Saturday, November 27, 2010

Give Shoppers a Comparison Point

Would your customers be more impressed if you give them five free Christmas candies with their purchase than if you give them ten? Maybe so, according to an article due for the June 2011 issue of Journal of Consumer Research.
     Here’s how the researchers at Monash University in Australia would explain: If you’ve been giving each customer one free candy with each purchase and you now up that to five, the customer says, “Wow! That’s five times as much!” But if you’ve not given out candies to customers in the past and you now give out ten, the customer has zero as a comparison point for the ten, and our human brains don’t do well with zero as a comparison point. The research says that the customer is quite likely to be less impressed than the recipient of the five candies.
     The researchers extend this to other situations. For example, consider a sales promotion in which the purchaser of a digital camera is offered photo paper sufficient to print out 200 pictures. The offer will be more attractive if marketed as “We’ve been giving you paper for 10 pictures, but now we’ve upped that to enough for 200!,” than if the offer is, “For the first time, free paper to print out your photos, and it’s enough for 200!”
     And when the outlay is an expense, such as the interest rate on unpaid balances, the researchers suggest that your customers might actually be happier with a drop from a 5% interest rate to a 1% rate than if the drop is from 5% to 0%. Again, this is because zero doesn’t serve well as a consumer’s anchor for appreciating the magnitude.
     Give your shoppers an unambiguous comparison point when presenting numbers. Let’s extend it to qualitative comparisons, too. When presenting the shopper with a choice between two or more items that differ in qualities—such as ease of setup, adaptability to different body sizes, attention by professional reviewers, and so on—comment on these qualities for each of the choices if you want the consumer to fully appreciate the power of the comparison.
     At the same time, there is other research indicating that if you want the shopper to believe they’re making a comparison when, in fact, they are not, omitting the qualitative information about one of the choices tends to eliminate that choice from the shopper’s consideration set.

Click below for more:
Compare Features to Ease Overload
In Comparative Ads, Don’t Show Users
Be Aware How Shoppers Compare Products
Avoid Satire in Comparatives

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