how understanding psychology can help increase ecommerce sales

James Daniels | 29/03/16


One of the biggest challenges ecommerce brands face is understanding the needs of their ‘unseen’ customers.

The concept of human psychology in the marketing and sales process is not something new. It has been a key concept for decades; driving consumers to spend with you means identifying their demographic, ways of thinking, and specific decision-making criteria.

The purchasing habits of a target group of consumers can be affected by certain common triggers on their brain; providing these are not inappropriate and are safe, sales can be significantly increased.

Think of: ‘Hurry!’ ‘Sale Ends Soon!’ or when some other sense of urgency is implied. We fear we will miss out on something important if we don’t act soon: stocks will go, or time will run out.

Another trick of the trade is using social cohesion. Human beings enjoy being a part of a community; they feel a need to fit in with a similar group of individuals.

People tend to shy away from big anonymous brand promotion and prefer to head towards a site that caters more for what they see as like-minded people. They feel instantly at ease, and empowered, within a comfortable community they trust. Even the big brands have copied this strategy with M & S Woman and so on.

The power of peer-group influence is not to be ignored; by publishing reviews and customer comments, consumers can share their experience, whether positive or negative, with other users which helps build trust.

An expert endorsement can also trigger a similar response; a known logo from another collaborative brand increases this effect.

Offering rewards, based on loyalty, such as discounted goods, special offers, free gifts and prizes, can entice customers through the door, and help to maintain a good relationship.

The offer to participate in a free trial can tempt visitors to try out a new product, with the aim of gaining a long term customer who returns to buy the product.

Goodwill promotion through social media: this lets customers spread the word about a product they have bought.

Keep things simple is often the byword to success. When consumers are not faced with over-complicated options, they will decide more quickly.

A psychological trigger that brings successful results may only be temporary, and should be re-examined and tested.

Above all, consumers need to feel they come first and are important to you. Understand your ecommerce target audience and use the triggers sparingly, and wisely, to gain a real increase in sales – and popularity.

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