Offer a “serendipity”: discovery of apparently random products, aided by technology
Researchers from the University of Sydney, the University of Florida and Rutgers University have published a new paper in the Marketing Journal which examines the role of serendipity in customer satisfaction and how marketers can deliver it.
The study, to appear in the Marketing Journal, is titled “Serendipity: Chance Encounters in the Marketplace Enhance Consumer Satisfaction” and is written by Aekyoung Kim, Felipe Affonso, Juliano Laran and Kristina Durante.
Netflix knows you are tired of the choice. The streaming service recently introduced what could be the perfect hack: a shuffle button that eliminates choice and plays a randomly selected program for the consumer. Under COVID-19 restrictions, newcomers were happy to have so many programming options, but that has faded over time.
Remember once you heard a beloved song on the radio or stumbled upon a favorite movie while surfing the channel. These accidents become “happy” because they lead to feelings of serendipity, which our new research shows increased enjoyment. When a product, service, or experience is positive, unexpected, and involving chance, our research team felt it would generate congruent feelings. Consumers would feel the encounter as a pleasant surprise, randomly assign attributions, and feel lucky that it happened – what we collectively refer to as “feelings of serendipity.” Using a series of experiments, we set out to test our claim that marketers can create chance in the marketplace.
In several areas of consumption (online subscription services, museums, films, food consumption and music), creating chances through positive, unexpected and fortuitous encounters, increased satisfaction, pleasure, perceptions of meaning, willingness to pay, will to recommend a service and interest. For example, members of subscription box services (e.g. Birchbox, Stitchfix) enjoyed their assortment more when they received a random selection of products compared to members who made selections themselves. A similar phenomenon occurred during the experiments organized by the researchers. For example, they measured consumer satisfaction using two platforms; one offering movie recommendations and another offering music recommendations. As Kim explains, “Compared to a situation where consumers made their own choices, the enjoyment increased when consumers received a randomly streamed movie or song from a set of alternatives that we had previously selected. The pleasure was heightened because the apparently random product was seen as a good surprise, attributed to chance and luck. In other words, chance was born. “
This good news suggests that marketers can capitalize on the power of chance to increase consumer satisfaction. To do this, marketers must go beyond surprising consumers, because chance is not just a pleasant surprise. To test the depths of serendipity, the research team carefully removed one or more of the “ingredients” to see if the serendipity effect would wear off. First, they found that when a meeting was negative, consumers no longer felt increased pleasure. In fact, there has been a boomerang effect. An unexpected and random negative encounter was perceived as even more negative.
Second, when they increased and decreased the degree of chance, it exacerbated and lessened the chance. Consumers who watched a movie trailer described as being randomly selected from 100 possible options liked it more than when it came from a menu of 10 options, making it appear less random. Additionally, making consumers aware that a marketer was selecting options also reduced chance and fun, as it was now clear that someone was behind the curtain and the selection was not random.
Finally, they felt that educating consumers about a product or service would eliminate the effect of serendipity. Affonso says that “Coming to know more about a product not only eliminates the unexpected (a key ingredient for serendipity), but can create a sense of expertise that leads consumers to believe they have the knowledge to do so. best choices. ” In one experiment, they used a platform that recommends functional music that can improve focus. About half of the participants received information about the attributes that increase a song’s ability to increase people’s focus. When consumers were educated in this way, later encountering the platform’s music by chance (by chance) no longer increased the enjoyment. This suggests that aficionados may not appreciate the chances of the market as much as the rest of us.
“In today’s market, which offers an abundance of choice, our research provides marketers with information on how to incorporate a little bit of dating magic into the marketplace,” says Laran. When trying to improve luck, companies may sometimes want to increase the perception that a meeting is the result of chance or luck. For example, consumers may enjoy more unexpected events as part of vacation packages or enjoy product samples that arrive at random without much information. Businesses should also eliminate marketing communications that highlight the targeting process, avoiding telling consumers that a product has been specially selected for them based on what the business knows of their preferences. In such cases, a random attribution is replaced by an attribution to being watched and targeted by the business.
The full article and the author’s contact details are available at: https: /
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