My weekly blog on Behavioural Economics for Smartcompany.com.au can be found here;
List of articles
Author: Bri Williams on 8 October 2012
I was at a well-known tea retailer the other week at the register ready to pay. "Would you like to join our loyalty program?" asked the sales assistant
Author: Bri Williams on 1 October 2012
I've been in the market for webinar software and came across Anymeeting.com via a search engine. A few elements of their business model appealed as examples of behavioural techniques in play.
Author: Bri Williams on 24 September 2012
Some great examples have popped up recently of how the behaviour of buyers can be influenced by the physical experience that goes with consumption – let's call it 'consumption design'.
Author: Bri Williams on 17 September 2012
Author: Bri Williams on 10 September 2012
My heart began to race. It was the last one and I knew there were four other interested buyers. No time to muck around, I better go in for the kill. Where's my credit card?
Author: Bri Williams on 3 September 2012
You've been dealing with this customer for what seems like an eternity. On paper, the decision is an easy one, some might say trivial, and yet they can't seem to make up their mind.
Author: Bri Williams on 27 August 2012
A great little story grabbed my attention the other day. A supermarket in New York had set up "Man Isle", an aisle dedicated to the shopping needs and behaviours of men.
Author: Bri Williams on 20 August 2012
Imagine you are at an ATM withdrawing cash. Before you do, a message comes up reminding you that there will be a $2 fee for accessing your money through an ATM that is not part of your bank's network. Do you proceed or do you cancel the transaction?
Author: Bri Williams on 13 August 2012
When talking a customer through their objections, how much attention have you been paying to the way they say no? A recent study looked into the differences a "don't' vs "can't" can make to behaviour, so let's tune our ears into the implications for business.
Author: Bri Williams on 6 August 2012
Decisions, decisions. If you are in the business of influencing buyers to buy, then you have lots of decisions to make about how best to communicate your message to secure the behavioural outcome you want.
Author: Bri Williams on 30 July 2012
Last week, together with around 100 others, I rolled the dice as part of Leverage: The Game of Business, a facilitated business fundamentals board game. Yes, a board game.
Author: Bri Williams on 23 July 2012
"Find your happy place" is what my photographer kept telling me as he snapped away for my website head shots. Well, I want you to find a happy place too by learning about how my photographer, Con, intuitively used behavioural economics to persuade me to buy his services.
Author: Bri Williams on 16 July 2012
Ever noticed those print and billboard ads for expensive cars that tell you how little per week you have to pay to own the latest model? Welcome to "duration neglect", our tendency to ignore the time period over which we would need to repay and concentrate instead on the size of the repayments.
Author: Bri Williams on 9 July 2012
When we make a purchase it means we have made a judgement that the benefits of the transaction have outweighed the cost. As businesses, we therefore spend a lot of time, energy and expense convincing our market that they are getting a worthwhile deal.
Author: Bri Williams on 2 July 2012
We're in the season of mid-year sales, so here are a couple of pointers about representing discounts and prices to maximise your conversion.
Author: Bri Williams on 25 June 2012
We are really good at tricking ourselves into acts of indulgence.
Author: Bri Williams on 18 June 2012
Getting your buyers to buy more often by helping them know that they need to is something every business should be doing. Relying on your customers to design their own repurchase cycle is leaving yourself open to forgetfulness, delay or, worse still, substitution.
Author: Bri Williams on 13 June 2012
Fresh from a breakfast seminar with Tom O'Toole, I wanted to share some of his pearls of wisdom plus some behavioural insights.
Author: Bri Williams on 4 June 2012
If I asked you what business you are in, what would you say? Consulting, retail, manufacture, accounting, health – well, you're wrong, kind of.
Author: Bri Williams on 28 May 2012
Author: Bri Williams on 21 May 2012
A question I am often asked is "who is using behavioural economics?". The question is not surprising given we tend to look to what others are doing to help decide what we should do.
Author: Bri Williams on 14 May 2012
Do you tend to select wine from the middle of the list? Order a meal that is neither too expensive nor too cheap? Donate amounts that are somewhere between the highest and lowest?
Demi does. Mariah does. So does your product have a better side?
Is clicking through to your website worth my time? If I give you that personal information, what do I get in return? Is the price you are offering good enough for me to create yet another account?
Author: Bri Williams on 23 April 2012
How uncomfortable would you feel if I told you I know how many children you have, where you live, and even what your car registration is? Would you be more or less concerned if I told you I got this information without the use of technology?
Author: Bri Williams on 16 April 2012
Imagine you are marketing a service that deliberately gives people a disease, is physically painful, requires them to come to you and they have to pay. Welcome to flu shot season!
Author: Bri Williams on 2 April 2012
Strap yourself in for my top ten reasons why you need to know about Behavioural Economics. More slap down than count down, prepare to be insulted!
Author: Bri Williams on 26 March 2012
Petrol prices are on the rise and so too hysteria about what this means to Aussie households. So why does petrol fuel such intense consumer reaction? Let's see whether Behavioural Economics can provide an answer.
Author: Bri Williams on 19 March 2012
Bills. We all get them and all businesses send them, so let's look at what you can do to encourage on-time payment using the lessons of Behavioural Economics. After all, I'm sure you've got better things to do than chase late paying customers?
Author: Bri Williams on 12 March 2012
Walking past a bedding retailer the other day, the sign on the pathway caught my attention as a nice little example of applied behavioural economics.
Author: Bri Williams on 5 March 2012
Like any internet user, you've probably encountered dozens of sign-up or user registration pages during your online travels, asking you to provide contact and other information in exchange for access to a website's content or functionality. And because sign-ups are so common, you may have become blind to the elements of what makes a good rather than bad process when you come to create one for your business.
Author: Bri Williams on 27 February 2012
A cafe in Melbourne has been carving out niche in a very competitive market by offering the choice of only black, white or filter coffee.
Author: Bri Williams on 20 February 2012
LinkedIn serves as a great example of behavioural principles applied to drive success. In case you are not one of the 150 million users worldwide (or 2 million in Australia), LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals, and much of its success I believe is due to how it engages its users.
Author: Bri Williams on 13 February 2012
Well, another social media site is taking the world by storm. This time it's Pinterest, and it's generating business press because of phenomenal growth in site visitation.
Author: Bri Williams on 6 February 2012
Imagine you are watching a focus group. The topic is hygiene and in particular, how your gym can get people to wipe their sweat off the equipment. Low adherence to the policy has been causing complaints and some health issues around the club. The discussion goes as expected, with everyone agreeing they would feel revolted if they unknowingly used a machine that has not been wiped down, and all agreeing that they, of course, always wipe theirs off.
Author: Bri Williams on 30 January 2012
Is too much tennis barely enough? I have been pigging out on the Australian Open over the last couple of weeks, watching elite sportspeople do battle, pitting their physical and mental strength against that of their opponents.
Author: Bri Williams on 23 January 2012
What's the cost of your favourite meal? $10? $25? That is the question posed by WeFeedBack as part of a clever online App that turns charitable intention into donating behaviour and which serves as a great case study for businesses wanting to turn browsers into buyers.
Author: Bri Williams on 20 December 2011
As we head into the Christmas break, I thought it would be worthwhile to note some of the books I have found most helpful on behaviour and behavioural economics. A word of warning though, once you read these books the Boxing Day sales will never seem the same.
Author: Bri Williams on 12 December 2011
Just think, a jolly fat man in a red suit gets billions of people to spend billions of dollars on people they may only see once a year to commemorate someone else's birthday. This guy's a genius!
Author: Bri Williams on 5 December 2011
Retailers are doing it tough. Shoppers are coming in, speaking at length with the shop assistant about what the widget does and does not do, only to then leave the store and buy the widget cheaper online. What's a retailer to do? How do they provide customer service but not lose the sale?
Unblocking the sale
Author: Bri Williams on 29 November 2011
There has been quite a bit of press lately about the rise of private labels (house brands) in Australian supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths, and speculation about what this means for brand manufacturers.
Author: Bri Williams on 21 November 2011
One of the biggest barriers to purchase is fear that you are going to miss out on a better deal. As consumers we sweat the price, wondering whether we should hold off and wait for the item to go on special. But as businesses, we want to lock in the sale today, so how can you unblock your customers to get them to buy?
Author: Bri Williams on 14 November 2011
Business presentations. Hands up if you've ever sat through a dull, overly wordy Powerpoint presentation about which all you can remember is the boredom? If anyone asked you what the content contained you'd draw a blank.
Author: Bri Williams on 7 November 2011
We have cars to expedite travel, video conferencing to facilitate remote meetings, microwaves to speed food preparation, computers to process information, the internet to provide immediate answers, and smartphones to make answers portable and immediate. So as a small business owner, why are you feeling more time poor than ever? The good news is that it’s not just you, it’s your customers too.
Author: Bri Williams on 31 October 2011
SmartCompany's exploration last week of News Limited's introduction of a paywall included my thoughts on how the newspaper giant could use behavioural economics to transition their service from free to paid.
Author: Bri Williams on 24 October 2011
A reminder to us all that a serious message can sometimes best be conveyed using humour – say hello to the "Your Man Reminder" app that has been released by Rethink Breast Cancer to encourage women to check their breasts regularly.
Author: Bri Williams on 17 October 2011
Pricing psychology is such an important part of every business and behavioural economics can go a long way towards understanding why customers react to deals the way they do. Here are eight lessons from how my gym botched the deal.
Author: Bri Williams on 10 October 2011
I don't drink beer. I don't follow rugby. I am not into gaming. So why on earth have I become addicted to the Heineken Rugby World Cup iPhone game?
Author: Bri Williams on 4 October 2011
We've all been there, with the customer who soaks up an inordinate amount of time and energy without spending enough for you to justify the level of resourcing.
Author: Bri Williams on 26 September 2011
An article on the gender difference in booze buying behaviour grabbed my attention the other week. "Cheap Booze for him" headlined a story about some Roy Morgan research that identified that blokes were driven by bargains, whereas women sought helpful customer service ("Cheap Booze for him" by Inga Gilchrist, MXNews 4/7/11). The article quoted bar duty manager David Dearlove as explaining that emotions were the difference, where "females want more from a situation, so they want to be waited on. Whereas guys just say 'Give me my beer' and they're done." Very hunter-gatherer!
Author: Bri Williams on 19 September 2011
I recently read an interesting piece called Tell Me Something I Don't Know: Why MR is Comprehensive, Accurate, and Often Boring, in which the author Yi Kang laments the dull and contrived nature of most market research.
Author: Bri Williams on 12 September 2011
Debating whether you should introduce a fee of some kind to cover a service you provide? There are obvious financial advantages to your bottom line, but is it worth the negative reaction you may get from customers? Here are three behavioural principles that will help you consider your options.
Author: Bri WIlliams on 22 August 2011
This weekend I visited a café famous for being one of the first to bring real coffee to Melbourne. But in my estimation, that business is surviving on its heritage alone. Both the product and, more strikingly, the service left a lot to be desired.
Author: Bri Williams on 15 August 2011
With all the action on the stock market last week, I thought it would be an opportune time to look at the behavioural aspects of share trading.
Author: Bri Williams on 2 August 2011
Imagine you are a business leader who has just experienced the workplace equivalent of Melbourne Football Club's humiliating failure to perform to expectation. In the AFL club's case, they were thrashed by 186 points by Geelong and there are now calls for the coach to resign.
Author: Bri Williams on 26 July 2011
Curious to know how the Australian Federal Government's proposed carbon tax will be viewed by behavioural economics? Political views aside, here's the run down...
Author: Bri Williams on 15 July 2011
We are all susceptible to what has happened at the News of the World, the top-selling British Sunday newspaper that was shut down on the back of alleged phone tapping.
Author: Bri Williams on 11 July 2011
Having recently devoured Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week, I have been contemplating one of the suggestions he makes for optimising your time – firing some customers.
Author: Bri Williams on 4 July 2011
The Australian financial year has clicked over, and with it no doubt some tweaks to profit and loss. Your opportunity this year is to use behavioural economics to rethink one of the most common activities associated with this time of year: introducing a price rise.