Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spout Quick Numbers for Desirability

Shoppers who want to eat healthy are too often stymied by the complexity of information on package labels and by what can seem to be conflicting nutritional advice in the media. Research at Boston College and University of Pittsburgh assessed a method to simplify selection: Give each choice a number indicating the degree of healthfulness. For their studies, they chose the proprietary NuVal® Scoring System, in which each integer rating is based on the relevance of the item’s contents to health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
     Data were gathered from more than 100 grocery stores. The purchase patterns of customers during the six months prior to the introduction of the NuVal scores on the store shelves were compared with the purchase patterns of those same customers for those same items during the six months after introduction of the system.
     The researchers found significant increases in the healthfulness of choices attributable to the numeric nutrition rating. This and other research suggests a set of characteristics to make such a system work well:
  • Range familiarity. The scores given to items were selected from a range of 1 to 100. This allowed shoppers to easily sense the relative value of a score of 63 compared to that of 37, for instance. 
  • Breadth. In the studies, only eight food categories were included. It would be better to have ratings for all or nearly all the food items in the store. 
  • Convenience. Consumers balance healthfulness against price in making purchase decisions. To assist that, place the nutrition ratings on the same shelf tags and signage as the price and in an easy-to-read font style and size. In those places, also highlight any price promotions. The Boston/Pittsburgh researchers found that shoppers exposed to the rating system became less price sensitive and more sensitive to promotional discounts. However, be aware that these effects do seem to fade with time. 
  • Credibility. Be sure the rating system is valid, and then train store staff to answer questions about the system in ways that are easily understood. Brochures or signage explaining the system can be helpful. To maintain trust, be sure all spelling and grammar are flawless. The NuVal Scoring System text describing development of the system includes, “No retailers or manufactures (sic) were involved.” 
     Numeric rating systems with these four characteristics can be helpful with products other than food and with addressing shopper values other than healthfulness.

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

Click below for more: 
Simplify the Shopping
Why They Don’t Read the Labels
Nourish Evaluation When Multiple Choice

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