What shoppers say and do are two different things

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What shoppers say and do are two different things

Fact: Shoppers are often many steps away from telling the truth when explaining to market researchers why they’ve chosen to buy. In a recent article by Dan Young, he explains how although shoppers attempt to rationalise the things they’re doing, they evidentially ‘lie’ about the decisions they’ve made; market researchers are at risk of taking these as ‘truths’ and presenting incorrect information back to clients. SBXL’s methodologies allow us to better understand the discrepancies between what shoppers think, say and do. We use proven psychological techniques within our research to reveal where the mistruths lie.

Young uses the example of a female shopper who’s buying a bottle of red Argentinian Malbec (recommended by a friend) with full intentions to drink it on her own in front of the TV while her husband is out. When she is approached by a Market Researcher, she may not tell the truth about the decisions she’s made (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not…).

She may not want to admit she’s drinking it alone, so will say a friend is coming over (intentional lie). She also says that she chose it because of the special offer (unintentional lie – we know it’s the good taste recommended by the friend). With over 15 years’ experience analysing shopping behaviour; we’ve seen that shoppers will often jump to the answer “Price” they don’t know what to say – so we always ensure we prompt for a secondary response when a shopper mentions this.

The shopper says the pack design made no difference to her choice (unintentional lie), that the country is important because she likes new world wines (truth), that the grape variety is important (truth), and that she buys this variety maybe once a month, when her friend comes over (intentional lie).

These combinations of intentional and unintentional “lies” can result in Market Research Agencies identifying the shopper as something they’re not. The shopper in Young’s example is defined as a monthly, sociable drinker, for whom grape is important, but price and special offer are key. When in actual fact she likes to relax alone with a bottle of red every Friday night when her husband is down the pub.

This is how SBXL differs – we delve deeper than what only words can say. Using FACS during our Xtraviews, we can pinpoint the emotional responses; are they telling the truth? How do they feel about the answer they’ve just given?

Filming data allows us capture the exact behaviour at the point of purchase, so we can determine if it’s a habitual purchase or an impulse buy for example. This is entwined with psychologically validated interview data to give us the authentic “what” and genuine “why” of shopper behaviour.