Shopping appears to be a simple task of buying a good or service, but it is a psychological process. Much of the research has been dedicated to understanding this psychology of shopping of people. Under such studies, the behavioral patterns and purchasing tendencies of the buyers are taken into consideration. Various kinds of tricks and techniques are devised which can create a tendency for a purchaser to buy a product of a particular brand. Factors which play an important role in consumer behavior such as store design, arrangement, colors, textures, etc. are studied. Many brands are trying to master this counter-intuitive skill by knowing their customers and understanding the factors that influence their behavior.

The Nicosia model of consumer behavior is one such model that tries to establish the relationship between the firm and the potential customers in regard to the messages that are forwarded from each party to the other. It is divided into four fields that are the attributes of the firm and the consumers which include the marketing environment, characteristics of the target market, communication, past experience, personality and attitudes towards each other. Another field is search and evaluation of the products, which consists of the comparison of the alternative brands they offer similar products. Another field is the act of purchase which is taken up as a result of the motivation that a brand provides to a customer that leads the consumer to purchase a specific retailer product. The last field of Nicolsia model is the feedback of the sales results through which both firms and consumers are able to better their future sales and purchases, respectively. Such feedback affects their individual attitudes and improvises market relations. These models are completely based on the flow of information from one party to another and lack in explaining the internal factors such as the personality of a consumer that affects the attitude of consumers.

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The shopping of a person can be of two types that are conscious and unconscious. These two are very different concepts and can determine the quality of the purchase made. Conscious buyer tends to buy fewer products and is inclined towards buying second-hand goods. They often bring their own bags and set a budget for themselves by creating a shopping list which enables them to buy eco-conscious brands. These kinds of buyers prefer quality over quantity.

On the contrary unconscious shopping is when the shopping is done under stress, loneliness or boredom. Future use of the product is not considered rather impulse purchases are made. Unconscious shopping should be eliminated in order to increase the quality of the purchase.

The decision-making process of a purchaser is dependent on a variety of factors. One such factor is the color of the product. The human brain is designed in such a way that it retains most of the things that it sees rather than read or hear. Specific colors increase brand recognition and have the ability to attract specific types of customers and change their behaviors. For examples, impulse buyers are attracted towards shiny and bright colors and traditional buyers prefer soft colors. Another factor affecting the decision-making process is the type of sound and music that is played in the store. For instance, people perceive a shorter wait time when they hear music they personally like. Another factor is the signage strategies used by retailers to attract new customers. Signboards guarantee and sale create a stimulus in the purchasers and tempt them to move into the store. The smell or the fragrance that exist while making the purchase is also important as it affects the shopper’s mindset. Fragrances such as peppermint, citrus, vanilla, apple, cucumber, chamomile, etc. are used to direct the mood of a consumer in a specific direction. Online shopping decisions are made on entirely different kinds of factors such as the price of a product, shipping speed and delivery cost, flexible and free returns, simple site navigation, trustworthy reviews and discount offers.

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Would you like to read more about this topic? This book might interest you: Psychology of Shopping.