The impact of physical changes on customer behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper's aim is to determine whether shopping facilities in a waiting area influence customer behaviour and whether these behaviours positively influence their satisfaction and related sales of the displayed products.

The approach used was a field experiment. At two sites patient behaviours were directly observed before a reconstruction of waiting areas during two weeks; at both sites a two‐week follow‐up was performed after the reconstruction. The responses of patients were surveyed in a convenience sample in the same periods of weeks and the data on sales were collected with desk research.

In comparison with waiting areas that were almost empty, customers in a waiting area with shopping facilities had more interaction with the physical environment, experienced a shorter wait, were more satisfied with the prompt taking of orders, and spent more money.

Practical implications
Organizations seeking to positively influence patient behaviour during the wait should take into account the quality of facility design of waiting areas and, if well chosen, these facilities can also be used to positively influence satisfaction and sales.

This paper integrates theories from environmental psychology, marketing, and operations management in facility design to improve the properties of a waiting area, and by doing so, improve behaviour, satisfaction, and sales of customers. The study aims to inform marketers in the pharmacy shop sector allowing them to increase interaction with the shopping environment, improve customers' satisfaction, and raise customers' expenditures with facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-295
JournalManagement Research Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2013


  • customer behaviour
  • customer satisfaction
  • environmental psychology
  • facilities management
  • sales


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