Atmospherics That Influence Consumer Behavior

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  • 0:04 It's In the Atmosphere
  • 0:43 Atmospherics That…
  • 3:54 Online Shopping Atmospherics
  • 4:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Consumers are affected by many things as they shop, whether it is their environment, how much time they have, or what they are shopping for. In this lesson we will discuss how the environment can influence a buyer.

It's in the Atmosphere

Consider this: You go out to purchase a few groceries, in a town with many stores. When you walk into your regular grocery store, it smells of soured milk and rotten garbage. More likely than not, you're going to walk right back out without purchasing your goods. This is just one example of atmospherics, the factors of a retail space that affects its environment and impact consumers at work. When creating an environment that will entice consumers and provide the right ambiance to encourage consumer purchasing, it is important for businesses to keep in mind the characteristics that can affect a consumer's mood. Let's take a look at some of the atmospherics that can influence buyers.

Atmospherics That Influence Buyers

While a bad smell can make you walk out of a store, what about a good scent? If your local grocery store smelled of fresh peaches and apples, this would draw you in. The great smell subtly suggests that the store is clean and has fresh products. This is why stores will place the produce section close to the front doors. It provides a scent without having to add additional smells into the air. Another example is when realtors ask the sellers of a home to bake bread or have coffee going when showing the house. These are smells that people consider to be homey and, thus, help buyers to see themselves living in that home.

Color can also be negative or positive. A business with bright, overwhelming colors might be interesting to a younger crowd, but a turn off for others, so it's important to use colors to invite, not overwhelm. Rich and vibrant colors can make a business look solid and prosperous, whereas faded paint and carpets can make a business look seedy.

Light is a simple atmospheric. Too much light, especially fluorescent light, can make a business seem sterile, like a hospital. Warmer lights will make a building more comfortable, while dimmer lights, make it impossible to see, and unless it is a dance club, it is not conducive to selling products.

Another atmospheric that businesses need to take into account is the organization of the retail space and the ease of access for consumers. Have you ever walked into an old bookstore and it is maze-like with piles of old books, all of them scattered about and falling on the floor, making it hard to move? While in a bookstore this might seem interesting and kooky, think about this same layout in a grocery store. This disorganization will steer customers away immediately. For most businesses, it is important to have ease of access so consumers can get in and get out with their purchase.

And let's not forget about product display, particularly point-of-purchase displays. You know, the candy bars that are right there at the cash register, the place where all customers in a store end up. These displays are placed there to tempt people because it is so easy to drop that candy bar in your cart.

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