People ALWAYS want a lower price

I am always a fan of research, especially when it can help you reduce the risk of the decisions you are trying to make. But a lot of it is misguided, in my humble opinion. For example, this research done to understand what would make people shop more online is well meaning, but draws an incorrect conclusion.

Ask any consumer their preference, and 90% of the time they will choose a lower price or something free over just about anything else, particularly things that we call “value-added.” We marketers hate that, but it’s just the reality of human nature. The problem is then comparing those things and saying that people won’t do something because they say it’s less important or less meaningful than a lower price or free. And that is very true if there is a differential in the price of a product or the expense of a service (shipping) is lower or free. But what if there is little to no difference in price and all shipping is free? Suddenly same-day delivery becomes much more important.

So how I would look at this, is how to make sure my product is price competitive and my competitors cost of delivery is not lower than mine. To maintain margins, I need to squeeze every ounce of cost out of the supply chain and focus on the logistics of how the product is delivered. Once I’ve removed those differentials, do people find same-day delivery valuable?  I’m thinking they will. If you take this research and decide to not consider same-day delivery as a potential advantage (again, if price and service are relative equal), I do believe you’ll regret that decision 12 months from now.

You can’t just ask people what they prefer. You have to ask them in the context of what will be equal and what will actually be different.