WHY DO STORES HAVE EMPTY ENTRYWAYS? Researchers suggest that shoppers may flee a store if aisles are too narrow, causing people to brush up against each other when they pass, also called "butt brushes." Also, shoppers tend to turn right upon entering a store, which influences the way shopkeepers lay out merchandise. It is typically considered important that the first few feet of the store entrance be clear of merchandise, because shoppers tend to stroll through that zone without noticing anything in it.
A SHORT COURSE IN SHOPPING MATHEMATICS: People respond positively to very big numbers, so an internet provider might run a promotion offering 1025 hours of free Internet access. The small print reveals the offer is only good for 45 days. There are 1080 hours in 45 days, so customers would have to use their Internet access nearly 24/7 in order to take full advantage of the offer. Similarly, a food label that says a product is "90% fat free" will be more appealing than one that says it has "10% fat." People also lend more credence to exact numbers, preferring "50%" to the less specific "half." But it's easy to confuse precision with accuracy, such as with food packaging. Compare a soft drink that has 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories per serving to a fruit drink with 31 grams of sugar and 120 calories. But the serving size of the soft drink is 12 ounces, while the fruit drink is only 8 ounces. So ounce for ounce, the soft drink has fewer calories and less sugar than the fruit drink.
ADVANCED SALES PITCHING: Human beings are psychologically averse to losses, so sales pitches are often framed to turn a loss into a perceived gain: for example, zero percent financing. If a car costs $15,000, and you pay cash, you receive a $2000 rebate. The car actually costs $13,000. But, if you need to borrow to buy, you pay $15,000 with zero percent financing for three years. The car still costs $13,000; the extra $2000 is essentially a finance charge paid up front. But people can be led to believe it is a gain, and will be more likely to buy the car.