Monday, May 8, 2017

Feel Out a Fitting Emotional Attachment

A consumer’s emotional attachment to a retailer results in repeat business and a resistance to switching stores. Researchers at Neoma Business School in France and University of Gafsa in Tunisia measured emotional attachment at retail by asking consumers the degree to which they agreed with these four statements:
  • I am very attached to this store. 
  • I feel this store is a part of me. 
  • I feel like there is a bond between me and this store’s personnel. 
  • No other place can compare to this store. 
     The two settings in which the researchers explored determinants of emotional attachment were a hairdresser and a grocery store, to represent close and less close interpersonal transaction styles. The objective of the research was to provide guidance to retailers on how to cultivate emotional attachment.
     A major finding of the studies was that a store’s target audience is composed of people who have widely varying degrees of interest in forming an emotional attachment with a retail store. For those seeking such attachment, birthday cards and invitations to special events could satisfy the desire. But those same techniques are likely to alienate shoppers who are pleased to give a retailer business, yet fear the commitments associated with an emotional attachment. This caution is consistent with the finding from University of California-Riverside, Boston College, and Southern Methodist University researchers that there are fewer repurchases from customers who say they’ve been thanked too much by the retailer, and this tipping point is different for different customers.
     To cultivate and maintain emotional attachment, check that you’re not going too far in another sense as well: Researchers at University of Texas-Austin and Switzerland’s University of Bern looked at the emotional attachment of a total of more than 2,300 consumers to a total of 167 brands retailers carry. They found that consumers are more likely to form an emotional attachment to an item at retail if the consumer sees the item as fitting their image of their current self rather than of the person they aspire to be. Shoppers hesitate reaching out too far.
     Shoppers seeking emotional attachment responded differently in the grocery retailing than in the hairdressing service setting. Service quality and image congruency were especially important in the grocery setting, while feeling at ease and trusting what the retailer says were especially important in the hairdressing setting. For emotional attachment from your customers in close settings, project authenticity.

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

Click below for more: 
Monitor Your Thanks to Customers
Convince Shoppers to Reach for the Stars
Give a Sense of Family for Emotional Attachment

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