Shoppers drawn 'straight down the middle'

Jan 14, 2013
Shoppers drawn 'straight down the middle'

(Phys.org)—Shoppers are naturally drawn to products displayed centrally according to researchers at Aston Business School (ABS).

Dr Dina Rasolofoarison from ABS and researchers at Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris (HEC) and Concordia University have discovered that are more likely to choose brands if they are placed horizontal in the centre of a display. 

The researchers found that a shopper's eye is naturally drawn to the middle of supermarket aisles without even being aware -a tendency which is known as 'horizontal centrality.'

To collect the data for the studies eye-tracking devices were used to investigate how location can influence our choices. The researchers found that had a tendency to increase their visual focus on the central option in the display in the final five seconds prior to making a decision and this determined which option they would choose. Shoppers did not accurately recall the choice process that took place and were not aware of any conscious visual focus.

Dr Rasolofoarison who led the research for Aston said; "The centrally located brand within each product category was chosen more often even when it wasn't placed in the centre of the shelf or the visual field."

"The research discovered that the whole process is a subconscious one and that consumers do not accurately recall their reasons for their decision. They were not aware of any conscious on one area of the display over another. In essence, we may be making the most natural choice, but not always the best choice."

The paper, published in the , concludes that shoppers might make better choices if they were aware of how they are influenced by placement.

Explore further: Understanding the economics of human trafficking

More information: www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086… 1&sid=21101519896553

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A closer look at the consuming gaze

Jul 30, 2012

Rows of chip bags in a vending machine, endless bottles of shampoo on pharmacy shelves, long lines of books arranged in the bestsellers section at the bookstore. From supermarket shelves to barroom beer selection, long lines ...

Recommended for you

Understanding the economics of human trafficking

13 hours ago

Although Europe is one of the strictest regions in the world when it comes to guaranteeing the respect of human rights, the number of people trafficked to or within the EU still amounts to several hundred ...

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

Jul 25, 2014

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

Jul 24, 2014

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0