Consumer Insights on the In-Store Experience

I recently interviewed with NeuroFocus. As a student of consumer insights, I am fascinated with the findings of NeuroFocus in “The Buying Brain” by Dr. A.K. Pradeep. I will be sharing those key findings in this and other posts.

The following are findings you may find helpful when positioning your product in a store or putting together a planogram:
– The brain dislikes straight lines and sharp edges. As such, avoid incorporating sharp lines in a store setting to make it much more appealing to the brain.
– The brain prefers natural textures. They seem to evoke a deep emotional response. Things like wood, grass, leaves and water are familiar, comfortable and inviting.

There are seven experiences to the shopper experience:
1. Information — the shopping environment is fie with information. The brain must quickly determine what is relevant. Effective in-store environments creatively use imagery and iconography to enhance emotional processing. Human being provide a vital role in providing information to the customer so customer service reps walking the aisles to assist customers is more critical in a more complex environment. The older we get the harder it is to suppress distractions. The retail industry needs to consider this if they’re targeting older customers.
2. Environment — those that mimic the customer’s natural environment for product consumption create superior purchase intent versus environments that do not. Environments that prime occasions or life situations in which the consumer uses or experiences the product or service create significant emotion, purchase intent and novelty. Too many elements can compete with each other lowering the effectiveness of elements. Placing select products next to each other (e.g., peanut butter and jelly) can create implicit environments with explicitly labelling it as such. Linear warehouse like placement of products is much less neurologically effective than environments that create a superior shopping experience with an environment that is natural, effective and intuitive.
3. Entertainment — provides emotional relieve, minimizes the pain of purchase and increases overall shopping time. It also tends to make the goal-oriented shopper into one that browses and generally more relaxed. Personnel in the store place a vital role in providing an entertainment boost for the customer. As such, it’s important to evaluate the scripts and delivery performances of the personnel.
4. Education — superior shopping experiences enable consumer to walk away having absorbed a lot of information, as well as extracted insight that becomes part of the education experience. Displays emphasizing educational value are processed differently in the brain than those provided simply for entertainment value. Brand loyalty has a positive correlation to educational materials provided at the point of purchase.
5. Simplicity improves the shopping process. It must be a core component of the consumer’s experience. Fewer objects in the environment contribute to a sense of simplicity as does the intelligent use of color and taxonomy.
6. Self-worth/social worth — arises from an experience in which shoppers come away feeling good about themselves and their contributions to society.
7. Community — Humans are hard-wired to want to be part of a community. Community can have many different foundations but they all fulfill deep emotional needs. We specifically seek elements that are intended to showcase sense of belonging or affiliation with a community of choice.

Remember, the median average supermarket, not superstore and not warehouse, is 46,755 square feet. The average number of items in a supermarket is 46,852.

What are you doing to simplify the consumer’s shopping experience?


About Chipotle for Life

An integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. My blog for marketing now resides at After getting requests from a number of people about my eating and exercise routine, I've decided to begin sharing about my healthy obsession with Chipotle and exercise.
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