Friday, October 12, 2012

Surface Shopper Flaws

As the teenage girl’s mother walks in, she’s startled to see a boy with his arm around the daughter. The mother calls her aside. “Who is he?,” she asks.
     “Oh, he’s my new boyfriend.”
     “Dressed completely in black leather? Piercings all over his head? Has some of our silverware sticking out of his pocket? Won’t even look over at me when I walked into the kitchen? Dear, he doesn’t seem to be a, um, nice boy.”
     “Oh, relax, Mom. If he wasn’t nice, would he be doing 1,000 hours of community service?”
     That boy might have some shortcomings which the girl’s defensiveness gets in the way of her admitting. Some Carnegie Mellon University research findings indicate the boy himself would be more willing to admit them, and this brings up the point for retailers:
      People shop to correct shortcomings. When somebody admits to a flaw, here’s an opportunity to consummate a sale. So how do we make it more likely that our shoppers will drop the defensiveness?
     What would work if you were the customer? Please think now of a flaw you have that would make it more likely you’d purchase something sold on a website. Some shortcoming you admit you have, but don’t talk about to everybody, maybe because it’s embarrassing.
     Got that personal flaw in mind? Okay, read on.
     Suppose you’re shopping on my ecommerce site for the first time. I present you with a questionnaire saying I’d like to get to know more about you so I can better meet your needs. An item on the questionnaire asks specifically about that flaw.
     On one version of the questionnaire, the website header has my store logo on the left and on the right reads, “Survey on Strengths & Weaknesses” in a professional black font. On the other version of the questionnaire, the website header has on the left a cartoon devil logo and on the right reads, “How BAD Are U???” in a bright red font.
     On which of those two would you be more likely to admit to a flaw? The Carnegie Mellon researchers explored this issue of people revealing their shortcomings. What did they find? If you’re similar to most of the people who were in that study, you’d be more likely to admit to your flaw when the questionnaire is casual.
     Surface flaws by loosening up your shoppers, clients, or patients. Less formality helps.

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

Click below for more: 
Loosen Up Shoppers to Reveal Flaws

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