Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wash Up to Enjoy Dirty Deeds

You will sell more sweet desserts at your restaurant and sweet treats at your candy counter if you hand out a hand cleanser before asking.
     Researchers at Iona College, Baruch College, and University of British Columbia had groups of consumers either wash their hands or not wash their hands prior to being asked to select from more hedonic or less hedonic food items. Those consumers who washed their hands showed added interest in the pleasure-oriented foods. Similarly, washing hands after eating a sweet item reduced the amount of reported guilt about the indulgence.
     One explanation for this effect is that cleansing the hands washes away raging emotions. This was seen with the endowment effect. The “endowment effect” refers to people placing a higher value on objects they own than equivalent objects that they do not. Among other consumer behaviors, it helps explain why people resist selling used items at a price others will find attractive and why people hesitate tossing foods with an expiration date from last week when they wouldn’t eat the same food at a friend’s house if the expiration date had passed.
     Researchers at University of Vienna came across a novel method to ease bias from the endowment effect for both retailers and shoppers, for both physical goods and virtual goods. That method is hand washing. The researchers asked groups of study participants to consider exchanging an owned product for another item which was of objectively equivalent value. The endowment effect would cause the participants to overvalue the owned item, and so decline the opportunity to trade.
     Those who washed their hands were twice as likely to do the exchange as those who didn’t wash their hands.
     Another explanation for the rise in sales of sweets after hand cleansing has to do with closure. “I washed my hands of the whole matter,” is a well-worn way to say we’re moving on. The cleansing ritual frees us up for the switch from entrĂ©e to dessert. Acts of closure work afterwards, too. Researchers at London Business School presented shoppers 24 chocolates and asked each to select one to eat. Some of the people were asked to replace the lid on the tray before eating the chosen chocolate. The rest of the people were not asked to replace the lid. Afterwards, those who had replaced the lid reported higher enjoyment and more confidence they had made a good choice.

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

Click below for more: 
Wash Your Hands of the Endowment Effect
Close Out the Purchase
Gobble Those Valentine Chocolates Guilt-Free

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