Putting the Spotlight on Consumer Decisions

Consumer marketing revolves to a large extent around consumer decisions — the way consumers make their decisions as well as the decisions they arrive to.  Marketing techniques and activities, in implementing a strategy, are very often designed in aim to influence decision processes in favour of a company’s brands, products and services.

Mexx Fashion Shop Front Window

But decision processes involve more than the decision itself as outcome. Choices are frequently accompanied by judgements — usually a judgement would precede the choice decision, but sometimes judgements are constructed after the decision is made. Furthermore, decision processes may entail a mix of cognition and emotion.  Decisions can be made, when the occasion requires, in a rational, logical, and deliberate way. However, consumer decisions are guided even more regularly by habit and intuition and may be affected by feelings and emotions.

In some instances feelings and emotions are disruptive, distracting consumers from rational thinking, but in other instances they can be informative, instructive or protective. It should also be noted that many decisions are made automatically and sub- or unconsciously, without a consumer being aware of how those decisions were made. The human brain can autonomously make fast and effortless decisions for us — hence, consumers may not be able to explain the drivers to a decision and, if asked, might resort to fabricating their reasons.

Most generally, the C / S / C Behaviour website relates to people in the role of consumers, concerning their decision-making processes and overt behaviour through their purchasing, consumption and usage experiences. However, sections of the website are especially dedicated to two specific roles of consumers as shoppers and as customers. These roles indeed overlap, and yet certain aspects and activities are more distinctive or pronounced in each role.

Understanding marketing practice in light of consumer decision-making and behaviour — theory, research and application.

As visitors of  C / S / C Behaviour, you will find here commentary, analyses and reviews of marketing events and phenomena from a consumer perspective with a focus on decision-making. Marketing is approached here in a broad sense to include also adjacent fields such as advertising, retailing, and customer relationship marketing.

As implied above a myriad of related topics beyond decisions per se will be covered here — behaviour, thoughts and feelings, beliefs and attitudes, judgement and choice, experiences — that accompany consumer decision-making, during and after a decision process. Accordingly, interested visitors may learn and refresh their knowledge from reviews and research updates on these topics. Research methodologies and models, new and established, will be explored to illuminate their function and contribution.

Theatrical, colourful and entertaining displays of stores’ front windows can act as a prime invitation to shoppers. When standing-out in its creativity and originality, the display should serve as an enhanced ‘visit card’ for the store or shop. In order to attract passer-by shoppers the arrangement of the front window display has to be eye-catching, interesting yet also pleasing to the eye.

Above are five appealing examples of stores or shops for homeware, fashion & accessories. The front windows are not ‘blocked’ so they give at least a sneaking view to the interior of the store, which usually continues the style of display on the front. In some of the stores the interior background is the more dominant. The retailers have to take care, however, to retain a sense of order in the quantity, variety and arrangement of objects (products, props), as opposed to creating clutter by overloading with details. The stores in these examples appear to keep with such guidance, and thus making their displays informative and appealing.

In each shop or store shown in the gallery there is another aspect of the design that catches the eye in aesthetics or arrangement. At the ladies’ fashion store of Marie Claire (Zurich), for example, it is the arrangement of garments and handbags set with props (e.g., white drawers) in its front window — the combination of colours made up an artful display that pleases the eye. In Bernard’s shop for home its whole interior fills the scene and makes the attraction — the art designs of pillows, carpets, and furniture create a homely, warm and joyful atmosphere.