Using standard shopping carts can help buyers save money


Buyers are likely to save money as the holiday season approaches if they use standard shopping carts, new research has found.

The study, led by Bayes Business School, explores how using the standard shopping cart with horizontal handlebars – as you’ll likely find in a supermarket – activates the triceps muscle in the arm, while using a cart Newly designed with parallel handles – like that of a wheelbarrow – activates the biceps muscle (see image in notes to editors).

Research in psychology has proven that activating the triceps is associated with rejection of things we don’t like – such as when we push or hold something away from ourselves – while activating the biceps is associated with things. that we like – for example when we pull or hold something close to us to our body.

Testing the newly designed cart on consumers in a supermarket, report authors Prof Zachary Estes and Mathias Streicher found that those who used shopping carts with parallel handles bought more products and spent 25% more money. money than those who used the standard cart.

The results indicate that retailers are likely to accumulate greater sales and profits by providing customers with shopping carts with parallel handles, while consumers are likely to have greater control over their spending if they use the standard shopping cart.

While shoppers using the standard cart spent an average of £ 22 in store, those with a parallel cart spent £ 29 during their visit, a difference of over £ 7.

Interviews revealed that major shopping cart manufacturers had not previously considered using parallel handles on their carts and were surprised to know that the position of the handles could impact sales.

This weekend marks one of the busiest on the annual calendar, with Black Friday sales starting in many stores on the 26th.e November. Statistics show UK consumers account for more than ten percent of all global Black Friday searches online this year, with sales forecast to break records and exceed £ 9 billion over the weekend.

Additionally, after a drop in in-person sales in 2020, due to the pandemic, offline Black Friday sales are expected to increase 7.3% in 2021, with around £ 3.4 billion to be spent in stores. .

It follows last week’s news that retail sales rose 0.8% in October ahead of the holiday season, 0.5% above forecast.

Shockingly, a small change in the position of the handles can have such a big impact on buyers’ spending. Indeed, the handles literally make us flex our buying muscles.

While Covid-19 has had a big impact on Black Friday sales in 2020, we can expect stores to be swarmed with shoppers stocking up ahead of the holiday season this coming weekend, but it looks like retailers are missing a trick if they want to increase their sales even further.

“Conversely, tThe results of this study can be very useful for consumers as Christmas approaches. If shoppers want to minimize their shopping and buy their freebies all at once, they can flex their biceps to pull things into their cart. If they want to minimize expenses, standard shopping carts can act as a welcome and unexpected restraint to keep unnecessary purchases out of the cart. “

Professor Estes, Professor of Marketing, Bayes Business School

Control sales: shopping carts affect shopping by activating arm muscles‘by Professor Zachary Estes, Professor of Marketing at Bayes Business School, and Mathias Streicher, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism at the University of Innsbruck, is published in the Marketing Journal.


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