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A multi-sensory environment will encourage shoppers

Research confirms that multi-sensory retail spaces are more likely to see profits. Retail psychology is not a new concept, but has advanced with help from new technology that enables retailers to profile consumers and change their marketing accordingly.

These developments include special camera technology and digital signage that respond, in real time, to the gender ratio in a store. Working in tandem, the camera and signage will change visual displays depending on who is shopping.

"The biomechanics of consumers are being researched and analysed and turned into an opportunity for retailers to orchestrate an environment for consumers that makes them more inclined to shop," says US retail psychologist Brian Dyches.

Dyches recently visited Australia and New Zealand to present a series of workshops for SPOS, a Sydney-based merchandising company. He observed that Australian retailers are innovative with design, from packaging to store layout, but that customer service could be improved. He was also impressed with the impact of Sydney on world trends.

"Sydney is a city of retail trendsetters and has contributed globally in a fairly disproportionate way for a city of four million people, especially when compared to US cities like Dallas and Atlanta, which have similar sized populations."

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