Monday, August 21, 2017

Parade Sparkle for the Jealous

We know the value of selling to the emotions. People feel better about purchases made on the basis of feelings than on those made strictly on an intellectual accounting of advantages and disadvantages. But knowing which emotion to sell to can get tricky. Researchers at Northwestern University, Nanyang Technological University, and Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that shoppers who feel jealous prefer items that attract attention. In the study, such people selected a brightly colored coat over one with a neutral hue, an unusual-looking pair of sunglasses over a less conspicuous design, and a handbag with a large logo over one with the same logo in a smaller size.
     This preference operates even if the customer believes that the attention grabber will strike friends and family as ostentatious. But the preference doesn’t operate with personal use items friends and family are unlikely to observe, such as the packaging on a deodorant stick. Jealous people want to be noticed.
     However, the researchers want us to understand that they consider jealousy to be different from envy, and what they suggest for serving the jealous customer won’t work as well with the envious customer. As the researchers conceptualize it, envy arises when a consumer is disturbed that someone else is considered superior to them or has something they want but don’t have. Jealousy results from the loss of special attention the consumer already had: A child shopping with family might be jealous of a sib who is receiving more notice. A young adult might reflect a jealous state by talking with a shopping companion about a partner who was wooed away. Inattention from a preoccupied salesperson can stimulate jealousy.
     If you detect evidence of jealousy, guide the shopper toward items with extra sparkle.
     While jealousy and envy are negative emotions, the value of subtle distinctions is seen as well with positive emotions such as pride. Researchers at University of Toronto, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and China’s Sun Yat-sen University say you can do a better job of satisfying the proud shopper by determining if the consumer thinks they were successful mostly because of special abilities or hard work. If it’s special abilities, suggest a distinctive product or experience. If hard work, the distinctiveness of the item is less important. For the first, the barkeep should suggest a limited-edition hand-crafted microbrew, for the second, the signature best-selling cocktail.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Know How Much Emotion to Deliver
Dump Sadness on Some Dumped Shoppers
Irritate Me Rather Than Ignore Me
Redirect with Evil Envy
Celebrate Shoppers Who Celebrate

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pain a Stimulating Picture

Consumers endure pain if the upside payoff is sufficient. People go to the dentist knowing discomfort is often inevitable. They put up with sore muscles after working out at the gym to improve physical fitness or after skydiving for the thrill of an exotic experience. Customers can transform emotional pain into enjoyment when finding bonus pleasure in waiting for a concert following the purchase of the tickets—the process of savoring.
     But why would people pay for the opportunity to wallow in a ditch of cold mud, run among four-foot-high flames, and crawl through electric wires generating 10,000 volts? The appeal of these and about two dozen similar challenges offered by Tough Mudder intrigued Rebecca Scott, a graduate student at University of New South Wales who was herself a Tough Mudder participant.
     After systematically analyzing results from observing and interviewing Tough Mudder customers, Ms. Scott and her research partners say the pleasure from the pain is explained by a major factor beyond the challenge of endurance and the fun of doing it with teammates. The additional factor is how the pain sharpens sensitivity to one’s own body for people who are missing this.
     The researchers note that a major target market for Tough Mudder is knowledge workers, whose focus on intellectual activities stifles body awareness. Tough Mudder participants talked to the researchers about the mental stimulation when their arms and legs hurt too much to function properly and how the wounds they suffered prolonged the stimulation beyond the day of the event.
     The desire for bodily stimulation, even if painful, underpins the psychiatric disorder masochism. Consumers can even get off reading about the pleasure from pain, as they did with the E. L. James book Fifty Shades of Grey, which has sold more than 125 million copies. The psychiatric disorder, the erotic passages in the book, and the findings from the Tough Mudder analysis all have another common element—the ritualization of the discomfort. Recipients want to feel in control.
     Best not to assume your store customers are masochists who’d thrill at being greeted at the entrance with a zing from an electric cattle prod, let’s say. Instead, I suggest you assume that because so many people in current society are knowledge workers who spend much of their lives out of touch with their bodies, you use the Tough Mudder findings as a reminder of the sales appeal of physical experiences.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Mix or Match to Affect Perceived Duration
Impress with the Exotic
Charge for Savoring
Challenge Smart Shoppers
Provide Group Support with Customer Discomfort

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tune Up by Varying the Store Music

Changing your store or restaurant during the business day to fit the preferences of the shoppers can build sales revenues. Retail consultant Paco Underhill talked about a bookstore he worked with that used rotating shelves to showcase retirement advice for early morning mall walkers, child care books for the young mothers shopping before noon, and business books later in the day.
     However, such daily configuration alterations could quickly prove impractical for most retailers. If you want to make changes, it would be easier to vary the music playing in the background, let’s say. Researchers at University of Hamburg, Macquarie University, and Seoul National University, after reviewing dozens of published inquiries into the effects of music in retail settings, provide suggestions:
  • Experiment with different playlists used at different times. Assiduously monitor the effects on purchase amounts and longer-term revisits. Getting it right usually takes time, but it’s worthwhile. In one of the studies, in-store music used properly increased average per customer purchase amounts by 68% compared to the no-music situation. Such results are due in large part to appealing music convincing shoppers to stay in the store longer. Further, a number of studies find that when the music is not appealing, customers leave and hesitate returning to shop again. 
  • In general, it’s best to keep the music volume low and use tunes with clear rhythm and moderate tempos. Switch to somewhat higher volumes and slightly faster tempos at times that there are lots of other ambient noises in your retail establishment, such as talking or equipment sounds. In these circumstances, the masking effect of music increases shoppers’ ability to consider making purchases. 
  • Model what you play on the ways in which other retailers like you are using music, then improve on it. Customers are more likely to accept whatever music you play when they’ve encountered similar play lists at stores or restaurants they consider to be of the same type as yours. To establish your distinctive advantages, though, don’t be almost identical. 
     Other research adds these tips:
  • At periods shoppers will be selecting items without much thought, play music including lyrics. At periods shoppers are likely to be looking at new brands or novel products, use music that is barely noticeable. 
  • Allow for the sounds of silence. To soothe the savage shopper, have intervals free of the music. A little peace and quiet also puts harried salespeople back in tune. 
For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Be All You Can Be with Day-Parts
Coordinate Store Atmosphere Stimuli
Balloon Your Profitability with Music
Compose Integrated Musical Atmospheres

Monday, July 31, 2017

Airbrush Away Shame in Your Shoppers

Salesmanship might be seen as showing shoppers what they can become, then convincing them to purchase from you what will help them become what they want and avoid becoming what they don’t want. The challenge is setting the right distance between the shopper’s self-image and self-aspiration. If the fear of negative consequences is too intense or if shoppers don’t see a way out, they get defensive and start thinking about why they really don’t need the item you’re wanting to sell them. If the gap between their current situation and the better situation you’re promising them is too great, they’ll get highly discouraged and highly ashamed, neither emotional state conducive to purchasing.
     Researchers at University of Texas-Austin, Louisiana State University, and University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign explored this issue by taking a closer look at a well-researched question: Among shoppers who are not thin, how does seeing thin models affect the interest in purchasing the modeled fashions? Past consumer behavior studies have found that women are motivated to purchase items modeled by people who are somewhat thinner than they themselves are, but not dramatically thinner. This is true whether those modeling the fashions are in ads or are salespeople and shoppers in the store.
     The Texas/Louisiana/Illinois research team wanted to see if parallel findings hold for male shoppers and also how to ease the discouragement and shame caused by large discrepancies between a model’s and shopper’s statures. They found that although men’s physical appearance self-image took a hit when seeing thin models, the men did not feel nearly as much shame as did the women when it came to fashion. Physical self-image is more central to self-esteem in women.
     As to how to ease in women the shame which impedes buying, one possibility is to stop using ad models who appear to be very thin. But since thin models attract interest, the researchers also suggest another tactic supported by research: When encountering shoppers who seem ashamed about themselves after seeing the ads, remind them of the frequent use of computerized photo manipulation techniques like airbrushing to eliminate people’s girth in photos. The models aren’t really that thin.
     The more general point is to persuade shoppers—both male and female—they are capable of achieving what you’re proposing. Psychologically airbrush away any shame. To do this, you’ll need to select the right items for each shopper. Indeed, that’s another way to view salesmanship.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Craft Fear Appeals
Raise Your Community’s Aspirations
Fashion Profits by Thinking Bigger
Appeal to Vanity
Reveal the Folly of Shopper/Product Rivalries
Match the Product to the Customer's Skill Level
Commit to Ads that Guide the Committed
Get A Head, Except for Ladies’ Clothing

Monday, July 24, 2017

Personalize for the Market Maven Personality

Researchers at University of Southern Mississippi and Florida State University set out to discover more about the personality of a type of consumer called the market maven. The importance to retailers like you of the researchers’ quest is that market mavens are powerful influence agents. Rather than considering themselves expert advisors on only certain retail products and services, market mavens counsel others about the whole shopping experience and go on to recommend specific stores.
     The personality profile these researchers describe, based on their review of prior studies and their own questioning of consumers, includes blends of divergent characteristics. Market mavens enjoy suggesting novel stores, brands, and item types to others, but they don’t want to propose ideas which conflict with the existing norms of their audiences. Although they enjoy spending more time and money at retail than the average shopper does, market mavens score high on assessments of frugality, since they continually strive to get maximum value for what they do spend. They grant more importance to the characteristics of products and services than to the characteristics of retail stores, but their recommendations of what to buy are almost always accompanied by recommendations of where to buy it.
     To maximize your appeal to the personality of the market maven, the researchers suggest emphasizing good value on pioneering items which have already shown some acceptance by a number of shoppers. An extra lift could come with you describing this to the market maven in a way which suggests they’re privy to exclusive information.
     Other research has documented relationships between face-to-face mavenism and web mavenism. Therefore, as you identify market mavens with favorable impressions of your store, encourage them to post their views on social media. Offer them materials and internet links they can take with them as conversation starters to share with family and friends. This is especially useful for newly introduced products and items for which the purchaser incurs monetary or self-concept risk.
     Generating suggestions for improvements is one trait distinguishing market mavens from customers who only ask questions, give praise, and give criticism. Offer these influence agents special gifts, including the gift of implementing at least some of these suggestions for improvements. A major reason for the value to you of market mavens is the stable self-confidence with which they make recommendations to all the people they know. That’s more likely when they recognize you’ve listened to them.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Cross Channels with Market Mavens
Build Buzz with Market Mavens
Court Market Mavens for Social Media
Offer Exclusive Price Discounts Cautiously