Study finds shoppers don’t want to talk about recent purchases when they feel financially constrained
Whether it is two friends talking or a consumer writing an online review, you want people to speak highly of your products.
So, we noted with interest research that suggests consumers are reluctant to talk about recent purchases when they are feeling financially squeezed with empty wallets.
“It wasn’t about what other people might think or what they bought. Consumers who feel poor at the moment don’t want to talk about their purchases because it reinforces negative feelings about their unpleasant financial state,” says Anna Paley, lead author of the study and a visiting scholar in marketing at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business in Columbus, Ohio. Paley noted that people can “feel poor” regardless of their actual financial status.
She conducted the research with Stephanie Tully of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Eesha Sharma of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Results were published in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Given the findings, Paley says, “word-of-mouth campaigns will be more effective if marketers can separate the cost of the item from the experience of sharing the purchase.” For instance, she suggests retailers not ask for a positive review at the same time they email or text a copy of a receipt.
“If the money you spent is right there in front of you on your receipt and you’re feeling a little poor at the moment, you’re not going to want to share,” she says. “Marketers should consider separating receipts and sharing requests.”