Monday, May 4, 2015

Steer Shoppers Away from Settling

When consumers learn that an item you carry is in scarce supply, they get emotionally aroused. Researchers at American University and University of Arizona found that one result of this is that the difference in preference between a sought item and the other alternatives grows. Therefore, the degree of disappointment if the item ends up out-of-stock (OOS) is more keen.
     You don’t want disappointment generating irritation directed at your store. To head this off, take personal responsibility for the OOS. University of Bologna research indicates that outrage about the outage will be less if the salesperson says, “I didn’t adequately anticipate….,” rather than, “We didn’t adequately anticipate….”
     Then be ready to steer the shopper toward a wholly different product category than the one they came in for. It should be a product category addressed to meeting the same need, such as bringing joy to the recipient of an intended gift. But because the news of scarcity had led to the second-best being devalued, don’t encourage the consumer to settle for that one. There’s more likely to be buyer’s regret.
     Studies suggest that when you’re OOS on an item a shopper has carefully chosen, you should have prepared for the shopper to veer off to a wholly different choice. Researchers at American University in Washington, D.C. and University of Arizona explain their results using an example, which I’ll adapt here: A shopper comes into your store looking for an expensive pen to give as a gift to a friend. After evaluating the available alternatives, the shopper narrows the choices to two, both of which have an extra-fine felt tip. The only difference between the two is the ink color, which the shopper says is not that important.
     But when the shopper decides on the pen with the blue ink, he’s told it is temporarily out of stock. He’s asked if he’d like to place an order, and he’ll be notified when the pen arrives. He replies that he can’t wait that long. The salesperson—knowing the value of selling substitutability—offers the shopper the extra-fine felt tip pen with the black ink.
     However, like a majority of the participants in the American University/Arizona study, the shopper goes off in a different direction, such as purchasing a fancy ballpoint pen with blue ink. Because of the out-of-stock, the blue ink color becomes more important than the felt tip.

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

Click below for more: 
Control Out-of-Stock Irritation
Take Personal Responsibility for OOSs
Offer Late Alphabet Customers Head Starts

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