People Patterns uses Behavioural Economics as a new source of advantage for innovative businesses. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to unlock the secrets of consumer behaviour for your business or follow the latest on Twitter @peoplepatterns.
Imagine you are at an ATM withdrawing cash. Before you do, a message comes up reminding you that there will be a $2 fee for accessing your money through an ATM that is not part of your bank's network. Do you proceed or do you cancel the transaction?
When talking a customer through their objections, how much attention have you been paying to the way they say no? A recent study looked into the differences a "don't' vs "can't" can make to behaviour, so let's tune our ears into the implications for business.
Decisions, decisions. If you are in the business of influencing buyers to buy, then you have lots of decisions to make about how best to communicate your message to secure the behavioural outcome you want.
"Find your happy place" is what my photographer kept telling me as he snapped away for my website head shots. Well, I want you to find a happy place too by learning about how my photographer, Con, intuitively used behavioural economics to persuade me to buy his services.
Ever noticed those print and billboard ads for expensive cars that tell you how little per week you have to pay to own the latest model? Welcome to "duration neglect", our tendency to ignore the time period over which we would need to repay and concentrate instead on the size of the repayments.
When we make a purchase it means we have made a judgement that the benefits of the transaction have outweighed the cost. As businesses, we therefore spend a lot of time, energy and expense convincing our market that they are getting a worthwhile deal.
Getting your buyers to buy more often by helping them know that they need to is something every business should be doing. Relying on your customers to design their own repurchase cycle is leaving yourself open to forgetfulness, delay or, worse still, substitution.
How uncomfortable would you feel if I told you I know how many children you have, where you live, and even what your car registration is? Would you be more or less concerned if I told you I got this information without the use of technology?
Petrol prices are on the rise and so too hysteria about what this means to Aussie households. So why does petrol fuel such intense consumer reaction? Let's see whether Behavioural Economics can provide an answer.
Bills. We all get them and all businesses send them, so let's look at what you can do to encourage on-time payment using the lessons of Behavioural Economics. After all, I'm sure you've got better things to do than chase late paying customers?
Like any internet user, you've probably encountered dozens of sign-up or user registration pages during your online travels, asking you to provide contact and other information in exchange for access to a website's content or functionality. And because sign-ups are so common, you may have become blind to the elements of what makes a good rather than bad process when you come to create one for your business.
LinkedIn serves as a great example of behavioural principles applied to drive success. In case you are not one of the 150 million users worldwide (or 2 million in Australia), LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals, and much of its success I believe is due to how it engages its users.
Imagine you are watching a focus group. The topic is hygiene and in particular, how your gym can get people to wipe their sweat off the equipment. Low adherence to the policy has been causing complaints and some health issues around the club. The discussion goes as expected, with everyone agreeing they would feel revolted if they unknowingly used a machine that has not been wiped down, and all agreeing that they, of course, always wipe theirs off.
Is too much tennis barely enough? I have been pigging out on the Australian Open over the last couple of weeks, watching elite sportspeople do battle, pitting their physical and mental strength against that of their opponents.
What's the cost of your favourite meal? $10? $25? That is the question posed by WeFeedBack as part of a clever online App that turns charitable intention into donating behaviour and which serves as a great case study for businesses wanting to turn browsers into buyers.
As we head into the Christmas break, I thought it would be worthwhile to note some of the books I have found most helpful on behaviour and behavioural economics. A word of warning though, once you read these books the Boxing Day sales will never seem the same.
Retailers are doing it tough. Shoppers are coming in, speaking at length with the shop assistant about what the widget does and does not do, only to then leave the store and buy the widget cheaper online. What's a retailer to do? How do they provide customer service but not lose the sale?
There has been quite a bit of press lately about the rise of private labels (house brands) in Australian supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths, and speculation about what this means for brand manufacturers.
One of the biggest barriers to purchase is fear that you are going to miss out on a better deal. As consumers we sweat the price, wondering whether we should hold off and wait for the item to go on special. But as businesses, we want to lock in the sale today, so how can you unblock your customers to get them to buy?
Business presentations. Hands up if you've ever sat through a dull, overly wordy Powerpoint presentation about which all you can remember is the boredom? If anyone asked you what the content contained you'd draw a blank.
We have cars to expedite travel, video conferencing to facilitate remote meetings, microwaves to speed food preparation, computers to process information, the internet to provide immediate answers, and smartphones to make answers portable and immediate. So as a small business owner, why are you feeling more time poor than ever? The good news is that it’s not just you, it’s your customers too.
SmartCompany's exploration last week of News Limited's introduction of a paywall included my thoughts on how the newspaper giant could use behavioural economics to transition their service from free to paid.
A reminder to us all that a serious message can sometimes best be conveyed using humour – say hello to the "Your Man Reminder" app that has been released by Rethink Breast Cancer to encourage women to check their breasts regularly.
Pricing psychology is such an important part of every business and behavioural economics can go a long way towards understanding why customers react to deals the way they do. Here are eight lessons from how my gym botched the deal.
An article on the gender difference in booze buying behaviour grabbed my attention the other week. "Cheap Booze for him" headlined a story about some Roy Morgan research that identified that blokes were driven by bargains, whereas women sought helpful customer service ("Cheap Booze for him" by Inga Gilchrist, MXNews 4/7/11). The article quoted bar duty manager David Dearlove as explaining that emotions were the difference, where "females want more from a situation, so they want to be waited on. Whereas guys just say 'Give me my beer' and they're done." Very hunter-gatherer!
Debating whether you should introduce a fee of some kind to cover a service you provide? There are obvious financial advantages to your bottom line, but is it worth the negative reaction you may get from customers? Here are three behavioural principles that will help you consider your options.
This weekend I visited a café famous for being one of the first to bring real coffee to Melbourne. But in my estimation, that business is surviving on its heritage alone. Both the product and, more strikingly, the service left a lot to be desired.
Imagine you are a business leader who has just experienced the workplace equivalent of Melbourne Football Club's humiliating failure to perform to expectation. In the AFL club's case, they were thrashed by 186 points by Geelong and there are now calls for the coach to resign.
The Australian financial year has clicked over, and with it no doubt some tweaks to profit and loss. Your opportunity this year is to use behavioural economics to rethink one of the most common activities associated with this time of year: introducing a price rise.