If there’s one thing that retail psychologists have learned over the years, it’s that choice isn’t always good. Few people will be excited by facing 382 options of laundry detergent. Alternatively, 382 options of craft beer may be exactly what pulls the customer into the aisle (it works for me), sparking the promise of hoppy exploration.
While choice can be alluring and liberating in some purchase contexts, it can be downright paralyzing in others.
This explains why in many studies, both in the real world and the lab, decreasing choice has been found to be beneficial for the bottom-line sales. (don’t worry, I won’t be citing the infamous ‘jam study’, which adorns the opening paragraph of so many articles on product assortment) On the other hand, many other studies still show the adage ‘the more the merrier’ to be true on the store shelf as well.
Clearly, whether choice is good depends on moderating factors such as product category, type of store and the shopper itself. Fortunately, Sethuramana et al. (2022) conducted a large-scale meta-analysis, providing insight into how these factors operate and intertwine to influence shopping outcomes. The researchers analyzed an impressive number of 177 studies obtained from 95 academic papers published during 1970–2021.
In this blog, we’ll sum up their most essential findings and discuss important practical implications for retailers.
Working 8 hours straight, hitting the gym, preparing food, and trying to make time for your loved ones… Sounds familiar? You are desperate for some leisure time but how do you make the time?
You might think that cutting some of the chores would be enough but, in fact, you can do that with easy-to-use products and services such as ordering essential online goods instead of picking them up, and controlling all your basic home needs on your smart speaker via Google Assistant. “Hey Google, add potatoes to my shopping list”. We’ve actually done something much more convenient which is we eliminated going to a store and browsing through the internet to place an order. For example, you’ve always wanted to pursue your academic career passion overseas in the field of Data Science but in today’s world, you do not need to go overseas to study instead you can just enroll in Harvard University’s professional and lifelong learning program or just go over the Coursera for Google Data Analytics Certificate program. As Twitter co-founder, Even Williams says “Convenience decides everything.”
Convenience has a long history in marketing, but mostly as a driving force of why we like products: we love things that make our lives easier. However, a new study shows that convenience has an interesting side effect. It can reshape brand perception in surprising ways, as well as influencing downstream consumer behavior.
Think about two similar scenarios where you want to treat yourself. One: you just left the gym after a long day. It was a good session. You ate your frog and managed to tick almost everything off your list. You have a hankering for something good to say “You did well today”.
Two: you just left the office, it’s late in the evening and you want a little pick me up. Another day at the office, a lot of overtime with little moments of reflection. You rarely have time for yourself, but you are the best at your job, and you love it. You want something good to ease your relaxation and end the day.
What do you pick in each of them? A chocolate cheesecake sounds just as good as a pack of graham crackers. You will say: “My choice can come down to many things! My plans for the evening, the package and its colors, how, and if it smells. Should I go on?”. Well, yes and no.
Whether it’s New Year’s resolutions or another self-made commitment, individuals face a daily barrage of goal conflicts. Granola bar or brownie? Gym or another Netflix binge? Scroll social media or pick up a good book?
Conflicts of goals occur when a person must choose between pursuing long-term goals or succumbing to indulgences. And it turns out, willpower isn’t the only factor.
While it might seem easy to choose a healthier option, especially knowing there’s a weight-loss or healthy goal attached to it for example, studies have found that self-control failure is higher when there’s a meaningful reason to justify the indulgence.
In other words, give yourself a good reason and you’ll choose the indulgence nearly every time.
Just some quick fun facts. Companies spend millions of dollars to discover the perfect amount of fizz in a soda. Eating chips with headphones on makes the experience less enjoyable. And the louder the sound of a shutting car door is, the safer a consumer feels - which is why car manufacturers see this as a feature instead of a bug.
What do these phenomena have in common? They highlight the importance that sound has in consumer perception. But did you know that something as subtle as the sound of background music can affect your purchase decisions drastically?
Today we will talk about how background music affects consumer behavior. Because even when you are not consciously listening to the music being played, it can still affect your buying decisions. And not just a bit, but quite dramatically!
Let’s look at some of the most interesting insights on how you can put music to work for you as a company.