This research investigates how shopping on a weekday or a weekend moderates the impact of music on supermarket sales. Contrary to the intuitive beliefs of interviewed store managers, a meta-analysis, two field studies, and a controlled experimental study indicate that playing pleasant music (vs. no music) in supermarkets on weekdays enhances sales, an effect not found on weekends. Theorizing and interviews with shoppers suggest a potential reason for this weekpart difference: Shoppers are more mentally depleted on weekdays (vs. weekends). A final study demonstrates and tests mental depletion as the driving factor for how shoppers are affected by music during different weekparts. When consumers are depleted (e.g., on weekdays) music increases affect, which mediates the impact of music on sales. The results of the studies further indicate that weekpart plays a significant role in determining the impact of in-store music on sales. This article concludes with a discussion of the substantive and theoretical importance of incorporating the impact of weekparts to predict in-store marketing effectiveness.
In-store communication delivered through technology formats (e.g., kiosk, digital display) as well as non-technology formats (e.g., magazine cover, flyer) can help retailers enhance sales by delivering relevant content to consumers. Although prior research has primarily examined the effects of deal-oriented content that primarily offers promotions for a single product on shopper spending, the effects of inspirational content that sparks ideas (e.g., novel ways to use products) on spending are unclear. Inspirational content can affect spending differently from deal-oriented content as it activates stronger motivation for consumption goal-completion. Guided by motivation for goal-completion, this article proposes that inspirational content increases spending more than deal-oriented content does. The authors propose and empirically test the hypotheses using data from a set of experimental studies, a field experiment, and an eye-tracking study. The results show that inspirational content increases spending more than deal-oriented content or no content. This effect is mediated by consumption goal-completion, such that it is attenuated when consumers already have consumption goals or when the content detracts from inspiration-induced goals. These results suggest that retailers can increase sales by using clear, inspirational content in their communications.
Holograms and video projections boost grocery store sales but the simpler, the better – new research from the Bath Retail Lab shows. The research findings were recently featured in The Grocer.
Anecdotal evidence is mixed regarding whether handheld scanners used in stores increase or decrease consumer sales. This article reports on three field studies, supported by eye-tracking technology and matched sales receipts, as well as two laboratory studies that show that handheld scanner use increases sales, notably through unplanned, healthier, and impulsive purchases. The findings highlight that these effects may be limited by factors such as not having a budget; for those without a budget, use of scanners can decrease sales. Building on embodied cognition and cognitive appraisal theories, the authors predict that scanners, as a bodily extension, influence sales through both cognitive (shelf attention, perceived control) and affective (number of products touched, shopping experience) mechanisms. The results offer implications for retailers considering whether to integrate scanners into their store environments.
Impulse buying by consumers has received considerable attention in consumer research. The phenomenon is interesting because it is not only prompted by a variety of internal psychological factors but also influenced by external, market-related stimuli. The meta-analysis reported in this article integrates findings from 231 samples and more than 75,000 consumers to extend understanding of the relationship between impulse buying and its determinants, associated with several internal and external factors. Traits (e.g., sensation-seeking, impulse buying tendency), motives (e.g., utilitarian, hedonic), consumer resources (e.g., time, money), and marketing stimuli emerge as key triggers of impulse buying. Consumers’ self-control and mood states mediate and explain the affective and cognitive psychological processes associated with impulse buying. By establishing these pathways and processes, this study helps clarify factors contributing to impulse buying and the role of factors in resisting such impulses. It also explains the inconsistent findings in prior research by highlighting the context-dependency of various determinants. Specifically, the results of a moderator analysis indicate that the impacts of many determinants depend on the consumption context (e.g., product’s identity expression, price level in the industry).
This research examines consumers’ general in-store mobile phone use and shopping behavior. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that mobile phone use decreases point-of- purchase sales, but the results of the current study indicate instead that it can increase purchases overall. Using eye-tracking technology in both a field study and a field experiment, matched with sales receipts and survey responses, the authors show that mobile phone use (versus nonuse) and actual mobile phone usage patterns both lead to increased purchases, because consumers divert from their conventional shopping loop, spend more time in the store, and spend more time examining products and prices on shelves. Building on attention capacity theories, this study proposes and demonstrates that the underlying mechanism for these effects is distraction. This article also provides some insights into boundary conditions of the mobile phone use effect.