Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Creative displays put customers in the mood

A new international study has found that creative, ‘gimmicky’ and attractive displays subtly awaken customer senses and increase purchase behaviour.

The findings reveal that an imaginative retail display is a cost-effective way to increase product sales and return on investment.

Researchers from Monash University, Queensland University of Technology and Capital University of Economics and Business (China) examined the effect of imaginative product displays on more than 1500 participants from Australia, UK and the US.

They found that these displays triggered affect-based arousal and cognition-based inferred benefits in customers. This means the imaginative display arouses customers’ interest, along with inference of product benefits which increase their purchase intention for the product on display.

However, displays cannot just be creative for the sake of being creative. They need to be relevant to the product and capture the imagination of shoppers, says Professor Hean Tat Keh from Monash Business School.

“Besides arousal, our research revealed a cognition-based process whereby themed imaginative displays, with particular shapes mimicking actual objects such as a bear and a battle tank, conveyed embodied meanings, such as strength and energy, that transfer to the products constituting the display, which increase customers’ purchase intention,” says Professor Keh.

Key findings

  • A 53% increase in return on investment from the sale of tissue boxes between the imaginative and standard promotional displays in a grocery store.
  • Customers who were exposed to the imaginative product display were 48 per cent more likely to purchase chocolates than those who saw a standard display at a confectionary store.
  • Shoppers were more likely to buy more toothpaste if the display was creative and attractive than a standard display.
  • Energy drinks in a display shaped like a tank increased the purchase intention of customers due to the positive effects of arousal and inferred product benefits.

“Our findings not only explain why some retailers use ‘gimmicky’ imaginative displays, but also provide evidence on the processes and boundary conditions of these displays to favourably influence customers’ purchase behaviour and increase sales at relatively low costs,” says Professor Keh.

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