Main Components Of The Art Of Retail In The Science Of Shopping By Malcolm Gladwell

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

In this fast-paced world, many of us frequently visit the stores whenever we have the spare time, whether it is on our way to work, during lunch, or during the weekends. We rely on the stores for many of our basic needs like food, clothing, and many more things that we need to fulfill our necessities. Even though it is very easy for us to go to the specific area of the store and quickly grab the products that we need in a convenient manner, many of us have never even thought about the rationale behind this organization. For example, we have never thought about how and why the stores are organized the way they are.

But in the article “The Science of Shopping” by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell brings forward the techniques that the retailers use to influence the customers. Retailers focus on providing their customers with their needs in a convenient manner along with making profit for themselves.

The article by Gladwell describes many designs used by retailers. These designs affect the customers in how they look at things, how they buy things, how they physically feel and judge things according to their levels before actually spending their money. The designs Gladwell shared in his article were decompression zone, invariant right, butt brush theory, petting/touching/sampling, zones/spaces/store depth, destination items and how men and women shop differently. The designs described by Gladwell are actually present in the store I visited. It was particularly easy to find the decompression zone design, invariant right design and store depth/zones design.

The first design that Gladwell mentioned in his writing, that I easily noticed in the store I visited was the decompression zone. As Malcolm Gladwell states decompression zone can be described “The area inside the door… That never, ever put anything of value in that zone. Not shopping baskets or tie racks or big promotional displays because no one is going to see it” (Gladwell 94). This could be clearly observed in the store I visited since it had nothing placed in the entrance. This design impact the customers by allowing them to focus just on shopping instead of worrying about other things going on in their life. This will make the customers avoid the extraneous worries that they are going through by bringing their attention to the attractive products in the store. The techniques like these are used by the retailers to attract the customers and promote their business, moreover, it also makes the shopping a convenience and memorable experience.

The second design that Malcolm Gladwell mentioned in his writing, that I noticed in the store I visited was the invariant right. As Malcolm Gladwell states the invariant right can be described “…whether it’s Nordstrom or K Mart, Tiffany or the Gap – the shoppers invariably and reflexively turns to the right” (Gladwell 90). This could be clearly observed in the store I visited. Whenever someone entered the store they turned right and kept right until they had to turn. This happens because people walk the way they drive. This design impacted the customers because the retailers put the costly or over stocked things they want to sell fast in the right side of the store. So, the more things retailers put on the right side, then more people will see it, which increases the chances of the item to be sold.

The third design that Malcolm Gladwell mentioned in his writing, that I noticed in the store I visited was petting/touching/sampling. As Malcolm Gladwell states “it would never have occurred to me to wonder about the increasingly critical role played by touching or, as Paco calls it petting clothes of making the decision to buy them” (Gladwell 97). This could be clearly observed the store I visited. As I was walking through the store looking for clothes, I saw lots of people touching and feeling the clothes. This design impacted the customers because when they feel the clothing they can see if it is comfortable for you. I have also observed the food section. When I walked through the food section, I saw some people sampling food. This is very important for customers because instead of buying food and then not liking it later can lead to food wastage. It’s good to sample food before buying.

The fourth design that Malcolm Gladwell mentioned in his writing, that I noticed in the store I visited was zones/spaces/store depth. As Malcolm Gladwell states “if you could sell someone a pair of paints you must also be able to sell that person a belt, or a pair of socks, or a pair of underpants, or even do what the gap does so well: sell a person a complete outfit” (Gladwell 98). This could be easily observed in the store I visited. I went to the grocery store to buy milk. It is placed at the very back of the store for a reason. People by milk often so when they go to buy milk, they have to travel through the whole store to get to the milk.

This affects the customers because when they have to travel all the way back to the end, they also see many other things they want to buy. When customers see other things while going to the milk section there are more chances that they will also buy more things. For example, when I was observing the store, I saw that the main items that are sold all of the time were put at the back of the store. They were placed at the back of the store so people will have to go through, looking at all of the other items which increases the chances of other items to be sold.

The fifth design that Malcolm Gladwell mentioned in his writing, that I noticed in the store I visited was men vs women. As Malcolm Gladwell states “It’s no surprise to anybody that men and women shop differently” (Gladwell 99). This could be easily observed in the store that I visited. I went the clothing store and observed men and women as they were looking at clothes. Men were being more impulse driven, they just looked ate cloths material and bought it and men didn’t use any coupons, they just paid with card or money.

While woman was very touchy and looked at lots of things before they bought something. Another thing I noticed was women bought whatever they found interesting. While men on the other hand bought only the things they came to the store for. This affects the customers because the retailers put more stuff for women then for men because they know women come shopping when they are free from house work and they spend more time in store then men.

Overall, the designs I noticed in the stores I visited were decompression zone, invariant right, touching/sampling, zones/spaces/store depth, destination items. In addition, I also observed how men and women shop differently. Different designs affect the consumers in unique ways. Decompression zone affects customers by transporting visitors from a distracted mindset to a calmer state, ready to embrace the actual shopping journey. touching/sampling affects customers by helping them find the type of products they actually want.

Zones/spaces/store depth affects customers in positive and negative way. Positive way is it saves their time by letting them know the products approximate location. Negative way is they have to go through all of the other stuff, and it can make them spend more money. Invariant rights affect customers by grabbing their attention and alluring them to buy products. These designs shape the view of customers and they also affect customers in a way they look at things, how they buy things and how they feel things.

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