Neuroscience points to radical in-store insights

Ian Addie

Experiments using neuroscience to track brain activity while people shop could revolutionise our understanding of how buying decisions are made in-store

Perhaps one of the most challenging media through which to communicate with the consumer is in-store, where competitive activity is at its greatest and the window of opportunity to convey a message is at its shortest. The challenge of the in-store medium for marketers is also one shared by those striving to measure the efficacy of in-store activity.

We already know that within the fleeting seconds that a shopper is exposed to an in-store stimulus, whether it's a price label, sign or product, their interaction with it is often at a subconscious level and they are unable to effectively articulate their response to it. While we like to believe our buying decisions are made consciously and rationally, they are far more usually made subconsciously and emotionally. Our brain and body act to autopilot us through much of our day-to-day lives and often only the novel or significant aspects of our experiences command conscious mental effort. In everyday situations, such as supermarket shopping, subconscious and emotional responses play a strong role in our decision-making.