Business success depends, for the most part, on skills in interacting with or understanding people. Although some technological innovators have succeeded simply on the basis of technological prowess, even businesses like Facebook, which offers up social networking as a product, or Apple, which attracts a cult-like following enabling it to charge premium prices, depend on deep knowledge of consumer psychology and behavior.
For any consumer business, studying customer psychology is important for product design, marketing, customer retention, and customer satisfaction. Supermarkets use psychological studies to increase sales through a variety of tactics such as organizing aisles in a way that directs customers to more profitable products, using smells of things like baking bread or apple pie to tempt people towards impulse purchases of desserts, and playing music that can makes people likely to buy more or choose more expensive selections.
A second area in which businesses use psychology is in human resources, in discovering how to hire the best people, retain them, and motivate them. The discipline of industrial psychology focuses on how to improve productivity through understanding human behavior.