Monday, November 26, 2018

Guide Adolescent Eyes to Nutrition Information

We hope that as young consumers gain independence to make their own food choices, they select healthy alternatives. Researchers at Queens University Belfast and College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise-Loughry say this hope is too frequently dashed. Of the adolescents whose food choices were analyzed, more than half chose unhealthy items when left on their own, and almost one out of five made a series of choices dieticians would consider to be dangerous to the adolescent’s wellbeing. This occurred even with the adolescents who were knowledgeable about the importance of good nutrition.
     Some of the explanation for this resides in the rebellion and impulsivity of the adolescent mind. Additional explanation for the poor nutritional choices can be found in the difficulty adolescents encounter in spotting the nutritional information required for good choices. A total of 41 dieticians, teachers, and students in the fields of nutrition were asked by researchers at University of Manitoba to come to consensus about the most important competencies young consumers should master for healthy eating as those consumers transition to adulthood. Chief among the competencies the group specified was the ability to compare foods by interpreting labels and packaging. Yet knowing how to use it isn’t enough. Eye tracking studies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration verify this.
     The FDA researchers asked 60 adult grocery shoppers to wear Tobii Pro eyeglasses which tracked their eye movements as they shopped in a grocery store for snacks, soup, and cereal. The researchers discovered how any interest in finding nutrition information on the package was challenged by the visual busyness of brand logos, product imagery, product claims, displayed prices, and promotional offers either on the product package or on adjacent signage.
     Attention to the nutrition information was higher when many alternatives within the product category included the data in a similar format. This was truer of the cereal category than the snack category. In addition, logos for nutrition grading systems, such as Facts Up Front® and Health Claims drew attention to the Nutrition Facts label.
     What’s true for adults is true for adolescents who are becoming adults. For both these, guide eyes to the nutrition information:
  • Favor brands which use a nutrition grading system logo on the package 
  • Position packages so that at least one for each alternative has the Nutrition Facts label facing the shopper 
  • On signage, say, “Check the Nutrition Facts on the label” 
For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Tell Seniors to Get Out of Here

I realize that your surprise at what I’m about to tell you could easily lead to you replying, “Get out of here!” But it’s absolutely true, according to researchers at University of Queensland and University of Oxford: In the US, seniors account for fully 70% of all passengers on cruise ships and spend 74% more on travel and tourism than do those consumers between 18 and 49 years old. Senior tourism constitutes a prime opportunity for retailing profitability.
     So please change your meaning of “Get out of here” from signifying improbability to signifying an intention to urge seniors in your target markets to purchase travel and all the products and services which augment travel and tourism.
     Important to understand in doing this is that seniors, on the whole, have more disposable income, greater interest in using their money and time for experiences instead of material possessions, and more interest in physical activity than did seniors in the past. Considering that a substantial percentage of seniors are retired or semiretired, you’ve capabilities to fill off-season seats when marketing to this demographic due to scheduling flexibility. Because expected lifespan is increasing, your investments toward building repeat patronage are worthwhile.
     Research on senior tourism highlights the importance of appreciating the substantial heterogeneity in this market. With their longer life histories, a broader range of travel and tourism motivations are seen in seniors than in their younger counterparts. Still, there are marketing points likely to work across the segment. These include opportunities for social interaction, identity-building such as through nostalgia, and skill mastery.
     A “last chance to see” campaign can succeed because of seniors’ sensitivity to the limitations in years they have ahead of them. And although booking travel around the commitments of grandchildren can decrease scheduling flexibility, seniors are attracted to family experiences. Researchers at University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Virginia, Duke University, and University of Bologna report that consumers often operate on the assumption that they'll have more time in the future, but not necessarily more money. This doesn't mean at all that the consumers are satisfied to be wasting time. On the contrary, they want to feel in control of their time. To sell family-oriented experiences, advertise the benefits for shared enjoyment. And sell all-inclusive packages. Use the ocean cruise business model. Grandparents will get irritated with you if you require them to say no too often to a grandchild’s requests.

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

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Open Your I’s to Customer Comfort

A salesperson’s use of the pronoun “I” when talking with shoppers can demonstrate that the salesperson is showing empathy in serving the shoppers and is prepared to take action to benefit the shoppers. The consequences include higher intentions to purchase from the salesperson, according to studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Alberta, and Simon Fraser University. “I am happy to help answer your question,” is better than, “We are happy to help answer your question.”
     The effect is strongest with shoppers previously unfamiliar with the salesperson. When a shopper already knows the salesperson or similar salespeople in a store to be empathic and ready to go into action, the use of “I” versus “we” is less necessary.
     Other research agrees. For example, in responding to a customer’s complaint, it’s better for a store employee to say, “I’ll take care of it,” than, “Our store will take care of it.”
     Yet in coaching yourself and your employees to use “I,” realize it can be overdone. Other research has found that an unusually high frequency of “I” indicates the salesperson is excessively focused on themselves at the expense of the client or even deeply depressed, neither of which facilitates selling. Keep your eyes open for the proper blend of the personal pronouns.
     Researchers at University of Florida, Stanford University, and Turkey’s KoƧ University explored when, if ever, a misplaced “we” implies an intimacy which irritates shoppers. First, they created three versions of a Wells Fargo Bank ad to use in their studies. The difference was in the wording of one sentence:
  • “Together, we make whatever decisions necessary to ensure your life goes uninterrupted.” 
  • “Together you and Wells Fargo make whatever decisions necessary to ensure your life goes uninterrupted.” 
  • “Wells Fargo makes whatever decisions necessary to ensure your life goes uninterrupted.” 
     For current customers of the bank, the first version led to the most favorable attitudes. They liked the idea of the bank and the customer acting as if one. For non-customers, the outcome was more complex. In general, the wording made no difference. Non-customers had no psychological investment in the relationship with the bank, so probably weren’t assessing the differences in the language.
     However, when another group of non-customers were specifically asked to pay attention to the differences, the “we” phrasing was less well received than the “you and Wells Fargo.” It seems the “we” did portray a smarmy congeniality.

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

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Wise Up Your Shoppers

Wisdom in your shoppers is of value to you. Wise guys and gals are less susceptible to fraud, allowing you the comfort of profiting from the practice of ethical retailing.
     Wisdom has been prized throughout cultural history, but the definition of wisdom varies among cultures. Researchers at College of William & Mary and University of Virginia set out to define wisdom in consumer culture. They interviewed a set of Americans living in different areas of the nation and ranging in age from teens to 90s. Each of the interviewees had been described by others as a wise consumer. The interviewees were probed about what characterized their purchase decisions.
     The sample size in the study was only 31 people, and the selection technique was snowball sampling. A snowball sample is gathered by asking people you interview to nominate others who fit the criteria you’ve set. Snowball samples, especially when of limited size, are prone to bias. In fact, the conclusion of the study, defining what qualifies as a wise consumer, pretty much matched the definition given at the start: A shopper who balances emotions with logic, the future with the present, and others’ needs with their own. Still, people in the study fitting this description did show more specific characteristics, such as:
  • Cultivates a clear idea of what lifestyle is meaningful in that it aligns with their distinctive values and available resources 
  • Intentionally refrains from spending money and time unless they can clearly identify a reason which feels right or makes logical sense 
  • Contemplates the results of past consumption when making decisions for future consumption 
  • To master negative emotions and facilitate positive ones, seeks specific situations which promote wise consumption 
  • Displays patience fitting the significance when making consumption decisions 
  • Maintains openness in considering a range of consumption alternatives, such as renting or sharing instead of purchasing 
  • Transcends self-interest by preferring consumption options which avoid harm to the community, other consumers, or animals 
     To cultivate target audiences of shoppers with wisdom, appeal to these characteristics in your marketing.
     A New York Times article based on an abundance of research points toward ways sales people and marketers can help consumers develop and use wisdom:
  • Present shoppers with more than one alternative to satisfying a need or fulfilling a preference 
  • Tell stories about what it would be like to actually use each alternative 
  • Encourage the shopper to tell their own stories about use 
For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

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