Another Way Retailers Can Make a Come-Back

In behavioral science we learn that the remembering self is very different from the experiencing self.  The way you remember things is different from the way you experience them.  This is important because we must decide whether we are creating better experiences or better memories.

The remembering self cannot possibly relive every moment you experience, so it creates summaries of the experience.  Current research supports that humans remember the Peak and the End of an experience, scientists call this the Peak-End Rule.  

Now back to retail.  Think about the end of your experience with a recent shopping trip.  A long checkout line?  Being surprised by the total bill at checkout?  An unhappy checkout clerk?  Trying to carry all your belongings to the car in the summer heat?  Something you paid for but can't seem to find in your bags?

Compare this to ecommerce.  The last thing you experience is the package arriving at your doorstep.  Or perhaps opening the box - who doesn't like unboxing?  You weren't surprised by the total basket price at checkout (you could put something back easily anyway).  No unhappy clerk.  No long checkout lines.  You're all good unless it doesn't fit, at which point things go downhill quickly.

In order to create better memories of shopping visits, we recommend retailers focus on store designs that maximize the end of the store visit.  Instead of, for example, the token store greeter, focus on the end of the visit instead.