Thursday, December 1, 2016

Shower Cold on Regretful Customers

“Throwing cold water on an idea” means to discourage its pursuit. “Taking a cold shower” is traditional advice for easing passions. And according to researchers at Washington State University, Ryerson University, and Canada’s Western University, a retailer offering cold temperatures to customers reduces any regrets the customers might have about purchases they recently made.
     When people experience regret—thinking more about what they might have done than what they actually did—they perceive their bodies becoming somewhat warmer. It’s related to the blushing we experience when embarrassed, ashamed, or just self-conscious. The consequence is an increased desire for merchandise and experiences which will cool us down. The researchers suggest that when offering for sale items or adventures which carry a risk a purchaser might later regret taking, turn down the store thermostat.
     Please note all this is true for “action regret,” a consumer reacting to actions they’ve taken, but not necessarily for “inaction regret,” a consumer thinking about missed opportunities because of a failure to take action. Inaction regret usually leads to wistfulness instead of guilt.
     Also note that there are times we’ll want to warm up the shoppers. Whenever shoppers experience rejection or loneliness, they’re ready to buy physical warmth. They feel cooler than do people who aren’t lonely. Studies at Purdue University, Tilburg University, VU University, and University of Milano-Bicocca indicate this is because lonely people are, in fact, physically colder. Experimental subjects who were rejected as suitable partners in a game showed reduced body temperatures, and lonely people reported feeling more comfortable when asked to hold a cup of warm tea or coffee.
     Researchers at NUS Business School in Singapore and University of Florida-Gainesville postulate all this is due to lonely consumers being mammals. From when mammals are very young, any sign of negative emotions produces a desire to be held close to get warmed up.
     Bear hugs from staff probably won’t work. Cranking up the heater could burn through your profitability. There would be the fuel cost plus the risk of chasing off shoppers who aren’t feeling cold at all. The way around this is to recognize that the research shows psychological warmth in a store also attracts lonely consumers.
     So to keep lonely shoppers receptive to purchasing more, keep them nicely warmed up. But to help all your customers close out doubts about their purchases and move on, consider offering them a cold beer.

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

Click below for more: 
Dissect the Shopper’s Risk Tolerance
Aim Away from Shame
Add to Global Warming in Your Store
Close Out the Purchase
Brew Helpful Thoughts Through Beer

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