I’m a sucker for artistically rendered photographs of consumer behavior, which is why I was so excited to hear that Brian Ulrich has a new series up called Retail. Hi-gloss shops populated by dystopic consumers drenched in fluorescence, framed by an expert hand? Count me in, especially if there’s a BOGO!
Why do people love their cars? Like really really love love LOVE their cars? More so than any other possession, cars arouse deep emotions in their owners. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research went to five car shows and interviewed car enthusiasts about their passion to try to figure out why. The most far-reaching of their conclusions is that people who love their cars do it, essentially, because they’re lonely.
Established wisdom is that you should only talk about how awesome your product is. But a new study finds that shoppers in distracted settings tend to buy more when products are marketed with a touch of negative info, what is known as “the blemishing effect.”
Wolfire Games is running a special sale called the Humble Bundle, where you can pay as little as one penny via PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon, for five cross-platform indie games that are completely free of DRM or even serial numbers. Despite that, says the company, it looks like over 25% of downloads are coming from “shared links from forums and other places without actually contributing anything.” That’s not counting anything happening over BitTorrent.
The NYT has taken some data released by Netflix (the top 50 rental titles for each zipcode) and made some interactive heat maps out of it. It’s weirdly fun.
You know what’s great about subscriptions? You forget to cancel them. You also pay more over time than you would if you were forced to buy items individually. Yeah, that’s awesome—for companies. The New York Times looks at current research on how consumers think about subscriptions, and why companies want to push them more than ever.
Walgreens says declining home values and rising unemployment are causing consumers to cut back on everything but essentials like soap and milk. Consequently, the drugstore chain is having to spend money revamping its merchandise selection to match the trend. It’s back to basics if you want to make money. [Bloomberg]
Do you feel more confident? According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence is up to its highest level in eight months, and made its biggest increase in six years.
There have been a lot of theories about why consumers abruptly stopped buying cars — and not just American cars but all kinds of cars. Fingers have been pointed at poor fuel economy, lack of available financing, and if Hyundai is to be believed — concern about losing your job. But a new survey found that the most popular reason for not buying a new car — is that there’s nothing wrong with the old one.
9 of 10 American families shop at Walmart at least once a year, says USAToday, which puts the retailer in an excellent position to tell us something about consumer behavior. So, what has Walmart been observing? “Disturbing behavior.”
Ah, Consumer Behavior. Forbes took a look at the CDC’s 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS) and ranked 33 cities based on their resident’s answers to three survey questions:
The Chicago Tribune recaps the findings of some recent consumer behavior studies—for instance, we’re irrational buyers, prone to shoddy math and emotional decision making. The studies might be paid for by advertisers so they can better manipulate us, but as the Tribune notes, they’re useful for us too because they “can help shoppers make better spending decisions if they understand themselves better.”
A new study shows that most Ebay shoppers would rather pay less and pay for shipping than pay more and have free shipping.