Improving the attention-capturing ability of special displays with the combination effect and the design effect

Prior studies have provided examples of very large sales effects of special displays. In fact we often expect sales increases of several hundred percent for a brand on display. A previously discussed reason for the effectiveness of special display is the customers’ scarce attentive resources. Yet very little academic work has elaborated on aspects improving the displays’ attention-capturing abilities. In the present study more than 13,500 customers were observed approaching special displays. The results show that a retailer can improve a display’s effectiveness by combining the products with different POP-material as well as by improving the display’s design. For instance the design manipulation in the third experiment shows that a retailer can increase the sales with as much as 977 percent by changing from a commonly used display design to the one recommended in this paper. Both the combination effect and the design effect are tested in different settings.

This article builds on three different projects. The design comes from a project I did together with two students from Lund’s University. We created the displays in two ICA MAXI stores (MAXI Haninge and MAXI Nacka) in the outskirts of Stockholm. In the study with music on the endocaps, data was collected from ICA-coworkers at ICA Supermarket Tappström on the island Ekerö outside of Stockholm. That is the store where I do my shopping when I am in my Swedish home. Finally the digital signage data was collected at ICA MAXI Solna. Hence, the data was collected over a long period of time until the final idea for the article came to me.

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