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Customer buying behavior is influenced by placing handles on shopping carts |  Abroad

Customer buying behavior is influenced by placing handles on shopping carts | Abroad

Grocery store customers will spend more or less money depending on whether they use a particular type of shopping cart. For example, customers will spend up to 25 percent less when shopping with a traditional shopping cart with horizontal handles. That’s according to a new study from the Bayes School of Business.




The study looks at how a standard horizontal handlebar shopping cart, such as what you might find in the supermarket, can be used to activate the triceps muscle in the arm. In contrast, a newly designed shopping cart with parallel handles, like a wheelbarrow, activates the biceps. Psychological research has shown that triceps activation is associated with rejecting things we don’t like, for example when we push or pull away from something. Biceps activation is related to the things we like, for example when we pull something towards us.

A shopping cart with a horizontal handle (top) and a new shopping cart with two parallel handles (bottom). © Bayes School of Business

“Buy loose muscle”

When testing the newly designed shopping cart on consumers in supermarkets, study researchers, Professors Zachary Estes and Mathias Streicher, found that those who used shopping carts with parallel handles bought more products and spent 25 percent more money than those who used a shopping cart with parallel handles . Standard shopping cart. Estes described the results of the study as “appalling”: “It is shocking to find that even a small change in the position of the handles can have a huge impact on shopper spending. The handles literally make us relax our purchasing muscles.”


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Traditional shopping carts can act as a welcome and unexpected brake to keep unnecessary purchases out of your cart

Zachary Estes, Professor of Marketing at Bayes School of Business

The results indicate that supermarket chains are more likely to increase sales by introducing new shopping carts to customers. However, interviews revealed that major shopping cart manufacturers had not yet considered using parallel handles on their carts. So they were surprised that the placement of the knobs could affect sales. “While the Covid-19 virus has significantly reduced Black Friday sales in 2020, we can now expect stores to overrun this weekend as consumers look to stock up on the holiday season. But merchants seem to be missing out on an opportunity if they want to increase their sales even more,” Estes said.

Also useful for consumers

Estes then concluded that the study result could also be put to good use by consumers: “Conversely, the results of the study could also be very beneficial for consumers, now that Christmas is approaching. If they want to keep their shopping trips to a minimum, And buying all their gifts at once, they can work on their biceps to put things in their cart.However, if they want to keep their spending to a minimum, traditional shopping carts can act as a welcome and unexpected factor to keep unnecessary purchases out of their cart. “.

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