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Messy in purchase behaviour

Down to the street in every big city just before the pandemic, you could see tons of shops lighting with their fabulous attracting advertise.  Do you notice them all? If you are looking for a new car, for example, have you ever notice how many of the exact model of the car you are looking at you see into the street? Have you ever notice that before? No, apparently you start seeing that car from that particular moment and it is just because you are starting to want that precise model so like every customer you are paying more attention to that. 

Today, information is so easy to get, we are exposed to a huge messy of advertising trying to sell us something, the messy middle. Guess what? We have developed a new skill to cut them off, we are now more able than ever to filter a lot. Into that messy, we want to focus our attention on what we really want and at that particular moment. We do not want to be surrounded by hassles and boring advertising, our brain is stuffed by those things.

Into the internet street is exactly the same as offline or even worst today after the pandemia. Browsing for some items to buy and thousands of brands and variants appear in front of you. This is good for some aspects, but how new brands or structured firms can handle it? In a recent study, 6 biases are very important to influence a customer to purchase (Decoding decisions the Messy middle). 

Here we look at the first that alone can influence half of the entire positioning into the market: Be on the shelf with strong category heuristic. It seems obvious but to show up into the market with the right way to communicate is essential to be part of the market. Organic search or paid search has to allow both new brands and structured firms to communicate as much as simply and clearly the characteristic of their product to reach the customers at the right time and in the right way.

Thus a very important point is how and when the message is sent to the potential customer. Sending the wrong signal at the wrong moment could be highly disruptive for the brand itself. This study reports that only this bias could influence the purchase behavior of about 40% depending on the category and it opens a new window of evaluation for new brands and existing firms in the market.

Today customers do exactly the same they have always done, perceiving a need, and try to answer it by buying. The difference is the fundamental mechanics of shopping may have changed beyond recognition on the web, we’ve adapted. Mental modes and behavioral biases that served our early ancestors turn out to be just as useful for cutting through the complexity of shopping on the internet. Customers do not want to be reached by non-targeted advertising, they want to be reached by the right information for the right product. A brain is a small place so it tends to collect little information and compartmentalize these for the evaluation.

One theory of how we collect and decide comes from the information foraging, the question is:

How easy is it to find the information we need and how useful will that information be? If it’s useful, we tend to exhaust the information at that point before proceeding to the next. If not, we rapidly switch sources before we expend too much energy.

A better understanding of the cognitive biases that underpin decision-making would help to create compelling messages to drive the purchase decision process.  The knowledge of brand and price are the main drivers for a customer but purchases could be strongly influenced by the messages, propositions, and tactics that competing brands bring into play.

Is this validated for all the category product? Is that even the case of developing a new app? Actually the study does not report anything about applications or IT services in general however app is a product and has to handle the way is sold, the optimisation, messages, tactics and they have to follow the same instructions (read more here about how to design an app). Fortunately, the messy middle itself can be a starting point for brands and structured firms to build integrated marketing organisations, flexible enough to adapt to consumer behavior now and in the future even into the apps market.