Understanding and Influencing How Shoppers Navigate Your Store
Consumers and marketers alike were shocked in the 1950s when journalist Vance Packard published The Hidden Persuaders, a book highly critical of the methods used to influence consumer behavior. In a chapter titled “Babes in Consumerland,” Packard describes how consumer researchers observed women shopping in supermarkets and used this information to devise ingenious ways to “manipulate” them. Some of the in-store observations Packard described seem extremely exaggerated, stereotypical, and—from today’s more focused perspective—almost comical:
Many of these women were in such a trance that they passed by neighbors and old friends without noticing or greeting ...