Thursday, April 2, 2015

Confide in Shoppers for Calibrated Confidence

We’d like our patrons to be both confident and what consumer psychologists call “well-calibrated.” In well-calibrated customers, there’s no more than a small discrepancy between self-perceptions of expertise about the purchase alternatives and objective measures of knowledge about the purchase alternatives. Any consumer confidence is deserved. At the other extreme, poorly calibrated customers don’t have an accurate appraisal of how much they know.
     Poorly calibrated shoppers could be either overconfident or underconfident. Researchers at Cranfield University in England collected data about the post-purchase problems with each type that could disrupt return visits to your store.
     Compared to customers who are well-calibrated, the overconfident and underconfident are especially likely to afterwards rate their purchases less favorably. With overconfident consumers, this is because the people purchase too quickly, paying inadequate attention to what will fit their needs, and they underestimate how much learning will be required to get the best from the item. This also can lead to them misusing the item and subsequently rating the performance of the item as lower quality. On the other hand, underconfident consumers put unnecessary time and energy into mastering the item, so they end up seeing the shopping, purchase, and usage as inefficient.
     With attention being drawn to effectiveness and efficiency assessments, overconfidence and underconfidence result in purchasers giving less credit to skilled product design and aesthetic appeal than is given by well-calibrated consumers.
     Playing around with a product or playing around with the idea of purchasing a product or service helps calibrate shoppers. Unfortunately, high levels of overconfidence and underconfidence disrupt a willingness to play around during the purchase process.
     Prior studies found that well-calibrated shoppers are more likely to seek out helpful information than are the overconfident and underconfident. People who believe they know lots about a product or service category or think they know only a little about it usually ask fewer questions than do the shoppers who figure they know a moderate amount. People perceiving little knowledge say they couldn't think of questions to ask. And those who believe they have lots of knowledge? One reason they limit their inquiries is that they fear looking like less than experts in front of others in the store.
     To improve shopper calibration, confide information about the challenges in getting the best from the item being considered for purchase. The Cranfield researchers point out how pre-purchase marketing often sets unrealistic expectations in shoppers.

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

Click below for more: 
Respect Customers Who Claim Expertise
Calibrate Your Shoppers Well

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