After six hours of Christmas shopping on Saturday, I couldn’t help but notice how little attention retailers seem to pay to the customers’ in store experience. Finding a DVD was the worst, mainly because I couldn’t tell how the movies were categorised in any store I visited. But then I started wondering. With all this rampant commercialisation, is it a good idea that things are easier to buy? Can usability and market research be used for evil instead of good?
For example, supermarket design is evil. Most supermarkets make it deliberately hard to get to commonly purchased items. They ensure that milk and bread are at the furthest corner from the store entrance. This means customers must travel the length of the store to find them, hopefully making more impulse purchases on the way. Essentially, they are being enticed into buying items which usually yield a higher profit than the staple products. Read more »