Thursday, October 20, 2016

Worm Your Way into WOM with Self-Discovery

Show your shoppers a gift box being slowly opened, and their evaluations of what’s inside the box will be more positive than if you just showed them the item. This pleasure-from-watching-a-striptease is so compelling that researchers from Chinese University of Hong Kong saw it operate even if the box is absolutely empty. In this case, the observers of the unveiling liked the empty box itself more, on average, than an equivalent set of consumers who were just shown the box.
     Researchers at University of Miami and University of Pennsylvania saw a parallel effect when it came to word-of-mouth—influential information told to a consumer who then shares it with others. We might think of WOM as occurring only among family and friends. But it also could include a trusted salesperson telling a shopper about the salesperson’s experiences.
     The researchers saw that customers are substantially more likely to pass information on to others when they have found at least some of that information on their own. In addition to the thrill of discovery, a major reason for this is that we associate discovered information with our self-image. We’re less likely to criticize the information as unfounded or uninteresting. If the information is in written form, we’re less likely to be put off by spelling and grammatical errors when we believe we came across it through our own initiative. These differences between self-discovered and other-presented effects on WOM are greatest with consumers who consider themselves to be experts in the product category. This is probably because the perception of expertise boosts the centrality of one’s self-image.
     The advice for retailers is to build your shoppers’ expertise and encourage them to uncover for themselves positive news about your store and the items you carry.
     Similarly, when a set of purchase alternatives would all satisfy the shopper’s basic specifications, the shopper prefers those alternatives they discover for themselves over those initially presented by the salesperson. Researchers at Miami University, University of Northern British Columbia, and University of Alberta gave consumers hints as to suitable items, but kept those items out of sight until specifically asked by the consumer to see them or try them out. The tease ended up making those items favored over suitable items initially presented in full view to the consumer.
     When you realize an item can meet a shopper’s objectives, facilitate the shopper discovering that for themselves.

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

Click below for more: 
Unwrap Purchase Alternatives Seductively
Have Shoppers Share Word-of-Mouth with You
Arouse Emotions to Drive Online Sharing

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