Why advance purchase increases enjoyment

Here is something arts marketers need to know: a new paper in the journal Psychological Science suggests that we derive more pleasure from anticipating experiences than material objects. So it follows that buying tickets in advance of the event provides more enjoyment than buying the ticket closer to the event. Is this a piece of knowledge arts marketers can use to their advantage? Certainly. By encouraging (providing incentives for) people to purchase in advance, we are increasing their enjoyment of the experience. Could this be one of the reasons why offering subscriptions or package purchases is actually a good idea, and that customers who do buy in advance are some of our most enthusiastic advocates? Read the abstract of this article below; if you’d like more detail, the full text is available for download at the Psychological Science link above.

ABSTRACT of Article:

Experiential purchases (money spent on doing) tend to provide more enduring happiness than material purchases (money spent on having). Although most research comparing these two types of purchases has focused on their downstream hedonic consequences, the present research investigated hedonic differences that occur beforeĀ consumption. We argue that waiting for experiences tends to be more positive than waiting for possessions. Four studies demonstrate that people derive more happiness from the anticipation of experiential purchases and that waiting for an experience tends to be more pleasurable and exciting than waiting to receive a material good. We found these effects in studies using questionnaires involving a variety of actual planned purchases, in a large-scale experience-sampling study, and in an archival analysis of news stories about people waiting in line to make a purchase. Consumers derive value from anticipation, and that value tends to be greater for experiential than for material purchases.

Psychological Science, August 2014

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