Library Dissertation Showcase

To what extent does the design of high and low-end clothing retail shops target the primary human senses to attract their target demographic and influence purchasing behaviour?

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

This study investigates what impact the sensory design used by both low and high-end retail stores has on the attraction and purchasing behaviour of their target demographic. It also explores whether the methods used by the two store types are the same or if the approach used by one is more effective than the other. The results obtained from this study lend themselves as a guide for retailers to increase sales and consequently profit.

Secondary research is collected through analysis of current literature, which was used to arrive at conceptual conclusions around the area and formed a basis for the next stage of the research. Primary research was conducted through the use of an online survey, which helped to understand the views and opinions of the different types of shoppers. The results showed that on average the most influential design features are the same for both high and low-end stores. However, the two types of shoppers have different preferences for a number of the sensory features.

A collection of observational studies on the design features used in a range of low and high­end stores was also conducted, alongside an interview with employees from both store types. This gave an insight into the types of design features commonly used and the reasoning behind them.

The study concludes that both types of stores have successful approaches to their sensory design which work best for their target demographic. This implies that the methods used by each are non-transferable, for example, what works well in influencing high-end customers is less effective on low-end customers. It was also found that the features that have the most influence on purchasing behaviour, and therefore should be considered most in the design of a store, are layout, lighting, colour and music.

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