5 ways in which retailers and designers

can engage customers emotionally

Purchasing is emotional. It serves retailers and designers well to be aware of this. Customers
attach and engage emotionally with material objects. Our instincts guide and influence our
decisions.  Online stores will never fully replace the High Street, as we attach so much emotion and
meaning to shopping.

Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems, by Jouin Manku. Photography by Edward Hendricks

We are in a new age of retail where design meets showbusiness to create an unforgettable customer
experience. Spaces become theatrical, customers become performers and the level of interaction
determines whether customers return or not.

Amber & Art Flagship Store, St. Petersburg, Russia. Designed by Domenico Adamini

1. Choose your products and the emotional responses you wish them to elicit.
Beware: The retail space can influence emotions.

Peter Mark Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland. Designed by Garry Cohn

 2. Choose from five emotionally related feelings for a positive shopping experience.
This can be expressed in the design, the product or the display.  PAID-U


Escada Showroom in New York. Designed by Garry Cohn

3. By transforming the retail space with theatrical performance, clever merchants will ensure that
customers bring their emotions home with them by way of their purchases. This performance can
involve pictures and displays, allowing customers to visualise
themselves at home with their products.

Peter Mark Finglas, Ireland. Designed by COHN

4. Display a scenario of a likely customer experience, after the purchase has been made.  A poster,
for example, showing someone being complemented at work while wearing their new shirt.

Ileana Makri Store in Greece. By Kois Associated Architects

5. The shopping experience and environment should make customers feel unique and accepted.
Always be aware that the customer will make the final decision on what or whether to buy.
Small details can help achieve positive emotions – the selection of music and the level at
which it is played, the scents of the shop and the type of lighting used.

Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems. By Jouin Manku. Photography by Edward Hendricks

Remember, you are putting on a performance and you must always ensure it is suitable for your
intended audience.

Alan Keville Cork, Ireland. Designed by Garry Cohn

Coming This month, I Scream COHN, our new online design magazine connecting you to
top design influencers from New York to London dishing up the latest in cool.


Coming soon, our Masterclass on the Zealous side of design.
How can you be bold and daring with any interior?