CNN news 2016-08-08

Buying what we don't need. A survey found that 75 percent of Americans had made an impulse purchase in 2014. A Nielsen survey found that 52 percent of people in Thailand had done this, 48 percent in India. And retailers everywhere have certain tools they use to get people to buy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The goal is to look at a shopper and find out what they emotionally crave in a shopping experience and give that to the shopper.

REPORTER: How do retailers do that? By studying you in the store to see what you like and what you want. One way to measure how a shopper is feeling is to watch people anonymously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From cameras that are based on different areas of the store that literally look at somebody's face and see what kind of facial micro expression they're showing to find out what emotional they're feeling in whatever given time.

REPORTER: Another way is to track volunteer shoppers wearing monitoring devices. They showed me how this is done in their lab. A wrist monitor captures my heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature to measure my emotional reactions. Special glasses show exactly what I'm looking at, to pinpoint what draws my attention. Then, I'm off to shop in simulated stores.

First, for eyeglasses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what we call visual merchandising. These visual storytelling cues pull you in, get you a little bit more engaged in the story of the brand.

REPORTER: Like I want to be like that guy or I want to be with that guy so these are the glasses I need.


REPORTER: Next, to grab a cup of coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I'm at coffee shop and somebody's at the checkout, it's best to enhance the emotional experience by having social proof that others have bought here, that others are into the things I'm into and it helps enhanced the rewarding experience I have at retail.

REPORTER: And then a mobile device store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The brain really reacts well to people, and people using the products, creating story and enveloping the customer in a story rather than just trying to sell them a product, you want to get them involve in somebody's life and again, aspirational type market.

REPORTER: So they can see themselves there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. They're projecting themselves in that environment.