Store Design: Visual Complexity and Consumer Responses
Ju Yeun Jang, Eunsoo Baek, So-Yeon Yoon, Ho Jung Choo


As in-store experience becomes increasingly important, retailers strive to create unique and memorable environments. A trend toward the goal is to emphasize decorative elements increasing store complexity, however, how such elevated store complexity would contribute to consumer response is yet to be explored. This study investigates the effect of visual complexity in a fashion store on affective/behavioral responses using self-report and psychophysiological measures. The moderating role of fashion involvement is taken into consideration. Two types of virtual stores were designed with different levels of visual complexity and manipulated by the presence of decorative patterns and type of layout (grid vs. free-form). Two experiments were conducted to test the proposed effects of visual complexity. The results showed that high-visual complexity in a fashion store has a negative effect on pleasure when consumers’ fashion involvement level is low, but such negative effect of visual complexity diminished in consumers with high fashion involvement. Higher visual complexity was significantly related to higher arousal, regardless of consumers’ fashion involvement level. The results also demonstrated the mediating role of emotions between the visual complexity of store design and consumers’ approach intentions. The findings provide novel understanding of the effects of store’s visual complexity to consumers.

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