WalMart Essay

consumer / walmart / buying / psychology / customer

Observation on Wal-Mart

Average Wal-Mart customers are males/females aged 15-60 and are featured by the high consuming demand for purchasing new products and items. Usually people purchase after 6 p.m. when the working day is over. Usually this is evening time and Wal-Mart tries to apply visual attributes like lights, colours, special refreshing effects to boost consumer demand. More than that, Wal-Mart psychologists know which exact range of products sells better in the evening rather than in the morning. In the same way, more popular products sold during the weekends are positioned in more attractive visual places to win more consumers.

Over the years of careful and rigorous observations, Wal-Mart psychologists have spotted the following psycho-emotional details about Wal-Mart consumers. The overwhelming majority of consumers are seeking brand new fashionable items; much of this target group emphasize on sales and discounts. At that, an average consumer spends up to 10-12 minutes for an item. The preference given to the visual positioning, thus Wall-Marts demo windows and special places with featured items make the first positive impression. Next goes physical touch and follow-up feedback shown through emotional (facial) expression and mimics or/and body language. Smiles, exclamatory gestures and sighs of excitement are the most common attributes of consumer’s positive reaction to the product, whereas ignorance, omission, frowning etc evidence negative responses. 

Most buying decisions are influenced by TV adverts, expert opinions, and personal persuasions of friends and relatives. Being backed up by preliminary support, consumers are more confident in making their buying decisions. Wal-Mart’s psychologists have evidenced that self-confident consumers hesitate less and therefore make their purchasing choices quicker. More hesitant ones, on the other hand, tend to shrug shoulders, turn around, seek alternatives, differentiate between two choices, make mobile calls, and//or consult shop-assistants. In-store advertisements, discount labels and periodical announcements impact consumer decisions to a large extent, since in most cases consumers tend to choose goods emotionally rather than rationally. It is also evident that female shoppers take Wal-Mart as an opportunity; they know how to relax while shopping, they are more prone to social interaction compared to males, and they are always sure there is the optimal option or better alternative. Males are different. They rush and therefore make harsh decisions. One of the post-buying dialogue overheard by our assistant looked like that:

Colin: Hello Susie I have bought it

Susie: Oh, you mean microwave

Colin: Sure

Susie: Is it black

Colin: No, only red-ones were left

Susie: How could you?

Colin: It was all of a sudden, and happened on the spur of the moment… I jumped to conclusions and made a snap decision.

As well as this, there are many dialogues with shop-assistants wherein customers wonder about the details, warranty, origin, and durability of the goods. The customers that ask such practical questions are not ordinary or occasional as they clearly know the purpose of their decision and are almost sure about their choice.

For most of the customers it is not the goods Wal-Mart distributes well but the in-store atmosphere we inspire. Light music, graphics, presentations, design as well as positive attitude and smile shared by our staff altogether add to the positive impressions received while buying. Therefore, Wal-Mart management is confident that Wall-Mart present unique atmosphere and extra options beyond conventional shopping, including fast-foods, playgrounds, spas, as well as event-accessories. For instance, over the Christmas Eve rush the Wall-Mart’s atmosphere resembles ant-hill where everyone is incredible in their high Christmas expectations and New Year resolutions. Wal-Mart just tries to add to the overall positive mood so that everyone remembers that he/she once did unique shopping.    


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