Thursday, July 28, 2016

Help Shoppers Leave with Health Left

Given the choice between items with healthy and unhealthy reputations within a product category, shoppers in a grocery store are more likely to pick the healthy ones if those items are shelved to the left of the unhealthy ones instead of to the right of them. Similarly, if healthy items are listed in a column to the left of the page and the less healthy ones to the right on a restaurant menu, the diners become more likely than otherwise to select from the healthy items.
     Those grocery store shoppers and restaurant diners will also consume more of the healthy purchases they make if they’ve selected them from the left instead of the right.
     All this comes from a set of studies at University of South Florida. Please recognize this doesn’t necessarily mean people will select and consume the healthy items to a greater extent than the unhealthy ones. Instead, the finding is that the relative preferences shift toward the healthier items. People might still prefer the unhealthy items, but it will be noticeably less often than otherwise.
     In the grocery store application, it isn’t necessary that there be two single columns of items—the more healthy column to the left of the unhealthy column. It also could work with two shelving units, the healthy items shelved in a unit to the left and the less healthy items shelved in a separate, but immediately adjacent, shelving unit on the right.
     One explanation for this “left health” effect has to do with price images. Items displayed to the right of the visual field will—all other factors equal—be estimated by shoppers to carry higher prices. Consumers familiar with the labeling on tape measures and graphs assume that numbers appearing to the right are of a higher magnitude than those appearing to the left. And with the exception of situations like announcing space launch countdowns, we count up. Those in cultures that read from left to right will, on average, mentally process an item to the right later than an item to the left, so subconsciously associate a higher number with it.
     When the healthy item is on the left, it seems like a better deal than when it’s on the right.
     Although we read from top to bottom, too, placing the healthy items above the less healthy ones on shelves or on the restaurant menu doesn’t shift the preferences as strongly, however.

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

Click below for more: 
Go Fourth in a Five-Item Horizontal Choice
Assume Higher Anchors for Right-Side Items
Offer Bonus Packs of Virtue, Discounts on Vice
Funnel Purchase Alternatives Maturely

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