Friday, December 13, 2019

Shove Materialistic Shoppers’ Shame

Materialistic shoppers judge themselves by how much desirable merchandise they own. The more the better. Mainstream religions judge materialistic shoppers to be shameful, if not downright evil. Marketers, economists, and consumer researchers carry a more sanguine, nuanced view of these consumers, who take pride in purchasing lots of quality stuff: As long as they don’t start to buy compulsively, hoard their large collections, ignore their vital obligations to society, or yield to scams, materialists should be able to enjoy themselves.
     With this sanguine approach in mind, researchers at University of Virginia and Bridgewater College explored how to ease the shame. The headline answer is to allow these consumers to represent themselves to others as smart shoppers. The tool to accomplish this is a program of price promotions. But recognizing which price promotions work best depends on an understanding of the moral dilemmas. Our society criticizes both wastefulness and stifled self-expression.
     Buying a never-ending supply of home improvement construction materials wouldn’t be criticized in the way that filling closets with dresses and jewelry would be. Discounts on what society considers to be nonessentials are useful in development of that smart shopper label.
     When people put forth an effort to obtain merchandise, they are seen as less self-indulgent. Reminding materialistic shoppers of what they did to earn the money they’re spending shoves away shame. Offering discounts that are unadvertised or accrue only to those who ask for it also are seen as requiring a shame-reducing effort. Along with this, obtaining any discount strengthens one’s impression of being a smart shopper.
     The size of discounts is less important than the frequency of discounts. If negotiating with the materialistic shopper, quote a moderate size discount in total dollars, not as a percentage, on a substantial bundle of items. The researchers found that a gift with the purchase also worked. In fact, a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal reduced shamefulness judgments more effectively than did a monetarily equivalent “Buy Two, Get Both 50% Off.” I believe use of the word “free” in the first offer was what made the difference.
     Interacting with a salesperson might in itself ease negative feelings beyond shame. Tilburg University studies found that a subcategory of materialistic shoppers buy in order to meter their degree of success. This habit increases isolation, so it can be said that the materialism is a cause of loneliness. These shoppers will welcome nurturing interactions from retail salespeople.

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Click for more…
Compulsive Buying Disorder. Okay, Laugh
Supersize Switching with Superconsumers
Personalize Discount Offers
Go for BOGO Free Over BOGO Discounted
Isolate Loneliness & Materialism

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