How to avoid bad feelings about missing a great sale

December 16th, 2008 - 1:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 16 (ANI): Hell! is what you say when you dont get the discounted leather jacket you were dying for - just because the sale has ended. Now, a new study has devised a strategy for releasing consumers from “regret lock,” which results in not making any purchase because the item they want is no longer deeply discounted.

According to study author Michael Tsiros (University of Miami), retailers have to think about the composition of a second sale, if they want customers who missed the first one to make a purchase.

“If the second sale is on a different product or also includes a different product that was not available during the first larger sale, the new alternative will act as a regret releasing mechanism,” said the author.

He added: “The attractiveness of the new alternative will increase and lead to higher likelihood to purchase and an increased market share for the alternative that was added to the choice set.

Tsiros conducted three laboratory studies and one field study and tested participants” levels of “anticipated regret” after they were told about sales they had missed. For example, subjects were told that a 500 dollars leather jacket they wanted would be on sale for 350 dollars, but they missed the sale.

The team tested several alternative sales of both that jacket and similar items to determine what kinds of items and discounts helped people overcome their regret about missing the big sale.

Also, Tsiros found out that missing a big sale on an item leads people to think more negatively about the object.

Participants commented that a sofa they had missed a sale on was less attractive and trendyand less suited to their decorthan one that was still on sale. However, the two sofas were objectively similar.

“Several managerial implications are discussed, such as managers timing sales of different brands to ensure that they find another sale on a different, yet similar product. Alternatively, managers could highlight unique features of different products or highlight attributes that are more subjective or that relate to the fit between the customer and the product. This approach enables consumers to perceive the two sales as less comparable and frees them from anticipated regret,” wrote Tsiros.

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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