Technology and sensory stimuli as support for physical retail experience design
Authors: Paulo Eduardo Hauqui Tonin, Elton Moura Nickel, Flávio Anthero Nunes Vianna Dos Santos
Abstract: With the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary social isolation, purchases made by the digital channel gained a notable space, evidecing the changes in shopping habits that have been taking place over the last ten years. In Brazil, the growth of online shopping was 75% and in China, sales through e-commerce are expected to surpass sales in physical stores for the next two years to come (e-Marketer, 2021). In the age of digital interactions, consumers demand a new level of concern. Being at the center in the making of products and services, users define any and all design decisions. Euromonitor, in a report issued in late 2020, pointed out that approximately 60% of consumers between 15 and 29 years old used augmented reality or virtual reality in the last year at the same time that 68% of consumers over 60 years old prefer to talk to human representatives when making transactions or purchases. This proves the need to rethink the experience offered in physical retail, incorporating different generations and shopping habits. Although attracted by the speed and convenience of the virtual environment, customers are looking for personalized and multi-sensory shopping experiences that only physical stores are able to offer. In order to claim their importance and permanence in the current scenario that moves with dynamism, these points of sale must include in the experience they offer personalized solutions that involve, for instance, sensory stimulation and technology. When consistent with the brand image, product, and target audience, these solutions can, together, create a more compelling experience.Marketing or sensory branding consists of the precise use of environmental elements in order to act on the senses and generate affective, cognitive and behavioral reactions, which can contribute to usability and satisfaction, as well as memory and decision-making processes. Through technology, in addition to simplifying tasks, it becomes possible to make visible what would otherwise be invisible or even hide what is irrelevante in the shaping of the shopping journey. In attendance as mnemonic aids, like smartphones and tablets, or even solutions for immersive experiences, as augmented or virtural reality devices, technologies must be designed according to the audience they intend to interact with. This study is characterized as an exploratory research that, through literature review, seeks to raise ideas and thoughts on technology and sensory stimulation acting as support for experience design in physical retail environments, understanding the influence they can exert on users cognitive processes and responses. Based on different fields of knowledge, such as cognitive ergonomics and marketing, the study intends to promote an integrated view of the topic, facilitating its approach and understanding for both designers and retailers.
Keywords: Experience Design, Consumer Behavior, Cognitive Ergonomics, Technology, Sensoriality
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