What do customers want? 4 psychological studies every marketer should know

This blog post is about some recent studies about consumer psychology what they like and what they do not like. This gives some hints how an online merchant should behave to enhance their customer satisfaction and their internal processes.

When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? (Sheena S. Iyengar, Mark R. Lepper, 2000)

Choice overload during grocery_shopping

This paper is about selling jam in a super market and finding the optimal amount of choices. The guys made two experiments. One time they offered 6 jams and another time they offered 24 jams. It turned out that when only offering 6 choices the customers are 10 times more likely to buy. It is famous because it has shown that when too many choices are offered the customers are so overloaded by information that they are so scared to take a wrong decision that there are not going to buy at all. We already had an own blog post on that.

Do not offer too many products. Apple has understood this principal that too many choices can kill your business.

The emotional dog and its rational tail: a social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. (Jonathan Haidt 2001)

This paper proves the hypothesis that we first have a certain opinion about something and afterwards are searching for rational reasons why this opinion is true.

This happens very often if there are some ethical questions like: Does god exists, is the death penalty a good thing or is it right to use violence to stop violence?

The important thing for marketers is that they have to use the feelings of the people and give reasons why these feelings are true. For example a german plush toy reseller used children on the product pictures to sell more or apple shows you what you can do with their products not what they are made of.

If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right (Elizabeth W. Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert, Timothy D. Wilson 2011)

lot of chinese money

This paper teaches us how we should spend our money to make us happy. The normal economy is about optimizing profits. This is also what the incentergy platform does but it would be even nicer if it would be about optimizing happiness.

There are a lot of unexpected happy makers. e.g.

  • Beware of comparison shopping and concentrate on product features that are currently important for you not product price
  • Buy experiences instead of things
  • Buying things for other people makes you more happy then buying things for yourself
  • When buying anticipation is a big part of the pleasure. So what about offering 14 days extra slow delivery to stretch anticipation
  • Pay now and consume later for stretching anticipation
  • Believe in what peers say is good for you because we do not really know what we like
  • Buy things that are easy and cheap to maintain because broken tools are frustrating

Just a perfect day? Developing a happiness optimised day schedule (Christian Kroll, Sebastian Pokutta, 2012)

This paper used data from 909 interviewed, employed women on how they spent their time and how much they liked the activity. Against all odds shopping is not the most enjoyed activity for women. Nevertheless when designing a perfect day schedule (16h) around 1h is blocked for shopping. Further it makes sense to combine shopping with other loved activities like socializing (84 minutes), and computer (48 hours).

What was especially interesting for me was that a lot of women are into praying and mediating. This is even more enjoyable then eating.

If you are interested in more details of these studied and how you can use the knowledge to make your business better contact us.

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