The endowment effect, sex in advertising and pricing anchors: all bits of ‘shopping psychology’ we’ve heard before.
Ryan Sager looks at these shopping persuasion techniques we should be aware of, adding a few small pieces of information that may be novel:
- Endowment effect: We place a higher value on items we own, and just by simply trialling goods (trying on clothes, testing software, cars, etc.) we start to feel ownership.
- Ownership imagery: Feelings of ownership (see above) can be induced by thought alone.
- Romantic priming: We (men, not women) increase spending on items of conspicuous consumption when romantically primed (i.e. induced to think about sex, men purchase items as a signalling behaviour).
- The ninety-nine pence/cent effect (psychological pricing):
A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that when pens were priced at $1.99 and $4.00, only 18% of the participants chose the higher-priced pen; but when the pens were priced at $2.00 and $3.99, 44% of the participants selected the higher-priced pen.