Monday, April 11, 2016

Scare Up Creativity with Scarcity

There are circumstances in which a retailer prefers to offer dedicated products—items devoted to each fulfilling a specific purpose. Why make a case for the shopper purchasing a combination frying pan and slow cooker when you could increase the basket total by selling the same shopper a frying pan and also a slow cooker?
     Still, if you apply that reasoning to the notion of selling a phone and then a camera, you’ll see the need for refinement. Consumers like multifunction items. This preference could be attributed to the technological advances which have allowed progressively more functions to be packed into the same size product. Research findings from University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and Johns Hopkins University suggest an additional explanation: The Great Recession caused consumers to become more creative in thinking of uses for the items they purchase. It was a matter of getting by with less. In the research studies, feelings of scarcity about a particular item activated flexibility about item functionality. This mindset persisted and generalized to a broad range of items.
     A classic exercise to develop individual creativity is to give someone a few objects—like a paper clip, a facial tissue, and a scrub brush—and ask the person to list all the different ways the objects could be used together. The assumption is that this task—using all the objects together—would be more difficult with, let’s say, six objects than with, let’s say, three. But does this mean that the six-objects task develops more creativity than the three-objects task? 
     Research at New York University-Stern and University of British Columbia says that it does not when it comes to consumers behaving creatively. Their conclusion is that if shoppers have fewer options available—a smaller number of paint options for a decorating project or a smaller number of alternatives for preparing a dinner—creativity increases. This was true even though the shoppers don’t feel more creative.
     It operates the other way around, too. When consumers feel a need to be creative because they are financially deprived, they tend to seek out scarce goods and then use them in ways that are distinctive, according to findings from research at New York University. It’s an example of what consumer behavior researchers call the “get ready mindset.” When we expect tough going ahead, we prepare ourselves for it by starting to act as if the going is already tough.

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

Click below for more: 
Pitch the Synergy of Multifunction Items
Funnel Choices to Cultivate Creativity
Offer Scam-Free Scarcity
Hook Experts on Scarcity
Start Shopper Learning Off Easy

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