A Little Knowledge of How People Think Can Improve Your Online Sales.

The difficulty with online sales can often be dealing with the unknown. With no face-to-face chats it can be tricky to understand how a customer is acting. Do they like your products? Are they finding your website easy to use?

While new analytical tools and online chat services are increasing our ability to judge how people shop online, a little human psychology also does wonders for our understanding.

For this reason online marketers are increasingly paying greater attention to ‘mental triggers’. In-built behaviours that make people more willing to respond to a marketing message or buy something online.

Most business people don’t really have the time to study psychology in as much detail as it deserves but a few basics can still help improve our online sales.

For this week’s marketing tips we’re looking at a few mental triggers you should consider when creating your web pages, emails and offers.

 

The Mental Triggers that will Help Boost your Online Sales:

 

1. Storytelling.

With thousands of years of storytelling behind us the story is a powerful and familiar trigger. As human beings we are better placed to remember information when told as a story than as facts and figures. By framing your marketing messages in the form of a story people will be more open to listening and will remember more of what you tell them. Consider how you can share the stories behind your company and products to reach out to potential customers.

2. Reciprocity.

The mental trigger of reciprocity is probably the most easiest to appreciate for the card and gift community. When you are given a card or gift most people will feel compelled to return the gesture. This type of thinking is transferable to business. By giving a freebie to your customers you can make your customers feel special and encourage a feeling of reciprocity.

3. Events.

People love events and being part of something bigger than themselves. In the card and gift industry we’re lucky to have lots of card and gift based events throughout the year. It is worth however considering if there are any other options for your business. If you can create your own event around your business you can capture people’s attention and make something unique to you.

4. Anticipation.

Creating anticipation for your products is a great way to interest your prospective customers. Anticipation can pull people into a product launch or promotional event and get them looking out for your announcements. Build up anticipation for your new products with sneak peeks and pre-launch announcements.

5. Proof & Social Proof.

People like to know that a product is fit for purpose and they’re safe to buy. Adding proof or social proof is a great way to re-assure potential customers and encourage them to buy. There are a number of ways you can incorporate proof and social proof into your online sales.

  • Create images or videos that show quality or demonstrating how your product works.
  • Use social media to interact; collect examples of customers using your product & testimonials to demonstrate that people can trust you and your products.
  • Offer a money-back or replacement guarantee so people feel safe to buy.

6. Community.

As humans, we’re social creatures that are used to living as part of a community. This is important to know as people tend to take cues on behaviour from how they think a community acts. By associating your brand into one or more communities you can use the goodwill of big groups to generate approval from the crowd. This will in turn encourage more people to interact and buy from your business. As well as building up your own fans, join groups and socialise to become part of different community groups.

7. Interaction / Conversation.

Generally people are sociable and like to interact. People will differ in how this interaction takes place small groups or large groups, every day or once a week but on the whole we all like some degree of interaction. For online sales it’s good to understand this need for interaction and in particular the idea that people pay attention to a conversation longer than they will a lecture. If you can make your sales or marketing messages seem conversational and personal you will build a better relationship with your customers.

8. Scarcity.

The rarer something is the higher we value it. Whenever you create a sales promotion consider how you can add scarcity to the mix by limiting your offer. You could consider offering a fixed number of products at a discounted price or limit how long an offer is open. You might even look at how you can show a ‘low stock level’ warning in your website design. By adding a level of scarcity to your online sales you will be able to focus your customers’ attention and add a level of urgency to their action.