Saturday, June 11, 2011

Explore the Shopper’s Distinctiveness

The researchers at University of Chicago and Korea University knew that consumers are more likely to buy an umbrella when it’s raining than when it’s sunny. You see, those researchers were a good cut above the image of the absent-minded professor who wouldn’t know to even come in out of the rain if lacking an umbrella.
     What intrigued these researchers was how to get consumers to select among a broad variety of umbrellas when the consumer feels overwhelmed by all the choices. An abundance of alternatives can decrease purchases and shopper satisfaction:
  • Stanford University researchers had found that shoppers presented with 6 choices to sample from were ten times as likely to end up purchasing a jar of jam as were the shoppers presented with 24 choices.
  • At Columbia University, student participants were exposed to either 6 different varieties of Godiva chocolates or 30 different varieties. Those exposed to the lower number of choices were much more likely to subsequently select a box of Godiva chocolates rather than a cash payment for participation in the study.
  • After analyzing their data, Cornell University study concluded that as the number of alternatives got large, shopper satisfaction went down.
     The Chicago/Korea researchers’ suggested remedy is to present the choice to the consumer as an opportunity to express their distinctiveness to the salesperson. Ask, “What’s important to you when selecting among umbrellas?” and later, say, “I’m interested in what led you to select this one over the others.” Explore the personal preferences.
     This works best when the item gives pleasure or reduces distress and when the shopper is willing to spend some time in the exploration. Staying dry inside an umbrella shop for a while could qualify. Participants in the Chicago/Korea study were more likely to make choices regarding vacation packages, literary novels, and flower bouquets when the choice process was framed as an opportunity to express themselves.
     Reason-to-buy questions help the shopper consider, thereby increasing your opportunities to influence them. Most people rise to the challenge when asked a question, even if answering to themselves.
     Asking these questions personalizes the selling arguments. People make each purchase decision for all sorts of reasons, and each of us has a distinctive consumer personality. For instance, some shoppers primarily want to play it safe while others primarily want to acquire new advantages. The shopper can take your reason-to-select questions in whatever direction fits them best.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Protect Shoppers From Too Many Choices
Ask Shoppers for Reasons to Buy
Ask the Customer for Their Opinions of Items
Draw Out Advice & Opinions from Shoppers

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