Aug 08

Building a Profitable Online Business with Sales Psychology

What lies beneath successful marketing strategies is a line of sales psychology many marketers are not aware of. The methods of driving individuals to respond to words with actionable steps towards making a purchase are heavily centred around triggering different psychological buttons.

The knowledge of knowing the psychological triggers of different consumers is what sets successful marketers apart from those who are not. Contrary to popular belief, merely copying or rephrasing the words of a highly impactful message will not always transfer to success on our end. Without having a clear understanding of selling and the psychology behind it, we will take part in something more of a gamble.

Constructing our message to accurately present emotional triggers with perfect timing in line with what we are hoping to sell is crucial. Failing to do so will result in poor conversion results. Understanding the behaviour of our audience puts us in an ideal position to know the thoughts consumers are having while allowing us to take actions to get each one to respond in the way we desire.

In this article we will explore psychological behaviors and the exact triggers that change people from mere onlookers to loyal, paying consumers. Here are some techniques great for E-Commerce conversions.

You will find the following principles and techniques in this article:

  • The power of social influence
  • Being committed and consistent
  • Gaining a strong authoritative reputation
  • Creating an environment to be easily liked by customers
  • Coming together in unity
  • Limited availability of products, scarcity
  • Establishing the need for customers to purchase through reciprocity

Social Influence

Being popular through social media is a great asset when attempting to gain more customers. When we see or hear that a product is appealing to another person, we instantly have a bias towards the item and are more likely to express interest in the product as well. On the other hand, if we are aware that a particular product was just launched and has little to no likes or reviews by the public, our chances of purchasing the new product are a lot less likely.

To go even further we understand that marketing based from influence is very valuable. In E-Commerce, comments and reviews seen on product posts about brands circulate energy and interest around the posts. As a result, this leads to an increase in sales. It has been noted that the opinions of other consumers influence individuals. A certain level of trust has been established.

To reach a bigger audience, everyday big and small brands hire social media and other well-known influencers to endorse a new line of products or a specific brand.

Celebrity endorsement sales psychologyInstagram

Are We Committed to Being Consistent?

According to the association between psychology and selling, going to extreme lengths to be viewed by our audience as consistent in our work and dialogue is not uncommon. It is a principle that uses the views of others as fuel to motivate us in our commitment to getting a particular job done.

By the use of sales psychology, being able to move potential customers to voluntarily join a mailing list increases the chances of the customer going in the direction of actually making a purchase. If we manage to get a product to a customer without requiring an obligation to pay, further increases our chances of gaining a loyal, paying customer.

The idea is that the more we see an item, the more familiar it will become to us. There are a variety of companies that will allow a trial period for customers to test out the product. As a result, the company has made strides in getting closer to obtaining a purchase for the item at hand. We find that the fondness for the product has increased significantly.

There is no obligation to buy; however, the emotional commitment that comes along with receiving and opening the product when it arrives has been established. The unspoken need to buy has also been developed.

Dollar shave club

Dollar Shave Club

Standing in Authority

Studies in the psychology of sales have shown consumers to be geared in the direction of appealing to authority. When an individual draws a connection with a brand due to an old memory or finds familiarity with a product as a result of a linkage between a celebrity and the product, we tend to believe that good will come from the purchase of the item. The familiarity solidifies the connection.

Often brands will partner with celebrities and other well-known public figures to create a brand attached to the name of the star. One benefit of establishing this relationship will aid us in gaining an authoritative presence with our audience.

We see authority relationships established quite often in the online retail market. Books written by famous chefs, clothing lines headlined by fitness experts and fragrances developed by movie stars are some examples. Curation websites that host trending brand picks as well as sharing top picks from a specific celebrity are also common methods of building a formidable reputation. A simple endorsement of the brand can outweigh a highly trained staff any day.

Personal Connection and Fondness

We take notice to the grocery store representative giving out free cookie samples. A feeling of being genuinely greeted by store associates creates a welcoming atmosphere to shop in. Whether it be through a smile or a sincere hello, our fondness for the store has increased by one small gesture. As a result, we are more prone to make a purchase that day. If not that day, we are likely to be back at a more convenient time.

Endorsements work the same way. Seeing a celebrity who we greatly admire support a brand, encourages our likeness for them to be transferred to that brand as well. The principle of affinity can be applied in numerous ways to drive success.

We have to find a way to illustrate our story. In doing so, we will further establish the identity of our brand. Choosing fonts and colour schemes for our website that further adhere to the personality of not only our brand but also to the character of our audience will create an emotional connection. Depending on who our audience is, our choices could range from a soothing, warm and loving atmosphere for baby products, energetic for the fitness lovers or something simple and organised for the minimalists.

Honest website designHonest

If a business is in the market of clothing retail with other accessories to be worn by individuals, showcasing models that will appear as relatable to the targeted audience will help in building a lasting connection. The idea is for customers to see models that look like them wear the apparel. As a result, customers can identify with the brand and feel as if the clothing was made just for them and their unique style.

Athletic styles usually appeal to those interested in fitness or those seeking to obtain a certain fitness level. The model will show them what they are striving to become in the world of fitness or give them an avenue of motivation to meet fitness goals. There is something out there for everyone.

Linking social media pages on the website is wise. Customers can easily share products with friends and family after making a purchase. Recommendations made by customers are a sure way to gain more buying customers.

When customers are browsing at different products, it is a good idea to list other similar products to what is currently being viewed on that product’s page. Showing items that are frequently purchased with the product they are looking at is a great way to build a connection with customers based on the commonalities.

A Unified Environment

The principle of having unity within our brand supports identities with common interests. By the sharing of brand centred standards and views, our customer to brand relationship becomes grounded in a level of loyalty that leads to an unbreakable bond between the two.

An excellent example of acquired unity between a brand and the supporters that drive its success would be, a farmer’s market that appeals to the vegan consumer. Maybe this market has started a campaign that refuses to offer animal products to its customers. To take it a bit further the campaign is geared towards bringing awareness to the killing of animals and how it should be prevented.

The principle allows the brand to better identify with vegan consumers, creating unity. The loyalty that is gained by the connection between customer and brand creates a platform for supporters to share their experience and connected identity with those around them.

sales psychology cruelty free shopCruelty-Free Shop

Another unifying technique to be used in an online store would be to give our customers a nickname or label. Supporters enjoy being apart of a community of like individuals. Being given a name that signifies a family environment establishes a strengthened community. Justin Bieber calls his fans Beliebers. Sometimes the supporters will provide themselves with their own nicknames. If this happens, we should embrace it to the fullest. Successful labels share a common value associated with the brand and what it stands for.

There are many expedient ways to build unity between customer and brand. Another way would be to share common enemies openly. There has been a battle between Xbox and PlayStation for years as well as a battle between Microsoft and Apple. The rivalry has grown to be a clash between not only the companies, but the customers also share common dislikes for the alternate brand. The customers are exceptionally loyal and would never think of purchasing a product from the other brand. The rivalry can also be a friendly rivalry that thrives off humorous advertising campaigns.

Taking a stance in politics, social involvement and environmental issues have proven to gain customers longing for brands to share their position on common issues. This gesture may inadvertently push potential consumers away; however, the bond that we have already established with our current customers with shared views on these issues will be strengthened.

Limited Availability of Products

Having a low stock or having¬†manufactured a set number of products means that not everyone will be able to have the product for themselves. Maybe there is a waiting list for the item in demand. Thes sales psychology behind this technique motivates customers to purchase the product before the company runs out of the product. People don’t want to lose out on a potentially beneficial opportunity.

We tend to want the very things that we can not have. For example, if someone tells us that we can not have it, having it instantly becomes more appealing. When we only announce that there is limited availability for an item, we haven’t entirely done our job. It is not just important that we announce the limited availability, but we also must proceed to inform potential customers on how to purchase the product before it is out of stock.

Another method of presenting scarcity in our online store would be to announce when product sales are coming to an end. Show the reduced price along with the day it will come to an end. Some store items may be headed towards being discontinued. As they stop being made, they are no longer manufactured and sold new from the company. This element of scarcity encourages customers to purchase the item so that they will not miss out.

Products that only surface when the season’s change are included in this category as well. As winter or spring approaches, many coffee shops showcase special drinks to complement the different seasonal atmosphere. A thrill of excitement is created for customers knowing that the product will only be available for that season of the year.

lululemon salesLululemon

Feeling Obligated to Give Back

Many companies take on this psychological approach to increasing sells. We see this when offered food samples while shopping or when we are asked to test fragrances after walking past the section in the mall designated for perfumes and colognes. As a result of trying the product, we are compelled by an unspoken obligation to buy. This principle is known as reciprocity. We give back because of what was given to us.

Some companies opt out of offering gifts in advance, and some are not able to extend this gesture. Offering free samples with a purchase is another alternative popular with online stores. Some will give the gift in advance to the purchase by making it known that once purchased, and will ship the item with an additional free product. Companies that don’t announce the freebie often include an extra product along with the purchased item as a surprise.

This sales procedure inspires customers to make more purchases in the future. Some people make more purchases out of curiosity of what the gift could be or simply wanting to have more of the complementary product.

Reciprocity can also be shown by the content available to customers when searching for new products to meet their needs. Content can include quizzes that aid in finding the most suitable product for each customer. After completion, having recommendations available to customers that show products best suited for them individually, offers an avenue of value to customers.

Final Thoughts

Within this article, we have shown the top techniques used by successful online stores and how they implement sales psychology to gain more paying customers. Combining good SEO with knowing what exactly triggers a response from the intended audience, will aid in the building of a profitable business in the online sales world. There is a trigger for every potential buyer looking to meet everyday personal needs. We simply have to know which one to use.

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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