Monday, January 4, 2016

Start Shopper Learning Off Easy

A major reason customers return technically sophisticated products and shoppers won’t even consider purchasing such products is the perceived difficulty in learning to use them. The frustration and anger from this difficulty often leave negative impressions of the items, the retailer, and the shopping experience. Researchers at University of South Carolina and University of Colorado-Boulder say that a way around this is to warn prospective users what to expect. Avoid any temptation to advance the sale by spouting unrealistic claims about how easy mastery will be.
     Still, some of the subtasks will be easier than the others. Another set of researchers—at Fudan University, University of Hong Kong, and Peking University—suggest retailers encourage people to begin with these simpler tasks. Most consumers don’t go at it that way. Instead, their tendency is to start out with what they consider to be the more difficult challenges in the process. People generally believe that going from hard to easy will make the overall task easier, getting the tough stuff out of the way. But in seven studies of the issue, the researchers saw how, in reality, the opposite sequence—from easy to hard—leads to more success because of the momentum it creates.
     Researchers at University of Pennsylvania and Tilburg University refer to the consumers’ difficult-to-easy habit as a “get ready mindset” and find the effects show well beyond in learning to use a new product. For example, if people have a set of shopping tasks to complete, they’ll generally aim to get the hard ones out of the way first. Or if an especially challenging task can’t be taken out of sequence, consumers will prepare for it by working harder on an earlier task. That might turn out fine. However, if you are concerned this preparatory hard work could fatigue or frustrate the consumer, encourage them to space out the tasks.
     Spaced learning also fits well when learning to use a product by alternating between reading instructions and actual experience. But for those who insist on getting the experience before or instead of reading about it, intense hands-on trials may be the mastery method of choice. Two bonus advantages of this massed learning: Consumers will be willing to pay more for the item. And they’ll be able to use the new item in a broader range of situations. Just do what you can to start the shopper off easy.

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

Click below for more: 
Unpack Product Learning
Train Yourself to Profit from Product Training
Give Customers a Clear Sense of Progress

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