Monday, September 19, 2022

Deliver Multifunction Products Promptly

A group of Chinese consumers were asked to evaluate a vitamin tablet, a shampoo, and a toothpaste after being presented a description of each. For some of the consumers, the description was of a multifunction product: A multivitamin tablet. A two-in-one shampoo. A multi-effect toothpaste. For the other consumers, each of the products was described as serving a single function.
     After completing the evaluation task, each participant was asked to imagine they’d won a lottery and then say whether they’d prefer to receive the monetary reward as 20 RMB immediately or 30 RMB in one week.
     Those consumers who’d evaluated the multifunction products were more likely to choose receiving the immediate reward, even though it was a substantially lower amount. Attention to product multifunctionality developed an attitude of impatience.
     What does one have to do with the other?
     Efficiency is the link, say the researchers from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, University of South Carolina, and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. In companion studies, they showed evidence of the effect in American as well as Chinese consumers; when the impatience resulted in an additional outlay for the customer, such as paying extra for expedited delivery; and with products where the multifunctionality would occur sequentially rather than simultaneously—a cooker described as suitable for use in sautéing, steaming, slow cooking, or stewing.
     Prior research found that multifunctionality adds to item attractiveness, as long as we don’t overload the shopper with complexity. This current research indicates that purchasers of multifunction products will place higher value on receiving the benefits sooner even when the result financially benefits the marketer. To take advantage of this effect, recognize how waiting for a multifunction item to arrive will seem longer than waiting for a single-function item to arrive.
     Also notice other generators of purchaser impatience. For instance, waiting for lingerie to arrive can seem longer than waiting for cashews. That is, unless the shopper considers cashews really sexy. Sexual cues lengthen the subjective time interval until a payoff is delivered.
     Researchers at University of Southern California and University of Pennsylvania asked men to say how much higher an Amazon gift certificate value would need to be for them to agree to get it in three months instead of today. Those shown pages from a Victoria’s Secret catalog first set a higher dollar amount than those shown nature scenes first.

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Pitch the Synergy of Multifunction Items 

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