Supermarket shopper movements versus sales and the effects of scent, light, and sound

René A. de Wijk*, Anna M. Maaskant, Stefanie Kremer, Nancy T.E. Holthuysen, Daniella A.J.M. Stijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Common sense assumes that supermarket sales of specific products are driven by the number of visitors and by their behavior during their visit. In addition, certain shopping ambiances probably stimulate a certain shopper behavior, resulting in more sales. Surprisingly, these relationships have rarely been experimentally tested in real-life supermarkets. Number of shoppers, shopper movement patterns, and sales of selections of white wines, coffees, and fruits in a medium-size supermarket were monitored over an 18-week period. Wines were visited for longer (9.5. s) than coffees (4.4. s) and fruits (4.5. s), but visitors to wines were relatively stationary and visits resulted less often in a sale (1 sale per 41.2 visits) than visits to coffees (1 sale per 21.7 visits) and fruits (1 sale per 3.7 visits). Visit frequency correlated positively with higher sales for coffee (Beta = 0.64, p <. 0.001) and for fruit (Beta = 0.33, p = 0.02) but not for wine. Wine, fruit, and coffee sales increased with the number of directional changes during a visit (p <. 0.001). Sales correlated positively with visit duration only for wine (Beta = 0.74, p <. 0.001). Local variations in scent, sound, and light conditions did not affect visit frequency or sales, but did affect speed during coffee (p = 0.04) and wine (p = 0.03) visits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Early online date24 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Light
  • Scent
  • Shopper movements/sales
  • Sound
  • Supermarket


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