Engaging the Shopping Experience: Experience design as a way to increase customers' emotional engagement on brick-and-mortar stores

Sanne Dollerup Sørensen

Research output: PhD thesis

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The revenues in brick-and-mortar stores have declined in the last decade, not least due to competition from online shopping. This thesis investigates how traditional stores might use principles from experience design to reverse this tendency. Brick-and-mortar stores are very important in contributing to urban environments as they increase social interaction, economic growth, the ability to attract tourists and civic diversity. They are multi-sensual phenomena’s with enormous potential that often is not utilized in an optimal way. The research in this thesis proposes an approach to revitalising the interest in brick-and-mortar stores by engaging the customers emotionally. This thesis suggests that using insights from Possible World Theory in designing stores is one way to do this. Theoretically the thesis is interdisciplinary by drawing on knowledge from a wide spectrum of fields such as consumer research, experience design, literary theory, the history and sociology of shopping. The method used is observation studies of cases that more or less successfully have been able to engage customers. This has resulted in an in-depth study of one such store and a typology of different types of engaging stores, based on a sample of some 1153 stores registered during fieldwork at different locations around the world. The main finding of the thesis is that casting the customers in the role of actors in a possible world may increase their emotional engagement.
Original languageEnglish
  • Jantzen, Christian, Principal supervisor
  • Vetner, Mikael, Co-supervisor
Electronic ISBNs978-87-7112-956-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

PhD supervisor:
Professor Christian Jantzen, Aalborg University

Assistant PhD supervisor:
Head of Department Mikael Vetner, Aalborg University

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