Monday, October 3, 2011

Unpack Product Learning

Researchers at University at Buffalo-SUNY and Indiana University say that people master novel products best when given the opportunity to experiment with the product repeatedly. The measures of mastery included attraction to the product, a willingness to pay a premium price for it, and an ability to use the product’s capabilities in a variety of situations.
     In summary: By allowing the shopper to try out the product, you’re more likely to make the sale and have a happy purchaser. This finding is not, in itself, particularly useful beyond the comfort found from a confirmation of what common sense tells us.
     What the Buffalo/Indiana research does add are conditions: Shoppers who learn by reading over instructions and then trying out the product step-by-step generally prefer to have repeated lessons spaced out in time. Those shoppers who learn by getting right in and playing the game generally like the lessons to be massed together at one time. To maintain interest in continuing to use the product, the trial-and-error learners need to work through all those errors which come about because they didn’t want to read over the instructions.
     For both types of consumers, and all those in-between, the learning can be daunting if the product is at all complex. As daunting as packing into a single suitcase everything you want to take with you on a trip.
     Researchers at Brigham Young University, Rice University, and Carnegie Mellon University found that shoppers tend to be overconfident of their abilities to learn skill-based products before they try them out, then overcompensate in the other direction after the first few trials. At that point, they tend to overestimate the time and trouble it will take them to learn, and they give up. Consumers in the study were willing to pay more for a keyboard before they’d tried it out than they were after their first quick lesson with it.
     In the research, it took about four rounds of twenty minutes of learning before the estimates of learning ability and time to learn became close to accurate.
     All of this argues for unpacking the learning experience into components, even in those circumstances where the teaching format will be massed—delivered to the consumer one lesson immediately after another. Research findings from University of Toronto indicate that when the retailer points out the joys from mastering the product, the unpacking produces healthy perseverance during the learning.

Click below for more:
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