Hardly a week goes by without news about a shop closing down. The ‘traditional’ high street shop is often struggling and seems to gradually becoming a thing of the past. However, there are many things that retailers can do to try and turn the situation around.
Consumers want experiences! They don’t just want shops to be a place where they buy something they want or need. Shops are now catering for sophisticated shoppers with high demands. Creating a positive experience does not have to be expensive or difficult. For example, you can make use of different types of sensory input such as touch to perceive the store environment in a better light. By ensuring that the people who enter through the door touches a product you are also increasing the chances of a sale being made. This is because people psychologically take ownership of what they are holding and thus don’t want to let go of it.
It is not only experiences that makes people come back and recommend your shop. Think about what the shop brand is. Make sure it runs as a theme through the store. Tell your potential consumers why they should go to you and not your competitor. Research has repeatedly shown that people are more likely to go into a shop if they know (at least roughly) what they can expect to find. Simply being a shop that sells all sorts of things is going to make it much harder to attract customer. Ensure you have a unique selling point. For example, maybe you are effectively the local book store or vinyl record store.
If this is an area you are interested in hearing more about you are welcome to attend my talk at the Festival of Ideas in Cambridge on the 26 October. I will then be exploring multiple factors that influence consumer perception in a positive manner and outline why ‘experiences’ are a key component in drawing people into a shop as well as how ‘experiences’ can be created. To sign up click on this link: https://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events/changing-times-high-street-psychological-perspective
Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd
Reader in Consumer Psychology
Department of Psychology
Anglia Ruskin University