaustion, it made her ill. Since this got my attention, I did some research on the topic.

According to the paper, Impact of Color on Marketing, “Color is ubiquitous and is a source of information. People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.”  Further, “[findings] of the study are that managers can use colors to increase or decrease appetite, enhance mood, calm down customers, and, reduce perception of waiting time, among others.”

I found this particularly interesting as I never gave much thought about how colors could be intentionally used to impact appetite while shopping. I am well aware how music is used to brighten mood in stores, but that can backfire, too. And, after hearing the ladies discuss their aversion to shopping while hungry and tired, retailers should take note of studies such as the one I read to ensure that they are influencing consumer decisions – to enter or not to enter – their stores effectively.

retail stores

Credit: Wikimedia

Lighting and color changes in retail stores

Considering that consumer spending is a major economic driver, especially with the holiday season approaching, I have an idea. Just as it us never advisable to shop at a grocery store while hungry, because one tends to spend more, clothing and other retail stores should consider lighting and color that is adjusted throughout the day. During the day, bright colors and lights, and at night, a bit more subdued. And, another hook for shoppers could be having some sort of evening hors d’oeuvres. That way, there’s a bit of an incentive for shoppers to come in and stay awhile if they are hungry as well.

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