With sensory-rich experiential products, the order in which you present samples affects purchase preferences. Researchers at University of South Florida, Loyola University Chicago, Columbia University, and Suffolk University presented study participants with a sequence of chocolates, flavored beverages, fragrances, or music. For some of the people, the items had been chosen by the researchers to be similar to each other in primary sensory quality. In the other cases, the choices were distinct.
With similar alternatives, the study participants tended to favor the first one presented over the others. But when the choices were easily distinguishable from each other, the preference tended to be for the item presented last. The researchers explain the results in terms of consumers becoming accustomed to sensations which are the same and sensory memories fading quickly in the brain.
Add this to other research findings about sampling sequence and order effects:
- Research findings from University of Hong Kong and National University of Singapore indicate that when a customer appears to be in an upbeat mood, they’re more likely to select either the first or the last alternative you propose than to select a middle alternative.
- When the customer is sad, worried, or angry, but is determined to make the purchase rather than defer the decision, they seek the compromise alternative and will look for it as the middle alternative in the presentation order.
- According to researchers from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, if your shopper is considering a lot of information when making a purchase decision, they become willing to buy the higher-priced alternative when the alternatives are presented in order from most expensive to least expensive. The price of the first item becomes an anchor for what your shopper will expect to pay.
- When you show the shopper choices arranged horizontally, such as you might do in online selling or in-store shelf arrangement, shoppers will be drawn to an option appearing neither first nor last. If there are five choices, the strongest draw will be to the choice at position four, according to researchers at University of Navarra in Spain, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the U.K.’s King’s Fund.
Click below for more:
Talk to Multiple Senses with New Products
Guide Choice by Sequence of Presentation
Go Fourth in a Five-Item Horizontal Choice
Influence the Compromise Choice Process