researches conducted two experiments that demonstrated when a business, often a retail business, incorporates mystery in their marketing strategy; they increased the likelihood that consumers will make a purchase.
Hmmm, that sounds pretty mysterious.
Companies like Groupon, Banana Republic and American Airlines are just a few organizations that have used mystery to pique the interest of customers and drive their sales upward.
So, how does this work, you ask?
In one experiment, researches told their subjects that they would receive one of three items for a small shipping fee of just $10.
The researches also showed the participants a list of potential items they may receive.
The items included a board game, a handmade necklace, or the latest version of a piece of software.
They also showed pictures of products previously sent to customers, like a low-quality camera, gloves, and a remote control car. So the first group was armed with information about their potential mystery gift.
In a second group experiment, participants received less information about the mystery product they may receive. The only thing that researchers told them was that the item was guaranteed to be worth at least $10 MSRP, that’s manufacturer suggested retail price,
And if it were not worth at least $10, the shopper would be refunded their $10 shipping fee.
In both studies, researchers found participants had increased levels of curiosity after exposure to the mystery product. This, in turn, led to an increase in purchase motivation.
It is also worth noting the absence of information in the second experiment, where the participants did not receive the extra information about the mystery gift, did not significantly decrease the motivation to make a purchase.
So, if you provide a little information about the mystery gift, there may be a slight advantage, but not a significant amount as compared to the group that did not receive information about the mystery gift.
So, how can you apply the mystery study to your own business and reap the rewards of endless profit?
Okay, it may not be endless profit, but you may boost your sales and gain the financial rewards that many other retailers enjoy when exercising mystery in their marketing strategies.
An Example of Using Mystery in Your Marketing Strategy
An example may include a small retail store selling a specific product, like beauty supplies. Perhaps you offer a small mystery gift with every $20 purchase of your product. Remember to identify the possible mystery gifts available to your customer and that the mystery gift has a perceived MSRP of at least $20. It doesn’t have to cost you $20; It must have a perceived value of $20.
The mystery marketing strategy can be applied to almost any business or product with a little imagination.
If you try this strategy, I would like to hear about it and what worked and what may not have worked. And, if you found this information useful, please hit the like button or share it with someone who may find it equally useful.
Thanks for watching. I’m Allen Stafford for the Stafford Group.
Krista M. Hill, Paul W. Fombelle, Nancy J. Sirianni,
Shopping under the influence of curiosity: How retailers use mystery to drive purchase motivation,
Journal of Business Research,
Volume 69, Issue 3,