Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lean Away from Big Fat Shopper Decisions

There are the habitual purchases which are quick and easy for the shopper. And there are the decisions—such as those requiring a change in brand or a large expenditure of time or money—which are difficult for the consumer. In these circumstances, people often put off the purchase and, if they do make the buy, they’re often plagued with lingering doubts.
     Researchers at Cornell University and University of Toronto suggest that when the shopper is feeling overwhelmed by a difficult decision, and you want to make the sale, you encourage the shopper to back off. Literally.
     In one of their studies, the researchers presented consumers with two equally attractive products and invited the consumers to either choose one of the products right then or defer the decision. Next, some of the consumers were asked to lean in toward the computer screen where the products were displayed. The remaining group of consumers were asked to lean away from the computer screen.
     Those leaning in toward the screen reported the choice between the products to be more difficult and were more likely to ask to come back later.
     The Cornell/Toronto researchers found that it also worked for shoppers to cognitively lean away from the decision by thinking more abstractly. This might be accomplished by encouraging the shopper to think about ways the two products are alike.
     Other research finds that a similar advantage can be achieved by encouraging the confused consumer to go on to another item on the shopping list and then come back in a short while to make the purchase decision.
     Note that the effects of physical or imagined approach and avoidance are different when it comes to building the appeal of a specific item rather than the act of choosing between two items.
     Researchers at University of Chicago and University of Arizona showed student participants in a study a can of food. The label on the can announced that the contents consisted of curried grasshopper, a delicacy which most of the students found unattractive.
     Some were asked to imagine themselves avoiding the can, and afterwards instructed to eat the curried grasshopper and report their evaluation. Another group was asked to imagine themselves approaching the can before they received the eating and evaluation instructions.
     The participants who imagined approach beforehand gave the more positive evaluations.
     Encourage approach in building attraction, then allow temporary withdrawal to ease indecision.

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

Click below for more:
Apply Systematic Desensitization to Fears
Start Your Shoppers Feeling Yes
Attend to Negatives When High Time Pressure

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