How shopping malls make you buy

A lighthearted entry. I’m sure we’re familiar with the shopping mall–Singapore is brimming with these enclosed spaces of multi-floored material wonder and consumerist glitz. However, are you familiar with what sort of behavioral considerations go beyond the spatial design of such modern day constructs of temptation? Watch the video above to get a brief idea.

Are the ideas presented in the video applicable to your own shopping experiences?

Recall your own shopping experiences and share other ways you think shopping malls are designed to make people spend. 

On a deeper note: Do buildings affect social behavior? Or is it the other way round?


6 thoughts on “How shopping malls make you buy

  1. As much as this video convinces me that whatever the presenter rattles off is true, it highly depends on the situation you are in when you enter a shopping mall.

    Singaporeans are known for their shopping habits. Crowds throng Orchard Road every weekend, either chillin out or maybe looking for that new TV for the new apartment. But who really notices the flooring. or the lights, or what, the air? Ikea smells weird though, really. Anyway, not being able to see through the glass panels to the outside skews perception of time? Whatever happen to watches man? Furthermore, in Singapore, most of us are always rushing for time. So if we want to get a sandwich for lunch break, we wouldn’t head into say a decor store looking for a vase to decorate the house.

    I think the most attractive items that captures any shoppers attention are probably those on sale. Especially items that have been on any shopper’s wishlist for a very long time. Having said so, I am determined to get my Prelim papers tomorrow at Bras Basah, hoping I wouldn’t detour to Swee Lee, otherwise I’ll probably would spend.

  2. Yes, it is true that we often buy stuffs which we do not need at all. The deliberate combination of the lights and the angles of the mirrors in Top Shop makes you look even more prettier than you actually are. So what happens next? You come out with shopping bags full of unnecessary items in your both hands.

    However, I think shopping malls are overly blamed for the shophoholic activities of the people. Shopping centers are doing exactly what they are supposed to do: provision of condusive, pleasant environment for the people to have easier access to the products and of course, raising sales by doing so.

    Imagine the clothes all jumbled up in the clothes shops instead of barbie like mannequins wearing them. What if there are no smiling shop assistants in IKEA to help you find a table lamp?

    By arranging the items in so called “attractive” manners followed by the high quality service they provide, they enable us to consume what we really need in much more convinient way.

    Therefore, I believe that it is the task of the consumers to utilise these hospitable environment for wiser consumption instead of plunging themelves into buying needless items and taking blame upon the shopping malls’ architecture and the service they receive.

  3. Well according to this interesting video on how the shopping centers are made to make you go crazy shopping and buying everything you see, i am totally agreeing to it. First thing you feel when you step into the shopping mall, is the comforting cooling air conditioned surroundings.The first best decision we make to stay away from the hot humid weather outside.

    I must admit the truth that unless you have got money in your pocket, as long as you step into ANY STORE, you might just get something.especially at groceries stall like Giant and cold storage.
    The glamorous and glittery tiles and lightnings really do make me feel like buying things home,just buy ANYTHING HOME! If i go home empty handed, I’ll feel like i wasted the 6 hours of shopping, tiring my feet wearing high heels and the gorgeous dress I’ve put on for this shopping trip.

    To me its the social behavior affects the buildings.Especially during this great Singapore sale season [OMG!! want to go shopping!! Ahem.sorry.=P], all the sales are coming up, with the signs like “Buy one get one free” and also “Up to 90% sale store wide”. While the latter will be more successful in attracting my attention, you will step in and realize that only a small part of the store is on sale, or they are clearing off season clothing. These stores use this tactics to cause illusion to the shoppers mind (especially crazy female shoppers etc), tell us to buy.( “only at $1.99 or $10.99!” )

    The shopping habits of Singaporeans is largely reflected by the homogeneous shopping mall built in the recent years, through how they evolved.Shopping malls like serangoon NEX and Ion Orchard, are largely identical with the same retail stores and nicely furnished setup, plus overwhelming crowds to buy this and buy that.

    Thus even though these shopping habits and consumerism is largely harmful (according to MR F.O.O),well its money that makes the world go round.I believe that the efforts of the retail stores and producers to GO GREEN and produce environmental friendly products will help us take one step to be less judgmental towards the awesome habit of shopping! =) (a bit naive but still its the effort that counts.)

  4. Most would agree that today’s shopping malls are becoming more labyrinthine as consumerism grows, due to the increasing middleclass as well as rising affluency. As a result, to exploit these consumers, architects and designers are employed to introduce techniques to prolong time consumers spend in these complexes. Such is evident in both the monstrous sizes of these shopping malls (e.g. Vivocity and Marina Bay Sands) and the complexity of the building and shops (IKEA). On the contrary, fast food joints like MacDonald’s have seats the are uncomfortable and in close proximity, detering customers from idling. Furthermore, at supermarkets, at check-out counters, candy, batteries and other last minute items are blatantly displayed to induce ‘impulse buying’ while we wait to pay.

    In my opinion, it works both ways, buildings influence social behaviour and it is this wave of consumerism that stimulated the new structure of the shopping malls. Today’s shopping complexes are designed to make the consumer spend more time in these centres, which is proportional to the profit made, but this recent increase in demand is what triggered this shopping mall culture in the first place. In the past when people were poorer and more frugal, shops were simple unlike the ‘mega malls’ of today.

  5. According to the video, designs and decorations of the building attract people to buy things. I would have to agree with this. The moment I step into a tiny, old shopping mall, for some reasons, I just start to question the quality of the things sold there and I just don’t really feel like buying them. But, if I step into a grand new shopping mall, everything seems so glamorous and attractive to me.

    Shopping malls are usually designed in a way such that people can spend like hours there. They are fully air-conditioned, filled with lots of eating places, cinemas and so on. Even for people who do not go to the mall for shopping and for other reasons like eating, as they walk around, they tend to recognize crowded shops and this will certainly make them buy something.

    It is more of social behaviour that affects buildings. The designs and decorations of the buildings may attract some people to buy things, but certainly not everyone. People with little purchasing power would definitely not be affected by glittery floor nor the glamorous designs.

  6. “When men shop, they call that research”

    From my opinion, shopping caters and appeals more to females rather than their male counterpart. In the mall, there are more apparel shops than IT shops. To men, more often than not, it is the attractive advertisements that entice them to make purchases.

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