Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday Research: Customers Enslaved With Freedom And Choice

When Will You Use This?  

Researching consumers’ decision process and developing further marketing activities.

What’s The Red-Letter Bite Today? 

With so much freedom of choice and so many sources of information, today's consumer is empowered and overloaded at the same time.

Current review* investigates how consumer empowerment can make decisions more complex, make tradeoffs more difficult, or lead consumers to be less certain about their preferences. As authors explain “several key factors play a role in how consumer empowerment impacts decision difficulty including consumer knowledge and maximization tendencies, information type and organization, and consumers’ a priori expectations of a decision’s difficulty. Our review of these factors reveals that consumers are more likely to experience decision difficulty in an empowered consumer environment when they possess low knowledge or less developed preferences. Consumers who have a tendency to maximize or to seek the absolute best option rather than settle for one that is good enough face more challenges with choice freedom and expansion of information. Decision environments where choice options are presented one at a time in an alternative-based format or where options are distinguished by unique features are likely to exacerbate consumer difficulty. Additionally, consumers hold lay beliefs that decision difficulty = decision importance, and they display dysfunctional behavior when this expectation is violated. For example, when important decisions prove easier than expected, consumers complicate the situation as a way of enacting due decision diligence (Schrift, Netzer, & Kivetz 2011)."

Overburden: Too Many Fish in The Sea to Miss One?

Addition To Your Bag of Tricks    

Current review can help you to better understand the “impact of expanding product lines, offering greater possibilities to customize, providing more product information, and enabling greater access to consumer and expert reviews.” Decision aids such as preference learning tools, product filtering and comparison tools, recommendations, defaults, etc, created to assist consumers and ease the decision process – can actually backfire and make everything more complicated. Check the review * for more details and specific suggestions.

*Webb A., Peck J., ‘Individual Differences in Interpersonal Touch: On the Development, Validation, and Use of the 'Comfort with Interpersonal Touch' (CIT) Scale. Journal of Consumer Psychology (2014 Forthcoming) {Thanks for the material}

P.S. When you’re done reading, I’d love for you to share your experience with assuring consumers about their choices? Leave a comment or Tweet me, let's chat!

P.P.S. Need some help on crafting your marketing message? Let's do this together.

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