MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Options convert online shoppers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Coral Gables, Fla. — The likelihood that shoppers will make a purchase online is directly related to the number of product options that are displayed and to how the product information is displayed, either visually or with text. Research from the University of Miami School of Business Administration found when larger assortments of products (i.e. many options) are displayed with images rather than text, shoppers are less likely to purchase a product.

When it comes to a smaller selection of products displayed (e.g. four types of crackers or eight different nail polishes), it makes no difference in the likelihood of purchase whether or not visuals or text are used to share the information. The study found that even though consumers prefer to see products visually, when the choice set is large, and presented visually, shoppers spend less time examining each individual option as well as the entire choice set. They also become more haphazard and less systematic in their examination compared to when words are used to describe the choices. With this "choice overload," consumers are less likely to make a choice, which means no purchase.

Across five studies, the researchers had participants perform various tasks with product assortments similar to what a consumer might encounter online. In some studies participants were asked to choose whether they wanted to view product assortments presented visually in pictures or verbally in words. Across various product categories (crackers, nail polishes, mutual funds) there was a consistent preference for visual presentation. In other studies, participants were shown an assortment of products that was either small (four or eight options) or large (14 or 24) and was presented either visually or verbally. They were asked to: a) rate the variety and complexity of product choice sets; b) to make a choice from the choice sets; or c) to perform a surprise recall task where they had to identify the options previously presented. The researchers used eye-tracking technology to examine exactly how consumers analyzed individual items as well as the overall choice set.

"There is a tendency for mobile app designers to use graphics almost exclusively," said Claudia Townsend, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, and the lead author. "This study shows that although images are attractive and fun, when a large product set is shown with images only, there is a tendency among consumers to gloss over them rather than make a purchase," said Townsend, who conducted the research with Barbara Kahn of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

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News

Lux Beauty Boutique rolls out in-store payment app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Edmonton, Alberta — Lux Beauty Boutique is rolling out in-store mobile app SelfPay, which lets shoppers handle payment and look up product information on their own devices, enabling shopper-controlled in-store checkout from anywhere within a brick-and-mortar store. Lux Beauty Boutique will host a SelfPay launch party at its store on Dec. 6.

SelfPay is a multi-retailer solution that enables shoppers at participating retailers to scan products in the store, view pricing and information, and pay for their purchase from their own device. Retailers can use the patent-pending purchase verification method to ensure that all items leaving the store have been paid.

“Nothing stresses me out more than seeing frustrated faces in a slow-moving line,” said Jennifer Grimm, Lux Beauty Boutique owner. “We are thrilled to launch SelfPay in time for the holiday rush and offer clients the ability to skip the line during the hectic shopping season.”

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REAL ESTATE

Cabela’s to open new store in Kentucky in fall 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sidney, Neb. – Cabela’s plans to open a 42,000-sq.-ft. Cabela’s Outpost store in Bowling Green, Ky. The store will be Cabela’s second in Kentucky, joining the Louisville location, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

Cabela’s Outpost stores are built with a rugged look and feel. The Bowling Green location will feature museum-quality wildlife displays, a gun counter, indoor archery range, archery tech room and hand-painted murals, as well as a core-flex layout featuring digital signage and seasonal product assortments.

Currently, Cabela’s operates 50 stores across North America with plans to open an additional 19 during the next two years.

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