Informations and abstract
Keywords: Display Incompleteness; Free-Viewing Approach; Illusion of Numerosity; Arrangement of Products; Virtual Aisle.
Arrangement of products on display and perception of numerosity. Some results from an exploratory study. What relationship is there between the arrangement of products on shelves and the perception of their numerosity? 137 students were recruited for a lab experiment that involved the presentation of three pictures randomly drawn from a database. Each picture portrayed an incomplete display with the same amount of items. All the drawn sets were built so that they could represent three different types of product distribution on display: random distribution, two cluster distribution and three cluster distribution. The participants were asked to rank, in free-viewing conditions, the pictures of the set, on the basis of the believed increasing amount of items present on the compared displays. The statistical tests emphasise a tendency of the participants to judge as less numerous the products when arranged in clusters rather than randomly. Moreover, the perceived numerosity seemed to reduce as the number of clusters increases. The obtained results are consistent with some theories, e.g. Gestalt theory. Such illusion of numerosity, due to the arrangement of products on shelves, presents some managerial implications in terms of merchandising and category management.