Special Collection: Retail
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Special Collection: Retail

As we approach the holiday season, it’s time to consider what brings customers to stores (or at least their computers), as well as how to be a better consumer ourselves. Here’s a special collection of articles about ads, the customer experience, and whether or not you should buy that extended warranty.

man watching exciting advertisement

Whiz! Bang! Boom! Energetic Ads Hold Viewers’ Attention

Louder, busier commercials are the new norm. And they seem to be working.

family ignores TV ads

TV Advertising Is Usually Not Worth It

Companies spend vast sums on commercials, but it’s been difficult to gauge their effectiveness. A new study offers a more reliable method—and some bad news for many brands.

person skateboarding while shopping on smartphone

For Brands, Perfection Is Out and Authenticity Is In

“It helps you seem more trustworthy and enjoyable, like a friend who is going to give you advice on what to buy.”

Shopper moves from outlet store to retail store.

Does Opening an Outlet Store Hurt Existing Sales?

New research challenges the notion that lower quality product lines dilute your brand.

person looking through binoculars at luxury products

Does Distance Make the Consumer’s Heart Grow Fonder?

New research finds that how far we’re standing from a product changes what we think of it.

One shopper stands in front of an image of a flat meadow, while another shopper looks at an image of a mountain.

A Surprisingly Simple Way to Encourage Customers to Take a Risk

How certain kinds of visuals can inspire people to be more adventurous.

Being uncomfortably hot makes us less likely to help.

Is It Too Hot to Help Out?

Why the thermostat may be the key to better customer service.

A customer reacts to the low inventory on online flash deals.

What Makes an Online Flash Sale Successful?

When ratings and reviews aren’t enough, showing that a deal is popular can convince others to buy.

man sits at computer reading Q&A forum

Product Q&A Forums Hold a Lot of Promise. Here’s How to Make Them Work.

The key to these online communities, where users can ask and answer questions, is how many questions get useful answers.

Anger helps a consumer make a decision

Take 5: The Surprising Ways Emotions Shape Consumer Behavior

Companies, take note—emotions like anger, fear, and anticipation can impact what ends up in consumers’ shopping carts.

A man decides whether to buy an extended warranty for a TV.

No, Extended Warranties Are Usually Not Worth It

So why do so many people keep buying them?

A consumer struggles with choice overload.

When Are Consumers Most Likely to Feel Overwhelmed by Their Options?

Research points to four predictors of “choice overload.”