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Design Your Website Like a Grocery Store for Better Engagement


By: Dennis Schiraldi

Grocery stores have long since figured out how to get you into a store and what to do with you once you get there. The psychology behind it all is a little spooky and fascinating all in the same breath. It’s similar to the Las Vegas effect, once you get into a casino it’s hard to find your way out. This my friends is not an accident.

Inspiration comes in many ways, for me, this weekend combining my love of food with some Sunday morning reading I came across an article in Bon Appetit – How to Buy Food: The Psychology of the Supermarket. It’s a fantastic read for anyone in marketing. For a very long time food stores figured it out. They put the sugary cereals at eye level so your kids will see it. The design, the layout, the color schemes and something the article highlights which was the first I heard it…In every grocery store in America the milk is always buried in the back left of the bowls of the store, by design!


As a consumer you’ve got to cover a ton of real estate inside of a store to get to the milk. Stores know this, marketing professionals know this, brand managers know this…There’s a very good chance that along the way you’ll end up needing buy something else. Upping your spend, exactly what they want you to do.

Again by design…grocery stores walk you in a counter clockwise fashion. The reason being is that most of the world’s population is right handed and it’s easier to load your cart. There are all kinds of other little things that happen on purpose that have an impact on your behavior. From the color of the fruit, smells, the little old lady passing out free samples that really isn’t trying to sell you samples of that food, but to appeal to your senses…So forth and so on.

The real point to this analogy is applying the same thought process to web design. How can we design a website that makes people not want to leave? A design so elegant that appeals to the senses in every way. The on purpose by design. I tend to use the Vegas reference a lot with my clients. Typically once a person interacts with your brand online we want to keep them engaged for as long as we possibly can, I’m not sure I coined the phrase, maybe I should. I like to reference something I call your digital ecosystem. It’s your version of the grocery store meets Caesar’s Palace.

Think about it, where’s the milk buried on your website?

DOYO Live isn't just about digital marketing. A major component of this event will be on topics about interactive responsive web design. We have an incredible line-up of speakers covering topics on branding and design. Meet RJ Thompson, he's one of the many talented presenters talking about time importance of elegant design. RJ runs Youngstown Design Works, check them out today!

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