Thursday, February 9, 2017

Use Rejection to Learn About Shoppers

Analyzing how your customer chose among the available alternatives provides you valuable information about what to offer the customer subsequently. Analyzing how customers go about rejecting alternatives also can give you useful insights.
     Researchers at University of Miami and Babson College noticed that when asked to begin the choice process by eliminating alternatives, shoppers became more likely to end up selecting one of those alternatives they were considering for rejection. This happens because attention to any item makes it more likely people notice characteristics of the item they find attractive. Along with this, the process of deciding what to reject brings concern about missed opportunities, a concern people ease by selecting rather than rejecting.
     But once the rejection occurs, the rejected item becomes even less likely to be subsequently selected. A laboratory example of the effect was seen in a study at University of Florida, Louisiana State University, and London Business School. The study used soda, cheese, shampoo, and chocolate brands which the researchers knew were not familiar to the participants.
     In displays of items, each participant was asked to locate a specified brand of an item category, such as a specified brand of chocolate. The task was repeated with different item categories. Then afterwards, when the participant was asked to select between the brand of item previously located and a brand that had never been seen before, the previously located one was chosen much more often.
     That’s expected, you might say. But there is more. In the initial location task, there were always precisely two brands of the item type. Therefore, in locating the one brand, as requested by the experimenter, the participant was neglecting another brand. The consumer was rehearsing rejection.
     What happened when, later, the participant was asked to express a preference between the previously neglected brand and a neutral brand which had not been seen before? Yes, the neutral brand was more likely to be favored.
     I’ve regularly heard from retail salespeople that once a shopper has rejected selection of an item, the shopper seems resistant to changing their mind. This could be attributed to a fear of looking indecisive. However, I’ve found many exceptions, in which the shopper does have second thoughts and will end up going back to an already spurned alternative. University of Toronto research indicates one technique is to introduce an alternative which is obviously inferior to the previously rejected choice.

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

Click below for more: 
Make Your Next Best Offer
Rehearse the Shopper Picking Out the Item
Control Out-of-Stock Irritation
Discover How the Customer Compares Items

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