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Shaping the choice architecture – the role of consumer information (Try Before You Buy) - EV0550

Research has shown that repeatedly consumers are wary of water efficient showers and shower heads because they think more water efficiency equates to poorer performance. There is evidence from the behaviour change literature that people are more willing to try something new the more the risk is reduced and the more certain they are that the new product will meet their needs.

Over the 10 years of research with customers on water efficient showerheads, they have said repeatedly that they could be persuaded by trying a water efficient showerhead before they buy it i.e. putting their hand under a working showerhead in the store (MTP 2004, Rathouse 2013). This trial will challenge the misconception of “water efficiency = poor performance” through testing the idea of a try-before-you-buy shower demonstration unit for in-store display.
The trial consists of a scoping study to test out the intervention before the main trial proceeds. The aim of the overall trial and evaluation is:
(a) To establish through observation how customers use the demonstration unit and what impact, if any, it has on their choice of purchase;
(b) To quantify by using benchmark stores and/or pre-trial data, the impact of the demonstration unit on sales of water efficient products;
(c) To work with the retailers to identity the business benefits (and whether these are sufficient to encourage them to continue to use the unit after the trial), any unintended consequences and general perceptions of having the unit in store;
(d) To establish through observation and record of maintenance visits how robust the demonstration is when used in store by the public.
(e) To evaluate whether the evidence from this trial is sufficiently robust to recommend scale up and replication of the intervention.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : EV0550 Shaping the choice architecture for water efficient products Final Report   (3894k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £170,624
Contractor / Funded Organisations
WRc plc
Fields of Study
Sustainable Consumption and Production