Friday, November 29, 2013

Ask for Item Opinions Post-Purchase

Asking a shopper for item opinions before the shopper makes a choice can be useful in guiding that consumer and others like that consumer toward the right alternative. Still, show caution. Study findings from University of Cologne and Jacobs University indicate that if the shopper expresses a highly positive opinion prior to purchase, she is less likely to effusively praise the item to others afterwards via word-of-mouth. Her liking of the item is also reduced somewhat. Stating a highly positive opinion reduces the extremity of later expressions and experiencing of that attitude.
     Moreover, after a customer selects an item for purchase, we usually don’t ask, “Why did you select that item?” We accept that customers have their own good reasons. Asking why risks putting the person on the defensive or introducing doubt. If we do ask, it would be better to phrase the question, “So that I might better help you and other shoppers make good choices in the future, I’m interested in how you decided on the item you did.”
     You might find it worthwhile to do that rephrasing. Researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that asking a customer for his or her opinion in the right way can be a powerful selling technique.
     To use this tactic, you need to understand something surprising about how it works: Being asked to select which of a small group of products the shopper prefers makes it more likely the shopper will want to buy the next product considered. The effect is strongest when a shopper is in a hurry to buy a number of different items.
     This technique can be valuable for add-on sales. The salesperson asks, “What did you think of these different items you’ve looked at?,” and then after listening to the answer, “What other items may I help you find today?” The cashier at the checkout counter asks, “What do you think of the items you found here today?,” and then after listening, at least briefly, to the answer, suggests an add-on item for the customer to look at next time he is in the store.
     Never ask for too many justifications, though. Research findings from Universit├Ąt Heidelberg and Universit├Ąt Mannheim show that if you ask the shopper to generate loads of reasons why an item was selected, the task becomes more difficult for the person, and this makes the alternative less attractive.

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

Click below for more: 
Dampen Involvement to Redirect Preference 
Ask Customers for Their Opinions of Items

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