A skilful negotiator can save a lot of money when shopping in his favourite store. This was found out by researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) in a large-scale study. An extra five percent discount is, on average, no problem - as long as you know how to use your customer loyalty as a trump.
The credo turned on its head
For loyal customers, the price is not so important – at least, that was the credo in marketing and sales up to now. The recently published study by the Bochum scientists Prof. Jan Wieseke, Sascha Alavi and Johannes Habel of the Faculty of Economics at the RUB has turned this perception fundamentally on its head: "Many customers consciously play out their loyalty in price negotiations, and thus gain an extra five percent discount without any problem" says Wieseke. When buying a car worth 30,000 Euros, a buyer thus saves up to 1,500 Euros without any great effort.
An unbeatable argument
For their study, the researchers in Bochum evaluated data from more than 6,000 customers and attended over 300 price negotiations in numerous sectors. Because: negotiations have long since not just applied to buying a car, but to almost every store and to almost every price category - whether in a furniture shop, DIY store or clothes shop. Since the long-term retention of their customers is extremely important for companies, loyal customers have an almost unbeatable argument. A regular customer who demands a reasonable price reduction often encounters little resistance from sellers. However, the following statement holds true, says Wieseke: "Many shops know their regular customers and are very quick to spot a lie."
Doubtful side effects
For the companies, the excessive discounts for loyal customers do, incidentally, entail some dubious side effects. Thus, for example, the researchers in Bochum found out that, as a result of the higher discount, the customers become even more loyal to the shop - and are then able to achieve an even greater discount on their next purchase. "This shows that loyalty can, indeed, be bought", says Wieseke, "but it creates a vicious circle in which customer loyalty and discounts rise ever higher and higher. This puts many shops in a strangle hold." Anyone wanting to break out of this would have to train their sales staff specifically for negotiations with loyal but demanding customers.
Taking the old image too much to heart
From a scientific point of view, the study is highly explosive. Until now, researchers always assumed quite the opposite - that, because of their attachment to their favourite store, loyal customers were even willing to pay higher prices. Also many companies are often not sufficiently aware of the negotiating power of loyal customers: "Many retailers have taken the old image of the faithful, satisfied customer simply too much to heart. A sober look at the figures reveals the harsh reality here", says Prof. Jan Wieseke. The RUB researchers presented the results of their study publicly for the first time last Saturday, 16 February 2013, at the Conference of the American Marketing Association in Las Vegas - one of the world's most prestigious conferences for marketing researchers. The study received an award as best conference paper in the area of sales and customer relationship management. In addition, the study received an honorable mention award as one of the best conference papers overall.
Prof. Dr. Jan Wieseke, Marketing Department, Faculty of Economics, Ruhr Universität Bochum
Editor: Jens Wylkop
Jan Wieseke | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences