Monday, January 9, 2017

Control How Shoppers Handle Low Control

As a rule, when a shopper comes into your store with a sense of low control, they’ll be especially deliberative before making purchases. The sense of low control could arise from an unfamiliarity with your store, when considering a purchase to be risky, from an enduring personality trait like low self-esteem, or even from a situational influence having little to do with your store, such as experiencing—or maybe reading about—a natural disaster.
     However, observant retailers might notice that this low-control effect can work in the opposite direction: Some shoppers become more, not less, impulsive. University of Miami researchers believe they’ve found an explanation in the person’s childhood. Kids who reported to the researchers that their parents had emphasized the importance of regulating one’s impulses showed heightened self-regulation when feeling a sense of low control while shopping as an adult. But kids who said their parents were highly permissive about expressions of impulses then demonstrated impulsiveness in adult shopping situations where they felt a low sense of control.
     So although you, as the salesperson, might not know in which direction a new customer will go, once you spot the direction, it’s likely to stay that way for the duration of your business relationship. Moreover, the tendency is likely to be stronger when that shopper is accompanied by family members.
     Other studies over the years have come at the issue with suggestions for easing the sense of low control:
  • Keep shelves orderly and fully faced. 
  • Unclutter aisles regularly. 
  • Wherever shoppers need to wait, make it abundantly clear who has what place in line. 
  • Remind customers of any time limits, and perhaps even establish time limits. “Please remember that this offer is good for the next three days.” 
     More recently, researchers at Florida State University, University of Oregon, and University of Miami added another tip: Stock products with logos containing thick borders. Shoppers are more likely to complete a risky purchase if the product logo looks protected. With low risk purchases, a thick border on the logo doesn’t help. In fact, it hurts purchase intentions. Shoppers not suffering a control deficit subconsciously feel confined by the protected logo and so turn away.
     To make this last tip useful in the real world of retailing, let’s adapt it. Here’s what I suggest: In circumstances where your shoppers usually feel limited control, place a thick border around text on store signage.

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

Click below for more: 
Fence In Consumer Anxiety
Attend to Genetic Influences in Selling
Pair Preferences with the Shopper’s Entourage
Locate Your Logo As Friend or Leader

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