London - A smile, we are often reminded, costs nothing. However, for shops it could be providing a significant financial boost.
Shoppers who are cheered up by a welcome at the door tend to spend more, a study claims.
Cameras captured the expressions of consumers as they were greeted by a member of staff at three Mothercare stores.
These were then cross-checked with the spending to see whether this American-style “have a nice day” welcome had an effect.
Those shoppers who responded to the service with a smile ended up spending an average of 67 percent more than others.
The results could help end the “service with a scowl” that often characterises British shops.
The appeal of just such a friendly approach was shown this week by a survey from Which? that found Apple stores came top in a league measuring shopper satisfaction.
The research at Mothercare was carried out by Realeyes, which describes itself as an emotion measurement tech company.
It uses cameras to capture, measure and interpret facial expressions.
A video demonstration on the firm’s website demonstrates how movements in the face are measured and interpreted to give a bar chart score under the headings happy, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust and fear.
In a shop, the system can tell how people respond to posters, promotions, the layout of products and the behaviour of staff.
The trial compared facial expressions for around 600 shoppers when they were greeted at the door over a one-week period.
Realeyes managing director, Mihkel Jaatma, said: “We found that when a sales person greeted them at the door, the customers that smiled back made a 67 percent bigger purchase on average than those who didn’t.
“If greeters can engender that positive reaction more often, the impact on sales is clear.”
He said the technology could be used to help particular staff improve how they interact with customers. - Daily Mail