Doors on supermarket refrigerators inhibit shoppers

A shopping research company from the UK studied the impact that doors on supermarket refrigerators have on consumers' behaviour.

Doors on supermarket fridges are more and more common, since they save energy. But in some cases, retailers argue that those doors act like barriers to sales. Other retailers wonder if customers avoid the cold aisle because it is actually too cold when there are no doors.

That is why the company Shopping Behaviour Xplained (SBXL) conducted a study to try to answer these questions.

The study was conducted in a number of chilled dairy aisles last year. The behaviour of customers was filmed and then analysed.

“We started out at a macro level, looking at what the customer has in their hands when they arrive at the chiller doors,” explained Will Morgan, SBXL insight manager. “Supermarkets tend to be quite trolley-focused, particularly in a big-shop category such as chilled food. Convenience, however, is much more focused around baskets or no carrier at all. But how do shoppers open a fridge door and choose a product if their hands are full?”

One of the biggest differences in behaviour observed was the impact of doors on detailed pack reading. On average, 31% of chilled shoppers read packs in detail but this dropped to around 9% in stores with fridge doors. The study also took into account the different behaviours of consumers: inexperienced, considered, experiential, grab & go, and impulse. According to Will Morgan, fridges with doors see grab and go levels decrease by 13%.

For further information, please read the article of the Cooling Post.