That’s why we spend an hour in the gym, going through the pain of a grueling workout, because we enjoy the pleasure of fitting into those favorite jeans. We suffer the pain of planning out a party because we enjoy the pleasure of enjoying a special day with family and friends.
No matter the action, the end result is that we experience pleasure in the outcome. So, it stands to reason that the most important element is always going to be to deliver a product or service that your potential consumers will feel good about. But, that’s not enough to take them from browser to buyer.
This begs the question, what does?
Well, there are several psychological factors that are proven to cause people to buy from you. Keep reading to uncover what they are, and how to master them.
#1 Sell MORE, by giving them LESS
What? That doesn’t even make sense. Ok, maybe not.
But let’s go deeper.
The average shopper is easily overwhelmed by too many choices. They begin to suffer from what’s called “analysis paralysis” and then, instead of buying, they simply leave your page. This is often the case when your site or store is set up like a buffet. The choices are so numerous that a consumer simply doesn’t know how to narrow it down to find what suits them, and they give up.
If you give them less to look at, they are more likely to buy. Now, if you have a site that offers only one service, here’s where you have it made. But if you have a large inventory, then you should consider chunking. What this means is grouping like items together, so that your browsers are only looking at a portion of your inventory at any one time.
Think of going to any department store. Let’s say you need a tie. You know that you don’t need to look in ladies wear, sporting goods, or home entertainment. You’d go directly to the men’s department, and then find the area with suits and shirts, and quickly be able to locate their selection of ties. Now, imagine a department store where nothing is chunked into departments. You might see a shelf with a blender and some Christmas decorations. Next to those is some jewelry and a basketball. You would have no idea where to begin looking for that tie, and probably just walk out. Don’t let the same thing happen on your website.
Use categories, and if necessary, subcategories to sort your inventory into manageable amounts of product that customers can easily navigate. “Giving them less” to look at increases your chances of conversion.
#2 Losses are more important than gains
This may seem confusing at first. The concept essentially means that we, as humans, will work harder (and place more value) on retaining what we already have rather than acquiring something new.
This is the reason that so many people will overvalue a vehicle when trying to sell it, simply because it’s THEIRS. So how do you make this concept work to sell more products or services?
Most of us, when it comes to selling, like to tell the customer what they’re getting. We focus on how great the product or service is, the value that it will bring to the prospect, or simply how flashy and cool it is. That’s all well and good, and those are important pieces of the puzzle. But what is ultimately the most effective sales tool is telling the customer what they are missing out on by not buying from you. Prompting them by telling them exactly what they are missing out on is what will lead them to open their wallet and sign on with you.
#3 Give them a reason
This seems simple to be effective. But in reality, we all want to be validated. We are far more easily convinced to perform a given action if we are provided a reason for doing it, and that reason doesn’t even need to be valid.
In a social experiment, unknowing participants allowed a coworker to cut in front of them at the line for the copier simply because that coworker stated, “because I need to make copies”. Incredibly, 93% of the time, this reason was totally effective. It might be mind boggling, but it’s also fact, when looking for a reason, any reason will do.
#4 Sell results
You may think that you’re selling a product or service. In reality, what your customers are buying is results. People invest in what brings the best results. They may be able to buy the same service elsewhere, but if you can deliver better results, they will ultimately purchase from you. Show how your service has impacted other customers and gotten them the outcomes they were looking for. Know that the price of your product doesn’t matter that much, because when you deliver the results the consumers’ desire, they will spend to get them.
There are a number of other psychological “tricks” that will help give browsers that push they need to become buyers, but these four are the most effective, and easiest to implement.
Next time you shop online, before you pull out your credit card, take a minute to think about the real reasons you’re making that purchase. Were you given less to look at, therefore making it easy to find what you needed? Did you feel you’d be losing out if you didn’t purchase? (And if so, what did the seller do to create that feeling of loss?) Did the seller give you a reason to purchase their product or service? Lastly, are you ordering this product expecting to see results of some kind?
By analyzing what drives our own consumer behavior, we are better equipped to trigger the same behavior from our prospects. Understanding these aspects of human psychology is an invaluable tool when it comes to marketing, and shopping, for that matter.