Tag: shopping

  • The Licensing Effect and the Unhealthy Habit of Vitamin Supplements

    The licensing effect is the phenomenon whereby positive actions or decisions taken now increase negative or unethical decisions taken later. I’ve written about this previously, before I was aware of a general effect: Just considering ordering a salad at a restaurant increases unhealthy orders. Purchasing ‘green’ products increases unethical behaviour such as cheating and stealing.…

  • Dark Patterns for Marketers, or: Practical Behavioural Economics

    Taking a systematic approach to implementing findings from behavioural economics into a sales cycle can “unlock significant value”, according to McKinsey’sĀ Ned Welch. To help business do exactly that, Welch–in what, at times, reads a bit like a ‘dark patternsĀ guide for marketers’–has written an article looking atĀ four practical techniques from behavioural economics that marketers should use…

  • Privacy and Tracking with Digital Coupons

    Data collection and mining can be quite lucrative pursuits for many retailers, and technological advances are providing them with more novel and extensive methods of doing just that. Data mining is a topic I’ve been fascinated with ever since I was introduced to it in university, and this look at how digital coupons track us…

  • Prevention of Attainment Increases Desire, Decreases Attractiveness

    Being prevented from obtaining something we desire simultaneously increases our desire for the item and decreases its eventual attractiveness. That’s the counterintuitive result from a study that shows the various surprising effects of “being jilted”. We show how being “jilted”–that is, being thwarted from obtaining a desired outcome–can concurrently increase desire to obtain the outcome,…

  • The Influence of Sold-Out Products

    Sold-out products create “information cascades” where we infer that the next-best item must also be of a similar high quality and value for money: sold-out items ‘validate’ similar products, persuading us to purchase more readily. “Sold-out products create a sense of immediacy for customers; they feel that if one product is gone, the next item…

  • Selling Premium Goods

    In a short profile of ‘luxury sales consultant’ Jean-Marie BrĆ¼cker, we discoverĀ a few psychological techniques he teaches to his clients on how to sell high-end luxury goods: Describe an item in terms of its ‘value’ rather than it’s ‘price’ or ‘cost’. Sell a story (‘romance’ and ’emotions’) rather than ‘products’. The macaroon technique: sandwiching the…

  • Buying Cashmere

    Like linen, buyingĀ cashmere is a matter of discovering the important metrics and discarding the unnecessary. The truth about quality cashmere is much more complex than simply looking for that pure cashmere label. Pure is not an absolute term. The finest cashmere consists only of the whitest, longest, thinnest hair from the underfleece, whereas lower-quality cashmere…

  • Buying Linen: Thread Count Marketing

    Remember that numerical specifications drastically influence our choices: even if they’re meaningless and contradict our personal experience? The same goes forĀ thread count, it seems: Textiles expert Mark Scheuer calls it a “marketing ploy” and tells you to forget about it when purchasing, while Linenplace says it is a metric we should consider–just not the most…

  • An Analysis of Supermarket Checkout Times

    An analysis of supermarket checkout times has shown that express lanes (for people with fewer than 5 items, say) are not always the most efficient checkout route for time-sensitive shoppers. Dan Meyer, a high school maths teacher, has done the hard work (providing his data and analysis) and came to the following conclusion: [Express lanes]…

  • Psychological Pricing and Other Shopping Persuasion Techniques

    The endowment effect, sex in advertising and pricing anchors: all bits of ‘shopping psychology’ we’ve heard before. Ryan Sager looks at these shopping persuasion techniques we should be aware of, adding a few small pieces of information that may be novel: Endowment effect: We place a higher value on items we own, and just by…