A new study conducted by Valdimar Sigurðsson, professor of Marketing and Consumer Psychology at the University of Reykjavík, shows that the shopping cart plays a big role in brick-and-mortar stores’ competitiveness with online outlets, Vísir reports. This finding was presented as part of a research project that tracks consumer behavior in stores.
In collaboration with colleagues in Norway, Valdimar has been researching how people behave in stores, analyzing footage from cameras that have been hung in shops around Norway to monitor customers' behavior from the time they enter the store until they leave.
“We see everything [the customer] does—where he goes, where he doesn’t go, whether he looks at certain shelves or products, picks up a product, puts it in his cart and then puts it back later, and so on,” he explained.
The idea behind the project is to map consumer behavior and improve service competitiveness with online stores.
“We need to learn more about ourselves, just like the internet does, and react and give ourselves a better experience. That means not waiting in line, or walking down whole aisles where there is nothing to see, but rather going straight to what we need to get. The right consumer at the right place at the right time.”
One of the findings of the report showed that shoppers tend to get a cart instead of holding all their purchases. Carts are convenient and user-friendly and a shopper who takes one is much more likely to make purchases than a customer who doesn’t. Valdimar says that the shopping cart will become even more important in the near future, when they start integrating smart technologies and are fitted with digital displays.
“They’re going to be self-driving, with screens that help us shop. Help us find products, see what’s on sale, know what goes together in recipes, and so on.”