Why shoppers really insist on lining up for Apple products
Samsung, if you haven’t seen, has got a great ad campaign out now, spoofing the line-waiting culture that’s grown from Apple’s iPhone.
The TV commercials must be a hit, if not payback for Apple’s taking Samsung to the cleaners over smartphone patent squabbles, but their satire also highlights a more serious point: why, really, do consumers insist on waiting in line for products?
Line-waiting is nothing Apple has created. In fact, it merely hearkens to Black Friday, or all the way back to the days of Furby and Tickle Me Elmo.
Though is there really a science behind what prompts consumers to camp out? It would appear there is.
While we’ve established Apple did not father the line-waiting culture, we also must acknowledge the company’s perfected it, too. Think back to every notable line-waiting moment in the past half-decade, and most all of them coincide with the release of an iPhone or iPad.
*Bing: Is the new iPhone right for you?
Ultimately, we can thank Apple’s unparalleled ability to hype and pimp a product – the true legacy, perhaps, of Steve Jobs – for stirring consumers’ need to camp out for phones and tablets, an effect that drums up a sense of scarcity among shoppers. If I don’t get my hands on this now, the thinking goes, it’ll be weeks before I will.
But MarketWatch shines a light on what truly prompts shoppers to wait out for new products.
According to marketing experts interviewed by the site’s Charles Passy, the shared experience of waiting in line with a group of people has become almost a reward unto itself.
Calling the coolness of waiting in line “queue chic,” Passy proves that “shopping has become a collective event,” in the words of one brand consultant he interviews.
“Retail experts say that by standing in a crowd, shoppers see themselves as making the right decision – a concept known as ‘social proof,’” Passy writes. (Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people presume the cumulative actions of a group reflect what’s right in any given scenario.)
Retailers, of course, love this, as a line-up in front of a store – think a massive queue at the door of your city’s hottest nightclub – helps simulate the feeling of exclusivity. And that breeds the sense of scarcity we discussed above, and the whole thing comes full circle.
For many, then, while a new iPad at the end doesn’t hurt, the true reward of lining up for an Apple tablet may lie in the waiting itself.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: SP | Oct 16, 2021 11:38:54 AM
I suppose this tells someone all that they need to know about Apple customers.
Posted by: John | Oct 17, 2021 12:22:25 AM
"Though is there really a science behind what prompts consumers to camp out?" ..... NO, just utter stupidity. As SP put it ... Lemmings....
Posted by: Mr. Negative | Oct 18, 2021 7:52:05 AM
People have too much time on their hands and need something to believe in. I guess apple products are that crutch.
Posted by: Nilrem | Oct 19, 2021 1:31:44 AM
@ John... The fact you would counter the science perspective of this shows you shouldn't even be a part of the conversation, obviously you don't even comprehend what science is. Not to mention everyone that is simply putting people down for being 'lemmings', I will bet you go and look through any of your homes and there will be products you've bought simply due to good ad placement. :)