Articles on consumer behaviour

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South Africa’s Alexandra township in the foreground, where the majority live in squalor, and Sandton in the background, representing the most privileged Shutterstock

Panic buying in the wake of COVID-19 underscores inequalities in South Africa

Most consumers in South Africa aren't able to fill up a trolley of groceries for their daily needs, let alone join the panic buying induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shelves that held hand sanitizer and hand soap are mostly empty at a Target in Jersey City, N.J. on March 2, 2020. As fears of the pandemic grow, consumers are stockpiling goods in case they’re quarantined. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

When the coronavirus gets tough, the tough get stockpiling

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are stockpiling essential supplies. But policy-makers may be able to influence both the supply and demand through public announcements and advisories.
Time-limited offers leverage risk-aversion. That is, the more you dislike risk, the more likely it is you will take the bait and buy now. www.shutterstock.com

Must end soon! But not too soon! The catch in time-limited sales tactics

Technology has taken the old sales tactic of time-limited offer to a whole new level. But for the tactic to work requires a Goldilocks zone between being too pushy and not all.
Some personality types find more choices overwhelming. But if you’re someone with a strong “assessment orientation”, more options won’t phase you. www.shutterstock.com

Does choice overload you? It depends on your personality – take the test

There's a lot of research in consumer behaviour that disputes the notion “more is better”. But it really depends on what type of personality you have.
Researchers studied whether subtly being exposed to different colors could change tipping behavior. Anutr Yossundara/Shutterstock.com

Want better tips? Go for gold

Studies show a weak relationship between tip amounts and quality of service. But the color gold seems to have a way of making diners feel wealthier – and more generous.
Modern slaves are not kept in literal chains, but this does not justify being oblivious to it. Consumers should care about how a product is made. Shutterstock

We all buy slave-made products: here’s how we avoid feeling guilty

Hidden slavery is a growing global problem but we continue to turn a blind eye and embrace a seemingly insatiable demand for fast, cheap goods and services.

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