Friday, December 3

Shopping Psychology: Why Retailers Attract Bargain Hunters

shopping psychology
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, shop owners are leaving lures around their stores to attract more holiday spending. Many of them are placing inexpensive items in the windows that lead toward more expensive fashions in the back.

"No one wants to buy anything for themselves anymore, you've got to get them through the door," one store owner told The Wall Street Journal. He's not alone. Another one says he added items that clash with his contemporary aesthetic. And yet another is targeting children at the door in the hope their parents might buy something else.

Why Are Retailers Tossing Out Bait While Fishing With Dynamite?

While the National Retail Federation is estimating that Thanksgiving weekend sales were up 8.7% over last year, retailers are still scared of their third down season in a row. So many of them are skipping out on customer service and trying out tricks instead.

Ironically, if they thought more about their customers, they might not have to. For all his street smarts, the shop owner who said nobody wants to buy anything for themselves is wrong. Chances are, he's just not selling what they want for themselves. He also might be attracting the wrong buyers for his store.

The Real Psychology Behind Holiday Shoppers.

According to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, shoppers will be buying items for themselves. Those who can be described as more materialistic will allocate as much as 34 percent of their holiday budget on themselves. Those who are not materialistic will still spend 17 percent of their budget on themselves.

Not surprisingly, the size of those budgets will be primarily dictated by whether shoppers feel secure about their jobs or not and whether they realized an increase in income this year or not. The attitude between these two shoppers can be best described as "deal shoppers" and "value shoppers." The deal shoppers are looking for cheap. The value shoppers want to treat everyone to more, but are looking for the right value.

With this in mind, now consider the first shop owner's strategy. What type of buyer do you think he will attract with cheaper trinkets up front? And then consider the buyer he might attract if he placed one or two luxury items with the right value incentive in the window?

Shop Owners Might Consider Their Own Psychology.

The Kellogg School of Management says its study reveals that an individual's perceived relative control over resources affects their shopping habits. The same might be said of store owners (or site owners for that matter). Their own insecurities might be driving them to attract less secure shoppers.
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