What factors into our shopping decisions?

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 2:54 pm

There are many types of research on what guides our decision to buy one product over another, the price, the packaging and the brand name are all factors in our decision. Women tend to shop, meandering through aisles at the grocery store, possibly looking for the best deal or maybe the healthiest food option. Men on the other hand typically are on a mission, they walk in, buy what they want and leave. That’s not to say when I have my five year old with me I’m not on a mission myself to get in and out as quickly as possible. I decided to do a little experiment, remove one of the elements I use to make purchasing decisions, the price! Today’s purchase is laundry detergent and the visual of the product was all I had to base my decision on.

So going off visual alone, my eyes immediately veered away from the shelves of plastic containers and straight towards a bright orange bag, a pouch, industry terminology a stand-up pouch. Why did I veer towards the orange, maybe because it was a borderline florescent, but more than likely it was because of the Arm & Hammers branding which was familiar to me. I picked it up, it isn’t a 3000lb bottle of laundry detergent, its light and compact and it doesn’t take up a large portion of my shopping cart. Inside the stand-up pouch were 20 individual “power paks”, toss them into your washer, no more spilling detergent at home. I was almost sold, until I noticed other brands, ones I wasn’t as familiar with, ones that weren’t so orange. My next “eye catcher” was a company called Laundry Dropps; the packaging had a cleaner design, a “greener” design. Surprisingly enough those words were actually part of their advertising. Laundry Dropps were aiming towards the environmentally friendly aspect. They both had 20 tablets but if I didn’t have a dollar amount to factor in what would make me choose one over the other? Well I didn’t need a price to see Arm & Hammer was advertising I would save money, “Fraction of the Cost” was printed right along the top of the bag! Laundry Dropps on the other hand were advertising “smarter laundry” – doing my part for the environment. Well I couldn’t choose just one, since I didn’t know the price I told myself they were a $1.00 and bought both. With all of my other chooses in the laundry detergent aisle, why did I choose these two?

What did I learn from my experiment & why I did I choose these two products?

  1. The packaging of the product is pretty important; I noticed the new stand-up pouch packaging right away. I didn’t even bat an eye as I turned away from my typical purchase of a giant container of laundry detergent.
  2. Branding and consistency. Arm & Hammer is a very popular brand and having their orange color consistent throughout their products caught my attention.
  3. Going Green, today’s consumer wants to decrease their carbon footprint.
  4. Convenience, size and weight of the product, who wants to carry around a giant container of laundry detergent when they can throw a small pouch right into their cart.

I did like one brand over the other, but I will let you enjoy your own experiment. Let me know your results!

laundry detergent