Monday, May 30, 2011

Add Variety to Shoppers’ Thinking

Most shoppers are tempted to switch what they buy for no reason other than that people enjoy variety. If you want to introduce the customer to a new brand, their interest in switching is fine. However, if the brand the customer has been buying delivers good value for them and high profits for you, I’d think you’d prefer to at least delay the brand switching, even if you can’t completely eliminate it.
     Research findings from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Minnesota, and New York University suggest that we can slow down switching by encouraging the variety-seeking customer to think about other alternatives they’ve already tried. If the shopper talks about purchasing a different brand “to break out of my routine,” ask, “What are some other brands you’ve used in the past, and what convinced you to start using our brand you’re using now?”
     If the customer is talking about holding off on a purchase so they can try out a store that opened recently in the area, ask, “What are some of the stores you’ve shopped at before or in addition to shopping here, and what about our store keeps you coming back?”
     This tactic is an example of how what we do might make us money for a combination of reasons. The customer’s answers to these questions not only provide “virtual variety,” but also give us the chance to find out what’s important to this individual shopper and then use this information to make our case for the shopper forgetting about switching. Instead, we’ll work to show the customer different ways to use the same items they’ve been using up to now.
     Take inspiration from Poultry Consumer Trend Report, recently released by food industry consultants Technomic. Among the findings from the survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers was that almost 90% of Americans eat poultry at least once each week. With that degree of market saturation, variety seeking is likely. However, about 25% of chicken consumers said they’d be very likely to order chicken for breakfast if it was available. The figure was higher—at 29%--for turkey consumers welcoming turkey for breakfast. That 4% bump might be because we’ve already heard of turkey sausage.
     Think of the ways you can suggest additional uses for your most popular products. Just a change in the circumstances under which your product is used could add enough variety to prolong shopper interest.

Click below for more:
Slow Switching by Asking About Prior Choices

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