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How Flooring Affects Purchase Decisions of Consumers

Flooring Affects Purchase Decisions

Do you know what researchers discovered regarding the effect of flooring on consumer purchases?

It is interesting to find out how flooring of hard tiles or soft carpets can influence buying decisions.

The research of Professor Joan Meyers-Levy of the Marketing department, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, and author of the well-known study on ceiling height, came to this conclusion: that the ground where people stand can greatly influence how they judge products.

Published in the Journal of Consumer Research (June 2010), this study was conducted by co-authors, Joan Meyers-Levy and Juliet Zhu and Lan Jiang of the University of British Columbia.

They experimented on the particular experience brought about by the two most common flooring types sold on retail outlets: hard vinyl tile and carpet.

Professor Meyers-Levy observed discovered that although people standing on carpets feel comfortable, they have the tendency to judge products that are close to them as less comfortable.

The authors conducted the experiment as follows:

1. The people standing on the carpet have a deep sense of physical comfort.

Then they were asked more practical and tricky question as – Would these bodily sensations elicited by the flooring transfer to people’s assessments of products that they observe while shopping?

2. The participants were divided in two groups: the first were made to stand on soft pile carpets and the second on hard tile.

Participants were required to watch some products that were close by or products placed at a distance.

3. Participants have the tendency to assess products at a distance unconsciously by the sensation of their bodies.

For example, while standing on soft carpet and watching a far-off product, they would judge the item as more comfortable.

However, when required to examine products closed by, they judged them as less comfortable.

According to Professor Meyers-Levy, the reason was that when objects are close by, the bodily sensations elicited by the flooring are more likely to be used as a comparison standard but not as frame for interpretation.

The implications of these findings will greatly affect the retailers and service providers of flooring products.

Many interior décor considered flooring more relevant than function or style.

Since it affects the consumer, it follows that it has significant effect on their purchasing the product.

An analysis of consumers’ attitude has meant a lot in the success or failure in product sales.

Read the complete report of this study in the Journal of Consumer Research of June 2010.

It is written by Joan Meyers-Levy of the Holden-Werlich School-Wide Professor of Marketing at the Carlson School.

She has been making researches on effect of verbal and visual communication, memory, information processing, gender and individual difference on behavior of consumers.

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