Happier shoppers, more purchases

August 26, 2014

Supermarkets can mix classic and newer, high-tech ways to lift shopper mood and promote more buying.

Retailers seem well versed in how music, lighting, scent and other store-design elements correlate to shopper moods and purchase behavior, as well as to bigger baskets, longer trips and likelier repeat visits.  

That’s why stores often play slow-tempo music at moderate volume, and intensify smells of fresh-baked breads and tortillas, rotisserie chickens, and fragrant fruits and vegetables.  

They could do more too: sample foods they sell that are known to improve moods, such as chocolate, tea and berries, and omega-3 rich fish and flaxseed; brands could fund these efforts, or stores themselves in the case of private label. Especially with more retail dietitians on staffs, stores could educate and demonstrate caring with sampling to further connect with shoppers.

Efforts like these can help stores bust shopper stress – and foster an affinity to buy.

Food marketers today can also deploy a growing arsenal of technology tools to influence purchases more directly through such tactics as:  sending mobile coupons to shoppers’ cell phones based on where they are in a store, issuing check-in discounts as incentives, pinpointing where shoppers spend time in a store and the merchandise they look at, and sensing their emotional responses in real-time to staff interactions, special displays and products on the shelf.

Stores that recognize repeat visitors by the distinctive pings of their phones can better personalize the shopping experience and lift mood to a higher level, says The Lempert Report. Similarly, with high-powered cameras that show shoppers’ moods at the moment, the store knows when to intervene with, say, a companion food suggestion or instant discount sent to their phone or conveyed face-to-face by a department manager who “just happens to be walking by.”