Saturday, December 7, 2013

Drive the Psychological Distance

The thinking and behavior of your store’s shoppers is influenced by the degree of psychological distance they experience. Psychological distance is higher when a consumer:
  • Believes he’ll need to travel a longer way to obtain the item 
  • Is selecting an item to be used in the future rather than now 
  • Is selecting an item for use by someone else rather than for her own use 
  • Considers returning or exchanging an item purchased by someone else rather than by himself 
     Among the frequent effects of greater psychological distance:
  • Emotional reactions to the item are less intense. According to studies at University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Oviedo in Spain, and Lieberman Research Worldwide, this is true for highly positive emotions—such as the thrill in having the item—and for highly negative emotions—such as anger at flawed product performance—and for all the emotions in-between. 
  • There’s a stronger link in the shopper’s mind between price and quality. Researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology told study participants how much had been paid for a set of items—ranging from yogurt to computers—and then asked each participant to guess the quality of each item. In some cases, the study participant was to assume that she herself had made the purchase. In the other cases, the participant was to assume that a friend had made the purchase. With the purchases made by friends, there was a more direct relationship between the price paid and the assumed quality of the item. 
  • The consumer places relatively more importance on objectivity than on feelings. About one month prior to the graduation ceremony at a college, researchers at Columbia University and Singapore Management University described to groups of juniors and seniors at the college two sorts of apartments, then asked each of the students to say which apartment they’d prefer if actually renting it upon graduation. One was a small apartment attractively decorated, with pretty views out the windows. The other was a large apartment located close to activities the graduate enjoys. The college seniors were more likely to select the first alternative than were the college juniors, whose graduation was further in the future. In another set of studies, researchers at University of Mannheim saw how people were more willing to pay a premium price for a desired product if a purchase commitment was obtained well in advance of the product’s availability. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Inject Distance for Price-Quality Link 
Accent the Emotions when Imminent Usage 
Commit Shoppers from a Distance for Expenses

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