Monday, August 14, 2017

Pain a Stimulating Picture

Consumers endure pain if the upside payoff is sufficient. People go to the dentist knowing discomfort is often inevitable. They put up with sore muscles after working out at the gym to improve physical fitness or after skydiving for the thrill of an exotic experience. Customers can transform emotional pain into enjoyment when finding bonus pleasure in waiting for a concert following the purchase of the tickets—the process of savoring.
     But why would people pay for the opportunity to wallow in a ditch of cold mud, run among four-foot-high flames, and crawl through electric wires generating 10,000 volts? The appeal of these and about two dozen similar challenges offered by Tough Mudder intrigued Rebecca Scott, a graduate student at University of New South Wales who was herself a Tough Mudder participant.
     After systematically analyzing results from observing and interviewing Tough Mudder customers, Ms. Scott and her research partners say the pleasure from the pain is explained by a major factor beyond the challenge of endurance and the fun of doing it with teammates. The additional factor is how the pain sharpens sensitivity to one’s own body for people who are missing this.
     The researchers note that a major target market for Tough Mudder is knowledge workers, whose focus on intellectual activities stifles body awareness. Tough Mudder participants talked to the researchers about the mental stimulation when their arms and legs hurt too much to function properly and how the wounds they suffered prolonged the stimulation beyond the day of the event.
     The desire for bodily stimulation, even if painful, underpins the psychiatric disorder masochism. Consumers can even get off reading about the pleasure from pain, as they did with the E. L. James book Fifty Shades of Grey, which has sold more than 125 million copies. The psychiatric disorder, the erotic passages in the book, and the findings from the Tough Mudder analysis all have another common element—the ritualization of the discomfort. Recipients want to feel in control.
     Best not to assume your store customers are masochists who’d thrill at being greeted at the entrance with a zing from an electric cattle prod, let’s say. Instead, I suggest you assume that because so many people in current society are knowledge workers who spend much of their lives out of touch with their bodies, you use the Tough Mudder findings as a reminder of the sales appeal of physical experiences.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Mix or Match to Affect Perceived Duration
Impress with the Exotic
Charge for Savoring
Challenge Smart Shoppers
Provide Group Support with Customer Discomfort

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tune Up by Varying the Store Music

Changing your store or restaurant during the business day to fit the preferences of the shoppers can build sales revenues. Retail consultant Paco Underhill talked about a bookstore he worked with that used rotating shelves to showcase retirement advice for early morning mall walkers, child care books for the young mothers shopping before noon, and business books later in the day.
     However, such daily configuration alterations could quickly prove impractical for most retailers. If you want to make changes, it would be easier to vary the music playing in the background, let’s say. Researchers at University of Hamburg, Macquarie University, and Seoul National University, after reviewing dozens of published inquiries into the effects of music in retail settings, provide suggestions:
  • Experiment with different playlists used at different times. Assiduously monitor the effects on purchase amounts and longer-term revisits. Getting it right usually takes time, but it’s worthwhile. In one of the studies, in-store music used properly increased average per customer purchase amounts by 68% compared to the no-music situation. Such results are due in large part to appealing music convincing shoppers to stay in the store longer. Further, a number of studies find that when the music is not appealing, customers leave and hesitate returning to shop again. 
  • In general, it’s best to keep the music volume low and use tunes with clear rhythm and moderate tempos. Switch to somewhat higher volumes and slightly faster tempos at times that there are lots of other ambient noises in your retail establishment, such as talking or equipment sounds. In these circumstances, the masking effect of music increases shoppers’ ability to consider making purchases. 
  • Model what you play on the ways in which other retailers like you are using music, then improve on it. Customers are more likely to accept whatever music you play when they’ve encountered similar play lists at stores or restaurants they consider to be of the same type as yours. To establish your distinctive advantages, though, don’t be almost identical. 
     Other research adds these tips:
  • At periods shoppers will be selecting items without much thought, play music including lyrics. At periods shoppers are likely to be looking at new brands or novel products, use music that is barely noticeable. 
  • Allow for the sounds of silence. To soothe the savage shopper, have intervals free of the music. A little peace and quiet also puts harried salespeople back in tune. 
For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Be All You Can Be with Day-Parts
Coordinate Store Atmosphere Stimuli
Balloon Your Profitability with Music
Compose Integrated Musical Atmospheres