Shoppers Spend More At Retailers That Share An Emotional Connection

It’s not enough for retailers to simply satisfy their customers. To maximize shopper spending, companies must form an emotional connection with them as well, according to the Leveraging the Value of Emotional Connection for Retailers study by Motista, a predictive emotional connection intelligence solution provider.

Shoppers spend significantly more on an annual basis when they feel an emotional connection to the retailer. For instance, satisfied shoppers spent an average of $275 annually at apparel stores between 2016 and 2018, compared to $699 for emotionally connected shoppers. Other categories saw similarly large spending differences:

  • Office Supplies: $298 for satisfied, $400 for emotionally connected;
  • Footwear: $104 for satisfied, $211 for emotionally connected;
  • Home Goods: $362 for satisfied, $733 for emotionally connected; and
  • Luxury Goods: $699 for satisfied, $1,423 for emotionally connected.

Some retailers already incorporate an emotional appeal into their operations. The Hershey Company has been working on improving its retail partners’ emotional connections, partly by leveraging the emotional appeal of candy. Meanwhile, Limbic Media has launched interactive lighting designed to be part of multisensory emotional stimuli.


Targeting consumers’ emotions is more complicated than simply seeking to generate an overall positive feeling in shoppers. In fact, according to Motista, brands should aim to connect on as many as three distinct emotions to truly form a bond with shoppers. The specific emotions will depend on the retailer’s image: some brands trade on nostalgia, others on being up-to-the-minute trendy, while others position themselves as cool, efficient problem-solvers.

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