Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sell Domestic for the Health of It

Items in your store produced in the same area in which the shopper lives carry a special appeal for that shopper. There are reasons for this having to do with economic sensitivities: People like to keep the dollars for their countrymen. But a consumer behavior research team from far and wide thinks they know another big reason. The scientists’ affiliations include ISM University of Management and Economics in Lithuania, Lingnan University in Hong Kong, Sun Yat-sen University in China, and Vienna University of Economics and Business. They found that consumers consider merchandise to be more pure when it comes from domestic sources.
     The preference for domestic didn’t hold when the retailer said the item had both domestic and foreign components. You might be required by law or regulations to reveal multiple-country origins. If you don’t operate under such requirements, consider choosing to describe only the local side with items where purity is a virtue.
     Researchers at Texas State University-San Marcos, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Delaware noticed how the declared country-of-origin (COO) on clothing usually is the locale of manufacture, not the locale where the fibers were produced. The researchers’ study samples consisted of consumers in three U.S. southern states. Participants were asked to decide how much more, if anything, they’d be willing to pay for a woolen sweater depending on the COO. The choices for locales of manufacture were America and China. The choices for fiber origin were Australia, America, and the particular state in which that day’s study was conducted.
     The researchers found that the consumers were willing to pay the most when the fibers were from their home state, and willing to pay more when the wool in the sweater had been grown in America rather than Australia.
     The researchers had administered to the participants a standardized inventory of ethnocentrism—the degree to which you believe your own culture is superior to others. Those with the highest ethnocentrism were those willing to pay the highest price premium for closer-to-home fiber origin.
     In applying findings to your use of COO information, recognize that what’s true for Southern consumers and wool sweaters isn’t necessarily universal. Shoppers associate certain countries of origin with desirable product characteristics. Cheeses and perfumes from France have a special cachet, as do cutlery and timepieces from Switzerland. In these cases, you’ll do best to flaunt the country of origin.

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

Click below for more: 
Choose an Item’s Country of Origin
Lick ’Er Country-of-Origin Stereotypes
Count on County Origin If Quality’s Clear

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