Monday, August 4, 2014

Interrupt the Urge to Interrupt the Shopper

Strategic interruptions of the browsing shopper can move that shopper toward purchase. For example, researchers at University of Toronto found that interrupting someone by pointing out a clearly inferior alternative often unfreezes indecision. Say, “May I show you one more model that I think would help you decide? I hate for you to need to go shopping somewhere else.”
     But plenty of other consumer behavior research finds that poorly timed or poorly framed interruptions disrupt the selling process. At issue is what psychologists call “Need for Cognitive Closure” (NFCC). Some shoppers want to make a decision quickly and then stay with that decision. Interruptions by a salesperson risk confusing those shoppers. Other shoppers evidence a strong need to gather as much information as possible before deciding. They welcome salesperson interruptions to relax the process. Then after deciding, the shopper doesn’t mind the sorts of interruptions which reassure them they’ve made a good decision.
     And almost all shoppers are somewhere between those two extremes.
     NFCC is a personality trait, which means each of us tends to stay within an idiosyncratic range on the dimension throughout adult life. Then situational factors can move us within that range and occasionally well outside it.
     Most consumers are more open to interruptions early in the purchase process and less open later. However, researchers at New Mexico State University and Sacred Heart University suggest that the retailer look out for the potential customer who seems pressed for time and is evaluating choices almost from the start. Minimize interruptions of these people early on and never interrupt early on with content not directly related to the purchase selection, such as with an extended greeting or casual conversation. With the shopper who is in this frame of mind, later interruptions are okay, and can actually create good will, as long as the interruptions are pleasant, such as reassurance or gratitude, and they’re not frequent.
     Another set of researchers, at Stanford University, note how in-store shopping can be subject to a plethora of interruptions from sources other than the retailer—phone calls, texts, impatient children. To the degree that the retailer can control additional ones, the sale of the considered item is more likely. Beyond this, the Stanford studies found that a disruptive interruption during the climax of the current transaction increases the NFCC for immediately subsequent purchases.
     Before interrupting the shopper, pause briefly to determine your objective.

Click below for more: 
Dissolve Decision Paralysis 
Swoop In for the Sale After Disrupting 
Close Out the Purchase

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