Monday, February 22, 2016

Tempt Shoppers with a Template

People like personalized items better than the same sorts of items lacking customization. However, when an item has more than a small number of attributes and each attribute offers more than a few alternatives, the complexity often overwhelms the shopper.
     Researchers at University of Alberta and University of St. Gallen created and then evaluated a technique for avoiding the problems: Develop a limited number of combinations of the major item attributes, then encourage the shopper to choose one of these and personalize using the other attributes.
     In a set of nine studies covering the item categories of shirts, automobiles, vacation packages, jewelry, and financial products, the researchers identified clear benefits of this customization via starting solutions (CvSS). The purchasers were more satisfied with what they ended up buying and found more mental stimulation in using the items. And the store or retail firm owners were pleased how the purchasers selected a greater number of item features, resulting in a higher-dollar transaction.
     Results from Northwestern University and Compass Lexecon studies indicate that CvSS makes the most difference when the shopper:
  • Lacks clear decision criteria beyond wanting to personalize
  • Feels under high time pressure
  • Believes that comparing the alternatives requires mental effort
     After the consumer has selected one of the starting solutions, should you subsequently work from the easy to the complex personalization choices? No. Research at Stanford University and Columbia University suggests you should start with the complex.
     The researchers asked study participants to customize a trip by choosing one each from five flight options, fifteen car rental arrangements, and ten hotels. The order of the three choices was varied for different study participant groups.
     It turned out that the choice of the hotel was quicker when it followed the choice among the fifteen rental cars than when it followed the choice among the five flights. The Stanford/Columbia researchers’ explanation is that the consumers faced with selecting one from among fifteen options adopted a “good enough” mindset. With this mindset, the consumers make the choice of the hotel relatively quickly.
     Those consumers who started with the filtering of five options could hold out for “find the best.” When they moved on to the hotel choice, that mindset caused them to spend more time on the task. Those consumers who feel under high time pressure would find this makes the customization, and so perhaps the travel package itself, to be less enjoyable.

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

Click below for more: 
Limit Design Support for Personalized Gifts
Abandon Abundance After Attracting
Ease Maximizing by Using Choice Overload

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