Ecommerce is gradually winning over sales business. More than half of all Americans already prefer to shop online, and the trend is expected to grow further in the years to come. So now the question is not whether you should move your operations from traditional retail stores to the digital world, but how to do it right.
Although ecommerce is technically different from what we know as brick-and-mortar outlets, it’s still dealing with the same sort of customers. They also have certain purchasing habits and develop shopping routines online. Your job is to discover those habits and make them your business advantage.
Psychology and ecommerce
According to sales experts at Superior Papers, digital sellers need to know everything about an average buyer persona – age, gender, location, income level, academic background, and values they nurture. If you obtain all this information, you can choose the right tactic and increase your loyal consumer base.
There are all sorts of psychological triggers you can use to grab your customers’ attention and convince them to complete the purchase. The best thing about these triggers is that they are based on scientific research, which means that their effectiveness is proven and unquestionable.
Let me help you out and narrow down the options. In this post, you’ll find 10 most productive psychological tricks to help you increase ecommerce sales.
- Make the first move.
As a proactive marketer, you should make the first move and inspire interest in your products. This means you have to offer them something in exchange for their attention. For instance, you can offer a free trial for the latest release of your project management software. It’s almost as if you were saying: “I’m so good that I’m even willing to give you something free of charge. The least you can do is to give it a try.”
- Encourage anticipation.
Remember how companies make a big PR deal announcing a new project or product? This is not bragging but a simple psychological trick. We call it anticipation, the feeling of excitement about something nice in the future.
If you convince people to anticipate the release of your product (did someone say Apple?), you make them think that it’s much more important and necessary than it really is. In other words, it makes buyers thrilled and super-excited because they feel like being part of something bigger, extraordinary, and unusual.
- Exploit their ego.
An average buyer wants to feel unique and appreciated. That’s why you should exploit a customer’s ego and label him as special. One way to do it is to send them customized offers. If someone visits your website for the first time, send them a one-time offer for a 25% discount. The point is to indulge them and show appreciation for them as a first-time buyer. Who could resist such an opportunity?
- Solve problems.
Most people buy something because they want to solve a specific problem. But sometimes the act of purchase itself involves a problem, and you need to be ready to solve it. A lot of people are not sure whether they would actually like the product once they see and feel it. For this reason, you should offer them a refund for unwanted items. The same goes for shipping costs – offering free delivery encourages 9 out of 10 people to buy.
- Highlight scarcity.
This trick is very old but in no way obsolete. The easiest way to make potential customers take some action is to emphasize scarcity. When you say “only 12 pieces left” or “discount while stocks last,” you tell people that your product is extremely wanted and popular. Additionally, you tell them to act quickly unless they want to be left without their own sample of valuable goods.
- Promote values.
A lot of buyers build a stronger emotional connection with the brand that promotes the same type of values. If you emphasize this feature of your business, you can attract more buyers. And that’s not all – this way, you also get the chance to expand the circle of loyal consumers in the long run, which is the foundation of any successful ecommerce business.
- Refer to other buyers.
People always look at the lists of the most popular brands. They just love to know what’s trendy at the moment and follow the same buying patterns as other consumers. Use this knowledge to sell them your own products.
For example, you can say “Check out why our camping hammock was the 2017 best-seller.” Most customers will immediately fall for this trick because it represents a social proof of brand quality. And if you add an appropriate brand ambassador to promote the item, they won’t have a choice but to buy it.
- Create an imaginary enemy.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice one target group to reach a more important audience. In this case, you create an imaginary enemy to strengthen relations with your primary consumers. This is the marketing strategy of Schweppes – they emphasize that this drink is for men, not boys. If you’re targeting mostly middle-aged men, don’t be afraid to make enemies with high school kids.
- Admit flaws to emphasize benefits.
Nobody’s perfect, and your customers know it. Sometimes it’s good to emphasize a little flaw, but only to contrast it with a much bigger benefit. This happens every time someone says “This item may be expensive, but its quality is worth every single dollar you spend on it.”
Last but not least:
- Keep it rational.
Some people just don’t fall for tricks. They have a more rational approach to shopping and prefer objective information. The best way to win them over is to provide them with reliable statistics and studies that prove the overall quality of your brand, service, or product. Just keep it simple and rational – in this case, avoiding psychological tricks is the most productive trick you can play.
I hope these tips will help you increase your loyal customer base. In the meantime, remember to stay aware, so you don’t fall for them too often yourself ;-).