Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hitchhike onto Purchasers’ Shortcuts

For product categories in which purchases are made regularly and repeatedly, customers usually employ decision making shortcuts rather than process all the available information. Consumer behavior researchers have used laundry detergent as an example. Researchers at University of Texas-Austin found that half of the number of laundry detergent shoppers take no more than nine seconds to select the product. We can figure that most of those seconds are spent in locating the product and lifting it into the cart. These speedy shoppers almost surely aren’t discussing their decision with a salesperson or with other customers.
     If the purchaser’s selection satisfies both their product performance objectives and our profit making objectives, we don’t need to do much. The shopper is on automatic. But if we’d like the customer to try a new brand, we might need to depend on pre-shopping advertising, store signage, product adjacencies, and very brief salesperson interactions to steer the customer.
     In all of this, let’s hitchhike onto the selection shortcuts shoppers use. In a multinational study covering consumers in the U.S., Singapore, Thailand, and Germany, researchers at National University of Singapore identified the most common of these shortcuts, which can operate in combination:
  • Price. “It’s the least expensive.” “This is a big discount off the regular price.” Use words like “lowest price” and “20% discount.”
  • Performance. “I believe this particular product will get the job done for me in a way that satisfies me.” Briefly list product performance benefits, but not technical specifications.
  • Normative. “My friends use this product, and I care about their opinion of me.” “My mom bought this product, although I’m not sure why, but I trust her judgment.” Use brief product testimonials and phrases like, “Recommended by nine out of ten professionals,” to the degree this is true.
  • Habit or brand loyalty. “This is the same brand I’ve been buying for months.” “I know this brand well.” To steer the customer to the new brand, use words like, “As good as Clorox, but easier to pour.”
  • Variety seeking. “I want to try something different than what I usually buy.” Use phrases like, “Here’s something new and exciting!”
  • Affect. “I have a good feeling about this item, although if asked why, I’d need to create a reason, since I’m not sure.” Create a pleasant atmosphere surrounding the product, such as with pleasing colors and easy-to-read text.
Click below for more:
Switch Brand Selection with Shopper Anxiety
Change Brand Loyalty Habits Gradually
Let Shoppers Go Through Their Rituals
Dissolve Cautions About Private Label Goods
Capabilities Before Technical Specifications

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