This week I was interested to read about Woolworths removing sweets, chocolates and other sugary treats from the erstwhile-named ‘run of temptation’. Woollies aficionados will know that this refers to the snaking checkout aisle that every shopper has to pass on their way to the tills.
It’s not clear whether these items will still be for sale elsewhere in store but what’s clear is that while this is a good move, along with Woolies’ commitment to reducing the salt content of their products, do we really want retailers to make consumption decisions for us? Are consumers so pliable that the mere sight of a slab of Dairy Milk moves them to purchase? And while they’re at it, that full-fat milk needs to go because of the threat of heart attacks and strokes, and let’s not get into the debate on selling wine late into the evening.
Woolies’ announcement and the general concept of impulse purchases made me think about the implications for mobile marketing. We’ve often mentioned in this column how the mobile device facilitates easy purchasing decisions for consumers, but does it lead them down the dodgy road of impulse purchasing and buyer’s remorse? I don’t think so.
To me, the mobile phone in fact facilitates better purchasing decisions, across all categories of goods and services, because of the web browser that comes standard with practically any decent phone these days. The consumer is even able to access price comparison websites that do all the required homework at the click of a button. Hippo.co.za is a good example.
When it comes to products offered by mobile marketers, there’s little chance of buyer’s remorse because of innovations such as the double-opt in requirement introduced some two years ago. Mobile users are required to always confirm any purchases they make on their mobile devices which really is unique to the cellular world. Imagine a Woolies cashier asking if you really want to buy that chocolate – I’m sure at least some people would say, ‘um, no….. I’ll put it back’.
Mobile marketers have worked tirelessly to self-regulate in order to make the mobile world as responsible and ethical as it is efficient. If there is buyer’s remorse present now and again, it’s probably caused by not being able to purchase more!