Found this article in all places, Psychology Today. They analyzed how people shop and found patterns and trends in the way the average consumer navigates a store. Their findings can be utilized by retailers when designing and laying out their space to maximize and encourage sales. For example; since most people are right-handed, they tend to turn right when first entering a store. That high-traffic area may be the best area to place high-profit items.


The Urge to Splurge

Putty-colored mannequins and quaint window displays are so 1950s. Today’s retail stores map out the shopping experience with a precision that starts the moment you walk through those double glass doors.

Can’t help but reach for one of those V-neck sweaters so neatly stacked in the middle of The Gap? It may be the work of a savvy retail consultant like Paco Underhill, founder and CEO of Envirosell and author of the book Why We Buy.

PT investigates how retailers nudge you toward that cash register.

First Impressions

The Landing Strip

The first 10 feet inside a store are the “transition zone.” Because most shoppers walk at a brisk clip from the parking lot, store designers seek to slow the shopper down, using a table of clothing, a sign or perhaps a salesperson “greeter” as a speed bump. Few retailers put important merchandise next to the entrance because most shoppers aren’t yet in browsing mode.

Sweetest Spot

Most shoppers turn right, probably because most are right-handed. The right-hand thoroughfare attracts the highest traffic anywhere in the store. It is the perfect location for high-profit merchandise.

Look Here

Signs with just two or three words work best. At most, a sign registers for all of two seconds with a shopper.


We have also found with our own customers that striking images along with the one or two-worded sign leaves a lasting impression with today’s media-overloaded consumer. The old adage that a picture can speak a thousand words holds true. It can add continuity to the message you are trying to convey, as well as aid in the brand the persona of your store. Inventive displays can help draw a shopper to a specific area of your store, or in the case of a window display, pull them into your store. Get creative with your signs and merchandise presentation to help promote profitability.