Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reap Loads from Solo

Shoppers are going solo. Households are getting smaller as more people choose to remain single or are living alone in their senior citizen years. Sociological studies document drops in people’s reports of having truly close friends and of active membership in organizations not related to work. Anecdotal reports suggest that, because of dual careers, couples are making more purchase decisions on their own.
     Or maybe shoppers are not ending up going solo. Going to concerts, bowling alleys, museums, restaurants, and movies, that is. Researchers at University of Maryland and Georgetown University say there are two reasons:
  • People think the activity wouldn’t be as much fun if done alone than if done with a companion. Conversations during a visit to an art gallery enrich the experience. A little competition on the miniature golf course is energizing. 
  • People are concerned that others at the activity would judge them negatively if they come alone. There’s evidence that the larger the expected number of others in attendance, the greater the solo’s inhibition about participating. 
     Both these reasons operate more strongly with hedonic—pleasure-oriented—activities like going to the movies—than with utilitarian activities like grocery shopping. The research findings also indicate consumers worry excessively that coming to an activity solo will severely impact enjoyment. Therefore, if retailers can convince these consumers to give it a try, there’s the clear potential for high customer satisfaction:
  • Develop utilitarian—task-oriented—angles on hedonic activities. For instance, give an incentive to the solo for attending each concert during a season or having ordered each appetizer on the restaurant menu. 
  • Openly welcome individual attendees, such as reserving seating for people arriving alone and areas in stores for conversation about the merchandise. 
     The second of these could encourage matchmaking for subsequent visits. That’s good. When people shop with a companion, each person’s cart tends to ring up a higher total than if those same people had shopped alone. They are more likely to make what we think of as impulse purchases. Consumers in groups become more willing to take on risks, and it is the fear of risks behind much of resistances to buying.
     Matchmaking also potentiates repeat business. Researchers at American University, University of Arizona, and Northwestern University find that one major reason consumers will revisit the already done is that they enjoy being there while a new friend encounters a movie or destination for the first time.

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

Click below for more: 
Build Each Customer’s Assertiveness
Enable Shoppers to Revisit the Already Done

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