01/09/2017 - 14:23

Sensory signals show irresistible urge for chocolate

01/09/2017 - 14:23

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PHOTO ESSAY: Researchers from Curtin University’s School of Marketing, in partnership with the Curtin HIVE (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch), recently held one of the first studies of its kind to explore the effects of sensory cues in retail stores on consumer emotions.

Sensory signals show irresistible urge for chocolate

Researchers from Curtin University’s School of Marketing, in partnership with the Curtin HIVE (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch), recently held one of the first studies of its kind to explore the effects of sensory cues in retail stores on consumer emotions.

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The research team of Ian Phau, Min Teah, Billy Sung, and Isaac Cheah utilised an ultra-realistic immersive display and psychophysiological technology, such as facial expression analysis, in the study.

The immersive display is a four-metre diameter dome screen with a 180-degree field of view. The researchers projected 360-degree panoramic images of the Gabriel Chocolate store at Fremantle to recreate the store environment and atmospherics. The immersive display was used to emulate a real-world environment of the store.

Using facial analysis software and a biometric wristband, the researchers also tracked the facial expression, heart rate, and sweat levels of consumers. These biometric signatures provided a valid and reliable measure of each consumer’s emotions as they were taken through an immersive virtual store.

The research found that sensory cues evoke greater intensity of emotions, which enhances consumers’ attitudes towards the brand and likelihood of purchase. These findings suggest that the integration of sensory cues within the design of retail store atmospherics can be an effective marketing and branding strategy for businesses.

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