Multilingual Business Communication

April 5, 2009

Save more: shop without touching!

Filed under: Febe Corthals, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:57 am

A new study to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research revealed a new insight into consumer behaviour. Customers who touch products in the aisles are willing to pay more for them than those who keep their hands off the products. Turns out that the television ad Procter & Gamble ran for its Charmin toilet-paper brand wasn’t that good a marketing message after all. In these television ads, the uptight grocer Mr. Whipple reprimanded his customers for touching the toilet paper. According to the new study, he should have encouraged them to fondle away instead.
Why does touching a product increase the likelihood of purchase? Behavioural economists call this phenomenon the “endowment effect”: consumers value an item more once they own it. So simply touching it may increase the sense of ownership and compel shoppers to buy the product. Suzanne Shu, a marketing professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and also co-author of the new study explains: ‘When you touch something, you instantly feel more of a connection to it. That connection stirs up an emotional reaction_ “Yeah, I like the feel of it. This can be mine.” _ And that emotion can cause you to buy something you never would have bought if you hadn’t touched it.’
Apple already put this advice into practice and openly invites customers to fidget with the gadgets in the store. Once you start playing with an iPhone, it’s very hard to leave the store without buying one. So retailers know what to do: hang up signs that say “Feel me”. Customers on the other hand, if you’re looking to save, you might want to start tying your hands behind your back!

(Febe Corthals)
Source: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1889081,00.html

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