Monday, June 2, 2014

Funnel Purchase Alternatives Maturely

Categorize products for shoppers. Researchers at Stanford University and Columbia University say that categories enhance an empowering sense of control by allowing the consumers to give reasons to themselves for the choices they’re making.
     For foods and beverages, the categories might be by taste (coffees are mild, dark roast, or nutty). For clothing the categories might be by usage occasion (leisure, office, party). For power tools and sports equipment, the categories might be by level of expertise recommended.
     Realize that labeling items by category can have different results than physically positioning items by category: Researchers at Georgia State University and Columbia University asked study participants to select food items from menus resembling those seen at chain restaurants. For some of the participants, calorie information was included for each item and all of the low-calorie items were listed together on the menu. For a second group of participants, the calorie information was included, but the low-calorie items were interspersed among the other alternatives rather than appearing in a separate section. For the third set of participants, too, there was no separate grouping of the low-calorie items. In fact, for this third set, no information about calories was included on the menu.
     The group given calorie information, but with the low-calorie items interspersed, ordered meals with lower calories overall than did the those with no calorie information on the menu. However, this was not true for diners in the group who had all the low-calorie items placed together on the menu. They were as likely as those in the no-calorie-information group to order the higher-calorie items.
     Why was this, and what does it mean for the categorization method in your store?
     Shoppers are attracted to retail establishments which provide many alternatives, but those shoppers want to be able to easily narrow down the choices. Diners looking at menus with a low-calorie section often start out by dismissing all the low-calorie items first. The reputation of low-calorie is that of being lacking in taste and leaving one feeling hungry. So it’s easy to initially jettison this entire category.
     But when the choices were categorized without separation, the initial filter was more likely to be, “What do I feel like eating?” Low-calorie items stayed in the consideration set longer and were therefore more likely to be ultimately ordered.
     Don’t move too far ahead of your shopper. Funnel down purchase alternatives maturely, never prematurely.

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

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