Thursday, June 4, 2015

License to Marry Naughty

After acting holy, shoppers tend to get naughty. Researchers from New York University and University of Pennsylvania found that when people put a healthy food item into their grocery shopping cart, they become much more likely to select a fun food item next.
     Consumer psychologists call the phenomenon “licensing.” Being good gives us license to marry the bad. Researchers at Harvard University and Duke University saw another example of licensing as a byproduct of a study on the purchase of organic foods. The study data were collected with unusual detail by looking at a grocery store’s copies of purchase receipts from shoppers in the store’s loyalty program. This allowed the researchers to track each shopper’s buying patterns over time. It also allowed them to determine if and when a shopper brought to the store their own reusable bag. The store gave a cash credit for this environmentally responsible action, so a record of it was included on the receipt.
     The researchers were interested in whether shoppers who brought their own bags purchased a higher number of organic versions of items. The answer from the receipts was that yes, the shoppers were. More specifically, on those trips when the consumer brought their own bags, they were more likely to buy organic than on those trips when that same consumer did not bring bags. Green actions begot green actions.
     But there’s more to the story: When shoppers bought organic, they were more likely to add candy bars and cookies. Green actions also begot transgressions. The indulgences were mostly small purchases, not adding much to health threat for the shopper or to the transaction total for the retailer. Still, a whole bunch of small purchases over time can benefit your bottom line.
     A shopper who makes a good, sound purchase decision is ready to buy an item that's mostly for fun. And when your customer is looking around for fun items, you'll want to be sure you make those items easy to find.
     The best way to do that is to have fun items displayed throughout your store. More than this, when a customer completes the decision to buy a highly sensible item, offer them a follow-on sale of a fun item in the same or a related product category.
     Having it from a similar product category works best because you should be subtle. The licensing effect is strongest if stimulated subconsciously.

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

Click below for more: 
Have Fun Items Throughout the Store
Be Alert for the Effects of Shopper Attention!
Sweeten Treat Sales by Being a Sweet Thing

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