Friday, May 10, 2013

Supersize Purchase Momentum

The 2004 documentary “Super Size Me,” in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate only McDonald’s restaurant food for thirty days, portrays the supersize influence in consumer behavior as causing obesity, mood swings, and even sexual dysfunction.
     With good reason.
     Still, researchers at Texas A&M University and Pennsylvania State University find that increasing the size of a food purchase can also improve health. It depends on what you’re supersizing. The researchers say that if you add cues for good health at the point of sale, the appeal of lower unit cost tempts shoppers to get more of the beneficial alternative.
     In fact, consumers who have purchased a larger quantity of an unhealthy item become more likely to subsequently purchase a larger quantity of a healthy item. This has to do with guilt, consumers’ desire for balance, and also purchase momentum.
     Consumer psychologists talk of a “flow state” in which a customer who makes a purchase becomes more likely to make another purchase and then another. The flow state includes decisiveness in buying decisions, a playful willingness to expand the range of products considered, a hesitation to discontinue the process of shopping, and a distorted sense of time.
     An application of this for your store is in how you frame quantity-dependent price discounts. Two possibilities are:
  • 20% off if you buy at least five packages. 
  • 20% off. Limit five packages per customer. 
     What’s the effect of those on the number of items purchased? Research at Bryant University and University of Illinois finds that…
  • When customers are required to buy a minimum quantity to achieve the discount, they are more motivated to purchase multiple items. 
  • When customers are allowed to purchase only a limited number of items at the discounted price, they are less motivated to purchase multiple items. 
     Consumers live up or down to the conditions of a discount offer.
     Then the Bryant/Illinois researchers went beyond this to indicate that the nature of the motivation will spread to other purchase decisions during the remainder of that same shopping trip. People who buy five of the items so they can earn the discount will be more likely to buy in quantity other items on their shopping list—whether or not those items are discounted. Customers who stopped at buying five items because they don’t get a discount beyond that quantity become less likely to supersize purchases of other items on the shopping list.

Click below for more: 
Increase Purchase Quantities with Discounts 
Maintain Purchase Momentum in Customers 
Flow Shoppers into Extra Purchases 
Offer Bonus Packs of Virtue, Discounts on Vice

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