shopper brain conference
Dublin, October 25-26, 2023
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Does your fancy store evoke desire in shoppers?
Understanding the up rise of utilitarian style retailers

Keynote Dr. Roeland Dietvorst (Alpha.One the Netherlands) will discuss a multi-client study based on fMRI scans. Clients consist of brands in retail and fast moving consumer goods. The goal of the investigation was to disentangle the drivers of consumer decision making in different retail settings, namely: hedonic versus utilitarian.
When designing a retail environment people focus on creating an experience. For hedonic strategies this encompasses specific lighting, wide alleys, a lot of choice, enough staff, etc. While for more utilitarian strategies it means that products need to be cheap, so there is not a lot of focus on creating an experience.

The study aims to understanding the effects of these different environments on the brain. Participants were presented with a set of stimuli during fMRI scanning, comprised of first person view video and pictures of hedonic and utilitarian environments.

This study aims to understand the success and up rise of utilitarian style retailers. A counter intuitive effect is created by the utilitarian style, where signaling a low price puts shoppers in an impulsive buying mode. To understand these effects we measured reward processing in the brain to learn how design aspects of the environment trigger impulsive buying.

Audience take aways:
- Understanding brain processes that explains the success of utilitarian style retailers
- Functional MRI investigation into hedonic versus utilitarian retail environments and their effects on impulsive buying
- Creating the right consumer experience

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