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EMAC 2023 Annual

The Dynamics of Product Consideration and Purchase at Retail Checkout

Published: May 24, 2023


Yoonju Han, College of Business, Lehigh University


The checkout area or “front end” of a supermarket is one of the most productive areas of the store and an important driver of trip satisfaction and future store loyalty. Little is known, however, about how shoppers engage with and shop for products while waiting in line. This research proposes a conditional, two-stage model which predicts that, as shoppers move through the checkout lane, their motivations, abilities, and contextual factors dynamically influence their consideration and purchase of products. We estimate the model using a unique dataset of eye-tracking, video tracking, and survey data collected from a field experiment at a large U.S. grocery chain. The research reveals that shopper behavior at checkout is driven by the customer’s interest in the displayed products in combination with marketing factors at the point of purchase. This influence changes dynamically as shoppers move through the checkout line. As the length of the line increases, shoppers begin to engage with the merchandise, but the extent of interaction depends on being interested in the product category, effective merchandising, and having their hands free to touch the products. Sales response can be magnified by display features, such as LED shelf lighting, that are easily implemented by retailers.