決定要買一件商品的時候,你往往已經知道商品的內容和價格。然而,先看到商品或先看到價格,是否會左右你的購買行為?哈佛大學教授採取新的研究方法,利用神經科學儀器來觀察,我們的腦如何驅使我們下購買決定。進入本文前,請先想想如何表達以下單字:

(A)引誘(B)特價商品(C)共鳴

Think of the last time you went shopping. When you glanced through the product and the price, was your purchasing decision affected by seeing the price before the product, or (1)vice versa? That’s the question at the heart of the work of Uma R. Karmarkar, a neuroscientist and assistant professor in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School and her research partners.

“We were interested in whether considering the price first changed the way the brain coded the value of a product.” The researchers discovered that price primacy (viewing price first) makes consumers more likely to focus on whether a product is worth its price, and consequently can help (A)induce the purchase of specific kinds of (B) bargain-priced items. The research could help retailers and marketers frame the sales message to consumers.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments in which participants lay inside a functional magnetic (C) resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. In the first experiment, each participant was given $40 of shopping money before viewing a series of 80 products and their prices on a screen inside the fMRI machine. Most of the participants were in their 20s, and most of the products appealed to their demographic.

Sometimes participants saw the price first, and some- times the product first. But in every case, they eventually saw an image of both the product and the price presented (2) hand in hand. Then they indicated yes or no with the push of a button. The researchers focused on brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (deals with estimating decision value) and the nucleus accumbens (deals with whether a product is viscerally desirable).

The results showed that brain activity varied according to whether the participant had seen the price or product first. When the product came first, the decision question seemed to be ‘Do I like it?’ And when the price came first, the question seemed to be “Is it worth it?” They hypothesized that price primacy might increase the likelihood of buying product. However, before the retailers (3) go out of their way to lead with price, they need to know one last thing. “You can’t just try to fool people into thinking it’s a great price.” Says Karmarkar. If the discount is insignificant, then highlighting the price might do more harm than good.

試著回想上一次逛街的時候,當你的目光掃過商品和價格時,先看到價錢,再看到商品會影響你決定是否 購買商品嗎?還是反之亦然?這是哈佛大學商學院的神經科學助理教授,Uma R. Karmarkar 與她的研究夥伴們所感興趣的問題。

「我們對於消費者的決策行為很有興趣:當消費者先看到價格時,是否會改變大腦定義商品划算與否的方式?」研究者發現當消費者先看到價格時,比較容易 關注商品本身是否值得這個價格,因此可刺激消費者 對特定特價商品的購買行為。這個決定有助於零售業與行銷人包裝、行銷商品。

研究者首先讓受測者躺在功能性核磁共振造影儀器中,在第一個實驗裡,每一位受測者將會先拿到約台幣一千四百元的購物金,然後在儀器裡瀏覽八十項商品與其價格。大部分的受測者約在二十餘歲不等,大部分的商品也符合他們的興趣。

受測者有時候先看到價格、有時候會先看到商品。但每項商品與價格最後都會並列出現。受測者接著以按鈕方式決定是否購買。研究人員觀察在決策過程中,受測者在前額葉皮質內側(判斷決策價值)與伏隔核(判斷內心渴望程度)的血液流動狀況。

結果顯示,先看到商品或是先看到價格確實會影響大腦決策。當商品先出現,受測者浮現的問題會是「我喜歡嗎?」而當價格先出現,問題卻變成「這個商品值得嗎?」研究人員認為,價格優先可能會增加消費者的購買行為。但在零售商開始大打價格戰前,還要清楚一件事。「想要讓消費者誤以為很划算是不可能的。」Karmarkar 說。如果折扣不明顯,凸顯價格恐怕只會弊多於利。

  •  口語字彙
  1. Vice versa 反之亦然
唸成 [`vaɪs `vɚsə],起源於拉丁語,注意尾音的唸法。

We should take into account the proposals of our staff and vice versa.

我們應該考慮員工的建議,反之亦然。

  1. hand in hand 一起、齊頭並進

Higher returns and higher risk usually go hand in hand.

高受益通常伴隨著高風險。

Industrial progress should go hand in hand with the development of agriculture. 工業發展與農業發展密切相關。

  1. go out of one’s way 特地、作出額外努力

They went out of their way to help us.

他們不辭勞苦得來幫助我們。

(資料來源:英語島雜誌;首圖來源:www.visituzbekistan.travel

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