Healthy Checkout and Impulse Purchases
The impact of in-store stimuli on the nature of the buying behaviour
The present work aims to implement and test a ‘healthy checkout’ in a real retailing environment in order to explore the effectiveness of this kind of intervention in terms of helping customers making healthy choices on impulse, contrary to the claim of the extant literature. By developing this research, we want to enrich the extant literature by analyzing the nature of the behaviour in front of the checkout and the effect of in-store stimuli (specifically, assortment and communication) on that nature. For the purpose of the present work, all candies and chocolate at the checkout were replaced by a selection of healthy products. The assortment included a mix of fresh fruit, dried fruit, dried fruit bars, nuts and smoothies. A structured questionnaire was submitted at the end of the shopping trip to the sample considered in different stores in the north of Italy. Participants were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention (assortment and communication) and the effect of these levers on the nature of the behaviour was assessed. Our findings show that by placing healthy snacks at the checkout and by communicating them at a category level in an easy processable way it is possible to trigger healthy choices on impulse.
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